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Married 30 Years To An Alcoholic And Dealing With A Homeless Addicted Adult Son

by Judy
(Arkansas)



I'm not sure how to say all this but it boils down to 30 years with an alcoholic and being a mother to a drug addict for 20 years and both always needing me to take care of things. I love them both so very much it breaks my heart.

I am an older woman of 60 years now and I am not as strong as I use to be mentally to keep dealing with this. Neither of them will seek help and I have tried and tried to keep things safe. I pray to God for wisdom and strength daily!


First, my husband is an alcoholic. He says he is a functioning alcoholic because he works.. The last year or so he has been getting up first thing in the morning getting a rum and coke (his favorite drink). He always drinks when he is home.

He does not hit me but has verbally demeaned me for years and says he was just joking or I was being too sensitive, when I say something about it!

My son is almost 40 now and is homeless. He keeps coming to my door hungry ,no clothes but what he has on his back etc. When he is sober he is the man we all love but he doesn't stay sober.

We have tried and tried everything I know to do, from helping him to tough love. I have had to go so far as get a temporary restraining order because of his psychotic behavior last year. While the restraining order was on, he was doing better on his own with a job and apartment, then after 3 months he started doing meth again, lost his job and down to nothing..

When there are troubles with them both here I have had to call the law on many occasions to have my son removed from the property. My husband refuses to do anything except tell me he has to go! Then he will say horrible things to me like, “You just need to put him out of his misery.” I have finally stood up and told him THAT IS MY SON you are talking about!

There is so very much more, but it would take a book to tell you. I guess I am at my last mile because of another episode last night. My son came to my door messed up again! He refused to leave and I tried for hours to get him to go but he has nowhere to go so he stays and makes me feel guilty!

My husband came home and does what the does...gets a drink and goes to his room for me to deal with it. I told my husband last night for the first time he will have to make the call but it ended up me having to make the call because my son got a knife and my husband got it from him.

I now cry uncontrollably at times and I’m losing interest of doing anything to the point my daughters are worried and my sister is worried about me. Maybe I do have to do something but I don't want to leave my home and be a burden on someone else.

What to do, what to do! I tell them I am fine and try to not worry them but they know me too well.





Response from Dr. DeFoore

Hello Judy, and thanks for telling your story here. It’s clear that your focus needs to be on yourself. I know how difficult this is, in a marriage, and with the types of problems that your son is having. It is still the only healthy course of action for you.

Your husband’s alcoholism, and your son’s addictions are entirely up to them to resolve. And they may choose not to. You are left with the question of, how do you live with this? And I would add the question of, how do you take care of yourself when you’re in relationships with people who are addicted.

Believe me, you’re not alone with this problem. I encourage you to attend an ALANON meeting, and see if that is beneficial to you. Those meetings are designed specifically to help people in situations like yours. You might also consider seeking some counseling for yourself.

Your health and happiness, your personal needs, have to become your top priority. If you don’t take care of yourself, Judy, no one else can or will.

Specifically regarding your relationship with your son, it sounds like you have made some very good efforts. I think you just need to be consistent, with the tough love approach. From what you’ve written here, it sounds like your son has done best when he’s had no contact with you at all. You need to no longer be a resource of any kind to him. As harsh as this sounds, I think you understand, when you look at the history of your relationship and his behavior.

Read this page on dealing with adult children, for more help with this subject.

You can do this, Judy. Believe in yourself, and make up your mind that you are going to create a healthy and happy life for yourself.

My very best to you,

Dr. DeFoore

P.S. If you got something of value here, we would also greatly appreciate it if you would click the "Like" button at the top left corner of this page.

Comments for Married 30 Years To An Alcoholic And Dealing With A Homeless Addicted Adult Son

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Nov 14, 2013
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Hard to believe
by: Judy

Hard to believe,
I have said "No" on many occassions but he doesn't care what I say. He just won't leave and will beat on my door. I have called the law and went as far as getting a temporary order of protection.
I said "no" three times last year for my son to live here, but my husband let him in anyways. Told me we need to give him another chance over and over again.
I am at my breaking point as to what to do or not do! I feel dread and anxiety at the prospect my son will be back at my door anytime and I will again have to deal with all of it again....

Nov 14, 2013
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Thank you
by: Judy

Thank you Dr. and Sheryl.
I have made the decision to make myself healthier by refusing to accept their decisions as my own. I also realize I can't make them stop but I don't have to be around it! I am not finiancially able to move out on my own and I'm not sure I could get a job these days. I retired from my paying job several years ago and haven't worked outside of the home for years.
I did move into another bedroom last year and so I have my own space, which I paint in.. I read my Bible and have a lot of faith that God has this! It is very difficult when I am faced with my son coming here and bringing his drama to me too! Like I said, I have tried talking but to no avail!
I guess the next big challenge is going to be when he comes back to my door and I don't let him in. ( I hate that! I always think we are suppose to feed the hungry and help the needy, and if we don't help our own family what kind of person are we!) I think I am angry because they keep bringing their stuff to me.
I appreciate your comments and I guess I am not the only one who has went thru this kind of thing for years! I keep wondering what I am missing ( something I am suppose to learn or do) for this to keep happening?

Nov 13, 2013
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Hard to believe.
by: Anonymous

It is so hard to believe that one woman has to deal with so much anguish watching her family struggle with addiction, but I agree with the Dr.
Judy you have to think for yourself now. They have been doing this for a long time, and they have to want to change. You can only work on you!
listen to what the Dr said, your son is making choices and he had to live with it. You don't have to live with it...keep your door closed! 40 is old enough to be on his own A mom won't say no, really?. That kind of thinking will keep him coming back. Every time you let him come inside, he wins again. Stay strong, I'll be praying for you.

Nov 13, 2013
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Been there...done that...
by: ForestNana

Judy,
I so understand where you are. I grew up in an alcoholic family and our son also had drinking problems. That kind of enviroment makes YOU sick. Not only do these family members suck you dry but they also have a great way of making YOU feel somehow responsible. ALL of that is their choice AND your choice to change for YOU.
I watched my mother live through the same things you are living with with your husband. It's only through the grace of God that none of their children turned into the same guilt ridden alcoholics! In retrospect, this is what I would have helped my mom do: leave.....She had a job and there are LOTS of programs that would have helped her live alone so that she could have healed and learn how to live healthy.
IF you don't feel you can leave (at least temporarily)then PLEASE follow the Dr.'s advise and find support groups...not only Alanon, AA and/or a church but also a group that supports abused women...which YOU are.
Praying for you Judy. I know you feel alone but you are not. Blessings...Sheryl

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