How do I choose my husband over my adult addict daughter?



At age 32 my daughter became addicted to heroin Her addiction started about 9 months ago Since then she has gone from being a Resident Care Coordinator of a 38 bed facility to living in her car and racking up multiple misdemeanors and 2 felony charges. Her boyfriend is her supplier and they have a very volatile relationship. My husband wants me to make my daughter stay away but I don’t know how to do that. This is my daughter from a previous marriage.

How do you handle watching your loved one not step up to responsibilities and opportunities?

I think you both should see a counselor, preferably who specializes in substance abuse, to talk about what to do and how to be able to communicate about an emotional situation. Since your husband is not her father, it makes it all the more complicated. As her mom, you should not have to choose one relationship and abandon the other- but if there are negative consequences and chaos in your life and your husband’s because of her drug use, you need to decide on compassionate boundaries to keep you from getting sucked into the crazy. Sending you love, and keep the faith alive that your daughter will find her way out of this.


Good question and I get how you feel. My son is 28 years old. He was the argument with x hubby. We didn’t really argue about much else. My son knew his step dad as his Dad. His biological Dad died in his 13th year. He is an only child with no one else but me as a family. My son was the one main thing we really fought about; LUTTS of arguments. Being a mom we bring something different and it’s the hardest thing to “tough love” our child. Counseling is a good way to go to help communicate with heightened emotions. Many times when I have difficulty with an issue, I pretend I’m the one across the table listening to me. And wow, how would I respond to me! Honestly I would be honest blunt friend to myself and realize that yes, anyone would have a difficult time talking with me in very close personal high emotion topics. A counselor helps to break down issues and helps us listen. I did have to kick my son out after trying many different tuf luv tactics. Taking the stand of holding to my boundaries eventually felt okay. He was just months ago prior to recovery - homeless and sleeping in his car. I love my son yet my fiancé is the one who will be my partner. My partner and our relationship comes first. Today, My son is in recovery and home with us on house arrest. My fiancé/partner has reservations and we did go to counseling to keep us on the good. We also go to al Anon meetings together.My relationship with my fiancé is a priority. I believe I can be a better person and not enable my son because of the specia relationship I have with my fiancé. It’s still a struggle at times yet it’s worth it! I’m growing and learning. We are committed to take care of each other now and in the future. I luv my son, and it is up to him to take care of himself.

Thank you for posting a personal question. I hope others share their experience.


Thank you for responding to my question
I think you said it all when you said “you need to decide on compassionate boundaries to keep from getting sucked into the crazy.” I do, most definitely, get sucked right into the crazy. Some times i can maintain the boundaries but other times I miss my daughter so much I just want to be near her for a little while and that always ends in disaster. I am going to work on finding a counselor. thank you


Thank you for replying to my question.
I know I need to be in counseling. And I have been in counseling before as I have two sons, one 8 months clean and one in prison. Also, my father was addicted to many different kinds of pills through out my childhood, He was a dentist and back in the '70s dentists could order anything and keep it right in their office. So, I have dealt with addiction for my entire life. But, it is all different with my daughter for some reason, I am just having such a herd time trying to make her be responsible for all the chaos she is causing. And I miss her so much. Its like my daughter is gone and some mean, unreliable, lying thieving brat has taken over.


I’ve seen many families struggle with this type of thing, and I myself have in a different kind of way - by becoming so laser focused on my husband and his ‘problems’ I certainly let other things slide. It was the first time I’d felt such strong maternal and protective instincts.

I love the advice already given around boundaries and prioritising each relationship. I think it has to do with communication here - how can you get on the same page with your partner and your daughter about how you’ll support each relationship. I think with your partner, it’s finding neutral times to talk about what’s going on and what you both feel is the right way to support your daughter. Engage his empathy and I think it’s ok if you have different boundaries than he might, when it comes to your daughter, but just having them out in the open and agreed to I think can ease some of the tension and engage his empathy for you.

I also wonder, are there other supports (friends and family) we could engage to keep in touch with your daughter? That way you’re not the sole holder of worry and stress. If we can set up a wee support system around her then we can all feel better about coaching her towards recovery.