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- 1 Post By iloerose
trying not to feel guilty for wanting to leave
trying not to feel guilty for wanting to leave
I have been married for 23 years. In this time the first 8 years were spent arguing about his alcohol problem. I left him back then and he quit drinking cold turkey and never turned back. He has always had mood swings and likes taking medicine more often than I think is necessary but I hate to take anything so I never really thought much about it. About 10 years ago he had surgery that resulted in permanent nerve damage to his right shoulder (he is right handed). The pain wasn't too bad at first and didn't really effect much, he said he had learned to adjust heavy lifting to his left side. As time went on he began to complain more and more about how much his shoulder hurt. 6 or 7 years ago he went to his Dr. and asked for pain meds. so he could work more comfortably, he has always had heavy lifting jobs. From there it was all down hill. They refered him to a pain clinic and after 6 months he was so doped up all the time I don't know how he functioned at work. He started taking oxycodone, ocycontin when he took too many and ran out before his script was due he would buy them from "friends". He stared taking ridalin to stay awake, then would sleep for days when he ran out. I finally said enough and told him get clean or get out! He got clean, for a while. But he said he needed them to get thru work because his shoulder hurt so bad and started taking them again. He was only clean for about a year. Of course once he started taking pain meds again it didn't take long for things to get out of control so he asked me to take charge of his pills and only give him what he was supposed to have. That didn't last long, he kept searching til he found them then would tell me it was my fault because I didn't hide them well enough. So I said fine you do it then and just quit doing it, I said I wasn't his mother I wasn't mothering him. So he actually got his mother to hold them for him, but he would talk extras out of her too. Eventually I couldn't take anymore sleeping for days, falling asleep sitting up or the horrible mood swings. So I said get clean or get out, so he quit, cold turkey, again. It took him 3 months to get out of bed and he hasn't been right since. The depression is terrible. About 6 months ago he hurt his other shoulder and got vicodin from the hospital. Well guess what! Here we go again! 3 months ago I said, no way. So he is on Suboxone, because I got him in a clinic. He is going to therapy, because I found him a therapist. I truly do not believe he is doing this for himself, I think he's only doing it because I told him he has to. 3 weeks ago when we were at the beach 10 of my sons focalin (for ADHD) came up missing. Well when it was missing before that he convinced me it was my 16 year old friends taking it so I had to start hiding it. But something wasn't quite right, he never got mad that it was missing. Any way, at the beach there was no one but him, busted! This week he has been so energetic and doing stuff with the kids, helping around the house, its been great. My first thought: what's he taking? Guess what, I was right! He was buying Adderall from his "friend". I went to his therapy session with him and ratted him out! He was not happy! Too bad. If I hadn't gone she wouldn't have known about any of it, but because I was there he finally admitted to her and me that he had been taking them. He needs them to get moving. He doesn't see the big deal, our son takes too many pills anyway. OMG! I have talked to an attorney, I am so close to walking. I'm not sure why I keep tormenting myself, but now he's stealing his son's meds.!!! I am so appalled I can't even tell you. Is this a normal part of the healing process? How much longer do I put up with this. His therapist said he has psychological addiction, what does that mean? Is that harder to treat? I am so frustrated I want him to leave and not come back. I can't do this for the rest of my life and I am not putting my kids through any more. Why do I feel so quilty, like I'm giving up when he's just getting started?
Last edited by ddcmod; 08-09-2012 at 06:19 PM.
Your husband is an ADDICT, period. You're right it's psychological, but there is also chemistry in the brain that pushes some of us into addiction, THIQ(sp?). However, that's no excuse. Addiction is addiction and "psychological' addiction is still just plain old addiction. He needs counseling and NA, he needs to get clean because he wants to live a normal life, he needs to see that pills can't give him that. Notice I said HE NEEDS TO. You can't do this for him. He's making excuses, denying, deflecting. Addicts are good at these games including the GUILT TRIP. You might think about seeing an addiction counselor yourself to help you cope and come to terms with what to do or try a Narcanon, which I think is for spouses, children of addicts. Don't, whatever you do, let him guilt you. You are not the guilty party. You have done what you can do and he will try to make his addiction etc. anyone's problem but his. Read through some of the forums and read through the threads of addicts. You may want to post this on Need to Talk where there is more traffic. But you need to see someone yourself to help you come to terms with this, his addiction is NOT your fault. You may have to leave him or kick him out. Taking your son's drugs and lying about this is serious, hard core addiction. What he is doing is NOT part of the normal healing process. He also needs to get into NA, but he needs to WANT to be clean. The reason for the counseling, the NA, is to help addicts recover, own up to their addiction, but your husband needs to take full responsibility for his addiction, period. I wish you the best of luck in your situation.
