A healthy relationship can be life-changing. When a person is in a healthy relationship, they find happiness and feel a deep connection with the person they love. Relationships can be sources of comfort and security, and contribute positively to a person’s overall wellbeing. Unfortunately, not all relationships are harmonious, and when a relationship becomes unhealthy, it creates stress, fatigue, and other negative emotions.
Going through recovery adds another layer of complexity to your relationship. For some, deciding to leave a relationship can help to improve recovery from addiction, while for others, doing so only increases negative feelings and adds more challenges to a person’s sobriety. You always want to avoid creating additional stress for yourself throughout your recovery, as your main focus should be on you. Unfortunately, there are times where this cannot be avoided. It is important to utilize the healthy coping skills that you have learned throughout your time in treatment, as they can also apply to how you handle your relationship.
Recognizing the Health of Your Relationship
During times of acute personal effort, such as working on your recovery, it can be difficult to view your relationship objectively because of the strong emotions that are involved. Many people are unable to process the added emotions and stress that are required to address an unhealthy relationship while they’re going through recovery. It is always important to differentiate between a healthy and unhealthy relationship, especially during your recovery process. Here are some signs that you can look for which can indicate that your relationship is a healthy one:
- Mutual respect for other’s opinions and beliefs
- Both parties trust and rely on one another
- Willingness to compromise and be flexible on both sides
- Each party shows effective communication and has good listening skills in disagreements
- You provide each other with support and encouragement
- The relationship promotes a healthy sense of individuality
Relationships that were once healthy can slide into dysfunction before you even realize it. As you leave for treatment, you may not be aware that their relationship is unhealthy until you begin the process of recovery. Once you’re sober and capable of processing the reality of your relationship, watch for these indicators that your relationship may be unhealthy:
- One or both parties using threats, intimidation, or manipulation to control the other
- Signs of codependency, such as the feeling of not being to live without the other
- The relationship lacks honesty or transparency
- Patterns of hostility and disrespect on one or both sides
- Physical, emotional, or sexual abuse
- Signs of infidelity, including either physical or emotional intimacy
No relationship is perfect, and each one will have its unique ups and downs. There is a big difference between having some issues here and there and being in an unhealthy relationship. If your relationship shows any of the signs listed above, it may be time for you to end that relationship before it gets worse.
Defining the Future You Want
Relationships are complex. It is not always easy to just walk away from a relationship, especially when you feel you have invested so much time and emotion into it. The reality is that your sobriety has to come first. This is not an easy journey to be on, and right now, you need to surround yourself with supportive people who can contribute positively to your success. Healthy relationships can bring on healthy, successful recoveries, and will decrease your chances of relapse. Consider the magnitude of your recovery and what it means to you. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that up to 60 percent of people who entered a recovery program are faced with relapse. The relationships that you choose to keep should not contribute to that chance; they should be able to grow with you and your recovery process.
Can It Be Fixed? Or Should I Walk Away?
Throughout recovery, you will spend a lot of time evaluating just about every aspect of your life. It is possible that during this time, you will learn if any relationships are interfering with your recovery process. Making the decision to walk away from a relationship can be incredibly difficult. When one person in a relationship struggles with a substance abuse problem, it can feel like all possible outcomes of this crossroads are going to result in negative consequences. You may worry that staying in the relationship could jeopardize your sobriety, or you may worry about the feelings of loneliness you will experience if you end things.
Some relationships are salvageable, and just require some assistance to become healthy again. If this is the case, think about finding a couple’s counselor who can help you both through the process. Even though you may want the relationship to prevail at all costs, you cannot suppress your own needs or feelings, nor can you jeopardize your sobriety. Not all relationships can survive recovery. The decision is going to be difficult, but sometimes the healthiest thing to do for all parties involved is to let the relationship end. In the end, leaving an unhealthy relationship will be the best decision you can make for your future wellbeing.
Being in a healthy relationship during your addiction recovery process can be extremely beneficial to your success. On the other hand, being in a relationship that is unhealthy and toxic can jeopardize your sobriety. It’s hard to let go of someone that you care about, especially when you cannot process that the relationship is unhealthy. Suffering from addiction can make it difficult to see the toxicity of the relationship you’re in, so you stay because you think it’ll work itself out. Your recovery should be a priority. It should be the number thing that you work towards, and the support system that you build must understand that. Some relationships are fixable, but others require you to end them in order for everyone involved to eventually find peace. Your recovery is going to be a challenging journey to success, and you don’t have to go through it alone. Call Everlast Recovery at 866-DETOX-25 to learn more.