If you’ve been sober for a few weeks or months, perhaps you’re ready to make amends with family members. There may have been experiences in the past, perhaps as a result of the addiction, that seemed irreparable at the time. But time can heal many wounds and the fact that you’re now sober probably helps too. This article will provide you with some suggestions for mending your relationships so that you can begin to heal the past.
Relationships aren’t always easy. Because we aren’t perfect, everyone is going to make mistakes. You might cause the other person emotional or even physical harm. You might say something you didn’t mean, or you might even decide to end the relationship. Whatever the case may be, all relationships are worthy of repair.
If you’re hoping to repair relationships, here are suggestions to consider:
Spend Time with One Another
You can make your family relationships primary by consciously planning to spend time with one another. You might plan every other weekend to do something as a family. You might make sure that you all eat dinner together. It’s easy to let all those chores and responsibilities get in the way of what’s most important. However, making time to spend with one another can improve the quality of relationships and bring a family closer together.
Communicate Even When It’s Difficult
Although sometimes conversations are difficult to have, the challenging talks are the ones that frequently bring family members together. This may not be true if the issue isn’t resolved. However, issues won’t ever get resolved if no one is talking about them. If concerns and feelings continue to get ignored, they only fester. If a family member feels hurt and he or she doesn’t bring it up, it’s easy to carry a grudge or become resentful. Meanwhile, if no one is talking in the family, it’s easy to continue to focus on anything but communicating what needs to be said.
Have Empathy for Yourself and Others
Empathy is the ability to place yourself within the inner landscape of another person. It’s an experience of connection with another that takes into account his or her entire inner world – thoughts, ideas, attitudes. When you have empathy for someone you can get a sense of where they’re coming from. At the same time, it’s important to have empathy for yourself as well. This is the ability to connect with yourself, to know what your inner thoughts, ideas, and feelings are. It requires knowing yourself and your inner world. When you’re familiar with the way you’re feeling, you have a greater ability to communicate your needs in relationships.
Talk About the Past
This might be difficult. However, when family members have the opportunity to take responsibility for their actions as well as apologize, there can be much healing that takes place. Along these lines, there may be a need for forgiveness of oneself and others. Although talking about the past may stir up old feelings and perhaps might even jeopardize the stability of the relationship, if under the right circumstances a conversation about what happened can create healing and repair in relationships.
These suggestions aren’t always easy. And some families might find that seeking the support of a family therapist might ease difficult discussions so that relationships can once again be filled with love and appreciation.