Post # 1
I’m in a notsogoood situation…I’m a regular bee posting in secret. FI’s older brother who is in his mid 30’s has a history of drug and alcohol abuse. He’s a good guy from a loving family, all of whom are in denial except my FI. FBIL was a good kid who fell in with the wrong crowd in college and kind of never got it back together…guys whom occasionally smoke heroin. Recently FI and his best man have come to feel like something bad may be going on again with FBIL. Lately he’s been weird at work, doesn’t look healthy, missed a rent payment, and is dating a questionable new gal.
A few months ago when FI gave him rent money, he told FBIL that he wasn’t going to help him anymore if he didn’t leave town and move closer to us (we’re a few hours away), so that FI could keep an eye on him and hopefully help him start over. We’re all pretty sure the crowd he’s in with in his hometown are kinda keeping him down…in a crappy job and in and out of trouble with substances. But I mean, we’re talking about a grown man so I don’t know what to do. So far he hasn’t gotten in trouble with the law, or impregnated anyone, or caused himself harm…but those of us who see what’s going on with him are worried a serious mistake is the next likelihood. I know he sounds like an idiot but he’s actually really smart and sweet and mannerly…it’s just like shocking that this is really going on when he’s left on his own…
its the last thing I want to take on the year of my engagement to a wonderful loving positive successful man…however, I myself have a couple of uncles who had problems and ended up spiraling into a whole lifetime of problems for my family including both financial strain and emotional pain. In that regard I sincerely want to help if there’s any chance we can get FBIL back on track before it becomes a lifetime tragedy and burden I’m marrying into. On another note i know my mother would be heartbroken if she knew any of this was going on because she always despised my dad’s brothers for this and wanted better for me. its very sad and concerning. We’re discussing having him come stay with us a few weeks and finding him a place where we can subsidize his rent for a few months. Maybe some kind of outpatient program? He doesn’t have insurance so there’s that too. Is it crazy to think we can turn this around now? He’s in the wedding too…I don’t know how I’ll deal if things escalate between now and then…help
Post # 3
I don’t think you can fix this for him. He probably needs to be in an inpatient program.
Post # 4
I don’t think your FBIL should stay with you guys if he doesn’t seek help of his own volition before he moves in. It’s hard enough to want to push and support him through treatment when he wants to get it. It will cause undue stress on you and your FI individually and impact you guys as a couple if you’re constantly having to keep an eye out for sketchy behavior. You can only help those who honestly want to help themselves.
Post # 5
Unfortunately I think you can’t really do anything. Rehab only works if he’s committed to it 100% and it doesn’t sound like he is even 1% committed. I would have your fiance talk to him, but it probably won’t have an effect. Unfortunately he has to want to get help in order for it to work, and even more unfortunately many people have to hit bottom in order to want to get help. Fortunately though he’s a grown man and not your responsibility. You do not have to take care of him, nor should you necessarily. If you are struggling with this, it may be best for both you and FI to go see a counselor that specializes in substance abuse and the relatives of substance abusers.
Post # 6
I wouldn’t willingly invite a substance abuser into my home. the stress is not worth it. You guys can’t get him back on track. If and when he wants help he will take the proper steps on his own. Being engaged comes with enough stress why add this to the list, it won’t end well. Even if you help him now, and he improves, so what, that doesn’t mean he can’t relapse. And then what? Are you going to take him in again?
Post # 7
@UpAtNight28: I know he sounds like an idiot but he’s actually really smart and sweet and mannerly…it’s just like shocking that this is really going on when he’s left on his own...
He doesn’t sound like an idiot. I’m sure he’s a wonderful man but he has a problem that you and your FH can’t fix.
Post # 8
No I don’t think you should allow a drug addict into your home unless you are an addiction specialist. I know you and FI are trying to do the right thing but if he is doing heroin he needs hard core rehab, it’s not like he’s smoking a J once in awhile. I think the only thing you guys can do is not give him money (he’s spending it on drugs) and tell him you’ll be supportive of him if he decides to go to rehab (it has to be his decision otherwise he’ll relapse and will be wasting everyone’s time) if he admits he has an addiction and wants help then look into rehab facilities that are close to you/FI so you can visit and be supportive of him, without bringing him to live in your home. Some rehab facilities are government funded, if he agrees start calling around and tell them his situation (no insurance) I’m sure they can offer solutions or put you in touch with other agencies that may be able to assist him. Good luck to you all and keep us updated.
Post # 9
I don’t think that inviting him to live with you, subsidizing his rent, etc is going to help him. He needs to want to help himself. You’re inviting a whole host of issues, and a lot of stress on yourselves and your relationship. You can’t fix him by having him come live with you, it’s also not your responsibility to set ultimatums for him to get him to change, or parent him. I would not give him money either because as a PP said, he is likely using it for drugs. Don’t let yourself get drug down with him. If you are going to financially assist, offer to help pay for rehab.
Post # 10
…spiraling into a whole lifetime of problems for my family including both financial strain and emotional pain.
The emotional pain I get…. but the financial strain indicates that your family tends to enable…. which is what you are sort of attempting to do with FBIL.
…so that FI could keep an eye on him and hopefully help him start over. ……. But I mean, we’re talking about a grown man so I don’t know what to do.
This is not your FI’s fight. Or your fight for that matter. This is FBIL’s fight. The two of you SHOULD be support, not critical components and certainly not instigators or catalysts. Your FBIL has to want to change. Until he does….. the BEST thing you can do for him is stay out of it and make it difficult for him (ie – DO NOT pay his rent. EVER. AGAIN.)
My opinion? Get yourself to a counselor who can help YOU adjust your reactions to your FBIL (and your FI to his brother).
Post # 11
Wow thanks everybody…I think you guys are right. I suppose we’re being overly optimistic but its true that it could just be enabling if FBIL is not more self-motivated. I really don’t want him to be financially dependent on us either way. It hadn’t occurred to me that FI might need some counseling over this himself…he’s definitely the most emotional about it. I just want to do whatever makes this situation go away and not escalate..it’s hard to imagine FBIL screwing us over, but I know he’s clearly just not really in control. And neither are we.