Sobriety Together: Navigating Relationships in Recovery

[00:00:00] Sonia:

[00:00:00] Hi, we're Kathleen and Sonia and you're listening to Sisters in Sobriety. Thanks for being here. I'm Sonia and I'm with my sister in sobriety. Actually, my sister in law, Kathleen. How are you doing today, Kathleen?

[00:00:12] Kathleen: Well, in an effort to be authentic and real, I am going to say I'm not doing great today, but, um, there you go. I'm not doing great today. How are you

[00:00:23] Sonia: Yeah, fucking not great either. Um, we've had a, we've had an emotionally trying, few days for a number of reasons. yeah, mostly relationshipy, Stuff and so yeah, And well, that's amazing because guess what we're talking about today. We are talking about the impact of sobriety on relationships.

[00:00:48] And relationships are complicated enough without the added layer of sobriety. And when you stop drinking, it can feel like the whole dynamic shift. You're not just changing your [00:01:00] habits, it's like you're rewriting some unspoken rulebook that you've been following. And we'll talk about some practical things, like what to do when your partner still drinks, and some hard truths, like realizing what role drinking played in your relationship, did it facilitate tough discussions or intimacy, or did it make certain situations more explosive and hinder communication.

[00:01:24] Kathleen: But this episode isn't just about challenges. Even though I feel like we do talk about them a lot, it is also about the amazing ways that sobriety can deepen your relationships by learning to communicate honestly and experiencing a level of connection. You might not have thought possible when alcohol was in the picture, whether you're starting out on your sobriety journey, or you've been on this path for a while.

[00:01:47] We are here to talk about it. All the good, the bad and everything in between. And there is a lot in the in between. So grab a cup of tea, settle in and let's get real about sobriety and relationships. You are not alone in [00:02:00] this. Believe me, you're not. And we're here to navigate it together.

[00:02:04] Sonia: So I think, Kathleen, a good way to start this discussion is to talk about how substance use can affect relationships before we can talk about how sobriety can change them.

[00:02:15] Kathleen: substance abuse. has a huge, huge impact on relationships. In fact, as a couple's therapist, I consider it like having a third person in the marriage. That's how significant it can be. there are just so many ways that substance abuse impacts a relationship. We could be here like half the day talking about it, to be honest.

[00:02:34] But really briefly, It can impact a relationship emotionally. So for example, a person struggling with substance abuse may become emotionally unavailable or neglectful of their partner's needs, and this can lead to feelings of loneliness or rejection or abandonment for the other partner. It can lead to a breakdown in trust between people, a breakdown in communications, it can impact social, or sorry, [00:03:00] it can impact sexual and emotional intimacy, it can lead to decreased libido, performance issues, increased conflict, and all of this can really ultimately impact the couple's connection.How do you think addiction impacts relationships, Sonia?

[00:03:15] Sonia: Yeah, any time that you're in an altered state, there's a high chance you're not acting as your authentic self. And so your behavior, like we talked about in the last episode, isn't aligning with your values. And that can be really tough, especially in intimate relationships.

[00:03:33] Kathleen: And what can that mean for our listeners?

[00:03:35] Sonia: they have to take a really hard look at what effect their substance use had on the relationship. And it's different for everyone. also it depends on how alcohol changes your personality. So I've met people who are hostile, I've been related to people that are hostile, belligerent.

[00:03:52] Overly emotional, overly affectionate, or more talkative when they're drinking. And then there are some [00:04:00] super high functioning drinkers that may not have the same consequences as other people. Some people lose jobs, they get DUIs, and so I think the impact on your significant other depends on a few different things.

[00:04:14] And how did your behavior change and what were the consequences of it? What do you think listeners should be thinking about?

[00:04:22] Kathleen: Yeah, there's so many things and it really does depend on how a substance changes your personality. our listeners can think about, how did that substance use change the dynamic of the relationship? I also think, There's a lot to be said about when did you meet your partner.

[00:04:38] So were you actively using when you met your partner? And how did that contribute to your initial connection? So I, I do think that that's something, something to think about. What effect did drinking have on your relationship?

