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How to help a drug addicted spouse

Are you married to an addict or alcoholic? You probably feel exhausted, confused, and not just a little bit angry.  We’re here to let you know that you’re not alone. But that you need to make changes.

Helping an addicted spouse may or may not end in their road to recovery. The merry-go-round you are on keeps spinning and you want to make it stop. You want to keep your marriage. But you can no longer decipher the lies from the truths.

Here, we will discuss points on how to navigate through some common issues so you can start making better decisions. Then, we invite your questions, experience(s), and comments at the end.

How to Help a Drug Addict: The Law of Attraction

The Law of Attraction implies positive attracts positive. If you are acting in a negative way and expressing feelings of sadness and negativity, then it is likely your spouse will feed off of that and/or use this against you. If you behave in a positive way and live your life positively, despite your spouse’s addiction, it may generate positive results.

If you perpetuate anger, disappointment, and sadness, you may generate similar results in the exchange you have with your spouse. You may not be able to change someone else, but you can either inspire them to change or inspire yourself to move on.  So, what does this look like in practical, real life terms when living in a codependent marriage. How can you live with or love an active drug addict?

You Want the Lies to Stop

WHAT HAPPENS: The lies and manipulation can hurt the most. Some of us would rather our bank account be emptied for a weekend bender than have a spouse look you in the eye and tell you they are sober, when they clearly are not.

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WHAT YOU CAN DO ABOUT IT: If you can understand that lies are part of the addiction, the lies may not hurt as much.  If part of the disease is to hide the truth to maintain the addiction, then take a step back and expect to be lied to. You know very well, the truth from a lie, deep down inside. If you want the lies to stop, then try to trust your instincts. If something does not sound right or feel right to you, then that is the truth.

You Want Him to Get Into a Program

WHAT HAPPENS: He may have failed at rehabilitation programs, tried to kick the addiction on his own, or refused that he needs help. You are fully aware he has a problem and you know he will need help.

Rehab or detox does not always work, especially not the first time. You do not have to give up simply because your spouse has failed at recovery. You can however change your strategy. If an addict is forced to get help, it probably means they did not want to. How many times have you done something you did not want to do and kept doing it? The person who is addicted should want to get help, not feel like they are doing it for someone else.

WHAT YOU CAN DO ABOUT IT: You cannot control someone into getting help, but you can make it less likely their addiction will run smoothly. Decide to stop enabling a drug addicted or alcohol husband. Shed some light on what is going on to the people around you both who do not know what is really going on. If you have open and honest conversations with people you love and trust they may be able to help and stop enabling the addict. When an addict has nowhere and no one to turn to, sometimes they will have no choice but to see just how unmanageable their life has become.

You Want Him to Stop Hanging Out With Other Drug Users

WHAT HAPPENS: You want to show him how the “friends” he is using with are not a good influence on him. You block or track his calls, you throw his phone out, hide his keys, or confront his friends but he still goes out with them. These are not his friends; these are his dealers, his drug buddies, and people who are in the same point in their life as he is. You cannot compete with anyone that he gets high with. If you try, he will just lie.

WHAT YOU CAN DO ABOUT IT: So try a different approach. Stop caring about who he hangs out with and let him do what he wants to do. Stop fighting him. He knows you want him to stop. You have made the things you want him to change clear. Why play the game?

Stop playing into his addiction and let him realize that you are moving on with your life, and he is welcome to do the same. He only detests you when you try to stop him from using, so perhaps letting him know you are not happy with his addiction, that you are going to live your own life, will send a clear message; he will lose you.

Should you leave an addicted or alcoholic spouse? It’s going to be your decision. But once you decide, get help and support to follow through.  This time though, you will be showing him, not just telling him.

Can you get your husband into recovery?

  • “I will stop using as soon as I get through this stressful month at work.”
  • “I need you to help me; I cannot live without you.”
  • “I will stop drinking for a month, I can control it.”

You pray that each time you hear words of remorse or shame from your addicted spouse that this will really be the last time. You have read every book on recovery for families and how to help an addict and…no luck. You hang your hopes on the few stories you have heard, like urban legends, of wives who have helped their husbands into recovery. You are skeptical of anyone who tells you that you cannot fix your husband.

The truth is that YOU CANNOT CHANGE YOUR SPOUSE. This is a harsh reality. We know this. So, if you need to share and know that you are not alone, please leave us a comment here. We’ll try to get back with you ASAP.

Photo credit: Dennis Skley

Leave a Reply

45 Responses to “How to help a drug addicted spouse
Coventry girl
2:25 am June 22nd, 2015

I have a situation where my partner functions perfectly normally but he smokes weed daily. He literally feels the need to smoke it every single night without fail. We have rowed countless times and it’s often turned into me constantly nagging him and emotionally blackmailing him with suggesting a break up. We have reached a point where he thinks it’s perfectly fine to smoke daily and it doesn’t affect him and compares this to people drinking daily in a pub but deep down this hurts me I can see he is reliant on weed. We have had around 8 weekends in a row whereby we are arguing and never reach a solid conclusion besides me threatening to leave him. Apart from him smoking weed he is very caring honest trustworthy and understanding. He does any required chores and goes to work and always goes above and beyond for me and his family. But as his partner I cannot cope with his addiction. What can I do to resolve this as when I see him I feel great disappointment and have started to dream about coworkers as my mind is in conflict to leave him. What can I do?

