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Any advice, please

Old 11-24-2021, 01:35 PM
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Unhappy Any advice, please

Hi everyone,
I am married to a man fighting pain-pill addiction. He has been fighting it for as long as we have been together (15 years), but he hid it for the first 3 to 4. He has been in and out of rehab and the ER off and on for years, and I am at my wits end. I have lived thru all the lies, sneaking around, mood swings, money problems, all the usual crap. Currently, he claims he has been clean for 18 months, but the usual signs are telling me otherwise; mood swings, impatient, excessive spending, problems at work, excessive sleeping, and just generally miserable to be around. Plus he has taken up drinking alcohol instead. He has blamed me for all our problems saying it's because I have have cut off sex. This was not intentional, but yes, slowly I have completely lost interest after years of this emotional train wreck. Am I wrong for feeling this way? Am I wrong for not wanting him to drink? We have tried counseling and he just goes in there and lies and misleads the clueless therapist.
I have joined this forum for help, support and knowledge. I want to learn about other peoples experiences, in order to learn how to move forward. Thank you.
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Old 11-24-2021, 02:35 PM
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CaughtInChaos, welcome to SR. You will find a lot of support here. Please read around the forum and you will find many stories I think you will identify with. You are not wrong for feeling the way you do. It doesn't sound to me like he's fighting pill addiction at all...he's just going with it, and has now added alcohol to the mix.

I hope you'll read and post a lot. Again, you will find great support here.
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Old 11-24-2021, 02:53 PM
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Originally Posted by CaughtInChaos View Post
Hi everyone,
I am married to a man fighting pain-pill addiction. He has been fighting it for as long as we have been together (15 years), but he hid it for the first 3 to 4. He has been in and out of rehab and the ER off and on for years, and I am at my wits end. I have lived thru all the lies, sneaking around, mood swings, money problems, all the usual crap. Currently, he claims he has been clean for 18 months, but the usual signs are telling me otherwise; mood swings, impatient, excessive spending, problems at work, excessive sleeping, and just generally miserable to be around. Plus he has taken up drinking alcohol instead. He has blamed me for all our problems saying it's because I have have cut off sex. This was not intentional, but yes, slowly I have completely lost interest after years of this emotional train wreck. Am I wrong for feeling this way? Am I wrong for not wanting him to drink? We have tried counseling and he just goes in there and lies and misleads the clueless therapist.
I have joined this forum for help, support and knowledge. I want to learn about other peoples experiences, in order to learn how to move forward. Thank you.
I'm willing to bet that after all these years of dealing with his addiction, you know exactly what the signs are. So if you sense that he's using, he likely is, regardless of what he says. If your counselor is as clueless as you say, then I would encourage you to consider whether it's healthy to keep going. Oftentimes, counseling becomes just another vehicle for the abuser to manipulate and gaslight their victims. And yes, if you are in a relationship with an addict, you are being abused. Financially, emotionally... if the physical abuse hasn't happened yet, it just might once you get in the way of their supply. I never would have imagined my ex getting violent with me, but once I tried to take his drugs out of his pocket, he sure did.

He is not acting like someone who is in recovery. Is this what you want out of life?
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Old 11-24-2021, 07:38 PM
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Thank you suki. That was one of may major questions here.He is trying to convince me that drinking alcohol is fine. But if it's fine, then why did he initially hide it from me for months. And he was never a drinker before. When I brought it up in counseling, he downplayed it and said he has complete control. He also lied and said he never hid it and drinks in plain sight. This might be true now, but only since I discovered all his empty vodka bottles and confronted him.
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Old 11-24-2021, 08:06 PM
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@Hechosedrugs Yes! That is exactly how I feel. He has lied in counseling multiple times. I feel like I live in Crazytown, and it really seems the therapist has no beneficial experience with addicts and their manipulation/BS. I am seriously considering cancelling our next appointment, because what's the point? I feel terrible when we leave and in shock. there can be no real progress when one person is lying. It is astonishing. I call him out on the lies each time and he doesn't miss a beat. In the last couple of months, I was confronting him about all the money disappearing and the mood swings, and then quitting his job AGAIN, and he responded with telling me our relationship is over. Wow! Starting a fire to distract from the real issue. Seems typical, but blessing in disguise?
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Old 11-24-2021, 10:14 PM
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No, drinking alcohol is not ok. He's an addict, and just replacing one substance with another substance. You have every right to feel the way you do towards him, including sexually.

