Relationship survival

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by Nessie, Sep 12, 2017.

  1. Nessie

    Nessie Member

    My son continues to be living with my parents whilst waiting to attend court for possession of controlled substances and probable intent to supply. He is complying with an out patient detox and rehab programme and does look much better then he did three weeks ago. I have had apologies as has my husband and his two sisters. I should be enjoying this 'calm' period but I feel on edge.

    He has visited several times and I find this draining. Not only am I anxious about his behaviour I also find that I have to make the effort for everyone in our family. I completely understand that he has caused us all chaos and hurt and I can understand why they do not make the the same effort but it hurts me. I know my husband would say he needs to start acting sorry and words do not mean a thing but I cannot help but think this might be our best chance of helping him.

    I am not in denial, he has done some appalling things and has hurt everyone of us. I suppose I am most upset with my husband and if I am honest I am disappointed that he will not make the effort, even if it's for me. I'm exhausted, I feel on edge when he visits but I feel unable to stop supporting him. I don't want this to damage my relationship but I need some perspective, even though I can understand husbands reasons. It seems from reading most people's stories where two parents are involved there is conflict. How do people manage this? And how do you maintain healthy relationships with other family members who have had their lives turned upside down?
  2. StillStanding

    StillStanding Active Member

    What a big question!

    My husband and I are almost never on the same page for managing my son. We've agreed to disagree. It's not healthy and I'm not recommending it but without this we probably wouldn't have survived. He's agreed to let me make the decisions but he has virtually no relationship with my son.

    Like you, I have asked him to try for me. He just doesn't have it left in him.

    Good luck.
  3. pigless in VA

    pigless in VA Well-Known Member


    I think everyone deals with this type of stressor in a different way. I think you need to allow your husband to go at his own pace. Accept that his choices may need to be different from yours. These are all consequences that happen from the poor choices your son made. You can't control how anyone else responds to your son. You are only in charge of yourself.
  4. Teriobe

    Teriobe Active Member

    It sucks
  5. Sam3

    Sam3 Active Member

    I think both you and Still in another thread are right about how boundaries can be very personal. Maybe they have to be to be able to live with them as parents, but also because each kid is different about what is enabling/diaabling to them. If seems like a number of people have cut their children off financially and gone no contact, but are still waiting for change.

    The parents here have really worked hard to learn about enabling, and to avoid it, but we also have to protect our hearts and minds.
  6. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet

    All great points. Great thread.

    Our marriage was not in a good place for some time when son was at home and doing drugs and creating chaos. You all know what that is like. Son got between us. I hated it because I've always felt that what husband and I had was really good. He still makes me laugh after 25 years and he gets me.

    I really felt like I was losing control of everything. My son, my marriage, my life. I hated it and I hated my son and eventually realized I hated the addiction for doing this to all of us.

    All I can say from my personal experience is this is such a JOURNEY. There are so many twists and turns. I can truly see how it can tear a marriage apart OR make it stronger.

    I agree, we cannot control how anyone else feels about our Difficult Child and do not even try to do that. It's not yours to control. I had to learn that and let it go.

    Even though we are still on this horrible journey, now that our son is out of our home my husband and I have been able to reconnect and our bond is so strong now that I know nothing can come between us.

    I no longer try to control how he feels about his son. I know he loves him no matter what happens as do I. He has grown so much during this experience and I have too. We really don't know what tomorrow brings and we have to live with that.
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  7. Nessie

    Nessie Member

    it gives me great hope for my marriage when I read that others have been through, going through,survived and surviving.

    Like you RN I always considered my relationship very strong but I have had recent times when I have thought we are not going to make it. I accept that how he deals with our son is up to him and maybe I have been a little selfish in that I've never really considered our experience from my husbands perspective. I confess that I sometimes feel a little envious because son behaviours and actions do not seem to affect husband as much as me. However, it isn't the case, husband just deals with things differently. The reality is that he is just as devastated and scared as I am. He probably feels he has to hold things together for me.

    I must sometimes cause my family much frustration with this whole experience. I do enable my son and I promise myself I've made boundaries only to break them when there is a new crisis. Reflecting on the last few years I am sorry to say son has always won my attention and I do not want that to continue. I have a wonderful husband and two lovely daughters and I think it's time I rejoice in this rather then I have a son who is living dangerously and breaking the law. I will never love him less but I've found it hard to see the positives recently.
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  8. Sam3

    Sam3 Active Member

    I suspected my husband too felt he needed to be the stronger one, but I realized at the end of the day that it deprived us both, to accept such roles. He couldn't even pretend for a minute that someone's "got this" -- like a wiser or stronger or more experienced soul could manage it for a while. And of course, I never got to pretend I was the manager for a minute -- that I could bring my husband some relief and take the rowing oar. So he got pretend stronger and I felt even more like a victim, when in reality I'm not. For us it was theater around something that was largely out of our control.

    Even with two whole people this is an ass kicker. It was very liberating to recapture my strength and also to feel like I could help my husband in some way, if not my son.

    And re the enabling, mom glasses are rose colored and incredibly thick! Sometimes it takes more distance and repetition to be able to see the recurring pattern. It took my mom 8 years to realize that the only consistency was that my brother would again face some intolerable life circumstance setting him back. He was not an unsolvable puzzle. He was an alcoholic.
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  9. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet


    It seems you are struggling with this. It is very difficult. I am fortunate in a way that I do not have any younger ones to worry about. He is our youngest.

    Have you thought about going to therapy for yourself? I finally did and have learned how to set healthy but loving boundaries with our son. For me. It's for him also.

    I have had several therapists commend me for my strong boundaries. I was kind of surprised actually. How can I not have these boundaries? How can I survive without them?

    I think it's just different for moms. Their hearts beat under ours for nine months. How can anyone other than another mother understand that bond? I think our husbands see their sons as men and it's just different and they want them to be tough, not soft. They don't know how to react to the behaviors. They are so very angry but they do love them. We don't have a say in how they deal with it. It's not the same as us nor should it be I think.

    I have turned over much of dealing with my son now to my husband. Man to man, so to speak. Mommy time is over. He is a man now.

    No one can treat them with what a father expects of his son, other than a father. That is very powerful too. I don't want to rob my husband or son of this very important relationship by trying to control it. I may not always agree on how my husband handles things, but I have really let this go. It's just not mine to own.
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