Tough love doesn't mean to be tough on them, it's just tough to do

It can be hard having a loved one with substance abuse issues. Most people you ask will tell you to show them tough love. And I watch people struggling to do that because they think tough love is something it's not. It's not about being tough on them.


It's about believing in them enough to know they will have to sort things out for themselves.


It's about trusting your higher power, no matter the outcome.


Tough love is setting and defending those boundaries not for yourself, but for them in order to teach them how they can treat you.


It's about allowing their consequences with an understanding that you are not doing anything TO them, but you are doing everything FOR them.


Tough love is loving them so much, that you are willing to let them choose their own lives, their own paths, their own discoveries and knowing what an amazing person they will grow into if they allow themselves to break free of their self imposing prison.


It's about knowing you did not cause this, so you can't fix it.


Tough love is showing up for yourself, because you love yourself and you are willing to take care of yourself so that you can better take care of them WITHOUT solving their problems.


Let them be homeless, it is their choice


Let them stay in jail, they got themselves there. If you are worried about their record impeding them, it only impedes someone who lets it. Plenty of convicted felons come back with a vengeance and fight hard and become doctors, lawyers, social workers, psychologist, etc.


Let their lights get shut off, they need to go to work and pay their bills

Let them lose their cars and walk/take a bus/uber/etc

Let them get kicked out of school, they can try again later


Tough love does not mean you have to be tough on them, it means you are going to have to make decisions that are tough to do. And you are doing it FOR them.


Just because someone gets angry at you, doesn't mean you've done anything wrong. Let them be angry.

I post daily about things that will help you navigate this crazy world of substance abuse! If you want to be notified when I post, click here and Subscribe to my blog!


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Jennifer Maneely

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