Can Relationships Change in Recovery? l Riverside Blog

When we’ve grown accustomed to being in relationships while simultaneously struggling with addiction, we often don’t know what relationships could be like when we’re finally sober. We don’t know what kind of partner we’re capable of being. We don’t know what our relationships could look like, how they might function, and what we can expect from them. The longer we’re in recovery, the more we establish our new lives in sobriety, the more we learn about ourselves and the relationships that are possible for us. How do our relationships change with sobriety?

As we’re working to heal ourselves, and as we gain a deeper understanding of ourselves, we learn more about our needs, the expectations we have for our relationships, what our boundaries and deal-breakers are, what we want from a partner, and what we don’t want. Our sobriety allows us to have the clarity and insight necessary to be able to communicate these things in our relationships. When we were still embroiled in our addictions, our thinking, our judgment and our ability to process things were all impaired. We used all kinds of coping mechanisms and defense mechanisms to cope with our difficult feelings and to try to protect ourselves. We might have been dishonest, controlling or manipulative, often in an attempt to shield ourselves from more hurt. Once we’re sober, we’re able to start thinking more clearly. We’re able to more honest with ourselves. We’re able to be clear and upfront with the people we’re close to. These are some of the powerful ways in which our relationships are changed with sobriety. Our sobriety allows us to have healthy dynamics with the people we care about and to feel good about the choices we’re making.

Once we’ve achieved sobriety, we also often experience a level of self-love we’ve never felt before. We’re proud of ourselves for finally doing the work to get sober. We have newfound respect for ourselves and confidence in our abilities. We feel strong, brave and independent. All of these impact our relationships in very positive ways, because we’re able to show up for our partners as whole, happy, healed partners, as people who feel strong enough within themselves to have a healthy relationship with another person. We don’t doubt our worthiness anymore. We don’t allow ourselves to be disrespected or our boundaries to be crossed. We demand that our needs be met and that we be heard, respected and treated well. The health of our relationships and our ability to be healthy partners can undergo radical shifts with sobriety. We find ourselves enjoying much more satisfying, fulfilling partnerships as opposed to the codependent, toxic relationships we were used to that were filled with conflict and turmoil, that added to our unwellness, and that contributed to our addictive patterns.

Riverside Recovery understands all of the emotional challenges of addiction recovery and is here to support you. Call us today for more information: (800) 871-5440.