My son who is over 18 has been using many substances for years. I think he needs to go inpatient, but my husband disagrees and has sent our son to outpatient treatment many times (he has relapsed a lot). I don’t want the conflict in our relationship and the way we view my son’s addiction to negatively impact our son’s recovery. How do I get on the same page with my husband so we can get the best help for our son? And is there a “best option”?
So glad you put this question on the board. My fiance has different ideas than I and this is the only source of tension! We are blissful and joyous until discussion starts about my 28 year son. My finance has past experiences with his “x-wife” being an addict so he brings lots of emotion and some good information. I am sensitive in feeling judged or probed with endless questions. We decided a counselor for couples would help bring our communication together, learn some tips and be more aware of our tone and how we communicate to better understand each other. We all bring our emotions to the front in this situation. We can be highly charged which doesn’t help in listening or communicating very well. We are still negotiating how this works for us. We know the value of our relationship is super duper important! Both of us want to be sure we move forward with the best we can offer each other.
Addiction is such a stressful experience that it is natural to feel tension, especially when it is your son. If you feel you are both stuck in different places, it would help to talk to someone who has a background in substance abuse to dig deeper. You both want your son to recover, and you both love him deeply. My husband and I visited a substance abuse counselor for a while to understand the limits of what we could achieve, and what our son’s responsibility was in this process.
In my opinion, you should prioritize your relationship with your husband in the sense that this disagreement should not overshadow a good marriage. You are limited in helping your son find recovery - he has to take the important steps on his own.
It’s important to consider what your son wants and is willing to do, and why. For instance, my son has been resistant to in-patient rehab because there appears to be no medication-assisted option going that route.
Hugs from a fellow mom.
You didnt mention his drug(s) of choice. This is important when it comes to the type of treatment that would be most helpful. However, I’m sure by now he has had an assessment or maybe two. That assessment is the indicator of what type of treatment your son needs at this point. Teens can be a little more difficult to assess but if it’s been going on a long time then a reputable center should have a good idea of his needs. Beyond that, the decision is up to your son. You and your husband can encourage him to follow their advice and be supportive of his decision. Beyond that, protect your marriage. The two of you being united will be helpful to him in the long run.
All the best going forward.
It sounds like counseling has been vital to protecting your marriage when navigating disagreements surrounding your child’s treatment. (Thank you for sharing @Julie_Smith, @Marie_Marie, and @Zanette!)
Any insight re: types of counseling (or even preparation for counseling) that might be helpful to other couples?
When I looked for counseling, I prefer Licensed social worker counseling (LCSW) and cognitive behavioral therapy focus. I look also for those with experience in addiction which is not always easy to find in categories of health care providers with benefits. Meet with different counselors till you find one you like—this takes a bit of time sometimes to get a good fit.