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There is alot going on here but there is nothing you can do if the biological father is refusing to let the kids come stay with you guys and with your husband being in the military there is no way you can him can move close to them.

I hate to say this but for now leave them and the situation alone, the father feels he can handle things and he is in control and until he feels other wise there is nothing you can do.  Let your husband deal with his mom and sister and focus on your home life, so like if he wants to go help let him go but you stay home every now and then you can go but no always.  What will end up happening is this will break you guys apart if you both using all your funds to help family who do not want to be help.  By leaving them alone hopefully the father will see that he can't handle things and take you guys up on the offer to take the kids so they can get it together.  The mother needs serious rehad along with serious therapy and she has to see what she has lost before she can get better.  Her losing the kids to you guys will be a true wake up call for her once rehab is done and she knows she cant come home to see them.

Good luck to you and yoru husband, remember people can only be helped if they want to be.

I am so sorry you are going through this.  You are awesome for being there with your husband.  This might be too much of a thought to deal with right now, but is definitely something to think on for later... your quandary sounds a bit like something my friend is going through.  She has alcoholic parent, and was forced to be the "adult" all her life for her parents and younger sibs.  Which seems like a great thing, but also helps enable the addict, because it is a familiar cue in the cycle.  What your husband is doing fits his "role" in the addicted family dynamic, same as the step-dad's role is avoidance (which is not to say your DH isn't doing the right thing!!!!).  Going to alanon or calling military one source and getting counselling for you and your husband to navigate this crisis might be really eye-opening.  A counselor can tell you when you should intervene and when you shouldn't, so that, like the above posting said, that addiction doesn't bleed into your life (as it is, even from across the country...).

I also REALLY like both opposing ideas of you guys taking the girls for a visit to a stable home, and the hope that the father will connect with his daughters while mom is in rehab.  Maybe both can happen.... maybe the girls can visit you when mom gets out of rehab, so that mom can re-integrate more slowly to the stress of every day life.  
I suggest you and your DH have a really clear talk about boundaries, expectations, and limits, so that you are a team on the same page during this rough time.  Even if you don't agree on every point, it's good to know where your partner stands and understand his perspective.  I'd wholeheartedly support his decisions regarding his family (so he has no regrets, which can be KILLER later on), and let the counselor take the lead in guiding him to a healthy role.  Good luck!  (((hugs)))

Okay lets try this again since it didn't post. Over the course of this weekend, my husband and I have had more than our share of problems in dealing with his family. I would greatly appreciate any advice on this and apologize if its at all confusing...

So the problem is my husband's mother is currently struggling with alcohol and depression. This has been an ongoing problem from what sounds like since my husband was little. However, the saving grace at that time was his grandmother, who passed away about 8 years ago. She pretty much raised him while his mom was just kinda there, hopping from one drug to the next. Now she apparently did get "clean" and stopped doing all that stuff and did get married either right before her mother passed away or soon after. But she now has two small girls now and is struggling with alcohol and depression. I personally feel that she has issues stemming back from long ago and she never coped. She also never coped with the loss of her mother and also never really had to actually take care of her children until now and she doesn't have that same support system....besides her husband. And there lies another problem. He works and supports his family, owning his own business but he is hardly ever present at home. All he does is work. Now I understand that is important, but your family needs you too. Over the years, my husband has attempted to bring them closer together and get them to work on their marriage by going on dates, having him come home earlier and whatnot but that always falls by the wayside. And his mom can't handle this. We tried multiple interventions and his family never changes anything. Over the weekend everything hit the fan and his mom got a du and the next day tried to kill herself by overdosing on sleeping pills. Her husband said he had it under control and that he didn't need my husband to come home(oh I forgot to mention, we live on opposite coasts). So my husband has been checking in w/ them but today his mom pretty much lost her marbles on the phone and my husband said we need to go now. So off we go, to be the adults in this situation but I have no idea what we could possibly do. She was apparently going to rehab in January(I don't understand what the wait is about). And I'm going as more of a support for my husband and to help with the little girls so he can handle his parents but these issues have been ongoing and what makes this so much harder is that there are two little girls involved. In all reality, they both need therapy. His dad doesn't seemed to know how to do anything but work and they all seem to be taking this too lightly. But we can't keep flying back there because they can't handle things....I just lost $1000 because the airline wouldn't help us since I had booked tickets for us to go back for Christmas and now have to book tickets for this week instead. I'm stressed, concerned, and just plain worried. My husband is just beside himself and I have no advice. I could go on and on about my concerns but I just need some advice, I feel like I'm trapped in a glass box. Thank you so much


My husband and I did discuss that, or at least them coming to live with us while their parents work on things because even if his mom goes for help, she won't be even near 100% when she gets out. However, their father won't let them come live with us because "he can't handle them being so far away". As far as I'm concerned, I could care less if he can handle it. These girls don't need to be surrounded by this dysfunction :/

One option would be for you and your husband to become the girls' legal guardians until his mom gets her issues dealt with.  From what I understand, if your husband is the girls' legal guardian, he can add them to Deers.  We did that when we obtained legal guardianship of our daughter while we waited to get the adoption completed.  We were able to move her out of state and we added her to Deers so that she had medical coverage.  This way you know the girls are being taken care of and his mother will be able to focus solely on her issues.  Also, maybe her and her husband can work on themselves during that time.

Mel. " is what it is. Suck it up, deal with it and move on."

You can suggest the girls come with you for a stay until things settle down.  A stay, a visit.  

When dad says yes, then say great.  I need a power of attorney just in case something happens and I need to take one of the girls to the doctor because she stubbed her toe.    


Draw up a short, sweet note that says that the girls have permission to stay with you.  Have dad & mom sign it, get it notarized.

Having the kids "visit" you while he deals with the immediate situation makes it easier to deal with.   And having something in writing just cya's.   Once you have the girls and the paper, let things rest for a bit.

I'm an alcoholic in recovery and this situation sounds very similar to most family situations where one parent is an alcoholic.  Many times the other parent (in this case the father) practices avoidance behaviors by working too much, etc., in an effort to NOT have to deal with what's going on at home.  In essence, the whole family is sick because the mom is sick (addiction affects EVERYONE in a family) and now your family is also getting sick.  Your husband's mom most likely needs professional help, during which time her husband can start going to Alanon so that he can begin to understand what's going on with his wife as well as what's going on in his OWN head.  Her absence will give him a chance to bond with his little girls and get his head back on straight, in order to make some lifestyle changes that will need to be in place for when mom comes home.  At first this option may seem like a total overreaction.  However, addiction affects stronger, smarter people than the rest of us, it's an equal opportunity destroyer, unfortunately.  Also, will power has nothing to do with one's ability to overcome alcoholism/drug addiction, if that were the case then 90% of those suffering wouldn't need treatment.  I have a masters degree and a good family, blah, blah, blah, and I ended up with 2 DUIs, the loss of my career, multiple lost relationships, 3 stints in rehab, and ALMOST lost my husband and my own two little ones before it stuck for me, and believe me I NEVER thought I belonged there until the end.  Your mother-in-law, after the DUI, will most likely be required to get an assessment done to determine the level of her addiction and whether or not treatment may be necessary.  If that assessment isn't a requirement in mom's state following the DUI, any addiction specialist can complete one and make a recommendation.  Believe me it will be scary for your mom-in-law to take that step, but once suicide becomes an option (and believe me I have experience in the depression/suicidal tendencies area due to my own addiction) getting specialized help may be the only answer.  Beg your mother-in-law to give it a try, she has nothing to lose and everything to gain.

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