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Living with an addicted spouse

Discussion in 'Share Your Story Here' started by Lonely, Jun 29, 2015.

  1. Lonely

    Lonely Active Contributor

    I'm married to a man who is approaching 50. He has battled, indepently, addiction between alcohol and pain pills since he was a teenager.
    I've begged him to get help and obviously that doesn't help.
    However he begs and guilts me until I provide pills. In just losing my sanity now. If I don't provide pills, he drinks. When he drinks he easily becomes violent. So we (the kids and I) walk on eggshells and try not to tip over the cart.
    I can't keep living like this. I'm lost and need help.

    He thinks he is okay because it's only on weekends
  2. Cheeky_Chick

    Cheeky_Chick Community Champion

    I understand that this is an incredibly difficult situation, because you don't want to upset your partner, but at the same time you know that by giving him what he is asking for, you are ultimately prolonging his problem. He needs to get help from his doctor, and fast, or it is only going to get worse. It doesn't matter how often it happens - if he EVER has to "beg" you for pills to get a fix, he is an addict, and this issue needs to be dealt with as soon as possible. So please, for the sake of both of you, please get some help, because things can get better, and you can both be happy in your lives again.
  3. llfsa

    llfsa Member

    This is one of those situations where it's entirely up to you to decide what's best for you and your children. This is not normal behaviour and I think you could be putting your kids at a risky situation here by allowing this man to be near them. For as caring as he might be whenever he's sober the truth is that he has addiction problems which in turn make him act violent towards you. I think you should seek help for yourself even though he wants nothing to do with it. That way you can clear up your mind and come up with an ultimate decision.
  4. Lonely

    Lonely Active Contributor

    I wish it was so easy. He won't get help because he thinks he doesn't need it. I know something has to give.
  5. Lonely

    Lonely Active Contributor

    In my head I know I need to get help. I'm just not sure how to go about it. I drop off and pick up the kids. He won't understand. He doesn't understand when I tell him I'm losing my sanity. To him just every weekend isn't a problem. Why do I make it into an argument? He just doesn't understand why I'm depressed.
  6. deanokat

    deanokat Community Organizer Community Listener

    @Lonely.... As someone who loves someone who battled addiction for seven years--my son, who is almost three years clean and sober--I know all too well about enabling. When we help our loved one continue with their addiction--like you giving your husband pills--we are enabling. As long as we enable, nothing will change with the addict. Trust me. I've been there and done that. By guilting you into giving him pills, your husband is manipulating you...something that addicts do so very, very well.

    The most important thing for you to do right now is to take care of yourself and your kids. You have to determine what is the best--and safest--scenario for you. It mean being away from your husband. If that's the case, I suggest you look into doing that.

    I grew up with an alcoholic father, and my entire childhood was destroyed by his drinking. He would drink and get verbally abusive, shouting at my mom and us kids and saying terrible things. Thank God he never hit us, but that doesn't mean that he didn't inflict permanent damage and scars. Your children do not deserve to be in an environment like the one they're in. Nobody...not you, not your children...should have to "walk on eggshells" in their own home. That's a horrible way to live. I know, because I did it for many years as a child, teen, and young adult. Believe me, it was something I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy.

    When someone we love is addicted, WE need recovery, too. You need to exercise self-care, because YOU (and your kids) are the most important person in your life. You didn't cause your husband's addiction, you can't control it, and you can't cure it. Only HE can do that. And he's going to use or not use with or without you. That's just a fact of life.

    I would suggest you consider going to an Al-Anon meeting, so you can be among others who are going through similar things with their loved ones. Knowing that you're not alone and being able to talk to others who understand what you're going through can be so helpful. I would also suggest that you consider talking to a counselor. Therapy helped me so much when I was going through my son's addiction.

    You can't want your husband's recovery more than he does. The current situation is just making you sick. I know what it's like when you start losing your sanity over someone's addiction, and it's not good. You are addicted to your husband's addiction, and if he won't get help for his illness then you need to consider letting go with love to save yourself and your children.

    Don't let your husband's addiction make you and your kids sick, too. You deserve so much better!

    Keep coming back here for support. We are here for you. I will keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers.
    Lonely likes this.
  7. Lonely

    Lonely Active Contributor

    Thank you. I'm sitting at my desk at work sobbing right now. I know this can't go on. I've been to meetings but the group I was with had all of these elderly women who stuck with their spouses and all is right with the world now. My situation is so different. I'm afraid of my husband when he's drinking. He's never hurt me or the kids but he had screamed, cussed and broken things. So therefor I'm afraid if I tell him to get help or get out the world will explode.

    I feel trapped. I feel alone. I know I need help badly.
  8. deanokat

    deanokat Community Organizer Community Listener


    I feel your pain. I truly do. My wife and I put up with our son's addiction for almost seven years. We did a lot of enabling, and his addiction sucked the life right out of us (and our other son). We finally decided that we had to set a boundary and stick to it. We told him he either had to go to treatment or leave our house. We told him we couldn't live the way we were living anymore. I know there are some differences between an addicted child and an addicted spouse, but there are way more similarities. The bottom line: Our lives were being ruined by our son's addiction. And we were tired of that. If he wanted to destroy his life with his addiction, so be it. But we weren't going to let him destroy three other people, too.

    When we gave our son the ultimatum, he thought we weren't serious. Why? Because we had made set so many boundaries in the past that we didn't stick to. He thought this was just another idle threat. When we finally got through to him that we meant business, he chose to leave the house instead of going to rehab. He was gone for two days. Then he came back and said he'd go to treatment. He finally decided that he didn't want to fight the battle anymore. When he went to treatment, his life--and ours--started to change dramatically. My wife, younger son, and I all felt a HUGE weight lift off of our shoulders. And my son got the help he needed. On July 2nd, he'll be three years clean and sober from heroin addiction.

