Post # 1
I recently realized that my DH has developed an addiction to prescription pain killers. He had two major surgeries fairly close together last year, and that’s (as far as I know) when it started. He won’t come out and admit it, but I know it’s true. I’ve noticed his behavior has changed more and more over the past few months. He started going out more without saying anything to me and wouldn’t answer my calls even if it was 3-4am. He would come home and apologize and admit that he should have called, but then he does it again. I started to think he was having an affair. I hated having that thought, but he would keep doing this but never say where he was or who he was with. One night I had to go to the emergency room. I called him repeatedly. I finally reached him and told him I was really sick. He still stayed out wherever he was. This behavior is NOT my husband. I’ve known him for the past 2 decades. He has never been an inconsiderate, selfish, or disrespecful person. I would not have married him if he was like this all along. I started to wonder if he was having an affair. As much as it bothered me, I eventually checked his facebook/phone/bank records. I don’t know what I was looking for, but I felt like I needed to know. I realized that during the times he was missing, he was always with one particular relative. I also noticed that he would always make atm withdrawals that were usually between $60-$100 during those times. So at that point, I was thinking maybe there’s no mistress, but what is really going on. Another problem in our relationship has been the intimacy/sex life. My DH used to always want sex. Now it’s like pulling teeth. It’s gotten worse over the past few months. We were trying to conceive, but that can’t happen when you aren’t having sex. To give you an idea. We went from having sex a couple of times per week months ago to only once this month. In February we tried twice, but he couldn’t get into it. On top of that, I am always the one to initiate it which was never the case. And when I do try, he turns me down 99% of the time. This is another reason I thought he was cheating. Between never wanting it, turning me down, and not being able to even get it up I was feeling like it was me. He kept swearing that it wasn’t, but what else should I think? Last clue: A few months ago, I hurt my leg and was in horrible pain. The doc gave me medicine, but it wasn’t helping at night so I wasn’t sleeping at all. DH comes home one day with some pain killers. He said he got them from that same relative that he’s always going to see. I told him to just leave them and I would only take one if I absolutely need it. About 3 days later, I was in terrible pain and nothing was working. I decided to take one of the pills, but they were no where to be found. DH admitted he took them. This is when I started to put everything together. I found a site that had signs of pain killer abuse, and sure enough 1) mood swings, 2) loss of libido, 3) taking more than one at once when not needed (he admitted he usually takes 2 at a time) were all signs. I told DH about this and he agreed to stop taking them so he can see any changes. He promised he was committed to stopping, at least to see if he improves. That lasted 6 days. Fast forward to this week, we have barely spoken and when we do, he has an attitude. He has gone out with that relative Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. He will probably try to see him again today. Yesterday I asked him what’s going on, and after a few comments that were treating me like I was imagining it all, he said he wished he never married me. My world collapsed. I know this is because of the pills. He has never been this person, and definitely wouldn’t say something like that to me. I once told him a friend of ours told her husband she wished they never married, and he made me promise we never said/did anything that hurtful to each other. So the fact that he said that me not only breaks my heart but tells me this is not really him. I’ve never dealt with someone with an addiciton, and I don’t know what to do. I just can’t seem to stop crying and praying now. I spoke to MIL about it because she and I are close. She is furious that he is with this relative who apparently is known for being on drugs/getting people on drugs. She told me to stay strong and don’t be quick to leave him because this is not him but the pills. I just don’t know what to do. I feel so broken hearted. Any suggestions/prayers/good energy is appreciated. Sorry this was so long.
Post # 3
@JustVenting: Wow. I’m sorry you’re dealing with all that. I have a step brother who is addicted to pain killers following a major accident. It’s awful. Someone else very close to me dealt with a serious addiciton as well. In his case, there has been success in treating it. It’s not hopeless, but in the case where your fiance doesn’t see it as a problem, well, for now all you can do it look after yourself. There are counselors (depending where you are) to help family members of people afflicted by addiciton. You could also consider speaking to his doctor about it, although I’m not sure how that goes legally where you are…
In his case, it’s the physical addiction and likely the behavioral addiciton as well. He’s got a big elephant to eat… and for now it sounds like he’s not ready.
