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Old 04-22-2016, 02:24 PM
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New to this, looking for insight and advice

I am looking for a safe place to share my experience and hopefully receive some helpful insight and advice.

9 months ago my husband of 6 years revealed that he has been addicted to cocaine for 14 years. He worked hard to hide this addiction from family and friends, only his best friend knew.

I always knew something was off and had a hard time trusting him. I suspected more of a mental health difficulty like Bipolar disorder based on his constant rollercoaster of moods.

After he told me we took a few days apart and I told him that I would try to support his recovery as he is a good father to our daughter and we were about to welcome another baby soon. I did state that I didn't know if our marriage could survive this and let him know that my zero tolerance for drugs(which I had made clear at the very beginning of our relationship) stands.

He was able to remain sober for about three months. He had a therapist and a psychiatrist to help him address addiction and underlying mental health issues(ADHD, anxiety and depression).

I had strong suspicions that he was lying and using again, however did not have proof until January. When confronted he became suicidal, spending a week in a psychiatric ward and a further 18 days in Rehab. I made it clear that we have work to do if our marriage was going to survive this but gave him the chance to prove to me that he can remain sober and create a healthy, strong marriage.

I have been doing my best to rely on my supports and cope with all of this in positive ways. What I continue to struggle with is obviously finding the courage or ability to trust him again. I wonder if I am just setting myself up for failure, another relapse. I know I am holding back from our marriage out of fear of getting hurt again. I still feel angry that I didn't get to choose this situation, that he chose this for me and has put me through all of this.

What keeps me staying in this marriage is that I care very much about him and his welfare. We have 2 young children together who deserve a healthy 2 parent family and positive role models. I fully admit that the anger and resentment that I am carrying towards him is affecting our family.

The irony of all of this is that I am an educated woman who works in the field of mental health and addiction. I am usually the one to hear these stories and help people through their tough situations but now that I am the one with this story I am at a loss as to how to move forward toward a healthy relationship and happiness.

Any feedback is appreciated.
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Old 04-22-2016, 03:18 PM
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hi there and welcome. you started this relationship believing your AH to be one thing, and clearly stated that you had a ZERO tolerance for drug use, only to find out he was using the entire time.

but instead of enforcing YOUR boundary of ZERO tolerance, he was given the opportunity to right the ship and stay sober.

but he did not. he returned to drugs again.

and again, instead of enforcing your zero tolerance boundary, he again was given another opportunity to right the ship.

and here you are full of anger and resentment. it is not your fault HE is in addict, it's not your fault you weren't even aware. however you do have a responsibility to YOURSELF to uphold your boundaries, even when it's difficult. instead you just keep lowering the bar for him.....ok, but only ONE more chance....well ok, here's another chance, but this time i mean it!!!!

what that tells HIM is that you can't be taken seriously and what you tell yourself is that HIS wants/needs/issues trump your own right to a safe and sane and drug free life.

sure ALL children "deserve" two healthy engaged parents. but when one of them is addicted, it affects the entire family dynamic. HIS using affects YOU - your moods, your thoughts, your choices. you get caught up in the vision you hold of what your family SHOULD look like, without fully taking into account what it DOES look like.

all drugs are tough to kick, and coke can be one sneaky bastard. it doesn't let go very easily. it calls, it whispers, it screams. long after the physical addiction is over (which is about 3-5 days, maybe a bit more depending on how much was last used) but mentally, it's a relentless SOB. that is NOT me cutting your AH any slack, only setting the stage a bit.

you have two little kids that DESERVE a stable safe home that is not tainted with drug use. you deserve peace of mind. but you cannot rely upon your AH to be the one responsible for that safety. you have to be the one to assure that happens. by whatever means necessary.
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Old 04-22-2016, 03:32 PM
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Listen to what Anvilhead is saying.

I've dealt with and am dealing with a cocaine addict who is very sneaky. He is definitely fighting a battle. Nobody can tell you if he will get healthy or not. knowing what I know now, I would separate and he has to do a year in rehab with perfect behavior.

Just out of curiosity, how did his secret come out? If he was so good at hiding it, what happened? My x addict is currently in the hiding mode and I am waiting for the shoe to drop. The truth always comes out.

