How can i support my husbands recovery with a three small children?

by Marley
(CA)

My husband is recovering from alcohol and meth. He is currently taking Ativan, Zoloft and attending therapy. He starts meeting two days a week for four hours each with a class that helps emotionally dependent addicts. He's also been diagnosed with depression and anxiety.

I harbor a tremendous amount of resentment toward him. He decided to share with me the strength of his addiction about ten days before our son arrived. I find his choice brave and am proud of him for quitting so abruptly. He's doing it for his health and for our family which is why I'm overwhelmingly conflicted.

The week following our sons birth, I spent a night with my sibling and their family, two nights in a hotel and three nights with my sister. I've been striving to help my older boys, 4 and 9, deal with the behavior of their dad. Behavior I don't tolerate from my children. Now, I feel as though I have to lie to them, bribe them, and be super happy mom so their dads behavior is less noticeable. But I'm failing.

Tonight, my nine year old asked if we can stay with my sister for a while longer but won't tell me exactly why. My husband sleeps all day and does nothing to participate in the daily family routines.

I gather from what I've read that I'm selfish in my expectations of him. Not having him take me to the hospital, or participating in the pregnancy (ie drs appts, amnio, ultrasounds, etc), not being in the delivery room, not wanting us home after because he had a cold, not visiting, not even WANTING to be at any of those and trying to act like none of that matters is hard enough to get over. How do I help and support him with a two week old and two other kids who aren't blind to the fact that there's something more going on then just daddy being sick?

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You're facing very hard choices.
by: Debbie Wicker

Dear Marley,

Wow it sounds like you really have your hands full. To kids and an infant would be hard for anyone but also trying to be supportive of a recovering addict sounds almost impossible.

Your kids likely know much more than you realize so I believe honesty is the best policy. But don't tell them things that they haven't asked.

I would like to recommend that you start going to your own meetings at Al-anon to learn how to deal with everything you're trying to deal with.

Al-anon meetings allow us to get support from people who have been where we're at. You need answers to dealing with your situation but also dealing with your emotions about your husband's past behavior. Al-anon is a GREAT place for you to get that support.

Trust is re-earned one day at a time at a time. You are going to have very mixed emotions until your husband re-earns your trust over the next year, of being supportive and staying clean. Please try not to be too hard on yourself as you both work through this process.

Debbie

Husband Support
by: Thomas

From my experience any decision surrounding substance use disorders and family matters should come from those that are directly affected. We have tendencies to get opinions on topics that we already know what we should do. Instinctively a mother's first concern should be her off springs.

If we had to rely only on our instincts, there would be no questions. We would follow our instincts. When any situation become this confusing, then something's definitely not right. What is it that you want to do ?

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