February 14th, 2017

Q. I have been in recovery for almost three years now and have recently started dating this amazing guy. We have been together for six months, and I still haven’t told him that I am in recovery for a drug and alcohol problem I had. He knows I don’t drink because I told him that I don’t think drinking alcohol is a healthy choice, not that I can’t even take a sip. We are both into staying healthy and fit, so he supports the idea and doesn’t drink either. We are really great together, and I hate that I am not being honest with him. How can I tell him about my recovery so he won’t freak out or see me as being dishonest with him this whole time? — Emily F., Manhattan, NY

Having these conversations can be hard, but it leads to you being vulnerable. Vulnerability is the key to connection. You can explain to him that you needed time to build the trust with him before you felt you could truly be vulnerable to him. Time is always important in a relationship, and trust builds on steps and experiences. It sounds like you feel you can trust him now and want to deepen your connection. You can give him education or take him to an open meeting to help him understand more about addiction or encourage him to seek out literature. The key is you being vulnerable and honest. How the two of you work through this together is a testament to the relationship you’re building.

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