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How do you deal with life AFTER addictiom?

Old 04-28-2007, 12:05 AM
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How do you deal with life AFTER addictiom?

Hi,

I am wondering if you can help!

My AH has finally, after 10+ years of addiction, and 5 years of me living with it, given up the drugs. He has been sober for 6+ months. This is his 3rd or 4th attempt and I am pretty sure he has got it this time.

So whats the problem then? He is sober, working the steps, going to meetings 4+ days a week. He chats to sponsors daily, runs his own meeting on Saturdays. He is going to college to upgrade his education. The problem is he is pushing me further and further away every day. WE have a 4 year old son, who he is great with.

Over the years he has been in and out of our house. It is obviously tough on our son who notices his absences. Finally daddy is back and for a while things seemed good, not great, but not crap either...just good.

He says its because he is getting to know himself, finding out what life is about as a sober person. He needs to helps others...which I get. But I need him to! I am working, going to school and 9 weeks pregnant--bad timing I know. I currently pay all the bills, rent and buy food. He is not working and helps out financially where he can, but does nothing around the house, which is a constant source of fighting.

The thing is, if he can sit and listen to some other woman--he has recently befriended a young, recovering addict who is female and is now phoning him to chat and they even meet for coffee to discuss her problems--the thing is he can give her and them what they need yet nothing for me? When I told him that I am uncomfortable with him "sponsoring" a young good-looking female addict he says thats my problem. She is just a person.

I am just angry at all this and feel neglected. He can't even tell me that he wants to be with me or even that he loves me. Am I just an [email protected]@?

Is this distance normal? Is it something to hold out on? Are all recovering addicts like this??

Last edited by narbekker; 04-28-2007 at 12:07 AM. Reason: forgot something
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Old 04-28-2007, 12:43 AM
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well my AS moved out at age 20 to go into rehab. the thought at the time was that he would move back home. Turns out it was not the best path for him and he now lives in half way house and will likely never live here again due to his usage history living here.

I think addicts who finally "get" recovery often need at least a meeting a day at first, and need to help others. I am reticent to give advice here, but generally sponsors should be of the same sex. It is very normal for addicts to find new friendships with other recovering addicts.

I will stop now lest I start telling you what I would do in your shoes, we are here to support and encourage you and I am glad you found SR. Best wishes for you~
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Old 04-28-2007, 03:54 AM
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I don't know you yet but am very pleased to meet you. My name is Diane & I'm sorry u had to come to a place like this but if you r unfortunate enough to be dealing with addiction & all the issues that go along with it you have come to a great place. The people here r terrific & go out of their way to help. I really don't have any opinions here as I have never been in your situation but people will be along soon that definitely can help. The addict in my life now is my 40 yr old son. I was introduced to the world of addiction many yrs ago at the age of 18 when I married my 1st husband. I ended that marriage many yrs ago, he never did stop gambling while we were together & after I broke it off he became addicted to drugs also.
Never thought I would be bk in these type of groups because of my son but here I am.
welcome to SR. Please keep coming bk as someone will definitely be abel to relate to your situation.
Love,
Diane
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Old 04-28-2007, 05:00 AM
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Uh hhhmmmmmm, is there a reason he isn't working? With you being pregnant and having to pay all the bills, shouldn't he be finding a job? Isn't that part of recovery--to become a responsible person and that include meaningful employment? I mean, I realize he is college and all, but I worked full time and went to school full time, as did millions of others. Even a little part-time job would be a help.
Finances are a HUGE part of a relationship and can cause an immense amount of animosity if someone isn't pulling their own weight. It also has to do with control issues and the balance of power in the relationship. You need to address this, pronto. Especially since when you have the baby you won't be able to work for a while

Last edited by tropikgal2; 04-28-2007 at 05:00 AM. Reason: typo
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Old 04-28-2007, 05:27 AM
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hi, welcome to sr, glad you found us, hate the circumstances. i'm a recovering addict and i think that its important that your husband continues his meetings and i think that its good that he sounds so commited to them, but usually it is highly suggested that sponsors should be of the same gender, and it usually is suggested that a newly recovering addict find a sponsor not be a sponsor. i was wondering too, about him not working, you are not responsible for taking care of him.

maybe its time to set some boundaries around him working and him being a sponsor, especially since it seems to be causing you to feel uncomfortable. make it something that you can stick to, say what you mean and mean what you say, and somehow be prepared to back up your decision. come up with a plan b for your life, just in case you need one,

the program is one of honesty and self sufficiency, i pray that he contines in his recovery. in my opinion, 6 months is not enough time to call it quits, i had 9yrs and relapsed. addiction is a life time thing and so is recovery, it can't be cured only arrested and that depends on the choice that the addict make.

i think that its time for you to take care of yourself, decide what you can or can not live with, come up with a plan b, just in case you need one, a relapse can happen without notice to you or to the addict, try to prepare yourself. i'm so sorry that you are going through all of this, life can get better for you, with or without your addict, you deserve so much more, but it may be up to you to reach for the more, keeping you and your husband in my prayers
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Old 04-28-2007, 06:21 AM
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Hi -

Welcome to our forum. That's awesome about your RAH! Way to go. I know that life has not been at all what you thought that you were buying into though. My RAH has 21 months now so I understand a lot of what you are going through. There are many times that I have thought that recovery was as hard as active addiction - just in different ways. Actually, I know that that is not really true - just that at times it feels that way.

