Mending Relationships in Addiction Recovery
Relationships undergo a great deal of damage when it comes to addiction. The people that we love are often the ones that are most deeply impacted by our addiction. Once initial steps are taken to begin the journey to recovery, it is usually a good time to reflect on and invest time into relationships that suffered damage during active addiction. Fully repairing these relationships will involve a great deal of time and effort. Be sure to set realistic expectations when approaching these relationships. It is important that you don’t become discouraged when the relationship isn’t repaired over night. Be patient with yourself, your loved one, and the entire healing process. Good things take time. Trust is commonly a major factor when it comes to rebuilding relationships after addiction. The past will often hold damaging memories of lying, cheating, or stealing while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Proving that you are able to be trusted is a very important step in the mending process between you and your loved one. Accepting responsibility and apologizing for hurt that you caused your loved one is a great way to begin the communication process. Allowing the person to fully express how they felt provides a clear path for continued communication now and in the future. Forgiveness is an important part of the process. Your loved one may need to see you take steps to show effort in order to gain their forgiveness, and that’s okay. Also remember that everyone does not have a duty to forgive. Some people may feel that they are hurt too badly to offer you their forgiveness. There are also some relationships that are considered toxic and may not be in your best interest to repair. A relationship that was co-dependent, abusive, or involved someone who has yet to seek help for their own addiction may need to be eliminated from your life altogether. Some relationships, such as these toxic ones, are better left in the past. Repairing relationships with your loved ones may be hard work, but it is often extremely rewarding in the end. By putting in the time and effort needed to create clear and open communication you are taking the steps necessary in your journey of addiction recovery.