    I'm not telling you to kick your husband out of your house or leave him. I'm only telling you what worked in my situation. There is no "one size fits all" when it comes to addiction or recovery. As similar as stories may be, everyone is also unique. I am telling you, though, that you and your children are the most important people in this equation. None of you deserve to be living the way you're living. You deserve happiness, and you should be able to enjoy the freedom to do what you want without wondering if it's going to set off your husband.

    Like I said, I know the feeling because of my father. I don't know how old your kids are, but I was terrified of my father between the ages of 7 and 20. He pretty much robbed me of my childhood. I didn't forgive him until a few months before he died, which was when I was 52. Think about what's best for you and your kids.

    I'm sending you a virtual hug, because I'm a hugger and I know you could probably use one right now.

    Feel free to reach out anytime, either by commenting here or by sending me a private message.

    P.S. If you want to read a little about my relationship with my father, here's a piece I wrote about it for The Huffington Post.

    Forgiving My Alcoholic Father: Better Late Than Never
    Lonely likes this.
  9. Lonely

    Lonely Active Contributor

    Thank you so much for the hug. I can definately use it. I too have set a hundred limits only to cross it every time. He does guilt me. I also am smart enough to know I let him.

    Thank you so much again. I need to take some steps to ensure my kids and I are okay. I love him but need to change this life direction soon or I won't be there for my kids. It is affecting my health.

    (Hugs) to you.
    deanokat likes this.
  10. deanokat

    deanokat Community Organizer Community Listener

    @Lonely... One thing I know for sure is that all Al-Anon meetings--or any support group meetings--are different. My wife and I went to many, many meetings before we found a group that felt like a good fit for us. So maybe keep trying.

    The most important thing, I think, is for you to take a step towards helping YOU. And you've done that by coming here. Keep doing the next right thing, okay? You and those kids are too damn important!

    Lonely likes this.
  11. Lonely

    Lonely Active Contributor

    Thank you
    deanokat likes this.
  12. deanokat

    deanokat Community Organizer Community Listener

    @Lonely... Just checking in to see how you're doing. I'm thinking about you and your kids.
  13. Lonely

    Lonely Active Contributor

    God bless you for that. I am verging on just telling him to get some help or get out. I'm terrified! It isn't a healthy environment for me or my kids.
    I can't keep giving in and hating myself all for his happiness. I am loosing me.

    I do need to talk to somebody. I know that. Just not sure how or when yet.
    Thank you very much for caring. Brought tears to my eyes.
    deanokat likes this.
  14. deanokat

    deanokat Community Organizer Community Listener

    No need to thank me, @Lonely. I know how you're feeling, and I know it's not easy. Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.
    Lonely likes this.
  15. deanokat

    deanokat Community Organizer Community Listener

    @Lonely.... Let us know how you're doing today if you have a chance. Remember that you and your kids are the most important things in this world.

    Hugs and good vibes coming your way...
  16. Lonely

    Lonely Active Contributor

    I am doing okay. We just got done with another fight about the pills I have left. I only have 12. I might add that I have one of the top 3 most painful diseases you can have and I can't ever take my pain pills. He takes them all. Anyway he is upset because 12 isn't enough for a 3 day weekend. He wants me too ask my mom "for me". I told him No absolutely not. I said I wasn't getting any more ever. He got mad at me because I was upset with him.

    Feeling lost. And alone in my marriage.
  17. deanokat

    deanokat Community Organizer Community Listener

    @Lonely... I'm sorry to hear that you had another fight.
    I have to tell you, there is absolutely no reason in the world why you should have to forego pain pills that you need so that your husband can take them. By letting him control your pills, you're sacrificing your comfort and well-being, which is wrong. Not only that, you're enabling him. When we make it easier for our loved one to continue their addiction, we enable them. And when we enable them, they have no reason to even think about changing. Why would they??? They have everything they want, and they just keep coasting along in their addiction.
    I think it's close to decision time for you. You shouldn't have to live the way that you're living. It would be bad enough if it were just you and your husband. But with children involved, it's just a toxic environment. I'm really worried about you.
    Please think long and hard about where things are right now, and about what's best for you and your kids. And don't give your pain meds to your husband.
    Praying for you.
  18. Lonely

    Lonely Active Contributor

    I'm having such a hard time. It's, " geez it's usually just in weekends. If You help me through this weekend I won't for a few weeks. If you wouldn't give me such crap and would compromise. " I asked him his compromise and he said he won't take any for a few weeks. "Oh I'm just a creep and loser. It doesn't matter to you that I have only drank 1 night in months. It doesn't matter to you I only drank on Mondays and maybe Fridays" I told him I don't want to give him any pills and he said just get me through this weekend.

    I'm so broken and he makes me second guess myself. I told him I don't want to give him any and I can't take his drinking again. I'm sitting up in our bed crying why he sleeps next to me.
  19. deanokat

    deanokat Community Organizer Community Listener

    @Lonely... He is definitely manipulating you, and trying to make you feel like things are your fault. But they're not, so don't let him suck you into that thinking. Everything that's wrong right now is on him. I wish you had somewhere you could go with the kids for the weekend. It's so unfair for you to have to put up with this crap. My heart aches for you.
  20. Lonely

    Lonely Active Contributor

    Thanks again. He kept saying, " Yep, if I just change, you will be happy. I can't make you happy. I'm just an a$$hole. If only you loved me for me. "
    I can't make him happy and I can't keep lying for him and to others. It's sincerely breaking me.

    I wish I had somewhere to go also