[00:04:55] sonia_kahlon_raw-video-cfr_riverside_0077: Yeah, what you just said is totally accurate. We met when we were very young. And [00:05:00] getting messed up was something we did together and something that at the time we were in our 20s was pretty normal. And so,also we were both very high functioning and our relationship seemed like it had so many other aspects.

[00:05:12] we worked together and so I didn't really see How significant the role of alcohol was in the relationship until maybe it was too late and, because it was in our relationship from the beginning, it's really hard to tease out what the effect was because it was there from the start and so I know for sure I wasn't my authentic self and I didn't know that and neither did he.

[00:05:42] I think we both thought that that was, that was me. Like I was fun, a party girl, um, love to unwind with a drink. And so I think it, yeah, it was a big shock when I quit drinking. What about you?

[00:05:56] Kathleen: Well, I wasn't using drugs when I met your brother, but it [00:06:00] really did impact other relationships that I had when I was using drugs. I didn't stay in relationships for very long. I was chronically in long distance relationships for a good part of my twenties, and I think it was always easier for me to be in a long distance relationship because I didn't need to actually get close to that other person emotionally.

[00:06:22] there was always that distance. And right before I met your brother, I was in one, you know, call it a situationship that was really good, but it was fueled by drugs mostly. So he was a heavy cocaine user and I obviously was, and We had tons of fun together. Fun, I guess, but when I think about what would have happened if we had ended up together, I just, oh my gosh, I, I don't even know if we would still be here.

[00:06:55] it just wouldn't have been a good idea.

[00:06:58] Sonia: Yeah, I think we can agree [00:07:00] that drinking and drugs affect our relationship, especially the significant other relationship.

[00:07:06] Kathleen: It definitely does. I know you said that you weren't feeling like you were your authentic self in your relationship when you were drinking, but what practical aspects of your life with your partner did sobriety change?

[00:07:18] Sonia: I think it changed in so many ways, but the quickest and most dramatic was how we socialized and everything in that social orbit.

[00:07:29] Kathleen: I definitely saw that happening. Do you want to talk about it more?

[00:07:33] Sonia: I do. I'm ready to talk about all,

[00:07:35] when I quit drinking, it was 2017. I was 38, I didn't have any kids, and we were still going out a lot. And all of our friends drank and did drugs, and so, that should have been the first inkling, for me that this was going to affect our socializing.

[00:07:51] But, for some reason, I just felt a little ashamed about it. and That shame just made me initially not want to make many [00:08:00] changes, and so I didn't want to tell people that I wasn't drinking,I just didn't, ever talk about being sober, and I kind of kept our socializing pretty normal,

[00:08:11] So, I had a few freakouts in bars where I was just crawling out of my skin and I wanted to leave. And, yeah, for sure blamed myself. Like, why? Why can't I just be normal? Why can't I just not drink or have one drink and be normal? And there was just a lot of weight around that idea. And for sure, my husband thought that, that was my problem.

[00:08:35] And he wasn't happy if I wanted to leave early. even if I suggested you can stay, I'm going to head out. and never asked him to stop drinking or smoking weed. He just did. And so. I, had never cultivated a sober group of friends, we just sort of stuck to that same, like, group of people, and that same rulebook, and I just wasn't taking any control of the things we were doing, I wasn't suggesting [00:09:00] more sober activities, that weren't, drinking oriented, and I was still serving alcohol in my house pretty regularly, so.

[00:09:08] In terms of the relationship, I kept things pretty normal for him. I didn't tell anyone I was sober, just that I wasn't drinking. And when I look back, there should have been a lot more discussion around it. Because just removing alcohol from the situation doesn't solve the problem necessarily.

[00:09:31] it's not necessarily fun for someone who's not drinking to be around people that are heavily drinking at a bar.

[00:09:38] Kathleen: Mm hmm. So, I mean, you're talking about this a little bit right now, but how does sobriety then affect a couple's social life and activities?

