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My Drug Addicted 27 yr Old Step Daughter is Destroying My Marriage....

by Wife/Step Mom
(Commerce,Ga,USA)

Brief summary: We will call my step daughter Angel. Angel's birth mother died of AIDs when she was 3yrs old. I met her father soon after ... we joined families and raised 6 children. We had a lot of problems with a blended family, each child had experienced some type of abuse, my husband and I included.


But we all had stability, security, and religion. I found out recently Angel's drug problem started at 13 yrs old. Marijuana and pills & alcohol. I suspected such but my husband refused to believe it. We argued about this often, but she would convince him I was wrong and I only said such things because I wasn't her real mother.

She left home at 17 and went wild, became pregnant etc. Today, Angel has 2 children a husband. She is addicted to pain medications (percocet, oxycontin, lortab, methodone) and she also takes Zanax, Phenogen and other pills. Angel continues to smoke marijuana, this is all that I am aware of.

She lost the kids to foster care for 2 years, got them back but never actually kicked her addictions. She lies and connives people, including my husband are manipulated by her. Angel, her husband (also drug addicted) and the kids are repeatedly moving in and out of our home. They have not lived at the same address for more than a couple of months at a time.

The children are 8yrs and 6yrs old. I am tired, my health is bad, my husband's health is bad, we are in our 50's, he is not able to work and I am still working. Our other children have established their own homes and families ... what can I do to stop my husband from enabling Angel to live this way?

I have said everything I know to say ... I have talked to Angel a million times over, I will be there for her if she wants to get off the drugs.
My husband still sees a 3yr old baby that lost her mother when he looks at Angel. He is her provider & protector, one of the attributes that attracted me to him in the first place.

But, she is grown now and we are not responsible for her actions any longer. This is what he has a problem accepting. The kids are pitiful, it breaks my heart and she doesn't care enough about them to stop. She only wants them for the big Tax Refund they bring and Gov't benefits. I have refused to live with them again.

My husband does agree they will not move back in because it is so stressful, but if he relents this time I will be leaving, 22 years of marriage will be down the drain ... and I do still Love Him ... Any advice?

Alcoholism-and-Drug-Addiction-Help.com Answer



You've done all you can and made it clear to your husband that you're no longer prepared to have Angel moving back home - and so he knows where the boundary lies and what the consequences will be if he allows her to.

Further than that you now just have to wait and see what happens. Hopefully he isn't put to the test, but if he is you have to make sure you're prepared to follow through so that your husband realises how serious you actually are. And if it comes to that, it may then lead to your husband putting his foot down if he actually sees he stands to lose you. Because actions are always far more powerful than words.

In the meantime though, what you can try and do is educate your husband. As a parent your natural instinct is to protect. But if you take that too far, a child is never given the opportunity to really learn from their mistakes and that if they make poor choices, the consequences that come with them are going to be unpleasant.

So in part your husband's reaction is understandable, but at the same time it's not healthy or helpful because all he's doing is further enabling Angel's addiction. That's why in terms of education, going to an Addictions Counselor together or attending Al-Anon/Nar-Anon meetings, will actually help him better understand the nature of addiction and that the best way to help someone is to let them fall.

And having that information come from a 3rd party always gives it more credibility. We're often more inclined to believe outsiders than we are those close to us - so if he can hear the kinds of things you've been telling him for years about not enabling Angel from another source, the penny may finally drop and he'll realise he can't keep on rescuing her.

But you've done the main thing in terms of clearly stating where you stand on the matter, and now it's a question of trying to do what you can so that hopefully your husband won't put your ultimatum to the test.


You're obviously caught in the middle here, so the best thing to do is to continue to educate and arm yourself with knowledge around addiction, which hopefully your husband will in turn eventually do as well. Dealing with addiction in children is a very specialised area and there isn't a lot of info out there that covers the topic, and that's why I put together Help! My Child Is An Addict. Take a look because it really could provide invaluable information in helping you deal with the situation you're faced with. Whatever you decide though, take care and good luck.

