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In working with the spouses and significant others of addicts, I’ve often heard it said, “I’d rather be an addict than love one.” While few people would ever walk eyes-wide-open into a chronic disease like addiction, the statement speaks to the confusion, loneliness and despair common not only among addicts but also the men and women who love them. In fact, addicts who are solid in their recovery can make excellent partners.A history of addiction doesn’t necessarily turn Mr./Mrs. They’ve waged a courageous battle, spending a great deal of time working to take care of and improve themselves.Healthy Recovery, Healthy Relationships Most recovering addicts aren’t strangers to therapy and, as a result, have spent a lot of time working on themselves and their relationships.They have learned critical relationship skills, including how to identify, process and communicate their emotions and to set personal boundaries while respecting the lines drawn by others.Romantic relationships can be a great source of happiness in sobriety, but they can also be the source of great pain.One of the worst things that an individual can do in early recovery is jump headfirst into romance.

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As with everyone addicted to drugs and alcohol, high-functioning addicts are not a lost cause.They can actually enjoy professional success, maintain active social lives and hide their demons from the ones they love most – for a while, at least.Unfortunately, the “high-functioning” part comes at a great price and a considerable amount of danger.When you think of drug addiction, many people immediately associate the disease with the kind of tragic, rock-bottom moments we’re privy to on shows like Intervention or Celebrity Rehab.The problem is that, nine times out of ten, Hollywood gets it wrong.If they are in recovery, how long have they stayed sober?

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