Utah Family Therapy

You Can Tighten or Loosen the Compulsive Grip

“I don’t want you, but I need you… I want to leave you, don’t want to stay here, don’t want to spend another day here… I want to split now. I can’t quit now, you really got a hold on me.” — Smokey Robinson, You Really Got a Hold on Me

When we have a loved one who deals with compulsive behavior, the above language typically reflects the internal conflict they’re going through. They are battling within themselves on a daily basis, sometimes on an hourly basis. No matter how badly they want to quit and leave their compulsion behind, there are times when that grip is tighter than we realize. The compulsion, regardless of what it may be, has a hold over our loved ones that we cannot ignore. We need to be able to empathize with our spouse or loved one during this war they are waging within.

While we may not think it fair how tight the grip is, we must also realize that our loved ones are trying their hardest to let go and overcome their compulsion. They do not want to spend another day in that mindset or situation because they know what damage it does to the family. They find themselves returning to their compulsion because of the grip it has over them. We must be able to show our compassion during this time of recovery. It is when our loved ones are most vulnerable we need to be the most understanding.

Are They Trying?

We can not imagine what it is like dealing with a compulsion unless we have dealt with one ourselves. Yes, at times it may be hard to believe our spouse and loved ones when they say that they are trying or that they are working harder than ever to overcome their turmoil. Showing frustration to your spouse or loved one when they relapse is tightening the hold of the compulsion. Show compassion, love, and understanding, you are loosening the grasp of the compulsion and tightening the grip of empowerment.

Helping a Loved-one with Compulsions

“Once I thought my innocence was gone, Now I know that happiness goes on that’s where you found me, When you put your arms around me I haven’t been there for the longest time.”

– Billy Joel, The Longest Time

When you make a mistake, regardless of how big or small it is, that part of our essence is lost. That innocence and cannot be restored. During this time you feel like you have failed; no longer worthy of the love of your spouse or loved ones. This could not be further from the truth!

It is during the reparative process that you are most ready and in need of love, compassion, and support.   This support from loved ones can empower you to move forward in your pursuit of happiness. Knowing that loved ones are willing to take this journey with you, can make a world of difference.

Dealing with Compulsion or Addiction

Speaking to the loved ones, when your friend or family are dealing with an addiction or compulsion; this is the best time for you to show love and compassion. Yet, we understand that this might be the toughest time to demonstrate this love.

It is essential to understand that this kind gesture of loving and not casting judgment can help heal in ways that are beyond measure. It is after this love is displayed when a natural healing process is can be made stronger through familial bonds. Through this healing process, hope begins to grow and flourish!

It is never too late to begin the process of healing or to show compassion; sometimes all it takes is a hug. When you let them know that you are standing by their side throughout the healing process, healing happens quicker.

Not only will this help your spouse or loved ones throughout their healing, but it allows you to begin the healing process as well.

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Lets face it, who likes to talk about their crap with other people? 

If you’re like most clients, you’re used to being judged despite hearing so many people talk about non judgment and when you do open up, it seems like the more you share, the less likely you are to get compassion. 

We’ve worked our butts off to create a clinic where the unfiltered, real you, can show up and heal, so dammit give therapy a chance

We love the unfiltered real you, let’s heal together. – Utah Family Therapy Team