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Tough Love for Husband?
Hi Everyone. I'm sure my story is the same as any other spouse that deals with their spouse's drug addiction. My husband is charming, good-looking, smart, etc......a golden boy. He's also the only boy- he has two sisters. He comes from a basically perfect family. When we met, at church, we each had a child from a previous relationship. After we got married, we had two children together. So, what I do, or don't do, affects these sweet children in one way or another. My AH DOC is oxycontin. When he's not using that, he'll take other pain pills, smoke marijuana, and/or drink. He's a master manipulator and liar. He's a thief; he's stolen from me, his parents, friends, and organizations. Lucky for him, his parents paid everyone back and no one pressed charges. In the five years that we've been married, he's lost/quit two jobs. He is now working for his family. He's been to our local hospital's detox unit (5 days at a time) a few times and this past spring he spent about a month at a rehab center 5 hours away. He's also completed an after-care program. I've spent two Easters without him because he was at detox or rehab. I've set out Christmas all alone because he was passed out. I've called the police because I heard him pass out in our hallway in the middle of the night. I'd thought he might have overdosed on oxy (he was up to 300mg/day at one point), but after the ambulance came and took him to the hospital, I found out he was just too drunk to function.
I'm exhausted. I'm tired of always wondering if he's really tired or actually on oxy. I don't enjoy watching his eyes roll into his head and then him nod off, when he's standing up. I don't like hearing him fall and take out the shower curtain with him, while in the bathroom. I hate waking up in the middle of the night to hear him in the bathroom for long periods of time, wondering what in the world he's doing in there....when I know he's in there using. I'm tired of finding his drug accessories in our vehicles or home. I'm tired of pouring out countless bottles of liquor (which, by the way, he hates for me to even have a drink) that were hidden in our deep freezer. I'm tired of him being super grumpy when he is clean. I'm sooo tired of his lies... I hate liars! He's traveled with us on vacation and stashed drugs in my checked luggage (obviously without me knowing); he's kept drugs in the rental car we drove to our destination; I have to keep my checkbook at work and my debit card hidden from him; he drives around with the kids while he's using; the list goes on and on. I'm on an antidepresent because of him. His thearpists can't believe I'm still with him and neither can mine.
So, about a week and a half ago, I gathered some friends and we moved my kids and me out of our home. (I'm a lawyer, by the way, so I already know when and if I can take our kids....in this situation, I absolutely can)Then, he begs and makes me believe he's going to change. He hadn't actually done anything recent to make me leave, other than an incident of him pounding on our DVD player so hard that he broke it....and him just being a jerk in general. But, we're Christian and I don't want to divorce him, if he can change. I left him because he'd stopped going to meetings or his classes that he's supposed to go to in order to con't to recieve vivitrol. He's never gotten a sponsor and stopped working his steps. I've tried to support him, forgiven him a zillion times, and when things seem like they're calming down, I get a punch to the stomach and the breath is knocked out of me (not literally....I don't think he'd ever hurt me). I can't do this anymore and take care of our kids and be an effective attorney. He's sucking the life out of me.
So, I left, and then 2 days later, we came back. Everything was going great. We started marital counseling. He went to a meeting. He moved all of our stuff back home. He was very affectionate and loving...he even helped around the house. One day I turned in my keys to the people I was going to rent off of and the next morning I gave him a drug screen. He failed. I mean, really?!! He had been clean for supposedly 5-6 weeks (which is a long time for him), and then when everything is going ok, he uses?! So, I kicked him out. His family said that he and I need to come up with a better way to handle our indiscretions, other than one of us moving. That's nice for them to say that. They get to sleep soundly in their beds without worrying if a drug deal is taking place via their mailbox in the middle of the night. They get to actually depend on their spouse when my AH's issues have brought them to their knees. I don't have someone to depend on; my someone is high. I feel like they've always been supportive of me but they still minimize what he does. He's freakin' addicted to oxycontin and I don't want me or my kids to live with him until he's better! I feel like I have to stomp my foot and scream this before they'll take me seriously.
My proposal, but now it's a demand, is that we live apart until he's been sober for at least six months. During that time, he needs to go to NA and AA meetings- at least 5 per week; he needs to get and work with a sponsor; he needs to stay employed and actually work...not stay in bed half the day; he needs to work with a counselor; and we need to go through marriage counseling. He also needs to give me space. I need to recover from these last five years of Hell. I really don't want to be five more years down the road and look back and wish I'd have left sooner. If I'd have known he was a drug addict when we got married, I wouldn't have married him. Huge deal-breaker. But, he says that's not what married people do (live apart). If I "love him" and he's "worth it," I'll let him come back home. That's crazy! Six months is not going to kill anyone.
I'd love to hear from other spouses of addicts. Please tell me if I'm being too selfish or unreasonable. Please tell me if there is hope or if I should just go ahead and file for divorce. I, of course, welcome advice from others as well. I'm just tired of it all. I do love him but I can't keep doing this and it's not safe for our kids. Thank you.
