How do you handle feeling judged about loving someone with addiction?



When someone recommends we detach, look after ourselves, or get out! It can feel like a judgement on us. How do you handle this?


This is such a tough one. I have a hard time talking to people about my situation because everybody seems to tell me “this is such an easy answer, just leave him”. They don’t understand that the irrational, mean, and awful behaviors stem from their addiction and not the person they are. Anytime I feel judgement from anyone about my situation with my addicted loved one, I do two things:

  1. Tell them “Thank you for your suggestion, but it is my decision.”
  2. Remember that person and their response and be sure to not talk to them about it next time.

How to deal with feeling judged for my husband’s addiction?

Thanks for sharing @Selfcare31 :slight_smile: makes me feel less alone in it! <3
Do you ever try to help them understand?


@Jane Yes absolutely! I will try to gently guide them towards what I know and what I believe is true. If they don’t agree, then I just smile, say okay then, and move on to another conversation. Much easier said than done though.

The last time I had this conversation was with my boyfriend’s mom who told me I was just a codependent, weak woman who needs to just leave her son alone. That was very hard to hear. I told her what I know - that it’s important to celebrate little victories even if it feels like they have failed, that it’s important to love them and have positive communication especially through relapses, etc. But she sees addiction as very black and white and “one size fits all” so it’s hard for her to accept anything I tell her especially since she had a bad experience with her ex-husband (alcoholic and cocaine addict).

Nobody ever said recovery was easy - it affects every aspect of your life. But communities like this give me so much hope. :slight_smile:


Ugh. I can not stand talk about codependency. Sorry that came at you <3

I love what you shared with her. Little by little we’ll get through to everyone :slight_smile:

I told her what I know - that it’s important to celebrate little victories even if it feels like they have failed, that it’s important to love them and have positive communication especially through relapses, etc.


@Jane and all other villagers:
“ See our community share about feeling judged and maybe you’ll weigh in with your experience too?”

I can’t believe this topic came up today. I’m still in shock, as well as furious, from what I learned last night. It’s complicated, and I’m going to try to simplify this.
My mom just told me that she received an email from my adult granddaughter. The email stated that I had been supplying my son ( her father) with the drugs he was using. This gossip is clearly going around the small, judgmental town where most of my son’s ex wife’s family and kids live. This town is about a 1.5 hour drive from us.
When my son moved in with us, as the divorce was taking place, he came with his prescription Vicodin. The small town allows the teens to drink beer and wine coolers, so his family frequently attended or gave parties where everybody 16 and over helped themselves to beer.
My son changed doctors to one close by. He continued prescribing Vicodin. After several months of my son “losing” some of his pills, and coming up short by the end of the month, I confronted him. I had no idea about being addicted while under the care of a doctor. I just assumed that he was in pain and taking too many. He admitted that he was. We agreed that I would give him his daily supply each morning, and I thought the problem resolved. Of course, the problem progressed, we were fighting because he wanted more pills each day and I refused, and then his alcohol use increased. It took a DUI and him getting fired for me to face that if he was going to get help, I had to do it.
His girlfriend at the time and I convinced him to go to a treatment center to detox. She wanted him to go to live with her once he was out. His kids wanted him to live in sober living in their town. To be honest, it would have been easier for me if he had chosen one of those. When he asked to come home instead, I said yes, but set the boundary that he could live at home as long as he didn’t drink alcohol or use prescription drugs. He has remained sober and clean for over 3 months. His girlfriend ghosted him, since he didn’t want to move in with her. She told his kids I had been giving him drugs.
The truth is, I had to fight to make sure he would not be able to get more drugs. I even called his doctors office, several times, because I got no response when I informed them he was in a treatment center to detox, and he could not have any more prescriptions. Then the office person got snippy after I kept insisting that the Doctor at least acknowledge the information I was giving them. She said they couldn’t discuss their clients. I agreed. I said I wasn’t asking for a discussion. I wanted them to understand that my son had become addicted to both prescription drugs and alcohol. She said that they would have to hear that from their patient. I told her that if a prescription was written for my son from their office, I would be reporting it to the police, the treatment center, and my lawyer would be involved. Then I called the pharmacy where we get our prescriptions filled. I explained all of this to them, gave the same threat, and they flagged his account.
To be accused of providing him with drugs was unfair, unjust, but had a tiny flavor of truth, because I handed out his prescription to him each day. But none of them will listen to the truth. ( my mom knows the truth and knew it before.) I am outraged! I want vindication. I want to be commended for taking him for help and worrying and crying and fighting this every day and instead they have the audacity to point the finger at me. They now have blocked me from being able to communicate.
That’s my story about being judged and convicted by family.


Just saw this now, @Alair. So sorry that you’re going through this, on top of everything else.

I have had multiple arguments with my husband’s family - in my own head. We’ve disagreed and seen things differently and even had some heated discussions around my husband’s addiction. And I often found myself continuing these discussions with myself! Coming up with responses to them and yelling at them in my head while I’m driving, or in the shower, or just spacing out. And then I’ll realize what I’m doing and have to bring myself back to reality, because having arguments in my head is just not healthy.

Not really sure where I was going with all that except to say - family makes it complicated when they all have different views of how things should be handled. And I’ve had to learn that in addition to letting go of control with my husband, I have to let go of control of what others are thinking or doing or saying. I can’t make them think or act a certain way any more than I can make my husband recover the way I want him to. All I can do is stay in my own lane.

Just know that you have a Village here who has your back, who knows your truth, and who supports you no matter what. You’re not alone, you and your son are doing great, and that’s all that matters.


Thank you! I needed both the validation and the reminder that my lane is where I belong, and we are fine here!
I absolutely recognize the arguing in my head part- which increases my blood pressure and anxiety and does nothing to resolve the situation. So, deep breath, and back to my own lane. Thank heavens for the Village to keep me breathing!


I am sorry, Alair. I want to commend you for taking your son for help and worrying and crying and fighting this fight every day.

You know you’ve done a great job with your son. Your communication between each other is what matters.

Knowing how people judge, especially family, it is so hurtful. On the positive side it helps us withstand judging others and teaches us to wait and see how the information develops before we plow into someone with our thoughts, feelings, and edicts.

But one clarification to the post, you’re not convicted. The truth has set you free. You are a fine person, keep on keeping on. :sunglasses:


I am an adult child of addicts. I’ve dated them. I’m in this group because my best friend, the mother of my lil taytor tot is in active addiction.

Our feelings aside the behaviour of our loved ones towards us can be abusive. No matter where it’s coming from. I do detach but with connection. I love my best friend. And when people tell me to take her to court I get so mad. I’m all she has that has any faith in her. But also what she’s doing hurts. Not just me but our kiddo. Those folks aren’t in this situation. They don’t know how conflicting all of it is. They don’t know that I am so afraid of getting a call that she gone. I’m scared for her. The other folks see us. They don’t see our people. They only see how we are effected. Not the love and hope we try to bring. They are trying to do what we are. I try to remind myself they care but lack the understanding.


People will often say whatever comes to mind with little understanding about the true situation. Stay light so you can jump up and float over it. I know you’re sad ,Roe, but you can just take care of you and Miss T.