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Old 05-28-2011, 08:52 PM
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How do you know?

My husband has been battling an opiate addiction for almost 2 years now. We've been together for our entire adult life, and this addiction has wedged itself between us, creating hate, turmoil, mistrust. I could go on and on about all the terrible things that have happened to me, and our children since my husband's addiction surfaced. But if I were to do that, I'd be here all night, typing page after page, and it would probably only cover a months worth of time. He's been to rehab twice now, and has relapsed each time. This time I said enough was enough, and kicked him out. He's been living with his mom and "staying clean."

My question is, how will you know when it time to let them back into your life and your kids life? Will we EVER be able to have a functioning relationship as a family or am I just holding my breath and waiting for the man I fell in love with to resurface? I want us to make it, I want us to grow old together, but I CAN'T do that with him using drugs. Am I just kidding myself?

Lately, I feel like every word he says to me is manipulating me, pulling me closer into his trap, so his addiction can feed off of me some more, drowning me in countless debts I cannot repay. I can't just turn off my love for him, but at the same time I can't let him continue to destroy me and my kids. I hate saying this is him, because its not. It his disease, its the opiates, they've re-wired him into a robot.

I am trying to understand the first step. Recognizing that I have no power over his addiction. I KNOW that I cannot control it, but how do I just turn it off, and try not to anymore? How do you just flip a switch like that?

So many unanswered questions. My head is full of these.
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Old 05-28-2011, 10:42 PM
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Hi, Somber-

You and I are kindred spirits. I have been married for 14 years with 3 kids ranging in age from 5 to 11. I just found out 3 weeks ago that my husband is addicted to hydrocodone/Vicodin, and has been for over 2 years. This all came to light when he overdosed at my kids school and nearly killed them in the car. I arrived at the ER to be told by the ER doc that he had overdosed on drugs and I was like, "WHAT???????????"

Although I do still love my husband (and he is in rehab currently - for the SECOND time), I have decided to end the marriage and have filed for divorce. While I do support his decision to check himself into rehab (in-patient this time; last time was outpatient), the trust in our marriage has been destroyed (MANY lies), and I just don't know if/when I can get it back. I have told him that 2 YEARS down the road, if he is STILL clean, gainfully employed, etc. and neither of us is involved with anyone else, THEN I would consider possibly DATING him again. I just cannot get past what he has done, and have no desire to sit around "waiting for the other shoe to drop". Also, I have to protect my children in case he "heads south" again.

Like your husband, mine is "saying all the right things", and I do believe that he is sincere in his beliefs, but what I don't know is whether he is even capable of sticking to what he is saying for the long haul. (My husband's overdose occurred THE DAY AFTER he finished his 1st rehab...really????) Of course, I hope for my kids' sake that he will get his life together, but, like you, all I have are questions and doubts. I've been told that we "non-addicts" will never be able to relate to the addict mentality, so I don't think we will EVER get a satisfactory answer to the questions of, "What the he#% were you thinking? How could you choose drugs over your family/job/house, etc.?"

But what I can say is this (which I am sure you have read in others' postings)...you do NOT have a marriage if he is using (as a matter of fact, you don't even know who he IS if he's using), and whether or not he will ultimately have a successful recovery is totally up to him. You and I are left holding the bag and wondering...
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Old 05-28-2011, 11:43 PM
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two years clean and sober before returning home to you is a good time period.
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Old 05-29-2011, 08:48 AM
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Originally Posted by somberheart View Post
I am trying to understand the first step. Recognizing that I have no power over his addiction. I KNOW that I cannot control it, but how do I just turn it off, and try not to anymore? How do you just flip a switch like that?
It was more like a dimmer switch for me. I always knew I was a control freak but I was deep in denial about being an enabler. Even well meaning enabling is a passive form of control. Learning and establishing personal boundaries is what helped me get over the hump.

It helps if you go to meetings and find a sponsor, discover the ways you control and enable. You can do it on your own, too, and there's a 12 step forum for us below this one on the main page.
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Old 05-29-2011, 09:46 AM
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I am trying to understand the first step. Recognizing that I have no power over his addiction. I KNOW that I cannot control it, but how do I just turn it off, and try not to anymore? How do you just flip a switch like that?
Good for you for doing step work! And it is just that.....WORK! I concur with Chino. It wasn't a light switch for me with my AS.....more like a dimmer switch and then one day suddenly "click". I STILL have my days where I feel myself backsliding and know that I have to get me head back in the right spot (which in theory is on top of my shoulders not rolling across the floor..lol).

With my exhusband (who definitely had issues with drugs and alcohol along with some pretty serious psychological problems), I knew it was time to end it when the pain of staying with him was greater, than the thought of living life without him. That's when I knew it was time to end the marriage. Using that powerful 20/20 hindsight, I made the right decision for me. Each situation and each person is different.....timing and choices are a very personal thing.

Welcome to SR......I hope you stick around. I have found great comfort here on SR and have grown as a result of the collective wisdom that so many here have shared with me.

gentle hugs
ke
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Old 05-29-2011, 11:44 AM
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Thank you all for your replies! Its such an eyeopener to see that I am not the only one who's felt this way before.
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Old 05-29-2011, 02:33 PM
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somber,

welcome and I'm glad that you are posting. Kindeyes is right - you can only know what is right for you and also, when it is the right time. I don't know that there is a formula for knowing when to let someone in your life. But I do know that at least a year or two is necessary. Even then, it is impossible to know what another will continue to do.

My husband got sober (then BF), stayed sober and worked a program for 18 months. We married and then the next month, he quit working a recovery program. Fast forward 5 years....he is still clean but the turmoil, drama, chaos, irritability that I've lived with have now ended our marriage.

I think that you just never know which is why working your own program is so important. That way, even if your relationship does not work out you have worked on you, have developed wonderful skills and resources which allow you to know that you will be just fine.

You don't have to know anything right away. Last week a friend told me to keep my mind and my feet in the same place. That has helped me a whole lot.

Sending you a warm welcome and hope that you will find this site to be as wonderful as I think that it is. I don't know how I stumbled across it but I sure am glad that I have....

Donna
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