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5 Ways to Establish Healthy Boundaries in Recovery

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When your loved one was actively drinking and using drugs, you felt helpless. You might have been stuck between doing what is right or doing what he or she wanted and that created stress. In the end, it feels like you were walked all over by your loved one. Now that your loved one is in recovery from addiction and both of you are getting counseling to heal, you know things have to change. You have to create healthy boundaries so you both can heal and make your relationship work.

5 steps to take first when setting boundaries:

  1. Set ground rules and stick to them. Let your loved one know that you are an active participant in recovery, but it doesn’t mean he or she can manipulate you. You deserve respect and your loved one will see this.
  2. You’re not responsible for your loved one’s feeling and reactions. Saying no to your loved and staying true to yourself is something new in your relationship. It may not be received well, but it is something that your loved one has to accept.
  3. Your feelings and needs are important. You have always put your loved one’s feelings and needs before yours and it has hurt you tremendously. Putting yourself first helps you heal, helps you grow and lets your loved one know that you’re important.
  4. Be assertive. It’s a fine line to walk between aggression, passivity, and assertion. Finding the right balance helps you find your voice in the relationship.
  5. Find support. Setting boundaries can be difficult. Finding a support system offers you insight and validation throughout the process.

Healthy boundaries let you heal and become stronger while helping your loved one in their recovery from addiction.


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