Amanda Andruzzi
2:02 pm June 22nd, 2015

Coventry Girl,
Thank you for sharing. Your situation is something I see a lot. Marijuana is a substance that can be abused while still maintaining a normal lifestyle. If he is completely reliable and responsible and a good partner despite the daily use of marijuana, then it is not likely he will ever give it up. There are two things you need to look at here, does he have an underlying issue that he is self-medicating for, perhaps anxiety, depression, or another condition that this drug helps him deal with, and if regardless of whether you both disagree if he is an addict or not, do you not want to have a relationship with someone who smokes weed everyday????
If he is an addict or not, there is just something that bothers you about loving a person who is dependent on a drug every day, I get that, but if he has no intention on stopping and his life is not being destroyed by it then I doubt he will give it up.
What you can do is let him know this bothers you and that if he is willing, maybe he can seek therapy and try to figure out why he needs it and perhaps try other, healthier ways of dealing with whatever it is that makes him use. Perhaps he has severe anxiety and the pot just helps him relax and unwind, for example, maybe he can try cognitive therapy with a mix of some natural supplements, breathing techniques, and exercise to help combat the issue. If he can learn the skills he needs to cope with whatever he is trying to avoid he can accomplish the same thing without using a drug.
However, since marijuana is becoming increasingly legal in the United States, you may have a harder time convincing him he has a problem, especially if he does not do any other drugs. The question really remains with you, do you want to be with a person who uses pot every day? If not, then you really need to make a decision to move on. I hope this helps, keep me posted.
Best,
Amanda Andruzzi, published author, Hope Street, a memoir from the wife of an addict
View the Video BOOK Trailer: http://sbprabooks.com/amandaandruzzi/video/

anj
9:34 am June 23rd, 2015

Amanda, I am not sure how to email you, so could you email me please, its about your book, I’d really like a copy and can’t afford it.

Amanda Andruzzi
6:51 pm June 24th, 2015

Hi Anj,
If you have a computer, you can download the e-book for I believe six dollars. I hope this helps.
Amanda Andruzzi, published author, Hope Street, a memoir from the wife of an addict
View the Video BOOK Trailer: http://sbprabooks.com/amandaandruzzi/video/

Angie
9:31 am June 28th, 2015

Hi Amanda , ive Been reading this blog for some time , so many stories (heartbreaking ) I thought I was the only one going through the same thing.
My partner and I have split through his cocaine addiction it’s been awaful . I really love him he’s recently just finished a detox program in Manchester too . I do hope he can stay off it now , it’s ruined everything luckily it’s my own house where I live with my 17 year old son . I have bought and read your book and you actually sound like myself !! I feel like ive had a life like yours but without the big money frauds !!! O m g !! You should be so proud of yourself you know !! Your an inspiration to us ladies out there battling through this .
Thanks Amanda .
Angie . X

Mike
11:52 am June 28th, 2015

my wife is addicted to pain pills and alcohol. I have to work, and I cant watch her 24/7
she needs in-patient treatment where can she go. we have very little money and no health insurance any help out there?

11:09 am June 29th, 2015

Hi Mike. You can call the helpline number displayed on our page to get in touch with our trusted treatment providers and get informed about the treatment possibilities that fit your wife’s needs and your economical state. I hope she gets the treatment she needs and wish you good luck.

Britt
8:59 pm June 29th, 2015

My fiance over dosed on herion with our 1 year old in the back seat just a few days ago. We were to get married in august…I’m torn. He jeaprodized my daughter’s life and took his own for a few mins. I love him and hate him so much right now. I’m not sure if u should stop all contact for a few months while he enters a long term program, end it all together or be there over the phone for him. He is not allowed near my daughter or the home we were staying in, by child services.

Lolita
2:59 am June 30th, 2015

I have a situation I found out my husband is smoking weed again. We have 5 years of marriage in our 1 year I found out he was smoking weed we took and he gave his word he will stop and not do it again. Last weekend I found out he is smoking again. He was acting so different that I knew something was wrong I thought first he was cheating on me I started following him, looking on his things, asking questions. He was getting more aggressive and upset. I found it in his garage hidden. I confront him and he said to me it is my fault because Im constantly checking on him and it is the way to deal with my jelousy behavior. It was terrible I felt the word felt over me. I’m so upset about this situation and with him it is not fair he wants to blame me for his addiction and hurt me of this way. I don’t know what to do I think he denies his addiction. When he isn’t with weed he is very caring, honest and good man. I can’t cope with this situation what can I do ?

Amanda Andruzzi
1:26 pm July 1st, 2015

Angie,
Thank you so much for your kind words. I am so glad you were able to connect with the book and that the site has helped you feel less alone. The number one reason I do all of this is to help other women and men and give them inspiration. I hope you are finding your way, on your own. It can be done and it is possible to move on to something better. Thank you again for commenting and feel free to keep me posted. I know this is a painful journey but there is so much joy and light at the end of it.
Amanda Andruzzi, published author, Hope Street, a memoir from the wife of an addict
View the Video BOOK Trailer: http://sbprabooks.com/amandaandruzzi/video/

West London Wife
12:33 am July 4th, 2015

Thanks for your blog Amanda , it resonates with me especially bring an enabler. I knew I was but coming across this Enabler article in particular reinforces and is so far helping me to make a change for myself. Husband I’ve been with nearly a decade, I married knowing he was a user. I was younger at the time, dad had died suddenly, his dad a year before. Thought I may not meet someone else I felt strongly for, decided to go with my for better for worse love for him . On the whole a ‘happy’ life but apart from him managing a great 3 years clean apart from weed, the cochineal has always been there. He owes me thousands, had stolen money, moving job to job, always someone else’s fault. I developed anxiety and lost any intimacy but he thinks it’s just my anxiety issues. Deep down I know it’s all interrelated. Wanted a child for so long but something holding me back I know it’s the addiction. I smoke some weed when he has it but mire habit not real desire. I have heard each time the sorry, the excuses, the promises after the pay day splurges. Sadest of all he was working with alcoholics supporting them to move forwards yet behind the scenes he was doing the same but maintaining normality going to work gym etc. Mainly coke occasionally crack. I leave go to my mums. Eventually go back as it’s my home same old pattern. This time I want to see it through and not go back. Not lend money til next pay day. Not forget it and hope it won’t happen again. I don’t deserve it. I have been an enabler. A good girl good qualifications good job his family were wondering why I would put up with someone opposite to me. When not on it a good laugh, fun, works hard domesticated determined but it’s the demon which returns once a month. I know I must do this for me, I can’t keep making excuses just because he is a good man with good heart does not make it ok or minimise it. Looking as an outsider I’d tell a friend the same but I need strength to see it through. Did it couple of times before left for good but always fell for the old promises eventually. Support services not great in London so feel alone. Smoking weed everyday I’m sure has made him more short tempered and much more easily angered, promises to give it up have not materialised.

Amanda Andruzzi
6:13 pm July 9th, 2015

West London Life,
Break the cycle! Only you have the power to do that. Sometimes strength comes from deep inside us and we don’t even know we have it until we have to use it. You need to focus on you, healing and getting support so that you can find happiness on your own. It would be a good idea to learn more about enabling and CO- addiction. Read the other articles in my blog, click on my name at the top and other articles will appear that will really help you understandwhat you are dealing with. You have to learn how to let go and it may be the hardest thing you ever do but it is worth it.keep me posted.
Amanda Andruzzi, published author, Hope Street, a memoir from the wife of an addict View the Video BOOK Trailer: http://sbprabooks.com/amandaandruzzi/video/

Corinna
8:57 am July 10th, 2015

Hi Amanda, I just finished reading the last page of your book with a tear in my eye and that same knot in my stomach not knowing what I should do to move forward, So much of my life is exactly what you’ve gone through and wrote about,the one thing that really stuck out to me was what you said about noticing how your daughter didn’t have the same bond that you saw other children had with there dads. That’s so true and that hurts the most. Although I’m in 20 years and 4 beautiful children later. Now that he lost his electrician job 6 months ago due to his out of control crack addiction hotels and locking himself in our garage for days . LIVING like that was a traumatic experience to say the least while I’m at home taking care of our 4 children. We are living on his unemployment and cashing out RRSP from his work. He is finally getting some help at a bible based in treatment facility 40 days now. The drama still continues though calling to meet him so I can pay for things he needs because has has no bank card but threatens to go get one if I question anything. I really can’t stand him for what he’s done to our family. Me being a stay at home for the past 13 years and him providing for us has left me in this paralyzed state of not knowing what I should do. Get a job ?Sell the house? But really where would I go with 4 kids , this is our home and is affordable to leave I would be paying so much more. I have had peace this last month him being there and not watching the account draining or fear he’s not alive. Sanity. I think I will read your memoir over again just to give me strength and hope and to remind me there is light at the end of the tunnel. Thankyou,

Amanda Andruzzi
3:13 pm July 16th, 2015

Corrina,
Thank you for commenting and I am always here to help. I know how this is, I am now a mother of 3 and it is the most difficult thing to hold everything together as it is, never mind live with an addict. I am so glad the book helped you feel like you are not alone. You are not alone and I know every ounce of what you are going through and what a toll it takes on you and your children. Please just take a deep breath and take a step back. The best thing you can do is to make a plan and do everything you can to work towards that plan. Perhaps, renting out a part of your house for extra income, getting a part-time job, or anything you can think of to ease the burden. Enlist support from friends and loved ones and try to figure out how to make it all work without him or with whatever support you can obtain for your children through your husband. You CAN DO THIS! You will be very surprised at what you can do when you don’t have a choice. There is hope and there is life after this. Little steps. You will be surprised how moving in the right direction will also lift your spirits and start to make you feel free from all of this. keep me posted.
Amanda Andruzzi, published author, Hope Street, a memoir from the wife of an addict View the Video BOOK Trailer: http://sbprabooks.com/amandaandruzzi/video/

Marie
3:23 am July 17th, 2015

My husband has been on drugs off and on since he was 12 years old. His biological father only wanted him around if he was in the mix of drugs so he followed his father for approval and to have time with him. His mother slept around and partied a lot causing a boyfriend that she did not know well to be around my husband a lot. He hit him a lot and started to molest him for 2 years. The women that his mother would have around would pressure him and show their naked bodies to him at a very early age. His life was a train wreck growing up and in the past few years he lost his grandmother that was always there for him know matter what. He called her mom and his biological mother by her name. My hubby has learned to deal with his problems by self medicating off and on for years and recently he went deep into drugs and came to me in a horrible shape and told me he was dine with that life. Right now he is in the local hospital with a blood infection from using needles. He said he used only clean needles and has been tested for HIV and is negative but does have hep B and hep C. An awesome Dr. Is helping him with withdrawals with a medicine called serax. It helps the withdrawls not be so violent. His mood is a roller coaster ride and he also has been diagnosed with bi polar disorder. Praying for a miracle. He seems very serious about wanting help. He chose to be honest with the Dr and asked him for help. We have been together 15 yes. He has raised “our dauhter” that I had in a previous relationship and we have a 13 yr. Old son together. I plan to stay by his side through it all because my live is real for him and I really care about his health. Some days are very trying but I have never used and come from a strong family. I am also a nurse and a big family person. I’m hoping my positiveness and drive helps him see that life is great without drugs.

