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Wife of an addict

Discussion in 'Helping an Addicted Loved One' started by firefairy, Nov 13, 2015.

  1. firefairy

    firefairy Member

    My story is long so I’ll spare you.. To sum it up, my husband has been an addict for as long as I’ve known him. We have been together 13years. He has been an on and off alcoholic since I met him. I always knew they he liked pain pills and they he took them from time to time… but I wasn’t prepared for what our life has become. About 3-4 years ago he started spiraling downwards. He seemed depressed, antisocial and distant. He smiled less and we fought more. He became hostile and mean. It got to the point that I had to ask for a separation about a year and a half ago. 6 months after he moved out, he admitted to being hooked to Ambien for a year or more. He detoxed on my couch and I took him back because I finally had something to blame for the reason he was treating me. Things got a little better for a little while but then they started going bad again quick. I asked for a separation AGAIN.. 5 months after letting him come home. He moved out again. We still talked and spent time together trying to work out our problems. There were lots of times that he looked high or seemed off but he denied being on anything. Recently, the addiction peaked to a point that it was hard to deny. I could see it, I could feel it.. it was getting obvious! He was nodding out. His pupils tiny. He was foggy and forgetful. He was needy and insecure. I confronted him. He admitted to being addicted to pain pills. He admitted to never being sober for more than a day or two in the last 20 years. He admitted to crushing them. He admitted to taking 5 Percocet 30s at a time. All the money wasted. He was just getting to the point of lying, borrowing and stealing. He was just getting to the point where he soon would have switched to Heroin because it is cheaper. Well he finally came clean to me, his parents, his friends. He admitted that he needed help. He went to a 4- day detox treatment center. He came home and he looked alive again for the first time in a LONG time. He looked healthy. Was eating. Of course he was miserable with withdrawal for about 10 days after he got home. But he was doing ok. Until he went back to work.. his work is a cesspool of addicts with every drug imaginable available daily. He admitted to slipping. I could see there was more to it. Days he wasn’t admitting to. I can see it. I can feel it. His eyes. His voice. His body language. He is slipping away from me again and back into his addiction. I finally got him to admit that he is slipping.. but I don’t know what to do to help him. He thinks he can’t be happy sober. He thinks the pills help him. He says he can’t stand living in his own mind. He can’t see the obvious.. they are destroying him! Not helping him!!
    Me.. I am struggling. I am making mistakes at work. I am consumed with watching.. searching.. trying to read him.. trying to decipher the lies and manipulation that I’m being fed. I am consumed to the point that I am not living my own life. I’m not happy. I’m trying to be selfless and be there for him.. but it is hard! I am trying to be loving and understanding but it is hard! It is hard knowing that he is slipping back. It is hard knowing that he is lying to be again. It is hard worrying about how it will affect our children if it gets control of him again. It is hard!!! Almost unbearable at times. All the nights I pray. All the nights I cry. All the nights I shake uncontrollably because I’m that stressed out that I can’t think straight. The pacing. The searching. The emptiness I feel when he won’t talk to me. When all he wants to do is sleep. The silence when he doesn’t message me. The fear when he isn’t home on time.
    I feel like the weakest person in the world. I wonder how others do this. How do people live like this. I’ve been reading about boundaries and detachment. I have been reading about codependency and addicts. I am a MESS! I feel like I have no one. Everyone keeps telling me.. you need to be there for him. You need to be selfless. You need to give him space and be supportive. Some say, you need to leave him and move on with your life. Not one person has just held me and let me cry. Not one person has acknowledged how hard it is to be the wife an addict. I feel to utterly all alone in this world. How many friends I have lost because I don’t leave me house often anymore. Too afraid to go anywhere. Too afraid to leave him with the kids. Too afraid to let him drive the kids anywhere. No energy to do anything for myself because living with an addict is so stressful and draining that it takes everything out of me. Too afraid that he might need me. All those friends that are just so sick of hearing me complain about it all. I can’t blame them. I’m just as sick of living it!!
    Any advice? Any hope? Has anyone had any success with detachment and boundaries? Any advice on how to establish them and enforce them?
  2. deanokat

    deanokat Community Organizer Community Listener

  3. firefairy

    firefairy Member

    I responded on the other thread as well. Thank you for everything you wrote. It gives me hope!
    deanokat likes this.
  4. Jessicamommy

