Sunday April 20th 2014

How to help your husband with drug addiction

If your husband is addicted to drugs, you’ve come to right place.  Believe it not, drug addiction is NOT your problem.  So how to help a drug addict husband get help with drug addiction? By shifting your focus from why people become addicted to drugs and addressing your own tendencies towards codependency, enabling and denial. And finding the strength to take action.

More here by author Lisa Espich on how you can help your husband overcome drug addiction, with a section at the bottom for your questions, experiences and feedback.

My husband is a drug addict

My husband, Dean, and I are getting ready to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary in a couple of weeks. This is an incredible milestone for any couple, but for us it is especially momentous. You see – for the first two decades of our marriage Dean struggled with an addiction to alcohol, crack cocaine, and prescription pain pills. Ten years ago I had my doubts that Dean would ever live to see our 25th anniversary, let alone that we would be enjoying a healthy marriage.

Two truths about drug addiction & marriage

Here are two things that I’ve learned through my experience:

1. Addiction recovery is possible.

2. A spouse can help their loved one to overcome addiction.

But you have to move beyond denial

I didn’t realize it at the time, but I now understand that when my husband was an active drug addict, I was playing a role in my husband’s addiction. I had become an enabler, and, as a result, I was making it easier for my husband to continue on his destructive path. It was only after I shifted my own focus that positive changes began to take place.

For many years I blamed every problem on Dean and his addiction. It was an easy out. I was ignoring my own challenges – I was in denial. While Dean was consumed with drugs and alcohol, I could not identify prescription drug addiction … because I was consumed with Dean! My every thought revolved around him:

  • Where is he at?
  • Who is he with?
  • Is he drinking or using drugs again?
  • Why can’t he just stop?

I was living a constant cycle of arguing and crying, driving around late at night looking for my husband, buying back our belongings from pawn shops, putting myself into dangerous situations, and feeling alone and confused. Every attempt that I made to help my husband seemed to fail.

Breaking the cycle of codependency opens the door to recovery

When I started to take steps to overcome the patterns of codependency, positive changes began to happen – not only for me, but for my husband as well. The results were life-changing. I discovered that a spouse really can make a difference. You don’t have to wait for the person struggling with addiction to be ready – that day may never come. You can open the doorway to recovery and lead the way.

Here are the three steps I took that can also help you:

Step #1: Gain knowledge about addiction.

It’s difficult to help another person if you don’t understand the problem. This includes understanding what your role has been in enabling the addict in your life. If you were told that your child had diabetes you would learn everything you could about the disease. You would arm yourself with knowledge. You would stop buying sugary snacks, and you would probably make a lot of changes as a family in order to help your child with his or her battle. Like diabetes, addiction is a disease. By learning as much about addiction as possible, families can help their loved ones to recovery.

Step #2: Reach out for help.

Because of the stigma attached to addiction, families often keep the problems a secret. But by keeping the addiction a secret, we are only further enabling the disease. You deserve all of the help and support you can get. I urge you to turn to the people you trust, and let them help to lift your load. Look for the people in your life who have always been there for you and loved you unconditionally.

There are also countless support groups available to turn to. One of the best forms of support, for those of us involved with an addict, is Al-Anon. What better group of people to turn to for comfort and support than those who are living with the same struggles? The most important thing is to break out of your isolation. Spending time outside of the addictive environment is crucial to your well-being. A support group can be any group of people who encourage your positive growth. Look for opportunities to spend time with people who are positive and leave you feeling good about yourself.

Step #3: Harness your inner strength.

What is inner strength? It is the power inside that pushes you to action even when you’re scared, that allows other peoples’ behaviors and comments to roll off your back no matter how hurtful they may be, that gives you the willpower to accomplish your goals regardless of how large they are. Inner strength comes from having a close connection to your spirit.

The more in tune you are to the voice inside of you, the stronger you will be. People call that inner voice many different things: Intuition, Higher Power, God, or you may call it something else altogether. It doesn’t matter what you name it, as long as you build a close relationship to it. There are countless ways to build your inner strength?here are just some of the tools I used: meditation, affirmations, visualization, and prayer.

Setting and keeping boundaries is key

This last step proved to be the most important for me. While I had been learning about addiction for some time, and visiting recovery groups, it wasn’t until I tapped into my inner strength that I was able to set and keep healthy boundaries. Once my husband realized that I was no longer a partner in his disease, he was left with the options of accepting help, or progressing in his disease alone. I am grateful that he chose the path of recovery.

While addiction is a cunning disease, and could always rear its ugly head again, our family is now healing. While none of us chose this path consciously, a deeper love exists for the families that make is to the other side. In many ways we are lucky, because our eyes get opened to the simple joys in life that others may take for granted. The sound of laughter in our household becomes music. A Sunday afternoon together doing absolutely nothing is bliss. There is a bond that comes from surviving a battle together. It is stronger and more profound than can ever be imagined. There is life after addiction!

