Working Through Resentments as a Family

It is only natural for resentments to fester and grow while active addiction exists in your family and your home. As the addict regresses into an almost childlike state of helplessness the burden on their family expands, sowing the seeds of resentment as you see no alternative to giving in to the user’s demands. These resentments do not evaporate once your loved one admits defeat and accepts help for their substance abuse disorder - they need to be given a voice and processed in a healthy way so you can move forward in your relationships with each other as a family.

Resentments form when we accept the violation of our boundaries rather than defending them, sacrificing our serenity and our integrity. Biting your tongue instead of standing your ground is a slippery slope, as this quickly becomes normal behavior for you as the addict in your life pushes you as far as they can in order to further their substance abuse. Within the family unit, this pattern of pushing the limits spreads like a virus, as others in the home feel entitled to disrespect boundaries now that theirs have been disregarded. Soon everyone is on tenterhooks with each other, as just below the surface lurks unspoken rage festering and growing with each passing day.

Now that the destructive behavior of substance abuse has ended, these resentments need to be dealt with and alleviated in order for the family to heal and move forward as a unit. It may be tempting to vent all this repressed frustration in the form of a verbal outburst at the addict in your life, expressing all the anger and emotions you’ve been shoving down for so long. However, this would be counterproductive and could trigger your loved one to return to drugs or alcohol to cope with this outburst directed at them. Instead, you should enlist the help of a professional therapist and engage in family therapy sessions in order to process and address these unresolved feelings in a productive manner. If a therapist is not an option for your family, at the very least seek the advice of a seasoned member of Al-Anon as to how you should proceed.

Resentments are poison in the family unit, stifling growth and inhibiting the healing process for you, your family, and the addict attempting sobriety. Due to their potential to kill any attempt at recovery for your loved one, you should seek to process and work through these resentments as soon as possible. Professional help is best in this situation - At Evolutions, we understand the delicate nature of this process and have incorporated family therapy into our treatment offerings for our clients. If your loved one is ready to make a change and attempt sobriety, call our Admissions Counselors today at 833-818-3031 so we may help the addict and their family recover from the terrible disease of addiction.


Evolutions is a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center located in beautiful South Florida. Our holistic approach to addiction treatment centers around addressing and healing the underlying issues at the root of addiction, rather than merely medicating symptoms away.

Our treatment program includes individual and group-based therapy to help clients understand and manage their symptoms and emotions.

If you or a loved one is suffering from addiction, alcoholism, or any co-occurring disorders please call us at (833) 818-3031 or visit