Throughout the course of their alcoholism, people lose time, self esteem, energy, sometimes jobs and even relationships. They lose money, weight, independence, and employment. And eventually, they lose the trust of their friends and family. Trust must be gained, which makes it all the more difficult to reclaim. There are no shortcuts to rebuilding trustworthy relationships, but there are strategies to accelerate the process, so keep reading to learn more.
Everyone who has struggled with a substance use disorder must acknowledge that it has had a substantial impact on their relationships. During the throes of active addiction, all energy is devoted to meeting the substance’s demands. Unfortunately, this results in behaviors and words that injure loved ones.
Throughout the phase of substance abuse, loved ones cease trusting whatever you say. The trust was damaged. Now that you are in recovery, your focus is on repairing these relationships and regaining lost trust. In fact, making amends to recovering loved ones is a crucial initial step in the restoration of trust.
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The Importance of Trust
When we betray or break the confidence of a loved one, the relationship can be severely damaged. These instances occur far too frequently during active substance use, resulting in profoundly damaged feelings. Making apologies to those harmed is the first step in the healing process.
Reconstructing the connection will require time and distance. Forgiveness may not occur instantly. Your loved one needs time to process his or her emotions, so do not become discouraged or defensive if they are first guarded or resistant to your efforts.
Make your heartfelt apologies, reassure them that you are dedicated to an honest and open relationship founded on the truth, and then keep your word. Over time, your loved one will once again view you as someone deserving of their trust.
Building Trust Again
Even if you are in addiction recovery and no longer using drugs or alcohol, dealing with your damaged relationships and navigating the social aspects of your life will be difficult. Without a doubt, you feel as though no one trusts you, people are distrustful of you, or everyone is awaiting your next error. However, this is not the case, as many people are pulling for you, and the following are some ways you can repair your relationship with them and regain their trust:
Above all else, the first person you must establish trust with is yourself. Trusting yourself during rehabilitation is one of the most difficult tasks. Substance use problems can create enduring imprints that can result in a loss of self-esteem, motivation, and purpose. These sentiments of self-doubt and inadequacy might make healing more challenging.
Forgiving yourself for previous errors and committing to adopting healthy behaviors is a significant step toward recovery. If you continue to focus on how others have hurt you, your shortcomings, and your past misdeeds, you may continue to miss opportunities to establish trust in recovery. Substituting negative behaviors and attitudes with new, constructive ones can go a long way toward building constructive routines.
If restoring trust with oneself requires courage, restoring trust with others requires honesty. Having friends in recovery can be immensely useful to a person’s development and future capacity to abstain from drugs or alcohol. As with any other relationship, friendships must be maintained. Once lies and dishonesty enter a friendship, it can crumble rapidly, leaving everyone involved with a tremendous deal of pain and anguish.
In an effort to conceal addiction, falsehoods are constructed to cover it up, hence causing friction between friends. When attempting to reestablish trust with a person you have harmed, accepting responsibility for your actions is of the utmost significance.
Second, when speaking with a friend, admitting wrongdoings can go a long way. Third, it is vital to apologize and move on, even if a friend chooses not to rebuild your friendship.
Self-Reliance = Courage, Friendship = Integrity, and Rebuilding Trust with Family = Patience. Restoring family bonds and restoring trust might take months or even years. Relationships may never be completely mended. Remaining patient and committed to mending and developing a “new” relationship with family or loved ones can make a difference in how well the relationships are repaired.
It is impossible to overestimate the significance of family support in the rehabilitation process. If you have a family that has been helpful throughout the rehabilitation process, recognizing and thanking them for their assistance helps reaffirm the positive changes that have occurred and the progress made by everyone.
Rebuilding trust in a marriage can be difficult, particularly during the recovery phase. Professional family or marital therapists are available to assist individuals in recovery and advise them on how to regain trust with their spouse or partner. Addiction may radically alter a partner’s perception of the other.
Mending ties with a spouse is crucial for the same reasons as rebuilding relationships with other members of the family. During recuperation, having a sufficient support system can alleviate stress and strain.
