A Quick Update


difficult child called out of the blue last week and told his mother that he went back to Florida. For those of you who remember, he has a friend from childhood that now lives in Miami. He tried going down there twice before and left both times. The first time because his little 20 year old girlfriend didn't want to move there with him so he came back. Nothing was going on fir him here, so he moved down there again but soon started to miss her so he came back home AGAIN. The girlfriend is now long gone. She supposedly kicked heroin, has a new boyfriend closer to her own age, and wants nothing to do with our son. So now he's back there again. He told his mother that he is taking methadone and has been off of heroin for three weeks. He supposedly is making some money painting apartments.

In the normal world people don't celebrate foreclosure. Someone losing their house is a terrible thing. But the difficult child world is anything but normal. Two years since the last time the mortgage was paid and now the bank has finally taken posession of his house. Both my wife and I are extremely happy to see the house go. It kept him from living on the street because he had no job or money at times, but with the house gone now, his ex wife living with another guy, and his little girlfriend moving on with her life, there is absolutely nothing for him in this state anymore. He will never, ever, under any circumsance spend even a single night under my roof, so there is no reason for him to not try and start life over in Miami. Distance makes detachment easier. When he's over 1000 miles away there is: No stopping by asking for money. No asking for rides. No asking if he can do laundry at our house. No to all of the other miscellaneous things he asks for that an adult should be capable of doing for themselves. No dropping everything in our lives to give him immediate attention. If he needs help in a hurry now, there is physically absolutely nothing we can do for him. The wife agrees that distance is the best thing. She says that it has given her the clarity to see the situation for what it really is. I think she also understands that our marriage really depends on her detaching from our son. She even told him that she can't help him anymore and she is not going to let his problems ruin our marriage.

I would not call this a happy ending to the story. If you live with a difficult child, you know the story rarely ends, and when it does, it often does not end happily. There is still alot to be done, namely trying to rebuild our marriage, or failing that, starting lives on our own. Our marriage has its issues apart from difficult child, but his drama, especially over the last year, has really come close to being the straw that broke the camels back. The damage is so severe that I can honestly say that I am not sure how I feel or even if I still want to be married to this woman. I know this may be hard to understand (I know my wife doesn't understand) but I DO love my wife, but I am just not sure that I am any longer in love with my wife. There is also a big trust issue I need to work through. She gave him money behind my back against my direct wishes. She lied to me about it when confronted. She allowed him to move in with us while I was away on a business trip, and then told me that she would never forgive me if I made her put her child out on the street at Christmas time. I want to believe that she will stop putting the needs of her adult son before her husband, but in the past she has sworn to never help him again, only to help him again when his life was in crisis. She also still insists that she did the right thing at the time. She still places a lot of blame on others for his situation. She has repeatedly told me that she hates the 20 year old ex girlfriend because she ruined his life. These statements worry me that she STILL just doesn't quite get it. We still need to find balance in detachment. She wants to continue to have a relationship with him while at this point I want him totally out of my life.

These days we are trying to spend more quality together. We took our first vacation since 2010 and had a great time. I want to try my hardest to recapture what it was that made me fall in love with this woman so many years ago.

Scent of Cedar *

Well-Known Member
A sincere effort to be certain which direction either partner wants to take will prevent regret later, whatever you decide.

Wishing you both well, Scot.

Thank you for updating.


in a daze

Well-Known Member
Hi Scott, I was so totally like your wife. But I started reading books, going to Families Anonymous, got a therapist, and perused this message board. I will say that hospitalization # 3 was the last straw for me where it all finally came together and I (we) had had enough.

Does your wife do any of the above activities?

It's really hard for a mom. You keep picturing that little boy you nurtured. It helps me when I stop doing that.


Well-Known Member
It's really hard for a mom. You keep picturing that little boy you nurtured. It helps me when I stop doing that.

I have to agree. I KNOW it's hard on a father too. But I just really think it's harder on a mom. I know that I have a harder time with all this than my husband does. He and I have talked about this. What he said was, from the time a baby is conceived, the mom takes care of them. She protects, she babies, she nurtures. That's her job, to protect her baby and while a man does that too, his job changes as they grow, from protecting the child to teaching them to be adults. I'm a mom. I still want to protect, I want to help. It's what I do. If he's hungry I feed him, if he's cold I tell him to put on a jacket, if he's upset I try to cheer him up. Dad is way more likely to tell him to cook his own meal and man-up and grow a pair.

It's clear you and your wife have other issues too. I hope that with this slowly resolving, you can continue to work on them and things improve.


Well-Known Member
Staff member
Thanks for the update Scott. I'm glad that your difficult child is in another state, you're right about detachment being easier with distance. I hope you can work it out with your wife, however, I know how difficult this landscape is on relationships...........you sound as if you are willing to be open to all possibilities which will help guide you through the next step.

Wishing the best for you Scott..............let us know how you're doing.........


Well-Known Member
Thanks for letting us know how things are going for you, Scott.

I want to believe that she will stop putting the needs of her adult son before her husband, but in the past she has sworn to never help him again, only to help him again when his life was in crisis

I have been in the spot your wife was in, Scott. In my mind I was in an impossible position and had to choose to deal with the most immediate threat. I am hoping his getting himself to Miami will give you both some space to put the focus back on your marriage.


one day at a time
Scott, that is good news about your difficult child moving to Florida. I hope for your sake---and his---that he stays there and lives his life, and maybe, he will start to do something different.

I believe that changing just one thing in our lives can have a significant snowball effect over time. When we look at the lives of our difficult children, and the immense hole they have dug for themselves, it sometimes takes my breath away---the sheer depth of that hole and how long it will take to truly climb out of it.

But, just changing one thing---today---can lead to more and more changes. Momentum. I believe that is true in my own life as well---taking just one bite of that elephant today.

Perhaps the same thinking can apply with your marriage. Marriage is hard anyway. Add a difficult child to the mix, and wow.

My marriage of 29 years failed due to many things---one primary thing was my ex-husband's alcoholism, related depression, awful childhood and then---my reactions to all of that, coming into the marriage with my own baggage. It wasn't as vivid---my baggage, but it likely was just as heavy as his. And truly, I should not have married him in the first place.

I don't regret doing it, because many good things occurred over those 29 years, but I didn't want to read the signs early on, that said perhaps this was not the best choice for me. I was afraid to read the signs, because that meant I would be alone, and I was afraid to be alone. So I married him, and I decided to work hard to make it work, and I was never going to be divorced.

Fast forward to reality. The last years of our marriage were consumed with our problems, but difficult child was starting to gain steam with his difficult child-ness, and it really ramped up after we separated.

It's just a good thing we all don't know the future. The optimist in me hopes that you and your wife can save your marriage, as you have lost so much already with your son. Divorce is just a series of so many losses, so many you could never imagine. It's way more than losing the marriage---that relationship, itself.

But we are all survivors. We can come through unimaginable pain and loss and suffering, and still find ways to be happy. I hope you both can, regardless of whether you stay together or not.

Space and distance and time are our friends when it comes to difficult children.

Thanks for keeping us informed about your son and your current situation, and thanks for your honesty, Scott. It helps other people.