Written By The Magdalen House Family Support Group Committee

Do you love an alcoholic? Whether you’re a spouse, best friend, mother, son, etc. we know how it feels to be in your shoes. We are a community of and for friends, loved ones, and family members of alcoholics to learn about alcoholism, understand how to support an alcoholic, and experience an improved quality of life, regardless of our alcoholic loved one’s recovery.

Alcoholism is a disease that directly impacts at least 17 people around a single alcoholic – and this includes loved ones, family members, friends, employers, coworkers, recovered alcoholics, and more. If this is you, you are not alone. We are a group of volunteers who have struggled with our loved ones’ alcoholism and found hope and healing.

You are welcome to join us for our Virtual Family Support Group meeting any Wednesday at 6:30 pm (Central Time) and text or call any of our committee members, anytime. You can find all the information about both on our page: magdalenhouse.org/family

Frequently Asked Questions About Family Support

  • What would you tell the family member or friend who has an alcoholic loved one who is seeking help (at The Magdalen House or elsewhere)?
  • What would you tell the family member or friend who has an alcoholic loved one that isn’t interested in getting help?
  • How has Family Support impacted your life?
  • What can I expect from a Family Support meeting?
  • What would you tell the family member or friend who has an alcoholic loved one that relapsed?
  • Can I be an alcoholic and also attend Family Support?

What would you tell the family member or friend who has an alcoholic loved one who is seeking help (at The Magdalen House or elsewhere)?

I would tell them that their family member is in good hands at The Magdalen House! They will be introduced to recovered women who have a solution that works. The family members should attend our Family Support meeting at 6:30 every Wednesday so they can learn how they can help themselves and their loved ones. God is in control! – Lauren, Daughter of an alcoholic/addict, Wife of an alcoholic/addict

What would you tell the family member or friend who has an alcoholic loved one that isn’t interested in getting help?

We understand and have all been exactly where you are. I did not feel like I was the one that needed help; after all, I did not have a drinking problem. However, when I did go to meetings, I found fellowship with others that had not only been where I was, they were willing to guide me.  They inspired me to be more understanding and loving toward my alcoholic and to be ok whether she was drinking or not. – Laurie, Wife and partner of a recovered alcoholic

How has Family Support impacted your life?

The honest conversations shared and constructive guidance I receive from Family Support serves to calm my anxieties and give me hope.  It is an invaluable part of my week, as I feel supported by a caring community who understands what it’s like to be in my shoes. It is a true blessing for someone who, prior to Family Support, felt so alone. It is with gratitude and joy that I return each week. – Judy, Mother of an alcoholic daughter

What can I expect from a Family Support meeting? 

We meet for one hour in mutual support of family members and friends to better understand their loved one’s disease. Generally, Family Support will begin with a short opening and introductions. We welcome newcomers at the start of the meeting, and the remainder of the time, we break out into individual groups. These groups focus on the disease of alcoholism, relapse, what to expect once your loved one leaves Maggie’s, the 12-Step program, what is a sponsor, etc.

We attempt to answer any questions families and friends have concerning their loved one’s disease and its impacts on their lives. Lastly, group announcements are made, and the participants share stories of experience, strength, and hope. – Deborah, Mother of an addict son, Family member of alcoholics/addicts

What would you tell the family member or friend who has an alcoholic loved one that relapsed?

When your loved one relapses, as family members and friends, we may initially feel frustration, anger, and disappointment. We in Family Support have personally experienced how addiction and alcoholism can impact relationships with family and friends, resulting in fear, disfunction, resentment, and isolation.

However, after learning that alcoholism is a disease, we know it is not just a lack of self-control and willpower.  For that reason, it may be harmful to rescue our loved ones from the consequences of their relapse.  Suffering consequences, according to the chapter “To Wives,” in Alcoholics Anonymous, “can open up a path which leads to the discovery of God.” We place the relapse in God’s hands, and He will show us how to have a changed attitude toward our loved one.  Patience, tolerance, understanding, and love are healthy responses to their relapse.

Express confidence in them achieving long term sobriety.  Remember, recovery is in God’s timing, not ours.  Responding in healthy ways and being happy whether our loved one is drinking or not, may lessen the guilt and shame our loved one feels about harming their relationship with us.  We don’t have the depth and weight to help them stop drinking, but we can help other family members.  Our painful past may be of value to those still struggling.  And that gives us purpose.  As God works through us, we can help others.  – Diane, Mother of an alcoholic daughter

Can I be an alcoholic and also attend Family Support? 

Absolutely! In Family Support, I find new ways of supporting my wife and loved ones suffering from alcoholism. I have met lifelong friends in the meetings that genuinely want to be helpful and who actually care for my wife and me. – Floyd, Husband of an alcoholic

ARE YOU A LOVED ONE OF AN ALCOHOLIC?

We know some people that you might want to meet.

Maggie’s Family Support