[00:09:47] Sonia: Yeah, I it depends but I think that one big variable is if the other person stops drinking or wants to make some lifestyle adjustments. And if they don't and they want to [00:10:00] continue like nothing has changed, there are going to be more issues that need to be discussed and compromises that need to be made.

[00:10:08] And in my case, I didn't address them and I think it was a mistake. So although my husband at the time was not drinking, he was still able to socialize in the same way. Because he didn't have a drinking problem. So he was able to go to a bar and not be uncomfortable and he didn't understand how that was uncomfortable for me.

[00:10:26] So I think it needs more discussion and communication. And Kathleen, what do you think? How does communication in a relationship change after sobriety?

[00:10:37] Kathleen: Well, depending on when you met your partner, so much can change in a relationship after getting sober. So, for example, if you met when you were both drinking or you were drinking, your partner may not know how to communicate with you sober. And if you had been drinking before, when you were in conflict, you might actually feel more now that you're sober.

[00:10:59] [00:11:00] So. You could have had the emotions before. You could have the anger come up. Yes, it can be exacerbated obviously by drinking, but now you might actually feel the emotion more. So how do you conflict or how do you handle it when you're in conflict and sober? And conflict is completely natural in a relationship.

[00:11:18] It's completely healthy. It just depends on how you deal with the conflict. So all of the tools that we've talked about before in previous episodes definitely come into play. play and couples will often need to relearn who they are and who they are to each other. So it can seem really daunting, but it can also be amazing to reconnect with your partner in this way.

[00:11:43] Sonia: That's interesting. Yeah, that's the one thing I never thought about was how sobriety would affect. intimacy in my relationship, especially. And when I do think about it, yeah, we were mostly intimate when I was drunk. So how does sobriety affect [00:12:00] intimacy and sexual relationship?

[00:12:02] Kathleen: Well, it can go a few different directions in a few different ways. It definitely affects it. I know several people who met their partners when they were actively drinking and then when they got sober, they weren't used to feeling so much physically and they weren't as carefree. in their sexual relations and so it made sex a bit more difficult for them.

[00:12:23] Also, sometimes if you've been using, drinking, using drugs for a really long time it's, it can be completely jarring to then have sex sober. I've, you know, known several people where climaxing is also harder because they're really in their heads and, but the other side can also be true.

[00:12:42] So people may not even remember their sexual intimacy when they were drinking and then all of a sudden they're very aware of what happened and that can be, that can be amazing too. So I have heard more about where it's. jarring for them to be like, wow, I was [00:13:00] able to be more sexually free. when I was drinking and now I'm not.

[00:13:04] And so again, there's a relearning that goes with that. How does sobriety lead to personal growth for both individuals in a relationship?

[00:13:14] Sonia: Yeah, truthfully, I wouldn't know, right? So I know I was growing, I was changing for the better. I was really leaning in, to figuring out my coping mechanisms, for all types of stress, relationship stress, work stress. Um, and my partner wasn't, and I think we can agree on that.

[00:13:33] Kathleen: Yep.

[00:13:34] Sonia: I don't think he was I don't think he was really growing. and certainly not in the same direction. Let's say that growing in the

[00:13:41] Kathleen: sure.

[00:13:42] Sonia: there are a few different possibilities that can happen.either both people grow. I think either 1 person grows and 1 doesn't, or they grow in different directions.

[00:13:54] So. even though there is growth, it's not always going to strengthen the [00:14:00] relationship. It will impact the relationship, but not always improve it. So yeah, what do you think some common discoveries people make about themselves and their relationships after becoming sober?

[00:14:13] Kathleen: Well, I think sobriety can bring a clear understanding of obviously emotional triggers that contributed to substance use. And so relationships are the place where we can have the most growth and especially in sobriety, because some of the emotional triggers, some of the hardest emotional triggers might come from our partners.

[00:14:32] this understanding can include recognizing patterns of behavior, how you're coping, how certain relationship dynamics may have been influenced by drinking. So some of the discoveries are that people can really gain a deeper sense of self awareness, and they can start to understand how their actions and behaviors affected not only themselves, but also their partners and the relationship as a whole.

