Son’s drug habit causes cri­sis in mother’s mar­riage

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - COMMUNITY/ENTERTAINMENT - Abi­gail Van Buren Dear Abby is writ­ten by Abi­gail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Con­tact Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los An­ge­les, CA 90069. To order “How to Write Let­ters for

DEAR ABBY: I have been mar­ried to a lov­ing and sup­port­ive man for 15 years. We have been through a lot to­gether and, for the most part, have been OK. My prob­lem is my son, “Kyle.”

Yes, I know Kyle is a liar who steals any­thing not nailed down. And yes, he needs help for his drug habit — but he is still my son.

My hus­band told me I ei­ther tell Kyle he is not wel­come in our home or our mar­riage is over, so I gave him back my wed­ding ring. I refuse to tell my son he can’t come over.

What do I do now? I don’t want to lose my hus­band, but I refuse to lose my son as well. — TORN IN TWO IN TULSA

DEAR TORN IN TWO: If you love your son and your hus­band and value your mar­riage, you will tell your hus­band you spoke hastily and ask for the ring back. Then, you will fi­nally put your foot down and stop en­abling Kyle to con­tinue his drug habit.

Tell Kyle he is no longer wel­come in the house, and will be wel­come to cross your thresh­old ONLY if he has com­pleted re­hab and is will­ing to make amends. This is called cre­at­ing bound­aries. It may be painful, but it is im­por­tant that you find the strength and courage to do this be­cause your son’s life may de­pend on it.

DEAR ABBY: I re­cently grad­u­ated from col­lege, and like a lot of fresh grad­u­ates, I had dif­fi­culty find­ing em­ploy­ment for sev­eral months. How­ever, I was just of­fered a po­si­tion far bet­ter than any­thing I could have asked for. This po­si­tion is much closer to my dream job than a sim­ple en­try-level one, and I am over-the-moon happy. The prob­lem is my part­ner, “Gavin.”

Gavin grad­u­ated the se­mes­ter be­fore I did. He was in a dif­fer­ent de­gree pro­gram, and he’s still with­out a job. He ap­plies for dozens of jobs a day, gets at least one in­ter­view a week, and then, af­ter they ask about his less-than-stel­lar GPA, he never hears from them again. He has be­come in­creas­ingly frus­trated about his in­abil­ity to find em­ploy­ment in his field, and re­cently has been pro­ject­ing his frus­tra­tion on our re­la­tion­ship.

I want to be able to cel­e­brate my ac­com­plish­ment with my part­ner. I need Gavin’s sup­port and ex­cite­ment for me over this new po­si­tion, but I’m torn be­cause ev­ery time I tell him a new de­tail about it, I can see in his face how up­set he is. What can I do so I am not com­pro­mis­ing my hap­pi­ness try­ing not to up­set him? — WORK­ING WOMAN IN OR­LANDO, FLA.

DEAR WORK­ING WOMAN: The first thing I’d rec­om­mend is, out of re­spect for your part­ner’s sen­si­tive feel­ings, to re­frain from crow­ing about your ju­bi­la­tion. It may take Gavin a while to find the job he’s look­ing for in his field, or he may have to con­sider tak­ing some­thing out­side of his field un­til he can net­work enough to find his dream job.

No two peo­ple’s ca­reer paths are the same. Wit­ness the Hol­ly­wood mar­riages in which one spouse be­comes suc­cess­ful more quickly than the other. How­ever, if you and Gavin are sen­si­tive to each other’s feel­ings — and ma­ture — you can make it through this chal­leng­ing pe­riod.

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