Post # 31
I’m so, so, so sorry that you’re going through this. My dad hid his cocaine addiction from my mom quite successfully for about five years. As their marriage started to fall apart they bought a house to try and mend things and after HE left HER it had to be sold. Between that, the divorce, and paying off his debts that she discovered later we went from having a big, newly done house in a large city to moving to the boonies and her struggling to get back onto her feet. He eventually got clean, but then moved to pills after an injury.
She is also the child of an alcoholic, who died by suicide when she was a teenager. She said that she found that her “learned normal” as a child kept her from seeing some major warning signs and leaving her relationship with my father when she should’ve. As a teenager she wanted to help “fix” her dad, and she felt the same way with my dad. If she could do the right things she would be able to help him get better, which she eventually realized was a pattern she had to break out of.
It’s so good to hear that you’re in therapy, and going to Nar-Anon. Do I understand things correctly in that you can afford to stay in the place you both live right now by yourself? And that you can pull out of the new build house? I’d invite a friend over, box up all of his things, and call someone for him to temporarily stay with.
Would either of you be obligated to pay spousal support after divorce?
Post # 32
lexipediabride : Thank you so much for sharing your story. There are definitely a lot of parallels there in terms of wanting to fix and help as well as having a skewed sense of what normal is. I’m working on it in therapy and will continue to work until I can be sure that I will never find myself in this situation again.
In terms of spousal support, as far as I know neither one of us would qualify for it. We’ve been married 9 months and for 7 of them I’ve been dealing with his relapse and for 4 of them we’ve been officially separated.
He is a functioning addict, has a career, and makes relatively good money. I happened to make more than him, but only by about 20K. I can afford to live where I am now on my own and yes, we can walk away from the house that’s being built. It will just cost us $5K.
Again, thank you for your kind words and support. Hearing other people’s stories helps me to realize that I am not alone and I for sure need that right now.
Post # 33
lavenderbee3 : Oh my goodness, how do you deal? How long has he been clean for? Also, if you don’t mind me asking, how are you able to put the addiction out of your mind and live your life without feeling as though the other shoe will drop it any moment?
My husband also abuses Suboxone and he has currently only taking it as prescribed for the past two days.( and it’s been months and months of trying.) It’s definitely an uphill battle for him every. single. day. I keep trying to remember that addiction is a disease, but at the same time it doesn’t make it any easier to stay in a relationship with someone who is mentally incapable of keeping their word.
My personal favorite is when he says that everything is so great between us except just this one thing. It’s just this one little thing that’s keeping us from being happy, he says. What he doesn’t realize is that this one little thing has completely devastated our relationship and not one part of it has gone unscathed. Or maybe he does realize it, but doesn’t want to admit it to himself. Who knows?
The foundation I thought we had has been absolutely decimated by this disease and to be perfectly frank, I have absolutely no hope left for us. Because it’s the same story, every time.” I’m going to do better, just let me show you, just believe in me just let me show you I can.” And I did. I believed for so long and now finally I’m at a point where I’m just down to my bones exhausted.
I am sorry to hear that you got into debt, but I am glad to hear that you are working yourself out of it and will not continue to repeat those mistakes. I wish you nothing but the best.
Post # 34
inpupnito : To be honest, I don’t always deal well.
I do think Suboxone is a good med, for several reasons. I am not sure how much your husband abuses it based on your posts, or how he does. FI was prescribed quite a large dose at the beginning. It is not easy to step down or come off of. I have seen him go through some pretty bad withdrawal. His general practitioner precribed him some stomach meds and non addictive anxiety meds to cope.
Some doctors recommend their patients never come off of it. It sucks but… relapse rates are high among addicts.
Right now I am taking it day by day. We live together, 2 dogs and he has 2 kids who I am close with. It is not an easy life but it is also not an easy decision to walk away – I understand what you are going through. Addiction is a disease but it is a selfish and infuriating one.
As far as the other shoe dropping, I try to minimize risk by managing our finances and, like you (I am sure), I keep myself involved in his medication schedules and try to stay informed. There is only so much you can do, and it is cliche but you have to take care of YOU first if you have any hope for them to change. Freaking out every second of the day about what he was doing wasn’t getting me anywhere.
I agree that the problem is not just “one little issue” messing everything up. Addiction destroys the trust. Then once they are doing the right thing, the trust has to be built from the ground up. Tiring doesn’t even beging to describe it.
