Sobriety can change people’s lives in countless ways, giving them a more positive and fulfilling existence that would be impossible with the use of drugs or alcohol. One of the ways that people find recovery helps them the most is in their relationships with others, especially immediate family members.
Family life can be complex and at times filled with contention, misunderstandings and resentment for things that have happened in the past. Relationships within the family become even more complicated when someone has an addiction as their actions and behavior affect everyone in the home.
Recovery can help ease some of the tension and the skills that an addict learns in rehab can help change things for the better. Here are some of the ways that recovery can help improve family life.
1. Better Communication
During rehab, patients learn important communication skills that may have been lacking when they were dealing with an addiction. They will be able to listen more carefully to what others are saying, improve their emotional intelligence and be able to read situations.
They can help to pass on these communication skills to their family by opening up dialogue with them and getting involved in healthy discussions. Everyone in the family will be able to enjoy speaking more openly and honestly with one another while expressing their emotions in a constructive way.
2. Stability and Routine
People in recovery learn to create stability in their lives and once they leave rehab they will want to experience a more stable family life as well. They might set up a routine for the family that brings everyone closer such as daily dinners together, or even date night for spouses to strengthen their bond.
Without the unpredictability of addictive behavior, family life can establish a sense of security and routine that can be especially good for children’s emotional health.
3.New Outings and Activities
People that go through recovery usually acquire new hobbies and get involved in different activities to keep their mind off of substance abuse. They can include the family in their new lifestyle by organizing fun outings for everyone and activities that they all enjoy.
Sober people become more active as a way to prevent relapse and family members can all get involved in healthier hobbies like sports, hiking, or swimming. Families can enjoy trips together like a camping experience or an amusement park. A sober person is no longer weighed down by addiction and can get more out of life for themselves and their family.
4.Improved Parenting Skills
When a parent is an addict, their behavior can have a profoundly negative impact on their children. They might be negligent and let down their kids by missing birthdays or important events.
They also might not be as involved in their child’s lives because they are dealing with their own issues of substance abuse which consume their mental and physical energy. A sober parent can offer much more support and love to their child.
Through recovery they will learn to be more responsible, trustworthy and reliable to their loved ones providing them with a positive role model. In most cases, recovery and sobriety can dramatically improve parenting skills.
When a person has an addiction, they will hide their behavior and emotions in a way that makes it impossible for their family to understand their actions. Through recovery, a sober person can begin to open up, be more vulnerable and honest and allow their family to know them on a deeper level.
Family members will develop a new understanding of the sober person and put things into a different perspective. With this deeper understanding, old grudges and resentments can subside for greater love and harmony in the family.