Caring for a family member who is struggling with or recovering from substance abuse can be quite a challenge. While spouses, siblings, and parents may all have the best interest for their loved one in mind, a lack of communication and differing opinions can often lead to heated disputes. Determining how to best care for a family member without conflict is never easy, but the right tools can make a tremendous difference in ensuring that your loved one gets the help they need while maintaining peace between family members.
What Causes Family Conflict?
Every recovering addict and their family has a unique set of circumstances. Because of this, family disputes could arise over virtually anything, especially when things get stressful. Usually, however, fights ensue over three common issues:
- Finances: If family members are helping foot the bill for treatment, living expenses, or other necessities the person in recovery may need, arguments over money will likely occur. This is especially true if one person is paying more than another or someone feels like they are sacrificing more than someone else.
- Burden of Care: Family members who are doing the most to help their recovering loved one rebuild their life often feel resentful toward the others who may not be contributing as much. On the other hand, individuals who aren’t capable of helping more may feel guilty for not being there for their family in a time of crisis.
- Difference of Opinion: It’s especially common for family members to not see eye-to-eye on how they should help the individual who is struggling, often resulting in emotionally-charged disagreements.
How Can Your Family Improve Interactions?
When it comes to helping a loved one overcome their addiction, it’s important that family members behave logically. While this can be particularly challenging during such tumultuous times, taking the time to create a plan and make decisions intentionally can ensure that things go as smoothly as possible. Here are some tips to help you stay on track.
Establish roles and responsibilities based on each person’s capabilities. Set up family meetings when everyone can check-in and discuss how things are going. Then, make a plan to move forward.
Express yourself. If you’re feeling discouraged or overwhelmed, speak up.
Focus on the End Goal
When a fight is in the making, remember that you’re all on the same team. At the end of the day, you each share a common goal: the person in trouble to overcome their addiction. If you begin to feel combative, take a step back, breathe, and remember that you’re all in this together.
Take Care of Yourself
You can’t help someone else if you’re struggling yourself. Take the time to recharge and stay well by regularly practicing self-care.
When you need help, say so!
Treat Your Recovering Family Member With Respect
You may feel like you can’t trust your recovering loved one to make any decisions for themselves. However, remember that it is their life that you are trying to improve.
No matter what problem presents itself, always treat your loved one with respect. Overcoming addiction is no easy feat. They may have gotten themselves into a bad situation, but they still deserve compassion.
Bring in a Professional When Necessary
If your family cannot reach an agreement about how to move forward with getting your loved one the help they need, it may be time to bring in an objective third party. A therapist can help you see everything more clearly, and hopefully assist you in finding a solution quickly.
Learn More About Handling Conflict Over a Recovering Family Member
Helping someone recover from alcohol or drug addiction is something no family ever hopes they have to experience. Fortunately, it’s not an event you have to navigate alone. The experienced team at Fairwinds Treatment Center is here to assist your family in establishing the most effective treatment plan to help your loved one recover from their addiction as quickly as possible. Contact us today to learn more about our progressive approach to helping your loved one overcome substance abuse and how we can help your family heal.