Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Why Are Boundaries Important When Supporting a Loved One In Recovery From Addiction?



As a loved one supporting someone with addiction through their recovery, you are going to hear about boundaries a lot. You might be wondering why boundaries are so important. Boundaries help you as well as your loved one establish emotional independence while creating respect and balance in relationships.


Boundaries draw the line between you and your loved one

Without boundaries it becomes difficult to distinguish where you end and your loved one begins. Enabling their behaviors, giving into their manipulations, tolerating more than you should from them, you are an open book in whom they are writing the story. Boundaries help you to take back control of your life and define who you want to be in your relationship with an addicted loved one.

Boundaries help you identify toxic behaviors early on

When you set boundaries, you are signaling that you are unwilling to tolerate certain behaviors, often toxic ones. Just because you set boundaries doesn’t mean people will not act in their toxic ways. Sitting behind your boundaries, you are able to identify the toxic behaviors ahead of time. You can see the toxicity develop when someone starts acting negatively. They might not be aware of how harmful their behaviors are. You have learned to identify them ahead of time so that you can remain strong in your boundaries. Most importantly, you abstain from participating in the toxic behaviors yourself.

Boundaries keep relationships healthy and functional

Addiction thrives in chaos and dysfunction. Trying to create drama and dysfunction after someone has set boundaries isn’t uncommon for addicts and alcoholics. They need the dysfunction to feel safe and give their brain a reason to crave drugs and alcohol. Boundaries are your refusal to give into the drama and dysfunction. Instead, you are committed to maintaining your healthy boundaries in order to maintain some order and functionality in your relationship. Boundaries allow you to keep your relationships healthy by giving each person the space they deserve to be themselves, as they deserve to be.


Cottonwood Tucson offers a family program unlike most others offered by residential treatment programs. A full five days of programming provides family members with the education they need to understand addiction, the therapy they need to connect with their loved ones, and the group processing they need to let them know they are not alone. For information on our residential treatment programs for addiction, call us today at (800) 877-4520.

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