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Old 02-07-2008, 12:42 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Unhappy Story of a wonderful man w/ a horrible problem...

Hi everyone... So i'm new to this, so I guess I'll give my story as briefly as I can and hope that someone out there can relate and offer some advice. I've been with my fiance now for over a year. We fell in love very quickly, and we never fight, and have a wonderful open relationship. But with one major problem - a few months into dating him, I found out that he had a crack-cocaine problem in the past, and that he had just recently used again. He told me how sorry he was, and that he loved me and that he would never do it again. I really debated staying with him, but I did love him, and he is such a wonderful person, I figured everyone deserves a second chance. Well, months went by, and things were great. We moved the relationship forward, and my 2 children (from a previous marriage) are absolutely in love with him as well. Then it happened again... a weird day where I didn't hear from him, and then I found out hours later where he had been... so I was very upset, and as was he... and he went to an NA meeting THAT NIGHT! So I was happy to see him take ownership of his problems, and he had been going every night to meetings for the past 2 weeks. So again, I was feeling good and happy that he and I were going to be ok together. Then today came, and I haven't heard from him in over 24 hours. I know where he is... and I'm so upset. Now if he couldn't call someone from NA, then I guess this problem is too big for him. What should I do!!??? I love him and I don't ever want to turn my back on the person that changed my whole life and made me realize what love can really be. Help!!
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Old 02-07-2008, 01:06 PM   #2 (permalink)
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YOU need to first get out of his way and let him FALL. He has relapsed. It is an ugly word and it will do ugly things to him that he must own. You cannot save him from that ugliness. He has to look at it on his own. With the increase in frequency of use, it sounds like this is going the WRONG way.

Read the book, "CoDependent no More" and if you cannot find a NarAnon meeting to go to, start going to Alanon. You need tools to take care of you.

I cannot tell you to walk away from this guy because you are a person of free will.

However, I would LIKE to tell you to walk. Now. Today. I want to tell you to stop taking his calls. If he is living with you, I want to tell you to put his stuff on the porch with a note and change the locks. If he is not living with you, count your lucky stars.

I believe you will find, as you read and go to meetings, that you are a CoDependent. Jumping quickly into a reltationship.. moving ahead FAST.. stating this man changed your life (only YOU can change your life) and stating your depth of love after only a year.. all are the are signals which scream co dependency... Read the sticky above "17 Red flags..." I bet he has a few.

Take Care. Read what others have written Think with your head now and not with your heart. You have 2 kids who need to have stability in their lives.. which will not be had if Mom is hanging with, or onto, a crack head.
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Old 02-07-2008, 01:10 PM   #3 (permalink)
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dear cher,
since you love him so much and plan to live your life with him, it is then essential that you fully and realistically understand that addiction will be a major theme for the rest of your life, and his, and your children's lives. the theme could be wonderful--"recovery"--and all that involves: meetings for him, meetings for you, ongoing, likely for your lifetime. or the theme can be tragic--"crisis"--week after week and month after month. addiction guts a family, and if he is not in active and rigorous recovery, your family will be tyrannized by him and emotionally devastated and perhaps physically abused. this means your children, too.

your higher power is giving you a chance here, cher, to have some say in the future of your family. there will be others along here who will tell you more about what you are facing. but my deepest wish for you, if you love this man, is that you DO WHAT IT TAKES to get some serious help for yourself...through intensive education about addiction, al-anon meetings, counseling....if you intend to go forward and marry him. you will be in this with him, it will affect every aspect of your life, and you need to be prepared.

i'm really glad you are reaching out already. that's excellent. and his avoidance is CLASSIC addict behavior. you are going to need a lot of support in the coming months. a lot is going to go down. so do please prepare.
all the very best wishes for you and your children.
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Old 02-07-2008, 01:11 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I have to say don't marry him.

The way you are feeling is the way we all feel about our addicted loved ones. We all love them and we all feel like we are turning our backs on them when we stop enabling them to do drugs and have nothing change. Fortunately, I found out that I wasn't turning my back on him, I was simply allowing him to be an adult and take responsibility for his problems.

