Addiction can cause serious damage to relationships. Addiction may lead to neglecting responsibilities, mistreatment of others, lying, and/or getting involved in dangerous situations that lead to legal/safety concerns.
It is possible to rebuild relationships after addiction. And in this blog from denova Collaborative Healthcare, we’ll look at a few ways that addiction harms relationships – and ways you can rebuild your relationship during recovery.
Reasons Addiction Damages Relationships
There are a lot of ways that addiction can damage relationships. Here are just a few of them.
Trust – Addiction can lead to lots of behavioral changes such as lying, cheating, stealing, and taking other actions that break trust with their partners, family members, and friends.
Guilt – Loved ones often feel guilty about the addiction of their partners or other close family members. For example, a partner may worry and feel guilty that they haven’t done enough to help their spouse quit drinking. And those suffering from addiction often struggle with guilt of the impact as well.
Legal Issues – Addiction, particularly to illegal drugs, can lead to issues with the law. When an addict is arrested, needs to be bailed out of jail, or goes to court, this puts mental and financial strain on their loved ones.
Fear – Addiction is a major contributing factor to family violence, aggression and abuse. It can make people act erratically and behave violently, leading to fear for partners, children, and other family members.
Ways To Rebuild Relationships During Recovery
Relationships harmed by addiction are fractured, but not broken. Whether you’re addicted or you’re seeking treatment for a partner or a loved one who is addicted, recovery is possible – and rebuilding relationships is essential during this process.
And there are a few things that are very important when rebuilding a relationship that’s been damaged by addiction.
- Forgiveness and making amends – It’s important for those suffering from addiction to take accountability, and to seek the forgiveness of those they may have hurt, and make amends in any way they can. In the same way, their loved ones must be willing to forgive them and give opportunities for change. This isn’t always easy, and it will take time.
- Act with intention – Intentional action is essential for rebuilding relationships during recovery. One of the most harmful things about addiction is that it can lead to the addicted person to act without thinking – they’re focused only on their next fix, their next hit, and the satisfaction this will bring. During recovery, acting with intention is essential for rebuilding trust, changing behavior, and repairing relationships.
- Don’t expect immediate change – Addicted persons need to understand that the people they’ve hurt may not immediately forgive them. The hurt, pain, and damage done to a relationship will take time, effort, and work to repair. It doesn’t happen overnight and requires effort from all those involved.In the same way, loved ones of addicted persons need to be patient and understand that just because the person is in recovery does not mean their behavior will be perfect immediately. It will take time to heal old wounds and repair the relationship.
- Communication is key – When repairing a relationship damaged by addiction, it’s essential for everyone involved to communicate openly and clearly, and to lay their true feelings out on the table in a healthy manner.Working with a counselor is particularly helpful for this, as addiction counselors can equip addicted persons and their loved ones with the tools they need to communicate their feelings effectively during the recovery process.
Contact denova Collaborative Healthcare For Addiction Counseling & Recovery Services
denova is here to help you recover from addiction and rebuild your relationships. Whether you’re struggling with addiction or a loved is, we’re here to help.
Our counselors can help you and your loved ones communicate, set realistic expectations and goals, and set you on the right path toward rebuilding your relationships. To learn more, schedule an appointment online or give us a call at (602) 281-7289.