    Jessicamommy Member

    Wow reading your story sounds so much like mine it makes me so sad to know that their are other people suffering from the same pain I feel everyday thank you for sharing
  5. irishrose

    irishrose Community Champion

    I am so sorry to hear that you are going through this. First and foremost, youuse think of your safety the the safety of your family. If your loved one is potentially a danger to you or your family, creating a distance between you may be necessary. That being said, you can still let him know that you are there for him and supportive of his recovery, but that you may need to do so at a distance. Seek recovery groups in your area to refer him to, and try to be as proactive as you can. Also, if you need to take time for yourself, then do it. You cannot help others if you're not in a healthy state of mind yourself.
    deanokat likes this.
  6. dyanmarie25

    dyanmarie25 Community Champion

    Hello there, @firefairy! Welcome to the forum, and thanks for sharing. Well, I am deeply sorry to hear about the struggles you're going through right now. I could really feel your pain. I honestly don't know what to say to you, but all I want to tell you is that you are a very strong woman, and I believe no matter what happens, you would still be there for him because you love him. And the best thing you can do right now is to try to help and encourage him to stay focused about recovery. You can do it. I am sure you can. Hang in there, and be very patient.
    deanokat likes this.
  7. jazzyjazz

    jazzyjazz Member

    Wow ! you are one brave woman my friend. Although forgiving is the greatest of virtue but there is a limit to everything. If I were in your position and my spouse continuously lied to me for 20 years, I would not be so forgiving. But I do hope that your husbands gets clean and yow two lead a beautiful life together.
  8. firefairy

    firefairy Member

    Either one brave woman or one really stupid woman... I haven't decided yet. HAHAHA! :)
    Thank you for your kind words jazzyjazz.
  9. Rthoughts

    Rthoughts Member

    I have been married for 27 years and never knew my husband was using until 2 years ago.
    And it has gotten worse.
    I am taking care of his mother now who has early stage dementia and there house is falling apart.
    She is living with me. And he is still in the house.
    I have had to take her bank account away from him.
    But he still won't admit something is wrong. He keeps saying he is not doing it anymore.
    What do I do?
  10. firefairy

    firefairy Member

    Hi Rthoughts. First i want to tell you, you are not alone! Every situations is different. I tried to fast track my husband to "rock bottom" a few times, all failed attempts. His rock bottom happened when i wasn't trying to make it happen. Every situation is different, so i will be gentle in giving my advice to you. First, you need to find your boundaries. Are you willing to leave him if he refuses to get help? I've learned that there is nothing worse than empty threats.. they just give the addict move power to manipulate. You have to trust your gut. Trust yourself. That was a battle that i had with myself for years!! I knew he was using but i wanted to belive the lies he was telling me over my own gut feeling. It was a very difficult time for me. What i did when i knew i knew.. I knew he was lying.. I order a drug test. You can get 10 panel drug test on ebay or amazon for less that $5. Before the drug test even came in the mail i told him.. Look i know you are using, i know you are lying, i am giving you one chance to open up to me and be honest and i will stand by your side and help you through this.. but you will need to get help and get clean. OR if you lie to me and i find out you are lying, i'm DONE. I will walk away.. because using is your choice, and whether i want to live with an addict or not, is my choice!!! My husband admitted it before i pulled out the drug test. But that was probably because he was ready, he was reaching his rock bottom. He is now on a sub program and going to counseling. He is a whole new man. He is everything i saw in him but was lost behind the haze of drug use. BUT i was prepared to divorce him and move on with my life if he didn't chose to get clean. I knew i would be fine either way. Of course i wanted him to get clean.. but more than anything else, i wanted to be happy again.. I wanted a life free of the consequences of loving an addict. I didn't want to hurt anymore. I didn't want to be lied to anymore. I didn't want to be manipulated any longer. So my advice to you is find yourself. Know your boundaries. Decide what you want to do. How you want to live. And start taking action.
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2015
    deanokat likes this.
  11. firefairy

    firefairy Member

    I have this same thread in prescribition drugs.. there are more comments and a better follow up of my story if you want to read it. :)
    I wish you all the best.
    deanokat likes this.
  12. guitarmom1279

    guitarmom1279 Member

    I to have been in a similar situation. First comes the lies,then the money is spent way to soon... For me then came such anger and aggression when I confronted him. It took many years of both verbal and physical abuse before i had to just realize that this was not my fault and he would never get better until he realized he had a problem and was ready to change. I think so many times as a wife we think we can fix our family problems on our own and to many times when that doesn't happen we blames ourselves which is total wrong.
  13. When I read your story, it was so much like mine. After 25 years of being married to an addict and being lied to and manipulated . I walked out. When I left him, he quickly spiraled downward. He told me that I was his moral compass, and I kept him in check, kind of. But when I left him, his moral compass what broken..and he hit his rock bottom. Losing down to 115 pounds. living in his truck, no money, no job, no food. His 4 children would not speak to him. Leaving him was the best thing that I could have done. I was able to keep an eye on him, and take him food, but I gave him no money, only food. What I watched was the hardest thing that I have ever experienced. He almost died while I watched. Finally he had enough and ask for help. My advice to you for it's worth. Leave him, get out and take care of yourself, and then you can help him from a distance. My husband is in his 3rd month of rehab. I visit him on the week ends. He is doing great... You can't fix him, just as i couldn't fix my husband. Don't even try. Take care of yourself.
    LauraSI and firefairy like this.