Post # 77
As someone who has spent a lot of time as an expatriate, and is about to make another move soon, DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE make this move. Seriously. I can’t emphasize this enough. Living abroad is not for everyone, even under the best of circumstances. I absolutely love it, but it can still be extremely difficult to be isolate as a linguistic, ethnic, and cultural minority. Not having extended family support is difficult, but you absolutely, MUST have a solid, healthy relationship with your partner that you can depend on in order to make it through an overseas posting.
I’m sorry, but you do not have this. If you’re taking anti-anxiety meds now (before the move) you will likely end up much, much worse abroad. I’m sorry you’re going through this, and I understand the hurt and frustration. I agree with the others though. You agreed to marry someone knowing they had addiction issues. You need to provide a certain level of support to help him through this.
That said, you can’t carry him through it, and you can’t force him to get better. You need to set boundaries. “You did the thing you promised you wouldn’t do. Therefore, I need you to go to rehab, get clean, not drink and stay that way or I will leave.” And, unfortunately, you need to be prepared to actually leave if he doesn’t follow through on this. I have a few addicts in my family and have learned, that until they decide they want to get better (and in some cases they NEVER will) it doesn’t matter what others do for them.
So please, cancel the move. If he gets clean and stays that way, try again for a posting in a few YEARS. And for the love of god, don’t have children in the mean time.
Post # 78
I am going to go against the grain here, and say that I do not believe once an addict, always an addict – its just not that simple. I also don’t believe once a cheater, always a cheater, but that’s for another post.
OP, I am sorry that your husband is doing this to you. But, while the urge to use again could be strong and feel uncontrollable, he is very much able to control it. The different between wants and urges in an addict compared to a “regular” person is that the urge is magnified exponentially, to the point where the user feels as though they must give in no matter the consequences. But, if they are able to ride the wave, so to speak, they will find out that at the other end, they survived just fine, and are a little bit stronger each day. I will give an example – alcoholism runs in hubs family on his mother’s side very heavily. His mother and uncle had both been alcoholics for longer than hubs had been alive. The difference? His uncle hasn’t touched a drop of alcohol, or anything else “addictive”, in 20 years. He never picked up another habit, can be around people who drink without desire to want to, because he knows how badly it almost ruined his life. His mother? She still drinks, probably every day, we have no idea cuz we haven’t spoken to her in almost a year. She allows her addiction to control her, and reasons that beer is fine because she is no longer drinking liquor all day long. I don’t believe she will ever get better, which is actually really sad…
My whole point is, while society will continue to label people as addicts because they once did something to excess, it doesn’t mean that they really are still an addict. It is very much psychological, and if you can retrain yourself to desire a clean lifestyle more than what you are doing now, then you can obtain it. Will it take a lot of work, and possibly years for this to happen?? Of course. But if your husband doesn’t want it more for himself than anyone else does (even you), it won’t happen. I say, give him another chance, and continue to as long as progresses. If ti happens again, I would think his control just isn’t strong enough to overcome the addiction
Post # 79
I think it comes down to where you see the rest of your life? I’m assuming you’re both still young and have my years ahead of you. Do you see yourself helping him by his side fighting for the two of you every day for the next 50 years? Or do you see yourself being free of that relationship and starting new in something different, healthier and easier. It won’t be easy either way – this is the exact reason marriage is a big deal. Either way try your best in whatever you choose. Good Luck!
Post # 80
It’s semantics really. And I don’t know that you can compare cigarettes to a narcotic addition or even alcohol anyway. I am different from someone who was never addicted to cigarettes. Whether you want to call that a “cigarette addict” or not doesn’t matter. People who haven’t drank for 20+ years still call themselves “alcoholics.”
My point was just that addictions are not just physical. There’s always psychological stuff behind it- and that’s the hard part. Physically beating an addiction is easy in comparison. It seems like you were misinformed, and thought “hey he isn’t physically addicted, he told me he wont do it again, problem solved.” I don’t blame you for thinking that, but it’s incorrect.
I don’t know if I would have it in me to be with an addict, and I wouldn’t blame you if you left. But I think you should just try to get a better understanding, from a professional, of what you are up against before making a decision.
I think when people say “once an addict always an addict” it doesn’t mean that the person will always relapse, it just means that they will struggle with it and have to be careful in certain situations… it affects their life. I still would say that your husband’s uncle is an addict or an alcoholic, even though he hasn’t drank in 10 years. He can’t just have a beer like anyone else. He’s still an alcoholic, he’s just not drinking.
