Substance abuse will always trump any relationship. It doesn’t matter how understanding of a partner or family you have, or if only one person is abusing drugs, a relationship will deteriorate due to addiction because drug use alters the mind. It makes a person put drugs above their own emotions and above their relationship. After addiction recovery, it may take some time for you to clear away the damage left behind by substance abuse.
Take Responsibility for Your Actions
Drug use teaches people to deny their responsibility and deflect their problems onto others. Throughout addiction recovery, you should have learned strategies to deal with denial. Your partner, friends, and family will all need to hear that you accept the part you had to play in the pain they feel. They may not want to open up to you again if you deny that you hurt them, or if you refuse to admit the things you did made them feel how they did.
Ask for Your Own Forgiveness
In part I of this series, we suggested that you ask your partner or family for forgiveness. This time, we ask you to ask yourself for forgiveness. Substance abuse hurts everyone involved, but the biggest victim is you. If you cannot forgive yourself for the pain you brought others and yourself, you will find it difficult to open yourself up to starting your relationship fresh again.
Remember that there is a difference between forgiveness and indulging in self-pity.
Listen to Your Loved Ones
If you followed our last blog’s advice, you opened up a line of communication to your partner, your friends, and your family. This allowed you to ask forgiveness or take responsibility for your actions.
These things help lead to make you closer again, but you must also learn to listen. Before addiction recovery, drug use made you selfish. It’s time to relearn how to listen to your partner and all your loved ones and allow them to express their emotions. This is crucial in the process of regaining intimacy and rekindling love and trust.