What to do if Your Family Isn’t Forgiving

Addiction is often referred to as a family disease because it affects every member of an addict’s family.  When a person is in the throes of an addiction their priorities begin and end with their substance of choice.  This priority shift completely alters a family’s dynamic leaving members isolated, confused, ashamed and hurt.  Many times family members will be forced to take on roles that they are not ready for.  

While many family members can forgive an addict’s behavior after treatment, the damage caused can be a little harder to move on from for others.  It is important to understand that for many people it is hard to separate that the person you had become while using is different from the person you have learned to be in treatment.   It will take time for some relationships to completely heal but there are steps you can take to help your family members move closer to forgiveness:

Attend Family Therapy

Many treatment centers will offer therapy for the entire family.  Family therapy can be a huge part of your recovery.  By attending family therapy, family members will learn to communicate better with each other and will gain a better understanding of your addiction and the steps being made to ensure a successful recovery.   One reason family members sometimes have a hard time forgiving is they don’t completely understand the nature of addiction and feel like you would just change if you truly cared about them.  Family therapy can help loved ones gain a better understanding of your disease.

Don’t Rush Things

Rebuilding trust once it has been betrayed can take time.  Even though you may be a different person after completing a treatment program, the wounds suffered by your family while you were using are still fresh.  Continue working your recovery plan and show your family that you are getting the help you need.  Your family may have seen you “quit” multiple times and will need to see that you are committed to maintaining your sobriety.

Don’t Dwell On it

If a member of your family is not ready to forgive you yet it is important that you do not let it affect your recovery.  By exhausting yourself trying to mend a strained relationship you could open yourself up to relapse.  You have to focus on maintaining your sobriety and by doing that your loved one will see that the changes made are real and lasting.




The Lakehouse Recovery Center offers privacy, client-focused care, and more. Our belief is that treatment should teach clients how to find fun and laughter again in their life. Offering 30, 60, and 90 day programs, we help clients heal in mind, body, and spirit, while helping them find joy in life again without drugs and alcohol. Call us today for information:  877.762.3707


Messages sent through this form are confidential. Required fields are marked with (*).

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.