Repairing Relationships after Addiction
Addiction can be devastating to every aspect of your life. Your addiction may have damaged your career, your education, or even your physical health. More importantly though, your addiction may have broken many of your relationships, interaction you may be depending on now to help you in your sobriety. Depending on how long you were addicted, you can be in a situation that as you work through recovery towards sobriety you will need to repair those relationships that may have become broken along the way. While you were battling your addiction, you probably engaged in a variety of behaviors that were negative. Lying, being unfaithful, stealing, manipulating, creating financial problems, or even becoming violent and possibly causing physical injury. No matter the damage, a part of your recovery will depend on repairing these relationships. It will be difficult, but not impossible to accomplish.
Addiction and Romantic Relationships
Trust is the bedrock of every successful relationship and the trust your partner may have had in you before the addiction may be shattered. You need to recognize that even as you are dealing with trying to trust yourself, they are working on trusting you. It may be difficult for this to initially occur. Be honest in your conversations with each other and be prepared to hear tough things. Create a system that works for both of you and agree to honor it. If you partner wants you to call when you are going to be late, do it. If they want you to come home immediately after work, do it. Whatever elements both of you agree upon need to be upheld if trust is going to be rebuilt. Intimacy is also built upon trust so do not expect your partner to immediately welcome you back into the intimate portion of your lives. That will take time and rebuilding trust will be key.
Addiction and Parent/Child Relationships
Although they are often overlooked in addictive relationships, the relationships with the children in your life need to be repaired as well. Just like your romantic relationship, they will need to learn to trust you again. But, their trust needs to be rebuilt differently. They will need to learn that you can keep your word. Additionally, you will need to reestablish solid communication with your kids. Be honest with them, making sure that any details you offer are age appropriate. More importantly, spend time with your children. Allow them to draw their own conclusions that you are healthy and in a good place to have a relationship with them; that will go further than anything you can ever tell them.
Addiction and Friendships
Like the other relationships in your life, your friendships may have been greatly impacted through your addiction. In some situations, your friends may have been in a position where they enabled you to continue your addiction, or worse, enjoyed the addictive life with you. As you have learned through your recovery program, many of these types of relationships may negatively impact your sobriety and may need to be ended. On the other end of the spectrum, you may have friendships that also need to be repaired. In these situations, your friends will need to see that you are able to maintain the balance of your sobriety and the stresses of life. They will need to learn to trust you again. The best way you can rebuild friendships is to allow them to see you stay sober, give them time, and show them you have changed.
Your addiction has greatly impacted your life and the lives of those around you. With sincere dedication, time, and effort you can restore the relationships you will need for a healthy future.