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6 Ways to Build Healthy Relationships in Recovery

This may involve making a list, taking inventory of the damage caused, and examining the underlying reasons for your actions. This behavior may stem from a genuine desire to protect the individual. However, it ultimately allows them to avoid taking responsibility for their actions and the negative repercussions of their addiction. One common aspect is the tendency to shield the person with addiction from facing the consequences of their actions. This might involve covering up their mistakes, making excuses for their behavior, or bailing them out of financial or legal troubles caused by their addiction.

  • Substance abuse and addiction can lead to behaviors that are not helpful to relationships, such as increased self-focus or selfishness, avoidance, persistent irritability, or withdrawal.
  • Twelve-step programs and other mutual-aid resources help serve this vital purpose.
  • Moreover, codependent behavior can involve attempting to control or “fix” the addict’s problems.
  • While it seems surprising, some people undermine their own good intentions and long-term goals.
  • Healthy relationships involving honesty, for example, can encourage partners to support or inspire individuals to communicate about substance abuse.

Substance abuse and addiction can lead to behaviors that are not helpful to relationships, such as increased self-focus or selfishness, avoidance, persistent irritability, or withdrawal. These changes can damage the sense of closeness in relationships. During times of active substance abuse, there are usually relationships in recovery fewer positive interactions with loved ones. This magnifies the impact on relationships—there are more negative experiences and fewer positive experiences in relationships. The 12-step program has been widely recognized as a valuable tool for repairing and rebuilding relationships in the context of recovery.

The National Push for Recovery

Even if romantic relationships aren’t the main focus, it’s important to make sure that healthy relationships are a primary goal of addiction recovery. Adding the stress of focusing on relationships could feel overwhelming, but it also provides an important opportunity to practice distress tolerance, emotion regulation, and coping skills. Relationships also benefit from healthy communication skills, validation, boundaries, and honesty—all of which are important for addiction recovery. Struggling with addiction can also lower motivation and cause depression, anxiety, and fatigue. These symptoms can make someone seem unreliable, irresponsible, or uncaring.

For an in-depth look at the recovery model, the American Psychological Association has 15 learning modules that are accessible to the public. The topics range from a broad overview of the recovery model to ways it is being implemented in practice. You will also see elements of the recovery model in social work theory, where values such as client self-determination and well-being are emphasized.

Recovery and Recovery Support

Substance abuse can severely impact personal relationships, often leading to broken trust, resentment, and communication breakdowns. However, repairing these relationships is essential for successful healing and long-term recovery. In particular, the recovery model of mental health stresses the importance of connectedness and social support.

Codependent individuals may find their self-esteem and self-worth closely tied to the well-being of the addicted person. They may sacrifice their own needs, desires, and boundaries to prioritize the needs of the addict. Many people in this situation continuously put the addict’s needs above their own, often to the detriment of their emotional and physical well-being. The challenges stemming from their behavior deeply affect loved ones. They often grapple with anger due to the destructive consequences of addiction, feeling upset about the choices, lies, and pain caused. People struggling with addiction spend a lot of money on drugs, and the costs can add up quickly.