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husband home from rehab...now what?
  1. #1
    sweetnessJJ is offline Member
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    Default husband home from rehab...now what?

    My husband returned from rehab on Tuesday afternoon, completing 28 days and being discharged. After some initial resistance and "I don't really need this" talk, he eventually had this moment of clarity where he realized he had to change, he wanted to be totally sober (no drugs or drinking), and he was very eager to begin a 12 step program. I cannot tell you how happy that made me feel. I felt like I was on cloud nine. I have not been so happy in a very long time, as I was when I heard those words come out of his mouth. Finally, I thought we were ready to move forward. That was about two weeks ago.

    He has been home a few days now and has skipped all meetings. He told me last night he has decided that he is not as bad as an addict as other people, so he only needs to go to 4 meetings a week and is not sure he needs a sponsor. I feel dejected and sad, and I told him as much. I kept asking him questions, trying to hold him accountable to what he said he was going to do. He started screaming at me that no one can live like this, he is not happy, and he has to be selfish in his recovery. I ended up leaving with our baby to spend the night at my mom's house, because he refused to leave.

    Today he left to attend an out of state court hearing for drug charges from last year. He will not spend time in jail but will be on probation for two years. I am worried the only thing keeping him sober is the drug tests he will have to take. It seems like he wants to be sober, but not healthy. Does that make sense? He is irritated with me because he is sober, and he says it is still not enough for me. I am so happy he is sober, but I want him to stay sober and become healthy. Work the steps, work on his underlying issues that caused him to use, and become a stronger, better person.

    Am I being unreasonable? I am so sad. I feel manipulated by him again. I feel as though he said what he had to say to get out of rehab, to get everyone in his life thinking he is finally going to make real changes, and now nothing is going to change.

    I am trying to get to my first al-anon meeting tonight. I have an event for work that I hope will be done in time. Am I wrong to say "I know your recovery is yours, but I believe true recovery comes from working the program on their terms, not on your own. I need to remove myself from this situation while you sort this out."

    It is my understanding that being selfish in recovery means avoiding triggers, getting to meetings whenever you need to, and working through the steps in order to work on yourself. He seems to think it means that he gets to do whatever he wants, verbally abuse me when I question him, and sit around watching tv all day.

    I am looking for anything from anyone- anyone who is in my position, any of you in recovery who can help me see where is coming from, anything at all.

    I feel like I am grasping at straws with him. He does not want to hear me. I would leave, except that we have our child together who is not even a year old yet. The thought of leaving baby alone with him breaks me heart. The thought of us not being a family, it breaks my heart.

  2. #2
    kathleen5hockey is offline Advanced Member
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    Famous last words, "I'm not as bad as "those" addicts." It is very typical for the addict to lay around and not do anything but work on his recovery, which is NOT really working on recovery. He has to go to the meetings. Read the thread Addiction, can't understand part II. You will get some ideas on how to handle this and your future. No one can tell you what to do, educate yourself on addiction and make a rational choice for your child and your future. Good luck.

  3. #3
    sweetnessJJ is offline Member
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    I know, it's all so, so typical. I feel like a fool for expecting things to have changed. They never have before. Thanks for your reply, heading to that thread now.

  4. #4
    Iwantoff2013 is offline Platinum Member
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    Oh, Lord. I had to cringe when he said "I'm not as bad as other addicts". Please. That's just nonsense. He's already trying to avoid the responsibility of really working on his recovery and making excuses about why he's "unique". Thats not uncommon. I'm really sorry to hear that. I know you had high hopes. I think you should tell him exactly what you proposed. Remove yourself from the situation until he takes full responsibility and accepts that he's an addict who's no better or worse than any other addict.

    I had to laugh when he said "I have to be selfish in my recovery". He's taken a common recovery phrase and twisted its meaning to suit himself. Being "selfish in recovery" doesn't mean making excuses, doing whatever you want, and yelling at your spouse; it means the person literally makes recovery priority number one and puts in every effort to remain clean. Tell him THAT.

    I sincerely hope he comes around. He's already completed rehab and it would be a damn shame for him to throw away the last month. AlAnon is an excellent place to start. We're here for ya.

    Kat
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  5. #5
    sweetnessJJ is offline Member
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    Thanks, Kat. You're right on the nose.

    It's all such a bummer. I felt SO GOOD when he said he was ready to change! I even said to myself "Savor this...you don't know how long this will last."

    We won't see each other until Sunday. He does not get back in town until Saturday morning, and I am going out of town with the baby tomorrow. I hope we can have a productive conversation when we see each other. In the interim, I hope his friend who is also sober but working the steps is able to talk to him. I am not going to hold my breath on his parents, they have never held him accountable and aren't huge on the 12 steps.
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  6. #6
    Catherine120813 is offline Senior Member
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    I am with the others when I heard: "I am not as bad as.. (you can supply lots of words here)"

    The truth is he has lots more bad stuff he can acquire to be "as bad as" or "worse than"... it's all right there waiting for him. Except on that path it is definitely going out into the dark woods without protection. I can't tell you how many stories there are of people right out of rehab using or drinking almost immediately and ODing or dying in some other avoidable manner.

    But there are also many many stories of people who stopped before they were "as bad as" and are now leading very successful lives. We can hope that for your husband. And I will say that most people come to 12 step programs with reservations, and through osmosis, they "get it" and stay.

    Meanwhile, you are REALLY doing the right thing by getting yourself to Al-anon. Brava!!
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  7. #7
    sweetnessJJ is offline Member
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    Thanks Catherine. I worried that when I left last night, he might do something to himself. He was sent home with a 90 day supply of Seroquel and a muscle relaxant. I have no clue if one can overdose on those things or not. But that thought did cross my mind, and it worried me.

    I am praying, thinking, hoping, feeling SO HARD that he starts going to meetings and they get to him. I am happy to be out of town for the weekend. This whole situation has exhausted me. All I can do is set boundaries and stick to them. I look forward to getting to al-anon and figuring out what those boundaries will be.

  8. #8
    Melina123 is offline Senior Member
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    Hello and welcome. All posted responses r on point. As a recovering addict, i can see hes not ready. Actually hes full of it. Yes Im thr blunt one, sorry.
    You will save ur sanity with alanon. Honestly, no matter what u do u cant save him. If hes going to get it together he has to be sick and tired of being sick and tired. Sounds like u r there now. Its also not a love thing. Many believe if so and so really loved me they wpuld stop. As Kathleen said, come over and read Addiction and I dont understand. FABULOUS posters there. U r not alone!
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  9. #9
    sweetnessJJ is offline Member
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    Thanks Melina. This is what I need to hear! Confirmation of what I already feel and think.

    I understand about it not being a "love" thing. I do think that he loves me, but I think he loves himself a whole lot more! I know he's scared of change, etc etc, but I'm not. I am READY for change. Looks like I may have to just change things for myself.

  10. #10
    Catrina is online now Diamond Member
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    Sweetness,

    Don't waste your breath trying to reason with hubby. Truly. Do whatever you have to do to save yourself and your baby. Ultimatums rarely work. Active addicts and those newly in recovery that aren't doing the work are extremely selfish and really hate confrontation. Once detoxed, they really believe that the past should be forgotten and you should give him unquestioned trust. Doesn't work that way. You have to earn it and it takes a long, long time. I know! I am a long term addict clean for 5 years. I also know that there are times when my family looks as me with suspicious eyes. It hurts me, but I also know that they deserve to be suspicious. At this point, it doesn't rock my recovery, however. This too is something that I just accept.

    Good luck, Sweetie. Meeting will help you tremendously! Reading posts here from those in recovery will also help you. Maybe give you a bit of insight into the insane mind of an addict. (I got one of those, by the way.)

    Peace,

    Cat
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  11. #11
    sweetnessJJ is offline Member
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    Thanks, Cat. Your post, along with the others, is totally on point. I appreciate hearing it and confirming what I already know, especially from a recovering addict! I still have hope in my heart. But at the end of the day, I cannot have safety and security with him like this, and I cannot provide a safe and secure home for our child in the present situation either. It is my belief that you can be sober but not recovering. Does that make sense? To really recover, he is going to have to work the program how it is meant to be worked. Not on his terms.

  12. #12
    sweetnessJJ is offline Member
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    ps, I love your Kahlil Gibran quote. The Prophet is close to my heart.

  13. #13
    Catrina is online now Diamond Member
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    Sweetness,

    It makes TOTAL sense. Sober and in recovery is like comparing apples and oranges.

    Peace,

    Cat
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  14. #14
    Melina123 is offline Senior Member
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    JJ, absolutely right about sober not recovering. Im in my second month of recovery from long term opiate addiction. I quit numerous times and relapsed. Why? Becoz I wasnt "Like them" and I "couldnt go to meetings omg someone might SEE me". Rationalization, justification...ugh. im as far as i am now ONLY becoz I wanted it and found NA and this forum. Period.
    U have to protect urself and ur child. Work on that, becoz ultimately, its all u CAN control.
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  15. #15
    sweetnessJJ is offline Member
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    Thanks Melina. You are 100% correct. Right now, I am working on the three Cs, detachment, and not preventing or provoking a crisis. Hard to do but the right thing to do. Only time will tell. Congrats on your recovery!! Hard work on your part, to say the least.

  16. #16
    Iluv2smile is offline Platinum Member
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    Just dropping by to support you and second or third what everyone has said..
    You are not responsible for his recovery
    But
    You are responsible for your sanity and your baby's safety..
    It can get a lot worse..
    He probaly can name some things he hasn't done
    Yet!

    Addiction never gets better by itself ..
    It is a chronic disease and needs to be treated daily..

    Thank god you are not the 1st to be in a relationship with an addict..
    There are others that have walked and walk in your shoes now..
    You are gonna be ok because you are open to suggestions..
    That is the one thing your husband is missing open mindedness..

    30 days and he's got it..
    Well 30 days in a safe treatment center is completely different than 30 days in the real world..
    We as addicts have to arm ourselves with tools..

    This disease is cunning, baffling and powerful...

    One addict helping another is priceless..
    Now you have found support to help you ..
    Education and experience of others is your best tools..

    Stay safe for you and your baby !
    I will check back later..
    Iluv2
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  17. #17
    sweetnessJJ is offline Member
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    Thanks Iluv2! Your words mean so much to me <3

    Yesterday was better, the best day I think since he has been home from rehab (one week). He kept himself busy cleaning the house and doing laundry (aka helping me!) and went to a meeting with a sober friend. Said he is always so nervous going to meetings but feels wonderful after he goes. They give him "energy". He actually said "You know, there is a difference between being sober at meetings and being recovery at meetings", which in my head I yelled "NO KIDDING!!!!!" but to him I just said "I know" in an nice tone

    He is very good at talking the talk...I hope he stays walking the walk!
    Iwantoff2013 and Iluv2smile like this.

  18. #18
    Iluv2smile is offline Platinum Member
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    Jj
    Just popping in to tell you ..
    I am so happy everything is going well..
    I saw the support you gave to another woman in a simul situation as you WERE..
    You have done exactly what is suggested..
    Armed yourself with facts and tools..
    I am so proud of you and don't even know your name..
    I can tell from where you started to where you are you will be ok..
    I am praying that your husband recognizes how blessed he is to have both...
    Recovery
    And
    You..

    In fact it is really better and healthier for an addict in recovery to have a spouse in recovery!
    You can both set boundaries..
    Not always easy
    But
    Much easier
    To do it
    One day at a time!

    Congrats
    Bette
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  19. #19
    sweetnessJJ is offline Member
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    Bette- your words have brought tears to my eyes. Thank you so much for them! Life has gotten so much better for me since my husband went to rehab, and it's not because of what he has done for me but what I have done for myself- I have finally gotten it!

    I have noticed that as I make positive changes, my husband is more apt to make positive changes as well. Even the small changes are so wonderful to see (helping around the house, bringing home a milkshake, sharing with me about his meetings). And, if he wants to be in a negative mood or feel sorry for himself, it's no skin off my back. I have to keep pressing onward for myself and for my little blessing of a baby. My husband was raised in a negative home (gossiping, judging others, celebrating the misfortune of others in order to make themselves feel better) and I hope that I can lead by example. I have come to let myself be engulfed by the saying "Just for today..." JFT things are good. They may not be tomorrow, but I have no control over that. It makes life so much simpler and easier to only worry about myself and my actions.

    I also have fallen so hard for my HP and gotten back to the root of it (Catholicism) and it has helped so much. I love this new pope of ours and remembering that the real point of being a Catholic is to serve others with love- and to let good people live their lives however they see fit, not judge- it has helped immensely and gone hand in hand with my recovery.
    -Katherine
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  20. #20
    gayle63 is offline New Member
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    [Once detoxed, they really believe that the past should be forgotten and you should give him unquestioned trust. ]
    I know this is an older thread, but I'm so glad I found it. This is my husband completely - he can be doing drugs for months, but give him a clean week and he wants a clean slate! I'm glad it's not just him and a common thing. The best advice I can give the original poster is to leave now while your child is young and won't be scarred by your husband's behavior. I've been married 25 years. My husband was an alcoholic when I met him and I naively thought if he would just stop drinking, everything would be fine. We got counseling, and for quite a few years, he was much better, but then he started making friends with the wrong people, and it spiraled from there. Now he hangs out with ex-cons and drug addicts, and he could lose his job over it. He doesn't drink, but he clearly does drugs on any day off he thinks he can get away with it. He's started pawning things again, and he's totally trashed his credit. Our kids are 17 and 21. I'm just trying to hold on until the 17 year old graduates, and then I'm outta here. But he has almost no relationship with the kids. He makes dates to spend time with them, but if his trashy friends beckon, he totally forgets the kids and off he goes. Like most addicts, he's not a bad guy - he's not abusive, he works steadily now (after many years of a spotty work record), but he also ran through thousands of dollars behind my back, has had emotional affairs (and possibly others? who knows), sneaks around and definitely is hiding a lot. He's on suboxone and very addicted to that. We went through a period of Ambien abuse that was horrendous. I caught him last week cutting lines of something - he says it was aspirin and sudafed. Who knows what the hell it was. At this point, I just want to make it one more year and I'm done. But I wish I'd walked years ago. Don't put your kid through it.

  21. #21
    Iluv2smile is offline Platinum Member
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    Hi gayle..

    You sound like you know what you are doing..
    That is all you really can know right?

    You can create your own thread and you will get support from others..
    If that is what you want ?

    You never know how many people just read and may benefit from your journey.
    So welcome ..


    Times flies ..
    Before you know it ..
    Your child will graduate ..

    You can live your life just as you want !
    Take care
    Iluv2
    Last edited by Iluv2smile; 03-27-2015 at 09:52 PM.

  22. #22
    jillianpink7 is offline New Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by sweetnessJJ View Post
    Am I wrong to say "I know your recovery is yours, but I believe true recovery comes from working the program on their terms, not on your own. I need to remove myself from this situation while you sort this out."
    Nope, you are not at all wrong. What he is doing is trying to condition you to accept things on his terms and by that, I mean not pushing him to do better and stick with the program. If he can return to his old ways at home and hide it from the outside world (friends and family) then there's no real pressure for him to change or do better. So as long as he can get you to go along with it and not hold him accountable, then he's got it made in the shade.

    I agree with you 100%, but the question is are you able to say that to him and mean it? Do you truly feel you can walk away and leave him to sort it out?

    I'm not an addict, but I am married to a severe alcoholic who has gone through many legal problems because of his drinking and he's also been in treatment through no choice of his own, but because he was forced through the court system, so I can relate to what you're going through.

    I would say get to Al-Anon and stick with it regardless of what you decide to do.
    Last edited by jillianpink7; 03-27-2015 at 10:46 PM.

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