Take your time to do what is best for you.
Post # 35
lavenderbee3 : I used to try to “minimize risk” by keeping myself involved in his medication schedules and trying to stay informed, but what I am learning through Nar-Anon is that I didn’t cause it, I can’t cure it, and I certainly can’t control it. All that happened as a result of me trying to help him manage his medications & his schedule was that the power dynamic became extremely skewed and I began to feel more like a parent than a partner. I realized that the reason I was keeping myself so involved was to feel as though I had some sort of power over his use, but at the end of the day, the only person I can control is myself. It’s one thing to say it and understand the words are true, but it is another to fully believe it and have that be one of your guiding principles. I am currently working on that and actually turned down his request yesterday to regulate his medications for him. I told him that he has a team of doctors to help him and if he is not able to take his meds as prescribed, then he needs to work out a plan of action with them, not me as I am not a licensed clinician and cannot be in charge of that for him.
I realized that the reason I was keeping myself so involved was to feel as though I had some sort of power over his use, but at the end of the day, the only person I can control is myself. It’s one thing to say it and understand the words are true, but it is another to fully believe it and have that be one of your guiding principles. I am currently working on that and actually turned down his request yesterday to regulate his medications for him. I told him that he has a team of doctors to help him and if he is not able to take his meds as prescribed, then he needs to work out a plan of action with them, not me as I am not a licensed clinician and cannot be in charge of that for him.
I felt terrible for not “helping him in his time of need,” but I made the choice anyway because I feel like it was the right one. But goodness….the guilt.
Post # 36
inpupnito : Yes to everything you said. I still have some co-dependency issues I am working on (I go to therapy). Addiction or not, I would control the finances (I am just better at it, I do a lot of accounting in my profession) but as far as managing medicine you are absolutely right, that is first and foremost their responsibility.
The guilt is awful. I know. Everyone has their “stuff” but addiction is so much more than that. It is really complicated, not one size fits all, and not a lot of people understand the rollercoaster ride that is loving someone who is an addict. Especially when that person doesn’t believe their addiction is as big on an issue as it actually is.
Post # 37
lavenderbee3 : Also, randomly, I have no idea how 1 of my paragraphs repeated itself, lol.
Best of luck to you in your journey & thanks for taking the time to respond–I appreciate it quite a bit.
Post # 38
inpupnito : OMG GET A DIVORCE!!! Please do not commit your life to a crack and heroin addict. If you do stay married I would get iron clad birth control because its cruel to have a man like that as your dad. Seriously though just get a divorce. You can wish him well on his recovery but you dont not have to lay YOUR life on the line to see it through. Do not go through with this house. Do not make decisions based on optimism.
ETA: Im sorry if my reply was not sympathetic enough- I am sure this is gut wrenching but staying with him and pretending all is fine and well just enables his lifestyle. I have plenty of friends who went down this road in college, and guess what? Theyre all dead now. Dont tie your life to him. You cannot make him well.
Post # 39
inpupnito : I’m glad to see you prioritizing yourself in your newest update. That is an incredibly hard thing to learn to do when you’re in a co-dependent relationship.
I was raised by a single mother who was an addict. She managed it *ok* when I was really small, but by the time I was 12, we were homeless and living out of our van until she was arrested (and the van seized) for possession and went to prison. I didn’t know any of this had happened since I had spent the previous night on a friend’s couch in the trailer park we were parking in. All I knew was that I woke up one morning and the van and my mom were gone. I went into foster care. And that was my life until I went off to college and was able to gain a little more control over my circumstances.
Of course, I had known about her drug abuse most of my life – I found the little mirror compacts with cut-off straws and powder in them, the little baggies filled with white stuff hidden in random places throughout the house, etc.
It took me YEARS to unlearrn all the co-dependent bullshit that relationship taught me. It was so normalized in my mind that I attracted nothing but narcissistic/addict partners for a long time. Being co-dependent is a real issue because it doesn’t just affect your relationships once you’re in them – it means that you attract unhealthy relationships, because you are so much more willing to accept unhealthy behavior in the beginning than other healthier women are.
In your shoes, having expereinced first hand the devastation addicts can cause, the supreme lack of self-control they have, the danger they put others in, I would be running in the opposite direction. Then I would spend at least a year or two focusing on myself, reading every book on addition/codependency/narcissism/etc, and going to therapy before starting to date again.
