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Struggling with husband's addiction

Old 03-16-2015, 08:43 AM
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Struggling with husband's addiction

My story: my husband has been sober for a little over 60 days now. We have been married for 5 and together for over 10 years. I love my husband. He is bright, funny, charming and charismatic. He's well educated and I have always enjoyed the company of his brilliant mind. He is truly my best friend and we share the same passion for most things in life. He has a thirst for knowledge and refinement of a gentleman. My husband is a wonderful man....when he is sober. All of our friends and most of our family know this man and love him like I do. They do not know the other part of his life that he has shown me in recent years. This other man is also my husband. He is dependent on opiates, shoots up morphine, mean, spiteful, resentful, verbally abusive, a liar, manipulative, depressed, angry and doesn't like himself. He spends most days sleeping and when he does wake to eat, he watches tv and drowns out the noises and life going on around him. Sometimes he also gorges himself with food to the point of him gaining almost 100 pounds. He forgets about everyone else and dips into a depression so deep, he only sees himself and his problems. He's selfish and needy during these times, he steals from work, from family and would lie through his teeth to make you believe him. Because of his education and background, he is quite believable and comes off as telling the truth. These 2 entirely different men are my husband. Finding out he had an addiction after many years of being together was a rude awakening. He had always seemed so put together and being so educated, I believed he was taking his prescription medicine for his back responsibly. I was always worried about other things that seem not important now. I had confronted him a few times before it got really bad to where he lost his job. I warned him and I warned that I would leave if he could not stop. He kept going. Finally he ended up losing his job. It hasn't been so much the addiction that has put us to where we are now but the lies upon lies that I realize were going on for years. The manipulation that he was the sane one and that I was the insane one in the relationship has worn on me. For years I believed he was lying about other women in his life and he would continually break up with me over it while we dated. He finally bucked up and made an honest man out of himself by marrying me after countless break ups and makeups. Finally, I had won him over be it with my charm or my personality or that I would take care of him to the best of my ability and that I would make an excellent mother. I utterly loved him. I still do love him. This whole journey has made it difficult to move on. We are separated and considering divorce now. He tells me he deserves better, I abandoned him during his time of need, I haven't been supportive and he has been all alone in his fight for sobriety. So far in the time that I found out he had a problem (a little over a year) he has relapsed and gone through IOP twice. I can't help but feel I failed my husband. Why could I not be by his side holding his hand like I promised? Why could I not forgive all the mean and hateful things he told me in his deepest despair, sadness and addiction? Why did I finally leave and say enough is enough?! I struggle every day with the choice that I could not stick around and watch my husband killing himself. That now he's clean and everything should be fine. Why could I not be the dutiful wife who stays no matter what? I'm so tired of this whole process and I'm wondering why this had to happen to us when we seemed so full of love. Some days I envision myself running back to him like I did during our breakups. Like a beautiful love story where I jump into his arms and magically everything turns out okay. Other days I am so angry at him and see him for the snake in the grass he can be. It's not that I don't want my husband back but my fear that I will not get the things out of life that I deserve. After putting my husband first for so many years, I decided to take action and put myself first. I just hope I am making the right choice by sticking with this separation and possibility of divorce. Any advice is appreciated.
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Old 03-16-2015, 10:03 AM
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Hello and welcome to SR. I am glad you are here, lots of support here. First things first, while it's great he has been sober for 60 days, that in the grand scheme of things is a very short amount of time. My X relapsed after an entire year sober out of rehab. My X is also a depressed, anxiety ridden person. I know the pressure of living like that. The poor me all the time. It wears you down to the point of exhaustion. It got so bad for me that my mom finally took me to the doctor and said I was having a nervous breakdown, which was spot on.

I went to Celebrate Recovery, to a counselor who deals with helping families with addiction (alone, my X did not go), and of course the wonderful people here at SR helped me through those dark days.

I know the doubt you feel. I also know the asking, "why us." Ultimately, you will just accept this is how it is. You are right to put yourself first. There is absolutely no point in going down the rabbit hole with him. Thing is, he has a lot of recovery to do. He can choose to do so, or not. Only time will tell.

Until then, keep taking care of YOU!!!

ps...my X loves to say I abandoned him. In reality, he abandoned me and our children through his bad behaviors.
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Old 03-16-2015, 10:05 AM
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Struggling...

Welcome to the Board. I'm sorry for what has brought you here, but I'm also grateful that you've found us and took the step to reach out for support. Other members will be by to greet you during the day, but is my wont when greeting new members, I've got a couple of things I'd like to share.

Opiate addiction is an incredibly difficult thing to get a handle on, and part of the reason is the brain remembers all too vividly what it's like to be under the influence. So if, for example, your AH was feeling incredibly depressed, his brain would remind him that if he picked up and used opiates, he wouldn't feel depressed anymore. In fact, he wouldn't feel anything.

