I wrote a substantial book on relationships during the COVID-19 pandemic and had an editor help me put it together. My insights on relationships stem from my experiences in addiction recovery. In the journey of 12-step recovery, many of us start by relinquishing substances like alcohol and drugs. However, we often find ourselves replacing addictive, anxious, and obsessive thinking with troubled behaviors in our sex lives, dating, romance, and pursuit of intimacy.
The struggle to form meaningful connections with others can lead to fixation on a specific person, engagement in serial dating, love obsessions, tumultuous relationships, judgment of our partners' flaws, breakups, obsession over relationships, sexually compulsive behavior, long-term celibacy, loneliness, and inappropriate intimacy.
The behavior surrounding love, sex, and obsession can be even more distressing than drug addiction. Just as we strive for sobriety from substances, we must eventually address the state of our love and sex lives. We need to learn how to relate to others. This process begins with becoming aware of the patterns and toxic cycles we create in our painful romances, which often stem from our past experiences. Relationship discovery and recovery delve deep into the complexities of our childhood traumas.
To succeed in a relationship, we require not only the tools to navigate our reactions and manage our painful emotions, but also a clear set of goals that we aim to achieve. Additionally, we need accountability to ensure that we are actively caring for our partner's heart and soul. Relationships, with proper guidance, can help us develop aspects of character that we may struggle to cultivate on our own.
This is particularly true for individuals with addictive tendencies and anxiety resulting from traumatic upbringings. Achieving a healthy and functional relationship is a much more intricate endeavor than simply following self-help lessons. Support groups focusing on sex and relationships can be challenging to find, and most of our knowledge will likely come from insightful books. It is also beneficial to seek therapy with a professional who possesses a deep understanding of this subject matter.