Ep 029: Ginger Berkelhamer – Navigating Relationships in Addiction Recovery
Navigating one’s way through intimate relationships can be difficult regardless of one’s circumstances.
Marital and long-term intimate relationships must go through major reconstruction during recovery or face collapsing.
This reconstruction often involves healing past wounds to the relationship, redefining role responsibilities, altering daily rituals of communication, and developing new patterns of sexual intimacy.
It also involves shedding self-defeating patterns of speaking and acting toward one another that have often become deeply ingrained during the addiction years.
Here are six principles and prescriptions that might be of help.
1. Individual healing must precede relationship healing. Encourage your partner to get help for herself or himself via counseling or participation in groups like Al-Anon or Nar-Anon so that he or she can relearn to trust, forgive past injuries, and resist the urge to control your recovery efforts.
2. The very thing everyone has been hoping and praying for—RECOVERY—can threaten an intimate relationship. Because of all the feelings and patterns of behaviors that developed during the addiction years, the adjustment to recovery can exert great strain on intimate and family relationships. Expect such strain. It is a normal part of the recovery process.
3. Relational healing takes time. Remind yourselves to be patient with one another through this process. All that is wrong with the relationship does not reverse itself the moment recovery begins. The relationship must recover also, and this will proceed, like personal recovery, in ebbs and flows over time.
4. Relational healing may require outside professional help. Such help may increase the prospects of successful recovery and the prospects of salvaging the relationship.
6. Some relationships are not salvageable in recovery. In spite of the best efforts of those involved, not all intimate relationships will survive the recovery process. When it is clear a relationship will not survive, find a way to disengage from the relationship with as little damage to all involved. This disengagement process may also require outside professional help.
Today I’m chatting with Ginger Berkelhamer, a recovery coach who also specializes in helping people navigate the tricky waters of relationships.
As I said earlier, relationships in recovery are tricky.
Not only is the relationship often in stormy seas, it’s as if the person in recovery is steering two ships—that of their recovery, and that of their relationship.
Through the cutting edge program known as Energy Leadership, Ginger helps her clients dive deep into core issues that hold them back from sustainable sobriety and relationship success.
Understanding and taking responsibility for their own sobriety is a starting point.
Ginger works with individuals in recovery as well as couples who want to take the principles of recovery into their marriage or long-term relationships.
- The Addictions Academy – The Nation’s Leading Accredited Addiction Treatment Services, Recovery/Sober Coaching & Intervention Training Academy: https://theaddictionsacademy.com/
- The Addictions Coach – The Nation’s Foremost Recovery Coaching & Private Addiction Treatment Services Firm: https://theaddictionscoach.com/
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