Amanda Andruzzi
2:18 pm July 21st, 2015

Marie,
Thank you for sharing your story. It sounds like you do not want to give up and so the only advice I can give you is that you should have boundaries and stick to them. Deal in actions, not words. He must prove he is clean and wants to be, not just words. And if your gut tells you he is using or lying, I would believe your gut feeling. I hope you find some help for you so that you can take care of yourself. Good luck.
Amanda Andruzzi, published author, Hope Street, a memoir from the wife of an addict View the Video BOOK Trailer: http://sbprabooks.com/amandaandruzzi/video/

lily181926
10:09 pm July 27th, 2015

Hi, I have what most of the people would say a big problem, I’ve been married for five years almost six, we have to kids, I love them to death, when I met my husband he was clean and everything was fine until one day he didnt come home for 48hrs I was very worried and since I didnt have any experience with drugs I tought it was another woman, after 1 month he went to jail for drug abuse and possession I was devastaded but in love, for five years he has been in and out of jail, selling and using, now that we have the two kids he just came back from one of his jouneys to jail like a month ago.
A week ago I saw something weir on him, after all I know this men and I know when something is odd, I confronted him and of couse he denied it, lies lies lies, but I knew it and he said “I know what I’m doing I know how to stop”, NOT, like 3 days ago he went crazy again over some stupid question I asked, he went ballistic because I dare to ask something not even related to drugs some family thing, he treated me like if I was worst than the roaches from the drain, I imagine my life totally different, my own place with my kids and watch movies and have a peaceful family time but with him has never been like that, I’m very confused but I really want to move on, he has this talent to put me down and claims that I just think about myself when all I do is for them, I love him but I dont want this for my kids and me, I deserve better but I’m afraid he would hurt himself or he would OD this is hell and I dont know what to do, I really need help, please!!!

Monica
5:44 am July 29th, 2015

My husband just let me know that he likes to party every full moon. I thought all these years it was just weed. Which I have always demanded he stop. He embarrassly told me last night that he had done harder drugs such as crack. He won’t tell me what drug kept him out last night. He said he has to stop smoking and drinking all of it. Of course he is drinking today. We have 3 children 5 and under. I do Beleive I’m co dependent and enabler.

Amanda Andruzzi
1:36 am July 31st, 2015

Monica,
Thank you for sharing. You need some support for you. You are being a single parent basically to three small children. Can you find a therapist, specializing in addiction to speak with? A local support group, al-anon? You need to realize your part in this and admitting you may be an enabler is key. It is hard not to be, believe me, I know. Please read the other articles here, click on Amanda Andruzzi, on this page and all of the articles will come up and I think you will relate to them all and find them useful.
Amanda Andruzzi, published author, Hope Street, a memoir from the wife of an addict View the Video BOOK Trailer: http://sbprabooks.com/amandaandruzzi/video/

Amanda Andruzzi
2:56 am August 7th, 2015

lily181926,
Breath. Take a deep breath. I know exactly what you are going through. I did not know about drugs either when I met and then married an addict and had a child. It took me 12 years to understand what addiction really is. He is not sane, literally insane. He is on drugs and so he is not rational, honest, or clear-headed, and is not capable of using his mind the way you and I can. That is what you are experiencing. Your dreams of moving on are good dreams and now you must find out how to make that a reality and not worry about him anymore. Unfortunately you cannot make him stop, you can only save yourself and your children.
Amanda Andruzzi, published author, Hope Street, a memoir from the wife of an addict
View the Video BOOK Trailer: http://sbprabooks.com/amandaandruzzi/video/

Marie
1:44 pm August 8th, 2015

My situation sounds exactly like the young lady whis boyfriend smokes weed everyday. Except mine smokes crack. Good person but he smokes and has been for probably more than the 24 years we have been together. I am to the point like her where I just dont want to be with someone who smokes crack and right in our house like its no big deal. He doesnt think he has a problem because he has been able to maintain a particular lifestyle. He said his friends ask why I seem upset all the time and I am to the point where I dont care how much material stuff we have, i wanted the person I first met 24 years ago but the reality that I didnt know was he was using back then. It just wasnt as obvious. Now the comfort level is if you dont like it then leave. I left once before and he said what i needed to hear to get me back plus even went to one counseling session. Talked about our daughter and how she was the cause of our marital problems. I was seeing the counselor before he did and thought this is a good start. Thing is the counselor quickly picked up on how overbearing he is and asked that i continue to come but not my husband. My husband got high the same week i came back home and hasnt stopped. He thinks as long as he contributes he should be able to do what he wants. I have been exercising like article said and trying to live my life and he hates it. I think it has actually made him more upset. He thinks i have a boyfriend which is furthest from the truth. I am tired and the boundary that i finally decided to do is leave. I enacted a plan and everytime i think about leaving i get sick to my stomach. I dont know if part of it is the familiarity of being with him all these years and it was just easy to stay. But I am truly tired of the roller coaster ride. This is the only thing that will get him to see I am serious. I have an advantage being that everything we have is in my name. Even the business we have. It is his business because of other issues he couldnt put it in his. I am willing to walk away from it all including the house. I have a job that i have been at for almost 26 years and yes if we divorce he will get half of my pension but i dont care at this point. He will lose just as much if not more than me in this situation. I have tried everything including having my family member talk to him about getting physical with me. He was furious. My family member is a therapist by profession and he said my husband has a lot of pain. I know this because i have been with him all this time but can’t deal with the crack anymore. So i truly understand where the young lady is coming from about not wanting to deal with it even though he isa decent person. I have even been accused stealing money from him. We lost a son 17 years ago and I have not been the same. It wasnt his son biologically but he had been there. I am just tired.