Originally Posted by iloerose
Thanks for the words of wisdom, I know what I need to do its just really scary. My husband has yet to say that he is an addict. Actually he tries not to talk aabout it at all. He stays on his suboxone and goes to his therapist and thats it. Although she did bump him up to every other week I still think he only goes because I told him to. Anyway thanks for your insight, and I did post on the "lets talk forum" but not too much happening there.
Need to talk is usually pretty busy. It's hard to get to everyone sometimes. The thing with your husband is that he shouldn't stay on the suboxone forever. But he's the one who has to admit that HE has the problem: He's an addict. It's very scary. It really may help you to find a group in your area and then you'd have others to talk to who are in your same situation. You can't make somebody do something that they won't talk about or recognize. Addicts tend to be that way. First of all, you are shamefully admitting a "weakness", which is not really true as there are clinical findings that some of us have altered brain chemistry and just can't deal with substances. Addiction IS classified as a biological disease as brain chemistry IS altered. Second, I don't know what it is, but addiction has such a strong hold, it subsumes everything in your life. Why do we do it? Heaven knows. There is really not rhyme or reason, except that you can't make someone else quit. You can make them realize that they need help, thus the counselor, who I hope is working him through some the NA 12-step process. I didn't believe in the "higher power" stuff, I'm not a very "church" kind of person. Many people aren't who do NA. But you do relinquish that guilt of not having control over your addiction, which is different from learning how to stop and taking responsibility, which is huge. Sorry for the long post. I know doing what you need to do is scary and hopefully you will gain some support and knowledge from NA or Narcanon or something. There is also Christian Recovery. I don't know, but it helps if you have some sort of fellowship. Hang tough and don't let him guilt or bully you.
Jodi, I am an addict and I put my partner through some really bad times. I was prescribed meds but opiates change you. You have mood swings. Ups and downs. And I agree, addiction is not this dumb stereotype where people think it's because they're hooligans or grew up in crack trailer parks. People with ADHD or depression tend to grow up with destructive behaviors, engage in risky behaviors and/or sex as well as addiction. I did all three. It's depression, constant depression and when you discover that wonderful drug that works with you, you need it as almost like a moment of clarity. But it never lasts.
Your husband is an addict. And as much as it pains me to say this, because my partner has had to deal with mood swings and violent outbursts (nothing physical) that I am not proud of, I wouldn't blame anyone for leaving after a certain period of time. When they're struggling with it, you need to be there, but after years and years, even though it's not ALL his fault, you also deserve to be happy. That just depends on you. My advice is that, if you choose to leave, as it seems you're ready to do, I would talk with his therapist for advice, make preparations, and obviously the "I can change" story. And he probably genuinely means it each time. But I am capable of avoiding abusing drugs because I weighed the pro's and con's. Trust me, addictive disorders don't know what they're addicted so when they find something new, it surprises even them and they have a new struggle. But be there for him as a friend. If you know in your heart that you would stay with him if he was clean, then lay down the gauntlet. Sorry that you have to be a parent to an adult, but make him agree to take blood/urine tests with the doctors every month. Make a firm rule, maybe even in writing that if he ????s up once, doesn't matter what the reason is, you're gone. You also need to see a therapist yourself darlin. You need to understand what this is doing to YOU. He (as I was) is likely very good at sob stories or making up lies. God did I make up lies. You don't give in when he cries. You don't listen to the next excuse. You're not being a b*tch, you're being firm. And you're being firm because you love him. You're reminding him every day that it's wrong. You're going to have to be smart. No urine switches. He's your husband, watch him pee. You can make whatever contract you want with him. He gives you permission to talk with his shrink and making sure he's going, etc.
Your husband also needs to know he can trust you if he has thoughts or wants to tell you about something in his past. Darlin, it's gonna take a lot of patience on your part, and you are strong already for putting up with a lot, but if you agree to have that open door policy, make sure you honor it so he feels he can confide in you. I did this with my partner. Mine didn't get to the point yours was. So there were times where I would have a minor relapse for a day or two, and I would be upfront. It was embarrassing at first, but when I wasn't judged and he offered to help make sure that door I discovered was closed, I also appreciated him and it gave me strength.
If you're 100% ready to go, then don't stay with him just because you feel bad. That would most certainly destroy me, knowing that for the past few years or 10 years or more, that you've been wanting out. Maybe I'm different in that arena, cause I don't want anyone hanging around to care for me due to a stupid decision I made several times.
You deserve to be happy. I believe people nee to take their "til death do us part" oathes seriously, but you did not enter that agreement with this man now standing before you. You're not being Newt Gingrich and bailing on him for having cancer. He's an addict and it's been ruining your lives. You also need to protect your children, which are also his.
Please don't think I'm trying to sway you either way. I do NOT want that on my shoulders. I doubt it will have that big of an influence, but just want to make that clear. I think you're brave either way.
Now you have to throw in the "this is it!" towel. He needs to know for sure that this is it. If there's hope and its meant to be, he'll find his way. By that point you may be remarried. But that's not the point. He can now find happiness, you found happiness and you play/played a major difference in that.