Are you or a loved one searching for a trusted sober living program? Give us a call! 310-953-4075

Are you or a loved one searching for a trusted sober living program? Give us a call!

The Art of Forgiveness: Healing Relationships Damaged by Alcohol Addiction

The Art of Forgiveness_ Healing Relationships Damaged by Alcohol Addiction

If you or your loved one is suffering from an alcohol use disorder, you know how difficult it may be to restore any damage caused by the disease, including repairing relationships.

However, there is still a chance to rebuild relationships and restore what was shattered. The process of making apologies to individuals you may have offended or lost due to alcohol use disorder can be difficult, but it is achievable.

Importance of Addressing Alcohol Addiction and Its Impact on Relationships

Every single one of your relationships is susceptible to the adverse effects of active addiction. Your partner, children, and other members of your family may be impacted by alcohol dependence in various ways, including financial strain, domestic violence, difficulties in intimacy or sex drive, and harmful consequences on children.

Importance of Addressing Alcohol Addiction and Its Impact on Relationships

Repairing relationships requires effort on both sides. Even if it’s impossible to instantly repair the damage done by spiteful words and traumatic memories, the divide in a relationship can be healed with time and effort. Your strong social network can improve your quality of life, self-esteem, and resilience. 

If you believe that your family or romantic relationships have suffered due to your heavy drinking, consider getting professional assistance so that you can be the best version of yourself for the people in your life.

Consequences of Alcohol Addiction on People and Relationships

Unfortunately, your loved ones are frequently left with the trauma that alcohol use disorder causes. They may feel helpless and anticipate that you cause more trouble and suffer consequences as a result of your heavy drinking.

  • Emotional and Mental Stress on the Person Living With Alcohol Use Disorder

    • Loneliness or isolation

    • Low self-esteem

    • Anxiety or depressive symptoms

    • Withdrawal from people

    • Stress

    • Irresponsible or out-of-character behavior, such as being physically abusive

  • Emotional and Mental Stress on Loved Ones

    • Relationship or marital conflict

    • Frustration and grief

    • Shame

    • Resentment

    • Fear and confusion

    • Trust issues

    • Worry about their friend or family member struggling with substance abuse

    • Increased stress

Alcohol addiction can be treated, even if there are several risk factors present. Keep in mind that your past does not determine your future and that no risk factor is permanent. Contact a treatment provider immediately if you have difficulty with alcohol abuse.

How to Rebuild Trust

How to Rebuild Trust

Steps to Rebuilding Trust

  1. Acknowledging the Problem:

    People with alcohol abuse oftentimes refuse to come out of their denial. An essential part of rebuilding trust is realizing when your actions are destructive and unsafe. Acknowledging that you have a problem is the first step toward solving it. 

  2. Apologizing Sincerely:

    One of the many stages of recovery from substance abuse is making amends to those you’ve hurt. The manner in which you apologize is equally important to the apology itself. You should always strive for sincerity and honesty. You must demonstrate genuine concern for the other person’s well-being and a desire to make things right. 

  3. Demonstrating Commitment to Change:

    Demonstrating commitment to change is another way to win back people’s trust. For instance, if someone asks whether you want to go out to the bar, you should decline. Tell them you’re committed to change and mean it. Put your commitment into practice every time you’re confronted with a circumstance that could threaten your sobriety. 

  4. Taking Consistent Action in Honesty and Communication:

    If you want to restore trust and heal any wounds in your relationships, try being more open and honest with them. Being open and honest will go a long way toward involving these people in your recovery progress.

  5. Practicing Forgiveness:

    The ability to forgive yourself and others is crucial to recovering from the trauma of addiction. Toxic relationships This does not imply downplaying or justifying the actions that triggered the trauma but rather letting go of the anger and resentment caused by substance abuse. Although difficult, forgiveness is essential to achieving healing and long-term fulfillment.

Specific Examples of Rebuilding Trust in Relationships Affected by Alcohol Addiction

A commitment to abstaining from drinking alcohol throughout recovery is likely the single most important action you can take to rebuild trust in your relationships. Taking care of yourself may also keep you motivated to stay sober.

Other examples of rebuilding trust are making lifestyle changes for self-improvement, such as seeing a therapist, attending support groups, or engaging in physical activities. When people see that you are making an effort to better yourself while accepting accountability, they will begin to trust you again.

Setting Healthy Boundaries

Addiction can fuel many fear-based behavior patterns and dysfunctional family interactions, such as holding on to grudges, codependency, perfectionism, and the need to control. You and your loved ones should prioritize setting and upholding healthy boundaries in your relationship.

In addition, it is important to set boundaries and cut ties with unhealthy relationships. Alcohol dependence can lead to the formation of toxic relationships that influence you to resort to drinking alcohol to numb painful feelings. Make room for healthy relationships as you cut off people who negatively affect your sober lifestyle.

The Role of Boundaries in Maintaining Healthy Relationships

Establishing healthy boundaries in relationships is an important part of keeping each person feeling safe, supported, and respected. They help you express to others how you like to be treated and what kinds of actions you find acceptable or unacceptable. Having boundaries will protect your relationship and ensure that you are able to communicate your needs safely while going through addiction recovery.

