I was so unfamiliar with the Twelve Steps that I didn't know enough to ask Steve about them or if he had done them.

And I certainly didn't know that, as someone in a relationship with a PIR, it would have been good for me to do these Steps as well.

Sometimes these Steps take a long time to work through the first time, and because recovery and relationships are ongoing realities, these are Steps that are revisited time and time again.

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When it comes to an addiction disorder, deceit, manipulation, and friendships with fellow drinking or drugging buddies are too often the rule, rather than the exception.

In other words, there's often a lot for them to "unlearn" in recovery.

Paul told me that, for him, the easiest part was to remember and list all the people he had harmed.

It was harder for him to admit the sexual harms he'd done and the people he'd used when he was still drinking.

But he said he needed to face those things if he ever hoped to have a healthy relationship--sexual and otherwise--in the future.

When people work Step Four, they begin to realize that in order to stay clean and sober, they need to handle all their feelings--the good, the bad, and the ugly ones--in a healthy and safe way rather than covering them up with mood-altering chemicals or addictive behaviors.

Some PIRs come from unhappy families in which emotional or physical abuse and addiction were common.

Because of this, some PIRs may have developed trust, intimacy, or abandonment issues.

Author Karen Nagy outlines Steps Four through Ten: the "Relationship Steps." Mending relationships that were broken due to addiction is an ongoing task in recovery.