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My husband was a secret addict

Old 04-26-2017, 01:09 PM
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My husband was a secret addict

I am so thankful to have found you all.

I am intensely grieving the end of my marriage to an alcoholic / drug user / sex addict who was so clever in hiding his addictions, I had absolutely no idea anything was wrong until two weeks after we got married. (We'd been together for around 4 years at this point)

Two weeks after our wedding, a note came through the door, warning me that my husband was on various sex sites and was having sex with men and transvestites. It then came out that he was a secret cocaine addict and an alcoholic - although most of his drinking was done away from me so I didn't see it. (All I knew was that he drank a bit too much at weekends sometimes. But I come from a family of alcoholics so his drinking did not seem absolutely terrible to me at that time.)

I loved him so much. I still do. We had just got married and I was so excited about our happy future. This massive plot-twist - finding out our whole life was a lie - is the most intense, painful, devastating, raw and upsetting thing I have ever been through (and growing up in an alcoholic household, I thought I had seen pain... Ah, alcohol - the gift that keeps on giving...)

I helped him get to rehab where he appears to have taken it seriously. He did initial rehab, secondary rehab and then went to a halfway house and as far as I know has been sober and clean for a year now.

Apart from 18 months of intense longing to see him, I have been doing OK with my healing - until the bombshell that's just been delivered which is that he is marrying a woman he met in rehab.

I am in a world of pain. We're not even divorced yet.

I know that the lessons I am learning now had to be learned, I didn't see until now that I was even attracted to addicts which is amazing to me - 44 years old and not a single boyfriend who wasn't an addict of some sort. So I am trying to find all of the positives in this horrendous situation, use this time to learn about myself, about addiction, get fit and strong and find my mojo again.

But I have to be honest - 18 months in and I still cry like a baby every single day. And I am having panic attacks because I do not know who or what I can trust any more. It's been hard. And it continues to be hard. Reading some of your stories has been helpful.

I'm glad you guys are here.
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Old 04-26-2017, 01:14 PM
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HUGS to you.

You have a lot of grieving and self care to do. I am glad you are here too.

I wonder if some grief counseling would help you? You've really been raked over the coals!

It's soo good that you can see you tend to choose addicts, It took me forever to see that I do the same. But I hope it puts you at ease that ANYONE could have been duped like you were this round. Take care of yourself - this was a blessing in disguise!

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Old 04-26-2017, 01:29 PM
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Originally Posted by firebolt View Post
HUGS to you.

You have a lot of grieving and self care to do. I am glad you are here too.

I wonder if some grief counseling would help you? You've really been raked over the coals!

It's soo good that you can see you tend to choose addicts, It took me forever to see that I do the same. But I hope it puts you at ease that ANYONE could have been duped like you were this round. Take care of yourself - this was a blessing in disguise!

Thank you for the welcome Firebolt.

I'm having counselling with a counsellor who specialises in treating families of addicts and she's been great. I also had some CBT for the anxiety but unfortunately it's still with me. I've also had hypnotherapy, mediate daily and am eating well. I also do boxing traing because I need to get this anger out of my system.

My mantra for the year has been Self Care.

I'm still devastated though.
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Old 04-26-2017, 01:39 PM
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Sounds to me like alcoholism is the least of your worries about a relationship with this guy. Have you talked with a lawyer? Given what you discovered such a short time after marriage, seems to me that you might have good grounds for annulment.
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Old 04-26-2017, 02:10 PM
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Originally Posted by LexieCat View Post
Sounds to me like alcoholism is the least of your worries about a relationship with this guy. Have you talked with a lawyer? Given what you discovered such a short time after marriage, seems to me that you might have good grounds for annulment.
Hi Lexie,

I have seen a lawyer. Annulment is more expensive than divorce because we would have to go to court whereas our divorce is pretty straightforward.

I know it's childish and will do me no good but since I found out he's planning to get married again, I don't want to sign the divorce papers. Although if there's one thing I have learned recently, feelings change.

Yes the alcohol really was the least of what I discovered.
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Old 04-26-2017, 02:29 PM
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Yep. This is what sort of floored and stuck with me the most is how well they lead this double life. After mine unraveled I began to think, how on earth do they find the time to do all of this. I mean my ex would be out having sex by the time I had gotten on a plane to leave for a trip somewhere.

Its like....How on earth can they mange it!

Then you find out they have a running list of places, people and ways to quickly do something. Mine would post ads pretty much all the time simply having a ready source of men to fall back on.