[00:14:55] So that can lead to. Definitely more mindful interactions with your [00:15:00] partner. So I think, there are a lot of amazing things that can come from these discoveries on the flip side, though, in some relationships. Sobriety can reveal codependency and where, a partner's behaviors and emotions are excessively tied to each other's.

[00:15:18] but recognizing this can really lead to a healthier relationship if there's awareness. So sobriety can also lead to re evaluation of one's relationships. That might mean recognizing which relationships are supportive and which are toxic and enabling. And sometimes that means that relationships may end, um, as a result. So all these things changed and you did make a lot of discoveries about yourself while you were still in your relationship.

[00:15:47] Sonia: I did. I was really happy with the changes I was making. I felt good physically, emotionally.

[00:15:53] Kathleen: And how did you deal with these changes? Like, did you deal with them individually or as a couple?

[00:15:59] Sonia: Yeah, so I [00:16:00] do think, yeah, the pandemic was sort of a pivotal point. So I was starting during the pandemic to get a lot more comfortable with the idea of sobriety and not seeing myself just as someone who didn't drink. And so I think that sort of social isolation, was really healthy for me to figure out like who I really was.

[00:16:21] As was I a sober person? Was I just somebody who was you know, being mindful about what I was putting in my body? Was it a health thing? But no, it was a sobriety thing. And so, yeah, around that time, I was finishing up a certificate in photography and taking some writing classes. And, you know, I really noticed that what was coming out in my images and writing were all either directly or indirectly related to My alcohol struggle, and so I really leaned in once I saw that theme kind of popping up over and over.

[00:16:53] I leaned in and I was like, I'm sober. And yeah, even though it was a struggle, I was, I was owning it. So [00:17:00] when we came out of the pandemic, I would say, I was really comfortable identifying, as a sober person. So as someone who had struggled with alcohol before, and then I, and I no longer drank.

[00:17:11] And so I was. ready to make some changes to how we socialized. And also, I, when we came out of the pandemic, I finished up this huge photography project, I think you remember,

[00:17:23] Kathleen: Oh, it,

[00:17:23] was amazing. You're so good.

[00:17:25] sonia_kahlon_raw-video-cfr_riverside_0077: thanks, but it had a full sobriety arc, right?

[00:17:29] Kathleen: Yes, it did.

[00:17:31] sonia_kahlon_raw-video-cfr_riverside_0077: Yeah. it explored, I had really severe anxiety and how I used alcohol, to calm it down, how I always had that feeling of not fitting in.

[00:17:41] And so, yeah, the timing is interesting. So I hung that show and maybe a week later, my husband at the time left. And looking back, I assumed, and obviously I was incorrect, that we were on the same page about my sobriety and how I was choosing to [00:18:00] share it, but we never really talked about it. And so, actually it's funny.

[00:18:05] I remember saying to you after we hung the show that he was very irritable.

[00:18:09] Kathleen: Yes, I remember that.

[00:18:11] sonia_kahlon_raw-video-cfr_riverside_0077: Yeah, and he was Just kind of picking at me. I remember and and just being like, oh, I can't believe we're doing like why blah blah And I was like, why is he so irritable about this? And and I still thought we were fine But yeah in a week later, can you imagine so that that irritability was obviously like a portent of things to come I was really shocked by him leaving and What he did was, he did make a comment, on his way out the door that, I can't socialize the way I want to, and that hurt.

[00:18:47] He said he couldn't connect with people because he couldn't drink. And, it was tough as I had never asked him to stop drinking. But, again, this is, this is a two person thing. We were lacking communication, and I had [00:19:00] assumed, Way too much. I just assumed that my partner would be happy that I was sober, right?

[00:19:07] That I was getting healthier. That I had identified a problem and fixed it. But it's not that simple.

[00:19:15] Kathleen: No, it's, it's not that simple, you know, for our listeners who are maybe in their sobriety journey, starting their sobriety journey and their partners maybe aren't or are, what are some ways that couples can find new, sober, friendly activities to enjoy together?

