I want to stay and be supportive, but I don’t think it’s possible with kids involved


My fiancé struggles with alcohol use disorder, and I have known since before we were engaged: I have done my best to be supportive as much as I can, because every fibre of my being has told me, “this person is so worthy and deserving of love.” We were long distance for a year and a half, and recently my two sons and I have moved states to be with him and his son. We have been more connected than ever, but unfortunately when he does drink, the fights that used to be text-battles have turned into full blown shouting matches, where he says awful things to me(that he later regrets). I know that when he apologizes the next day, he is sincere, but tonight was the second time our kids were awake to hear the blowout, and I think I have to stand my ground for their sake, and leave. I cannot have my boys growing up thinking that it’s okay to speak to a woman this way, and I don’t want them thinking it’s okay to let others treat you this way.
I think tomorrow I have to drive back to my home town, and I know the distance will make this conflict much harder to resolve, but staying in a hotel for a few nights just doesn’t seem like an option. I have a strong sense that I need to be where my support system is.

Does anyone have any similar experiences or advice? I want so badly to be here to support him through this, but I also know that I cannot fight for someone who isn’t willing to fight for themselves. Feeling completely heartbroken.

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

It is such a hard situation, to love an addict when children are involved.

My first response to you is to trust your gut. If you need support, and you have support elsewhere, go to it. Take care of yourself. You cannot take care of others if you’re not taking care of yourself, and that means reaching out for help when you need it.

My second response is that it is not impossible to raise children and have a family with someone who suffers from alcoholism or addiction. My husband is a recovering heroin addict and an amazing father to our 4 year old son. What I have learned through recovery, therapy and parenting books - our children will see us fight. That’s normal. It’s how we make up that is really important. We can’t shield them from pain or suffering, but we can show them how a married couple can have fights and arguments and still show love. I think it’s important that my son sees how a healthy relationship isn’t always perfect and how we resolve our conflict. We show love.

It sounds like he doesn’t mean what he’s saying, he’s apologizing, he loves you. I think this happens in any marriage, whether there is drug or alcohol involved or not. We all say things we don’t mean and regret later. Do your kids see him apologize? Have both of you talked to them about the issues? Have you thought about finding support for yourself and for the kids? One thing that I’ve heard from children of alcoholics in my Al-Anon groups is that they wished their mother or father, whichever parent was not an alcoholic, had had some kind of recovery program. Al-Anon also has Alateen for kids. My son is still too young but once he’s old enough to understand, we fully intend to educate him about addiction and if he’s open to it, find a therapist for him as well. We are in couples therapy and I’ve read that therapy for parents can be extremely helpful for children.

It’s definitely hard to see the fight in them when they’re in active addiction. I felt this way when my husband just wouldn’t stop using. He just kept lying and hiding and breaking my heart. But I knew that wasn’t him. I knew he didn’t want to keep killing himself, but there was so much pain in him he didn’t know how to deal with that he just kept numbing himself. He was suffering. I tried and tried but couldn’t get him to stop. I couldn’t live like that so I left to be with my support network. It wasn’t the end of us - I just needed space to take care of myself and get out of that house. He got clean during that time. There was fight in him after all. He just needed to realize his motivation to change.

I have never felt my child to be in danger with my husband. But I have also had a scare with child protective services. Unfortunately, our legal system does not always see our stories but rather, statistics, junkies, dead beat dads. And I’ve learned of the very real possibility of having my child taken from me, even though i am clean, because I am married to an addict, even if he is in recovery. The scare made me realize that when the situation goes from personal to public, more stable plans must be put into place to protect my child. And when it comes down to it, our son comes first, always.

Trust your gut. Recovery is possible. Alcoholics and addicts can have happy families too. It takes a lot of work and time and patience and perspective and open minds from everyone involved. After a whole lot of heartbreak and self discovery and recovery (on both of our parts), my husband and my son and I are a happy family. Sometimes the future scares me, but I let those feelings pass. I’m grateful for right now.

I hope you find my story helpful. Love to you. :pray:t4::sparkles:


@momentsandlight I have read this through about 10 times and I can’t stop crying, but it helps to not feel so alone. I’m not sure what is going to happen going forward, but thank you so much for sharing your story.


I get it I have a 3 year old who i do everything in my power to keep this stuff away but as a social worker I also know that even though we think the kids are t witnessing it they know…I’m on reconciliation part 3 with my partner but I also know that there wont be a part 4…I hope lol no expectations right…my support system is right here and honestly at times they aren’t very supportive they think I need my head checked…its tough with children I think part of my going back is because of my daughter because she loves her dad so and I feel guilty but after his last relapse (which involved infidelity, hands on and a dui she wasnt witness to it because she was at daycare) i also know that I have to protect her and be the parent even though it may hurt. You dont have an easy choice and what works for us may not work for you so as Alanon says take what you want and leave the rest but my own opinion is to follow your gut and mama instinct it’s not usually wrong.


@momentsandlight and @SamanthaInOntario thank you so much for your responses and for sharing.

I wanted to share a little update here in case it serves as some value to someone else sometime. :slight_smile:

The whole ordeal I posted about lasted for longer than usual–three days rather than just one. I decided not to go home for the very reason you mentioned, Samantha…

I find that family can just get to emotionally involved, and can’t approach the situation without judgement and cannot understand why you would want to stay/work things out/live like that. Instead I reached out to a trusted friend who has been through the same thing with her husband, and she gave me exactly the gentle guidance and support I needed.

When M and I did eventually talk, he took full responsibility of what happened, and has committed to going to therapy to address some of the root issues he is facing. This is a big deal, because in the past, he has not been open to any kind of support at all (or is, but only when he’s hungover, and then conveniently doesn’t have time to look into it). I’ve decided to start going to Al-Anon meetings, and I am working VERY hard on releasing expectations and control.

I don’t know if he’s going to stick to his commitment to see a therapist–he supposedly had his first session today, and said it went well, but to be honest, I’m not sure if he’s telling me the truth. What I’m focusing on is releasing control over his recovery, and focusing on my own. I know that if I can take the initiative to seek out support and change my life, he can do the same. And I also acknowledge that nothing I do or don’t do will affect his recovery–it’s 100% up to him.

I think often about what you said, @momentsandlight

This is so true. People in relationships fight, substance abuse or not, and we DO show love around our kids, and they see us apologize and make up.

Thank you both again, from the bottom of my heart. :heartbeat: