My husband is 6 months in recovery. This summer we plan to go on a trip and invited our child’s best friend to come along. They are both 17 years old. The other night at dinner I shared my story with the best friends mom. I told her how far my husband has come, and how proud I am of him, and shared the initial shock of walking in to find him od-ing. She was sympathetic and a good listener. The next morning, she called me and said she and her husband have decided that their child will likely not be joining us on our vacation due to ‘red flags’ and that while she supports our family, she has to consider her child’s safety first. They are worried that my husband would relapse, and ‘what if’ their child had to see that. Initially I was extremely upset but tried to remain calm and explain that it was an unintended od, that he had never used in front of the kids, that this was a hidden issue for years and even I didn’t know what was happening. If our kids were younger, I could understand more her concern, but they’re almost adults, and where we are going is with the entire family (non-addicts!) and not only that but why should something that happened 6 months ago be a reason to make this decision? If he was in recovery from cancer would they make that decision? They want to go out to dinner to ‘see’ how my husband is in person, before making a final decision on whether their daughter can go with us this summer or not. I’m feeling extremely judged and angry, yet want to keep the peace so that there’s still a chance our daughters can have a fun week of vacation. Is it worth it to cater to their uneducated judginess? Or should I say screw you and let the pieces fall where they may (which would involve two very upset and pissed off teenagers).
@wren - I feel this. I’ve felt judged in the same way by my husband’s own family. While I can understand where they’re coming from - losing trust, wanting to keep their own kids safe, not fully understanding the struggle of addiction - it also pisses me off that they can so easily judge a person based on what they think they know about addiction, what they’ve seen on TV, and behaviors they’ve witnessed from my husband in the very little time they’ve spent with him. It’s why I’ve learned to be very careful with who I’m open with about my husband’s recovery. While some people say they’re supportive, they only want to do so from a distance, which is really not the kind of support that truly makes a difference.
My only advice to you is be true to yourself, and for your husband to be true to himself. Your family deserves connection in safe spaces where you’re free to be vulnerable and support each other. You can’t control their decision, and you’ll be okay either way.
I just realized you posted this a couple of weeks ago. Did you go to the dinner? How was it, and how are things today?
Thank you for your response. I realize it’s been so long since I’ve checked back in. My husband hit a year sober last month and our lives have changed so much for the better. It’s pretty amazing the person he’s becoming. We did end up going on vacation and the girls had a great time, although I have since distanced myself from that family, because I feel like they will be forever judg-y…. I’m OK with this decision. I realize life is too short to worry about what other people think, but also definitely more careful with whom I share our story with. Thank you so much for your response. It was so helpful.
@wren - I’m so glad you checked back in with an update. That is amazing to hear that your husband is over a year sober and doing well. Your story of hope can help give strength to others in the same situation. And being able to let go of other people’s judgments is incredibly difficult and strong. You’ve set a boundary that will protect you and your family and help you move forward. Thank you for sharing!
I do not want to upset anyone over my responder to your post about your daughters friend . But, I can see her point, the girl’s mother, maybe consider she may be having problems with her own daughter and drugs. But she has a valid point. Even though you say your husband does not use around the children? If he was an addict then that statement can not be true. He may not use in front of them, or let them see it, but he’s an addict, or was. But I understand why you feel judged, and it’s not you that they are judging I believe. Look at it from a mother’s view and not the wife of a recovering addict, you may see it different. I’m sure your husband would never endanger his or any child and I’m glad he’s doing well. I’m just putting my ideal of what I read. Don’t be angry with me, personally I would have probably went over and socked her after that call, , but I’m not you. God bless