Tips for Maintaining Healthy Relationships in Recovery

A codependent can be defined as an individual who has come to believe that supporting and even enabling addictive behaviors is the only way to maintain your acceptance, love, security, and approval. It is possible that during the development of your addiction you also formed relationships with others who were codependent. This may include a spouse, partner, friend, or even an employer. Verywell Mind articles are reviewed by board-certified physicians and mental healthcare professionals. Medical Reviewers confirm the content is thorough and accurate, reflecting the latest evidence-based research. Content is reviewed before publication and upon substantial updates.

  • Friends and family will feel more comfortable expressing themselves directly if they think they will be heard.
  • Biologically, we are programmed to desire a closeness to others; we long to feel supported and loved, and want others to accept that love and support from us.
  • Buddy T is an anonymous writer and founding member of the Online Al-Anon Outreach Committee with decades of experience writing about alcoholism.
  • Co-dependency also exists within most families of people struggling with addiction.
  • Strong feelings of resentment, anger, fear, and anxiety can overshadow strengths and positive aspects of any relationship.

Although the Big Book of AA doesn’t offer guidelines on dating in recovery, addiction counselors strongly advise waiting until a person has achieved one year of sobriety. Surrounding yourself with healthy relationships is key to success. We all need healthy relationships to give us comfort, support, and a sense of belonging. Healthy and supportive relationships can significantly help ease that discomfort.

Why Starting a New Relationship is Often Discouraged in Early Recovery

Discover Recovery Treatment Center is a holistic addiction treatment facility that is founded on innovation, passion, and integrity. So if you or someone you know is in need of addiction treatment, Washington’s top option is Discover Recovery. The process of recovery from addiction is supported through relationships and social networks.

  • Relationships are what give life meaning, provide people with joy, and are innate to society.
  • If you have worked hard to regain your sobriety, shouldn’t you be rewarded with the benefits of your efforts?
  • When caught in the midst of addiction, it’s likely that you neglected some of your responsibilities or weren’t the most reliable person around.
  • Making the decision to walk away from a relationship can be difficult.
  • You wouldn’t blame a loved one if they got any other chronic, relapsing illness.
  • With older children, it will take time and patience to show the child that this change is permanent and that the parent will be keeping their word about being around for the child going forward.

relationships in recovery abuse undoubtedly affects not only how others view you, but also how you view yourself. After spending years behaving in a certain way while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, sobriety can seem to strip recovering substance abusers of their previous identity. Becoming sober can leave you feeling unable to rebuild a new identity without the aid of that substance. When you feel as if you lack a durable sense of identity, it may become difficult for you to develop healthy, stable, and lasting relationships with others. The perfect time to start rebuilding relationships with family and friends is in treatment.

Leaving a Relationship While in Recovery

Your recovery, perhaps especially the first year of it, is about you. The things people seek out in a relationship—need fulfillment, emotional stability, security—are things that are important to find in yourself. Instead of seeking satisfaction from others, your time in treatment and recovery will help you be able to find that satisfaction within yourself.

But if you the right way, with your eyes open and with realistic expectations, then you may be able to find a rewarding relationship. They were able to be more in tune with their feelings and emotions. They also developed stronger bonds with their potential partners, as they spent more time getting to know them rather than being under the influence. Healthy relationships involving honesty, for example, can encourage partners to support or inspire individuals to communicate about substance abuse. Partners can include boundaries to discourage post-recovery relapses if this applies to their partner.

How Can You Form Healthy Relationships in Recovery?

Each person’s presence adds something positive to the other’s life. It is important to take inventory of your current relationships so you can identify those that will help or hinder your progress toward health and healing in recovery. Moreover, consider whether relationships that are not supportive of your priorities deserve your time and energy. If something doesn’t seem or feel “right,” it’s important to pay attention to that gut feeling and be able to communicate about it.


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