I think you should seek counseling for yourself first, and possibly remove yourself from the situation until he is ready to deal with it. Feel free to message me if you want to talk more about it privatley. Unfortunatley I have had a fair number of people around me affected by addicitons.
Post # 4
After dealing with several family members who have gone through this, I would never wish what you’re dealing with on anyone. All I can do is send you positive vibes. I am so, so sorry you’re going through this.
Post # 5
Good energies and thoughts your way. I have no idea what’s the proper thing to do, but I can ell what I would do.
I would sit down with him, calmy, lovingly and in a non confrontational way. I would say that I’m worried because of X, X and X (specific examples) because it makes YOU feel X, X, X (focusing on the effect his addiction has on YOU). Say that for YOUR peace of mind it would mean the world if you guys could see a counselor together, and that you’d be 10 times happier talking about it with a professional to see if the pills are causing abnormal behavior.
Post # 6
- Wedding: September 2013 - Creek club at ion, SC
Someone who has an addiction will not keep a promise if he is not seeking professional help. Their promises mean nothing.
You are going to have to be strong. Like you said he is not your husband on these pills and if you want your husband back youre going to have to let him know that if he doesnt go see someone about this youre going to leave him. Stand strong and go through with it if he doesnt. Maybe then hell start to take this addiction seriously and actively seek gettig professional help – sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind and I would say this is one of the only ways your going to get your real husband back.
I expect that reaction from his mother. A mothers love for her son is completely selfless and shes scared her little boy will have no one but shes reacting out of emotion not what is actually best for her son. I dont think her advice is good.
Post # 7
Narc anon is similar to Al anon, but it’s for family/loved ones of drug abusers. You might want to start going to meetings in your area.
There is really nothing you can do about his addiction. He has to want treatment. I also suggest counseling for youself to help you through this.
Try to focus less on him and his addiction and more on taking care of yourself, emotionally, physically and spiritually.
You can’t fix him.
Post # 8
Please contact someone who can help YOU learn how to deal with an addicted family member. I don’t know resources specifically for narcotic addiction, but I bet AlAnon – the support group for family members of alcoholics – could either help you with general information and/or point you to resources geared towards narcotic addiction.
What a heartbreaking thing to have to deal with, I hope that he decides he has a problem and needs to deal with it.
Post # 9
I am so sorry you are going through this. I am sending warm vibes/energy your way along with prayers. You should take care of your self and get the needed support. Unfortunately until he admitts he has a problem it won’t change and he will keep blaming you for things if you mention it. People with addictions blame those around them for the things they are doing. He will call you names, make you think you are crazy and it’s all in your head. But stay strong and know it isn’t you. If possible, remove yourself from the situation. Maybe since his mother is on board with you, you can approach it together. I know that rehabs are hard because most let the person sign themselves out whenever they want and insuarance only pays so much, not leaving enough time in to heal. This will definately break up your relationship and fast if you don’t find the help for yourself and find a way to help him. I know it shouldn’t all be on you because he is the one with the addiction, but you are the only ‘sober’ one in the relationship right now who can see clearly. As for having an affair, it sounds like it is just drugs, but who knows who else is showing up at these get togethers he is going to. Usually pain meds lead to other drugs as well. Good that he isn’t wanting to get with you at the moment, because it would be really hard for you to have a baby right now with him not being there for you and with drugs in the home. I really wish you all the best, and will keep praying for you.
Hugs & Well Wishes.
Post # 10
Gosh. I’m so sorry. My sister is a heroin/pill addict. Its ruined her life and her relationship with my whole family. At this point she’s actually delusional and filled with rage. Since it’s directed at me and is completely unfounded, I haven’t talked to her in 3 years. She was my best friend, we lived together, worked together, everything. Unfortunately she’s not the same person anymore and I can’t be around her until she get actual help and stays clean. She doesn’t even admit she has a problem so it’s never going to happen.
