Dear Annie: My daughter has been married to a drug abuser for 10 years. “Rob” can’t keep a job and sells everything on the premises for money to buy more drugs. He even took his 9-year-old daughter with him to trade her TV and other electronics for narcotics.
Rob has been in rehab three times and makes lots of promises, but always goes back to the drugs. My daughter has a responsible job. She has taken Rob’s name off of the checking accounts and credit cards, and she hides her purse and jewelry every night. She was unable to keep up the house payments, and they are in foreclosure. She is currently living in an apartment, and Rob lives with his parents. With my financial support, she has filed for divorce. So far, I have given her more than $3,000. She lives in another state and has emotional support from her siblings and us by phone.
Here’s the problem. I feel like she is wavering. She keeps talking about what a great dad Rob is when he’s sober and how hard the separation has been on the kids. I know how difficult it is for her to be a single mom. But I have told her that if she does not go through with the divorce, I will not help her again. Is this too harsh? I want to be there for her, but I have to work, and my income isn’t that big. Any advice on this situation? – Loving Mom, Disgusted Mother-in-Law
Dear Mom: You are not obligated to support your daughter regardless of the circumstances, but we are certain your financial assistance helps her to manage as a single parent. Still, she undoubtedly loves her husband and wants her children to have a full-time father. And it’s easier to forget the hardships once you are separated from them. Instead of issuing ultimatums, urge her to get into counseling to figure out why she continues to be drawn to someone so needy and incapable of being a true partner to her. Help her to be stronger so her choices will be better.