How do I fix my relationship?

My boyfriend is in recovery from drug addiction. We recently got into a fight and he has become very distant. I don't know what to do to fix the relationship.

Sara Makin, M.S.Ed.,NCC
Sara Makin, M.S.Ed.,NCC
#1 Best Selling Author & Counselor

My empathy goes out to you. Relationships are tough enough and i'm sure your partner being distant has been upsetting for you. You are confused and want to mend the relationship with him, but are finding it so hard to do. Relationships require both people to work consistently in order to keep them happier, but if it is only you that is actively trying to repair the relationship, it can be emotionally draining. 

Perhaps expressing you feel using I, you statements can be beneficial. Do not accuse him or use "you" statements like "you are so distant"  or "you don't even care".Start out sharing your feelings by saying "I feel sad when you don't return my phone calls" or "I feel confused about our relationship ever since you have been keeping to yourself". He may have a valid point, or might have been hurt by the argument and retreated as a result of it. Regardless of why, use this time as a great opportunity to practice healthy communication. 

If you think you are not ready for a conversation like that, couples counseling can be excellent. You will have a skilled facilitator guide the conversation and help you both communicate with one another. 

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.
Sherry Katz, LCSW
Sherry Katz, LCSW
Couples and Family Therapist, LCSW

I'm sorry you have tension between you and your bf.

A relationship means two people who relate, right?!   If only one person does all the work to change their approach, what they expect, what they offer the other, then this becomes the new problem to solve.

If you've already done a significant amount of reflection and change in the way you relate to him, then the next step may be to be patient as long as possible while he decides what to change about his part in the relationship toward you.

Substance abuse recovery requires profound effort and reflection.  If it is successful then the result will show very different qualities in your bf than the ones you know currently.

He may be so absorbed in the recovery that he can only concentrate on this.   

Of course if the fights persist and you have been patient for what feels too long, then there are different questions to address.

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.

I would first suggest you sitting down with him and voicing your concerns about how distant he has been, or more importantly you have felt that he is.  This will give clarification to the situation as we need to remember that everyone's perception can be different. Remember that relationships take work and take communication.

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide.   If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.

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