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Am I promoting addiction by always forgiving?

Discussion in 'Helping an Addicted Loved One' started by pineywood, Apr 7, 2015.

  1. kjonesm1

    kjonesm1 Community Champion

    I completely cut all ties and have never been happier. My situation was much worse because we were married so I couldn't just choose to not answer the phone. I was stuck in an abusive , unhappy and unproductive marriage for 7 years.

    If it were my child it would absolutely KILL me, but I would have to cut ties. I refuse to enable an alcoholic and/or make myself a victim again.
    pineywood likes this.
  2. Charli

    Charli Community Champion

    I think tough love doesn't necessarily have to be done carelessly so I am not against it. If the person knows what he or she is doing and they are able to maintain as much control of the situation as they can then it's okay to be tough once in a while. I am only against it in cases where people just do it out of desperation and without much planning and research.
    Pafpartner and pineywood like this.
  3. Jovi

    Jovi Member

    I've learned that there is no one to be blamed but the abuser. The care that you give to an abuser still has its limit. Love constrains you to care but love also reveals to you when you can no longer help.
    pineywood likes this.
  4. JoshPosh

    JoshPosh Community Champion

    It's easy for me to say, to just shut the door after several times of relapse. You might think that you are enabling. But human emotion and connection goes deeper then what is seen on the surface. I can't really answer this one. You have to weigh your own personal needs and that of your loved ones. You don't want to give up on them at the same time in a sense you are enabling them. I can't answer this one.
    pineywood likes this.
  5. pineywood

    pineywood Community Champion

    If the shoe were on the other foot... exactly!

    Blame, such a tricky emotion. Really, is there blame on either end? Does blame even have any benefits?

    Right! It is so true, it is a personal decision!
  6. amethyst

    amethyst Community Champion

    You have to remember that you are not responsible for the behavior of those around you. All you can do is give what you are capable of giving, without getting drained. If you have a great reservoir of energy and love to give, by all means give it. It will come back to you in many unexpected ways. But if you feel like others are sucking you dry, and you're just moving in the same old circle, by all means, step out of the circle. It will be an enlightening experience, not just for yourself but also for the person/s involved.
  7. kassie1234

    kassie1234 Community Champion

    I think in situations like this, tough love has to win least in situations I've experienced. Sometimes you just have to tell someone that you love them so much that it is seriously killing YOU to see them do this sort of thing to themselves. That you want to be there for them, but they need to step up to the plate themselves and understand that change is only going to happen when they are ready and willing to do so themselves. In saying that though, no one approach to helping a loved one through something like this is foolproof - it would be nice if there was a one size fits all approach but that's not the case.
  8. aimeep80

    aimeep80 Senior Contributor

    When you love someone it is hard to just cut contact with them. I don't think that is a good thing to do anyway because being supportive is helpful to them. BUT I also know that you can love them without giving in to their manipulation as well. If the addicted person asks for money and/or for you to purchase their substance and you agree, then that is enabling them. Telling them no you will not and not arguing with them is what you have to do.

    Forgiving a person and answering their phone call is not promoting their addiction as long as you do not enable them. I know that there are so many questions when you deal with a loved one who has an addiction, and the best thing to do is to just love them but hate their addiction. I know hate is a strong word but I firmly do HATE addiction. It is evil and it ruins so many people and their families. I wish nothing but the best for you and whomever your loved one is that is struggling. Take care of yourself!
  9. Matthodge1

    Matthodge1 Community Champion

    Amen to that! That is probably one of the best posts I have ever seen on this forum.
  10. katherine25

    katherine25 Senior Contributor

    Forgiving is comforting however I find that it doesn't help the situation. If the person you love is addicted to drugs and you always forgive them and assure them that its okay they may never give it up because they know you will never leave or turn your back on them. I don't know how else to respond to the situation as making them feel scared that you will walk away from them might not help the situation either, in some cases it makes them turn to drugs even more. Its a very complicate situation depending on the person. I don't think this is much help but like I said it all depends on the personality of the person you are dealing with and only you would know them best.
  11. Tremmie

    Tremmie Community Champion

    I think it really depends on the addiction we are dealing with, I will use my fiance as an example. Let's say he says he will stop smoking, he tries, he succeeds but then relapses again. I can't just cut him out of my life or ignore him, since well it's just smoking. That doesn't mean I will receive him with open arms if he comes weeping after his relapse. I'd make it clear he needs to keep trying, if he stops trying we might have a problem right there.