My ex was very unattractive when using any substance, got very angry, and was annoying more than anything. Saddest part is that her sex drive was way higher being messed up, but it turned me off and I refused much like you did. Sex to me is something that's way better naturally, not forced like addicts try to do.

I'm sorry you are going through this. You did the right thing by posting here, and have a great of people who have been in your shoes.
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Old 11-25-2021, 08:05 AM
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You also may be able to find a counselor who specializes in addiction either for both of you, or even just for you (obviously, not because you need addiction counseling, but because you won’t have to explain every little thing to them about this whole song-and-dance).
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Old 11-25-2021, 11:08 AM
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@edoering Such a great suggestion. Thank you. I think I will do that for and by myself, because I don't think he will agree to see a different therapist. Also, I realize that I really need to talk plainly to someone by myself and figure out what my next step is. Hopefully, I can find someone in person. That was a struggle with our last search.
It's also difficult, because I noticed a lot of therapists list addiction as one of their specialties, but it really isn't always the case :/
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Old 11-27-2021, 11:07 AM
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So true! It’s such a buzzword these days, I see it listed, but I’ve only really worked with one therapist who I felt like “got it”—and got it so well that she could walk me through my blind spots!
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Old 11-27-2021, 01:35 PM
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Hi CaughtInChaos, so sorry to hear your troubles. It sounds as though youre on your last nerve and who can blame you?

From your description it seems like your partner (and/or his addiction) has been carefully manipulating situations and by implication you until he has things exactly how he wants them. His masquerading by choosing another drug and clear manipulation of your counselling sessions are obvious red flags. If you think about it, shifting his addiction and using your counsellor to pretend he's doing all that needs to be done allows him to carry on regardless. If he has no intention of changing then the situation you describe is tailor made for both him and his addiction. Why would he change when he has it so good? There is nothing about that situation that even hints that he is serious about respecting you or your relationship. And it is so painfully obvious what he is doing. If he thinks he is fooling anyone he couldnt make it more obvious if he wrote it in letters ten feet tall. There are many on here who can offer much better advice than I about navigating this kind of abuse (as Hechose drugs says, it's nothing short of abuse). Maybe you should start considering your boundaries and decide what youre not prepared to put up with.
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Old 12-19-2021, 01:15 PM
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Angry All on here are so much more helpful than counselor

