“Addiction is extremely complex, and it’s never a one-size-fits-all solution. Only when the addict decides it’s time to change is there real hope. Until then, money, family, public perception – all those things don’t mean a thing.”

So it’s not as simple as putting a stop to the “enabling,” according to Dr. Grenier. He advises that instead of seeing the issue as being about the addicted son and his father, you “reconceptualize the problem” as your own. In other words, reframe the issue as having to decide if living with this unstable situation is something you’re prepared to do.

As much as you love this man, you’re going to have to decide if it’s enough of a relationship for you. In other words, is this the way you want to live your life together? And if the situation doesn’t change – which it may not – can you find happiness in spite of the father-son-addiction issues?

As Dr. Grenier so aptly puts it: “Ask yourself – do you see getting the kind of stability in this relationship that you really want, knowing that on a good day with the wind behind your back you have but a small degree of influence on what the addicted son does or doesn’t do?” You may well be facing a future of broken promises and “last times,” so only you can set the limits and only you know what you’re prepared to endure. It’s a difficult decision but one you would be well advised to make sooner rather than later.

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Send Diane a brief description of your dilemma, along with your first name and where you live, to [email protected]

A professional journalist for more than 25 years, Diane Sewell has written for some of the top newspapers and magazines in Canada and is a baby boomer herself. Her new blog “Boomerangst: Turning Dilemmas into Discoveries” is interactive with readers and focuses on life issues – like aging, dating, second marriages, sex, death, family and fashion. Diane will use her expertise to find the right expert to help solve your predicament, unearthing kernels of truth and quickly getting to the heart of the issue.

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