Romantic and other personal relationships are repeatedly tested when a partner is in addiction recovery or struggling to achieve sobriety. Long-term, committed relationships, such as marriage, don’t mix well with substance abuse because it’s not just the drug abuser affected by it. Often, it’s their partner or loved ones that end up paying the highest price.
Constant arguments between partners are a common reason for individuals to engage in substance abuse to cope with stress. But instead of reducing tension, it leads to more conflicts and creates a vicious cycle that keeps escalating. Even family relationships get severely affected by substance abuse. Fortunately, achieving sobriety and getting appropriate addiction treatment can help you or your loved ones get out of this downward spiral. It can significantly improve your relationships and create a bond stronger than before.
Here’s a list of five things sobriety can do to strengthen your relationships.
- Eliminates secrecy
Addicts or drug abusers try to hide their behavior from their loved ones, often out of shame and guilt or the fear of being judged. Since they’re not open about the activities they’re engaging in, they turn to secrecy and resort to lying more and more frequently. But secrecy can ruin relationships faster than anything else. When a partner lies about who they’re with or where they are, it’s typical to reach wrong conclusions that can cause irreparable damage to any relationship. However, addiction recovery programs like those offered by the Delphi Health Group encourage patients to open up and be honest with themselves and their loved ones. Sobriety clears an individual’s mind and makes them understand the importance of personal relationships. Sharing feelings, emotions, and thoughts with your partner—no matter how toxic they may seem, brings you closer to each other and eliminates secrecy.
- Differentiates between fact and fiction
Being in a drug-induced haze can quickly cause an individual to have delusions and irrational beliefs regarding people around them. If a loved one tries to help, substance abusers may feel mistreated. Instead of realizing it’s for their good, they turn on the person trying to assist and lash out in unreasonable ways. Due to the accumulation of toxic chemicals in their bodies, they cannot set aside fact from fiction and only give importance to what they believe is true. Treatment methods such as detoxifying the body to flush out all abused substances clear this haze. Once the mind and body dispel all these pollutants, it becomes easier to differentiate between what is real and not. Individuals undergoing treatment then recognize that they have loved ones to support them and take steps to achieve full recovery.
- Improves trust
A friend or a loved one struggling with addiction can quickly become unreliable as their behaviors start getting more and more out of control. Plagued by memory loss, facing financial instability, and struggling to maintain self-restraint can make it incredibly challenging for others to put their trust in you. After several letdowns, when you fail to keep up your part of a commitment, it becomes easier for your loved ones to stop relying on you entirely. This dynamic is disastrous for any relationship, whether romantic or platonic. It can end up costing a person struggling with addiction their loved ones, driving them beyond reach. However, becoming sober or trying to achieve sobriety can show them how committed you are to rebuilding the trust they once gave you freely. Since treatment is not an easy journey, it allows your loved ones to recognize the effort you’re willing to put into gaining back their love and support.
- Sets better boundaries
People struggling with addiction or substance abuse are more prone to establishing unhealthy relationships. They project their insecurities onto each other and seek validation in any form they can find. But because of this, it’s common for both partners to be frequently intoxicated, making it hard to recognize the kind of relationship they want. Without communicating your expectations from one another and getting help when in need can quickly escalate the toxicity within your entire relationship. Purging your body of addictive substances can help you better recognize a healthy relationship from a harmful one. When you can understand and prioritize the right people in your life, you can identify your self-worth. The recovery period of addiction treatment can be highly challenging, so it’s crucial to set boundaries to maintain your physical and emotional well-being.
- Allows you to redeem relationships
If you have engaged in substance abuse in the past, you must understand that there is still a way out by trying to become sober. At any moment in time, you have the freedom to make changes in how you’re living, what you’re doing, and where you see yourself going forward. Regardless of your past mistakes, you can still redeem yourself and rebuild the relationship you ruined along the way. Learning to forgive yourself is vital in rebuilding a healthy relationship because it promotes compassion and brings a positive attitude towards those who matter the most to you.
Sobriety can help individuals struggling with addiction achieve countless amazing things, but very few can top the ability to exist in a healthy relationship. Having your loved ones next to you is the sole reason why people take on the arduous path to recovery. This love and support are crucial to achieving complete healing and avoiding a relapse.