How to Repair Family Relationships in Sobriety

by Balboa Horizons | April 26, 2017

How to Repair Family Relationships in Sobriety

Outside of yourself, your family likely also took a huge brunt of the emotional pain that your addiction brought.  Each month, Balboa Horizons invites our clients’ loved ones to participate in our Family Support Group. Over the course of four days, family members learn to identify and address the problems they are facing and develop solutions that will help them on their own recovery journey.

While you received guidance and counseling through rehab, your family likely did not get the same luxury. They are still reeling from the effects of your addiction. As you return to the civilian world with your new, sober life, repairing these relationships is both vital and difficult.

As you rebuild your familial relationships, one tool will remain constant: communication. The key to moving forward as a cohesive family unit is as simple as asking your family what they need from you, and then delivering

  1. Recognize if your family contributes to addictive behaviors or is generally toxic

Before you try to make amends, make sure that they will not ruin your sobriety. Unfortunately, not every family is loving and supportive. If your family does not support your sobriety or weighs too heavily on your mental health, it is okay to limit or cut off contact.

  1. Produce trustworthy behavior

Addiction can bring out the worst in us: lying, stealing, fighting, manipulating. Your actions will speak louder than your words. Act respectfully and follow through on your promises. It may take a while to rebuild that trust, so sit down with family members and ask them what you can do to earn their trust again. If you are living with your family, work together to make rules and guidelines that everyone can follow

  1. Be patient with their frustrations

They, too, had to live through your addiction, carrying a lot of the financial and emotional weight. They are likely still dealing with the consequences and making repairs to their own lives and relationships.

  1. Seek professional guidance

Professional insight can do wonders. Consider working together with a mental health professional to learn how to best communicate throughout this transition time and work through underlying or unresolved issues that might have contributed to your addiction.

  1. Contribute to household chores

If you are moving back home, this can be vital. Contributing to daily chores will not only better help you transition, it will help keep you busy and show your appreciation. It can go a lot further than you think.

  1. Pay back whatever you took

Again, addiction can bring out the worst. If you stole money or pawned items, pay it all back. It may take a while, but the gesture will speak volumes.

  1. Apologize, sincerely

Don’t apologize for sickness, don’t apologize for recovery, don’t apologize for who you are. Apologize for your actions. Recognize that they were wrong and vow to do better.

This process will be difficult. But a healthy family life is a crucial element of a healthy life. Move forward with patience and good intentions.

IF YOU OR YOUR LOVED ONE IS CURRENTLY SUFFERING FROM ADDICTION OR MENTAL ILLNESS – BALBOA HORIZONS CAN HELP INSPIRE CHANGE AND TRANSFORM THEIR LIFE TOWARD THE PATH OF RECOVERY.