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Techniques for Restoring This Trust
Now that you know with whom you need to reestablish trust and how to approach them, let’s discuss some effective strategies for doing so. Here at The Alcohol Coach, we are aware that the path to rediscovering freedom from addiction requires a number of stages, but here are some simple strategies to accomplish this:
Remember that the Entire Procedure Does Not Depend on You
Unfortunately, you cannot force a loved one or yourself to regain trust in you. Trust must be earned, thus the first step in repairing trust with a loved one following recovery is acknowledging that this process will require significant effort.
If the relationship is vital to you, recognize that the effort will be amply rewarded. If you have doubts about your readiness for this level of commitment, it may be time to reconsider if you still want this person in your life.
Patience Is Crucial
Trust is not established overnight, nor can it be reestablished in the same manner. If you are serious about mending your relationship with a loved one, you will need to develop patience.
Realizing that people establish trust at varying rates is a part of patience. Some individuals are eternal optimists who seek to see the best in every situation. Others are more careful with their emotions and will not totally trust a person unless they are certain that their faith is merited. Both perspectives are legitimate and must be acknowledged.
A true and heartfelt apology for previous errors is a terrific approach to begin the process of making amends, since we all want to feel as though our opinions and feelings are valued. Consider drafting a letter to your loved one expressing your regret for previous errors and your wish to rebuild your relationship.
In your letter, do not hold your loved one responsible for past events. The focus of your apology should be on your own acts and the impact of your faults on your loved one. Accept responsibility for your actions, then convey your wish to mend the rift so you can have a brighter future together.
Consider Yourself a Survivor and Not a Victim
In the grips of addiction, it is simple to adopt a victim attitude. You may feel that your substance addiction is justifiable in light of the difficulties you have encountered in the past. A victim mindset, however, is a definite way to destroy any relationship. Victims are incapable of becoming an equal partner in a relationship and must be rescued.
Regardless of what has happened in the past, you have decided to take control of your life by seeking addiction treatment. You are not an innocent victim. You are a survivor, which means you have the strength to rise up and face whatever challenges you encounter.
Considerations to Keep in Mind
Early on in the process of regaining freedom, there is a desire to make amends for previous transgressions and regain the trust of loved ones. It is understood that this will be a lengthy process. Reconciling a broken relationship is only possible if both parties are committed, and the following are some considerations to keep in mind:
Make a Strategy of Action
Making apologies is an integral aspect of any program for addiction treatment. After you feel more confident in your recovery, one of the first things you will do will be to make amends.
Initially, it is better to work with a counselor or coach like Michaela Weaver on this matter. They will be able to assist you in pinpointing the actions and words that caused harm to the people you care about. Create a plan of action that will get you to your objective.
Don’t Forget That it Will Take Time
A relationship cannot be repaired in one day, especially if you have been in recovery before. Do not hasten the procedure or place undue stress on yourself.
Make an Effort to Make Amends and Repair the Harm.
Making amends is distinct from expressing regret. To properly make apologies with the person you have wronged, you may need to purchase or replace an item. It could also be an indication of regret and candor.
Be Honest About Your Past
One of the most crucial things you can do to rebuild a relationship is to be honest about your prior behavior. Inform your loved ones about the times you have lied, cheated, and stolen, even if they are unaware. Recognizing mistakes is essential for regaining trust.
Vow to be Truthful and Uphold Your Word.
It is crucial to be truthful about your past, but you must also be truthful moving forward. A single falsehood in the future might destroy all of your efforts to reestablish confidence.
Rebuilding connections and trust while in recovery from alcoholism can be difficult. But it is essential to maintain optimism. It may take some time, but you can recover from this and the resulting relationship problems.
Rebuilding solid, healthy relationships is achievable. Reconnecting with the people you care most about and forming new, stronger relationships is entirely feasible with effort, patience, and love for yourself and others.
If you’re seeking help cutting back on or quitting drinking, online our expert coaching programs are here for you. The Alcohol Coach can help.
Please note: Although we refer to ‘alcoholism’ and ‘recovery’ in our articles, this is because these terms are often used by others.
The Alcohol Coach services come from a viewpoint of empowerment, mindset shift, and high-powered transformational change.
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Hi, I'm Michela
I’m a leader in the science of transformational freedom for women, and someone previously addicted to alcohol. I have walked the path. I understand your concerns and fears. Here you will find some of my thoughts and insights. Happy browsing!
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