Restoring Trust After Treatment: Will They Ever Trust Me Again?

Restoring Trust After Treatment: Will They Ever Trust Me Again?

Table of Contents

Many end up rupturing personal bonds during the worst parts of their addiction. You might say or do things you wouldn’t normally do when you’re at your worst. Building trust takes time and effort on both sides. Some relationships might not be salvageable. However, there’s still hope for some of your relationships once the healing has begun.

Evaluating What Is Broken

When repairing broken relationships, we need to first think about who we have harmed because of our addiction and plan to make personal amends with each individual on our list. Making amends isn’t easy and takes time. It’s no coincidence that in the 12-Step philosophy, three out of the 12 steps are dedicated to making amends and admitting our mistakes.

Steps eight, nine, and ten encompass the process of rebuilding trust and fixing those broken bonds that are so precious to our recovery. If you are in recovery, you need a support system of people who trust you to do the right thing even though you’ve fallen short in the past. Step eight focuses solely on making a list of everyone you’ve hurt and plan to make amends to. Doing this, however, is only the beginning of rebuilding that trust.

Taking Personal Accountability

Your loved one may have done things that hurt you in the past, and their behavior may have contributed to your addiction. You might have started using substances to cope with that pain, or they may have enabled your usage in some way. At the end of the day, though, you are still responsible for your actions, as you most likely caused some level of pain regarding a loved one as well.

Steps four and ten ask us to continue to make a moral inventory of our wrongdoings and promptly admit where we were wrong. It’s difficult and scary to acknowledge where we went wrong because it can make us question our character. We might feel horrible. However, admitting our mistakes and taking personal responsibility for them takes the weight off of the other person who was the victim of the pain we caused. It isn’t their fault you acted how you did, and by not taking responsibility, whose shoulders do they fall on? It’s better to admit where you’ve done wrong and make a solid plan to do better in the future.

Showing Up

The next part involving regaining trust involves following through with how we plan to be better. If you don’t show up and actually improve your behavior, your words mean nothing. They are just words that might sound wonderful at the time, but actions tell another story. A person who says one thing and does another is very difficult to trust.

Proving you mean what you say can be accomplished if you follow through. Thankfully, recovery allows you those chances to show up. This is a time to continue the lessons learned in treatment and apply them to your life. If a spouse wants you to take a more active role in raising your child, you can use the tools you learned in treatment to set goals that allow you to take on that role. If your loved one doesn’t trust you with money, you can work to improve your financial situation, repay any debts you owe your loved ones, and become more self-sufficient to make sure your relationship isn’t one-sided.

Healing Takes Time

Trust won’t come back overnight. Many will express that they are happy that you’ve taken steps to become a better person by going to treatment and taking an inventory of your life. However, it still takes time to trust someone who has hurt them. They still have healing to do, just like you have to heal.

For some, it might take longer than others. A teenager might resent their parent who had an addiction because of the life-altering trauma and instability it caused in their life. Another loved one might still feel as though they need to be careful in your relationship long after you’ve proven that you are trustworthy. Everyone heals at their own pace. This doesn’t mean that rebuilding trust is in vain. Your efforts are still significant, and it’s on you to remain consistent.

The Benefits of Family Therapy

If you find yourself running into bumps on the road to rebuilding trust in your family, you might want to consider receiving family therapy. This is an excellent tool for those trying to repair relationships affected by addiction. Addiction is referred to as “the family disease” because it does affect the entire family. A whole family unit is affected by substance use, from financial instability to potential emotional abuse and enabling behaviors. Addressing these issues with a professional can be game-changing. In these sessions, you and your family can learn about healthy conflict resolution, open communication, and effectively expressing complex emotions.

Trust is rebuilt over time. Once others see that your words are genuine, they can begin to trust you again. It is on you to prove to them that you mean what you say and are sincerely on a journey to do better. Your actions will speak louder than your words. However, family therapy might be a great tool if mending the broken bonds is more challenging than you thought. Even if you learned the tools to communicate effectively, it could be harder to apply this to some of the more complicated relationships. Jaywalker Lodge offers a family program alongside our regular programs that allow loved ones to feel a part of your treatment journey. Their involvement in the family program can help them see what we really do here, thus building trust that you are headed in the right direction. Call us at (866) 529-9255 today to learn more about establishing trust. 

author avatar
Stefan Bate, MA, LAC, CCTP Chief Clinical Officer
Stefan Bate, BA, MA, LAC holds a Master's Degree in Applied Psychology from Regis University and is a Licensed Addiction Counselor in the state of Colorado. Stefan has wide-ranging experience in the field of addiction recovery including: working as a recovery coach, therapist, and program director.

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