Amanda Andruzzi
2:11 am August 12th, 2015

Marie,
I know that pain you experience and the fear of leaving. What is familiar seems like an old friend and we are afraid to let it go. Keep exercising, you should do things that are good for your soul and your body despite what he thinks about it. He might be angry because he sees you moving on and that is threatening to him. Letting go is hard but it is the the thing we hold on to the most that we really need to let go of. He is all you know and you need to find the you inside that needs to come out and find a life of peace and balance. He cannot give that to you, after 24 years you have every right to move on and let go.
Amanda Andruzzi, published author, Hope Street, a memoir from the wife of an addict
View the Video BOOK Trailer: http://sbprabooks.com/amandaandruzzi/video/

examy
3:26 am September 7th, 2015

i want to help my husband but it seems, from what i’ve read in your blog, depends upon the addict, when to submit himself for help…what if the authorities is already is looking for him?..and he doesn’t want to quit or accept my help?
Is it correct to say that I will just wait…untill he ask me for my help? is it possible? Isn’t it not too late or Am I already late to seek help myself?

Marilyn
4:46 pm September 12th, 2015

My spouse and I were married as teens. We have 2 children together. He was my highschool sweetheart. Being a gentleman comes natural with him and I love him for that. I tolerated years of neglect and abandonment. When we were teens we never heard of crack or heroine. I ran from him because he was physically abusive. During that separation he met up with a bad crowd and never been the same since. We are in our 50s now and now he found a buddy female to share his life with.

He now never returns my calls like he use to. I feel hurt it seems like this time is final out of all those years and I am in pain. I try to call him and either no one answers or the calls are ignored. I miss holding his hands and seeing him.

For the past 2 1/2 years i could not tell him where i live. during our relationship he would call her and i will get angry and now she finally got him and i am hurt. He wont come home and at times he would tell me to stay in the car to wait and he does not return.

What should i do

Amanda Andruzzi
9:03 pm September 14th, 2015

Examy,
It is never too late for anything but you cannot save him. You can only change yourself. Let the chips fall where they may for him because if he gets away with something or gets help because you asked him to, then he was not ready to do it and is just doing in under duress.
published author,
Amanda Andruzzi Hope Street, a memoir from the wife of an addict View the Video BOOK Trailer: http://sbprabooks.com/amandaandruzzi/video/

Mohali
1:46 pm September 22nd, 2015

Great post,Thanks for providing us this great knowledge.

Amanda Andruzzi
2:00 pm September 22nd, 2015

Marilyn,
What can you do? What choice has he given you but to move on? He has moved on and as hard as all of this is, I think you need to do the same. Being in a relationship with an addict is isolation, because you isolate yourself with worries and concern for them. You lose yourself and it sounds like this is what has happened. It may be the hardest thing you ever do but if you could see there is another way to live and hope for you to have a happy and healthy life, you would find hope. I have been through many long years with an addict through children and marriage, my book, Hope Street, is an account of that time and I hope you can read it. I think you need to feel understood right now and find inspiration to help yourself. This is about you and you need to make new choices that get you to a better place. Do not give up…on YOU.
Amanda Andruzzi, published author, Hope Street, a memoir from the wife of an addict
View the Video BOOK Trailer: http://sbprabooks.com/amandaandruzzi/video/

Jackie
5:46 am October 30th, 2015

Amanda,
Thank you for this very helpful advice – particularly about dealing in actions and not just words, which can be so hard to actually do. When I see my husband struggling, all I want to do is comfort him and support him. He lies (a lot) to cover up his presciption drug abuse and it’s incredibly painful to be on the receiving end of what seems like very cold, detached lies. Once I use my sharp detective skills to sift through the lies (addicts do teach you to become incredibly perceptive!) and he realizes he has no where left to hide, he will give up fighting with me, he will apologize and promise to try harder, he will ask me to forgive him, he will swear that things for us will get better, and he will tell me that he is willing to do whatever it takes to get better. And I always give him another chance. I’m not naive, I just don’t want to give up because I try to believe he will change this time. We got married a few months ago, right around the one year anniversary of his sobriety. He went to rehab last year for prescription pill abuse and did so wonderfully in his recovery. After seeing him fall down for so many years, I was truly encouraged that rehab had finally “healed” him. But he recently relapsed. I was completely blindsided. I think our financial difficulties and stress from his work, on top of his general lack of confidence and weak personality (he’s always been handed everything in life), drove him to try to find a “quick fix” to make life easier when it got a little tough. I’ve been trying to help him, encourage him, discipline him, threaten him, pray with him… Nothing works. And I don’t want to live my life like this. I’m constantly suspicious and worried. We are newlyweds but we live like two strangers. I love my husband to the ends of the earth, but I don’t want to go through this every year. When he is using drugs, he is a different person and it can be extremely lonely. I want to start a family, buy a house, live a full and happy life. I can’t wait to buy your book and find comfort in your story. I know it’s different for everyone, but when do you think enough is enough? Do you live with a drug addict who you love, who you know has a good heart, or do you go before you waste to much time trying?
Thank you,
Jackie

