When An Addict Makes Amends, Can The Significant Other Help In The Process

I received an email recently about an alcoholic’s significant other helping them in the process of  making direct amends to the people they have harmed. I have permission from the ‘Submitter” to publish our conversation on the site.

“My question is about the recovery process and amends. What do you say about an alcoholics/addict’s significant other determining to whom he should make amends? Isn’t this something the addict determines for himself?”

“Yes, the alcoholic/addict does determine who they will make amends to, when they will make them and how those will be made.

The spouse/significant other can certainly get involved in helping the addict make a list of all persons they’ve harmed, if invited to participate in the discovery process by the addict.

I hope this helps”

“It does help…the issue I have encountered is that the significant other doesn’t want the addict to make amends to certain people on the list because of  jealousy etc.  I just don’t see how that can help the addict…when they have identified the people on the list.”


“Twelve step programs “DISCOURAGE” making direct amends if the act of doing so may injure the addict or others. Perhaps there is the possibility of the significant other being injured in this situation?

In my opinion, the most affective amend is the demonstration of a changed lifestyle through staying clean or sober for an extended period of time.

In my experience, my mother stayed sober for over twenty years, through participating in AA and never made a direct verbal amend to me; yet, she blossomed into the most amazing mom a guy could ask for. She was a wonderful grandmother to my children and holds a perfect five start rating with me! She truly made the best type of amend anyone could desire to have made to them.”

“Perfect!!! I understand now.”

Please feel free to leave your comments on this subject of making amends below.

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2 comments to When An Addict Makes Amends, Can The Significant Other Help In The Process

  • Linda

    When an alcoholic friend makes amends to me, what do I say? I accept your amends?

  • Eileen

    ^^That’s it!!Be the living embodiment of your amends. At this point in my life I’ve heard too many apologies/requests to make amends. This step can be upsetting for the people who have been let down. Slow down. Work your program. ACT! Amends should come in time and with true growth…

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