Life with an alcoholic is chaotic and unpredictable. Partners and families of alcoholics deal with the fallout of the illness, which typically include betrayals, broken promises and one disappointment after another.
Frequently, relationships are damaged by legal or financial problems, and sometimes domestic violence enters the picture when a family member is in the grip of addiction. Life becomes mentally and physically exhausting, and hurt and resentment grow with each passing day.
If you’ve completed drug and alcohol treatment or rehab, you have every right to be proud. However, repairing a relationship damaged by alcoholism doesn’t happen overnight. Rebuilding trust requires hard work and commitment.
If you’re serious about rebuilding a relationship after alcohol addiction, be patient and steadfast, and don’t surprised if you come up against some resistance.
Here are a few helpful suggestions for rebuilding relationships after drug and alcohol treatment or rehab:
Make a commitment to be trustworthy, then stand by your word every day. Do what you say you’ll do. Show up on time. Call if you’ll be late. Don’t make promises you can’t keep.
Be transparent, as you may have been deceitful during your struggles with alcoholism. Whenever possible, tell your partner exactly where you’re going, who’ll you’ll be with, and what you’ll be doing. Don’t hide your emails, bank account or appointment book. Your openness will go a long way towards building trust, especially in the early days after you’ve completed drug and alcohol treatment.
Apologize. Admit you’ve made mistakes while in the throes of addiction, and acknowledge that you’ve hurt people you love. Make sincere and honest apologies, but be patient. True forgiveness may take time.