How Alcohol Abuse Can Blur Boundaries

People struggling with alcohol abuse may lack boundaries. They only think about other people meeting their needs and may have stopped caring for themselves. In addition, some of them may have been raised in households where boundaries weren’t set or followed.

In alcohol abuse, intense shame, dishonesty, and manipulation cause people to cross boundaries. They fall into codependent relationships that revolve around alcohol use. As a result, boundaries became blurred. 

Steps to Establish Healthy Boundaries

  1. Identifying Personal Limits:

    Establish your own values, beliefs, and limits. This will make it clear to everyone around you how you prefer to be treated and give you the confidence to stand up for yourself.

  2. Communicating Boundaries Clearly:

    Start the process of communicating boundaries clearly with friends and family in a constructive way. Avoid opening your sentences with “You make me feel…” and try instead to begin each sentence with “I feel…” This can prevent an aggressive response while still making your point.

  3. Consistently Enforcing Boundaries:

    It may not be easy, but you need to be consistent when enforcing boundaries. Do not go around in circles or waver since doing so will only allow the boundaries you made to be destroyed and replaced with unhealthy ones.

  4. Adjusting Boundaries As Needed:

    Others’ boundaries are as important as your own. If you want respect for yourself, you should give it to others, even if their values differ. Sometimes you might also need to adjust boundaries as needed. For instance, your spouse might need to spend time alone to recharge while you thrive when surrounded by people. Nonetheless, it’s important to respect their preferences.


Alcohol affects every aspect of a person’s life. Your physical and mental health will suffer, but those aren’t the only consequences of alcohol dependence. Those who are closest to you can also be affected by your alcohol abuse. 

Making amends requires seeing things from the other person’s perspective. It is vital to communicate honestly and openly to ensure that everyone involved is heard and acknowledged. Only then can your family members address the underlying problems and heal the wounds that alcohol dependence has caused. 

Getting Help at Bridges Sober Living Apartments

People who have experienced trauma due to alcohol abuse can begin the healing process and build a more hopeful future by getting professional help, engaging in self-care routines, establishing healthy boundaries, engaging in forgiveness practices, and joining members of support groups.

Alcohol use disorder is a chronic disease that demands a lifetime of dedication and lifestyle adjustments. At the Bridges Sober Living Apartments in Los Angeles, we assist people who struggle with alcohol or drug use to find the drive to change their behavior, learn new skills that will assist them in the long run, and gain knowledge about the benefits of recovery. Contact us at 310-953-4075 if you would like any additional information regarding our sober living home.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes. Getting over the negative effects of alcoholism is a process and a journey that lasts a lifetime, but it’s possible to heal and rebuild your life. It involves more than just removing harmful substances from your body; it also involves laying a solid foundation for a better way of life and the constructive behaviors that accompany it. 

Relationship counseling aims to resolve the conflict between partners and improve the family’s relationship while strengthening their commitment to recovery. In order to enable a successful recovery from alcohol, it requires fostering emotional support, enhancing positive activities, and improving communication between partners or family members. Acceptance and change are also necessary components of this process.

The length of time for relationships to heal from addiction can vary greatly based on factors such as the intensity of substance abuse, the willingness of both parties to forgive and heal, and the individual’s consistency and commitment to various treatment methods.

Yes. You can break free from the cycle of addiction in relationships if you cooperate with the counseling process, participate in peer group meetings, engage in healthy ways to prevent relapse, and actively educate yourself about how alcoholism works. 

You can express your worry and support by talking to your partner in an honest but non-confrontational manner about their addiction. You could also suggest they speak with their doctor about their alcohol use and volunteer to accompany them to the appointment. Remember to maintain an attitude of patience, hope, and compassion, and realize that it may take some time for your partner to become ready to seek help.

Yes. Therapy and counseling can be provided on an individual, couple, or family basis as part of a treatment plan. These can assist your partner in determining the underlying reasons for their alcohol use, developing skills to quit or cut back on their drinking, and learning how to manage drinking triggers that could lead to a relapse in their recovery from alcoholism.

Sober living can facilitate healing in relationships since you’ll be able to gain back the trust of your family or friends. Once you’ve shown commitment to recovery, you will be able to spend time with them, which helps to repair and strengthen your relationships. Most importantly, sober living allows you to stick to your relapse prevention plans, which improves your well-being and the quality of your relationships.

Developing healthy relationships with your friends and family is important. The more positive ties and support networks you cultivate, the better you’ll be able to recover from alcohol addiction.

American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. (n.d.) What is Marriage and Family Therapy? Retrieved on June 21, 2023, from

American Psychiatric Association. 2023. What is Psychotherapy?

Ray, Lara A., Ph.D., Meredith, Lindsay R., MA, Kiluk, Brian D., Ph.D., et al. 2020, June 19. Combined Pharmacotherapy and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Adults With Alcohol or Substance Use Disorders: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis.

Dimeff, L. A., & Linehan, M. M. (2008). Dialectical behavior therapy for substance abusers. Addiction Science & clinical practice, 4(2), 39–47.

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