I Don’t Know How to Cope with Relationship Changes

The early days of recovery are a challenge for all involved. When looking back, it can feel like a totally different world. Learning to deal with all the emotional and physical challenges can feel overwhelming. Finding ways to name and claim what has happened is part of the discovery process associated with recovery as is learning to cope with relationships.

Return of Emotional Intelligence

Challenges in the arena of social interaction are common for people recovering from addiction. Being clean and sober brings new perspective to this area and also brings up old patterns, behaviors and ways of thinking. Finding ways to get involved in positive, healthy relationships is a necessary step in the recovery process, particularly around the area of emotional intelligence and learning to relate to people on a whole new level sobriety brings.

New Levels of Intimacy

Intimacy in relationships including marriage can get to a whole new level when sober. This may go beyond anything a person can understand. Relationships with children can be changed, rebuilt and made stronger. Relationships with children may change for the better but it will take time. Friendships and personal relationships will also take time to grow and become better.

Wondering About the Future

Things will be different in relationships, there’s no doubt about that. Giving those up does not preclude a person from entering into new ones or re-establishing connection with old ones. As the journey to recovery begins, a person may lack the skills to cope but it can be changed with support and help. Through the love of someone else, with help from coaches and teachers, new skills can be developed to learn to live a humble, grateful life in positive, meaningful relationships. It is well worth the hard work and ups and downs that come from recovery. It may feel difficult to know how to get through the days ahead but coping with relationship changes is not the end of the world. It is just the beginning, the opposite of what a person might expect to happen on the other end of sobriety. Relationship changes are part of life and it is worth the investment to find a positive way of coping, even if it is a struggle now it will not be forever.


Sustain Recovery supports adolescents in recovery. If you are searching for ways to move beyond addiction, call us to find out how we can help you make that transition.