What to do when your friends/family don't accept your loved one because of the addiction?


#1

So l was supposed to go to a post Halloween party tonight but my close friend who I’ve known since he was a wee lad texted me stating he and his girlfriend are not comfortable with my fiance being there so she can’t come. I understand do to past events where she’s stolen from me and did recently relapse. How do you move your friends and family to be more accepting of the your loved one and the process of recovery, it seems unfair to only accept them when everything is going great. Or maybe I should leave it at respecting their choice to exclude her.


#2

Oh shoot @Dean_Acton - that’s such a bummer! You were looking forward to his party.

I’ve thought about your question all day - trying to put myself in both you & your friends shoes. Without knowing this kind of situation personally, I think what I think :thinking: is that it’s commendable that your friend (& his girlfriend) know & hold strong to their boundaries - especially because you’re a close friend & they must know how it hurts you.

I’m wondering if you’ve had an honest conversation with your friend (maybe separate of his girlfriend…) about the addiction journey you and your fiance are currently on? It might not change his mind about having her to his house, but you both might find some greater clarity and understanding of each other’s perspectives?

Hope you guys still found something fun to do tonight! Thinking of you.


#3

Hey @Dean_Acton thanks for sharing - such a let down :frowning:

I think in some ways it’s great your friend was able to be open and honest with you. Perhaps that means there is room to discuss, outside of this event, what’s going on. It can be very hard for those who haven’t been intimate with addiction to understand. I know before my husband struggled with it I was super naive thinking addiction was something only ‘other’ people struggled with. And I certainly did not understand that it was not a choice - well it becomes that way.

I don’t think I ever had someone say outright to me something like you just experienced. But I have chosen to share less, or expose less of my husband or our relationship to some friends or at some times. Which is I guess a bit protective but a bit sad too. Especially since we know connection is the opposite of addiction and it ends up isolating us more too.

I was certainly aware some friends didn’t approve.
And I do recall once our apartment got robbed and my two roommates lost a lot of things and nothing was taken from my smaller less equipped room and one asked if I thought his friends might have been involved. Ugh. Shows you what they really thought!

Luckily video footage showed the culprits.

Anyway, I think it’s to be expected. I think we do or best to educate others and be open with them. But we also need to protect ourselves and be mindful of finding people who can support where we are at. It’s so important and healthy and helpful to keep up these connections. Maybe try have a conversation when things cool down. Set some boundaries together, test the water. And keep moving forward with what feels right.

Sorry that you had a let down this weekend - we’re working alongside you to educate just one more person at a time about the reality behind addiction.

I know I’m a bit late to jump on this thread. How have things played out so far today?


#5

Yeah I’m glad and respect him for being direct and honest about it, I do understand his point of view so I’m not really mad about it but it is just a crappy situation. @Polly that’s exactly it, I don’t want to end up shutting down that side of our lives because hiding I feel like won’t help her. It makes it difficult to connect and it just pushes the idea that addiction is something to feel ashamed of. I’ve had people accuse her of things before when things go missing, sometimes they’re wrong but there have been a couple times when they’re right. It’s tough, I understand where they’re coming from but I also want to move past this barrier so we can expand her support network by letting in people that are already part of our immediate friend group.


#4

Oh yeah, and then it’s a bit sad because it makes us start to want to not share and get into the ‘everything is fine’ mode with friends - I hate that!
When all we need is a little support. Well we got your back here @Dean_Acton


#6

Very nice to have honesty and maybe in the future a conversation about recovery as many suggested. My brother told mom (81yrs old) who told me he never wants to see my son. My son currently lives with me, hubby, and my mom. my brother doesn’t speak directly to anyone about uncomfortable issues; why he needed to say this to mom was unnecessary; yet this is how his dynamics work and always has. Having a small family, this is an uncomfortable situation yet I will invite my brother and his wife to holiday meals and other family events and the decision to attend or not is his. My brother and I are children of an alcoholic (dad). For me, It is and cannot be my judgement for others to move forward after a ugly experience of a person with an addiction. I do remind myself of this and is it’s not easy especially with a sibling to not judge. Many people are just not ready to be open, they are too hurt, or not ready to forgive. While I believe family is family right or wrong , I believe in keeping family together. I also know I am not perfect and we are all human deserving forgiveness (don’t have to forget) For me this helps as well as remembering those who hold their anger are in pain. I feel sad for those who hold onto the pain. We all have skeletons and I continue to hope others would remember their own imperfections and when they received forgiveness. Sometimes space is needed to repair the heart ache. Celebrate as you can and those who can join will celebrate with you.


#9

I like your use of “we” here @Dean_Acton! Your partnership with your fiance is something to be admired.


#7

Love this @Marie_Marie thanks for sharing what it’s like in your family and your perspective - so helpful.

It’s so easy for me to care about my loved one’s struggle and I at the same time understand why other’s can’t! This is really tough stuff <3


#8

This is beautiful & so gracious @Marie_Marie - thank you for sharing. :hugs: