Dear Dr. Archer,
I have been with my son's father for six years. During this time he has never held a job -- all he has ever done is sell drugs.
He never helps out with anything! He just lays around the house all day and stays out all night. When I ask him why he didn't come home he will say he was working.
Keep in mind he is my first love and he is all I know. What do I do?
First loves always hold a very special place in our hearts, and your son's father is no different. He's the person who taught you what it means and how it feels to fall in love.
The two of you share years of memories filled with laughter as well as tears, and now you share a son together. I'm sure you thought that you would always be together. However, Shine, you must see him for what he is.
This man is a criminal and a bum. He would rather engage in illegal activity than hold down a real job to provide for his family. There is no excuse for this behavior, Shine. This man is staying out all night selling drugs and who knows what else.
Is this the type of environment in which you want your son to grow up? He will consider this a normal, acceptable way of life. If this happens, he will most likely finish growing up in the judicial system in prison.
Please, Shine, you are no longer a child. You are a mother, and your focus should be on protecting and raising your son to the best of your ability. That you have written me tells me that you know this is wrong; you just need someone to say it.
So here it is: you and your son are in danger by remaining in this environment. Tell your son's father that he must cease all illegal activity, get his GED if need be, and obtain a legitimate job, making honest money.
Voice your concerns, and then the ball will be in his court. You will find out exactly where you and your son stand on his list of priorities. If he chooses you, then wonderful. Help him any way you can once he obtains legal employment. If he chooses the streets and drugs, then you know you are much, much better off without him.
If things do not work out as you hope, lean on family; you might need them for a while. Time is the greatest healer of broken hearts, and there are many men who do not rely on crime to make money.
Get your child as far away from that environment as possible, as quickly as possible. I truly want everything to work out best for both you and your precious son. Take care.