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How to Forgive an Addict

Addiction can lead to physical health problems and poor mental health, but it isn’t just the addict who suffers.

Often drugs and alcohol can lead an addict to negative behaviors that can result in strained relationships, broken trust, and lost connections. When this occurs, it’s their loved ones who often suffer and struggle to move forward.

Why Forgiving an Addict Helps You

"And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses."- Mark 11:25 

"If he sins against you seven times in the day, and turns to you seven times, saying, 'repent,' you must forgive him."- Luke 17:4

It can free you and help you move forward with your life. Without forgiveness, we become resentful and let the past wrongdoings of others dictate how we live our lives. According to Mark 11:25, we should practice forgiveness with others so that merciful God can forgive us for our own wrongdoings. Luke 17:4 also tells us that there is no limit to forgiveness, an important reminder for loved ones of addicts who may have been hurt on several occasions.

Tips on How to Forgive An Addict

Even if your loved one has completed Christian residential addiction treatment and is now in recovery, you may find that you are still struggling to forgive them. This is normal, but do not let grudges hold you back from living your life. Follow these tips on how to forgive an addict spouse, friend, sibling, cousin, or coworker so that you can focus on yourself.

1. Focus on Your Future

Having someone close to you who is an addict can be a challenge. You care about them, so at times you may have put their needs above your own. In order to forgive them for their wrongdoings against you, you will need to focus more on how you can be happier moving forward and less on what they did wrong.

2. Remember, Forgiveness Takes Time

When someone hurts you deeply or betrays your trust, it is unrealistic to think that you can forgive them in an instant. Forgives is a process that can take time as you heal from these wounds. Even if your loved one is now sober, you may find that you have yet to forgive them fully. Give yourself time to heal.

3. Pray

If you are struggling to forgive, you are not alone. Forgiveness can be difficult, so turning to God during this time may give you the strength you need. Pray to Him for help in this process so that you can move forward with your life.

4. Lower Your Expectations

It may be unrealistic to believe that someone who hurt you multiple times will never do it again. If the addict is still a part of your life, it may be better to lower your expectations. You may never get an apology, and you will have to become okay with that.

5. Separate Yourself

If someone is hurting you or is only a source of toxicity in your life, it may be time to separate yourself from them. Once you do separate yourself, they will no longer be able to hurt you; you can begin to distance yourself from the pain that they already caused you. This may be the only way that you are finally able to forgive them and focus on your own life. If your loved one does complete a drug detox and treatment program, you can reconsider.

6. Get Professional Help

It is natural to struggle with forgiving an addict, but not doing so can breed resentment and be a weight on your shoulders. If you are struggling to move forward, it may be time to talk to a professional about your problems with your addicted loved one. They will be best suited to help you move past the wrongdoings and focus on creating a brighter future for yourself.

At our Christian-based treatment center, we understand that watching your loved one struggle with addiction is hard. If your loved one is an addict, we may be able to help.

Call us today at 888-280-4763 to learn more about Faith in Recovery and how we help people move past their addictions.