I was already married to my husband when he became addicted (to xanax) I begged, pleaded, cried, yelled, screamed, threatened, relented, snooped, etc....you name it I did it, for him to stop using. He would ALWAYS 1) cry 2) promise it would never happen again 3) just say he wanted to be normal. He faked meetings, he faked sincerity (and boy was he good at that) and he manipulated me into thinking this was the last time he'd do it. HE ALWAYS USED AGAIN.

It was never his last time until HE decided that it was his last time. He didn't quit because I wanted him to or because I loved him, he quit because he was ready to give it up. He wanted to be clean. He still is clean.

I learned detached from the craziness that seemed to envelope him and got my own sort of help. I quit enabling and quit snooping and quit basically trying to control his life and allowed him to do it for himself. I Felt soooo much better after that, even though he was still using.

I quit threatening him with leaving and simply told him one day, even though I'm not ready to leave you yet, there will come a day that I am ready and when that day arrives you'll come home to all of my things gone out of the house, our dog gone and no way to contact me personally. Fortunately, he did get clean and we are together.

Marriage can always wait. You have kids, that makes your situation even MORE volatile because him using crack endangers you and your kids saftey.

Let him figure this out. What if he isn't done using yet? He's not going to be ready until he's ready. You take care of you.

((((cherbear))))) Its freaking hard. I know.
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Old 02-07-2008, 01:21 PM   #5 (permalink)
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by the way, in my opinion there is absolutely nothing wrong with falling deeply in love in a short amount of time. there are MANY long-lived, rich, and beautiful marriages out there between people who knew within days or weeks that they had found the love of their life. only you know whether this man is your soul-mate. only you know what you have experienced with him.

but the man you love will no longer be able to care about you or your children, if he doesn't get clean. in fact, it is likely he will come to hate you.

so...do what you have to do.
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Old 02-07-2008, 01:26 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I've been reading the responses to my post so far, and this seems like such a great place for me to be right now. I've never experienced anything like this before... I've had guys cheat on me and physically abuse me (my ex-husband did both actually!) and I got through that with so much strength and self-determination mostly I think because I was able to put closure on it. He was a jerk to me, and didn't respect me, and therefore I could move on without much reluctance. But in this circumstance, I have a person who treats me better then I've even been treated before... he's 100% honest with me (he never lies about when he's using... he always comes clean right away) and I really believed that he was the one for me. But everyone is right, that I have to get away from him right now, especially for the sake of my kids (who will be devasted, by the way, that they won't see him!). And I will attend an Alanon meeting this saturday, so maybe that will help me feel better. But at this point, i'm just hoping to hear from him soon so that I know he's still ALIVE and can tell him how I feel about this. Thank you all so much for your kind and supportive words!!:ghug3
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Old 02-07-2008, 02:11 PM   #7 (permalink)
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(((cherbear79))) This means hugs to you!

Cherbear,
I know exactly how you feel. My husband (who i married two years and three months ago) is the love of my life and the most wonderful man in the world. Unfortunately he is addicted to crack. I too, have two children, 11 and 13 both girls. He has been to them what their own father has not, he's been there as a "father figure". BUT...he is a crack addict and always will be. He is not someone you would picture as a "crackhead". He doesn't stay out all night (anymore) but only stays out late once a week or every two weeks. He has worked the program of NA, but it's not enough. He started going to church (his idea) thinking it would help...but he is still an addict and still fights the urge every day and usually loses the battle. He is what they call a 'functioning addict". He has a good job, we have nice things, we are not in debt up to our ears, but IT IS A CONSTANT BATTLE FOR ME WITH OUR FINANCES AND WORRYING ABOUT IF HE IS GOING TO BLOW OUR BUDGET ON HIS HABIT. He does not want to be an addict, says he doesn't even enjoy it anymore, says he wants to die rather than use, but the monster is too big for him, too big for me, too big for anyone. I have watched him fight this monster our entire marraige. Let me tell you, it's worse than a million godzillas all at once.