I can't tell you what to do but I can share my experience. I have worked my own recovery to the standard that I wished that my RAH would have. It's helped to keep me (more or less) out of his program and to grow into my own skin. I realize how sick I had become and needed my own help. His disease is lifelong and so is mine. I have problems with speaking up for what I need. I was stuck on "is this reasonable?" A wonderful woman in Naranon told me - "who cares if it's reasonable, it's what you need". I figured out what I needed to make a lifelong commitment to a recovering addict. If what I need is what I need and if the other person is unable to meet that need then I need to change the situation. I have strong boundaries around my RAH's involvement with other women. (he cheated on me in active addiction). It's his choice to be involved or not, but if he choses to do that I will not be in a relationship with him. I know that I will be ok no matter what his choices are. I have a preference for what they are but I am no longer hostage to his choices. It really helped me to have support (here and in face to face Alanon/Naranon meetings). Through all of this I have learned about behaviors and what I can and can't live with.

Recovery is a lifelong journey. The first year of recovery is especially demanding. Most counselors that know anything about addiction will not even begin to attempt couples counselling until after at least a year of sobriety. The RA is still way too fragile in their recovery to begin to deal with those types of issues. One of the main ways that a RA stays sober is to give back to other suffering addicts. This means a lot of alone time for the partner. One thing that we did was go to one meeting a week where there was a Naranon meeting at the same time as the NA meeting. We were then able to "share" some of our recovery. I have had a lot of experience in AA and the anon rooms and I know that same gender support is the "norm". It is drilled into everyone that same sex sponsorship is for the best. That has just been my experience. I would not like my RAH to have a deepening bond with another woman. But that's just me. I wouldn't care what she was recovering from.

There is a lot of wisdom in the posts before mine. Is it reasonable to expect financial contribution, co-parenting, respect for your boundaries, and understanding. Those are things that we all deserve. I have to remember that it is my choice to stay involved with a man that has a wretched disease - and always will. It helps me to remember that I am dealing with someone that has been arrested emotionally. My RAH used for 35 years - 20 of it crack. He was/is very out of touch emotionally in a lot of areas. To this day, he reverts to adolescent thinking and behaviors. In fact, I am currently detaching from him this morning because of that! Figured that I would get out of myself and come here and see who was around. I feel a lot better - so I appreciate how you have helped me this morning!

Teke has a lot of wisdom and insight and what she said is so true. Relapse is common because this is a chronic disease. I don't live in fear of that (usually) but I am ALWAYS prepared in my own life to deal with it and know what I will do and that I can take care of myself. To me, there is no other way to survive in a relationship with a recovering addict - one that I have to remember, is my own choice to stay in. That does not mean that I accept unacceptable behaviors....it means that I care more about taking care of me and my children than I do being in a relationship with him.

This forum is an excellent place to come to learn, share, grow, and love. I'd suggest reading all of the sticky's at the top (SO IMPORTANT!) and reading the books by Melody Beatty that everyone suggests. Good luck in your journey!

Keep us posting - we need you here as much as you might think that you need us!

Love, Donna
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Old 04-28-2007, 02:57 PM
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First, off, I must agree. Generally you do not sponsor or work with someone of the opposite sex. Not to scare you, but there are many women in the program looking for men. (Who would want an addict, but......) It's commonly referred to as "13th stepping". So, it is NOT your problem. You have every right to set up boundaries.

On the other side of things, 1st year of sobriety was tough with my 1st husband. he did spend more time at meetings than at home. But with MEN!!!!

If he intends to stay in this relationship I would sit down & try to lay down some ground rules. Or things that you can both live with. My ex & I did it when he came home & it was a good thing to do.

I don't know why he still isn't contributing to the household. The is one of the 1st things he'd learn in the program. Take responsibility.

Lynne
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Old 04-28-2007, 06:39 PM
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Give him time...things are going to get better... I had the same experience with my husband being sposored by a young female...
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Old 04-29-2007, 12:38 AM
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Thanks to all of you who replied...I really needed get an outside perspective. I have gone with him to the past 2 meeting and I like the people there, they are real and sincere and there to help each.

