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Make Up for the Past: 7 Ways to Strengthen a Romantic Relationship in Early Recovery

It’s easy, while abusing drugs and alcohol, to fall into bad relationship habits.

And when you’re drunk or high enough much of the time, it’s easy to miss (or not care about) how these negative interaction habits erode the strength and happiness of your romantic partnership.

Unfortunately, once clean and sober, you need the support and friendship of your loved ones more than ever, so starting off in recovery with diminished closeness and happiness just makes things tougher than they need to be.

Actions speak louder than words and you can’t expect to undo months or years (or decades) of misdeeds in a short period of time.

But that being said, you can make the health of your relationship a priority and you can make a conscious effort to nurture intimacy – and it’s not even that hard to do.

And this is very good news, because strengthening your intimate relationship does a great deal to strengthen your support network against relapse.

Strengthen Your Romantic Relationship – The Worksheet

Make a list of the following seven items. At the end of each, day, put a checkmark next to each action you completed at least once during the previous 24 hours. Do this daily over the course of a couple of weeks (or longer) and try to increase your average number of daily checks over that time period.

After as little as a couple of weeks of trying this out, take stock of your relationship satisfaction and intimacy levels and see if you’ve managed to improve things.

Ask yourself - today, did I...?

  1. Did you communicate appreciation for anything your partner did for you today?
  2. Did you every offer to help your partner with anything without having to be asked to do so?
  3. Did you compliment your partner at least once today?
  4. Did you provide any pleasing surprises to your partner today?
  5. Did you show affection today, at least once?
  6. Did you spend some time engaging in regular attentive conversation with your partner today?
  7. Did you initiate a pleasant conversation at least once today?1

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