What should my Relationship with my Sponsor Look Like?

In early recovery, you will be making connections with other sober people in whichever 12-step community you choose to join. One of these new relationships will be with a sponsor. A sponsor’s primary purpose is to guide you through the 12 steps of recovery as outlined by the literature followed in your 12-step community, all of which is based off of the book of Alcoholics Anonymous. Your sponsor will likely become one of your closest friends, and will certainly be a valued confidant of yours as you embark on your journey of recovery. What characteristics make up a healthy relationship between you and your sponsor?

First and most important is honest and open communication with your sponsor. It is said in the rooms of 12-step recovery that our secrets keep us sick – in other words, a thorough commitment to honesty is crucial in order for you to achieve long-term sobriety. You may have committed acts in your past which are repulsive to you now that you are sober, but you should not shy away from disclosing them to your sponsor. This is an key step in letting go of the shame and guilt you’ve been carrying because of your addiction. By maintaining complete honesty with your sponsor you will overcome feelings of guilt and shame, letting go of your past while embracing the present you find yourself in with hope and gratitude.

Equally important is to maintain an appropriate level of closeness in your relationship with your sponsor. In other words, you should not let any physical intimacy develop between you and your sponsor. This is why most 12-step recovery rooms advocate for same-sex sponsors and sponsees. For the LGBTQI+ community this rule is a bit self-defeating, so if you are a member of this community just be cautious and check your motives as you choose a sponsor. If even a small part of you is entertaining the idea of a physical relationship forming with the potential sponsor, move on to the next candidate!

A healthy relationship with your sponsor is a crucial component of your life in recovery. A sponsor should be one of the people in your life you are comfortable discussing anything with, no matter how much guilt or shame you feel about it. They are there to guide you through the 12 steps of recovery while providing advice on living as a sober person. The stronger your relationship with your sponsor, the stronger you will be in your sobriety. One day you will be blessed with enough recovery to be able to sponsor a newcomer in recovery, and the message of hope will continue to spread as it has for decades!


Evolutions is a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center located in beautiful South Florida. Our holistic approach to addiction treatment centers around addressing and healing the underlying issues at the root of addiction, rather than merely medicating symptoms away.

Our treatment program includes individual and group-based therapy to help clients understand and manage their symptoms and emotions.

If you or a loved one is suffering from addiction, alcoholism, or any co-occurring disorders please call us at (833) 818-3031 or visitwww.evolutionstreatment.com