Life does not magically return to normal after addiction recovery. Sadly, things don’t work that way. You will find yourself trying to navigate life in a new, sober, and positive way, but addiction has a way of straining or even destroying relationships. After addiction recovery, you will not only have to focus on staying sober but also work at repairing your relationships. This can be more difficult than it may at first seem, but these tips will help put you on the right path toward mending your relationship.
Open Up a Line of Communication
Every relationship depends on the communication skills of both parties. After addiction recovery, this may even include you reaching out to someone to begin with. Your partner or friend may not want to or know how to talk to you about the resentment they feel. Perhaps they tried to communicate these things in the past, but due to your addiction, you were not in a place to communicate your own emotions clearly back to them. After recovery, you will need to show them that you are prepared to communicate once again.
Ask for and Exercise Patience
You will need a lot of patience from your partner. Substance abuse trains users to adjust their outlook and actions in order to protect the abusive behavior. Addiction makes people lie, avoid transparent communication, and reject responsibility for their actions. Your partner cannot expect you to retrain yourself over night. Your partner will need to exercise patience, but you will need to be patient with them, too. You cannot expect them to forgive you overnight. The intimacy you once had will not fall into place as soon as you begin talking to them. Stay patient, and together you can build a new relationship.
Ask for Forgiveness
Guilt can make rebuilding an old relationship after addiction recovery difficult. When you hold onto your shame and feelings of guilt about the things you did in your past, you will find it difficult to open up emotionally to your partner, friends or family and let them in. They may not feel comfortable letting you in either because of the pain you caused them. Asking for forgiveness is a great way to try to start things off on a positive path. They may not forgive you, but the act of asking will help you not feel so guilty or ashamed about your previous actions toward them.