Post # 81
I don’t believe in once a cheater always a cheater either. Unfortunately once an addict always an addict is a true statement. Yes people recover and never relapse but that doesn’t mean they aren’t an addict. My Fiance was an addict and lives a perfectly normal, perfectly healthy day to day life but he will admit to you and has said this to me before…he is still an adict and it is still something he struggles with. Because addiction is a disease without a drug to cure it then just like when someone quits smoking they will always have cravings, urges and compulsions. The only “drug” to combat those urges is knowledge and will power. The more you know, the more you have to live a clean healthy life for, the more willing you are to fight them, even if it’s a daily struggle.
No you’re right, if he isn’t willing to get help then she shouldn’t stay. I stated this in my original post. His addiction will ruin her life if he isn’t willing to get help. But if an issue in a marriage pops up then yes it is the responsibility of both parties to work through it. She shouldn’t just walk away without giving him a chance to get help. And he shouldn’t just “promise” to get help and then do drugs again the next day. They need to come up with a plan which should include speaking with a counselor ASAP. She should seek out a counselor on her own first, including support groups and anything else she may need. She cannot help him through this without knowledge. She can come up with a game plan. After she’s spoken to a counselor then it’s time to speak to her husband and if he’s ready to get help they should meet with the counselor (that she’s already met with before) that day and they can come up with a plan of attack. Just like cancer, this is a leacherous disease and it will suck both of you dry, and it needs to be attacked as soon as possible.
Nobody said marriage is easy, nobody said it’s a one way street. You should at least make an effort to help him through this though. If he doesn’t want help and if even after getting help he isn’t willing to continue a healthy lifestyle then yes it’s time to throw in the towel, free yourself of this leech and find a way to live happily ever after. But you chose to marry this man knowing his history. This isn’t the same as marrying a man that cheats on you, it isn’t the same as marrying a man that abuses you. This is similar to someone that fought and won a battle against cancer before you married them and you wanting to walk away because their cancer came back.
Post # 82
I’m so sorry you are going through this. I can’t even imagine how hard this must be for you. I do not agree with the posters who are attacking you for considering leaving. I understand your rationale, but I do think you should speak with a professional first, and/or attend al-anon meetings, just so you have a better understanding of what you are up against.
I think the vast majority of us have absolutely no idea how difficult this must truly be, and that’s why I’m disappointed so many people are attacking you. If you think you can move on with your husband, then I encourage you to try. If you do not think you can, I understand.
Some addicts are able to control and overcome their addiction, but it remains a struggle for the rest of their lives. Some are not, and as a result, they do slowly destroy the lives of their family members/loved ones. I understand why you are hesitant to go down this path.
No matter what, please consider counseling so you can speak with a professional. Also, please do not move overseas right now. I lived abroad for a couple of years, and under the best of circumstances, it is still extremely stressful at first. If your husband is in the middle of a relapse, I worry that may only make things worse.
Best of luck to both of you, with whatever you decide.
Post # 83
@sit1010: “This is similar to someone that fought and won a battle against cancer before you married them and you wanting to walk away because their cancer came back.”
I totally agree with this. I’ve actually been wanting to add this to the thread for a while but figured I’d be attacked for it. But I do think it has many similar parralels to the OPs situation.
Another good parralel if you want to touch on the disease AND mental aspects of it would be someone who battles depression yet has it under control via meds, therapy, etc. You marry them and something happens in their life that causes them to slide back into the depression. Would you just up and leave them because things got hard?
Post # 84
Wow, there are some really harsh comments being made on this topic !!! Unless you’ve lived with an addict, or are one, you don’t know squat about being supportive ! What it takes to get through rehab, the trust factor, the constant strain it puts on a marriage etc. For those that are telling her she basically is not a good person because she is ready to talk away, have no right to cast such judgment ! A few people seem to have forgotten they are reading one post , not this persons life story. We all know we come to this board when things are beyond what we feel we can handle in our head or the moment, and she gave us a little picture of what is happening, not the “details” ! For someone who lived with an addict and walked away, trust me there is more to the story . Those telling her she is ignorant and to get educated, wow, what pony are you all riding in your perfect little world ???? Down girls, the woman is asking for help, how about some empathy instead of all the slaps in the face !! And she did put her foot down before the marriage, some of us do have rules that do not allow people to abuse us in any manner !!!!!!!!!!
Post # 85
Based on many of the OPs comments, she appears to have little to no understanding about how addiction works. I think it makes a lot of sense to tell her to education herself about her husband’s situation.
Post # 86
@Doubtful- I think the majority of people told OP that it would be ok to leave if she feels she can’t handle it. The get educated comments were because the OP indicated that she thought addiction was just physical.
Post # 87
Some of us have lived with addicts. Getting educated is the best thing the OP can do. Counseling would also be productive. She asked for advice, and PPs that have experienced such things have given her advice.
