I married an addict…advice welcome.

posted 2 months ago in Emotional
Post # 2
772 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2017

I’m so sorry that you are going through this rough time. Have you read Codependent No More? There are some websites that have forums for family/friends if addicts, you might find that helpful. You have no control over the addict. No matter whether you stayed with him, pleaded with him, tried to control every action–he’d use if that’s what he wants to do. Only he can make the decision that he is done for good. He may never make that decision. It is not your fault that he has this addiction. The best thing you can do is take care of yourself. Otherwise, the addict will drag you down with him. Do what you need to do to make your life better. I’m glad you are in counseling. 

Post # 3
152 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2015

It sounds like you have given your husband numerous chances, you’re in therapy and relationship counselling. I think you have done all that you can, at some point you have to put yourself first, divorce is realistically your only option. Your husband is on a path of self-destruction, only he can change that. Good luck Bee!

Post # 4
604 posts
Busy bee

Like you, I grew up in a home full of addicts. I am iterally the only person in my extended family that doesn’t have a substance abuse problem. The men in my faimly also have pretty considerable anger management problems. So. When I married a rage-monkey drug addict, that just seemed like par for the course.

Eventually, I realized that I didn’t want my daughter to grow up with the same expectations. I left her father and then proceeded to get into relationship after relationship with addicts. It was like I was so accustomed to the behaviors that surrounded addiction that I didn’t even notice something was wrong until I was deep in the thick of it. 

Eventually, after an especially bad breakup, I decided I couldn’t let it happen again. I went through some intense therapy – including EMDR – and came out with a much greater commitment to paying really close attention to how a person conducted themselves early on. This has helped both in romantic relationships and in other kinds of intimate relationships.

Now, you are in an incredibly difficult spot. You knew, because he disclosed it, that your DH was an addict. One thing that we don’t realize is that this can be a double edged sword; on one hand, honesty is a critical element of recovery. On the other, they can always point out “Well, I warned you.” When someone is still struggling to achieve sobriety, honesty can become a weapon, rather than a tool.

It sounds like you have been much more patient and supportive than a lot of people would. You have both made pretty monumental changes in an attempt to help him get a fresh start. It also sounds like that didn’t really work out. The fact he’s relapsed so seriously, and been lying to you so much, puts this in the realm of time to walk away for self-preservation.

I’m wondering if he’s ever tried inpatient detox rehab? It wasn’t clear to me if he had. If not, I’d say that would be my last stand. That he agree to an inpatient program and follow through completely. 

If he’s already done that, I think you have every right to walk away, guilt free. Knowing not only that you cannot help him, but that you are saving your own life. 

Moreover, I am 100% of the opinion that once an ultimatum gets thrown down, it’s time to walk. There are ways to make your stance clear without making threats. That he is posing this as “Either this OR that” dismisses your feelings entirely and forces your hand in a way no loving partner should. 

The distance between “lets just take a beat to see if there isn’t some better way to approach this” and “Let’s obligate ourselved to 100’s of thousands of dollars of debt and roll the dice!” is enormous. If he isn’t able to see the miles and miles of middle ground, he’s not in a headspace to be reasonable and probably isn’t capable of doing the hard work of getting sober and reparing your marriage. 

To me this seems like an attempt to trap you in a situation where you’re less likely to leave; which is the natural consequence of his behaviour. He isn’t really willing to be accountable for his actions, and wants a shortcut to keep you around. That bodes really ill for his chances of sucessful recovery. Unless and until he is forced to contend with all of the true impact of his addiction on his life, he doesn’t have sufficient motive to change.

I think people look at couples counseling only as something you do to try and save the relationship. Instead, it can be a way to have a honest conversation about why the relationship should end, and how to do that while minimizing the damage to both people. 

If I were you, that would be the pose I would take going forward. It’s time to expect better for yourself and let him choose his own path.

Hang in there. You’re a survivor. Be gentle with yourself. Give yourself the support and advice you’d give your best friend faced with the same situation. You deserve that from yourself, too.

Post # 5
8 posts

i am so sorry for what you are dealing with, i might not be of much help, but i have seen my mother abuse prescription medication to a point where she would sleep for TWO days straight and noone could get through to her. As a child she had a violent temper and the doctors gave her mild sedatives which just progressed into higher doses of anything she could find from any doctor. i feel this has contributed largly to her current state of mind where she is totally unstable and cannot maintain a single relationship in our family, fighting and insulting everybody. As a child it is horrible to witnesss and go through( i thought i could help her so tolerated all her crap until it finally got to me and now im under therapy) so please dont let it get to that point save yourself, if he doesnt want to improve and you have given him all the support you possibly can, please get out of that toxic environment. I moved to another country but unfortunately that was the only way i could live my life and realise what life i was living was not “normal”

My friend went through something similar as u, she had an alcoholic husband who would get drunk in the car or in the bathroom and pass out all day. She was pregnant when she found out how bad the addiction was, people in her apartment building would bring him home passed out. More terribly his family blamed her for his drinking, he lost his job and had to move back to his home country, she told him to basicallly leave and filed for divorce soon after. his life (as we hear) is still a mess and she is happily living with her beautiful son in another country slowly getting her life back. Wish you much luck and happiness in the future.


Post # 6
6392 posts
Bee Keeper

Al-anon or na-anon for you.

Even if you’re keeping up with your therapy it will help you so much in understanding the situation. 

It sounds like you’re going through the mill but have your head on straight with this. You will get out and get on and learn and things can be better – you’re on track! 

Post # 7
2717 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

I’m an ACHOA myself so I can empathize quite a bit with your story. I don’t want to ramble and have the message be lost somewhere in there so I’ll be as succinct as possible:

With therapy and a lot of self-work you’ll see that you can be involved with but not responsible for someone. 



Addicts lie and will go to great lengths to keep you there (it’s a lot of hard work to charm someone and rope them in before revealing their true faces – it becomes easier to keep someone there instead of looking for someone new) so be ready for him to threaten all kinds of self-harm and blackmail you emotionally. Don’t give in. He can choose to ruin HIS life, but dont hand him the opportunity to ruin YOURS. 

Post # 8
9668 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2015

What everyone else said and basically, the truth is, you are not responsible for anyone else but yourself and any kids you have. 

You are never responsible for another adult. 

You are allowed to choose to leave just because it’s not what you want to do anymore. You’ve been responsible and tried, but now you know you don’t want to live with an addict.

You don’t owe anyone anything. 

Post # 10
1334 posts
Bumble bee

Do you know about DMX’s marriage? Tashera Simmons married him knowing he was an addict. She loved him and suffered 14 hard years, she stayed because she believed in her vows- but she finally realized her self worth and divorced DMX. I think you should google more about her and hopefully it can help. They were on Marriage Bootcamp (tv) when she decided on divorce.

Post # 15
121 posts
Blushing bee

I know this is incredibly hard. Please don’t feel like any of his behavior is your fault! Remember he was making these poor decisions and suffering the consequences long before he met you. Anything that he does after you divorce is completely on him. He’s an addict and it seems clear that his behavior isn’t changing. 

Don’t buy a house with him! I bought a house with my ex as some sort of last ditch effort to keep the relationship going and it was a mistake. You seem to already know it’s not healthy for you and you need to get out. Why complicate things more and prolong having this in your life?

It took me a while to realize my ex had a drinking problem and luckily I got out before it really started affecting his life. I know letting go of the life you imagined having with him is hard, but with the choices he’s making you’re not going to achieve it. I’m sorry if this is really blunt, but take care of yourself! You deserve a healthy relationship and life.

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