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Old 03-16-2013, 08:37 AM   #1 (permalink)
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ESH with Spouse Who's Relapsed

Hi everybody. Both my husband and I are both in recovery. We got married in November 2012 - when he had over 1 1/2 years clean and I had 6 months. He relapsed in December. Then I relapsed. Then he got clean again and relapsed 1 or 2 weeks later. He's been in jail since December for what he did during his 4 day binge. I have a month clean.

Before he relapsed, our marriage was centered around him and our recovery was very intertwined. We had one car so we always went to meetings together. If I didn't feel like going, he didn't go. He was very insecure and there was always drama because of that. He would get offended over little stuff - like not looking at him when I was speaking to someone after the meeting or not phrasing a comment right. He had no friends in recovery, made no effort to have any friends in recovery, and didn't support me having friends. He wouldn't talk to my friends or picked fights because of my friends. He was always jealous but swore that's not who he was. He even got mad about me hugging guys at meetings. Did I mention he was in recovery too? I started pulling away from my friends and my recovery so I wouldn't have to deal with his drama. I put up with too much, allowed too much, and it eventually became too much.

Now I'm free!!! But i still love my husband. Despite everything, he loves me, supports me, mostly accepts me, and we have a good time together when it's just us. Once he gets out of jail, I don't want to go back to restricting my life and I don't know how much support to give him. I've already told him he can't come home. Intellectually I understand he has to do his own recovery but where do I come in? Do I help him with his initial costs and help him get setup when he gets out of jail? Do I give him rides to meetings? Do I take him to his probation appointments? Do I call him or see him everyday? Do I invite him to do things with me and my friends or do I resign myself to doing things with them separately? Do I help him get started socializing or do I just let him get his own friends, find his own way? Do I offer suggestions? If so, when - when I see a problem or only when he asks? Do I just back away completely and let him focus on his recovery while I focus on mine? I just have no idea.

Right now I see him once a week in jail, I write him once a week, and I talk to him on the phone 2 or 3 times a week but our relationship is still unbalanced. We have serious communication issues. I know we need marriage counseling but I don't know when to introduce it into our recovery - right away, 6-months, a year? It would be nice if recovery was in a bubble and we could put the marriage aside for awhile but the stress of fighting all the time isn't going to help either of our recovery.

Ugghhhh! I'm trying not to over think this but not knowing my part or what's expected of me is unsettling. Does anyone have any esh on having a spouse relapse? My sponsor is great but her husband has never relapsed and I really don't want opinions on what she thinks she would do if it happened to her. Until you're in the situation, you just don't know.

PS I went over to the friends and family board but they have a different mindset that I'm not comfortable with. Thanks for your help.
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legna (03-30-2013)
Old 03-16-2013, 10:49 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Hi Cerene - I thought I will put my 2 cents in to support you as you did on my thread. I have a 21 yo son with marijuana addiction who I had to evict from our home due his using and associated bad behaviour.

I love my son dearly but we came to the conclusion that his addiction was harming the entire family and we were powerless over his addiction. I need to recover so I can be there for him, when he ready to work on his recovery. I don't know when that day will come but I will be there for him. However before that day comes, I look carefully at any help I give him and make a judgement call that I am not enabling his addiction.

I think you can still love your husband and not live with him and not enable him. Here is an article I found useful:
https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B4pC...it?usp=sharing

It may be worthwhile to get counselling to figure out how much you can help in. With my son, I try to walk a fine line between "not enabling" and "not disabling". Since he is on his own he has to pay the rent and food. We pay for his phone since we want to keep in touch with him. We have also paid for his bus pass (since he had no money left over and is still trying to find a job).
However he is still using - so I am not fully sure if I should tighten down further or will it drive him to criminal activity.
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yonanjan (03-21-2013)
Old 03-30-2013, 08:52 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cerene View Post
PS I went over to the friends and family board but they have a different mindset that I'm not comfortable with. Thanks for your help.
Amen to that!

My spouse recently relapsed as well. I just saw this post of yours and am not certain if you are still returning to this thread or not so I don't want t write a lot yet.... but I shared my experience in the secular section under the thread 'help'.
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