I am really struggling with a decision I have 99% made.
I live with my ex-husband, an active alcoholic, and my young adult son, who is in recovery for substance abuse. I really need to remove myself and my son from this situation but it is not that easy for me.
Due to the problems with drugs and alcohol in the home, I have been hurt financially and my credit score has suffered. My perfect solution would be to rent a two bedroom apartment and take my son with me. I cannot do this unless someone would give us a chance.
I cannot stay in my ex-husband’s house any longer if I want to get back on my feet. I have a place I can move to this summer alone. What I am struggling with is leaving my son with the active alcoholic.
Because you are asking or questioning the idea of allowing your son to stay in the house with your ex-husband, I would say that the answer may be clearer for you than you may realize.
Although there are others more knowledgeable than I about addiction and recovery, the one thing I know that recovery and 12-step organizations stress is the need for the person in recovery to stay away from people and places that are reminders of past addictive behavior or could lead to a relapse. In light of this, it is probably best that your son not stay in the home with your ex-husband. I am certainly not negating the successes your son has already had in his recovery, or questioning his willpower to stay sober, but it’s obviously better if he is out of a house and away from a person linked with substance abuse.
I can appreciate that you are struggling financially, and that your credit score has taken some serious hits due to these problems. It sounds like you have been looking for quite some time to find a solution for both you and your son. I can’t imagine the financial struggles you are facing, and I’m sure they are adding more pressure to what is an obviously agonizing decision. But it’s also obvious that you feel that your son needs a new start as well. From what you write he’s a young adult looking to start again, and I think it’s great that you are looking out for him and wanting the best for him, which is what any parent would want.
I encourage you to stay strong and keep going. I'm sure that family and friends are strong supports for you. Your realization that allowing your son to stay with your ex-husband would be a mistake is half the battle, although honestly it’s probably the easier part of the battle. The harder part is seeking out a place to live that minimizes the possibility of relapse for your son. Yes, your financial situation puts additional pressure on you, but hold out hope that once your son comes to a point in his recovery that he can take financial responsibility, he’ll be able to contribute.
Here’s to hoping. I wish you well.
A graduate of Seton Hall University with a Master's degree in counseling, Frank Fleischman III counseled a diverse population of adolescents, adults and children while an intern at both Jersey City Medical Center and SERV Behavioral Health Systems, Inc. He also received training from the National Coalition Building Institute, which focuses on diversity and interpersonal communication. Need advice? E-mail email@example.com