Navigating separation and divorce is difficult for healthy, stable adults with children. However, when one party suffers from addiction to alcohol or substances, it may seem impossible to establish a healthy co-parenting routine.
You may no longer be an active influence over your former spouse, but there are some actions you can take to ensure your ex’s problems do not destroy your family.
If your children’s other parent is in the throes of addiction, you may not understand why he or she cannot just snap out of it for the sake of raising healthy, happy little ones. It is important for you to learn about the disease and recovery process, so you can know what to expect at each stage. You can also discuss the situation with a professional therapist or counselor who can help you deal with your feelings on the subject.
Establish clear boundaries
While you can have empathy and compassion for your ex during a difficult time, it is still your job to protect your children. If you share custody, you can petition the family court to modify your agreement while your ex seeks treatment for addiction.
Many people who are actively recovering from addiction are stable and involved parents. As a co-parent, you can establish yourself as part of his or her support network. You can also watch for signs of stress or relapse and act accordingly based on your level of concern.
As a loving parent, you care about how your ex’s life choices affect the lives of your children. It is important to understand addiction and how it can impact your family.