Should you stay in contact with an ex-partner when entering treatment for mental health or substance use disorder issues? For most the immediate answer is a resounding, “NO.” Many come to terms with their need for treatment on the tail ends of a recently ended or ending relationship. Different mental health disorders can treat relationships in different ways. From codependency, to dependency, to avoidance, to abuse, relationships can cause both positive and negative effects. Treatment is a time to focus on taking care of yourself and primarily your relationship with yourself. A relationship with a partner might be over for good. Treatment is the perfect time to work with individual and group therapists to process the breakup and relationship. Treatment is not the time to try and focus on getting back together with someone who is unhealthy, abusive, or encouraging of you to continue using drugs and alcohol.
Once cell phone privileges are restored, it can be tempting to engage in “exting”. Exting is texting an ex-partner for a myriad of reasons. Before pressing send, try this mindfulness practice to check your motives.
Pause. Close your eyes. Breathe. Before doing anything, take a moment to center and ground yourself in the present moment. It’s easy to get swept up in nostalgia for the past or desires for the future. Finding yourself in the present moment will help you better analyze what your true initiative is for reaching out to your ex-partner.
Do A Self-Check. Ask yourself, am I feeling lonely? Am I uncomfortable because I am feeling lonely? What are my expectations for my ex-partner’s response? Am I expecting the to make me feel better? If you are in a new relationship, or even examining the status of your new relationship with yourself ask how that relationship is going. A struggle might indicate why you’d seek out something familiar.
Evaluate Their Life. Have they moved on? If they are in a new relationship has it gotten serious? When your relationship ended, did they make it clear you weren’t to speak again? Have all your physical needs been settled (i.e. separating of stuff, paperwork, etc.)? Would it be disruptive to their lives to start communicating with them?
Some relationships need mending. For relationships that haven’t ended, couples counseling and relationship counseling can be beneficial. When one partner enters treatment, the other often enters their own kind of recovery. Together, through emotional, spiritual, and therapeutic work, a whole new relationship can be born.
Avalon By The Sea offers relationship and couples therapy as part of both our mental health and substance use disorder treatment programs. Getting over a relationship and getting through a relationship are both hard challenges to overcome alone. Our trained and qualified staff provide evidence based therapy methods for working with couples and helping you build a new relationship with You. Call us today for a confidential assessment and more information on our treatment programs, 1-855-464-8492.