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What to tell the kids?

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answered 10:18 PM EST, Fri July 22, 2011
My husband has a problem with crack cocaine. He can sometimes control it but will often disappear off on multi day binges.

For reasons to complicated to get into here I stay with him, but our kids are getting older, they are now 3 and 5 and they are starting to ask more specific questions about where daddy goes when he doesn’t come home at night.

I hate to lie to them, but I don’t know how much they should know. Should I tell them the truth, or should I continue to make excuses for him?

Jennifer Hamilton Says...

Jennifer Hamilton J. Hamilton

There are three unwritten rules in a family with a member who has an addiction.  Don't talk, don't trust and don't feel.  These rules are not written on the fridge, but they exist and are unconsciously followed just the same.  These rules will stay with people through out their life often times and without help, they interfere with healthy relationships for years to come.

Your children do not need to know the full truth, but please do not lie to them or cover up for your husband.  You need the help of a counselor or a sponsor in a 12-step program for the family members of addicts such as Al-Anon or Nar-Anon which are for the significant others of people who alcoholic or drug addicted.

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