|Dear Dr. Irene,
Thank you for your helpful website. I was married to a drug addict
for almost 6 years. He was abusive in every way. Physical
abuse was just starting when I finally was able to decide to leave.
He has been to rehab about 6 times. Three of these times were after
we separated in September 1998. I believe he is still using now but
not like when we were together. We were divorced in March of this
year. We have three children, ages 6, 5 and 3. He has court
ordered visitation with the children which must be supervised.
I don't want to go into all the
details of the abuse but it was horrible. I feel that I am starting
my life back together now but I'm stuck. I still feel sorry for him
sometimes. I sometimes wish that I
could hate him because it would be easier. He has a child by a
previous marriage and was put in jail a few months ago for not paying
child support. He now has a job and the support is automatically
deducted from his wages. The support for our children is also being
deducted from his wages. I received the first child support check from him
last Sat. He is trying to make me feel sorry for him and give him
He was ordered to pay 332/month for
our 3 children. He says that he has hardly any money left after the
support for the 4 children is taken out. He tells me that I'm being
selfish because I make twice as much as he does. He lives with his
mother and has no bills. I didn't give him any money back from the child
support but I do feel guilty. And I honestly don't know whether I
should or not, is that crazy or what?
If the Courts don't think you are
being "selfish," why do you? He's playing on your sympathy -
manipulating you. Stop it for two excellent reasons: 1. Your kids
certainly deserve their father's financial support! (And much more actually...) and
2. If you give in to him, you enable him to continue mis-behaving.
Who knows, maybe he'll have to skimp on drugs.
Check out this email and see how this lady dealt with
her irrational guilt. You can apply the same techniques - your guilt is
Also, do yourself a favor. Find an
ALANON or NARANON
meeting, two excellent, free, world-wide 12-Step support programs.
Good luck, Dr. Irene