Jessica H
5:05 am January 17th, 2016

Finding your blog has been helpful tonight as I’ve found myself in what appears to be hell. My husband of 5 1/2 years has developed an addiction to Pills. Last August I began to have hope when he reached out to me, his brother and dad to acknowledge that he needed help. We didn’t think about rehab as he just thought he could fight this on his own. Why I didn’t challenge that is beyond me. He was sober for 3 months before he bought pills on the Internet and went on what can only be described as a binder. I called his father to come and get him out of the house. We found his pills and got rid of them. After the Pills were out of his system he was able to again admit that he had a problem. He agreed to rehab then lost his job a week later. So he needed to interview and rehab for pushed to the side. We went to a new psychiatrist together who has diagnosed him with bipolar two. He started working out again and began to she a therapist. I allowed hope to shine through. Then 4 days ago I found out he ordered pills again on the Internet. And here we are again. He acknowledges a problem but I feel like I fight harder than he does. Not having a job is ruining his mental state. We have a 2 year old and another on the way. I feel trapped. If it weren’t for my daughter I would be gone. My dad was an alcoholic and quite frankly I don’t know is I can do this again. Sorry for the long message but there truly is nobody I can talk to about this. I feel so alone.

Amanda Andruzzi
9:15 pm January 18th, 2016

Jackie,

Please don’t give up hope on yourself. You deserve a happy life and YOU will come to a point where thou have to move on. Addicts are notorious for doing way he is doing and this could be the way it goes or it cold end. You never know and Otis a chance you take. I can add this, remember how imortant you are and that you deserve to be happy. Sometimes happiness can end up being something you didn’t expect it to be so keep an open mind. Let me know how the book resonate with you. It was writer not give you hope.
Amanda Andruzzi

Amanda Andruzzi
10:20 pm January 18th, 2016

Jesica H,

I know the situation you are in because I have been there. There are ways to cope, even when living with him but it requires you to take a step back, create boundaries, and focus on you and your children. If you can emotionally detach and try to separate yourself from the situation as much as you can it does get easier. There will come a time when you may want to leave and you can prepare yourself to do that, it doesn’t have to happen overnight. This sounds easy and I know it’s not but it can be done and you can do it. I was able to do it and that’s why I have this blog and my book, to help show other people that there is hope. Keep reading the other articles here, click on my name next to my picture and 35+ articles will come up. I would highly recommend seeing a therapist who specializes in addiction, going to Al-Anon, Or any other support group.

Amanda Andruzzi, published author, Hope Street, a memoir from the wife of an addict View the Video BOOK Trailer: http://sbprabooks.com/amandaandruzzi/video/

torn wife
8:29 am February 8th, 2016

I have been Married for 13 years. My husband has always drank but now drinks and uses cocaine. It breaks my heart I live him so much and when i try to talk to him he always turns it into my fault we have 3 kids 15yo, 12, and a 9 yo. It breaks my heart for them to have to see him drunk they do not notice he is high but i do. Worst part his “good friend” whom also happens to be his manager at work is the same way they will go out on fridays or Saturdays after work and not come until the next day. I am at the point where i just want to leave him but at the same time i want to help him hut when he gets mad and starts insulting me it breaks my heart i am not a saint i have defects as well he just doesn’t want to understand that this hurts us all not just him. I do not know what to do.

Kyra
2:15 pm March 14th, 2016

I found out my husband was addicted to opiates 2.5 years ago. He is currently in “treatment” and goes to 12 step meetings 5 days per week. All the signs suggest he is still using, my guess is 4 days per week. He has managed a pattern of cleaning up to pass a drug test once a week. He is prescribed Suboxone by a psychiatrist and sees a therapist once a week. To be honest, he has the treatment staff totally fooled with his charm and charisma. He has folks believing that I’m simply being controlling. Therefore his treatment providers not only offer me no assistance, they make the situation worse. It’s true that I have no “proof” that he is using. I can very clearly see the consistent patterns of his use however. His moods are so awful the days he’s not using, it has become unbearable. He even manages every single week to come up with something for which he can be angry with me, therefore (only a presumption) “explaining” his bad mood and lack of engagement with our family. It has been a crazy roller coaster ride for the past four years as he has plummeted into addiction…got truly clean for 7 months…and now has spent the past almost two years on a roller coaster of relapses. I don’t enable daily behaviors but I do keep his secret. My justification to myself is that at least he is going through the motions of “treatment” which seems better than nothing. My confrontations are met with anger, resentment and blame. But, I stay through paychological abuse because my kids have no idea that their dad has an issue and they would be totally devastated if their life changed. They don’t deserve that. They didn’t choose this. Is he the man, husband, father that he used to be? No. Does he go through motions of life everyday…and stay home every night? Yes. I literally don’t know what to do anymore. I love him and want to be strong for him. I’m just not sure how long I can be on the receiving end of his anger and hatred.

Amanda Andruzzi
4:14 pm March 18th, 2016

Torn Wife,
I know you are torn but when you have the strength, you must make the decision to make a change because he will be the one to do it. You are going through all of this, sober and I am sure taking on so much more with your children. For some of us, love, finances, fear of our loved one dying or finding someone else hold us back from making the best choices. You have to be at a place where you are ready to make good on your word, until such time, I wouldn’t make threats that you know you will not keep, this only makes an addict know these are empty threats and they can continue to do what they want. But when you are ready, arm yourself with support, strength and a plan to either have him go into a place for recovery or walk out of the door.
Amanda Andruzzi, published author, Hope Street, a memoir from the wife of an addict View the Video BOOK Trailer: http://sbprabooks.com/amandaandruzzi/video/

