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Tough Love for Husband?
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.
Nobody has replied to your thread so let me take a shot. I can relate with your story as I am in your husband's shoes, though not quite as severe in terms of DOC severity and erratic behaviour caused from my addiction. For me my addiction has only recently (within the past few months) started causing problems between my spouse and I, but it has almost split us apart in recent weeks. It basically came to a point where it's quit now or never if I want to hold my marriage together. Going on 5 days clean now from hydrocodone + suboxone.
You are doing the right thing. Again, you are doing the right thing. We addicts aren't ourselves when we're using and ESPECIALLY when we're going through withdrawals. We need incredibly strong support to bring us back from the brink and if you want to save your marriage and keep your family together it's up to you to take action, which it sounds like you have started doing. Good on ya, stick to your instinct and see your plan through. What you laid out in your post above seems completely reasonable. Make him start and stick to the plan, but be there always to love and support him along the way. Make sure he is constantly reminded about what he's fighting for: his wife, his family, and literally his life. He will need unwavering determination and motivation if he is to be successful at quitting.
As an aside, have you/your husband looked into suboxone? I certainly don't condone switching one addiction for another, but I think the "maintenance therapy" they promote it for could help in this situation while your husband gets his life back on track then he can worry about quitting that once life has returned to "normal". Something to definitely consult with your physician about for more information if you're interested.
Good luck and God Bless.
Thank you, Zabko, for you reply. It's especially helpful to hear from other people in your situation! He was supposed to go to the local suboxone/methadone clinic this morning. One of his biggest problems though, is that he doesn't follow through on the recovery part. He stops working his steps, going to meetings, has never gotten a sponsor, etc. So, when he comes off of suboxone or methadone, he's going to need to learn how to deal with life. That's where I think recovery will help him. But, being on these boards and soberrecovery has taught me that I have no control over him. If I had any control, he'd have stopped using years ago.
Faith love has nothing to do with this.From what you say he doesn't want to get clean and does not think you will follow through with your plan or that he can intimidate you into coming home.Not my place to tell you to divorce or not .However he knows what and how to get clean but is choosing not to do what is required. And he is risking the kid's lives driving while screwed up This man exhibits no intention of getting clean.
With us there is only one catalyst for change and one only pain. If it doesn't hurt there is no reason to stop And he hasn't hurt still thinks you will break weak and come home. He is not safe for you or your kids to be around at this point. Dog
Faithhopelove it's good to hear that your husband knows about suboxone and is supposed to get started on it. I would strongly advise against methadone, never taken it personally, but read about some really nasty horror stories over the years it seems to be the hardest of any substance ever made/grown to kick. In the suboxone treatment forum on this site you'll find a plethora of guidance and support should he decide to finally get on the suboxone.
I do have to agree with surfdog, however, it really doesn't seem like your husband is interested in quitting the drugs and getting his life cleaned up. I, like you, am religious and don't just through around divorce as an option, but your husband needs to somehow learn that his behaviour cannot go on forever. It's not healthy for him, not healthy for you, and especially not healthy for the kids! You need to take whatever action is necessary to protect them first and foremost.
They always say that someone needs to hit rock bottom before they turn their act around, and as bad as it has been with your husband it doesn't sound like he's hit bottom yet. He needs to come to the realization that drug-use for the rest of your life isn't an option, and that the grass is actually green on the other side once you fight through hell to get to it. Never underestimate the power of prayer. Good luck on your quest and God Bless always.
dont let him get methadone.. that will be worse then what hes on right now. either get him on suboxone let him get used to not being high and then taper off them using roberts taper plan which is posted all over here or have him withdraw from the drugs hes taking now. dont put him on methdaone. wouldnt recommend it to anyone who hasnt already used it. getting off methadone is probably the hardest to do out of any opiate i would say and alot of people who go on methadone never get off because the withdrawals are so long. my advice would be do the sub route. it lasts longer but from personal experience and seeing many others go this route before me the sub route helps you get your mind right while your not withdrawing and lets you get used to a normal non high life. then have him taper off them and he'll still withdraw but nowhere as bad as withdrawing from his drugs hes using now.
I let him make his own decision. He choose to go with what the clinic suggested and to be put on methadone. He seems to be doing ok. He's still somewhat of a jerk at times, especially in the evening. I don't know if the methadone is wearing off by then or what. He's still not living with us. I really don't think I'd consider him moving back in until he's gotten off of methadone and put in some good recovery time.
In the past, when he'd use oxy, he'd sweat a lot. That was one of the clues I used to tell if he was using. He's still sweating w/ methadone. Is this normal? It is an opiate.
Also, since he's on methadone, does this count as "clean time?"
No, it's not "clean time" being on dones. It is hopefully on the road to being clean, but as mentioned it is a tough drug to get off - make sure he is always on the right track, always going down, never up in dose.
Not sure about the sweating...Methadone stays in the system for a long time, and you will know when he has stopped dosing if you are in regular contact - another good indicator for opiate use is very small pupils.