The Importance of Healthy Relationships for Sobriety

An older couples who are both in sobriety, embrace in the importance of a healthy relationship.

Whenever the topic of drugs or alcohol recovery comes up, most people tend to focus almost exclusively on the detox process. However, the lengthy journey toward sobriety requires a strong, supportive network of friends and family as well. While often overlooked, healthy relationships can incentivize someone struggling with addiction to change their life for the better. It is important to note that this general premise applies to both romantic and platonic relationships alike.

The deep bonds of a healthy relationship can go a long way toward ensuring one’s health and overall wellbeing. Furthermore, a healthy relationship can serve as a deterrent that keeps those struggling with addiction from attaching themselves to negative individuals who could potentially derail their recovery efforts. In this article, we take a closer look at the importance of healthy relationships for sobriety and when you should cut certain people out of your life.

Benefits of a Healthy Relationship

Establishing healthy relationships is always important; however, they become even more critical when you are trying to overcome addiction. Unhealthy relationships can complicate your journey toward sobriety by adding unnecessary stress and frustration to your life that can lead to a relapse. Healthy relationships, on the other hand, can be a source of support, encouraging you to not give in to cravings and to remain strong in your sobriety.

Some of the more notable qualities associated with a healthy relationship include:

  • Trust
  • Mutual support
  • Mutual respect
  • Encouraging
  • Compassion
  • Healthy boundaries
  • Honesty
  • Security

While this list is not all-encompassing, it does represent some of the qualities that you should look for in establishing a meaningful relationship or deciding whether or not to save one that has been strained by addiction.

How to Identify an Unhealthy Relationship

Similar to healthy relationships, there are several tell-tale signs when it comes to identifying an unhealthy relationship, including:

  • Lack of respect
  • Lack of trust
  • Verbal or physical abuse
  • Being disrespectful
  • Overstepping boundaries
  • Invasion of privacy
  • Exhibiting controlling behavior
  • Manipulation
  • Blame-shifting

These are not all of the possible indicators of an unhealthy relationship, but they are the main factors that you should be looking for when deciding whether or not to cut someone out of your life. If you are struggling with a co-occurring disorder, then this is especially important as unhealthy relationships can negatively impact your recovery. According to Psychology Today, mental health disorders like anxiety, depression, and bipolar disorder can intensify for individuals who are in unhealthy relationships and battling addiction. In addition, these same individuals will be more likely to turn to substance abuse as a means of coping with such feelings.

When it comes to overcoming an addiction to drugs or alcohol, the company that you keep can mean the difference between a successful recovery and a potential relapse. Take some time to evaluate your social situation and whether the individuals that you immediately surround yourself with will support your goals or get in the way. Sobriety doesn’t end after detox treatment; is a lifelong process that requires determination and healthy support.