Unfortunately, until your husband sees its a problem and realizes that he absolutely must get help, nothing at all will matter. Addicts totally lie, cheat, and are @$$&*(#s generally. I’m so sorry. Please ask him to get counselling (alone and with you) and join a programme. Be willing to support him through getting help.
But please also start thinking through what you will do if he doesn’t change or refuses help. Seriously consider opening a separate bank account and moving your money in case you need it. *hugs*
Post # 11
I don’t have advice, but sending hugs your way… I know that prescription med addiction can be one of the hardest to beat, because the user often doesn’t believe there is a problem, due to the fact that it’s a legally prescribed drug.
I definitely might recommend counselling, for both of you to try to deal with this and understand how to help him. Good luck!!
Post # 12
Thank you for your support. I didn’t even know Nar-Anon meetings existed so thank you for that tip. I looked up the nearest location and will be attending their meeting this week. I also didn’t consider opening a new bank account, but you are right. I need to do that. It breaks my heart that this is happening, but I just keep telling myself that this is part of that “worse” we vowed to endure. As much as it will hurt, I am committed to temporarily separating from him if need be. I pray that he gets it together soon because as much as it hurts me, I know it will end up hurting his child (from a previous relationship). Fortunately it hasn’t come to that yet. My biggest fear is that he will get worse or move on to other drugs. I can’t stand the thought of losing him because he is my heart, but I know that I need to plan in case that happens. Once again, thank you for your support. Please keep me in your thoughts and prayers.
Post # 13
Is he taking two of tylenol?
I understand not wanting to give up on your marriage but you can’t help someone who doesn’t want help. If he truly wants help than I think you should stay with him. You just sitting by if he doesn’t want help is not part of the “worse” you vowed to stand by his side for. You deserve to be happy.
Post # 14
I also highly recommend Narc anon. Like others have said, there is nothing you can really do until HE wants help. My FH will be the first to tell you this. He still attends Narcotics Anonymous meetings at least once a week and often sponsors new members. My FH has been clean and sober for 18 years and STILL considers himself to be an addict.
However the sad fact remains that many addicts literally have to hit rock bottom before they will do anything. My FH is currently sponsoring a former pharmacist who lost EVERYTHING because of his addiction – his marriage, his kids, his home, his profession, his life’s savings, his home – EVERYTHING. You will need to take steps to protect yourself or you too will be without a home or any money to live on. Secure finances as much as possible and please get some support! This can be a heart-breaking journey!
Post # 15
- Wedding: October 2011 - Bed & Breakfast
I also suggest NA, and I’m glad to hear that you are attending a meeting soon. It helps to talk with others who are in the same crappy situation. In addition to opening your own bank account where you keep your own money, you also need to cancel any joint credit cards that you may have. If he starts withdrawing cash advances, you can find yoiurself very quickly in a huge hole of credit card debt that it will take years to get out of. Also, hide any documents that have your social security number on them so that he can’t fraudulently open up new credit lines in your name. I know that may sound paraniod, but addicts can stoop very low to get the money they need to support their addiction. Protecting yourself now may actually help save him from himself in the future.
Post # 16
Everyone has been giving you great advice. Keep in mind that what you would do to support someone who is ill, but not having an addiction is very different from what you have to do when the person’s illness *is* an addiction. Sometimes the things you have to do to help an addict is counter-intuitive to what you want to do. Narc-anon will give you the tools to do what is best in this horrible situation. But please know, that until he wants to get better, there is nothing you can do. Even when he wants help, there is nothing you can do. It’s all up to him.
Protect yourself emotionally– Narc-anon and individual counseling. Dont MIL guilt you if you make a decision that is best for you, but might hurt her baby.
Protect yourself financially– make sure he cant access your individual accounts and have your paycheck deposited there. Make sure you dont have joint Credit Cards. Put a fraud alert on your credit, so there are extra hoops you have to go through before a new line of credit can be opened.
This is going to be a long road, but we are here for you–good luck!