IF I HAD IT TO DO OVER, I WOULD NOT MARRY HIM AGAIN. If I had known before we got married that he was a crack addict and all that it means, I would never have married him. This problem has affected our family (he also has two girls the same age as mine), me, and my girls. It has put me on the edge of insanity daily (and I am a very intelligent, sane person). Some days, I just want to give up my will to live...and I'm not even the addict. I am in Al-Anon (thank the Lord, or I'd be in the funny farm as we speak) This two years and a few months of my life (we also dated 6 months before marraige) have been the toughest ever, and let me tell you, my past has not been easy before he came along. However, now that I'm in this marraige, I feel I'm in for the long haul and I can't give up hope. Maybe some day, that will change for me and I will decide I don't want to deal with it anymore. But for now, I'm sticking with him.

If I were you...not saying you should do this...but if I were you....I'd turn tail and run as fast and as far away from him as I could right now! I wish I could take my own advice, oh how I wish I could.

If you decide to stay with him...a few words of advice:

Get in Nar-Anon or Al-Anon now.
Learn to hope for the best, but expect the worst to happen every day in every little thing having to do with him-otherwise, you will be constantly disappointed.
With finances, make sure that you have full control or at least have yours separate from him to where he has no access-and make sure that anything you buy together, you can pay for by yourself (because it may come down to that-in the throws of crack addiction, they spend all their money and then some)
Don't expect the fairy tale marraige, or even a normal life, because there is no fairy tale and no normalcy with addiction.

Love ya, hope you keep coming back!
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Old 02-07-2008, 02:19 PM   #8 (permalink)
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"He has been to them what their own father has not, he's been there as a "father figure". BUT...he is a crack addict and always will be. He is not someone you would picture as a "crackhead". " Wow, that couldn't be any closer to my situation... He IS to my children what their father is not, and that's why I feel so horribly walking away from him, because my children will be devastated! They've had to already deal with a divorce between their father and I in the past 2 years, and now this... it breaks my heart for them. And my fiance is too a 'functioning addict', or I guess at least for now he is! But thank you for your advice... that post really hit home for me. I will go to Alanon anyways, whether I stay with him or not, to help me figure out my situation. And gladly, our finances are separate, and I own my home that I live in with my kids... so all of that is pretty 'smooth' i guess, but impossibly heartbreaking and hard nonetheless. Thanks again though!
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Old 02-07-2008, 02:32 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Dear Cher,

I am so sorry that you are having to go through this situation. Many of us know your pain and anguish. I, too, knew before opening your post that the DOC was crack. It is an evil drug that has ruined so many lives and relationships.

My situation is similar to yours in many ways. I fell quickly in love with a charming man. I knew that he had used cocaine in the past but he reassured me honestly (not) that he was clean. After we had become a couple I became aware that he had "relapsed"....not really though, as he had been using all along. Still, I felt like he was telling me the truth and being honest. This "relapse" stuff went on for about 4 months....he never did quit although he repeatedly told me that that was his intention. I finally began to realize the depth of the problem and ended our relationship. I, too, have 2 children from a previous marriage and did not want to put them through any more drama with him. At that point, I had begun to post on this site but had not gone to any meetings.

So, what happened? I made a bottom line for me - not him. I decided that I absolutely would not be involved with someone in active addiction. Neither would I be involved with a sober addict - he had to be in recovery. I was finally ready to walk away and he must have sensed that because he finally did stop using. But he was ready - ultimately, it had nothing to do with me. Not having any relationship with me was the consequence of his using and he chose to stop. By the way - we dated briefly 18 years ago and that consequence held no weight that go around....Crack won that round. After multiple rehabs and stabs at stopping he knew what it would take for him to stop. He implemented all of it - it was a very finely detailed plan. I didn't come up with any of it - he did. I knew that I couldn't be the one to help him.

He has been sober for 2 1/2 years now and we have been married for little over a year. I wish that I could tell you that all was rosy after he stopped using. It hasn't been at all. In fact, in many ways, it has been even more painful for me in his sobriety. I live with a man that has a lot of difficulty with living life on life's terms. I never would have guessed that from before. The NA/AA books talk about the addiction being just a symptom of the true disease...which is a sickness of the spirit. Not using is simply the very first beginning step of an extremely long and difficult journey.