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Tired of this heroin addict NEW
by: Anonymous

My daughter was so beautiful and so sweet until she had her baby and had a destructive birth healthwise. She should have had a c-section but the dr. just wouldn't do it and it caused her lots of lasting pain. She would get prescribed percocets for the pain over and over again until she was addicted. Then she started snorting them and then shooting them. She has moved onto heroin and destroyed her life, her marriage and our lives.
She can lie like nobody I have ever seen and is always running down our driveway to pick up her stuff. We want to throw her out of our house after trying to have us arrested for hitting her which never happened.
She has a 2 year old little girl that we take care of and she said if she leaves that she is taking her with her. I cannot let that happen so we put up with her.
She has stolen so many of our items that the list totals $7000.
She steals peoples checks, credit cards and cashes them and has finally got caught so now she is facing prison.
We have put her in 2 detoxes, rehab, tried suboxone treatment with IOP only to find out she sells the suboxone for heroin.
We are so angry with her that she has destroyed what once was a happy home.
Her room looks like a crackhouse and her cat doesn't get fed or watered unless I do it.
This drug is so destructive it blows my mind!

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step daughter destroying my marriage
by: Anonymous

I have a 20 year old step daughter who has been a problem from day 1. I have spent the last 15 years with a child who has some significant character flaws as well as a heroin addiction now.
This is a kid who never had a responsibility in her life NOR has she ever had to pay consequences for any of her deeds. (at 20 she has been arrested twice, one for assault and one for shoplifting) mom and dad bailed her out of both situations. She was also fired from 4 different jobs. She never had a chore, responsibility, or she never had to pay any consequences. I am a very compassionate person however at this point, and thinking of all the sacrifices I have made for this kid that I NEVER liked. I love my husband very much but the enabling is nauseating to this point. I don't want her in my house let alone sleep over. I really want nothing to do with her. I have had enough. I was looking for an apartment thinking we could live separate and he could deal with her while I organize my life a bit. Then I lost my job so that idea is out. The depression is getting so I need meds. I don't know what to do. I Love him He is my soul mate, but I am not willing to sacrifice another 15 years with the misery this kid has inflicted all this time. Most of the behavior is her parents fault because she was spoiled from the beginning Like I said from day 1. Not sure what to do but I am ready to pack it up and go..Any advice? The story is much longer..I can go on and on.

Thank you.
At my wits end

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Dear God Are You Listening
by: Anonymous

My 28 year old step daughter needs slapped repeatedly and quite hard. She is addicted to Zanax, Vicodin, darvacet, and any other pain pill she can get her hands on. She has two beautiful children ages 1 and 6. She is married to an alcoholic. Naturally in the eyes of the law he is going to look like an angel. Our daughter has never been arrested for anything but has spent some unproductive time in rehab. I want both of them arrested for jay walking if nothing else can stick. Unfortunately until one of them is arrested, I can do nothing to protect either of my grand children. She has been an addict since she was 14 years old. Half of her life has been literally in a fog. I am scared that when she finally ends her torment...she takes those babies with her

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Today has been particularly hard.
by: Anonymous

Hmm I don't know what to say. If I tell my husband something he says I am buying into her game, I say no I am not I just want you to see what is going on. He doesn't.... IDK I think I will follow your example and just say nothing. it falls on deaf ears anyway.

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not talking at all...
by: Holding On

No...I don't feel like I'm talking to a wall because we have almost stopped talking about Angel altogether. once in a while I will ask a general question or comment on services that may be available to her. I have learned where the line is and I don't cross it anymore, he always defends her anyway...I never got anywhere either.
We recently decided to budget our money so we could account for spending...each of us recieves a weekly allowance to use any way we choose, so he can use his for Angel if he wants...this keeps us from arguing...because I am not supporting her or enabling her behavior.
I'm like a visitor in our home...I sit quietly and feel like I don't really belong.The phone rings...they get it...TV...they pick what we watch...Meals...what they prepare...on and on...my husband is retired and she is jobless...I work full time so they have all day every weekday to be together while the kids are in school...probably talking about how mean I am and how she only wants a mama who will understand like her daddy does...YUK! I am getting sick...December may be too far away.

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talking to a wall
by: Anonymous

I was just basically put in my place by my "husband" because once again I exposed another lie she has told. This seemed to anger him and then he started screaming at me , I actually let him do all the yelling about how I pick on her and to mind my own business. Ok I sat there calmly and then asked was he through he said yes and I calmly walked away, tears streaming down my face. I really thought we could work this out but no we can't. I really love my husband but like your relationship the closeness is gone. Although there seems to be is animosity and I keep thinking WHY does it have to be this way? We love each other and she is destroying what we worked so hard for. IDK I really don't know what to do. I did ask for a divorce but I really don't want one and neither does he. I just want it all to stop. I feel so bad for you. I know you must feel as I as if you are talking to a wall.