@sit1010: Everything you have said is SPOT ON.
Post # 88
@FutureKMM & sit1010: A relapse is not the same as cancer coming back. It just isn’t. People are not responsible for cancer coming back, but if he isn’t getting help, then he is at least partly responsible for the relapse. I think you are being unfair.
To the original poster: I think it would be best to get both of you some help, and have professionals guide you through whatever your next steps will be. Good luck.
Post # 89
As a child who lived and still lives with a parent who is an alcoholic, leave.
I’m not saying that everyone is the same as my dad, but it is not worth the heartache to me personally. I probably would have not been with him in the first place, just because of the drug situation, I would have ended it there, but I understand that somethings happen.
My mom is in a miserable relationship b/c alcohol does crazy things to people. It may seem ok now, but this is a disease and it is a life long thing. Rehab is not a quick fix and the success rate is not very high, most people relapse.
Are you going to evenutally have children and bring them into a home where their dad is an addict, because that is what he will always be. I know I am being harsh, but this is a big thing for me b/c of my dad and my uncle who died of an overdose. My FI dad is also an alcoholic. I take stuff like this seriously.
For those people who think that addiction is just something that a person can “get over” need to go to a place where they treat addiction and see what these people deal with. It is not that easy to say, “oh, Im’ not going to drink, smoke, take drugs, etc. today.” Some people are predisposed to addiction.
Post # 89
I guess a lot of this boils down to a misunderstanding on your part OP. You didn’t really understand the ramifications of addiction and incorrectly assumed that once he was clean he would stay that way. I think part of this comes down to how much do you love your husband and what is your point of no return. From your posts it seems like you’re there already. Which is okay. Some people are stronger than others and everyone has their own personal breaking point.
I think you need to speak with someone professionally about what life with an addict will be like and see if the commitment is something you are willing to live with. If you aren’t willing to dedicate yourself to your husband in that fashion, you’ll do yourself (and him) a bigger favor by just leaving. Staying and feeling resentful will only lead to arguments and hurt feelings all around.
However, I can’t help but feel sad for both of you. When you marry someone it’s for better or worse. Personally, I’m marrying the man I love because I know he’ll be there equally for me if we live a charmed life with 2.5 kids and white picket fence or if I’m in a car accident and become a paraplegic tomorrow. I love him even though he’s a smoker and he loves me even though I’m an OCD hand washer. But we’re both going into this with our eyes wide open to each other’s flaws.
I think too many people enter into marriage with the idea that signing a piece of paper or having a ceremony means that everything will be sunshine and puppies then are quick to divorce when reality doesn’t match the fantasy in our heads.
Now that the fantasy is destroyed for you, you’re at the point where you need to choose. Work toward changing your DH (knowing it’s going to be a long, hard struggle) or move on with your life without him.
Either way you aren’t a bad person for what you choose, just be realistic with your expectations of both yourself and your DH.
Good luck with whatever you decide!
Post # 90
I just want to clarify my stance.
Yes addiction is a disease and a lifelong battle. Yes you entered the marriage knowing he had this disease. I am not saying stick around forever and endure a life of heartbreak. I am saying give him this one chance to show you that he wants to get better, to show you that he deserves you, to show you that he is in this for the long run. You are not a bad person if you choose to leave and I am not saying that you are. But Fiance and I have discussed this. I used to tell him that if he ever went back to drugs I was out of there no questions asked. I was not there when he was on drugs, I wasn’t there during his rehabilitation, and it all terrifies me. He told me that if he were to ever relapse he will need me. We are entering into a lifelong union and we will say the vows til death do us part, in sickness and in health. I still him that I will leave because I am not scared to be on my own. And if we have children and he relapses I will leave for the safety of my children. But when I leave I will still be there for him to help him get help. I will still support him day in and day out throughout his battle, if he chooses to fight for us. If he doesn’t want help then no, I’m not going to support his choice of a slow painful life/death. I will not let him walk all over me or disrespect me. But as long as he is willing to get help I will be there for him. It is a disease and I will help him fight it, just like I would help him through any other fight. I love him, I want to spend the rest of my life with him and I will be there for him. But you can’t make that decision for him. He needs to be an active participant when it comes to getting help. He needs to show you that he wants you in his life and will do whatever it takes. And you have to know what the last straw is. You have to know that if you help him through this but he relapses again, or cheats during recovery, or whatever it is you feel in your heart, that’s your breaking point. And any threats you make you need to follow through with because otherwise he will learn to walk all over you. Just like you deserve a man that respects you and treats you well, he deserves a woman willing to be there for him in his time of need.