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Decisions & Consequences

answered 02:46 PM EST, Sat December 03, 2011
My ex was a meth user who abandoned us 3 years ago, when my son was 7. Although my husband was a pretty crap spouse for the last years of our marriage, when he was around he would always try to be a dad, as best as he could and my son worshiped the ground he walked on. Needless to say, it devastated my son when his dad disappeared and it took him years to get over the abandonment. Actually, I don’t think he’s really over it, but at least he has accepted it and he never cries for his dad anymore. It was very hard for him and very hard for me to watch him with such sadness.

Well, a couple of days ago my ex showed up waiting for me as I got off work. He says he is back in town now and that he is 4 months clean and that he is born again. He says he is sorry for all the hurt he has caused and he knows that we will never be back together again (he is right) but that he wants to get to know his son again. He knows he was wrong though and he doesn’t want to create any more pain, he says, so he will let me decide and say when and how the two can meet.

I don’t know what to do. The last thing my son needs is to fall back in love with his dear old dad only to have his dad screw him over again. On the other hand, if my ex really is sober and going to stay that way, it is too cruel for me to keep him from his son and his son from his father. If only so they can get to know each other.

I think I want to wait though until I can see he is not going to go back to the meth before I allow them to get together. How long should I wait to see if this is going to happen? Or maybe I am wrong. Maybe I should let my son meet his dad again while he is clean, because who knows how long this will last. This could be his last chance for all I know. Is it more damaging for my son to met his father again and have him be disappointed or to not meet him at all.

I also haven’t told my ex that I am considering not letting them get together at all for a while, so if I say that to him his story might change and he might just show up at the house or something. That would not be totally out of (his old anyway) character.

Dr. James Strawbridge Says...

The horror of meth is undeniable, its power to ruin lives and families is beyond dispute. It may be the most destructive drug ever encounter...It seems to destroy everything and everyone in its path.

With the information you have shared, I suggest that you wait but you will have to decide how long. That decision should not be an emotional decision.  It should be based on facts. If he has been clean for four months, that is a good, but more time is needed to validate or repudiate that he can remain clean.  

All decisions have consequences. He decided to use Methamphetamines. He needs to learn to live with that decision and face the consequences without using. You and your son have had to learn to live with the consequences of his decision. 

It has taken time for his addiction to develop and it will take time to deal with the consequences and regain his footing in society. Wanting to re-establish a relationship with his son is understandable. However thoughtful consideration is needed before this happens. I would suggest that you talk with a professional therapist in the community where you live. Furthermore, I would suggest that you go a Nar- anon Group meeting. This has proven to be a support for spouses of abusers. You will meet people who may have had many experiences such as yours. There are meetings across the country. Get on the internet and discover where in you community meetings are taking place. 

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Page last updated Dec 04, 2011

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