Alcoholic Spouse

Mj - posted on 10/01/2014 ( 1 mom has responded )

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I am common law married. My husband is an alcoholic and we have a six year old son. I am also pregnant with our second child. He is a very good dad and husband when he doesn't drink. When he does, he has driven our son, or passed out to the point I couldn't wake him up when he was the only one home watching him, forgotten to pick him up or missed dentist appts, teacher conferences. My sitter has noticed, my sons preschool teach has notices a few years back. I can not get him to stop. What do I do to protect my child, and not run our relationship with custody/divorce? I'm m not ready for that, even though he is angry and refuses to quit. I'm desperately hoping he will. I am picking up my son now, and I am not leaving him with him alone, what else can I do, and what is the punishment by law for watching a child and being incapable of doing so. Child neglect? Also would that fall on me then if I left? I don't know what to do. I threaten to leave but that is only punishing me and my son. Help.

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♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 10/02/2014

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Counseling. If he is unwilling to change, then it is your responsibility to ensure the safety for yourself and your child(ren). Yes, he could be charged with neglect, but if you continue to allow the situation to unfold, you could be charged as well, for endangerment. If others are noticing, then he's beyond a social drinker (which you know)

Tell him that it's either counseling and AA, or you will take the child(ren) and find a new home. Tell him that you will involve a mediator or attorneys to set custody/visitation/support during the time that he is cleaning up, and if you truly do love him, tell him that you'll be happy to help him through, but you will need to have those things set up for the safety of the child(ren). (I'm using the 'almost plural', since you're pregnant...it may be both kids when you get to this point)

If you're looking for a system to put in place so that he won't drink whilst watching his son...Tell him that he WON'T be watching his son until he commits to a 12 step program and can stay clean. Otherwise, you can be held responsible for possible negligence by allowing him to continue to be the sole caregiver in those times, while you know that he's an alcoholic and most likely will NOT remain sober.

As far as regulating his access to pick up from the sitter or school, you do that by contacting the sitter & school, explaining the situation, and stating, in writing, that dad is not allowed to pick up at any time unless he is accompanied by you.

No one said you have to divorce. However, it is your responsibility to protect your child and keep him safe.

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