It is no secret that many people come into sobriety with a skewed view on what it means to have a relationship. This does not just pertain to intimate relationships, but friendship, and family relationships as well. They have spent years creating relationships that were based on fallacies, either because they had to hide their addictions, or simply because they were incapable of telling the truth and the result is usually a tangled mess of deceit and co-dependency.
What this means is that for many people building healthy relationships in sobriety is a challenge, regardless of their age. They have to, to a certain extent, re-learn how to interact with others in a meaningful and healthy way and this can sometimes involve quite a steep learning curve.
However, learning to build healthy relationships in sobriety does not need to be impossible, and does not to come with an inordinate amount of pain. It simply means following a few simple steps and overall being honest with yourself and with others.
So let’s take a look at how to build and maintain healthy relationships in sobriety. Hopefully, you will find these tips helpful as you navigate your way through your recovery and partake in the wonderful feeling of creating meaningful and long last relationships in sobriety.
Tips to Building and Maintaining Healthy Relationships in Sobriety
Make Recovery Your Top Priority
Your early recovery can be a time of great excitement and limitless possibilities. While you may feel on top of the world and ready to jump in with both feet, you may also feel a degree of loneliness. As a result, you may feel that by seeking out both platonic and more intimate relationships you will fill that void and it will give you a sense of love that you need.
Indeed, the need to feel loved is essential for any person’s well being, but rushing into relationships early in sobriety can take the focus away from your recovery and can put you on shaky ground. An extremely important aspect to building healthy relationships in sobriety is to firmly establish a relationship with yourself as a recovering person. There really is no set timetable to accomplish this, but you need to be sure that you take all the time that you need to know yourself first.
Enjoy Time Together As Well As Apart
Another important component in building healthy relationships in sobriety is that both friends and significant others thoroughly enjoy being together, but yet their overall well-being is not wholly dependent on being with each other. This is why it is important to take time for yourself as well as making time to be with the other person. By doing this, you can set up healthy boundaries and ensure that emotional entanglement is limited.
Take it Slow and Easy
The key to building healthy relationships in recovery is to allow relationships to take their own course over time and not try to rush into things. When you establish a new relationship, and especially an intimate relationship, start with a simple introduction and let it progress from there. In recovery, you must take the necessary time to get to really know people on a deeper level and have the courage to allow people into your life.
Be Able to Learn From Conflict
Those who have healthy relationships are able to learn from conflicts and are able to resolve them in ways that work for both parties. People in healthy relationships are able to truly listen to each other’s points of view and do not get stuck in having to be right or having to win. Additionally, healthy relationships allow people to continually learn, grow and evolve through the relationship. The basis of a healthy relationship is when both parties are able to learn about loving themselves and each other, rather than being intent on protecting or controlling each other.
Keep Your Expectations Realistic
Addiction is an extremely complex issue to tackle, and it can cause its own unique sets of struggles. In order to establish healthy relationships in recovery, it is important for you to have healthy expectations in all of your relationships. Healthy relationships in recovery need to have open communication and complete honesty from both sides. It is important to realize that a person may not understand your feelings or thoughts and may not understand how to communicate what they are feeling in a proper and healthy way. When healthy expectations are upfront in a relationship, there will be fewer chances to become hurt or to hurt someone.
Knowing When Enough is Enough
No matter how solid your individual plan of recovery, you will inevitably encounter situations where someone has issues with you and your recovery. They may not understand what you are going through, or they may not be entirely supportive of your decision to stay clean and sober. When you encounter situations like these, it is best to walk away from those relationships. Keeping people like that in your life can add unnecessary stress to your life, and it can divert the focus you need to work your program of recovery. It is often said in recovery that you need to “stick with the winners” and this maxim applies in these situations.
Seeking Treatment For Alcoholism or Addiction
If you find that you cannot stop using drugs or alcohol even though you would like to, then you may be suffering from an addiction. Addiction is an actual, recognizable disease and as such, you’re inability to stop on your own should not be a cause for shame or guilt. There are millions of people every year who need to seek help for addiction and alcoholism, and many have made it through their struggles to a life of recovery. So if you think you need help, then call the professionals at Dream Center for Recovery today at 1-877-978-3148. Our trained staff is standing by to take your call, to help you in any way they can.