What to do if your ex has a drug or alcohol problem


Does your toxic ex have a drug or alcohol problem? Then I can imagine that you are very worried about how to look after your child.

The younger your child is, the more helpless you’re likely to feel.

First of all: If you can estimate that your ex is no longer able to supervise your child during his contact time, then you must act!

Yes, even if you have already read in several forums about hair-raising judgements in which a child’s father with a severe alcohol addiction was granted regular rights of contact with the child.

After all, you don’t know what dynamic factors came up in these court proceedings.

In this case, be sure to seek advice from a family law specialist and have your individual situation assessed.

There is no question that the more supervision and care your child needs, the more clearly the parent must be able to assess dangerous situations and take good care of them.

If the drug or alcohol problem is already on record, there are alternative contact options such as accompanied visits, where an additional person ensures that the child is well and nothing can happen.

Of course, it also depends on what kind of personality your ex takes on under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If he becomes extremely aggressive and no longer has his impulse control under control, you should do everything in your power to obtain an exclusion of contact.

However, this is not for you to decide, but for a court to decide – hence my tip from above: Please talk to your legal advisor!

If your Ex is a mirror drinker, then he behaves “normally” even with a certain level of alcohol and needs it to function in everyday life.

Is that any consolation for you if you have a small child? Probably not much.

Regardless of this, you should always decide for yourself: If he turns up at the door with a car and a whiff of alcohol to pick up the child for contact, you don’t give him the child.

That’s it.

If the judge has ordered regular contact in advance, it will definitely take a lot of courage on your part.

Document this immediately and discuss it with your lawyer if this is the case for you.

If no judge has yet put their foot down, stay calm and take a clear stance in favour of the child’s welfare.

Which brings us to the key word: Your ATTITUDE.

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A toxic, drug- and alcohol-abusing father brings together several problems that a mother would like to get under control.

On the one hand, there is the fervent wish never to have anything to do with the man again.

To never have to fulfill his demands again.

To finally have peace from his toxicity.

No contact.

A dream!

The toxic ex’s drug and alcohol addiction is a strong argument in favour of achieving this goal.

However, only your inner attitude will decide what you achieve

What do I mean by that?

  • So let’s assume that you’re only thinking about gathering all the arguments against your ex that you can so that you can put an end to this relationship;
  • Assuming, furthermore, that you want to protect yourself and regard the exclusion of contact as a prerequisite for your well-being and
  • you want to avoid your child growing up with this father at all costs –
  • then this is an attitude that makes you come across as controlling, overprotective and possibly selfish.

If, on the other hand, you

  • consider how old your child is,
  • can assess the potential danger of your Ex’s drug and alcohol addiction very well;
  • trust that you can show your child how to deal with such people and,
  • at the same time see how strong the bond and relationship between father and child is in your particular case (whether manipulated or not) –

then this is a different, much more confident, calm, conscious and above all child-centered attitude.

Yes, you MUST act when danger is imminent! If your ex is just lying in the corner with needles in his arms, no child should ever have to see and experience that!

If he becomes a berserker under the influence of alcohol, then your child must be protected from him.

Do you want to feel confident about managing child hand-offs with your toxic ex?


The central question I always ask “my” mums: What does your child need?

If you see this clearly and don’t think that you always have to protect your child 100% from all evil, then you can act very differently and insist on this.

Yes, our children mature more quickly than others because they realize such problems early on and, above all, sense that something is wrong with one parent.

We can’t take responsibility for the child’s father’s decisions, especially if he can’t kick an addiction.

We can’t force him to go to rehab if he doesn’t feel the desire to change his life and get his drug or alcohol problem under control.

It’s also not your job to punish and judge your ex for this. Life will punish him enough, even if he is still grinning cheekily in your face.

But it means something for your child

Your child will define himself or herself as 50% mum, 50% dad. If your child is male, he can identify even more strongly with his father, who as a man doesn’t manage to get his life under control.

In this case, it may be more beneficial to allow the child to learn how it can and is allowed to separate itself in well-dosed contact.

Mind you: as long as body and soul are not in danger.

Your task

Your main task as a mother with a toxic ex is to drive your own inner development and focus on yourself in order to become strong again so that your child can orientate themselves towards you.

Move away from focusing on the toxic ex and their actions!

Make sure you shine the spotlight on your inner self, find your way back to your sovereignty and clarity.

If you are clear, you will become a beacon for your child, even if they are confronted with an addicted, unstable father.

The aim is not to suppress the problem, but to guide the child on how to deal with it in the best possible way – in full confidence that they will learn and that good can even come of it.

Of course, as a mum, you protect your child as best you can with everything in your power if their life is in danger.

But when it comes to external factors that are beyond your control, you still have to learn to let go.

And there is incredible power and relief in that letting go, my dear.

How do you see it, sweetheart?

Are you also struggling with a drug and alcohol problem with a toxic ex? Which approach has brought you the most success so far? Please leave a comment below so other mums can learn from you.

Thank you!

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