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Work on Rebuilding Relationships in Recovery with 7 Tips

A’[ cornerstone of recovery is relationships. Not just any relationships, but healthy ones that embrace and support recovery. Toxic relationships are those that may be from the past or present, that doesn’t support recovery. It took all this time to get clean and sober. Don’t risk it now by embracing relationships that don’t help make recovery better. The same goes for rebuilding trust with loved ones who feel they have been harmed by addiction. They will want to know you can be trusted in recovery. Find some tips on how to make old relationships better and more healthy while also working to rebuild trust with loved ones.

Be Responsible

Ownership is key to recovery. Owning the responsibility for one’s own actions, behaviors and thoughts will go a long way to a healthy recovery. Rebuilding relationships and forming new ones takes time, but also responsible for any harm caused. In the 12-step process, there is an opportunity to make amends for harm done. This is done to help the person in recovery make an accounting, find the people they want to speak to, and own what happened. This will help mend relationships, even if some may never fully mend.

Keep Promises

To save a relationship, it is important to not hurt someone over and over again. They were likely to hurt a lot by past addiction. In recovery, to show things have changed, it means taking action steps. The person may want to see things have changed. Show them by:

  • Showing up when you say you will
  • Do what you say you will
  • Be a good listener
  • Be compassionate
  • Offer to do things to help them and follow-through

To salvage relationships or form new ones, it is important to not abuse the people who want to be kind and compassionate in recovery. Convince them more with actions than words that you are serious and mean what you say. Show up and do what is important to that person and the relationship. Don’t be afraid to push the boundaries and expect more from yourself than you think you can handle. Seek support from sober companions who have been there before and may offer advice on how to do it well.

Honesty is the Best Policy

Being honest is going to help sobriety quite a lot. While people say they are being honest, they may not share everything as openly as they should. To rebuild trust, it may take dredging up things that are painful but necessary for the other person’s healing. In new relationships, full disclosure is not always necessary. It depends on relationships. The key is not to lie and hide things. This will only harm the relationship. Honesty means full disclosure in some cases, or going back to loved ones who have been harmed and offering a honest assessment of harm caused. 12-step programs offer a way to handle this effectively that can build confidence but also bring honesty back to relationships where trust may have been broken.

Talk Openly

Share with loved ones and new friends about life. Don’t be afraid to talk about the hard times and good times. Recovery is tough. Lack of communication can lead to a failed partnership. Practice good communication to keep the relationship healthy. The better able you are to communicate, the stronger the foundation will be. Speaking with openness may be talking about what is hard, but it also builds bridges of understanding and healing that may not have happened if things were not discussed.

Temper Expectations

Don’t expect everyone to want to be a best friend now that recovery is front and center. Keep expectations at a reasonable decibel. Maintaining relationships is hard work; rebuilding them after addiction is very difficult. They may not embrace you with open arms because they are not sure how to trust you. Be ready for some people to not want to open the door again while others may be open to you. Hold space for all of them and keep moving forward in recovery. Don’t expect to do everything all at once or do it perfectly. Just step into doing it one foot in front of the other until it feels like progress is made moving forward. Sometimes it is one step forward, two steps back, but keep trying to make a way rather than giving up.


The fight is not over in recovery. Addiction can still rear its ugly head any time with triggers, cravings, and thoughts about the past. Forgiving oneself for the past is important for healing. Without healing, there is less opportunity for progress. To deal with negative feelings and thoughts, mindfulness can be helpful. This may help identify that voice that says nothing is going to be helpful. Don’t ignore it. Be prepared for a long, hard road ahead but offer it anyway as an open door to healing.

Stay Sober and Clean

The biggest thing that helps when rebuilding relationships or starting new ones is to remain sober and clean. Easier said than done, broken relationships can be difficult to mend without staying sober or clean. Studies have shown that nearly half of people with addiction may relapse. It is hard to get the mind and body clean from substances. Focus on the self and be healthy. Most of all, make it important to stay clean to find healing for the journey of recovery.

The Guest House Ocala welcomes people who are struggling with addiction, we have trauma-informed care that helps people navigate rehab. We provide alumni support fo graduates of the program who are in recovery and need help navigating daily life, including how to rebuild trust in relationships and find sober friends. If you are struggling with addiction or recovery, we are here to help: 1-855-483-7800