When Your Loved One’s Addiction Ruins Your Summer Vacation

It’s that exciting time of year when you’re ready to enjoy the vacation you’ve been planning for months.

The bags are packed, the car is gassed up, and you are ready to hit the road.

Finally, you are relaxed. The wind is blowing as you roll down the windows and cruise to your destination.

You arrive. The hotel is nice. The pool is inviting. And you have plans to explore for the next 10 days.

And then everything changes.

The person you love disappoints you with a broken promise – a promise never to use drugs or alcohol again, especially on your family vacation.

All the problems from the past flood in and hit you at once. You remember the fights, the late nights, the tears, and the efforts to help. All to no avail.

Now, not only are you dealing with someone you love who is using drugs or alcohol again. But you are dealing with it on your summer vacation.

The question is what to do about it.

How do we handle such a disappointment at this time of year? What can we do to address these concerns?

The answer can be found in what God says to do in His Word.

“Speak the truth in love.” (Ephesians 4:15)

To address this heartbreaking situation, we are going to have to face our loved one and speak the truth. And when we speak it, we must do it in love.

But what does that mean? And how does that apply to my situation?

Let’s look at each concept individually and see how we can use the idea to help us with our loved one who has ruined our summer vacation.

Let’s begin with love.

What is love in this situation?

Love Says You Can Change.


Love never gives up. It is okay to have hope when it seems that hope is lost. Don’t give up and communicate to your loved one that you won’t. You are still there. And in spite of it all, you still believe in him or her.

Love Says I’m Still Here

It is important to communicate that the person’s sin does not separate them from you. He is still your son. She is still your daughter. He is still your husband. She is still your wife. There may be a problem in the relationship that needs to be addressed. But the relationship is still together and you are there to offer support.

Now, what is truth in this situation?

Truth Says This Is Your Responsibility

Just because we love, doesn’t mean we exclude truth or make excuses and thereby enable an addict we love. It is not your fault the person chose to ruin your vacation. It is not your inadequacy or failure. And you do not need to own that. Love the person who used the drug. But make it clear that it was that person’s own decision. The responsibility to change if on them, not on you.

Truth Says This is Unacceptable

It is not okay for someone to ruin your vacation. And it is perfectly in line for you to let them know that. Don’t feel guilty for confronting your spouse about how his or her behavior has affected the vacation for you, the kids, and the entire family. Let the person know that the situation is not excusable. It’s not acceptable. And it won’t be condoned.

Truth Says This Requires Help

We may feel embarrassed about our loved one ruining our vacation with an addiction. But we have to love the person enough, and speak enough truth to him or her, to get them the help they need. You may want to call an accountability partner or a trusted spiritual advisor who can help you and the person you love through the situation. It’s not a sign of weakness to ask for help. It is a sign that the truth is prevailing.

When someone you love ruins your summer vacation with a broken promise never to use again, something must be done. You have to speak the truth in love.

Love will help you communicate that you still believe that hope is possible and that you are still in the relationship with the person regardless of what they do.

But the truth will help you to indicate that the ruined vacation is the other person’s responsibility, it unacceptable, and requires help from other Christian believers.

Justin FranichComment