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Holiding on by a thread...
by: Holding On

Well...she lost her job, her and the kids are still with us...and she is trying to cause arguments with my husband and I, I think she wants me to leave so she can run my house and her dad will take care of them. So far its not working, I have a deadly calm she has not been able to break. I just won't give up. My husband still believes everything she says and thinks nothing is her fault, I just ignore it and refuse to discuss any issues concerning her, so far we are not fighting, but our closeness is gone. We have no time together, he is busy taking care of her needs and her kids. I escape into my own little world...la de dah
Supposedly she is getting child support recovery to collect from her husband, which will take some time and she is looking into government housing. Mentaly...I have set a time frame for her to be gone and self supporting...December, no one knows this but me. If nothings changed I am out of here...like you said earlier "Enough"

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I think it's gone too far for too long
by: Anonymous

Thank you, I asked my husband for a divorce yesterday. I was at the grocery store crying, this morning ( didn't realize I even was) until a woman spoke to me and then hugged me and I cried harder. I am a total mess because once again he is in denial and always always puts her needs before anyone else, even himself. I am sick of her lies, stealing and just all around BS. I spoke with him this morning and I said she is a 27 yr old GROWN WOMAN with a drug addiction, she is NOT the little girl YOU see. She does have a job ( not sure how much longer) she HAD an apartment until 5 days ago. It was subsidized housing but she thinks she can drive her car and not have insurance and then fail to show up for court appearances and also have terroristic threatening charges but she has went off on someone again. And fails to show for that court date and then calls us when she has been arrested to bail her out. I said last time NO , he did it anyway. But, she has now lost her apartment bc it is goverment housing and she now has several warrants out for her arrest. She asked could she move in with us, I said yes but you must have a drug screening on a regular basis for a while. She was offended and said she's not on drugs and of course her fathers wife is a you know what. He says I am too hard on her. I said I am just as hard on my own kids. I said funny all three of mine have went and finished college. I said WHY? bc I made them seek a profession. I said I was the boss when they were young not THE other way around. And of course the mom is a heroin addict as well and they LOVE to hang out together. I also told him that I offered her everything my own children were offered and she declined, I also said HOW MANY TIMES did I help her enroll in college only for her to get high and NOT go to school? I said how many times have I offered rehab help and you have said well don't be too hard on her she may get angry? I said I am done with you and her. I am now no longer speaking to him and am moving out this week, I see no other choice. I love him and it is killing me but I see no other way out of this nightmare.

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Hang on as long as you can...
by: Holding on

I am the wife/step mom that wrote the page you commented to...and I want to tell you I did have to hold my ground and refused to let them move back in or take advantage of us anymore...I gave my husband an ultimatum, they move in and I move out...if they became self supporting I would consider coming back to him...I was calm and even told him how much I loved him but I could not live like this anymore...He did not let them move in again and he stopped enabling them to maintain their drug lifestyle...He began addressing the real issues with her and things began slowly improving...Our daughter kicked her husband out and is not doing any drugs that I can tell...she went to work [1st job in 9 yrs] and is setting short term goals...Of course I am encouraging her and made sure she knows I am here for her...if she needs rehab I will take the kids and do whatever I can to help her...I am trying to not get my hopes to high...she has crushed us before...but this time is different...my husband and I can talk about it without arguing...he acknowledges the drug problem now...and will not enable it...so my advice to you is hang on...as long as you can...stand your ground...calmly, gently...the quiet calm really gets their attention...its kinda scary. I will be praying for you...please pray for me...us step moms have to stick together and God hears us when nobody else is listening...

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My drug addicted step daughter is destroying my marriage
by: Anonymous

I also have a drug addicted 27 yr old step daughter. She steals and lies and is CONSTANTLY telling her father that I lie on her. Her mother is a drug addict and the "Party" together. Anything you name it, drug of choice is percocet , heroin etc. I have had enough of him constantly covering for her. he says I buy into her game, I said no there would be NO TROUBLE at all if I accepted her lies, but I refuse to anymore and when I address it head on it always comes back to how mean I am and how I pick on her. She says I am doing my best, I say no you were evicted from subsidized housing due to having warrants out for your arrest. It NEVER stops with her. I love my husband but after 15 yrs of his enabling I am done. I just don't know what to do, I told him today I was moving out after more drama and more of her lies. He seems to think that buying things for her, gets her out of the way. What he really means she will throw a FIT if she doesn't get her way. he has 2 other daughters 23 24 who do not do drugs and I have 3 of my own. All of our children are over 18. his two other daughters at try and make it in this world and my two daughters have very good jobs as well as my son who is finishing his last year at the university. But, then there is her and she is single handed destroying my marriage. I don't maybe she has always has been, maybe I have just said ENOUGH!

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