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Is Recovery Possible?

Question:

I am a lesbian who has been in an on and off relationship with a woman Sara throughout this past year. In the meantime, Sara was in a relationship with another woman Elizabeth on and off throughout the year (they had been in a relationship about 7 months before mine started). Supposedly Sara had ended that relationship two months ago. Recently, I learned that Sara had still been seeing Elizabeth, but had mostly been sleeping with her. Sara has since started counseling, as have I. We both have learned things about ourselves, but are currently not in a relationship together and do not talk. I still love her and miss her and wonder if she and I will ever be able to be back together in the long-term future. I have been in the process of recovering from codependency and she from some addictions. It is clear that the recovery process will take a long time for both of us. I just wonder if it is ever possible for someone like Sara to recover and to be able to be in a serious long-term relationship since she has struggled most of her life with one (she’s 40). What do you think?

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  • ‘Anne’ is the pseudonym for the individual who writes this relationship advice column.
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Answer:

Here are two true statements:

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p> 1) Recovery from addictions, from codependency and from other emotionally disabling conditions is very possible. People can recover sufficiently from their earlier pitfalls so as to become capable of participating in and appreciative of committed relationships.

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p> 2) The past is the best predictor of the future. If an adult has a recent history of emotional distancing behavior and has failed to be true in a relationship in the past, it will be a long shot bet that they will grow out of it sufficiently to become a suitable and committed partner in the near future.

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p> Putting these two true statements together, you have to decide just how much of your very limited time on this earth you want to devote to waiting around for something that may not happen. People talk about soul mates and the like, but the reality of the situation is that there is more than one person in the world who could be a good relationship partner for you if you become open to new relationships occurring. It has to be your decision as to when you know that it is time to move on. There isn’t really a right answer as to what to choose either. The only think I hope for you is that you will not look back when this period of your life is over and regret that you wasted time. Good luck.

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