I learned that this isn't all that uncommon with addicts.
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Old 04-26-2017, 02:36 PM
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I'm so very sorry...sending you a hug.
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Old 04-26-2017, 02:50 PM
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I'm having counselling with a counsellor who specialises in treating families of addicts and she's been great. I also had some CBT for the anxiety but unfortunately it's still with me. I've also had hypnotherapy, mediate daily and am eating well. I also do boxing traing because I need to get this anger out of my system.

My mantra for the year has been Self Care.

I'm still devastated though.
This makes me really really happy for you! Grief is a process - of course you are devastated. Keep taking care of you, and do whatever you can to block hearing about him or from him - no contact helps a lot, and silencing friends that want to help by telling you about his goings on helps too. Hang in there, it will pass!
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Old 04-26-2017, 03:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Casseopia View Post
Hi Lexie,

I have seen a lawyer. Annulment is more expensive than divorce because we would have to go to court whereas our divorce is pretty straightforward.

I know it's childish and will do me no good but since I found out he's planning to get married again, I don't want to sign the divorce papers. Although if there's one thing I have learned recently, feelings change.

Yes the alcohol really was the least of what I discovered.
OK, that's a good reason to go for the divorce then. I'd urge you not to drag your feet on signing the papers. You don't have to complete the mourning process first, and if you're hoping to mess him up (AKA "get even") by not signing, that is a REALLY bad idea. That's stooping to his level, it won't give you any satisfaction, and actually might harm you. You already know, no doubt, that there's nothing that will prevent the divorce from going through anyway, and being obstructionist for its own sake never pays.
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Old 04-26-2017, 03:53 PM
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Casseopia.....maybe, this is, actually, a time to be thankful....because, not being with him may actually be saving your life.....
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Old 04-26-2017, 04:17 PM
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So sorry you find yourself in this Cass! I can only add that while painful, let him go and rejoice that his gig was up now and not 20 years down the line with a bunch of kids. He sounds pretty mental and living a sober program for the rest of your life is no picnic for the addict OR the addict's partner (and in their case, they are BOTH). Find your silver lining that you dodged a long term bullet to your heart.
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Old 04-27-2017, 03:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Hangnbyathread View Post
Yep. This is what sort of floored and stuck with me the most is how well they lead this double life. After mine unraveled I began to think, how on earth do they find the time to do all of this. I mean my ex would be out having sex by the time I had gotten on a plane to leave for a trip somewhere.

Its like....How on earth can they mange it!

Then you find out they have a running list of places, people and ways to quickly do something. Mine would post ads pretty much all the time simply having a ready source of men to fall back on.

I learned that this isn't all that uncommon with addicts.
You've been through the same as me? So sorry to hear that. How did you find out? And how long did it take you to feel happy or normal again? I'm 18 months in and still feel like I've been hit by a truck.
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Old 04-27-2017, 03:59 AM
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Originally Posted by dandylion View Post
Casseopia.....maybe, this is, actually, a time to be thankful....because, not being with him may actually be saving your life.....
Thanks Dandylion. I know it intellectually and I know I'll feel it one day for real but currently, I still feel devastated and am still swirling around in all of the many stages of grief.

We'd only just got married so my feelings of being bonded to him were at their strongest.

One thing I keep reading here is that addicts are really good at making you feel like you're their soulmate, The One, that this relationship was the most special one they've ever had. That has REALLY hurt. I genuinely did feel like it was special. I was in love and I felt totally loved. And to have to consider that convincing me of this was just one tool in his addict toolbox is very, very painful.

So many lies, so much illusion and I fell for it all.
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Old 04-27-2017, 04:15 AM
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I can speak as one who did stay for 20 years & have two kids who are devastated by all of this as well so you can count a few blessings. I know the pain is awful, I'm still struggling so I can't help much with a time table but I can tell you you're not alone. It's helping me to remember that feelings are just feelings & they do pass. Stay close-this site is my lifeline even if I don't post much-I'm always reading!
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Old 04-27-2017, 04:17 AM
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You are not alone Casse, I along with many others here fell for it also. Forgive yourself, you did nothing wrong.

Big Hug
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Old 04-27-2017, 04:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Jo2017 View Post
I can speak as one who did stay for 20 years & have two kids who are devastated by all of this as well so you can count a few blessings. I know the pain is awful, I'm still struggling so I can't help much with a time table but I can tell you you're not alone. It's helping me to remember that feelings are just feelings & they do pass. Stay close-this site is my lifeline even if I don't post much-I'm always reading!
Thank you Jo. I'm sorry you had to go through this.