    Now if we are talking about an addiction to coke, meth or heroin. Nope, not letting those people into my life. They better put their stuff together, because there is no way I'd tolerate that!
    kassie1234 likes this.
  12. irishrose

    irishrose Community Champion

    Sometimes you need to protect yourself and your family, and walking away may be the only way to do it. If a loved one with an addiction could potentially do harm (even unintentionally), you are allowed to set boundaries to protect yourself and your family. If those boundaries are crossed, you can decide what the consequences will be, whether it's walking away for now or walking away for good. Unfortunately, sometimes (not always) people need to experience rock bottom before they realize they need help.
  13. L_B

    L_B Community Champion

    This sure hits home for me. For a long time I tolerated it and every time I forgave him he figured it was okay and the behaviour kept getting worse and worse. I wish now that I had never accepted this behaviour from in. I wonder if I been tough right from the start if things would be better today. I have a big heart and I have a hard time being tough and he knows that. He knew he could take advantage of that and he did. Sometimes I wish that I never allowed myself to love him. When I seen the signs I should have walked about then but deep down I think my love was enough for him to change. In reality my love had nothing to do with it. Booze always comes first. Our relationship comes after.
    Mary310 likes this.
  14. AnDaughtery

    AnDaughtery Member

    I'm following this feed because I to feel the same way as far as hindering someone trying to recover by forgiving. It is a hard choice to make and I struggle with it everyday.. I often wonder if I should just say enough but then I feel like I'm giving up on them and that I feel wouldn't help the situation in any way.
  15. This is a tricky thing to determine. While forgiveness is always a good thing, it can be a bad thing to forgive so easily. Especially to someone who doesn't understand that forgiveness isn't an excuse to do the same thing over and over again. So keep forgiving, but make sure they know what they did wrong and that it's not okay.
  16. dream01maker

    dream01maker Member

    Its ok to forgive. When we love Someone that's what we do! But to a certain extent you also wanna let them know its not OKAY what their doing, but you forgive them because you love them. I feel if you kept saying it's okay, they will assume they can continue their habits and it'll always be ok. Does that make sense?
  17. GettingBetter

    GettingBetter Senior Contributor

    As someone who has dealt with addicts as well as my own addictions… I think it is completely 100% up to you. It doesn't sound like you are promoting this person's problem to me, do they rely on you for their money and housing?

    Either way… In my opinion you need to worry first about your OWN limits and then decide where to go from there. How much effort and time you give to the addict depends on how much of your own resources you have to give, if that makes sense? Just take care of yourself first then try to love your person as best as you imperfectly can. :)
  18. xTinx

    xTinx Community Champion

    Simply forgiving without any subsequent action to help the person change for the better is tantamount to condoning. Your goal should be to help the person recover and not just to extend your forgiveness.
  19. myia714

    myia714 Member

    In my opinion forgiving can be a very effective way of showing someone you stand by them. That doesn't mean forget it either. The only way it could be a negative thing is if the person co depends on you. They expect you to forgive them and only your opinion matters. It's always good to forgive but detach. Meaning don't always let the person depend on you. Forgiving is just a gentle way of reassuring someone your with them, but do not let them depend only on you.
  20. kgord

    kgord Community Champion

    It is tough to know what to do in certain life situaitons and where to draw the line with an addicted person is one of them. I think you have to search your heart to find out what is the rigtht course of action and act accordingly. it is just one of the things that you may need to understand when you are looking for help in terms of the addiction itself, and your relationship to the addicted person.