I did all of this, put my MAJOR focus on self-love, self-prioritization, and creating very high, very strict standards for the men I would date, the behavior I would accept, etc. Soon after taking those steps, I met SO. Get away from this poisonous relationship and set yourself up for a far better one. I’m so glad to see that you seem to be ready to do this.
Post # 40
MrsBuesleBee : I’m working on getting a divorce, no worries, lol. And no, you weren’t too harsh-you were honest and that’s appreciated. (Although I feel as though I should note that while he did have a relapse with crack cocaine, he has never done heroin. That’s not to say that wouldn’t happen in the future, but for now, he’s never touched it. I don’t know why I feel compelled to defend his use at all–must be that co-dependency speaking. Ugh. So hard to get rid of.)
Thanks for taking the time to respond and share your experiences and your insight. You’re right. I cannot make him well. No matter how much I wish I could, I simply don’t have that power. I am trying to figure out how to tell him I want a divorce. It’s going to be really hard, but I’m just going to have to stiffen my spine and get it out there. In his mind, there is still hope for this house, but as beautiful as it is, I just can’t do it. And part of posting here, going to therapy, going to Nar-Anon, and seeking support from select friends is all about trying to find ways to hold myself accountable…if I tell people I’m going to do it then I need to follow through. At least I hope that’s how it will work.
Post # 41
inpupnito : I dont know if you plan to have kids, but they deserve better than this.
You deserve better than this. You owe yourself to live a life not filled with paranoia and/or concern. Sorry, but I would be gone. You gave him chance after chance after chance. There is nothing else for you to give.
Post # 42
“Being co-dependent is a real issue because it doesn’t just affect your relationships once you’re in them – it means that you attract unhealthy relationships because you are so much more willing to accept unhealthy behavior in the beginning than other healthier women are.”
Yes, you are absolutely right. Co-dependency also makes those characteristics that most women would see as flaws areas that I would tend to want to help them with and fix because behind all of those issues is a good man and if I can work with him and help him then he can get past all that.
At least that’s what I always think, but I’m always wrong. And now it has blossomed into a full blown marriage and I have put myself right back in the cycle I was in when I was young and was dealing with an alcoholic father who always promised he’d stop drinking and then 5 minutes later had a drink in his hand. It’s insane how textbook this shit is.
I am committed to going to therapy and bettering myself before I even think about another relationship. Because truly, there has to be more than this. There have to be better relationships than I am in right now and my married life is so below the realm of what anyone would consider acceptable–even if you take away the drugs there are SO many communication issues (as the addict tends to stop emotionally growing at the age they become an addict) so I am essentially a 33-year-old who is married to an 18-year-old. Trust me, that wouldn’t work even if drugs were completely out of the picture.
Anyway, thank you for sharing your story and thank you for your sound advice. I appreciate you taking the time to share with me in order to help. : )
Post # 43
butterfly67 : Oh gosh, no kids. Kids were never even an option with him. We both carry the gene (he has it, I at least have it in a recessive form due to my father) and there is no way that #1 I would bring a child into this world with a high probability that they would have the gene and #2 there is no way that I would ever want to parent a child with him. He’s just too unreliable as a part of his disease.
Part of my disease is staying long past what a typical healthy person would put up with and that’s the part I’m working on. In fact, I have therapy today.
Post # 44
inpupnito : hi bee. I can see you’re dreading telling him. There’s no easy way to tell him. You have to steel yourself with the desperation to survive and thrive, which you can’t do with him.
You simply can’t.
so there is no other way but to tell him, “honey, I love you but I don’t want to be married to you. I don’t want to close on this house. I’m filing for divorce.”
He will threaten, cry, manipulate or maybe be stone cold. But no matter what he does, you are on the right path.
do it for yourself, as an act of love and caretaking. As your first big step in saying nope, not gonna keep going down the path already paved for me. This isn’t good enough, this isn’t what I want. I deserve to be happy.
We are all pulling for you. Just remember, this is super hard and it sucks so bad, but you can’t get the good stuff without going through the bad stuff first.
And there is sooooo much out there that will bring you joy and happiness.
Post # 45
Not much to add to the excellent points here but to say that you are absolutely doing the right thing. Staying would not be fair or kind either to him and, more importantly, to yourself. And for the record, you’re very young and there is no chance that you will be alone forever. No chance.