Amanda Andruzzi
4:19 pm March 18th, 2016

Kyra,
I know what you are feeling and going through. Trust your gut, not your husband’s words or his doctors. I ignored my gut and made excuses for 12 years with my ex-husband and ended up right where it began. You do not deserve this and the flip side is, wouldn’t your children be happier if they had one stable and happy parent as opposed to a father who is angry and a mother who is sad, scared, lonely and probably exhausted? That was a decision it took me 12 years to come to terms with, I loved him and did not want to give up but Kyra, this is not your fight, it is his. They are sooooo charming and can fool anyone and make you look crazy and that is why I wrote my memoir Hope Street, so that people on the other side of it don’t feel crazy and know they are not alone. Hope Street is my account of living with an addict, keeping secrets, feeling like I was going to go insance and I couldn’t find any book or site out there to help me feel like I was not alone. You are not alone, this site thrives for a reason and I hope you get to read Hope Street because I think it will help you see there is Hope for you and your children without him.
Amanda Andruzzi, published author, Hope Street, a memoir from the wife of an addict View the Video BOOK Trailer: http://sbprabooks.com/amandaandruzzi/video/

greg
9:14 am March 21st, 2016

dear Amanda, I am the husband that is the addict, I am a good husband I did work love my family and try to be the best person and father I could but now I have hit rock bottom. I was in an car accident that cause me to lose my job. I had insurance and was going to a treatment center but all that stop when I lost my job. I have been fighting my addiction for 20 years but don’t think I was putting my heart in it so being a good husband, father, and person was all a lie. Now that I have no job and nothing to fall back on I really have put myself in a position of losing my family forget everything else they are the most important thing in my life. They have always been there for me but I can’t figure out why I keep missing up. I don’t want to lose them and when I try to detox myself I can’t get through the first day. Heroin is the worst when have no med.s to help you in the first few days also not sleeping the first few days makes it worst. I need help bad and don’t know where to turn. I know it is all my fault and I have know one to blame but myself and it is sad that it came down to me hitting rock bottom for me to wake up. I don’t want pity I just to know what I can do to help myself. I don’t have insurance or no money coming in so what can I do. I will do what ever it takes to make myself better I don’t want to let my family down any more. I tired of hurting them they deserve better. Please if you have an answer my ears are wide open.

Amanda Andruzzi
1:41 pm March 21st, 2016

Greg,
You have likely caused your family so much pain but I am glad to hear that you have opened your eyes to what your addiction has done to you and to them. There are no judgements here and this blog was created to help people so if you are willing to ask for help then I am here to assist to the best of my ability. I am writing my second book, the biography of an addict. The addict is a family member (not my ex-husband) who used more drugs than I want to write about from the age of 11 until he was 37. He managed to raise two little girls, live with his fiance and run his own businesses. I never thought that he would stop using drugs and as he was a part of my family I only prayed to God that something would open his eyes. He went through a good year of hell, in and out of hospitals and the psyche ward before stabilizing himself. Five years later, he is one of the most inspirational people I know. His life is dedicated to helping others break free from addiction. Not many addicts can make this transition but if you are willing to try, I think that is a start. Right now you need to check yourself into any hospital and go through detox. When they are ready to discharge you, you let them know, you have nowhere to go, no insurance and no money and you need long term treatment as you have been battling this addiction for 20 years and you feel like you will not be able to stay clean without treatment. Insurance or no insurance, you will be placed somewhere and although it may not be your dream rehab center, you utilize all of the tools they give you. You likely have an underlying mental health issue and may have been self medicating or the long term drug use may cause a mental health issue so make sure you deal with that in your recovery with the help of doctors or when you leave, you will be back to square one, finding a quick fix to help you cope. You have a long road ahead of you and a lot of pain to go through dealing with the emotions you have been avoiding for 20 years. You will likely be given methadone and I know that this is another road that addicts go down where they never get off or they go off and on while using again. If you choose this road, tread lightly and get off of it as soon as you can because this is just another band-aid to help you gradually get off, but for some it becomes a lifestyle. Get down to the root of the cause; which may be depression, bipolar disorder, or other issues and seek treatment for them. You may need short term or long term medication that will help you because if you don’t stabalize, you will not be able to truly learn the coping skills you need and be in the right state to make your recovery last. Right now you need help, don’t wait, don’t make excuses for tomorrow, go right now and check yourself into a hospital, you are sick and you need to be treated; after that, don’t give up until you can be admitted to long term care and from there, it will be up to you.
Keep me posted.
Amanda Andruzzi, published author, Hope Street, a memoir from the wife of an addict View the Video BOOK Trailer: http://sbprabooks.com/amandaandruzzi/video/

Janice
5:57 pm April 6th, 2016

My husband went to prison (5 years) because of things he did during his drug addiction. He’s been home a year now and I noticed patterns that I missed 6 years prior has returned! I woke up this morning (2:53am) to the sound of him snorting! I couldn’t believe that he was actually sitting on the side of the bed snorting heroine while I lay there asleep! I confronted him, at first he denied but I noticed he was holding something in his left hand and he ran to the bathroom and flushed it!
I waited FIVE YEARS, praying that he would not resort back to that lifestyle! Only to find out that he wasn’t home a year when began using again!
I need help in understanding an Addicts mindset! I guess going to prison forced him to become sober!!!!
At the moment he’s still trying to be normal, as far as paying bills, but I know this will not last!
Crying for Help

