When parents disagree

When parents disagree

A mom phoned the other day to talk about her daughter, just 19, living in a far-away state.  The girl had been abusing drugs for several years, drifting in and out of treatment centers.  She wanted desperately to “come home,” again.

After listening carefully, I asked this distraught mother, “How is your husband handling this?”

“Well, we’re not on the same page,” she responded.

The girl’s father was ready to board a plane, retrieve his daughter and rescue her, again.

Among the many blessings of my living through years of addiction with my son is this:  my husband and I were never not “on the same page.”  If asked today, he would quip, “Well, mostly I was just afraid of you!”

He deferred to me for the major decisions.  Since I worked in healthcare, he presumed I knew what was best.  I didn’t.   But I tried.  He remained strong, albeit quiet, throughout our tormented days and nights.

And when it came to the pivotal choices we had to make for Jacob’s health, he backed me up every time.

The hardest choice came on a late fall afternoon, years into Jacob’s addiction.  We forced him to face the most important decision of his young life:  leave our house, the only home he’d ever known, or enter inpatient treatment.

Even though he wasn’t ready, Jacob chose treatment.  But that one decision – where both parents stood firmly aligned – began an eventual return to sobriety and the son we knew and loved.

Today, my husband and I attend Al-Anon meetings, educate ourselves, offer help to families, and express pride in our son’s achievements.  He is nearly nine years into recovery – and so are we.

Facing addiction in a child is hard enough to do together, let alone when parents disagree.


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