November 14, 2016 3:28 am at 3:28 am #618683
What’s your take on marrying someone who is a recovering addict?November 14, 2016 3:53 am at 3:53 am #1194546flatbusherParticipant
Lots of luck with that. If marriage adjustments aren’t difficult enough, why add this to the mix. Wait until the person has fully recovered and then wait another year and see if it holds.November 14, 2016 4:05 am at 4:05 am #1194547frumnotyeshivishParticipant
There are those that refer to anyone who they believe was once an addict as a “recovering addict.”
Bottom line — you marry the person, not the status. Keep your eyes open, and use your brain, not your heart. And that’s not a blanket no. Good luck.November 14, 2016 7:34 pm at 7:34 pm #1194548popa_bar_abbaParticipant
Depends what they were addicted to.November 14, 2016 8:09 pm at 8:09 pm #1194549
“Depends what they were addicted to.”
I doubt she meant chocolate.November 14, 2016 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm #1194550popa_bar_abbaParticipant
I doubt she meant chocolate.
Yes, but maybe she meant heroin.November 14, 2016 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm #1194551ExcellenceParticipant
The question is vague. You’ll need to supply more data like m/f and what the issue was, if you want random and complete strangers to give you advice on an imperative and strategic life changing decision of your life.November 14, 2016 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm #1194552👑RebYidd23Participant
It depends. If it’s a substance such as heroin, or a behavior such as hair-pulling, on severity of the addiction and on how long the person has been in recovery.November 14, 2016 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm #1194553
“Yes, but maybe she meant heroin.”
As opposed to what?November 14, 2016 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm #1194554
“It depends. If it’s a substance such as heroin, or a behavior such as hair-pulling, on severity of the addiction and on how long the person has been in recovery.”
It also depends whose hair they are pulling.November 15, 2016 12:08 am at 12:08 am #1194555👑RebYidd23Participant
If someone is pulling another person’s hair, the addiction aspect is not the problem.November 15, 2016 9:07 am at 9:07 am #1194558
A recovering addict is very similar to a Baal Teshuvah with every day a test to see if they can withstand temptation. Changing their environment and their friend will greatly reduce recidivism. The rate of recidivism is high so chances are no matter what the recovering addicts says there is a good chance they will revert back to addiction and be a danger to both themselves and their spouses.November 15, 2016 1:32 pm at 1:32 pm #1194559
I think it’s probably much more extreme than a baal teshuva. The vast majority of baalei teshuva do not stop being Frum and do not face the temptation to do so. On the other hand, my impression is that a recovered addict is never out of danger, and the temptation is always there.
Also, if they give in to their yetzer hora at all, they are in serious trouble. Whereas, in the case of a baal teshuva, if he gives in to his yetzer hora, he is no different than the rest of us who give in to their yetzer horas on occasion.November 15, 2016 4:42 pm at 4:42 pm #1194560SpunkMember
LU- I agree with your statement that a recovered addict is never out of danger, and the temptation is always there. But as far as
” The vast majority of baalei teshuva do not stop being Frum and do not face the temptation to do so.”
How do you know that? Even if you know the inside story of a few – or even many – baalei teshuva, I don’t think a statement like that can be made as fact.November 16, 2016 12:07 am at 12:07 am #1194561
Spunk: Even if a baal teshuva goes off the derech, that person may still be a capable and loving parent. Yes there are frum communities that say the opposite and that anyone OTD is a spiritual threat.
Still, if someone falls into temptation and starts using again, that takes someone away from the world and Hashem to a greater degree. Plus, it may come with a plethora of other risks.
(((((((BTW THANK YOU)))))))November 16, 2016 12:50 am at 12:50 am #1194562
An example of a Baal Teshuva who reverted back to being a secular Jew is Matisyahu. How prevalent is it, I don’t know. The difference between an addict and a baal teshuva is that one is in a physical danger while the other is in a spiritual danger. I am just trying to say that the danger is similar yet you seem to be okay with a Baal Teshuva but not with a recovering addict.November 16, 2016 2:00 am at 2:00 am #1194564
I don’t know if you can use a musician/performer as a typical example. From what I have heard, the industry is fraught with spiritual dangers, and there have been ffb performers who went astray as a result.November 16, 2016 2:14 am at 2:14 am #1194565
Also, the term “baalei teshuva” includes a very broad range of people. How likely they are to revert back really depends on the individual and the individual situation. Some people were coming from nothing to begin with and others grew up fairly traditional and had a Day School education. Some just recently became Frum and others have been Frum for a long time.
The factor that would make the most difference is: How grounded is the person, both in general and in their Yiddishkeit? Is he/she a rational person who made his decision based on rational reasons?
I know a baalas teshuva who became a christian missionary, but knowing her, I wasn’t as surprised as I might have been. She was very spiritual, but she had never been well-grounded. When she dated someone Chareidi, she “became” chareidi and switched her kids to a chareidi school. When she later dated someone dati-leumi, she became dati-leumi and again switched her kids’ schools.
