I'm Engaged to a Drug Addict
Our featured guest is Sharona. She’s facing an extremely tough decision. Does she try to stay and support her drug-addicted fiancé one more time or does she leave him for good? His pattern is in and out of drugs, in and out of rehab, in and out of following God. Most important to consider is their 3 kids. Sharona wants them safe and secure.
Here’s Sharona’s story:
I’m 20 years old and have 2 beautiful girls and 1 baby boy on the way. I’m engaged to a drug addict. He’s been on drugs since he was 14 and he’s now 25. I’m living with him and his mom. He’s been relapsing. He’s only been able to be clean for maybe half a year. I’ve left many times but leaving is not always the right thing answer.
I am a believer in God and getting closer to God with him. I’m trying to get through to him instead of him doing these hardcore drugs. I want to be assured that I’m supposed to stay because we have a family together. I do really love him. I grew up in foster care and I always wanted a family to always love me and never be broken. That’s not what I want for my children. Right now, he’s in rehab and this is his last chance or it’s prison for 5 to 10 years. I want to be there to help him, but this is the third time. Am I wrong for wanting to stay with him?
Am I Wrong for Staying?
He’s going to get out of rehab in 45 days. The rehab program is Christian-based and then after that he has to go to probation. He has one more chance before he is sent to prison. How do I know what to do? I know I have to have faith. I have to protect myself and my kids. Am I wrong for staying or should I go?
Dawson: That’s a tough one. I have a question, What’s best for the kids?
Sharona: For me, even for them, what’s best is a family together.
Dawson: What’s best for the kids is to have a family together, but that doesn’t seem to be working out.
Sharona: It’s very hard to not have a daddy to look up to and a mother.
Dawson: I’m with you, the kids come first. We’re going to get some people to call and help who’ve probably been there.
Peer to Peer Advice for Sharona
Sharona gets advice from her peers, from people who’ve been there and have advice and encouragement for her.
You are the daughter of the Most-High God. – Heather
My pastor growing up has always told us to see ourselves as the most amazing, beautiful house you could think of, and that’s how God sees you. You wouldn’t go into a palace and just start smashing it with a hammer. And that’s what’s happening in my opinion to Sharona. She should be treating herself as the daughter of the most-high God and her children as they are children of God.
I know it seem easier to stay together for the 3 kids. I’m a single mother of 3 kids myself. It’s not easy, but it’s worth it, to know that my kids are in a Godly home. That they know God, and they’re not exposed to the negative decisions of my ex-husband with drugs, and he was a bad person.
Keeping the Kiddos Safe is Most Important – Rachel
I so appreciate that she wants to make sure her family stays as one. But the most important thing is to recognize that these kids need to be safe, in a safe environment. And with the constant substance abuse, in and out of the home, that’s not a safe environment for these kiddos. They are growing up realizing that people can come and go. Just like their mom, she said she grew up in foster care, and that’s traumatic. That’s not something anyone wishes on anyone. To make sure these kiddos are safe…that’s the selfless parent love making sure they are taken care of. And allow dad to get the help he needs while he’s in rehab. And we can pray for him. It’s never too late for him to turn his life around. Just because he’s been in rehab before doesn’t mean it won’t work. We can pray, and hope and expect his recovery.
I was with a drug addict for 8 years. - Lisa
I was with a drug addict for 8 years. After 3 years of being together, I thought maybe if we got married, he would change.
Marrying someone because you love them, does not change the addiction. It changed my children, and they needed to see me get strong enough to say it’s time to let go. Because in me staying with him, I was enabling him.
He is now clean and sober, but we are not together and never will be together again. I have become a stronger person. He’s become a stronger person. And in turn my children have turned to Christ now and we are now a Christian family.
If you could change one thing, what would it be?
I would have realized earlier in the situation that I can’t change him. He had to change him. He would go to rehab and come out saying I’m back being with God and then he’d do the exact same thing. He’d get sober, saying he was a Godly man, and he wasn’t. He was abusive with my children. If you stay in the same situation, you are enabling the addict. It doesn’t matter how much you love him. It doesn’t matter how much your children love him. It took me to realize that God had to be in charge, not me. Since he was forced to be alone, he is now back with God, and he is now clean.
Not an Easy Choice
The problem with addiction is that it’s almost always accompanied by abuse, neglect, fighting, dysfunction, lies, deceit, and the list goes on. When a person is constantly high or thinking about the next high, they are not focused on their family or the needs of their loved ones. They usually can barely take care of themselves, and many times don’t. And unfortunately, that leaves all the responsibility of your family to you, Sharona. Which is a lot to carry, but you don’t have to do it alone. God will help you. And you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you. (Phil 4:13)
Our first peer-to-peer caller, Heather, says to treat yourself like the daughter of the King, which you are since you belong to God. As God says to His people in 2 Corinthians 6:18, “I will be a Father to you, you and will be My sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.”
I know you Sharona really want your kids safe, secure, and healthy. And the consensus is to prioritize your children and what’s best for them. And as Rachel said, your fiancé being in and out of the home, on and off drugs, it’s not a safe environment for them.
Sharona, I’m confident that God is working in your life. Here you are, not just doing whatever, making snap decisions, but instead you’re thinking about how you should handle this and weighing the consequences of your decisions. You’re also asking for advice…that’s wisdom!
It’s not an easy choice to be single, raising 3 kids, but it is necessary until your fiancé is clean and can be a force for good in your lives. And so, Sharona, let’s wrap up with this verse, Ephesians 6:10, “Be supernaturally infused with strength through your life union with the Lord Jesus. Stand victorious with the force of his explosive power flowing in and through you.”
Resources for addiction:
- Someone I love Has an Addiction: Can I Help?
- Recovery from Addiction
- Addiction Recovery Help: Can I Avoid Another Relapse?
- Podcast EP 36: How to Cope and Stay Clean After Prison
Need to talk to someone? Chat with a HopeCoach at TheHopeLine.
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