Am I a jerk ?

by thomas
(desmoines, IA, USA)

I am recently remarried. My current wife has a son "Harry" who is 23 yrs. old and is addicted to heroin. He was in outpatient rehab several months ago for the first time; and is currently in detox awaiting a month long inpatient stay.

He has been through several jobs this past year, finding excuses and blaming others for bad experiences at work. He is married and living in a condominium which we acquired for him, where he lives with his wife and a longtime friend of the family. (who has steady work and is not an addict).

This family friend no longer wishes to live with "Harry" and since he was the only one paying rent for all intensive purposes, my wife wishes to have "Harry" (and his wife) move back in with us at our residence. "Harry" has stolen several thousands dollars of my own personal effects in order to purchase heroin.

I also have my own children from my previous marriage who visit us every other weekend. I feel that I married my wife only, and that I'm not responsible for "Harry's" bad choices and have misgivings about he and his wife moving in with us.

Since he has stolen many times to support his habit, I would have to warn my visiting children about safeguarding their own personal effects. They would undoubtedly tell their mother which could have deleterious effects on their visitation.

I guess my main question is : Am I a jerk if I insist on not allowing this arrangement to happen? Part of me thinks that in order for "Harry" to really want change he has to experience his rock bottom. By always being there to rescue him, aren't we just enabling?

I'd be a liar if I didn't state I am biased by the fact that I just don't want "Harry" around my teenage boys. It's not so much a judgement thing as a matter of safety.

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Feb 15, 2012
no you are not a jerk
by: Anonymous

no you are not. as a mother of an adult addict, i think you are correct in your assumption. I realize now i have been enabling my child without realizing it. good luck

Sep 21, 2011
Not a jerk
by: Anonymous

As a recovered addict I can say without a doubt, you are right to not help him. It is a well know fact in the recovery world that everyone in the addicts life needs to let go and let him hit bottom. Its the only way he will get sober. Might I suggest your wife and his wife go to al-anon or a co-dependency support group as they will help her along the way. Wherever there is an addict there is and enabler that raised them. Not to mention his wife might be an enabler also. It is a hard thing to let go and see someone destroy themselves and not step in and try to help. They will reinforce that every time she helps him, yes its because she loves him, but she's loving him to death. She is prolonging the agony he is going through and enabling him to continue doing what addicts do. Lie, manupulate, steel etc.

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