Addiction is such a terrible thing not only because of what it can do to the addict, but to everyone around the addict. If you are part of an addict’s close family or friends, addiction can strike you in a different way as the disease strains relationships between addict and loved ones.
By the time an addict seeks help for their problem, they may have seriously harmed the trust between them and others. So how to rebuild trust in relationships after addiction?
It won’t necessarily be easy. Trust can be fragile at times even in good circumstances and addiction hardly lends itself to good circumstances. An addict in the thrall of their cravings will lie, cheat and steal from beloved people in their lives to get another fix, and this can seriously damage relationships going forward.
In some cases it may be impossible. Depending on the level of betrayal and emotional harm, some relationships may be damaged beyond repair. Recognizing this can be painful but is important in moving on from the ravages of addiction.
In the rest of cases, it will require patience, peace offerings, possibly trial periods and behavior tests. It may be too much for some shallow relationships to merit. But for those vital relationships that truly matter, it’s something you’ll have to do to restore trust and repair things as they once were before addiction took hold.
Here are a few steps to start to try and rebuilding that trust:
- Be willing to work at it. It won’t come all at once. It may take a long time. But if you continue to show you’re willing and prove to be committed to the process, you will prove your intentions to your loved ones and they will start to meet you halfway. From there, trust can start to grow once more.
- Ask for forgiveness. To truly start the healing process, you need to reach out and start building the bridge on your own side. It can be difficult to approach each and every person you may have hurt in the throes of addiction and ask for forgiveness on a direct, one to one level, but it’s a vital approach. Understand some people may not be willing or able to offer you forgiveness at once. But by asking, you open the door to let that happen down the line.
- Learn from your mistakes. Reflect on what happened between you and your loved one and determine what you can do differently now that you are in recovery to repair any breaches in trust and forge a new relationship with a loved one going forward.
If you’re looking for more help, try seeking treatment and advice from Good Landing Recovery, which can not only help treat addiction and help you find recovery, but also help addicts negotiate life after addiction, including repairing broken relationships and restoring trust once more.