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LIving with an addict, what about the children?

answered 08:35 AM EST, Thu June 06, 2013
anonymous anonymous
There is someone in my life who is a very good person who is probably an alcoholic. He is not violent or abusing in any way. But he will fall asleep drunk on the sofa many nights of the week and sometimes my 3 year old will be the one to find him there in the morning. I do not know what I am getting myself into but one area of concern that I have is how this may impact my children. My children are 1 and 3 currently. At what age would having a live-in person who drinks start to be a bad example that they would remember?

Jennifer Hamilton Says...

Jennifer Hamilton J. Hamilton
LCSW, CADC

Forgive me here, but children often gives us pause to think about things that we would accept for ourselves, but not for our children.  I really want to back you up a step and ask you to ask yourself..."why do I accept this behavior from my partner"?  It sounds as if you think this could be a bad situation for your children, what about for you?  Children's first memory can be anywhere from toddler age to age 10 (usually if there is trauma, it is older rather than younger).  Your children will look to you to see whether or not you see certain behaviors as acceptable.  Just because someone isn't belligerent when they drink does not mean the drinking is not problematic.  You have to ask yourself what type of relationship this is?  Healthy or unhealthy?  If you have doubts, attend an Al-anon meeting in your area or seek out a counselor to talk to.  The longer you are in this situation, the harder it will be to get out.  Best wishes to you!  

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Page last updated Jun 06, 2013

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