I can't help but feel I failed my husband. Why could I not be by his side holding his hand like I promised? Why could I not forgive all the mean and hateful things he told me in his deepest despair, sadness and addiction? Why did I finally leave and say enough is enough?! I struggle every day with the choice that I could not stick around and watch my husband killing himself.
Well, you made a difficult decision, but it may be some comfort to you that we have a lot of women come to us in with a very similar situation and have gotten through it. And when your AH's says the following --

He tells me he deserves better
-- my answer would be so did you. No one made him pick up opiates. No one made him lie, or be verbally abusive, or manipulative. When you married him, that's not what you signed up for. He has not held up his end of the bargain. When he says he deserves better, what that tells me is he does not take responsibility for his choices, and he's feeling sorry for himself. And while he may have abstained for 60 days, this does not mean he's in recovery.

We're not marriage counselors here, Struggling. But I am of the opinion you did what was necessary to protect yourself. And sometimes, in this life, we're confronted with decisions we don't want to make, but have to in order for us to be steady, sane and safe. My hope for you going forward is that you learn enough during your time with us to make the best decisions for you. Only you can make those decisions. But all of us here can share with you what we've learned, and hopefully, some of that with resonate with you.

Keep us posted, and again, Welcome to the Board.
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Old 03-16-2015, 10:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Strugglingwife7 View Post
These 2 entirely different men are my husband.
No, the addict is the man you are dealing with now. The other man was your husband, or at least it was the image of your husband you've constructed. No more.
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Old 03-16-2015, 11:40 AM
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Welcome to our supportive family!! Here you will find kind heart people that are complete strangers yet care so much! My heart goes out to you girl!! I am in a similar situation. The only difference between them is that your husband has been sober for 60 and mine has not. I completely understand you saying you feel like you are married to two men. That's how I feel to and trying to be a wife to two husbands is exhausting!!!!!
My husband has been at his addiction for over 6 years. He has been sober off and in but always goes back to them. So please be very cautious with his sobriety. I don't want to take away the fact that he has been sober for 60 days which you know as well as I do that it's not easy for them but at the same time, stay cautious. My husband has gone for several months with out taking them and just when I think he is done with them, I am slapped in the face with the reality that he had started again.
Good luck to you!! I feel your pain and hope he remains sober! You came to the right place for advice and support! I think I would of lost my mind had I not of found this site. Take care!!!
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Old 03-16-2015, 11:57 AM
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One more thing that I forgot to mention. Please keep continuing to take care of yourself first!! That is something that us wives of addicts don't do. Their needs come first and that is not fair. I am slowly learning that I have needs too. It's not just my husband. So sadly, I have kind of put him on the back burner and I focus all my energy into taking care of our 4 children.
I look up to you because you made a decision that I know I should make but it's so hard. For many years, I felt like a terrible person for feeling at looking at my husband the way I do. Until one day, a light bulb went off and I realized that it is because of his choices and bad decisions he has made is the reason I feel the way I do.
I have read hundreds of forms on this site. Mostly the ones that are similar to mine. You will notice that we all feel the same and describe situation the same. It's crazy that there is so many wives out there hurting because of their husbands addiction.
Sorry to ramble! Just had to write you a little more.
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Old 03-17-2015, 11:18 AM
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You have both been through a lot. Try to give yourself grace and time. Everyone has their limits with what they can take, it sounds like you did your best. You have the right to protect yourself. Is he open to reconciliation? have you considered individual or couples counseling? HUGS!

~Ducktapetherapy77
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Old 03-17-2015, 05:04 PM
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Op I could have written your post pretty much. Mine is in inpatient now and tells me that after all he has put me through it would be a tragedy for me not to let him finally be a good husband to me. It feels true some days and manipulative other days.
I wish I had some words of wisdom. All I can say is that you, me and every one have only ONE life. We have to choose what it looks like.
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Old 03-17-2015, 06:06 PM
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We are given a brush, some paint, a canvas,and a little time.
The biggest mistake we codies make is that we have an
infinite amount of that last resource
We don't. No credit for time served, no "hero" credits. And
(most emphatically).....no time refunds on poor choices.
You didn't let him down. You didn't put the dope in his body.
But you ARE choosing how to spend your finite minutes.

(Choose wisely)
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Old 03-19-2015, 12:12 PM
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I, too could have written this post.
I sent in divorce paperwork to start the process today. Why?

Because I have finally decided that there is not going to BE an end to the gaslighting, stonewalling, lying, or excuses.

I no longer believe I am in love with my husband. I love him, and I do believe a part of him wants to be clean, sober & "normal". But the biggest & most dominant part of him does not, & will not, take the steps necessary to get there.

I am tired of being taken for granted & taken advantage of, & you I'm sure are as well.

My only advice would be to sit back & decide whether you can still be yourself while married to your husband.

I have lost too much of myself to mine & I'm not willing to do it anymore, because I HATE who I am with him now. Sadly the person I married must have been a facade, romance, good times & all.

Big huge hugs. I understand completely.
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