The funny thing is that the 2 girls who keep phoning him where the only ones more reluctant to speak to me. It drives me crazy. Just when I feel like I am starting to support and understand him and respect his path, one of them will phone or text him...he usually ends up having a lovely convo with them, laughing and all, while I am left fuming. It really irritates me to the point that I want to scream, tell him to get out just so I don't have to think about it. In the five minutes that I have spent typing this up he has received 2 text message from one of them... this is after the 30 minute conversation half an hour prior. I just told him again that I can't deal with this and his reaction: "Tough" I'm not not being friends with them just because of you. I don't care....

I guess the writing is there in front of me... this dram was spose to end when the drugs ended.... maybe I create it all? According to him I create it. Its my insecurities and therefore my problem. My folks of course think I'm better off without him and right now I agree...now 6 hours ago when we spent the day together as a family..then it all seemed possible!
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Old 04-29-2007, 09:48 AM
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Hi,

I understand where you are coming from. I really thought the first time my husband got clean things would be perfect since there were no drugs in our lives, finally. I was so wrong. An addict in the first year of recovery is generally a social mess. I felt as though I were entitled to most of his attention because while he was using he had been so awful. The hard truth is the recovery they go through doesn't really concern us and we mustn't get in the way. I have been very resentful feeling like I once again had to take a backseat.

I will have to agree with everyone and say that it is not proper or what is normally expected for a newly recovering addict to be developing personal relationships with other addicts of the opposite sex. While your AH might not be trying anything, those girls may have a different view of him, because they are all vulnerable right now. I think it's great your husband is stepping up to meetings and working a program, but in my own opinion someone with only six months does not yet qualify to be a sponsor, to anyone. It's very easy for addicts in early recovery to latch on to other addicts with whom they feel a connection, because perhaps they feel finally someone understands them.

I don't know what to say about the job. I guess I would just say, if your husband cheats or uses, remember it is HIM who stands to lose the most...his home, family, and has no job and worst, his serenity. It's not up to you to keep everything together, you can only do your best while protecting yourself and your children, including the new one. This means taking good care of yourself!

Stick around and good luck!
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Old 04-29-2007, 06:23 PM
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looks like you got really good advice here. A friend of mine recently learnt the hard way about 13th Stepping and lost his relationaship. Maybe find a time to have a quiet talk or suggest some counselling?

Kevin
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Old 04-29-2007, 06:46 PM
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I don't blame you for feeling the way you do. He doesn't seem to have alot of respect for your feelings right now. I also agree 6+ months clean is no one to sponsor anyone else in fact it is discouraged. It is also discouraged to sponsor someone of the opposet sex. It sounds like he is getting his ego fed by these girls.
It's a good sign though that he is asking you to come to the meetings with him, I would keep going and talk more with these girls, it could just be immaturity on there part by not knowing better and if he is not discouraging them they will continue.
I also am wondering why he is not working? What is that all about?
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Old 04-29-2007, 07:43 PM
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My best wishes for you. It seems like your husband is enjoying his new found attention to much. Sobriety and family should come first, he should not be making you pay all the bills. I would attend a meeting with him and volunteer to share. I would share that your proud of your husband's sobriety but not happy with his lack of responsibility. You deserve better than this. Your AH is going down a slippery slope with those other girls, I would introduce myself as his wife, and talk about your new baby. God bless.
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Old 04-29-2007, 10:00 PM
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Narbekker, first let me say WELCOME to SR, you have found a great place with lots of Experience, Strength and Hope (ES&H) to share.

Now to your AH. As a recovering alkie/addict with almost 26 years sober and clean I have to say he is feeding you a line of BS. Tell him since he cannot seem to contribute his fair share of just the household expenses, he should go live with his sponsor. At 6 months clean he has no business even attempting to sponsor, yet alone someone of the opposite sex.

He is BSing you. Do not stand for it. Say what you mean to him and MEAN WHAT YOU SAY. Set the boundaries. He has to take responsiblity for him and his responsibilities (his family).

Yes, I have sponsored some men, however, they were gay. And I have known of some men sponsoring women, lesbian women, but not in early recovery. He is still using his addict ways to try and manipulate you.

Have you been to any Naranon, or Alanon meetings (alanon meetings are usually more plentiful and easier to find). You really need to worry about you, your child, and the one on the way.

I would suggest making dinner for you and your child and telling him when he contributes to buying groceries you will be happy to make him dinner. If it were me, I wouldn't do his laundry. Tell him to buy his own laundry detergent and go to the laundromat until he contributes for the utilities etc.

Why he is not working is beyond me. Every one I know in recovery who sponsors people insists that one of the first things they do besides going to meetings is to GET A JOB. It's called:

"Being Self Supporting through our OWN CONTRIBUTIONS."

Please, please seek councilling for yourself and try some Naranon and/or Alanon meetings.