I'm really sorry you have to go through this. Focus on you and your children. Male sure they are safe and healthy!
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Old 04-22-2016, 08:01 PM
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Thank you both for your input. Boundaries is something I work hard on in all areas of my life, with him it seems to be a struggle.
To answer your question, the impending birth of our second child was his reason for finally telling me. I have a feeling his world was caving in on him though. In retrospect I was questioning him more and more and I think he got sick of the lying to some extent.
He is currently at one of his CA meetings. He goes to about 3 per week, has a sponsor now and continues to work with the professionals to get his Meds right.
Part of my motivation to give him these chances are because I want to tell my kids that I did all I could to keep our family intact. When I first found out I made the decision to give him a year to turn things around. I understand that getting and staying sober is a huge struggle and I question if leaving now would be giving up to soon.
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Old 04-23-2016, 03:48 PM
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It is so hard to give others advice. One thing, however, stands out about your situation related to my own experience.

I am 60 years old and have dealt with the addictions of two family members living in my home over a 12 year period (off and on).

What I discovered is that the guidelines that we hear about in 12 step programs for codependents are as hard to implement as it is for the drug addict to stop drugs.

And, at 60, I seem to have finally "gotten it"... it took me that long. I, too, wanted to say I tried everything. The last things I tried were letting go, setting boundaries and focusing on my own life. Interestingly, these are the things that got me healthy and set up the circumstances for my addicts to figure things out (or not) as responsible adults.

I am not insensitive to the mental health issues. One of my addicts also suffers from ADHD and anxiety. And, in my family there is other profound mental illness. The thing is, adults are responsible for their health - mental or otherwise. I know people with various mental disorders that manage them and those that don't.

In terms of being able to tell your children you did all you could to keep your family intact, I suppose it matters what you mean by intact. Dysfunctional environments can sometimes be remarkably stable, right up to the point they implode. So, I'd think a little about where you put your energy and what environment is most beneficial for your children.

After all that, none of us can do any better than where we are developmentally. It seems to have taken me until old age to get a clue, I hope you are a better student of yourself and your life than I was.

Prayers for a good outcome.
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Old 04-24-2016, 08:01 PM
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You have all given me much to think about, thank you. I have been reading and researching and am having a hard time feeling optimistic about staying in a relationship with a RA. Are there any success stories of continued recovery and repaired relationships?
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Old 05-01-2016, 02:11 PM
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I feel like we have a lot in common. I feel like an idiot for not seeing or maybe just denying my husbands drug addiction. We have been together for 5 years and married for 2. When I met him he seemed to be honest about his past addiction of Percocet and cocaine. He told me he detoxed on his own (should have been my first red flag). There has been so many instances looking back where he just didn't seem right. Id confront him, he'd get mad and yell and turn it back on me like I was crazy. Now we are living separate. We just had a baby and have a 3 year old. I know he's been abusing Suboxone for years because i found a bunch of wrappers about 2 years ago that he denied were his. But then I found a wrapper in the toilet about 6 months ago and he had to confess at that point. He claims it's just for pain and is now seeing a psychiatrist to get off of it but it's been over 6 months and he's still doing it. The straw that broke the camels back was a few weeks ago he didn't come home and I called the police and they found him at a nearby hotel wasted. He told me he went to a bar and drank and took Adderall. I sat at home with our 3 year old and newborn thinking he was dead somewhere. I don't believe him anymore and feel all this time that I've known him he was probably using, spending all of our money (he controls the finances) and lying to be. I should have trusted my gut earlier. He's begging me to come home but I'm staying strong and told him detox and treatment or that's it for us. I even found him a great rehab and my insurance pays 100%. I recently asked him if he would be willing to take a hair follicle test and he's dancing around the question and manipulating the situation like he always does. There's no more excuses but of course he's coming up with them all. I just want my children to be safe. I'm scared for them to be with him so for now I'm keeping them with me and he can have supervised visits. I know I have a very long road ahead of me but I feel a sense of relief in a way because I finally feel like I can live a life that is honest and I don't have to keep looking over my shoulder. Stay strong!
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Old 05-01-2016, 08:43 PM
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Welcome Newreality and I can't tell you how sorry I am for the reasons that brought you here.

I like what Troubledone said here >>> "What I discovered is that the guidelines that we hear about in 12 step programs for codependents are as hard to implement as it is for the drug addict to stop drugs. "

As you are finding out, it is indeed dingdangdadblasted difficult to enforce boundaries even when you know it is the best thing. I remember feeling like I was performing open-heart surgery on myself without anasthesia.