I've been involved in one of the best case crack addict scenarios that I am aware of. Meaning, he has not (yet) relapsed in 2 1/2 years. That is a rarity and certainly no guarantee that it won't happen tomorrow - or even tonight. There are people that have 13 years of sobriety, that go to meetings, work a program and then one night - they go back out. Are you ready to live with that for the rest of your life? It never never never goes away. Then, there is the issue of living with a man who's emotional development was arrested due to his drug use. Drug addicts have to learn to be charming and beguiling in order to survive....which is why they initially seem so amazing and incredible. It's simply an illusion....created with smoke and mirrors. Yes...there are many wonderful qualities in each of us but addicts are adept at projecting an amazing image and making us believe that things that aren't true are true. This has been an incredibly difficult relationship even under the best of circumstances.

If I had it all to do again - if I had had a crystal ball - I would never have done it. I'm in it now and there is progress being made, so, for today, I remain. No matter how wonderful our relationship ever becomes it will never be enough to make what all I've gone through worthwile. I've spent thousands on counselling over the last 2 1/2 years, gone to 2-4 meetings a week, have a sponsor, work the steps, and have a rich spritual life - even that has been barely enough for me to have survived this. What we have ourselves ....the disease of loving an addict (even sober) can led to depths of despair that I didn't know existed. I came from an abusive past marriage and I've found something even harder than that....the last 2 1/2 years.

I'm grateful to have what I have however. I've grown in ways that I never would have under other circumstances. I've learned how to have the self-discipline to carry out my boundaries. But I've become a whole lot tougher and lost a whole lot of my innocence. I know that even if he did go back out "tonight" that I would be okay. It took me a long time to get here.

My heart goes out to you. I hope that the best way for you becomes clear. I know that I had to do it my way - no one could tell me differently. I do always remember that things are as they should be and I find great comfort in that.

Hugs - Donna
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Old 02-07-2008, 02:53 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
I love him and I don't ever want to turn my back on the person that changed my whole life and made me realize what love can really be.
He turned his back on you and the children the minute he picked up that crack pipe after 2 1/2 years. He knew EXACTLY what he was doing, but he didn't care. He only cared about getting high. I know this because I am a recovering crack addict with nearly 2 1/2 years clean. And if I picked up that pipe again, it would be because I decided that my family and my kids didn't matter as much as getting high mattered. It is an extremely selfish, evil decision.

Just to provide you with a little education about crack addiction - It is extremely progressive and once an addict starts up again, they go right back to where they were when they stopped using the last time, and they progress faster and faster and faster and they will take anyone who doesn't have clear boundaries down into hell with them.

I feel horrible for you and for your kids and for his kids. People on crack do not care about children or loved ones. They only care about getting high. Things may get really really bad for you and your family. Man I hate to be so negative but its true.

I suggest drawing some clear boundaries for the behavior you will and will not accept in your life and the life of your children and making a promise to yourself that you will follow through on them.

I also suggest putting some money in a place that he knows nothing about because crack addicts will lie cheat and steal to get money. Please know that when your husband is using, and when he is thinking about using, he will say and do anything to get crack. It's that bad. Really it is.
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Old 02-07-2008, 03:04 PM   #11 (permalink)
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One more thing....my husband recently drained his girls savings accounts to get high on crack. These were the only accounts he had access to...and it's all gone now (they were both around $120). Now, I'm going to leave it up to him to respond to his own kids the next time they want a little money out of their accounts to get something they really want...it's not my place to tell them their daddy spent their money on crack....he has to live with that guilt. Let me tell you too, I keep hearing that it gets progressively worse, but that is not always the case. My husband has been a crack addict for over 15 years and he was at his worse after his divorce with his ex-wife according to his family...they say he is the best he has ever been now that he is with me! Wow, if this is the best....I hate to see the worst.
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Old 02-07-2008, 03:19 PM   #12 (permalink)
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No matter how wonderful our relationship ever becomes it will never be enough to make what all I've gone through worthwhile.


