What has been the most challenging part of your recovery journey? For many recovering individuals, it is rebuilding trust with family and friends. This is challenging because many people in recovery have previously done things that hurt their loved ones and broke the trust between them. Like all necessary steps of addiction treatment, rebuilding relationships takes patience and hard work.
How Should I Start?
A heartfelt apology for past mistakes is a great way to begin the process of making amends with your family and friends. Face-to-face conversations are the ideal way to do this, but if that’s not possible, consider writing a letter—not a text—expressing your remorse as well as your desire to rebuild trust. Do not place blame on others or external circumstances for what has happened in the past. You must take accountability for your past mistakes to restore trust.
Equally important, your family and friends need to see with their own eyes how hard you have worked to get your life back on track evidenced by the changes you make to your life. Show with your actions that you are fully committed to maintaining sobriety. Allow them to witness how you prioritize sobriety as a rule when socializing. Surround yourself with accountability partners and report progress to them.
Relationships are two-way streets. Your family and friends may have given you a lot while you were under the influence of drugs and alcohol. It is time that you practice acts of service to them. Demonstrate your helpfulness around the home or with parenting duties. Volunteer to help a friend move. Serve them without being asked and do not expect anything in return.
How Long Does It Take?
While you want to regain the trust of your loved ones, and you want to show consistent positive changes, it is important to know that relapses may happen. Disappointments can come if your loved one does not give you a second chance. Know that you cannot force trust and you should not consider this as a failure either. Do not let the victim mentality emerge because it brings unhealthy expectations. If the worst happens and you relapse, get help right away and show your loved ones that you’re willing to do what it takes to get back on track.
You must restore trust and confidence in yourself first. Know your strengths as well as weaknesses. If you need to take a break, give yourself some time to retreat or rest. Meet with your therapists to process any emotions that come up. The most dangerous thing is to keep emotions bottled up. Know the moments when you become vulnerable and reach out for help.
Repairing relationships take time, and you need to be patient. Do not rush the process and put too much pressure on yourself or your loved ones. There may have been damages you did not know about. Try to keep the channels of communication open and allow them to speak with you. Be open and honest about what you expect, and listen carefully to their expectations as well.
How Should I Rebuild Trust With My Spouse?
For people in marital relationships, addiction can take a heavy toll. Luckily, just as addiction is treatable, damaged marriages can also be repaired. Alongside consistent acts of service and open communication, try to persuade your spouse to seek couples therapy. For most recovering individuals, getting support from a couples therapist can prevent the situation from getting worse.
Addiction may drastically change how one partner views the other. With professional help, conversations about what it means to be in a relationship with someone in recovery can be a learning experience for both parties. Having a strong support system can ease stress and pressure during recovery, and a spouse can be the biggest supporter of all.
How Should I Rebuild Trust With My Children?
As a parent, your sober presence in the home is important. Children can be very sensitive to your absence for treatment. Your now being available may put their mind at ease. Setting up a time to talk each week may also create a pattern of trust with each other. Maybe you have previously behaved in ways that damaged their trust in you. As you achieve stable sobriety, invest time rebuilding trust and relationships with your children. From keeping your word to fulfilling your parental obligations, you need to speak with actions.
Creating time to relax and enjoy fun activities with your children is a natural way to help repair the relationship. If your children are old enough, you may also share age-appropriate information about addiction and recovery. You can also advocate new healthy routines in the home so that the entire family can learn about the importance of healthy habits.
Do you find it challenging to rebuild trust with family members? You know that it is important to repair relationships after achieving sobriety, but how should you go about doing it? Seek help from recovery specialists who provide family-based counseling or interventions and understand the family as a social system. There are many proven methods to help you and your loved ones regain trust after addiction. If you are looking for such help, try Laguna Shores Recovery. We have a full medical and residential facility and our experienced mental health professionals can coach and support family members while their loved ones are in recovery. Our recovery programs incorporate family involvement to help with treatment and aftercare. Call us today to discover how you can be part of our community, as family support is key to your loved one’s recovery. For more information, call 866-934-5276.