Boyfriend needs help, not seeing his daughter and in jail?

by Peggy

I have a friend he has been clean for about 4 years, he had to get clean because he went to prison, for robbing to get money for drugs.

He has been to all the programs and says he is completely off everything, the problem is he left behind a little girl 7 years old. She lives with her Mom, she talks by phone with him but hasn’t seen him in 4 years. She asks when will he come home and cries. He trys to explain how long it will be. The mom won’t take her to visit him, they are divorced.

Now he gets so upset and it just tears him apart because he feels so guilty because he made a promise to himself and to his lil girl that he would never leave her. I know she doesn’t remember this but he does.

So how can I help him about him breaking his promise to her?? He says although it really hurts him, what he did, that he would never go back to using.

I just want to help him. I know he did wrong but I know you can’t keep beating yourself up over past mistakes. How can I help his little girl and him?

Thank you..

One Step at a Time

by: Ned Wicker

Dear Peggy,

People who use and develop a Substance Use Disorder will never think of the dreadful impact their choices have on those they love. It’s one of those consequences.

This is a mess. The mother says she won’t allow him to see his daughter, mainly because she understands the history and she wants to protect the little girl. Your friend, who sounds like his is painfully repentant, wants to see his daughter and rebuild that relationship.

He wants to be a good father. You don’t want to get into the middle of that.

The court might be his answer to getting visitation rights. I would think that the court could order such an arrangement. It is probably best for him to allow the court to make the call.

Trying to negotiate with his ex would likely result in old wounds being reopened, especially because of his addiction and subsequent jail time. The court is the middle man here, and so is a party to the arrangement.

You say he does not want to use anymore. This is of course a good thing, but he needs to establish a solid track record. While there are drugs in prison, being able to behave outside of the system is quite another matter.

Did he receive treatment, or was he just away from drugs for four years? Alcoholics, for example, go into prison and become “dry dunks” while they are behind bars. They get out and drink again.

Your friend needs to go to meetings, find a sponsor, work the 12 Steps and be responsible. It may take some time for him to build trust with his ex wife and earn the right to see his daughter. It’s a tragedy that he created, so he must live with the consequences of his actions. But it can be done and I hope for his sake, and for his daughter, that their relationship can be rekindled.

responding back

by: peggy

Yes, he still goes to meetings has been for 4 years now, he also has went to parent class in there, his marriage was over before he went to prison and before he ever used any drugs, she wanted out.

I’m not going to get in middle of when or how he will ever get to see his child, I just listen that’s all..but the question I have is he feels so much remorse over breaking a promise that he would never leave his child?

I’m just trying to find out what I could say to help him deal with that?

Thank you

Keep Being a Friend

by: Ned Wicker

Dear Peggy,

The remorse can be the worst of all the consequences of a failed marriage, drug use and prison time. He can’t take any of the mistakes back again and every day he is reminded of the pain he has inflicted in his daughter, himself and his family. They say time heals a broken heart, but I do not agree.

The 12 Step recovery process is designed to deal with these consequences. Working through that process, he will have a methodology for rebuilding his relationships. You can be a source of encouragement and support.

You can’t do it for him, and I sense that you would if you could. Your boyfriend needs to look forward and not dwell on the past. His sins are many and he has suffered the consequences, but he can only deal with what is ahead and take steps to position himself to be a good father.

You are not going to save him. I know that sounds rather odd, but so often a significant other thinks they can rescue the one they love. You aren’t going to change him, but you can influence him to change for the better by being there and being a steadying force. You can’t fix his relationships with his ex-wife and daughter, but you can help him take care of his own business and eliminate any excuses.

Regrets and recriminations poison the soul. You and your boyfriend are dearly loved of God, so why not turn to God for his help and guidance. Your boyfriend can sweep his own porch and allow God to clean up the rest of the mess. You can be a good friend and help keep the process on track.

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