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Part of working a program of recovery is finding a power greater than yourself that you can rely on for strength and guidance. This power can be anything from God to the Universe to Nature to any number of “powers”. However, many fall into the trap of assigning this role to a significant other, especially in early sobriety, when you are still seeking that power. Here are 5 ways to tell if you have made your significant other your higher power.

  • You go to him or her for guidance before you pray or talk to your sponsor.
    Is it important to be open and honest in your relationship? Absolutely. But we cannot rely on our significant other to guide us to the best choices for us. Only we can make our own decisions, with help from our sponsor, thorough inventory, and prayer. All too quickly, our significant other can take on the role of a sponsor, when they don’t always have the most objective view.
  • You spend every spare second with him or her, often neglecting meetings or friends to spend time with them.
    Relationships are a great thing, and it is a totally normal human instinct to seek out that companionship. However, a healthy relationship is one that adds to your life rather than consuming it. As recovering addicts and alcoholics, it is vital that we continue to work a program and put time and effort into maintaining our spiritual condition. This means continuing to attend meetings regularly, reaching our hand out to newcomers, and showing up for our friends and family. If we stop working on ourselves and our program, we will not have the tools we need to maintain any stability, much less in our relationships.
  • Your happiness in recovery depends on them and how they are doing.
    Part of getting sober means realizing that no human power, our own included, can keep us sober for any length of time. However, this principle applies to our lives as a whole. We cannot rely on human powers to make us “OK” or to give us emotional security or stability, because humans are flawed. We mess up, we stumble, and we can make bad choices. If we are dependent on another person for our own happiness, we are bound to be disappointed at some point- we have to be OK within ourselves and with our higher power first and foremost.
  • You stop seeking a higher power through meditation, prayer, or reading, because your relationship provides you with comfort.
    When we stop seeking a higher power, or stop seeking to strengthen our conscious contact with our HP, it can be easy to lose sight of our program and begin to take our will and life back into our own hands. The less we depend on a power greater than us to guide us through life, the more we will transfer that dependence onto ourselves or those around us. The tricky part is, finding and maintaining a higher power requires work, but it is a solution that will carry us through our entire lives if we keep at it. A relationship or significant other can provide instant comfort and security, but it is a false security, and we must always remember to keep things in right proportion in our lives.

If you find that your dependence on your significant other outweighs your dependence on your higher power, it is time to reevaluate your priorities and commitments. Thankfully, it is usually not too difficult to regain balance. You can still spend time with your significant other, but make sure you are still attending meetings and making time for your friends, family, and helping newcomers. Continue talking to your sponsor on a regular basis as well. When you do these things, your relationship will maintain an appropriate size in your life, and you will find that your inner peace and serenity make you better able to show up for the relationship and your other commitments.

Need Help?

If you are struggling with drugs or alcohol, call Serenity Acres to speak to an addictions professional today, at 1-800-203-2024.