Can you feel happy if your loved one is struggling?


Sometimes we put our happiness on pause, when a loved one is struggling. But I wonder what we give up when we do that and if it’s possible to feel happy if your loved one is struggling?

I know for me, it took a lot of time, learning about the cyclical nature of addiction and acceptance before I could feel happy even when things were rocky with my loved one. And I’m sure it would have been even harder to hold that approach when things were extremely tough. I see the benefits of being in control of my own happiness and I wonder how you all think about and experience this predicament too!


Yes, I can feel happy even when my loved one is struggling. It’s something I have to be constantly aware of and actively work at. I have a tendency to take on other people’s emotions - whether it’s my husband, my sister, my mom, a friend. I think I take their feelings personally sometimes, like it’s my fault they’re feeling a certain way and so I need to fix it. Or maybe it’s the guilt of feeling happy when someone I care about is not. Maybe I need their happiness to validate my own. Whatever it is, I realized that I was absorbing their energy for no good reason, and it was draining. Now I have to actively tell myself that I’m worthy of happiness no matter what the people around me are feeling. And I’m capable of finding joy even when my husband is using. That has been a really difficult space to get to, but practicing gratitude daily has been a huge help!