Recovery And Relationships

Relationships are a necessary component of living one’s best life. They are needed to create deep bonds, for companionship, and to provide the needed emotional support needed to thrive post-rehab. Relationships are effective in helping people in recovery stay healthy and increase their wellbeing. Healthy relationships bring out the best in both parties, and are a safe space for their fears.

Healthy relationships can help individuals struggling with addiction to avoid negative attachments to people who bring out the worst in them. Engaging in toxic relationships can create feelings of frustration, unnecessary stress, and conflict. These feelings can lead of increased use of alcohol and substance abuse.

Insurance Logo
Insurance Logo
Insurance Logo
Insurance Logo
Insurance Logo
Insurance Logo

Check if my insurance covers rehab

Addiction Center is not affiliated with any insurance.

The Value Of Healthy Relationships

Healthy relationships are the ideal type of relationships most people strive for. They bring joy and support, encouraging the other’s growth. Healthy relationships contain equality and comfort, ensuring each partners’ hopes, dreams, and fears are respected. Communication and commitment are key in creating deep emotional bonds. Healthy relationships are based on compatibility and common values, along with:

  • Mutual trust and support
  • Mutual thoughtfulness
  • Mutual honesty
  • Reciprocity
  • Effort
  • Respect
  • Support/encouragement
  • Safety/security
  • Humor/playfulness
  • Mutual tenderness
  • Mutual compassion
  • Maintain healthy boundaries

Healthy relationships allow for people to establish boundaries, so everyone feels safe. Trust establishes respectful vulnerability allowing for the relationship to progress in a healthy manner. If someone recovering from addiction does not trust their partner, they may hide progress of sobriety from their partner, or feel they cannot be vulnerable about their sobriety.

Healthy relationships involving honesty, for example, can encourage partners to support or inspire individuals to communicate about substance abuse. Partners can include boundaries to discourage post-recovery relapses if this applies to their partner. Positive partnerships can thrive as the individual in recovery can develop healthy social circles, thus creating healthy connections.

12-Step Support Groups And Healthy Relationships

Individuals in 12-Step programs can cultivate new relationships full of hope and positivity. 12-step groups, offered in inpatient and outpatient rehab facilities, build community for individuals getting treatment for substance use disorders. These groups can be safe spaces to bond with a like-minded peer group. Some facilities have aftercare programs, which provide social activities for patients in facilities.

Identifying Unhealthy Relationships

Unhealthy relationships are toxic, consisting of various damaging or draining dynamics. Unhealthy relationship put pressure on someone, using overly forceful means of attaining goals, or subtle coercive means. Examples of ways selfish and toxic behaviors in relationships can manifest include:

  • Manipulation
  • Blame-shifting
  • Guilt-tripping
  • Obligation
  • Self-absorption
  • Bullying/intimidation
  • Mental abuse
  • Emotional abuse
  • Physical abuse
  • Verbal abuse
  • Financial abuse
  • Lack of respect
  • Invasion of privacy/boundaries
  • Controlling partners
  • Dominant/dictator partners
  • Disrespectful of emotions
  • Isolation/exclusion
  • Putdowns/shaming
  • A lack of time for a partner
  • A lack of fairness/equality

Relationships with these types of qualities can make someone feel anxious, depressed, or frustrated. An individual battling relationship stress can have secrets, use substances as an outlet for stress, hit each other, and dramatically threaten each other’s wellbeing.

If an individual already has pre-existing conditions like depression, bipolar disorder, and anxiety, unhealthy relationships can worsen the symptoms. Once the symptoms become worse, individuals may self-medicate and turn to substance abuse for support.

Looking for a place to start?

Reach out to a treatment provider for free today.

Make a Call (870) 515-4670

- OR -

Request a Call

Codependency And Unhealthy Relationships

There are different types of unhealthy relationships directly related to addiction, like codependent/enabling relationships. Codependent relationships have positive intention to help loved ones in need; however, they may not have boundaries that allow individuals sufficient independence to grow. It is dysfunctional as it enables individuals with substance use disorders, careless life decisions and toxic habits.

Codependents are often empathic and caring people who wish to support their partners; however, codependents helping alcoholics and addicts may experience distress over their partners condition. In some instances, the codependent may begin to drink or abuse to enable their partner’s habit. Codependents may suffer underlying conditions like depression or anxiety, losing their identity in their partner’s life.

Try Online Therapy

Over 3 Million people have turned to BetterHelp for professional online therapy.

Take the quiz and get matched with a therapist.

  • Access to Therapy 24/7
  • Easy Online Scheduling
  • 20,000+ Licensed Therapists

Find a Therapist Now

Paid Advertising. We may receive advertising fees if you follow links to the BetterHelp site.

Getting Help Today

Unhealthy relationships can begin to take a toll one’s life, whether they struggle with addiction or live a life of sobriety. If unhealthy relationships are causing you distress and to abuse harmful substances, contact a treatment provider today to discover your rehab options. Substance abuse is often fueled by stressors of life and love. Treatment providers are available to speak to you about rehab options.



Krystina Murray

Photo of Krystina Murray
  • Krystina Murray has received a B.A. in English at Georgia State University, has over 5 years of professional writing and editing experience, and over 15 years of overall writing experience. She enjoys traveling, fitness, crafting, and spreading awareness of addiction recovery to help people transform their lives.

  • More from Krystina Murray

Reviewed by Certified Addiction Professional:

David Hampton

Photo of David Hampton
  • David embarked on his journey into sobriety in June of 2005, which led him to his current career path as a Certified Professional Addiction Recovery Coach in private practice in Greater Nashville. David is also a public speaker and the author of two books. David is cohost of the weekly Positive Sobriety Podcast, as well as being a frequent contributor to various articles and recovery based materials. As a member of the National Association of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselors (NAADAC), David works closely with area treatment centers, recovery orientated nonprofit organizations, as well as being a keynote speaker for various recovery-focused events.

  • More from David Hampton



The Hope House – Scottsdale

Scottsdale , AZ


Amazonite Treatment Center

Corona , CA


OC Revive – Drug and Alcohol Rehab

Lake Forest , CA


OC Revive – Teen Rehab Center

Lake Forest , CA


Asana Recovery

Costa Mesa , CA


California Prime Recovery

Fountain Valley , CA


Asana Recovery – Outpatient

Fountain Valley , CA


Luxe Recovery

Los Angeles , CA


CNV Detox

Los Angeles , CA


Tarzana Recovery Center – TRC

Tarzana , CA


Amend Treatment

Malibu , CA


All Points North Lodge

Edwards , CO



Denver , CO


Symetria Recovery – Fort Worth

Fort Worth , TX


Symetria Recovery – Houston

Houston , TX


Symetria Recovery – Chicago

Chicago , IL

Showing 4 of 16 Centers