Sober living

Healthy Relationships: A Building Block Of Sobriety

Not just sober, but also kind, considerate, dependable, supportive, confident, affectionate, positive, and trustworthy. Constantly assess your behaviors and actions – the “self-inventory” described in the 12 Steps of Recovery. It can be tempting to jump into a relationship too soon or become infatuated and give it more importance than it has. This sets you up for the crushing disappointment that can set off emotional triggers.

Your constant desire to spend time with them might push them away. The quick intense start of the relationship could burn out quickly with too much time spent together. These beneficial relationships can help you navigate the new life you have without the influence of substances. Of course, those “friends” with whom you formerly drank, who supplied you with drugs, or who used drugs with you, are your primary enablers. Be a good listener.Feeling valued is important in all relationships, and listening carefully to the other person will establish this. Making the decision to walk away from a relationship can be difficult. In many situations, it can feel like all outcomes will be negative, no matter the choice.


One person’s steps may look completely different than another person’s. Starting a relationship during recovery can cause a lot of distractions from working on these goals. Those of us in recovery may be working on completely different things than our romantic partner. Not only are we learning all the ins and outs of a new relationship, but we are now also trying to support that person through their recovery when it may look different than our own. When someone’s goals are not the same as our own or they are working at a different speed, it can be hard to support that individual while at the same time focusing on our own work. Imagine having an already full to-do list during a busy work week and your boss just informed you you’re also in charge of training the new hire.

What are the 5 principles of mental health recovery?

However, central to all recovery paradigms are hope, self-determination, self-management, empowerment and advocacy.

They may not know what to expect or understand what it means to you. As is appropriate, take the initiative and contact them to show them that you are still the same person as you were, but a much healthier version than they have seen for some time. You still have a sense of humor and can still have fun; you are free from chemicals.

When Repairing the Relationship is Simply Not Enough

As Carl Whitaker once said “Hope is often disappointment deferred.” You do not want the addict to tug you down into the well of misery, which is why Al-Anon says “Detach with Love”. Those of us struggling with addiction might already struggle with honesty. Lies and deceit tend to be intertwined with addiction and this learned behavior is difficult to break.

  • The realization that the problem stems from drug or alcohol addiction will likely only come later in childhood.
  • If your goal is to rebuild an existing relationship, to move forward, you’ll need to recognize how you hurt the person when you were using drugs or alcohol.
  • Trust will develop over time as you and your family and friends navigate situations where you can deal with them honestly and directly.
  • Relationships are effective in helping people in recovery stay healthy and increase their wellbeing.

Choosing to ignore this part of the recovery process can leave us without the tools needed to handle this trigger. So when we return to our family and are still met with harsh negativity, the cycle begins again. Without family support, we turn to other forms of relationships to fill the gap. Most of the time, we turn to substances and other addictions to help manage negative emotions that arise from unpleasant events that occur in our lives. Instead of dealing with these emotions and learning how to cope, we cover them up or ignore them with the help of our addiction. Many of us who are addicted to drugs or alcohol have negative relationships with our parents.

The Importance of Establishing Healthy Relationships in Recovery

No matter that the circumstance, always consider sobriety your number one priority over anything else, including your relationship. Immediately address anything threatens to thwart your recovery progress, even if that means ending the relationship. When a person develops an addiction, the brain changes — both chemically and structurally — in a number of ways that have significant effects on psychology. People who have developed the disease of addiction think differently, especially after being in the throes of addiction for a long period of time.

How long can end of life go on for?

At the end-of-life. The end-of-life period—when body systems shut down and death is imminent—typically lasts from a matter of days to a couple of weeks. Some patients die gently and tranquilly, while others seem to fight the inevitable.

If we know an intimate relationship during recovery will not benefit our treatment goals, then we need to practice setting boundaries with others. If another individual in treatment approaches us with romantic intentions, we must feel confident expressing our intentions and saying no. We believe in treating not just the addiction but the relationships relationships in recovery between loved ones. If you or a loved one needs help with substance abuse, contact JourneyPure today. Codependent people present another problemfor clients in recovery. Some family members can take on a role where they feel they need to look after the person with the addiction and want to shield them from the consequences of their actions.

Co-Dependency and Family Relationships

Individuals who actively participate in 12-Step programs can cultivate new, healthy relationships in recovery that implement hope, support, and overall positivity. 12-Step groups build community and a common bond amongst individuals who are recovering from the throes of addiction. 12-Step support groups lay the foundation for sober individuals to learn how to establish healthy relationships in recovery. Part of this process is helping addicts come to terms with the fact that their lives don’t immediately become better once they stop using chemicals. Clients in recovery must take responsibility for and deal with the aftermath of events that occurred while they were still using drugs or alcohol. It was not their choice to use while they were in the cycle of addiction, but the harm caused to relationships with intimate partners, family members, and close friends still needs to be dealt with.

It would be too overwhelming learning to form a relationship with yourself while at the same time learning to form a relationship with and being emotionally available for another person. Because a new relationship with another can feel exciting and pleasurable, we may want to focus more on this new relationship rather than doing the hard work of focusing on ourselves. And this is where we see intimate relationships negatively affecting the recovery process.

Choosing wisely when it comes to the company you keep is essential to enjoying a sober lifestyle. When in a relationship, self-reflection, introspection and the intense focus on one’s self is often sidelined as the maintenance of the relationship requires a focus on another and on shared goals.

relationships in recovery

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