I definitely feel less alone today, thanks to everyone here. And as for the feelings passing..? I'm sure they must but I am still waiting for that glimmer of sunlight through the gloom.
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Old 04-27-2017, 04:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Lilro View Post
You are not alone Casse, I along with many others here fell for it also. Forgive yourself, you did nothing wrong.

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Thank you. I am working on it. Very slowly and surely. This forum helps enormously.
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Old 04-28-2017, 08:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Casseopia View Post
You've been through the same as me? So sorry to hear that. How did you find out? And how long did it take you to feel happy or normal again? I'm 18 months in and still feel like I've been hit by a truck.
I had suspicions. But you are supposed to trust your partner. That is what you do. She always had a plausible explanation that puts you on he semi careful response mode.

But the defining moment came when she called me on the phone SCREAMING at me that she got an STD that showed up on her routine exam. The moment she said that, I knew a few things. It absolutely wasn't me. I absolutely knew that she was going to deny it was anything she did. And I absolutely KNEW we were over.

Yet I took the call calmly. Believe it or not it was easy the moment she told me and I knew it wasn't me, you sort of know you can play this for a valuable bit of insight.

Dear what STD is it that they found?

Gosh I'll get tested immediately and be right there with you to work through it together if I show up positive. That IF right there was the key. She held out all hope that I'd turn up positive. There was a chance I could have contracted it from her, and she was probably praying to the addicts gods that I would.

Then I showed up negative. And the house of cards collapsed.

Then it turned into....

Her to me: OK........that time when we got in a fight and you said you needed space. I went back to me ex to confide in him....and well we had sex. I was hurting. I was afraid I was going to lose you. I needed comfort.

That was story one.

I said....Ummmm....OK you won't mind if I talk to him about this. I will want to see his STD results.

Which enraged her to no end.

Then it was none of my business what she did and who she did it with and I needed to be a more caring partner and we wouldn't have had that fight. Trying to turn it around on me.

Then she made her next mistake. Her phone went off and it came up with a males name that she had saved. She took the call in private.

I asked who that was. Oh that was a guy from work asking me about a contract. At 9PM at night? Yes. On your personal phone? Yes.

OK umm Honey may I look at your call list and text?

HELL NO YOU CAN'T To which I expected was the answer.

Calmly. Me to her. I'm having some trust issues from this STD thing. I'll need your help to work through this. ( I at this time knew I was over, I'm just getting nails for the coffin now). If I can't see what you're up to, I'll not get past this.

Which began the disappearing for days and it finished up from there.

She finally came clean, said she needed help, and begged me to stay. She went to AA. Came clean on all of it as part of the program. It wasn't one time with her ex it was OMG I can't believe this!!!

Followed by the disclosure of how much drinking was going on, followed by her admitting that the sex was part of the process.

For me, I felt like I had simply been inadequate in some way. Then I felt stupid. Then I learn that this was very much a common story. Then I began to realize it isn't me. Then you start to meet normal people. And you find peace with yourself after getting back to normal people.

There is no time limit. It is a process. It does happen. All I can say is get over what an addict did to your head. Its like PTSD. You have to be part of the process of getting that managed. I didn't even want to date anyone for more than a year. Then you date with hot buttons that you easily walk away from. Then you begin to date with the standards you deserve. Then you find you open up again.
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Old 04-28-2017, 10:05 AM
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empathy to you.
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Old 04-29-2017, 05:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Hangnbyathread View Post
There is no time limit. It is a process. It does happen. All I can say is get over what an addict did to your head. Its like PTSD. You have to be part of the process of getting that managed. I didn't even want to date anyone for more than a year. Then you date with hot buttons that you easily walk away from. Then you begin to date with the standards you deserve. Then you find you open up again.
Thank you for sharing your story. Some of that sounds very familiar and I'm so sorry you've been through the mill.

I went on a four-day retreat for families of addicts late last year and the counsellor there said she thought I had PTSD. It definitely feels like it. I stayed almost in complete isolation and didn't tell anyone what was happening for almost a year. Even now, my social interaction is limited while I deal with how I am feeling.

I know I'm far from ready to date - I installed Tinder for a while and went on a date with a really lovely guy. As we were walking around, having a lovely time I looked at him and thought: 'But you're not my husband...' which sent me into a panic attack and I left the date early.

In the 18 months since the bombshell, I have not even kissed another man. I know I have a lot more healing to do before I get to that.

Thanks for your kind thoughts and advice.
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