[00:19:33] Sonia: you have to sit down and, and talk about it. And I think you can Split your activities into like creative, like recreational, educational, family. And so for example, something I really want to do, and I always try to do, is like, let's learn a language before we go to a new country.

[00:19:51] Like not fluent, but like enough to travel. so there's so many things that you. can do that aren't centered, centered around [00:20:00] drinking, but you both have to be willing to do those things. And so I, again, I think it's just so important and just talk about things like what, what do we like to do? What do you think we would like to do together?

[00:20:11] So speaking of communication, what are some effective communication strategies for couples? Yeah,

[00:20:20] Kathleen: another one. Like I could. I'm going to literally do a two day workshop on communication strategies between couples, whether it's, whether they're sober or not, but, one of the main things is active listening and I really want to just take a moment to like, explain what active listening is, because It means listening out of curiosity, not out of, I think so many times when a couple is communicating, they're not actually listening.

[00:20:51] They're thinking about what their response is going to be next and, not giving full attention. there may be [00:21:00] interrupting that is not. I'm not at all active listening. Active listening is really getting curious and trying to understand what the other person's perspective is. And then I always suggest reflect back what you've heard to ensure you actually understand.

[00:21:14] So for sure active listening, expressing feelings honestly and respectfully. respectfully. So using I statements to express your feelings. So without blame or accusation, for example, I feel worried when you come home late instead of you always make me anxious by coming home late. So,just kind of switching how that's presented and then establishing regular check in.

[00:21:37] So setting, setting time aside to have those open, honest communications. Like we all live really busy lives. And if Sometimes if you don't set aside those regular check ins, you know, deep, meaningful communication isn't going to happen. I also think it's really important to discuss what the triggers and boundaries are.

[00:21:55] talk about your situation or the behaviors that might, might trigger [00:22:00] you to use substances. And what are the boundaries around that? And yes, I am going to give a big plug for couples therapy here. I am a couples therapist, and I rememberif you remember at the top of this podcast, I said it was like having a third person in a relationship.

[00:22:15] Well, it can also take healing in a relationship after a partner becomes sober, and it can be useful to seek the support of a couples therapist in those cases. What steps do you think a sober person can take to rebuild trust in their relationship?

[00:22:32] sonia_kahlon_raw-video-cfr_riverside_0077: so I definitely come at this from the point of view, as a recovery coach and how many people I've talked to that are getting sober, trying to get sober and what goes on in their relationships. So I think 1st, you need to know if there was trust lost and I think once that's established, you have to figure out.

[00:22:55] You know, how you take accountability and responsibility, and I'm [00:23:00] really clear on this. It's not blame, and we're not rehashing incidents. And, and this is again, where I diverge a little bit from AA and the amends step. This isn't blame. You don't have to take accountability for every single thing that has happened in the relationship.

[00:23:16] But I think hearing the person out and understanding their feelings, and it takes time. that a lot of people that I work with, the trust in the relationship is about whether they are or aren't drinking. So, typically they've hidden their drinking or done some secretive drinking. And so, that takes time, right?

[00:23:35] you have to go a period of time without drinking before people will trust you, whether it's your kids or your spouse. And I have people whose families ask them to take breathalyzer tests. Or, Show proof of attendance in meetings. They want to see their AA chip. I think That to me, the whole point, of getting sober is, is trying to make your word mean something.

[00:23:58] But if you've [00:24:00] done a lot of lying and covering up of your drinking in the past, you, you may need to compromise. it shouldn't be something that's inauthentic or demeaning. but it could even be couples therapy, for example. How can the non addicted partner cope with feelings of betrayal or hurt from past behaviors?

[00:24:17] Kathleen: again, this is like, there's a whole section of couples therapy on betrayal, right? On betrayal. Trauma and betrayal in a relationship, and definitely betrayal is a feeling that can happen due to a person's past. Addictions or past behaviors. and it's important just to recognize like everyone is different.

[00:24:40] Every couple is going to be unique, but recognizing and accepting the feelings of hurt, betrayal, anger, or sadness. There's so, so much that comes up. It's important to understand that for the non addicted partner, that these feelings are valid and they're a natural response to. The challenges that they [00:25:00] faced in their relationship, I definitely recommend prioritizing self care, prioritizing activities that nurture, their physical, emotional and mental health, open communication again, like we talked about communication that is really, important to have open and honest discussions with your partner about your feelings.

