Question: Hi Luise: I have two sons, 22 and 19. My husband and I have been married for 25 years. Although we don’t have a perfect marriage, and we’re not perfect parents, we try hard at both. One son decided to try pot when he was 13 years old and hasn’t stopped smoking it since. I would say he is addicted to pot and alcohol because his life revolves around them. He didn’t finish high school because he was always high. He has dead end jobs but manages to rent a bedroom in a house and provide most of his food. We help him when he’s really stuck. Our other son, has watched him unravel his life at home by sabotaging his relationship with us – swearing and threatening, getting in trouble with the law and smoking up in the house and offering it to his brother. Our second son has been smoking pot now for 4 years and is also addicted to crack and alcohol and is involved with a gay man who is 53 years old. My husband and I are reeling. We don’t know how we got here, and we are perplexed as to how to get out of this dark place. We are grieving their lives. Not sure what my question is, but just wanted to share my hurt. We’re not sure where all this is taking us, M.
Answer: Dear M.: You sons, whose names I have withheld, have made the choices they’ve made. It’s not what you wanted for them, but/and they have that right. All any parent can do is their best. Sometimes our expectations are fulfilled and just as often, they are not. We give our children life and the best start we can and then it’s up to them. There are a lot of other influences that come into play as kids are growing up.
When the time comes, we have to let them go and get on with our own lives. They have to take care of themselves just like we once did. How they choose to do that is up to them. We aren’t responsible for their welfare or their mistakes. They are adults whether they act like it or not.
As hard as it is, wish them well and move on. You deserve so much better. Give it to yourselves. If you need support in doing that, come over to my Web-forum: www.WiseWomenUnite.com It is for those facing issues with adult children and extended families. Blessings, Luise