You are not alone. Please keep posting and let us know how YOU are doing, we do care very much!!!

Love and hugs,
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Old 04-30-2007, 06:34 AM
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HI, I am with Laurie on this one - too much BS

When I first went into recovery - not long ago - I came to realise how manipulative I had been and how damaging I had been to my family.

Recovery does not give me the right to free load, to be insensitive, manipulative. It seems perhaps your husband thinks he is very special, just because he stopped using. This is not unusual.

I came to learn I was not special at all, in fact I was/still am usually the problem Drugs had affected my ability to relate emotionally and I had learnt some terribly selfish behaviours. I am still unlearning them slowly but surely.

If your husband is in recovery, as opposed to just attending meetings - he may have come accross the notion of making amends. It does not sound like he is making any amends - in fact it sounds like he is still being reray hurtful and unfeeling. Where do you scope in his decision making process. It appears not at all!

As for spoinsoring at 6 months - hmm.... others have said enough about that. It does not all add up.

Stick to what is right for you. His behaviour does not reflect recovery. True, it is early days, and we take a while to find our feet, but while recovery is at the centre of my life, it does not come at the expense of my wife, children or job.

I never knew what balance was, and earlier in my recovery did spend to much time with recovering addicts, and not enough with my family. But when this was raised with my wife, and sponsor, we found a reasonable balanced compromise.

Thanks for lewtting me share my experience
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Old 04-30-2007, 07:08 AM
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Hi again,

I totally agree about sharing but I would do it at a Naranon/Alanon meeting. Calabash and Laurie have really said it all - and to the point. I, for one, feel that their experience and wisdom is dead on. These are two people that "know the deal" and I'd take a real listen to what they have said. Let us know how it's going.

Love, Donna
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Old 04-30-2007, 09:00 AM
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Thanks Calabash and Laurie, I really need to hear that today.
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Old 04-30-2007, 07:52 PM
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Wow, my AH is in a clinic right now, and let me tell ya....I really hope de doesn't get a female sponser when he comes out...I am not sure that is appropriate.
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Old 05-01-2007, 05:23 AM
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What great advice before me. This is not appropriate behavior for any married man-addict or not. His attitude of "tough" really disturbs me. How would he feel if his wife did something that bothered him & you responded "tough". Your feelings matter in the marriage & it really breaks my heart that addicts are so focused on themselves, before & after recovery. Get to a meeting, find people that you can really relate to & really look deep inside yourself to determine what you can do to help YOU.

Welcome to SR. I pray for your peace & serenity.
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Old 05-01-2007, 12:39 PM
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Talking

Thanks again to all of you! It really helps to hear words of experience from others.

As of today he is moving out, into a fellow recovering addicts place. I feel that his sponsor is probably a better place but thats his call. He is committed to the 12 step program so I hope thats enough for him.

Last night I went to my 3rd meeting and bought 2 alanon books. I have just finished working through step 1, well I finished last night and then we had a long, 2 hour talk. It was sad and great. I guess the wishful part of me figured now everything will be ok and he won't move out. I think he has more brains then me because he has made a descion and is sticking to it.

The logical part of me knows that I can't control anyone but myself and I need to just let go and focus on myself. Focus on helping myself get better so that I don't repeat the same mistakes in future relationships, whether that be with him(I hope) or not (probable).

By fixing myself I will hopefully ensure my children don't get caught in the same trap I did. Also of my issues of control come from my dad and mum splitting up when I was young and the chaos that ensued.

It is so sad that we got on so well last night. We held each other and it felt so right and so so sad at the same time. I know my hormones are making me more prone to fits of melodrama and I feel schizophrenic half the time. There was that one moment where I really just wanted to make love to him...luckly good sense and hormonal tears won the best of me and I abstained from guilty pleasures.

Both of us couldn't sleep for the rest of the night. He got up to study --he is in college---paid for by his work, thats why he is not working. They pay him EI but I guess he got himself into to much debt and so all his money goes to bills, though I wonder how he can afford to live with his friend and yet not help me financially?

I still feel like he really is interested in on of these women in particular. She is not sexy or hot or even beautiful. She is pretty in that down to earth way. She has been in the program for 18months and I guess she is the anti-me...firstly not hormonally crazy and she has worked the program he so dearly loves. She gets his feeling..I need to stop with he before I go nuts. Whatever happens happens for the best. I pray to god that him and I walk out of this together, holding hands and as a strong "power couple" We can then help couples in the same predicament in the future...wishful thinking...all I have is hope and an empty bed and a sad 4 year old. I guess at least he is a good father and will still spend time with our son.

I am going to work on step 2 today! I am powerless over my addict and my life is unmanagable and I am about to put my trust in my god as I understand him! I keep saying the serenity prayer!

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I CANNOT change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference!!!

God bless you all!!!
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