People who struggle with alcoholism tend to experience problems with their relationships, and you may have found yourself in this situation. Fortunately, you can take steps to mend relationships, including the one with yourself. Even when some relationships with others are permanently over, you can learn how to heal.
Addressing Relationship Problems Caused by Alcoholism
Recognize that each relationship is unique. Strategies that work for one relationship might not help to heal another. Still, though, you can follow some general approaches for tackling the relationship problems that your alcoholism has fueled:
- acknowledge your role
- ask for forgiveness
- show improvement
- respect boundaries
- look to the future
Acknowledge Your Role
In some situations, both parties play a role in a failed relationship. However, you must acknowledge when the blame falls entirely on you. Alcoholism does have the ability to destroy a relationship. If you continue to accuse the other individual of harming the relationship, the two of you might not be able to move forward. Know when to accept full responsibility for issues in a relationship. Do not make excuses for your behavior either.
Ask for Forgiveness
Acknowledging your role in harming a relationship is one step, and actually apologizing is another. Here is the point at which you really need to let go of excuses. If an apology comes with an excuse, then you are not really apologizing. Make sure that your apology is authentic. Ask for forgiveness. In asking for forgiveness, you must recognize that the other person may decline. Some people may not be ready to forgive at this time, and others may never be able to forgive your actions. The best that you can do is offer your apology and let the other person take the conversation from there. Do keep in mind that forgiveness doesn’t mean all of the problems are resolved. The other person may still proceed with caution in the relationship for fear of being hurt again.
Saying that you’re sorry isn’t enough. You also need to show that you are sorry for the ways that you have hurt the relationship. Take clear steps to resolve the issues. One specific action to take is to enroll in a rehab program. If you say sorry but aren’t showing a willingness to take steps to resolve your alcohol addiction, the other individual is likely going to worry that the same issues with arise again in the future. You must show clear and specific ways in which you are truly sorry and are getting help for your addiction to alcohol.
The other person might say that the relationship is over or that more time is needed before your apology can be accepted. Do not beg and plead the person to forgive you. Part of managing relationships is respecting the boundaries that other people set. Letting go of a cherished relationship isn’t easy, but you can go through this process in healthy ways. Professionals at a treatment center can help you learn how to heal from relationships that end.
Look to the Future
Regardless of how the conversations go in terms of your relationships, you can still look to a brighter future. Even if the person does not want to be in your life any longer, you can think about healthy relationships that you can form with other people. Learning how to accept responsibility and to apologize assists you in forming healthier relationships in the future. Further, professionals at the treatment center can teach you about skills for building bonds with other people. Trying to rebuild relationships can end positively or negatively. You might get back in a good place with a loved one, or you might have to let that person go from your life. In the latter case, however, you still have closure. You can learn from that experience. You can also learn skills for improving the specific relationships that your alcoholism has hurt. To get started with a healthy treatment program, pick up the phone to call 302-842-2390 today.