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7 Tips to Help Maintain Healthy Relationships in Sobriety

Medically Verified: 2/1/24

Medical Reviewer

Chief Editor

All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.

Humans are social by nature, and without healthy relationships in recovery and in life, you can become depressed, lonely, and unfulfilled. Relationships are what give life meaning, provide people with joy, and are innate to society.

Unfortunately, drug and alcohol addiction rip through the very fabric of your relationships, causing a lack of trust, resentments, miscommunication, and much more. While a North Carolina rehab program can help you learn how to repair damaged relationships, it’s also important to know how to maintain healthy relationships in sobriety.

If you are in recovery from drug or alcohol addiction, your relationships can be crucial to helping you maintain sobriety. Your friends and family are the support group that you will lean on when you need support the most. Here are 7 tips to help you maintain healthy relationships in your recovery.

1. Nurture Your Relationship With Yourself

It can be difficult to develop and maintain healthy relationships if you don’t have a healthy relationship with yourself. If you change the way you act around certain people because you think they won’t like you or if you pick and choose which information you tell to who, you are not comfortable with yourself and your truth, and may have a hard time maintaining healthy relationships.

Spend time in meditation and in therapy to help learn how to connect with yourself more. The most you respect and value yourself, the less you will tolerate toxic behavior or abuse from others. Also, the more self-acceptance and self-understanding you have, the more your relationships will be able to flourish in sobriety.

2. Always Practice Honesty

It’s hard to be honest when you are caught up in the grips of addiction, but there is no way to have healthy relationships in recovery unless you are honest. Lying not only complicates things for you, but it also makes it impossible to develop a vulnerable and meaningful bond with another person.

A huge part of recovery involves changing your old behaviors. You may be used to dishonesty when it comes to your addiction, but your recovery should consist of nothing but the truth – especially when it comes to your friendships.

3. Stay Away From Toxic People

The old friends you used to get high with or the people you used to buy drugs from may contact you. A family member who is emotionally abusive may try and hurt you. You can’t make toxic people disappear, but you can distance yourself and remove them from your life.

If there is someone who is a negative influence on you, you may want to take a closer look at the relationship and see whether or not it is really important and valuable to your recovery. A therapist can help you evaluate these relationships from an objective third-party perspective.

4. Make Time for Others

Relationships take time. Healthy ones are consistently growing. With that said, if you’re not making time for the people in your life, it will be difficult to maintain a healthy relationship with them. Just as you would expect others to be there and listen to you in a time of need, you’ll need to do the same for them. It shows that you care.

Whether you go out of your way to check on a friend or spend extra time being a shoulder to lean on, a little bit of time can go a long way in nurturing your relationships in recovery.

5. Be Reliable

In addition to dedicating your time to others, you need to be reliable. When caught in the midst of addiction, it’s likely that you neglected some of your responsibilities or weren’t the most reliable person around.

In your recovery, you should work on changing your behaviors to be a reliable friend and family member. This means sticking to your commitments, showing up when you are supposed to show up, and being a consistent friend that one can count on.

6. Communicate Clearly

People can’t read your mind. If you are upset and feeling lonely, you cannot expect people to read your mind. If you need support and are struggling, it is your responsibility to reach out to other people and communicate how you feel.

At the same time, if a loved one crosses a boundary or pushes you too far, it’s up to you to set and enforce healthy boundaries. A healthy relationship will have boundaries, communication, and mutual agreements.

7. Give The Same Energy You Want to Receive

The golden rule, “treat others the way you want to be treated,” has been around for hundreds of years, but it still stands today and it can definitely be applied to maintaining healthy relationships in recovery.

If you expect your sober support to be there to support you when you are struggling, you should be there for them when they have a difficult day. If you want friends who communicate their needs clearly, you should communicate yours clearly, as well. Some of the best relationships are those that are reciprocal and balanced.

Start Developing Healthy Relationships in Your Recovery Today

Getting started with the recovery process may feel intimidating at first. We understand this and are ready to help you on your road to recovery. Your first step is asking for help.

At Carolina Center for Recovery, we work with family members, co-workers, and other professionals, as well as directly with the individual in need of support to provide comprehensive care and treatment for addiction.

We can offer guidance and insight into the recovery process and will work to provide you with clarity into the steps that lay ahead. Call now to get started.