Many want to know why addiction tears families apart, and it’s a good question. How can one person’s choices destroy everyone else’s lives? Especially people who are supposed to love and care about each other?
In order to understand the profound effect that addiction has on families, you have to first know the many reasons why addiction can chip away at a rock solid group:
- Everyone in the family is hurt. You’re all hurt. Hurt by the choices that your loved one has made. Hurt by the way that he has changed, and frustrated that substances or alcohol seem to be all that matters to your loved one these days. None of you understand why, but you all have that ache in your heart. You would think that pain would be uniting, but it often causes us to withdrawal into ourselves and away from others.
- The whole family has a different idea of what to do. Whether it’s a desire to cut the person battling addiction out of the family, or it’s a desire to try to encourage the addicted family member to seek help, this is one of the biggest reasons why addiction tears families apart. Passions are ignited, feelings are already raw, and arguments over how to deal ultimately ensue. Eventually, family members simply stop arguing and stop caring about the other members of the family.
- The addicted loved one works her magic, too. In other words, a person battling addiction is very good at manipulation, and if you have a loved one battling an addiction, you probably know how it is to try to help your loved one and hide that help from your spouse. Your loved one battling an addiction knows exactly who will help – and who will not.
- You simply get tired. Addiction is something that needs to be overcome by each person who has struggled with it. If you’re getting tired of dealing with it, you might think that the best thing to do is move out and move on, and you may be right. Nobody wants to leave, but sometimes, it’s the only thing there is to do to keep a person feeling sane and happy.
Ultimately, there are many reasons why addiction tears families apart, and no one reason is to blame. Usually, it’s the effects of the person’s addiction, and the way it hits the whole family that will determine how well a family maintains despite their loved one battling an addiction.