I know you are exhausted, but he cant really do this on demand. He will only get clean, if/when/ because he has had enough. But you have done the only thing you can do at this point, the rest is up to him. YOU need to take care of yourself, be clean, be healthy, be clear minded for your family and make plans to move forward with YOUR life. I wish you all the best, all my prayers are with you.
Your plan is excellent - just the kind of boundaries that you need to set in this situation. I add one suggestion for you - get to some Naranon or Alanon meetings, for your own guidance and support. There's too many folks around you that are being critical when they don't live with what you do. The support in Naranon or Alanon is essential.
You don't have to please anyone in his family - or yours - you have to take care of your and your children. This situation, as you know, is completely unsafe for all of you. You do not want this as a role model to your children, either. Too many kids grow up with an addicted parent - harbor great anger and resentment about it - yet go on to addiction themselves. Children do what they see done. Our words mean little, when compared with our actions.
I hope you are able to get a support group around you - whether it's friends or family - or Naranon/Alanon. This is too much to take on, alone.
This isn't asking him to do it "on demand." This is allowing him (the addict) to feel the consequences of his drug use. That is the only way that an addict reaches bottom and seeks out recovery. If we stick around, continue to enable and excuse their behavior, they'll never FEEL that bottom. Besides, you aren't "demanding" anything. You're taking care of you, you're taking care of your children - and, as a bonus, you're actually doing the best thing possible for him in the long run. He needs to feel the devastation, or he'll just keep using.
I work in the field - and must say, your plan is just what I would have suggested! I hope you'll keep us posted, and feel free to use this forum for support.
You will know the truth - and only the truth can set you free.
You have a good plan, and you should stick to it. The worst thing you could do is to keep separating and then a few weeks later moving back in together. That is NOT healthy for the kids to see. They need consistency....even if its the consistency of him not being there for a couple of months. So go forward with your plan....but even if he gets clean right away and is clean for 3 months...don't let him back in right then. Stick to your timeline.
You don't deserve to live like this....
Thank you, everyone! This is just so hard....especially when he tries to make me feel guilty-which he is great at! He says that I might as well file the divorce papers now or he tries to bait me with our marriage vows. Don't worry though, he's broken way more vows than I ever imangined he would! I'm hopeful that I can move back into the house that I had moved into a week and a half ago. The LL have known me since high school and have not rented it yet. I think that will be best for our kids and me. He wants the kids and me to stay in our marital home, and he'll just leave. But that isn't and never has worked. He always just comes back whenever he wants.
I did finally tell him "no" last night, which was very hard for me to do. He wanted to take our pre-schooler, unsupervised, this afternoon. His justification was that he'd have his older child with him so he wouldn't be able to "do anything." I wanted with all my soul to believe him and say yes, but I didn't. I actually used my head and reminded myself that he just tested positive for oxy two days ago. I'm also insistent that anytime he sees our kids, he be supervised by an adult. It's so strange...I'm a teriffic attorney but when I try to apply my advice to my own life....I crack and give in. But, not this time.
I've discovered that I was the poster child of a Family Hero codependent child. I was popular, smart, involved in every activity at school possible, and loved by all. I also took care of my two little sisters from the time I was in grade school. My father was an alcoholic and my mom abused drugs. The life I have now is EXACTLY the OPPOSITE of the life I wanted for my children!!!!
Last edited by ddcmod; 08-31-2013 at 04:33 PM.
I understand how you feel about having the exACT opposite of the life you wanted for yourself and children, except I am the addict ( in recovery thANK GOD) In my opinion you are doing the right thing by leaving him and giving him the ultimatum of truly getting the help he needs to get clean for real this time. As an addict, I understand how the drugs can and do change your personality. I had a mother for an alcoholic and i SWORE i would never be like her when I grew up, let alone subject any children I would have to that. But thats exactly what I did, pills and alcohol at that. It just gets away from you. It is true only he can get himself clean, you cant force him. BUT if the consequences from his using are too much for him to handle then he may actually get it this time. I think Ruth ( ARTIST) said something along those lines. But you have to hold your ground. aND YOU MUST PREPARE for the worst. Are you prepared if he decides he just cant get clean or refuses or relapses again? I hope that does not happen, But it is a possibility. You got it right when you said it is an unsafe situAtion for your kids, and yourself too. mentally and emotionally the scars are very deep when you have an addict for a parent as i am sure you realize. It sounds like you are doing everything you can to help yourself and children. keep working on that, because you cannot work on your husband, he has got to do that himself. i will keep you in my prayers and keep us posted. Maybe see if hubby would like to come on here and talk too.
Last edited by ddcmod; 08-31-2013 at 04:33 PM.
Clean and Sober as of 4-25-2011
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