Being in a relationship with an addict is difficult. Getting out of a relationship with an addict can be even more difficult. When we move on from a difficult relationship we sometimes find ourselves looking back, not because we're nostalgic for the hard times, but because we remember the good times. When those lost relationships are family, reconnecting may be even more difficult especially when relationships ended due to the loss of trust and the inability to forgive. That said, trust and forgiveness go hand in hand. Trust is easy to lose but hard to build. When trust is lost, it is only through forgiveness that can we begin to rebuild that lost trust. When we forgive others, we forgive them for what they have done but we don't necessarily forget. If you choose to forgive and allow an individual back into your life, forgive yourself and allow yourself to be forgiven. None of us are as compassionate or as forgiving as we might want to imagine ourselves to be. You are not a saint anymore than the other is a sinner. We are all human and flawed and only through forgiveness and love can we find meaningful relationships in our lives.
Linda Strause, PhDProfessor, University of California, San DiegoCo-Founder & Vice PresidentG. Randall & Sons