How has alcoholism affected your ability to be intimate? In February, 2016, we held an open talk panel titled “The Impact of Alcoholism and Addiction on Intimacy and Sexual Relationships.” (Who is “we”? Michigan District 5 of Al-Anon.)
We are publishing here three of the talks from the event, by Diane C, Trea M, and Spencer T. Because of podcast limitations, we must publish each talk in its own posting. Use the links below to listen to each of them.
The speakers were given the following questions to help guide them in planning their talk.
These are not hard and fast rules, only suggestions. What’s most important is that you share your experience, strength, and hope around how recovery has transformed your romantic relationships. Feel free to reference conference approved literature.
What was/were your relationship(s) like before recovery? What happened that brought you to recovery? What is it like now? How do you use the 12 Steps or other program tools in your relationship? How did recovery change your relationship? What has been a surprise, or unexpected for you, before recovery or during?
Was there alcoholism or addiction in your family of origin? Did you learn patterns from your parents that you acted out in your own relationships? Did you consciously try to avoid repeating the patterns of your parents?
Are there patterns that you noticed in your choice of partners? Were these patterns helpful or harmful? Have your patterns changed?
Has alcohol always been a factor in your relationships? If not, when did it become so? How did your relationship(s) change when alcohol became a factor?
Has there been infidelity on your part or the part of your partner(s)? What was the outcome? Has there been emotional abuse or violence in your relationship(s)?
Did you ever use sex as a replacement for intimacy? Is sex a barometer for the health of a relationship? Is sex different before and during recovery?
What role does trust play in your relationship? What role does honesty play? What role does forgiveness play? What role does compassion play?
Have you ever been lonely in a relationship or outside of a relationship? What do you do to combat loneliness?
Has sex ever been used as weapon or for withholding in your relationship(s)? Is sex ever a carrot or a stick, or both, in your relationship(s)?