[00:25:18] And I'm a huge proponent, obviously, of individual therapy, because there can be a lot of emotions to process. sometimes they can be processed individually, and sometimes it's okay for them to be processed. Obviously, in couples therapy, when I'm seeing couples, we do a lot of processing the emotions in the presence of the other person.

[00:25:42] So I'm, I'm definitely in support of that as well. do you think that couples can prepare for and handle potential relapses or slips?

[00:25:53] sonia_kahlon_raw-video-cfr_riverside_0077: Yeah, having a partner that you can talk to and say you're struggling Is so [00:26:00] helpful and first the partner needs to be prepared to hear it and not freak out. So for example, if they're coming to you and saying they feel like having a drink, that is a good sign, not a bad sign. And so, and even sometimes I'm hesitant to do it.

[00:26:15] I did it like we have another sister in law and this weekend I did it with her. I was going through a really tough time emotionally and it's like, I feel like drinking. But, if I'm telling you I feel like drinking, I'm probably not going to drink. And I think it's really important that,people sort of take in that communication that when someone says, I really feel like drinking and really treat that with respect and not with a freak out and you know, encourage it and appreciate that the person came to you.

[00:26:46] How do you feel like, how can therapy or support groups help people and couples in navigating sobriety and are there specific therapeutic approaches that are particularly effective?

[00:26:58] Kathleen: Yeah, I'm going to be biased because [00:27:00] I do practice specific types of therapy, but therapy and couples therapy can be such a great resource to provide emotional support, practical advice and strategies for maintaining sobriety within the relationship. I use a few modalities in my practice with couples and individuals.

[00:27:20] So emotionally focused therapy is like a gold standard in couples therapy, and it's backed by a lot of empirical evidence about its effectiveness. and it can be a really powerful tool where one or both partners are dealing with sobriety. and I also, I also use acceptance and commitment therapy with individuals and couples and, that's really, we focus on mindfulness and, how we allow feelings like to, we don't push our feelings down, but we allow them, how do we live with those feelings?

[00:27:56] Um, so sometimes I will say, addiction is [00:28:00] often contraindicated for couples therapy because like what I said at the top of of the podcast, like, it's like a 3rd person in the relationship. And so there is there an active addiction going on where there's no help being sought. It can be a contradiction contraindications, right?

[00:28:16] It can be a contraindication for couples therapy. some couples therapists will definitely see people with active addiction. I definitely will. see couples where one person or both people are seeking treatment for addiction, if they're not sober already. So I will see some, a couple, if one person is seeking treatment, but if they're not, if they're not willing to address the addiction, then no, it's not, it's, they're not ready yet for couples therapy.

[00:28:46] Sonia: So what are some common challenges with, with intimacy and how can they be addressed?

[00:28:53] Kathleen: Well, 1 of the main issues is sexual desire. So sobriety can really change your libido levels and [00:29:00] substances that previously acted as like a disinhibitor are no longer present. So it can lead to decrease sexual desire and also performance anxiety. So, you know, a lot of open communication about these challenges and changes.

[00:29:16] Possibly facilitated by a therapist is really helpful in addressing that. And that can be, those can be really difficult conversations to have really difficult. rebuilding trust is another significant challenge. Um, and It requires time. It requires consistent behavior.

[00:29:34] there is also emotional vulnerability that can come with sobriety that can affect intimacy. So the absence of substances might leave the It's newly sober person feeling really exposed and that might make emotional connections more challenging. So it's also about building intimacy non sexually, like having deep conversations, shared activities that can be really, really helpful. What [00:30:00] are healthy ways to support a partner who is struggling with addiction and working towards sobriety?

[00:30:05] Sonia: Yeah, just recapping all the things we talked about,really leaning into non drinking related activities.checking in on your partner, um, the sober partner when they're in a situation that, where there is drinking, a social situation. And I think really importantly is not bringing up past incidents or

[00:30:24] sonia_kahlon_raw-video-cfr_riverside_0077: blame.

