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5 Ways to Deal with Unsupportive Family Members

Having a family that supports you during your tough moments is crucial in recovery. These people give you emotional support, try to make you happier, help you get through a bad day, and fight the addiction together with you.

Unfortunately, there are many addicts that don’t have the support of their family. Coping with addiction within a family can be difficult on any member. Spouses feel cheated, children feel abandoned, parents feel guilty and angry. Everyone in the family suffers and making peace later is never an easy thing to do.

The realization that our family is not supportive during our recovery is hard to take on. It’s important to remember that there are ways to deal with it and move on. Under no circumstances should you put your addiction recovery at risk. Below, you’ll find some useful tips that will help you cope with unsupportive family members in a time when you might be feeling lost and gloomy.


The first step is to understand. Understand that your unsupportive family doesn’t understand the horrors of addiction. They haven’t experienced this life-threatening disease and haven’t gone through the same mindset changes as you. At the same time, understand that you have created distrust into your family that they might not be prepared to help you with your recovery. Know that they are suffering as well and make peace with this reality.

Avoid any fights

Keep in mind that arguing won’t solve anything. This is a type of destructive communication that will lead to you feeling more guilty, frustrated, and sad. Be relaxed and speak calmly to your family. Make a conversation instead of initiating a fight. Remind them that their support would mean the world to you. If they still decide to not support you on your new journey to sobriety, avoiding a confrontational battle would be for the best. Even if you’re the best persuader in the world, people can still be strongly tied to their own beliefs. Accept their decision and take the time to step away and keep your cool.

Distance yourself

You’ll need the courage to take bold actions. An unsupportive family sometimes means distancing yourself from them. If you constantly feel frustrated, less motivated, and less hopeful about your future after having a conversation with your family members, it might be a smart move to take a step back and insulate yurself. Your path to obtaining long-term sobriety must be number the one priority on your list and making difficult decisions like this one is essential.

Form positive friendships

Choose your friends wisely and surround yourself with people that come with good intentions. Gradually distance yourself from negativity and embrace positivity. Surround yourself with people who understand what you’re going through, have experienced similar difficulties in their lives, and who are like-minded. Positive friends are those who will support your goals and help you with your battle. If you engulf yourself in positivity, the right people will come your way.

Forming friendships, especially sober friends, is essential during recovery. With the help of these supportive friends, your battle will become less lonely and more meaningful. Strive to connect with supportive people in order to find the positive reinforcement you need to function optimally in society.

Make amends and make peace

The most important step in the twelve-step recovery is number eight that states: “Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all”.

It’s important for your long-term sobriety to make peace with your family. Apologizing for all the wrongdoings and harm you’ve caused to your family is the most important step towards your well-being. Although it might take time, patience, and courage, this step is crucial. Be patient, honest, and calm with your family so that they can begin to trust you again. Identify the wrongs of your past so that you can repair the damage you’ve done. Then, make a plan for creating healthy relationships moving forward.

For more information please call this Toll Free 24/7 Addiction Treatment Helpline at (844) 439-4765. This is a completely confidential call. If you have health insurance it may cover up to 100% of the treatment cost. So please call now!

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