This is something I have to keep reminding myself every day, especially when I feel my AH trying to work the manipulation magic on me and I feel guilty about my plans to leave. Thank you for this thread/post.
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Old 02-07-2008, 06:01 PM   #13 (permalink)
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0ne word only.....RUN... and do it quickly.
You owe a better life to your children. They depend on you. They are your responsibility and what happens in the next short span of time will affect their lives forever. They are innocent. Think about your responsibility to them. In my book there is only one choice and I think you know it too. Dixie
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Old 02-08-2008, 01:52 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Hello Cher,
When I saw your title- yes it felt like crack to me, too.
I remember being confused by the statement that they return to where they were when they pick-up the pipe again. I even thought- gee- this must be good- mine isn't like what they say crack addicts are like and what they do.

I think that I took it too literally.

Since you are asking questions and you have not only yourself at stake but your children- Do you know much about crack cocaine and the crack world? I didn't- I think that I believed it was like back (way back) in college when people would sit around and smoke pot- the only difference mine couldn't control it- he used till he was out of energy or money. By the way- that was a big fat lie!! MUCH later he admitted- he worked high just fine- those were just the big time binges.

This is my knowledge of the crack world- those that have been there please do tell me if I am incorrect and this is maybe just a small percentage of cases- but... I think that maybe a man who steals money out of his childs account to use- may be using in this world.

First there is the danger- he is using in crack houses- very dangerous people there- it is not at all unusual for a dealer to "front" him some- he will expect to be paid- by SOMEONE!!
Don't think that the fact that you are in control of finances that he can't or won't use- there are many ways to make money. Your car may be "rented" out- he gets drugs and they get the car and they use it to not always do good things. Okay now here comes the yucko- shocking stuff- women are not just the prostitutes men are to. And if you think that he couldn't- keep in mind the drug he is taking.
I was so naive- he used to use the term- freaky... oh my gosh- In short- in my opinion having sex with an actively using crack addict could kill you- I would not kiss one- even share a drink after hearing some of the stories. Aides- hepatitis- syphylis- not unusual.

Oh and- it is not unusual for a male to hook-up with a woman- basically i guess it is - well I think they are their pimp. They basically provide the woman and they get high too. Not the normal "girlfriend"-

I loved my husband very much- this type of information is what helped me understand and to detach. He wasn't out with the guys- having a beer or smoking a joint- he was in crackland- When I learned what that was my fears and worries switched from for him to for my children and myself.
Thank you to the recovering addicts who come here- for a long time I felt a lot of guilt. (he was sick.. didn't mean to hurt us.. loved us.. cared about us-etc.) It does bring me peace when you share- he made the choice- it is a choice.
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Old 02-08-2008, 04:45 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Hi Cherbear - another wife of a crack addict here, we've been married 11yrs. I have to say my best advice is to RUN and don't look back. nothing i've gone thru with this man has been worth it. Theres great advice above, keep reading and posting. No matter what you decide you will find lots of great support here.
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Old 02-09-2008, 06:41 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Hi Cherbear,

Welcome to SR. I knew right away, opening your post that your fiance had a crack problem, the story was just too familiar for me. My husband drug of choice (DOC) was also crack/cocaine. It took me 5 years to learn to cope with the disapearrance and the lack of money and the insanity. After those 5 years, i was done dealing with it. He sense this time i was serious and he stopped using. My husband was also a fonctional addict. He would work except he would spend all the money he was doing on drugs.

He's been clean for 2 years 1/2 now, however, life with an ex-addict is not necessarily more easy. Sometimes I feel he is acting more childish then both my 1 1/2 years old and my 4 years old together...

Quote:
I live with a man that has a lot of difficulty with living life on life's terms. I never would have guessed that from before.
I've been involved in one of the best case crack addict scenarios that I am aware of. Meaning, he has not (yet) relapsed in 2 1/2 years. That is a rarity and certainly no guarantee that it won't happen tomorrow - or even tonight. There are people that have 13 years of sobriety, that go to meetings, work a program and then one night - they go back out. Are you ready to live with that for the rest of your life? It never never never goes away. Then, there is the issue of living with a man who's emotional development was arrested due to his drug use. Drug addicts have to learn to be charming and beguiling in order to survive....which is why they initially seem so amazing and incredible. It's simply an illusion....created with smoke and mirrors. Yes...there are many wonderful qualities in each of us but addicts are adept at projecting an amazing image and making us believe that things that aren't true are true. This has been an incredibly difficult relationship even under the best of circumstances.