I do understand your point, Abba about spiritual dangers being greater. I am just making the point that my impresion (although I’m not an expert so I may be wrong) is that it is impossible for any addict to ever be out of danger of a relapse, and a relapse has a very good chance of being deadly.
On the other hand, with baalei teshuva, my impression is that the chances of a relapse are much more minimal in most cases (each case is different and has to be judged for itself, but with addicts, I think it’s a given that the danger of a relapse is always grave – no pun intended – it’s not very funny anyhow, but unfortunately holds a lot of truth).
But again, I am far from an expert, so my words should be taken with a grain of salt, but it would be a good idea to research the matter.November 16, 2016 2:16 am at 2:16 am #1194566
Also, even though spiritual danger is worse than physical danger, I agree with Lightbrite that drug abuse usually involves both.November 16, 2016 2:30 am at 2:30 am #1194567
Do you consider someone “in recovery” for a drug addiction who drinks alcohol regularly (Shabbos, simchas, sometimes wine with dinner) in recovery?
How long does one need to be sober before considering the person for marriage? What if someone is several years sober from drugs yet still drinks?November 16, 2016 2:43 am at 2:43 am #1194568
You have to ask these questions to someone who is an expert in the topic. Maybe try to do some research online.
I didn’t understand your first question – Was he originally addicted to drugs, to alcohol or both?
Also – I’m not sure that I would consider Shabbos, simchas, sometimes wine with dinner to be regular drinking. How much is he drinking at a time? And how often are the simchas/wine with dinner? Does he get tipsy or drunk or is he fine with the amount he is drinking?
I was under the impression that there is nothing wrong with a glass of wine a day, but I might be wrong (definitely not my area of expertise). This had been discussed on another thread. Or is the issue that he used to be alcoholic, and you are afraid that this “regular drinking” will cause him to revert? You would have to find out if a recovered alcoholic is better off drinking in controlled moderate amounts or abstaining altogether.November 16, 2016 8:39 am at 8:39 am #1194569
“Also, the term “baalei teshuva” includes a very broad range of people.” Really everyone is a Baal Teshuva as at least once a year around the Jewish New Year everyone repents so defining it maybe difficult.
I also disagree with you about a recovering alcoholic, they should NEVER be around alcohol period, the temptation is so great. One drink leads to another and before you know it they consumed half a bottle and are drunk. Here in Flatbush, Brooklyn there is a big problem with young kids drinking at simchas. Nobody is watching who is drinking and the kids hop from shul to shul getting drunk.
This means that others have to to say Kiddush for a recovering alcoholic or they have to use grape juice instead of wine. One should ask a Rabbi if this pertains to them.November 16, 2016 10:37 am at 10:37 am #1194570
LB- it’s not clear to me – was your original question about someone who already recovered or who is in the process? Also, are you talking about alcohol or drugs, both or either?November 16, 2016 7:34 pm at 7:34 pm #1194571
Someone who is “in recovery” so yes “recovered” from a drug addiction.
Though, if this person drinks alcohol, then some people consider the person not really in recovery because even if this person was never an alcoholic, a drug is a drug is a drug or a substance is a substance is a substance.
Sometimes someone will replace “the drug of choice” with something easier, like alcohol. The person may build up a tolerance to alcohol and uses it as a solution to escape at certain times, including Shabbos and at simchas.
At the same time, a few individuals in recovery say that they can drink alcohol and it’s no problem, even a mitzvah.
I have spoken to professionals about this, evaluated research studies and resources from Jewish and secular sources, and asked individuals in recovery and non-clinicians as well for their feedback.
After seeing the post about dating someone on anxiety meds, I decided to throw this out here to get your feedback too.
Thank youNovember 16, 2016 8:14 pm at 8:14 pm #1194572
LB – got it. Sounds like you have done tons of research, so there is certainly nothing for me to add.
The teeny bit I know is based on a few articles combined with both common sense and my own (possibly incorrect) assumptions and biases.
I am curious to know what the professionals you have spoken to told you about the topic.November 17, 2016 12:26 am at 12:26 am #1194573
Professional Psychologist PsyD worked with over 6k individuals in recovery: Alcohol and recovery doesn’t work in the long run.
Drinking jeopardizes recovery. Seen it happen way too many times. The person with an addiction will start using something that he or she can get away with, like alcohol or marijuana.
That can either lead to eventual giving in to the drug-of-choice, or they develop a substitute addiction or substance abuse disorder, such as alcoholism or alcohol use disorder.
Based on evidence, abstinence and keeping with the program (12 Steps, or comparable therapy where the person has to be accountable etc) is the safest and most reliable way to stay clean.
Professional “peers” in recovery: There is no 100% formula. Though they either work with someone on a program like the 12 Steps that focus on abstinence, or the course of SMART Recovery.
SMART Recovery can help people go from one evil to a lesser evil, so to speak. So instead of being addicted to heroin, switching to methadone. Eventually though, the person is expected to want to stop using any substances, alcohol included, altogether.
