I used to just not get the whole meeting thing. I simply didn’t understand the relevance of going. I’ve always been one of those “I’ll deal with it myself” kind of people, and I worried that any 12 step kind of meeting would be cult-like.
After being with an addict for almost a year, I wish I would have made more use of meetings and motivated my partner to go as well.
There are the 12 step meetings your addicted partner can go to and then the Al-Anon meetings you can go to. Both partners in a relationship would benefit in attending these meetings for the following reasons:
- You don’t feel like your struggle is your own anymore. This applies to both parties in the relationship. The toll addiction takes can be isolating, especially since there’s still a big stigma associated with it that may prevent you from telling your other family and friends. These meetings are a judgement-free zone where you can find comfort that you aren’t the only one going through this.
- You can vent and express yourself in a way that won’t strain your relationship. Keeping your real feelings in to keep the other person happy or on their path to recovery can create resentment. At least with the support of these meetings, your human need to feel validated and heard will be met.
- You will both feel like you’re taking active steps to better yourselves for the sake of the relationship. The thing that sucks about addiction and being involved with an addict is that sometimes you can begin to feel really helpless. When you attend these meetings, you can have a sense of pride knowing that you’re taking an active role in your recovery.
- You’ll hear perspectives from others than you may have not considered. I know we all like to think that we have all the answers, but we don’t. Attending these meetings can be a humbling experience that reconnects us to the fact that we’re all just trying to make sense and do our best of the chaos life sometimes comes with.
- It can help keep the spark in the relationship alive. Speaking from personal experience, sometimes it’s hard to talk about anything but your partner’s addiction because of the fear that’s overwhelmed you. It’s natural. But when all you talk about is the addiction or engage in “recovery” talk, that becomes the central focus in the relationship. And then you start to feel less like romantic partners and more like peers. When both parties attend meetings, they learn how to better themselves individually so they can come back to the relationship and be their best selves.