DEAR AMY: I discovered my husband with drug paraphernalia in our home and took our 1-year-old son and moved across the country to live with my parents.
My husband went to rehab. He recently got out. This is his third time in rehab, but the first time since I have known him.
He was clean for five years before he relapsed this last time. Before this happened I was hoping to have another child; as it stands, my son will grow up with no siblings or cousins.
Do I have another child with my husband so my son can have a sibling and not be alone in the world?
Do I try to stay in this marriage and see how my husband does, or do I cut my losses now because his past behavior shows that he will most likely use again?
I’m 31 and feel that if I’m going to leave the marriage I should do it soon so that I might have the chance of marrying and having more children before time runs out.
DEAR UNSURE: You seem convinced that your son must have a sibling in order not to be alone. If you grant him a happy childhood, giving him lots of opportunities to form positive and stable relationships, then he will not be alone.
If you want to have another child and can afford to have and raise a child on your own, then there are many ways to do this that don’t involve you staying in a rocky marriage that seems to have a very tenuous future. But having another child does not solve problems and does not guarantee stability for either of you.
You should not give up on your husband – but this does not mean that you need to stay married to him. He is the father of your child. He will be in your life and your son’s life for a very long time. He is capable of staying sober for an extended period, but adding another child to the mix might not be best for him. I hope that you will devote yourself to your own personal and professional growth, instead of being so focused on finding your next partner. You have more time than you realize.
DEAR AMY: Two years ago as an adjunct wedding gift, in addition to the cash requested by the groom and bride, we gave friends the gift of two theme park tickets. They cost us nothing, as my husband works for the parent company, but they have a face value of $300.
These tickets had an expiration date – a long one, but it was there nonetheless, marked on the tickets.
Through an online system at work, my husband discovered the couple never used the tickets. We inquired and said that we noticed they had not been redeemed. We said the opportunity to use them would shortly run out. They responded graciously and said they had not noticed the expiration date and that they sadly would be unlikely to use them, and thanked us again for the gift.
My husband thinks we should perhaps ask for the tickets back so we can give them to someone who can use them. I feel they were a gift, to be used and enjoyed – or not – like any other.
What is the right thing to do?
DEAR PARK FANS: Rather than track and try to get these tickets back, your husband could easily suggest to the young couple that they should feel welcome to re-gift them: “We totally understand that you can’t use these tickets and want you to know that we would be very happy if you passed them along to someone else.”
DEAR AMY: Responding to the plight described by “Disappointed Dad,” whose adult children don’t travel to bring their kids to visit family members, you introduced the impact of sports tournaments scheduled over holidays. I pulled my son out of a tournament to visit his grandparents and his coach punished him by letting him ride the bench.
DEAR DISGRUNTLED: These holiday commitments are the enemy of family relationships.
Write Amy Dickinson at firstname.lastname@example.org.