Thursday, June 28, 2012

He Wants to Get Married. What Would You Do?

I talked with my son yesterday and he dropped a bomb on me.  He has decided that he wants to marry his girlfriend (GF). Apparently a common law marriage can take place in jail with just their signatures and a notary.  His GF was arrested with him and faces the same charges, although he’s trying to take all the blame on himself and say the drugs were his.  Anybody who knows his GF knows that she’s been using right along with him for the past year, but that's another story.  However, she will probably get a much lighter sentence than my son, because she has no prior convictions and when they were arrested they were in his car, which was also their “home.”
            Just a little of their history.  About a year ago, they both jumped into the relationship head first and became intimate right away, before really getting to know each other.  They both lost their jobs within a few weeks of getting together.  She was on disability which paid their bills and pretty much enabled them to sleep all day and party all night. When the infatuation wore off, they began arguing and my son was no longer happy in the relationship. In fact he was pretty miserable.  I know that he truly cared for her, but why stay in a relationship that is full of so much conflict?  I couldn’t figure out at the time why he stayed because I was still in denial about his drug use, but now I get it.  I think by this time meth had so completely taken control that he didn’t have the willpower to leave that lifestyle and get a job.  It’s hard to keep a job when meth is at the wheel.  They split up about a month before he was arrested. My son told me he knew that they were not right for each other and that he had made the right decision in leaving.  GF didn’t want the split and pursued him.  They got back together just days before they were arrested.
            There are so many reasons that the two of them should not get married, I can’t even begin to name them all.  Here are just a few:
  • ·      She is an addict too
  • ·      If the prison my son is sent to allows conjugal visits she could get pregnant
  • ·      She already lost custody of her son because of her drug use
  • ·      I don’t think my son is wanting to marry her out of love, but rather out of fear of being alone

            My dilemma is this, do I tell him about my doubts and feelings about this marriage? I know that I need to "accept what I cannot change," and I will if he goes through with this marriage.  However, I wonder if I will have regrets later if I don't voice my feelings.   I was so shocked when he told me his news on the phone and I didn’t know how to react.  He sounded so happy when he told me about wanting to get married, and I could tell that he really wanted me to be happy about it too.  I hate to cast a shadow on this one bright spot he has in his life right now, but I really don’t believe he’s thinking clearly.  Right now they’re just seeing each other in passing at the jail.  They’re using their own little sign language to communicate, hence the marriage proposal.  It’s easy to “love” somebody when you’re not spending any time together and living with each other’s flaws and the personality conflicts.  I think he is seeing their relationship through rose-colored glasses right now.  My biggest fear is that she would become pregnant, and then relapse.  I don’t even want to think about the nightmare that would present.
            I’m sorry for the long, detailed vent.  I know if he has made up his mind to do this, that he will do it no matter what I say.  I’ll be saying the serenity prayer…….a lot.  I’m praying for wisdom on how to handle this.


  1. Oh boy, I can sure understand why you are concerned. It sounds like he is making a very irrational decision because he is lonely and scared. She is his "partner in crime" and maybe in his mind, being married makes him not feel so isolated in his situation. The drugs may be out of his system but that doesn't mean he isn't still thinking with a clouded, addicts mind. His self esteem has taken a horrible beating and he may just be thinking this is the best he can ever hope for. But there is life after drugs, life after jail!

    If it were me, I would tell my son how I feel. Since your visits are limited to twice a month and calls are so expensive, maybe you could write him a letter? Is there a pastor you are close to? The facility I worked at allowed pastoral visits any day of the week. If that isn't an option, maybe you could speak to someone from the jail ministry and see if they would be willing to offer him some guidance.

    Praying for a hedge of protection around your son, wisdom to make the right decisions and strength to endure. Prayers for comfort and peace for you.

    1. Thank you again for your prayers. I completely agree with your thoughts about why my son has made the decision to get married. I know that if he hadn't been arrested this talk of marrying his GF would not be happening.

      I've written a letter to my son and intend to take it Sunday when I visit. I pretty much just told him that I love him, and I will continue to love him no matter what his decision is and then I stated my reservations. I will be praying that God gives me wisdom and helps me say the right things.

      Unfortunately, the pastor from the church my son and I attended (before the addiction took over) was recently transferred so I couldn't ask him to visit with my son about his decision. However, my son has been going to church services at the jail (praise God) and mentioned that he really likes the pastor. So, I contacted the pastor and asked if he would counsel my son and his GF about idea of marriage. It can't hurt, and maybe it will help.

    2. Good for you! At least now you can have some peace knowing you have done what you can. The next part is always the hardest for me, letting God take the reigns and trusting everything to work out as it should. You have a lot of wisdom and your a great will say the right things. He may be resistant but the distractions are few for him right now so he will have time to ponder what you have said and, hopefully, he will make the right decision. *Prayers*

  2. I agree with Summer's comment, but this is sure a tough one. Letting him know that you respect his decision, but sharing your concerns would seem to be a good choice. Hopefully reading your letter and having time to reflect will give him more perspective. My heart goes out to you and I wish you the best.

  3. Just found your blog and can relate to so many things you say. My daughter is addicted to meth too.

    As for your son, that's a tough one. I agree with everyone else. Tell him how you feel, but that you recognize it's his decision to make. He's going to do what he wants either way but maybe something you say will make him think twice about getting married when other things in his life are so volatile.

    Praying for you and your son too.

    1. Thank you, Lori.

      I'm so sorry that you are sharing my pain as the parent of a meth addict.
      I will add you and your daughter to my prayers.

  4. My heart goes out to you. Its so hard to sit by and watch our children do things that we KNOW are huge mistakes. But, if your son is anything like mine (and I believe many addicts share similar personality traits) you voicing your concerns will not necessarily change his opinion. BUT, only you know your son. If he asks you, for sure tell him the honest truth. If he asks you - that means he really wants to know. My son rarely asks, but I often give him my thoughts anyhow and then feel hurt or angry when he goes ahead and does whatever it was I suggested he not do.

    It sucks being the parent of an addict. There is no way around that. BUT there is also hope and I've seen so many addicts turn their lives around. Often prison is the best place to do that.

    Thinking of you and am always here if you need to talk!!!

    1. Thanks, Barbara. You're so right, there are just no easy answers in this journey. I am hanging onto the hope you wrote about with all my might. Hope that my son will find lasting recovery, and hope that we will both learn the lessons we need to learn from this whole mess. I can't tell you what a blessing it has been to read blogs like yours that are written by people who have been there, done that, and have gained wisdom from their experiences.
      I keep you and Keven in my prayers.