Families forgive when the effort is shown to be lasting over time and the behavior is consistently spiritually motivated. Families, once destroyed by addiction, are usually better off than if the harm had never been done.
Families who stick with the addict/alcoholic and attend Al-Anon, get help for their stress and years of hurt and frustration make the path much easier for the addict/alcoholic .
Parents and spouses who try to fix the problem by themselves until they give up with hopelessness, frustration and hurt contribute to the problem, thus helping to keep their loved one from recovery. They do this unintentionally but they still do it.