Ever gone through something like this?
You: You’ve decided to stay in your relationship with your alcoholic/addict someone.
Your family: Doesn’t like the choice you’ve made and they’ve threatened to disown you.
Deep down you know your relationship isn’t perfect and your family has witnessed that fact over and over again. But you love this person, there’s no doubt you love them very much. He or she wants to change that’s why they’re in rehab, right?
So why can’t your family see what you see?
Well, the answer to that one is complicated for sure. And it can get even more complicated if your family has been there for you every time that your addicted love one hurt you. Maybe they’ve lost faith that he or she will ever change. Maybe they don’t want to see you get hurt again and they don’t know what else to do. Or maybe they’re worried about your kids safety, if you have any. And obviously, if abuse of any kind has been part of your relationship equation, can you really blame your family for wanting to protect you?
If you’re currently in a relationship with an addict or alcoholic and your family has made it painfully clear that they want nothing to do with you or your relationship, this post is for you.
We’ll explore three ideas that will hopefully help you deal with your family with calm, confidence and compassion.
Once you’re finished reading, I’d love to hear from you.
If you’re someone who’s family has decided to disown you because you choose to stay in a relationship with an addicted someone, what do you want your family to know?
And, on the flip side, if you’re a family member that doesn’t agree with the choice your loved one has made to stay in a relationship with an addict or alcoholic, what’s your take? What do you want your loved one to know?
Share your thoughts, insights and ideas in the comment section.
Remember your voice, experiences and insights are vital to this community. And what you have to share is not only unique but it may be exactly what someone else needs to read. And that someone could be you.
Thank you for being part of the GUC community!
Until Next Tuesday,
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P.P.S. If you know a family member or friend that’s struggling with the topic we’ve covered today, share this post with them.
#1 Communicate Your Way To Calm
You have your reasons for wanting to stay in your relationship and your family has their reasons for not accepting your choice.
But do you all understand where each other is coming from?
Have you tried to sit down with one another to not only make your case clear but to also listen and hear your family’s take on the situation?
I realize that this level of communication may be a thousand times easier said then done. Maybe you’re to the point where you could care less about what your family thinks and they could also be so set in their choice that they’re unwilling to hear you out.
It happens and it’s unfortunate but if there’s any way that you can keep the lines of communication open between you and your family, you may not all agree with one another and what you share with each other may not change anything, but at least you create the opportunity to hear each other out.
Honest communication can inspire calm in your relationship with your family. Once you understand where each other is coming from, you don’t have to agree with one another, but that seed of understanding could lead to a change of heart further down the road.
#2 Cultivate Compassion By Owning The Truth
In some cases, your family may be acting completely erratic and irrational by threatening to disown you if you stay in your relationship. It’s my opinion that if you and your partner are taking consistent action to make your relationship right and your family just won’t cut you guys a break then that’s their problem.
I mention this because although it would be wonderful to believe that all families are understanding and loving, I understand, and it’s been my experience in my own family, that this isn’t always the case.
Being related by blood or through marriage doesn’t stop some people from being assholes.
BUT, if you’ve had the experience with your family where they’ve been with you through every upset in your relationship and they’ve just reached a point where they’ve given up, well that’s a different story entirely.
For example, if you’ve been in a relationship or marriage with someone who’s been actively using for years, who’s been in and out of rehab 10 times, who never follows through with the promises they make and who really shows no initiative towards getting better even when he or she claims they’re really going to change this time – can you blame your family for losing faith? Can you blame them for saying enough is enough?
I’m not implying that threatening to disown you is a fair solution but I am asking you to consider and understand what you’re family may have been going through alongside you.
Try to be honest with yourself about what may have driven your family to the point where disowning you or refusing to be part of your life, if you continue the relationship, became their only option.
#3 Gain Confidence Through Action
Ralph Waldo Emerson once said:
“What you do speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you say.”
And this, I believe, is how you gain confidence around your choice to stick it out with your addicted loved one, if that’s your choice, even when your family disagrees.
Do less talking and take more consistent action. If your partner is serious about recovery and you’re serious about your relationship then show your commitment through the actions you both take.
You’ve probably heard it said before that, actions speak louder than words, well when it comes to your relationship what you do consistently, over time, will have more influence, over your family’s opinion, then what you say.
Unfortunately, there are no short cuts or roads that lead to instant gratification when it comes to this. But in the end, the positive actions you take and the results you and your partner reap will be undeniable.
If you really want to prove your family wrong about your relationship then build your case through your actions. And let what you and your partner do speak louder then what the two of you say.