The entire month of September will recognize those in recovery while raising awareness about mental and substance use disorders.

After years of addiction, you haven’t just damaged your body and mind. You’ve also damaged relationships. People no longer trust you.They may still love you, but they don’t believe what you say. After all, you’ve lied to them too many times. Why should they trust you now?

And although you’re now in recovery, you can’t magically repair a romantic relationship with the wave of a wand. Your life isn’t a Hollywood movie where all problems are neatly wrapped up by the end of the story. It may take years to rebuild the trust you enjoyed before you became an addict. Read on for ways you can rebuild your relationship with the person you love.

The people closest to the addict are the ones who suffer the most. It’s terrifying to see someone you care about enslaved by drugs and alcohol. You worry when or if the addict will even come home after a night of binge drinking or taking drugs. You’re obsessed with the idea that your loved one will overdose on drugs or die in a car accident because of driving drunk or drugged. You hide your valuables and money because you know the addict will steal them in order to buy more drugs or alcohol.

But stealing and possibly dying from an overdose isn’t the only things an addict will do. Addicts exhibit countless negative behaviors. They lie, can’t keep a job, become violent, and break the law. They may be verbally abusive to the people closest to them. No wonder it’s an almost insurmountable challenge for a former addict to win back the trust from a romantic partner.

So what are you supposed to do if you’re in recovery and your partner is afraid to let you back into his or her life? The first step is to offer a sincere apology. Your partner may not be willing to accept it, but it’s important that you acknowledge your wrongdoing and say you’re deeply sorry. This is especially true if you were unfaithful to your partner. Swift River says “Infidelity is traumatizing. It causes the wronged party to question you, your relationship, and themselves.” Forgiving a partner after infidelity is extremely difficult and may completely destroy the possibility of a future together.

Some relationships may be too damaged to repair. You can’t control whether or not your romantic partner wants to stay with you after all the turmoil he or she has endured by your side. If there is still hope for your relationship, you’ll have to be patient. Recommit to your relationship, realizing that things may never be the same but they can gradually be repaired.

Reconciliation won’t happen overnight. Forgiveness takes time. Although your partner never stopped loving you, that doesn’t mean they can readily forget the past. The wounds afflicted by your addiction are still raw, and the memories of your negative behaviors are still fresh in your partner’s mind.

You probably used a professional counselor or drug rehab center to help you kick your addiction. Consider visiting a therapist or counselor to help you repair your romantic relationship as well. The counseling professional will help you and your partner each discuss your wants and needs in a relationship. This guidance will allow you to slowly build a stronger relationship with your loved one.

Addiction destroys relationships. It creates distrust, sadness, fear, and anger in the people who love you the most. As a recovering addict, it’s up to you take the first step in reforming a relationship with your romantic partner. By offering a sincere apology, demonstrating patience and realizing that forgiveness won’t happen overnight, you can gradually begin the process of winning your partner’s trust once again.


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