There are plenty of success stories of recovery for both the user and the codependent. Unfortunately there are fewer success stories of relationships making it but there are a few. Of course those in the relationships that weather the first years of the storm live constantly with the knowledge that a relapse can happen at any time.

I did successfully get out of my relationship with my meth addicted XBF. In the year following, he spiraled all the way down to dealing drugs and a long stint in jail. He did get sober and has remained sober for over 20 years as far as I know. I see him as very much of a success story and he told me years ago that I did the right thing when I left him.

I hope we do not overwhelm you. Finally a big, big hug to you as you face this very difficult situation.
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Old 05-04-2016, 08:56 PM
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[QUOTE=Sunshine1234;5932963]I feel like we have a lot in common.

Hi there. I'm so sorry for what you've gone through. We do have similarities. I chalked up his behaviours to mental health for years, drugs never crossed my mind. He told me about recreational use in his early twenties, always denying that they were an issue. Sometimes he'd be acting so off that I flat out asked him' are you on something' in jest, still not connecting the dots. Every time he went out drinking he'd go MIA, claiming his phone was dying, I never believed him but he was always adamant.
Of course now I know what was happening. But he was my husband who knew I had a no tolerance policy right? So how could it possibly be drugs.
I think what I'm currently dealing with is the grief cycle. I'm still on a roller coaster of emotions. He's away for 2 weeks and I'm hoping to use this time to gain some clarity. All I know is that so far my anxiety level has dropped significantly...
Thanks for sharing your story with me
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Old 05-04-2016, 09:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Bekindalways View Post
Welcome Newreality and I can't tell you how sorry I am for the reasons that brought you here.

I like what Troubledone said here >>> "What I discovered is that the guidelines that we hear about in 12 step programs for codependents are as hard to implement as it is for the drug addict to stop drugs. "

As you are finding out, it is indeed dingdangdadblasted difficult to enforce boundaries even when you know it is the best thing. I remember feeling like I was performing open-heart surgery on myself without anasthesia.

There are plenty of success stories of recovery for both the user and the codependent. Unfortunately there are fewer success stories of relationships making it but there are a few. Of course those in the relationships that weather the first years of the storm live constantly with the knowledge that a relapse can happen at any time.

I did successfully get out of my relationship with my meth addicted XBF. In the year following, he spiraled all the way down to dealing drugs and a long stint in jail. He did get sober and has remained sober for over 20 years as far as I know. I see him as very much of a success story and he told me years ago that I did the right thing when I left him.

I hope we do not overwhelm you. Finally a big, big hug to you as you face this very difficult situation.
Knowing that relapse can happen at any time... That's one of the things I struggle with the most. Knowing I can never give him financial responsibility, always questioning him if something seems off, those are the things I'm trying to decide if I can accept or if I need to move on.
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Old 05-05-2016, 07:51 AM
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It's tough with addiction, as you know. You are at an impasse. You have to decide if you can live with the fact that addicts relapse. You don't trust him b/c he has not earned it over a period of a long time, and I am talking years.

For myself, I could not deal with the fact that the qualifier in my life could relapse at any given time, and that the statistics say he likely would (he did). As with addiction, codependency is the same. Living one day at a time, one moment at at time. It's so hard. All of the things going on were turning me into an anxiety ridden mess, and of course that affected my children in a negative way.

Only you can decide what you can live with. However, we are here to support you, no matter what that decision may be. I had to ask myself, what would I tell my child if she came to me for advise in this situation? A lot of times, that helped me decide what to tell myself.

Hugs. We are here supporting you.
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Old 05-05-2016, 09:18 AM
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Knowing that relapse can happen at any time... That's one of the things I struggle with the most. Knowing I can never give him financial responsibility, always questioning him if something seems off, those are the things I'm trying to decide if I can accept or if I need to move on.
Every habit he’s ever had is still there in his body, lying dormant like flowers in the desert. Given the right conditions, all his old addictions would burst into full and luxuriant bloom………. (Unknown author)

It’s a very hard decision and not one that can be rushed or witnessed, meaning, just because someone jumps into recovery meetings, counseling, etc. does not mean addiction goes away or is fixed. To remain clean/sober your husband must commit to that each and every single day for the rest of his life. Then he will need to take the appropriate actions in order to accomplish his goal of remaining clean/sober.

