Having kids with someone in recovery?



My partner and I have been together 2 years he’s been sober for almost a year now. He has not relapsed on alcohol but did take ephedrine and benzos for a very short perjod. I am getting to the point where I’d like to think about having kids because ill be 37 this year and my window is narrowing. Not sure when is the right time with someone who has addiction history. Need some guidance.


Great question @ayisha and I’m also interested in other member’s experiences!
My husband is 4 years into recovery and each year in he’s only gotten better and brighter. We’d love to start our own family but given what we’ve been through it definitely has put questions in our minds. I still think that it can work for us, but I don’t have blinders on about how things can be with him.
How has your thinking progressed on the matter? <3


My thinking is pretty much the same. I think I am more worried that it’ll make him relapse as lately we’ve been under more stress and he hasn’t been coping all that well. He told me today that he feels concerned about his sobriety. The issue is he has great awareness but I feel his follow through is limited. I listen and don’t judge and try not to put any pressure on him. I am finally starting to see that his journey is beyond my control. That recognition isn’t there all the time but that thought is now there where before I thought it was all on me or if I could control it all somehow. But I can’t and I don’t know what the future holds which is scary and also just the truth.

What do you think?


Well…I don’t think we ever know what will happen in a relationship, addiction or not. Perhaps with addiction history known we might even have more insight into this person!

What I do know is that the more recovery time the more healing can take place. So maybe just knowing that he’s still early in his healing timeline can help you know where he is at in his recovery. The more distance from the addiction the better! But maybe that doesn’t match with your timeline, which is another question - sending LOVE.


@ayisha This is one that only you can answer. With that in mind, I think you have your eyes wide open about the possibilities of having children with someone in recovery. I have the same thoughts, I’ve always pictured my partner and I having kids, but I’m become less attached to the idea, I’m not sure it will happen.

The thing is, like @Jane said, we can’t control what happens in any relationship. Having kids with anyone has many of the same “risks” as having kids with someone in recovery, we’re just more aware of them in our relationships. I think you have to accept that anything can happen, and that you’ll be okay and you’ll be able to handle whatever comes.

I think it’s wise to give as much time for recovery as possible, for sure. But at some point you’ll need to make the choice: have kids together, don’t have kids at all, or end the relationship and seek someone who doesn’t struggle with SUD who wants to have children. Any choice you make will be the best one for you, if you make it with conviction and keep moving forward with joy.

If you knew you would be happy either way, what would you do? Once you have that answer, do it, commit to it 100% and know that it’s the best decision you ever made. If you have that mindset, then it will be!


I am married to a recovering addict and we have a 4yo son. When we had our first son, my husband was 7 years clean. The stress of a new baby, plus he started a new job, was very hard on our marriage. He relapsed hard. We did a ton of work on our marriage and ourselves. He’s clean now. We are in a good place. And we’ve decided to start trying for another child.

It was a very hard decision to make and we talked a lot about our fears with having a second child. We are fully aware of what might happen. But we also know that we’re stronger now. We’ve been through a lot of shit and made it out alive and still together. We are resilient. And we are good parents. After all the back and forth and listing out all the possible things that could go wrong, we listened to our intuition. I remember going over all of my fears of having another child with an addict, and then asking myself, do I want to have another child with him? My entire body and soul answered YES. It all came down to trusting my gut and my intuition.

Being a parent is hard, whether you’re an addict or not. What I’ve been learning though is that a lot of what we learn in recovery can and should absolutely be applied to parenting. Seriously, the communication and empathy skills i read about in books and articles about supporting an addict pretty much align with what I read in parenting books. Believe it or not, being married to someone in recovery is making me a better parent.

Of course, every situation is different and it is up to you to trust your own gut. Just keep in mind that fears will always exist. But how much will you allow them to make your decisions for you?

Is it a mistake to have children with my recovering alcoholic husband?

Thank you so much for sharing @Karilyn it is so helpful to hear other’s experience in thinking through these decisions :slight_smile:


Thanks for sharing @momentsandlight - on the note of parenting… did you know there’s actually a really similar CRAFT style approach that has been proven to be HIGHLY effective in shaping children’s behavior away from misconduct and focuses on reinforcing their good behavior. Really similar principles to how we care for our loved one in addiction or recovery. I love that you brought this up!!


Thank you all for your wise words. I do believe that on some level as well, that we’ll be better parents because of all the hard work we’ve done. He’s not even a year into his recovery so I guess I will have to really sit with myself and see if I am willing to let go for the sake of having children. Although as you all have said there are no guarantees with anyone. Thank you all for your guidance. @momentsandlight it gives me great hope knowing you’ve been there and gone through relapse with your husband after having a child. That must have been incredibly difficult. I really appreciate you sharing your story with me.


Run. Do not do it. It’s a mistake.


Why do you say that?