Relationships in Recovery - Sobriety

Rebuilding Trust In Early Sobriety: How To Heal Your Relationship Wreckage

Rebuilding Trust In Early Sobriety How To Heal Your Relationship Wreckage

While we cannot undo the pain + anguish we caused to our loved ones, we can continue making positive actions in our relationships. Click for more info

The sobriety journey is a road paved with complicated intentions. Not only must you learn how to live without numbing yourself with toxic substances - but you also may need to identify and clean up the wreckage your addiction caused to the people in your life.

In the beginning, it may seem like nobody will ever trust you again. This can be a defeating experience - you may feel frustrated, angry, and incredibly ashamed. You may even question why you’re attempting to be sober and “change your ways.”

Rebuilding trust requires patience, diligence, and conscious effort. Let’s get into how the process works.

Accept The Slow Path Towards Healing

There’s a good chance that people didn’t lose their trust in your overnight. More than likely, it was a slow and arduous process, one that some people tried to avoid altogether. Some people in your life may have continued to give you the benefit of the doubt despite countless infractions. They wanted to believe in you when you couldn’t believe in yourself.

Trust is as resilient as it is fragile. That means while it can be strong and dynamic, it can also be fragmented and broken. You must respect the notion that trust is earned- it’s not a universal given.

Think of when someone has compromised your trust. Was it easy to change your mind immediately once they started coming around? Or did you need evidence and continued action? Did you need acknowledgments and an apology? Were you still skeptical or hesitant that they could commit to long-term change?

Remember this: trust takes time, but it’s worth the wait for both parties.

Be Careful With Apologizing

“I’m sorry,” often doesn’t cut it when you’ve spent months or years hurting someone you love. Those two words may even be insulting to someone who’s been crippled by fear, anger, and depression over your actions.

Even the sweetest words can be cheap and empty. You can have the best intentions and the most heartfelt apology, but it still may not make that much of a difference.

Think of it this way: words are pennies, but actions are dollars. That means 99 apologies are worth less than a single, positive action.

There’s a good chance that you’ve made apologies and committed to broken promises in the past. There’s also a good chance that someone had believed those apologies- only to feel disheartened and gutted when you continued to engage in the same, destructive behavior.

Say What You Mean & Do What You Say

In the throes of your addiction, you probably lied, exaggerated, manipulated, and hurt others to get what you wanted. You became unreliable and untrustworthy. People may have counted on you, and you likely let them down. As a result, they may have given up on believing in you altogether.

How do you recover from a history of chronic lying and inconsistency? You start by practicing the principles of radical honesty.

This means saying what you mean (maturely and compassionately) and following through with what you say you’re going to do. It means that you show up when you say you’ll be there, and you hold yourself accountable to the commitments you make to others.

We start trusting people when we witness repeated experiences of honesty and integrity. If you want people to start trusting you again, you need to start putting forth the actions that will direct them towards that path.

Rebuilding Trust: Strive To Become A Better Person Each Day

While we cannot undo the pain and anguish we caused to our loved ones, we can aim to continue making proactive, positive actions in our relationships moving forward.

Such actions may include giving back to others, offering to volunteer or donate your time and resources, striving to be a better listener, and acknowledging when you make mistakes promptly and efficiently.

You won’t do this perfectly, but the clarity provided in your sobriety can help you make dramatic strides in rebuilding trust with the people you love.

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We’re Here to Help You Find Your Way

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, there is hope. Our team can guide you on your journey to recovery. Call us today.

Written by

brian-mooreBrian Moore

Content Writer

Reviewed by

jeremy-arztJeremy Arzt

Chief Clinical Officer

Relationships in Recovery


August 18, 2021