Relationships are a natural and necessary part of life. Relationships are also a needed part of recovery. Without the support of friends and others in recovery then you are not as likely to succeed. Not having friends and relationships in recovery is much like having a three legged square table, it may be functional, but it is not as sturdy and is more likely to cause problems. Unfortunately, when in active addiction the relationships we form are often detrimental to overall health. Our most frequent contact may be a dealer or other users. These people help us create unhealthy bonds in which we need them to complete an unhealthy behavior. In contrast in recovery we must form healthy relationships that help us be built up and succeed in face of any challenge that may arise. So how do we form such relationships? Read on to learn the basics of creating and keeping healthy relationships as part of recovery.
To find and create healthy relationships start by not expecting anyone to be responsible for your happiness. You hold the keys to your happiness. Being friends or in a relationship does not guarantee this, it simply enhances the possibility if the relationship is healthy. Take control of your own life, including the happiness aspect. Accept, love, and respect yourself first. Though you may feel strongly about someone else, if you do not love, respect, and accept yourself, the good and the bad, then no relationship will be truly healthy. This does not mean you think you are better than someone else, but that you understand that you are worth being a friend to and that you will respect yourself enough to know if it is an unhealthy relationship and end it. Additionally, make and keep clear agreements. This is part of communication.
If you are in a friendship or healthy relationship then you should know what the other expects. Perhaps your partner wants you to do laundry or dishes on a certain day to keep up with housekeeping. If this is something you can agree to than keep your agreement or work toward another mutual arrangement. Respect the differences between you and your partner. No two people are the same and at no point will you always get your way. Be respectful of the differences and find compromise for what is not agreed upon. As part of this you should learn to communicate wants, needs, desires, and concerns openly and honestly and expect the same from your partner. Even if something difficult needs to be shared, share it honestly and expect the same from your partner.
As you continue in the healthy relationship learn to do things because you care for the other person, not because you expect something in return. Forgive one another as needed and leave the past in the past this will help you build a healthy future. If a mistake is made, admit it, ask forgiveness, and try to fix the issue if possible. Make sure you review your expectations often as people and relationships are always changing and may need adjusted. Finally, make sure you appreciate your partner and take time to spend quality time together. You deserve the best out of a relationship and so does your partner. Is the relationship in your life healthy?
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