Thank you everyone. He definitely seems to be manipulating the counseling sessions. He has even flat out lied. I'm starting to wonder if he believes his own lies. He has spent the last 10 years keeping our lives in a roller-coaster of chaos with his addiction, in and out of ER's, rehabs, job jumping every couple years and the financial strain that causes, him over spending on junk and not having his half for the bills. When he is using he also has messes everywhere (he is a slob), mood swings, lying, and pretty much only wanting to spend his free time watching TV. He hands out affection like crumbs. Of course, we have good times. Months where things are okay, even good. We connect and do things together, but things have been gradually getting worse over the last 2 or 3 years. It's hard to completely know when because he travels a lot for work (especially during Covid). Anyway, he has given me an angry ultimatum that the relationship is over because of so little sex. First, he claimed it was three years of misery, then five, now he claims it's been like that for seven. No acknowledgement of the toll all these above things have taken on our relationship or that they might have a lot to do with so little sex. I told him we need counseling. He agreed, but like I said he lies and deceives the counselor. Now he is drinking and I agree with the posters on here that say that he is just trading one drug for another. He told the counselor that he needs us to just jump-start things and dive into sex. The counselor told him he needs to show me affection. That it comes first, but he just doesn't seem to get it. SO, in a final, last ditch effort to try his way, I spent the last two days trying to "jumpstart" the sex. I would have done it sooner, but he has been traveling. and putting me off when I suggest that I sleep in our room again (I have been sleeping in extra room because of multiple issues- his health, and insomnia and now our ultimatum status) But now I can't do the "jumpstart" right either. He is "too tired", "hasn't showered". This is all fine. I am just trying to make an effort, but the final straw was when he said, "I don't like it in the morning, pay attention". WOW, this truly feels like emotional abuse. He said it in a nasty tone of voice, like I'm an idiot. Then was distant the rest of the day. I am baffled. I did not pressure him or act annoyed. In fact, I instead invited him to watch the sunset together or something he would like to do. Nope. I went by myself.
I have had a nagging suspicion that this sex/ultimatum was a distraction, and now I am even more sure of it!! Everything was fine a few months ago. I mean we had some really nice intimate moments. Over the last year he had even said he was having trouble with sex stuff and should see a doctor, etc. and made comments about not being as interested in sex as much as he used to be. and then suddenly! after these nice moments, I overheard him getting fired and he gave me the ultimatum moments later that same day! He also had recently borrowed a lot of money from me, because he said he got behind and that is when I started finding empty alcohol bottles hidden. I am such a dope. I think he is starting a fire somewhere else to distract from me closing in on his lies! I just feel so betrayed. I have supported him thru so many low times and he just turns on me at the drop of a hat. He must be using again...? His behavior is so irrational and hostile, really. He doesn't care how much trauma he causes me. I am an emotional wreck. I think I am finally ready to start to accept that it is time to move on. It is just so hard after so many years, and loving him so deeply. My self respect and self confidence are sadly so low now. Gradually been chipped away at, but that's on me for accepting it.
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Old 12-19-2021, 05:46 PM
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Hi Caught. Well this certainly sounds like a horrible situation. I am glad though that you are starting to get some clarity about it all. Yes, it will be hard to leave, but I think you know deep down, perhaps, that is the only solution.

He was lying about the intimacy and now you have called that bluff. He's just treading water here, hoping to keep things "as is" while you carry the weight.

It's sad, but the only way you are going to be able to clear the F.O.G. (fear, obligation, guilt) is to take time alone, whether that is him leaving or you leaving. Yes, perhaps you have some good times, but is that a good enough trade off for all the horrible times? He's not getting help, he's not quitting, it was pills now alcohol, that helps you not at all (nor him, but that's his battle/side of the street).

I would recommend you also might like to read the threads (and post too of course if you like) in the Friends and Family of alcoholics forum - I think you will relate to a lot there:

https://www.soberrecovery.com/forums...ly-alcoholics/

Addiction is a very selfish pursuit, the drugs/drinking come first, everything else (including you) is very much secondary, so his behaviour isn't really surprising, unfortunately.





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Old 12-22-2021, 09:17 PM
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One more question

Does it make a difference that he uses pills because of pain? They were prescribed originally and then he slowly became addicted. He calls it dependency. The therapist seems to think that is okay, but his group therapist in the last rehab said I should be ready to leave him if he falls off the wagon again. i am so confused, as he is making me feel guilty like this lack of intimacy is all my fault. Not recognizing that he gives me almost no affection. And the addiction and moods swings, job jumping have taken a toll on me. I am feeling really weak right now. he told me it is over and he resents me for neglecting the sex and i feel just devastated. Does anyone have a pep talk for me . Im sorry i am feeling lost currently.
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Old 12-25-2021, 03:33 AM
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Hi there, I'm so sorry the agony you're feeling. I am in your shoes. I am late coming to the realization that all of 'our' problems is not me, not my fault, not my responsibility...they are solely the direct consequences of his choice to relapse and actively use. SR forums and posts have truly helped me realize I can move through the despair and heartache instead of internalizing all of his **** as my burden to bear. Try reading those posts or stickies about 'letting go' and 'loving from afar' I think...I saved about 10 articles so I can reread them when I'm feeling weak, like I want to give in to his addiction just to keep him and his problems in my life. That sounds crazy writing it and saying it in my head. Everyone has their breaking point; if you're here, you're on your way to saving yourself and that is not selfish, you are the only thing you can change and control. God bless ❤️
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Old 12-25-2021, 10:39 AM
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Thanks