[00:30:25] Sonia: How do

[00:30:25] sonia_kahlon_raw-video-cfr_riverside_0077: you, it

[00:30:27] Sonia: is hard, it is

[00:30:27] Kathleen: Yeah. Yeah.

[00:30:29] Sonia: How can the supporting partner take care of their own emotional needs during this process?

[00:30:34] Kathleen: You know, engaging in self care activities, that really rejuvenate your mind and body really, really important. That could mean maintaining or starting hobbies and interests. To relaxation techniques like meditation. but it's really, really, really important to have your own support network and that could be friends or family or support groups because, they will not,[00:31:00] just offer emotional release, but they can really provide understanding and empathy who from people who have shared similar experiences.

[00:31:08] Setting healthy boundaries is really a key aspect of it, and that is, recognizing what your limits are and then communicating your limits in terms of providing support and ensuring that your own needs aren't being sidelined. I think individual therapy often can provide a private space to unpack those emotions, um, and also educating yourself on addiction, I think,

[00:31:32] Is a really important thing to do as well

[00:31:35] Sonia: Okay, here is a big question for you. Can sobriety bring partners closer together, which I have not seen in action, in my own life, and if so, how?

[00:31:50] Kathleen: big question Yes, because with any challenge a couple can grow closer like The, the challenge [00:32:00] as I see in my practice between couples, like people would just think there's no way a couple could overcome that. There's just no way. And I think alcohol use, substance use disorder definitely is a, it's a big challenge, but I think that absolutely a couple can grow closer.

[00:32:21] We're not. We are usually not the people we are when we first met our partner and life always has ups and downs So when you come together instead of going to your own separate corners and dealing with things on your own and becoming more distanced So when you come together, there's actually such an amazing opportunity for personal growth but then growth in your relationship and I absolutely think a relationship can be stronger Um, I absolutely think it can be stronger through sobriety.

[00:32:56] It's just how you do it.

[00:32:58] Sonia: That's very encouraging.

[00:32:59] Kathleen: So [00:33:00] what resonated with you and today's topic?

[00:33:02] Sonia: So I think what really resonated with me was something that you said about regular check ins. I know it sounds like a really simple thing, but it's really important. And so I'm actually starting to think I need to institute that in some of my other relationships. Like I'm thinking you and I, we should have a regular check in.

[00:33:23] Kathleen: We should,

[00:33:24] Sonia: should, instead of just like when something comes up that we have to address, maybe we should have a regular check in.

[00:33:31] Kathleen: yeah, that would be good. Actually.

[00:33:33] Sonia: and I actually, so I have, I have friends that are a couple and they work together, so I assume they're super close and they are. and I remember I spent the weekend with them and they said, during 1 of our check ins, I was like, what are you talking about?

[00:33:46] And yeah, they do that. I think every 2, 3, 4 weeks, they sit down andhavea state of the relationship I kind of love that idea. I think it's also a way to stay connected and yeah, I think we are all so busy and [00:34:00] then we end up just blurting out like when we're having a problem and I think maybe it would be nice to have some regular check in.

[00:34:07] So look for that email

[00:34:08] Kathleen: When is our regular check in? Okay. Okay. That's

[00:34:11] sonia_kahlon_raw-video-cfr_riverside_0077: What resonated with you?

[00:34:12] Kathleen: I really think trust resonated with me and what you were talking about, about trust and I see it come up so much in the couples that I see, but I just think it's true with sobriety. when someone's actively using, there can be such,

[00:34:30] Disintegration of trust and how to get that back is really a long, it can be a long process. so yeah, I think that really resonated with me. I think it really did. It's not, it's not like something where someone can be like, well, just get over it. it really does take time and rebuilding that trust.

[00:34:50] sonia_kahlon_raw-video-cfr_riverside_0077: Thank you for listening to sisters in sobriety. And we'll see you next week when we'll talk about dating and sobriety.

[00:34:58] ​[00:35:00]