Family Wellness

How to Forgive a Loved One in Addiction Recovery

August 5th, 2016
How to Forgive a Loved One in Addiction Recovery

The first Sunday in August marks International Forgiveness Day, a day when people all over the world are encouraged to finally let go of any resentment, hate, or anger that they have been holding on to. If you are an individual who has been affected by the addiction epidemic, it can be a perfect day to finally get rid of any ill will that you may still have towards your loved one who is now in recovery.

It will not be easy, but forgiving your loved one for any damage, hurt, and trauma they caused during active addiction will be a step in the right direction for your own well-being. You will finally be able to move forward with your life and your own recovery.

Taking the steps towards forgiveness

Even though your loved one may have progressed significantly in their recovery, you may, understandably, still feel the need to tread lightly when it comes to reconciliation. Here are a few tips to help make the process a little easier:

  • You should start by making a genuine effort to forgive so that you may put your own health first — now that your loved one is in addiction recovery.
  • Learn about the disease of addiction to help you understand its characteristics and have the ability to separate it from your loved one.
  • Forgiveness doesn’t mean that you should forget about all of the pain that you have experienced with your loved one when they were in active addiction. Instead, you are choosing to learn from the whole experience so that you both can have a stronger, healthier future.
  • Pent up anger should be let go, as it is so harmful to both your emotional and physical well-being. If taken, this step can also make the biggest positive impact on your relationship with your loved one in recovery.
  • Give it time, as the relationship with your loved one in recovery will not be restored overnight. Healing is a process, and it is important that you don’t rush it or force it. If you have gone through significant trauma due to your loved one’s addiction, it’s completely fine to forgive them from afar if you must. This may even be the best solution for the both of you for the time being. Your forgiveness will still be greatly beneficial whether your loved one is cognizant of it or not. And if you both are willing to move forward for a stronger future together, it will happen naturally.

Leaving the past out of your future

Before taking the necessary steps to forgive, some individuals wait for their loved one in addiction recovery to apologize first for all the trauma they caused while in addiction. Although he or she will feel guilty at some point for all the turmoil their active addiction caused — if they are in a healthy recovery — you shouldn’t wait for this to happen to move forward. Truly letting go of the past will allow you to move towards a new life filled with an abundance of peace and serenity.

As you begin your journey to forgiveness, it is important that you remember that this whole process is really about you addressing your own needs so that you will gain the freedom to start living a healthy life once again.


If your loved one is struggling with alcoholism or drug addiction, we are here to help. Reach out to Mountainside by calling 888 833 4676.