Their Addiction Is Not Your Fault

Their Addiction Is Not Your Fault

If your child is suffering from addiction, I have a very important message for you: It’s not your fault. Your child’s addiction isn’t your fault in any way. You did nothing to cause their addiction.

Listen to the podcast episode here:

Read the episode transcript here:

This episode is extra special. I just finished writing a program for parents who have children that are addicted to drugs and alcohol. 

After months and months of research, I think Love Over Addiction For Parents is some of our best work. So today, we will be dedicated to talking to all the moms and dads who have children suffering from addiction. 

First, I want to acknowledge something important. 

You’re in an extra painful spot. 

I’ve led enough small groups to know that you compare yourselves to the husbands and wives. And you may think they have it so much easier than you do because they can just leave. 

And I also know this is true: for most women in our community, who have a partner suffering from addiction, their greatest fear is that their children will follow in their parent’s footsteps. They fear their children will become addicts, just like their father or mother.  

So with that being said, I also want to share two things that you need to hear: Number one, this is not your fault. 

Their addiction is not your fault.

You didn’t cause them to drink or use drugs even if they had a tough childhood. 

Many kids heal from their pain and never go down the path of addiction. Will there be things that you look back on and say, “Gosh, I could’ve done that better.”? I am sure of it. 

You were not a perfect parent, but who is? What Mom or Dad can’t look back all of the years of parenting and think, “I could have made a better choice with my child and that situation.” 

And frankly, in many situations, any parent who’s home is not an occasional shit-show is faking it. And sorry for the swearing there, but it’s true. 

We all have war stories from our childhood.

We all have war stories from our childhood, but at a certain age, those childhood traumas need to stop becoming excuses.

In fact, just like last week, I was at a conference, and a therapist called me out. And you guys, it was in front of a large group of people. She called me out for coming to the event with a closed-minded attitude, and to be truthful, she was right. 

She said I was closed off because I was protecting myself from the possibility of embracing success and the love of the other women around me. 

Then if that wasn’t embarrassing enough, another woman chimed in and said, I did this because I didn’t feel safe growing up. 

She said, “This kind of protective behavior worked for you in the past, Michelle, when you were a child and also worked for you when you were married to an addict, but you’re 42 now, and it no longer serves you.” 

And you know I dish out a lot of loving truths in our community and to the people around me. So I’ve always had the attitude that if I can dish it out, I definitely need to be able to take it. 

And I was grateful that they called me on it.

I was uncomfortable, but I was grateful because I received it with love, and it absolutely changed my perspective. The rest of the conference was great.

I felt grounded and rooted. 

So how does this pertain to you? It means you’re never too old to take responsibility for your life. 

It’s never too late to take responsibility for your own life.

And just because you learned behavior in your childhood to help you survive doesn’t mean it serves you when you’re an adult. 

So that son or daughter who’s blaming you for their addiction and they’re saying their childhood was so difficult that drugs and alcohol became the only way to cope? 

I don’t want you to fall for it.

Okay? You’re smarter than that. 

They’re now a grown-up human being, and there are meetings and therapists and rehabs for people of all ages. 

If they wanted to get better, if they wanted to get sober, they could. They’ve been blaming you for their addiction because you’ve been willing to take the blame, but no more. 


Today is the day that you get to give it back to them. You empower them when you place the responsibility of getting better back on their shoulders. And you’ll feel a thousand pounds lighter when you remove it from yours. 

Remove the burden, because it’s not your fault.

We’re going to talk about the second thing you need to hear next week. So take some time to process what you just heard: It’s not your fault. Listen to it a couple of times. 

Parents who listen to this are looking for answers, and they’re unwilling to just sit in their pain. Those are the parents who lead happy and healthy lives, regardless of if the one they love gets sober or not. 

Now I know it feels impossible, but just consider the idea that if you keep learning specific, no-nonsense ways to help yourself, that you’re actually giving your child the best chance of recovery. 

Keep learning and when you are ready, put the new tools into practice. 

I’ve met many, many parents who have a healthy and happy life and marriage despite their child’s addiction. 

It can be done, and I am so grateful that you found us to help you. We are here with you every step of the way.

What is the reason for addiction?

There are countless scientific studies behind what causes addiction. The primary cause for addiction is someone’s genetics. External factors can also exist, like childhood trauma.

What is the root cause of addiction?

Usually the root cause of addiction is the desire to feel better. The person may have deep, traumatic wounds. They may have the inability or lack of coping skills.

Is addiction a disease?

Addiction is defined as a disease by most medical associations, which includes the American Medical Association and the American Society of Addiction Medicine. Just like diabetes, cancer and heart disease, addiction is caused by a combination of behavioral, environmental and biological factors.

In this community, we refer to addiction as a disease.

What are the main causes of drug abuse?

Many factors can impact drug abuse including family history (genetic predisposition), mental health disorder, peer pressure, lack of family involvement, early use, and/or taking a highly addictive substance.

Michelle Anderson

Michelle Anderson

Michelle Anderson has over 10 years of personal experience with loving someone who suffers from addiction. She was married to a good man who suffered from addiction to alcohol, illegal drugs, and pornography. She's used her experience to create powerful resources for women in the same circumstance. Using her own personal experience, combined with years of research and studying, she presents ideas, tips, and tools on how to handle this disease, and take care of yourself, and your family.

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