It's during the first year of recovery that the addict is to learn how to break the cycle of addiction.
A year of sobriety and "relationship abstinence" is meant to allow a sufficient amount of time to deal with one's own emotions without having to resort to his/her addiction, to build self-awareness and to become responsible for one's own emotional care.
If the necessary amount of time to grow the relationship with oneself hasn't lapsed, chances are the recovering addict will do what they've been accustomed to do all of their lives; that is to look outside of oneself for relief or to make up for what is missing emotionally.When unmet emotional needs begin to get played out in the relationship, the relationship can become an addictive or dysfunctional one, which further perpetuates the cycle of addiction.At the 5 month point of a sustained period of "relationship abstinence", Linda, a recovering alcoholic, proceeded to date a man, Jack, whom she met at a 12-Step meeting. After approximately 5 dates during 3 weeks of dating him, the "writing was on the wall." Linda had sex with him on the third date, which felt like quite an accomplishment that she was able to wait "so long." When I asked her to assess the level of her emotional involvement, she thought about it awhile before saying in a tone of wonderment, "Not too much I hope.Noticed myself checking my phone messages more frequently than usual.As long as I'm not using and we're not using and are in a program, I'm safe. Getting into an intimate relationship prematurely is, as my mother would say, "Ill-conceived, ill-advised and ill-consummated." Odds are more than fifty percent of marriages will end in divorce for the general population.
Want to venture a guess as to the odds for those in early recovery who test this cardinal rule Despite one's best laid plans or intentions to not re-enact the same dysfunction and failures of previous relationships, the odds are overwhelmingly against the relationship -- doomed to be dysfunctional or have a shortened life expectancy.
Men tend to cope by splitting off from their feelings; that is, are more likely to engage in sexual relationships while remaining emotionally divorced or superficial.
Sex is a trigger for emotional over-involvement or under-involvement relative to the stage of relationship.
It was apparent that Linda was looking for assurances that he is still interested.
When his assurances weren't forthcoming, she reacted as if he wasn't being truthful, that he really wasn't interested in her or the relationship, which wasn't the case.
Either way, each one's inability to manage his/her own emotional needs and provide self-nourishment will eventually jeopardize the developing relationship.