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SD in difficult situation - Advice Needed

EquineStep's picture

Hello and thanks to each of you! I have been on this site for several years learning from each of you. What a blessing it has been!  I have learned so much and avoided drama and heartache because of it.

This is my first post and I am hoping for advice on a difficult situation.  History- DH and I have been married 9.5 years and I have a DD 29, a SS 26, a SD 30 and a SD 19.  Both SD’s are alienated from my husband and have no relationship with me or my daughter.  BM is very antagonistic towards both my DH and I.

The current situation is that SD is involved with a boyfriend that is a drug dealer and has introduced her to marijuana and now Methamphetamines. He is also abusing her.

Needless to say, DH is very upset and worried about her welfare and life.  He has contacted her and has determined where they are now living.  He wants to go get her and force her to go to rehab.

I have always been supportive of his efforts in trying to maintain a relationship with both girls even though it is pretty one-sided.  This though, I cannot support, mainly because until SD wants to change her life, it won’t happen, but also because since she is considered an adult DH has no authority over her. I am also concerned about the violent nature of the boyfriend who reportedly has a gun and has a bad reputation with the local sheriff. I don’t want my DH in danger.

I have just been listening to DH and trying to be sympathetic without being negative.  I have shared my opinion that SD needs to want help and that it cannot be forced on her. DH understands this and agrees with it in his head, but his heart is having a very difficult time with this situation.

I am asking for advice on how to support DH.  If anyone has experience or other advice, I am very open to it.

My apologies for the long post and thank you in advance.

EquineStep's picture

That was my thought too!  She lived with us briefly when she was 13 and didn’t like having rules.  I can’t even imagine what it would be like now.  Not to mention bringing her current situation into our home.

BethAnne's picture

Is there a middle ground? Let her know that he is their to help her when she is ready without putting himself in danger? 

It is tricky as those in abusive relationships need support but also often do not want to be told what to do and told that their partner is bad for them, as then they may feel that they need to cut that person out of their life. Perhaps he could look into advice from charities that help women in abusive realtionships as to how best help and support her? 

EquineStep's picture

Thank you Beth Anne!

That May be the best approach.  DH did let her know that he, her sister and mom were worried and she simply said they didn’t need to. I didn’t read the next but she wasn’t very receptive.  

Maybe just reminding her that he loves her and she can reach out will be the best approach. I don’t know that she will allow him to help her but part of me worries what she will ask. 

I agree, abusive situations are tricky and hard.  DH feels powerless and is generally scared for her. 

Great idea about reaching out to the women’s charities!

Thank You again!

Harry's picture

There is nothing your DH can do. The drugs come first. And second.  When she I’d ready for rehab then he can try to help her, get back on her feet.   But remember, she was this way before the drugs,  so something else is going on.  Do not let her move in. 

EquineStep's picture

Thank you

It’s  just so sad.  She graduated with a 4.0 and really has qualities that would allow her to have a successful life.  It is really hard to watch and to see DH so upset.

Merry's picture

I am so sorry for your whole family. He will not have more power over her than her addiction, and she won’t be successful in rehab if she’s not ready. 

I suggest your DH attend Al-Anonor meet with a therapist who specializes in addiction. Of course he’s worried. Of course he wants to do something. But he needs to do the right thing, and he doesn’t know what that is. 

EquineStep's picture

Thank you Merry!

That is a great idea about Al-anon or counseling. I am going to suggest that.

Merry's picture

My SS is in recovery. My DH actively refused to acknowledge it and kept throwing money at SS so he could survive. Of course that meant buy drugs. 

DH would not go to meetings, would not talk to an addictions counselor. He was so scared and worried. Finally some of our best friends are in recovery and they talked to him plainly. That’s when DH turned around. The addiction community, in my experience, is very generous and compassionate.  Your DH needs knowledge, not knee-jerk reactions. SS is sober now 5 years and we are very proud of him.  I hope your SD gets the help she needs. 

EquineStep's picture

That is so wonderful Merry about your SS!  I have limited exposure to the recovery process but I know that it is a daily effort.

I was thinking about your phrase “we are so proud of him”.  That puts it in perspective for me  it really is about that individual’s recovery and effort.  We can love and assist if they want us to, but it is ultimately their struggle and accomplishment when they overcome.

Knee-jerk is a good description of how he wants to react- he just wants her to be safe and isn’t see all the factors involved and the possible consequences of that knee jerk reaction.

I am going to guide him to the resources mentioned.  

Hopefully one day I will be updating about SD getting help and getting better.

Thank you so much for the guidance.


Merry's picture

Your DH is having a common response—swoop in and fix. That is exactly the wrong thing to do. Part of SS’s recovery was to separate himself from DH and the rest of his enabling family. 

SS wasn’t alienated and he wasn’t in an abusive relationship so your DH must be really struggling. You are doing the right thing by being a supportive spouse. 

One caution. My DH would have bankrupted us to save his son. It got ugly between us for awhile. Money doesn’t save an addict—it enables them.

DHsfamilyfromhell's picture

I would find a way to say (away from the boyfriend) that offer to help them find some rehab is there when they are ready to fully commit to rehab etc etc. - they have to not want to be in the situation. Some people enjoy those situations, some people find a way out, and then improve their lives. But they do need to know there is a plan if they want it, and it doesn’t have to involve them moving into your home or giving ‘them’ money. 

tog redux's picture

He can't force her to go to rehab or file charges on this guy, and he shouldn't try. He should just let her know he loves her and worries about her, and the door is open if she wants a relationship with him.  There's nothing else he can or should do, especially with a kid who is alienated. 

EquineStep's picture

Thanks to all for your above responses- they are so helpful.  I have a new question about this situation..

My DH came home tonight and said that SD texted him her new phone number and asked if he was 59. My husband responded yes and then asked why she needed that. She didn’t respond of course.

Does anyone have any idea of what she would need that for?

CLove's picture

I have an SD20 whom I call Feral Forger. She has been the most unpleasant person to me, but she is DH's daughter. So I tried. She started stealing at 17, then taking xanax non persription, now drinking. She lives with her mother right now, and is still living with her mother and is still a filthy pig. Still a mean person. DH stays far away, because she also enjoys hurting people and making up lies about them.

I have no how to type of advice, except stay strong and supportive for your sweety - he must be in a lot of pain over it, like my DH. I just have to stay non-judgemental and supportive, even though I despise his child.

Rags's picture

Daddy can't fix this.  He should support with words but not finances and he needs to make his supportive message LASER focused on her choices and how her pain is directly attributable to those choices.

Lather, rinse, repeat.