@whydoomedlove thank you so
much for the kind words. It helps so much. I am sorry for what you are going thru as well. We have been trying to work things out in counseling but he puts all the blame on me. He waffles back and forth between wanting to fix it. And then literally two days ago, he tells me he cant work on it anymore and not to contact him over the holidays. I am crushed. Still love him, but looks like he doesn’t feel the same.
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Old 12-25-2021, 10:21 PM
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Originally Posted by CaughtInChaos View Post
@whydoomedlove thank you so
much for the kind words. It helps so much. I am sorry for what you are going thru as well. We have been trying to work things out in counseling but he puts all the blame on me. He waffles back and forth between wanting to fix it. And then literally two days ago, he tells me he cant work on it anymore and not to contact him over the holidays. I am crushed. Still love him, but looks like he doesn’t feel the same.

Been through the same exact thing (are we noticing pattern here...oy vay) and I think for me, as terrible as it sounds, it hurts my ego and that makes it harder to let go. I know this didn't justify it but understanding my reasoning behind it helps me recognize it so I can change it. I feel like, "I loved you so damn much, sacrificed so much, bent over backwards, accommodated to your every whim; how dare you not love me back the same, how dare you not worship the loyal woman I am, how do you not reciprocate, how can you discard me like a piece of trash?!" When I reflect on that...it's so messed up. I have anxiety attachment and that causes me to suffer at my own hand ultimately by choosing partners who are unable to love me properly because neither one of us loves ourselves properly 💔 Maybe if I focus on healing my wounds, I won't find myself in these toxic relationships, maybe I can actually be in a healthy relationship (sad to say, but I've never had)! I hope you had a good day and a good night's rest.
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Old 12-26-2021, 04:43 PM
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Originally Posted by CaughtInChaos View Post
Does it make a difference that he uses pills because of pain? They were prescribed originally and then he slowly became addicted. He calls it dependency. The therapist seems to think that is okay, but his group therapist in the last rehab said I should be ready to leave him if he falls off the wagon again. i am so confused, as he is making me feel guilty like this lack of intimacy is all my fault. Not recognizing that he gives me almost no affection. And the addiction and moods swings, job jumping have taken a toll on me. I am feeling really weak right now. he told me it is over and he resents me for neglecting the sex and i feel just devastated. Does anyone have a pep talk for me . Im sorry i am feeling lost currently.
I was lost for years, just like you. And just like you, I had a AH that drank and abused prescription meds for pain from a failed surgery. Docs told me that what he was doing was just a vicious circle - the pills were no longer helping, so he took more and drank more. I should say, he was an alcoholic before the pills and they just made him so much worse. He stopped working, paying bills or interacting with me and the children. He didn't even know who we were sometimes and there were really scary episodes where we had to leave the house or barricade ourselves in a room, unspeakable things. He would not seek any help, even when admitting he was an alcoholic. So I found the strength to say "no more, I don't want to live with you." He packed his stuff when we were out of the house and like the coward he was, left without a word to me or the children. I waited a year for some sign of recovery - there was none, so I divorced him, met a wonderful man and remarried. XAH died a year later from pill/alcohol overdose. And I say, Good Riddance.

So here's the pep talk: get out while you can. Dig deep and summon the strength to do what is best for you and your family. It will most likely be difficult, but you will gain self respect and peace eventually. Go to Alanon meetings and learn all you can about codependency and addiction and what it does to families. I'm not saying divorce, but separation. In time, with some space and boundaries, you will know what to do.

I wish you peace.
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Old 01-01-2022, 03:20 PM
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Thank you so much @BellaBlue for sharing your story and your support. I really appreciate it.
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Old 01-01-2022, 03:30 PM
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Thank you everyone. So so so much. Your messages are helping me get thru a very dark time in my life. We have another counseling session and I suspect he is going to end it officially then, but I am not sure because he gives me mixed signals. I suspect that he has convinced himself that I am responsible for all his misery and the only way to be happy is to leave. I love him and want him to be happy, so I know I need to let him go if that's what he wants. It just hurts so deeply, as I know you all understand, because I have been loyal thru so much crap and he just doesn't care. It's so screwed up that even after all the damage he and his addiction have done, all the blame he is throwing at me now, that I love him so and find it devastating to imagine my life without him. Ugh...
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