I know for me that anxiety of wondering when that left shoe was going to drop again, searching the house, car, closets etc. to prove my thoughts were real or imagined was not a healthy way of life. No one should ever have to live day to day with the inability to trust the person living with them and who is supposed to be a life partner.
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Old 05-05-2016, 09:01 PM
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Newreality, I like your name as it does indeed describe your current situation.

As I found out about the drugs so didn't marry my qualifier, I was never in your position. However, for all of us, just thinking about the next right step is usually a good way to go. Personally I stick with micro-mini steps most of the time.

Please do all you can to take care of yourself and your children right now even if it is just staying hydrated and getting a bit of a walk into your day.

May battalions of angels keep constant watch over you and your family!
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Old 06-01-2016, 06:43 AM
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Originally Posted by NewReality17 View Post
I am looking for a safe place to share my experience and hopefully receive some helpful insight and advice.

9 months ago my husband of 6 years revealed that he has been addicted to cocaine for 14 years. He worked hard to hide this addiction from family and friends, only his best friend knew.

I always knew something was off and had a hard time trusting him. I suspected more of a mental health difficulty like Bipolar disorder based on his constant rollercoaster of moods.

After he told me we took a few days apart and I told him that I would try to support his recovery as he is a good father to our daughter and we were about to welcome another baby soon. I did state that I didn't know if our marriage could survive this and let him know that my zero tolerance for drugs(which I had made clear at the very beginning of our relationship) stands.

He was able to remain sober for about three months. He had a therapist and a psychiatrist to help him address addiction and underlying mental health issues(ADHD, anxiety and depression).

I had strong suspicions that he was lying and using again, however did not have proof until January. When confronted he became suicidal, spending a week in a psychiatric ward and a further 18 days in Rehab. I made it clear that we have work to do if our marriage was going to survive this but gave him the chance to prove to me that he can remain sober and create a healthy, strong marriage.

I have been doing my best to rely on my supports and cope with all of this in positive ways. What I continue to struggle with is obviously finding the courage or ability to trust him again. I wonder if I am just setting myself up for failure, another relapse. I know I am holding back from our marriage out of fear of getting hurt again. I still feel angry that I didn't get to choose this situation, that he chose this for me and has put me through all of this.

What keeps me staying in this marriage is that I care very much about him and his welfare. We have 2 young children together who deserve a healthy 2 parent family and positive role models. I fully admit that the anger and resentment that I am carrying towards him is affecting our family.

The irony of all of this is that I am an educated woman who works in the field of mental health and addiction. I am usually the one to hear these stories and help people through their tough situations but now that I am the one with this story I am at a loss as to how to move forward toward a healthy relationship and happiness.

Any feedback is appreciated.
Just wanted to check in and see how you are doing and where things are at now with your relationship. I'm still separated from my husband and now that I've been able to take a step back and have a clear head I can see the chaios I was living in. My children and I are much happier so I don't think we will be going back.
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Old 06-05-2016, 09:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Sunshine1234 View Post
Just wanted to check in and see how you are doing and where things are at now with your relationship. I'm still separated from my husband and now that I've been able to take a step back and have a clear head I can see the chaios I was living in. My children and I are much happier so I don't think we will be going back.
Thanks for checking in. My husband got a job out of town after 4 months of being laid off and at home with me and the kids. He continues to work on his recovery. The space has been what I've needed. We've had some difficult conversations, our first couples therapy appointment is this week. Things are still blurry some days but I'm able to think a lot clearer than I was. We have a lot of work to do but lately I've felt much more hopeful. Unfortunately I don't have any real say in what our future brings but have the full responsibility to make the right choices day by day and that's what I'm focusing on. I'm supported and loved by many and listen to my needs day by day in terms of taking care of myself.
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Old 01-30-2017, 09:24 PM
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Update:

My husband stayed clean for a year. Then used again for 3 days.
Starting from day 1 again. It's been a tough year with ups and downs between us. My biggest issue is that he didn't address the emotional piece that leads to addiction, the lack of coping, lack of feeling fulfilled and always searching for more.
He seemed to do the right things in terms of accessing his NA supports but forgot to put his recovery first, didn't manage his stress, and now here we are.
I'm frustrated. And he's in his avoidant phase. He told me, owned up to his mistake within days, now he wants to move on forget it happened.
I'm working on telling him what I need in a way that he will understand.
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