Paula
2:48 am April 11th, 2016

My husband is a severe alcoholic but a functional alcoholic. He has a very responsible position and has for years and I wonder how he can make it all day at work. The minute he walks through the door he starts to drink. I have come to despise myself for staying, he has been this way for 20 years and I have let our girls see it all. I pray someday they will forgive me. I have no excuse for staying. I am also a professional and can make my own living. It has taken its toll on me. He never apologizes. He honestly is not sorry for the things that he says to me the names he calls me when he is drunk. He says he does not remember but I don’t know if I believe him. We have kept it a secret from his family and friends but mine know. He passes out drunk and leaves me alone weekends. Holidays. Vacations. He embarrasses us if we have company so we just stopped inviting people over. My life sucks and we need help he says that he will lose his job if he goes to rehab

Amanda Andruzzi
2:40 pm April 11th, 2016

Janice,
There are no guarantees he was sober in prison. Obtaining drugs in prison is extremely common. When it comes to an addict, you cannot trust their words, he may have never stopped using but it does not matter, he is using now and not in recovery and you know deep down this is not a one time relapse. The next step is up to you. Ask yourself what you want to do. Do you want to continue on like this or make a change? What would that change be, because you have to understand you cannot change him but only yourself and your own situation?
Amanda Andruzzi, published author, Hope Street, a memoir from the wife of an addict View the Video BOOK Trailer: http://sbprabooks.com/amandaandruzzi/video/

Amanda Andruzzi
2:46 pm April 11th, 2016

Paula,
Has any of your attempts helped him gain sobriety? How much longer will this go on unless you make some changes? First and foremost, his job cannot fire him for seeking treatment, that is illegal, they have to allow him paid time off to deal with an addiction. That is just an excuse he is making. He is past the point where he can make choices, if he drinks every day to the point of oblivion then he can no longer make good choices, but you can. You can stage an intervention and let him know that things have to change once and for all. Please read Hope Street and other articles under my name for more information on how to do that. The key is to mean what you say and if he does not comply then you have to follow through with your consequences. If you have the ability to be on your own, then the only thing holding you back are your own issues and insecurities. Keep reading here, I cover all of them! Click on my name Amanda Andruzzi and all of my articles will appear. You need to understand the reasons that you are putting up with this and keeping his secret. This is not healthy for you or your children. You have to find strength and do something. I know, it took me marriage, one child and 12 years to find that strength but my life has never been better since.
Amanda Andruzzi, published author, Hope Street, a memoir from the wife of an addict View the Video BOOK Trailer: http://sbprabooks.com/amandaandruzzi/video/

SALAMUT
3:58 pm April 23rd, 2016

Hi. First I’m a drugger too I’ve reduced my consumption to two doses a day one in the morning and one in the afternoon. I want to stop completely. What can I do on my own? I’m not on any treatment and don’t have access to treatment. Is there any medicines without doctors prescription that can help me from pain, distress, “Bayer” and sleep well?
Secondly and the most important my wife too is a drugger. I want first to motivate her to stop drugging and prostitution. Please note that we don’t have access to treatment. What are things that I can tell her to stop? What should her do? How can I help her to stop? When she reduce consumption, she became sick and can die. What medicines can I give her (without doctor prescription). We really want to live our lifes together as good couple with children. PLEASE HELP ME.

Amanda Andruzzi
8:42 pm April 28th, 2016

SALAMUT,
Why don’t you have any access to treatment? Even if you don’t have insurance or money, you can certainly check yourself into a hospital who cannot refuse you help to detox. You can try it on your own but treatment is a process that not only helps you stop using drugs but sets you up to never use again with therapy, treatments for mental illnesses, coping skills, tools, support. What you are trying to do is quit cold turkey and will power only lasts so long. I do not know what drugs you are on and I would not give medical advice but I can tell you this, you can only help yourself if you want to get better, your wife will have to want to get better, you cannot save her. That rarely ever works., that’s what this site is about, people who tried to save an addict but ended up destroying their own lives and the addict never stopped. If your wife is a prostitute and you stop, how are you going to feel watching her sleep with other men for money sober? I don’t think anything about this situation is healthy and you need to find help, any help you can get.
Amanda Andruzzi, published author, Hope Street, a memoir from the wife of an addict View the Video BOOK Trailer: http://sbprabooks.com/amandaandruzzi/video/

Mariam
7:41 pm June 11th, 2016

Hey Amenda. I need your help.
I’m in a long distance relationship with my husband,he’s loving,caring,responsible etc (all positive traits) but recently he have started hanging around with drug addicts whom he calls his friends.
Last night they made him dope something for which my man was guilty but one time he said ,”That drug gave him extreme peace.” These words have scared me,how should I stop him to have that daily and be an addict.
Need Help!!

Amanda Andruzzi
2:58 pm June 16th, 2016

Mariam,
You can do very little to stop someone from something they intend to do. when you do, you can expect lies and deceit. However, you do have the right to let your husband know you do not want to be in a marriage with someone who uses drugs ever! You need to be clear and when you make a choice that you will not be with him if he starts using drugs and hanging around with friends that use, you have to stick to that. If he does start to use habitually, you are in line for many years of what I help women here try to avoid. Once he gets a taste of that feeling and likes it, it is a slippery slope from there. Addiction, especially for those seeking out drugs, happens quickly.

Amanda Andruzzi, published author, Hope Street, a memoir from the wife of an addict View the Video BOOK Trailer: http://sbprabooks.com/amandaandruzzi/video/

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About Amanda Andruzzi

Amanda Andruzzi, MPH, AADP, CHES, is a Certified Health Coach, founder of Symptom-Free Wellness, and the author of Hope Street. Her first book, Hope Street memoir is an inspirational story of one woman's frightening journey of co-addiction that led her to uncover courage, unbelievable strength and overcome great adversity. She resides with her daughter, husband, and two sons in Florida.

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