If I had it all to do again - if I had had a crystal ball - I would never have done it. I'm in it now and there is progress being made, so, for today, I remain. No matter how wonderful our relationship ever becomes it will never be enough to make what all I've gone through worthwile.
I could exactly say the same thing as light seeker. Even if my RAH was to go back and use tonight I know i would be just fine. Through the hell of addiction I've became tougher and less naive then I use to be. I probably didn't pick the easiest road but needed to do it my way (i'm quite stubborn actually ) I send you many hugs, will keep you in my prayers.

A.
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Old 02-10-2008, 06:57 AM   #17 (permalink)
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(((Cherbear)))

Good advice above, and right on as far as the life that goes with using crack. I'm a recovering crack addict, and I left my boyfriend because crack is his entire life and I don't want to live that way anymore.

I won't say recovery from crack is impossible..as you can see, several of us here ARE recovering from it. When I first quit, I just quit.....did nothing to address the issues that led me to do it in the first place. I relapsed after way more than a year, but it only took me 8 days to realize I had to stop. This time, I am working my recovery....I don't go to meetings, but did at one time and what I learned there still helps me tremendously; I spend a LOT of time on SR and with people who do not use drugs and who will give me support, but call me on my sh-t when I need it. It's scary, knowing somewhere down the road, I could get back into that lifestyle, and I know it would be worse, because my relapse took me down faster than when I used it before.

I can't tell you to run or stay. I know that I have to stay away from active addicts, and especially crack addicts. After 11 months of what I consider good recovery, if someone were to put crack in front of me today, I'm not 100% sure I could turn it down...so I don't get in that situation. This is the life of a recovering crack addict.

Hugs and prayers!

Amy
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Old 02-10-2008, 07:42 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Cherbear -

If you check in today I hope that you will give us an update. No matter what your journey is and your choices, this forum is a wonderful place of support and love.

Three years ago when I first posted I was given the same advice - run run run. But, I also received understanding that that is not always going to be the choice - it wasn't mine. Like my RAH, whose disease of addiction is extreme....mine is too. I was convinced that we would be "different". And in some ways we have been very lucky in terms of no relapses at this point. Although I would not now knowlingly pick this path I believe that I would have repeated my poor choices again and again and again. There is no doubt of that in my mind. So, although I now would not say that I would do it again - it's only because I've truly gone through the fire and done the work that allows me to understand what I should and shouldn't accept. Quite a paradox, huh? Anyway, although I went against the grain of the advice I received I also received compassion for my choices and support as I began my journey. I am finally at the place where I am saying that I wouldn't do it again - but it's only because I actually did it. Does that make sense at all? I had to dig deep into myself to find the resolve and self discipline to do the work on myself that allowed me to change into a person that knows where I stand - and to be willing and able to sustain my position.

I really hope that you are doing okay and receiving the anwsers and guidance that allow you to discover the best path for you.

Love, Donna
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Old 02-15-2008, 10:10 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Thank you to everyone. I'm taking one day at a time, and am attending al-anon meetings too. I am still 'with' him, but like I said, i'm taking it one day at a time. He and I had an honest discussion, and he knows this is it. I am willing to stand back and see what he will do to recover, but that's all I can do. If I feel it's not enough, or if I feel like I can't take the stress and uncertainty, then I will cross that bridge when I come to it. For now, I am watchign and waiting to see... I really appreciate everyone's supportive words, and it has helped me to stand back and re-examine my situation. Hugs!!
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Old 02-15-2008, 07:43 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Cher -

So glad to hear from you. I so understand where you are and that is exactly what I told ABF(now RAH) many moons ago. I wasn't ready to tell him goodbye if he was willing to stop using drugs and alcohol. He hasn't used since so know that it can be done. The best thing that I have done is to work my own recovery program. I would not have made it through this fire without it. It's so worth it to do for yourself. Keep posting - It's helped me a lot to have a place to vent. Trust yourself and follow the path that is best for you and your kids.

Take care, Donna
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