Fourth, you have some work to do with your family. While they may not understand or accept your actions, you don’t need their approval. You have strong convictions and have set firm boundaries that are right for you and your children, and hopefully in time they will come to respect your decisions.

Dear Dr. David,

I'm writing in response to the letter from "Confused and Tired", whose husband is struggling with a drug and alcohol addiction.  In addition to seeking counseling and support, please don't forget that she needs to seek legal advice in this situation! Using drugs in their home can have serious legal ramifications.  In many states, if the authorities were to find drugs and related paraphernalia in the couples' home, both she and her husband would be taken into custody, and their children would be placed into child services/foster system.  Some states are implementing much stricter rules and penalties in cases where children are exposed to environments where drugs are manufactured or abused.  This is an issue that she cannot ignore, for the sake of her children.  At the very least, she needs to know what her options are, as far as her state's laws are concerned.  If she cannot afford a lawyer, many (if not all) states provide access to legal services for those with low incomes, or those who cannot afford to pay for whatever reasons.  She should be able to contact her state's bar association for a referral or other access to affordable legal advice.

--Concerned Parent

Dear Concerned,

You have aptly shared another perspective on our national epidemic of drug and alcohol abuse. While many believe their addictions, and family dysfunctions are private matters, when the welfare of children come into play, the State may intervene. Your suggestion that spouses consider their personal and family risks, when being a party to drug addiction, is very appropriate. I have significant professional experience where children have been removed from their parents’ care because the parents were found incapable of properly caring for, and protecting, their children. Failing to protect our children from the hazards associated with raising vulnerable children is a serious matter. Thank you for alerting many wives, and husbands, to dangers they may not have fully considered.

Do you need sound, Biblically-based advice on an issue in your marriage or family?  Dr. David will address two questions from Crosswalk readers in his weekly column. Submit your question to him at

David Hawkins, Pd.D., has worked with couples and families to improve the quality of their lives by resolving personal issues for the last 30 years. He is the author of over 18 books, including   Love Lost: Living Beyond a Broken Marriage,  Saying It So He'll Listen, and  When Pleasing Others Is Hurting You. His newest book is titled When the Man in Your Life Can’t Commit.  Dr. Hawkins grew up in the beautiful Pacific Northwest and lives with his wife on the South Puget Sound where he enjoys sailing, biking, and skiing. He has active practices in two Washington cities.