Joseph and Holly were suffering. After many years of sobriety, their adult daughter relapsed. Joseph made comments such as “Nothing we can do about it.” and “You can’t think about it.” but these statements didn’t feel supportive or helpful to Holly.
It may have been true that they couldn’t change stop their daughter from using again, but pointing this out didn’t feel supportive. Joseph may have coped by trying to get his own mind off the relapse, but imposing this advice on Holly wasn’t helpful.
Holly needed to vent her upset, and if Joseph was going to say anything, she wanted him to be supportive, e.g., “This is really hard.” or “I’m praying our daughter will reach out for help again.” Joseph didn’t have a clue that his initial statements came off as dismissive, but now he was clearer how to be more supportive moving forward.