Yes… I just listened to a shiur about soulmates. It talked about moving forward and not to let the satan evoke feelings of regret. I wondered if maybe I was too harsh and etc. At the same time, the situation was more complicated (as is everything). And I have emuna that Hashem did everything for the best and all is good.
This person has the most amazing middos in the universe. I pray for him and may Hashem bless him in all that is good. For the record, the truth is that in this situation, I had plenty more undesirable baggage and it didn’t work out, which too is for the best.
All this research that I did was helpful to ascertain also what I wanted to tolerate in my life, and how to establish my own healthy boundaries.
I really did want to hear your feedback. Another voice can offer another ray.
Thank youNovember 21, 2016 9:46 pm at 9:46 pm #1194574FFBBT613Member
This is such a touchy topic, & it’s so unfortunate that we have to ask ourselves these questions within our communities. I have personally seen the creation of an addict from the start of their addiction, to their recovery, & after. Most people who become addicts have a lot of underlying trauma which leads them to their path. The average person doesn’t one day decide, “Hey, I’m so bored so you know what? I’m gonna try tripping out on acid, followed by taking Percocet, and then shoot up.” There is usually so much behind the addiction, much deeper than the addiction itself. Once an addict, always an addict, addiction is a form of mental illness. The person may be clean and sober, but they will always be an addict. With that said, dating a recovering addict comes with so much responsibility. Recovering addicts are worthy of dating & marriage just as the next person, addicts are not bad people, & they are most certainly NOT their addiction! There is a lot of personal sacrifice that comes with dating a recovering addict, i.e. If their addiction was drinking, you can’t drink by a Kiddush as it might act as a trigger- even by being at a Kiddush where the alcohol is flowing like water might be a trigger for them. I’m not saying this is a bad thing, or a good thing, that is something for someone to decide on their own personal level. I personally feel that dating a recovering addict can be more than it is worth, as addiction is lifelong battle and in a way, that struggle now becomes your struggle, especially if you end up marrying them. But that is just my personal opinion, everybody is entitled and should form their own when it comes to such a sensitive topic.November 22, 2016 12:31 am at 12:31 am #1194575
“I also disagree with you about a recovering alcoholic, they should NEVER be around alcohol period, the temptation is so great.”
I wasn’t sure if we were talking about a recovering alcoholic in that example or not. I wasn’t clear what we were talking about; that’s why I was trying to clarify. In any case, I also didn’t know whether or not recovering alcoholics have to abstain completely. Thank you for clarifying that point.November 22, 2016 12:40 am at 12:40 am #1194576
“Also, the term “baalei teshuva” includes a very broad range of people.” “Really everyone is a Baal Teshuva as at least once a year around the Jewish New Year everyone repents so defining it maybe difficult.”
I think that in this case (as well as the usual way the term is used), we are talking about people who have done teshuva for things which they hadn’t known were wrong in the first place (people who didn’t grow up Frum).
That is why there is less of a concern that they will revert back to their old ways. They were only doing things they hadn’t known were wrong at the time they did them.
On the other hand, if someone does teshuva for things that they knew were wrong when they did them (like what everyone is supposed to do on Y”K and every day for that matter), there is more reason to believe they will return to their old ways.November 22, 2016 12:41 am at 12:41 am #1194577
Also, the major difference between baaleit teshuva and recovering addicts is that not being Frum is not an addiction.November 23, 2016 3:20 am at 3:20 am #1194578
LB- you are an amazing person and whoever marries you will be very lucky! I wish you much hatzlacha in finding the right guy at the right time – someone whom you can have a healthy relationship with, grow together with, and of course, be very happy with!
Hatzlacha!November 23, 2016 3:24 am at 3:24 am #1194579
Amen! Thanks lilmod ulemaid <3
You are amazing too and may you find your husband at the right time and have a healthy happy prosperous shalom bayis always relationship always 🙂November 23, 2016 3:36 am at 3:36 am #1194580
Amen!November 23, 2016 9:40 am at 9:40 am #1194581
Also, the major difference between baaleit teshuva and recovering addicts is that not being Frum is not an addiction.
Why don’t you say he is addicted to his sinful ways? A proof to this is how hard it is for a baal teshuva (who was never frum) to do mitzvahs.November 23, 2016 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm #1194583
Though: It’s possible to be addicted to frumkeit. A religious addiction is unhealthy and the person uses religion to escape from life versus live with truth, meaning, and closeness to Hashem etc.
I am not sure I understand this comment. An addiction is caused by the Evil Inclination. Either, the religious addict has defeated his evil inclination, or his evil inclination is telling him to perform Mitzvas and it is acting like the Yatzer Tov. Also I am not sure why it’s unhealthy? Doing good deeds are unhealthy, how and why? Also how do you know that they are doing it to escape from life and not trying to get closer to Hashem.November 24, 2016 1:04 am at 1:04 am #1194584
Meow meow meow
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