Photo credit: qthomasbower

Leave a Reply

37 Responses to “How to help your husband with drug addiction
jena
11:46 pm August 16th, 2012

I have been with my boyfriend for over 3 years. He has been an addict for 5 years. when we got together i didn’t know about his drug problem. About a year into our relationship he told me about his problem and he asked me for help. It never affected out relationship until then. I have grown up around drugs and my dad chose drugs over me. my dad spent most my life always in and out of jail and he neglected me so he could get high. when i found out about my boyfriend doing drugs i freaked out and told him i would leave him if he didn’t straighten up cause i am not about to be with someone like my dad. I was so in love with him and he had always done everything for me. i had the perfect boyfriend. or at least i thought.when i told i i would leave him our relationship spiraled down hill. Before he told me about his problem i had so much trust, i didn’t feel the need to snoop around or check up on him so i never noticed that he was really making more money then he told me, and i never noticed that he was getting off work earlier then he told me. when i started checking up on him to make sure he was doing good he started lying to me and his drug use became worse. he was stealing stuff to cover the cost of his drugs because he didn’t want me to see the money disappearing from his bank account.he was leaving work to go get drugs and get high. i was so in love with him that i eventually became and enabler and helped him make it worse without even knowing it. he went to jail for almost a year. i decided to give him one more chance when he got out. he got out and he has been telling me the truth about everything. He got his old job back and is back on track. about a week and a half ago he got into a huge fight with his dad. he was so upset because his dad is all he has. i noticed he started being distance and i didn’t think anything of it because of the fight. A few days after their fight he came to me and broke down. he told me that he went and got high after he and his dads fight and that he had been using the past few days. everyday since then he calls me and talks to me when he feels the urges to get high. over this last week i have came to know a whole other side of him. he stayed with me through his with-drawls and told me about everything. he told me about the first time he used and why he used. he explained to me all of his struggles and tries to get clean. i didn’t know what a struggle his life was before i entered it. he explained to me that up until our relationship get serious at about 7 months and explained to him how i grew up and what i went through with my dad, he didn’t realize that he had a problem. he didn’t realize he had a problem because doing drugs wasn’t affecting anything in his life. he was making great money and the only people he was around where doing drugs to. when i told him about my struggle and broke down he realized that it was hurting me. he had never had a serious relationship before me, all his other relationships had only lasted a few weeks. i love him with all my heart and i feel like all that he did is because he loves me, because he didn’t want to lose me like i said i would if he didn’t straighten up.i need to know if i am only seeing it this way because i love him. I want to know if i am doing the right thing with him? i need someones opinion who knows about addicts and is on the outside looking in.

11:35 am August 18th, 2012

Hi Jena. From my perspective, moving through (and past) drug addiction can be a real opportunity to grow close with a loved one. However, you need to be sure to set real and clear boundaries, and to take care of yourself while supporting your boyfriend. Have you ever been to an Al-Anon meeting? This support group can REALLY help you. Also, have you considered working with a couples counselor or in individually psychotherapy sessions to help you set (and keep) boundaries with your boyfriend? These things can also help you keep balance and provide a third party, objective opinion about the situation.

Lisa Espich
7:34 pm August 18th, 2012

Hi Jena,

Your unconditional love for your boyfriend is clear. You have a good heart, and he is very lucky to have you. My advise is to continue listening to your instinct. An active addict will lie (it’s part of the disease), so listen to your heart and gut. Being there for him as a friend is different than enabling him. Avoid getting into the habit of fixing his problems and helping him financially — this type of help only hurts an addict by strengthening the addiction. I agree with the other reply that suggests Al-Anon. Through this 12-step program you will learn more about addiction and how to set healthy boundaries. It’s important for you to understand that addiction may be a lifelong struggle that your boyfriend will deal with — so it’s vitally important that you are taking care of yourself and working on your own physical and mental health. It is only by being healthy ourselves that we are equipped to make the right decisions about the relationships in our lives. I wish you the best — Lisa Espich

Jake
1:17 pm September 11th, 2012

Me and my spouse are both addicts. We have no children so that helps encourage it. He drinks and I smoke weed. At first it worked out perfectly because we were not getting into each others stash. Well now we get a prescription of Xanax and we do painkillers. Now we get into each others stash. We run out of the pills quick. There we are up and down with it. Xanax is prescribed. It runs out quick. With pain killers we have to go out on the streets to get because we exhaused our source using doctors. As a result we run out of pills more quickly so there is no money and lots of withdrawl. I have gone to NA AA religous groups outpatient rehab but nothing works. The question is do we really want to quit? DEA is going after doctors, employers drug test. Sometimes I wonder if the damn drug laws are creating more problems that the weakness of the addicts themselves? If people could get their drugs legally without the problems of the law and DEA maybe they can take their drug of choice on a consistent regimine to eleminate the problem of withdrawl and bad stuff. If they are functional and used to the drug there should be no problem in the workplace. The problem is the black market. You do not know what your getting, the prices are not competative to keep them down, cannot run to the local dispensary to keep up your supply and of course getting arrested. I say dispose of the DEA and not only will we see a reduction in drug use but the black market goes away and we can avoid problems that come with prohibition. If people want to destroy their bodies that is their right. Govenment does not have the right to protect us from ourselves.

7:30 pm September 11th, 2012

Hi Jake. I think that you hit it with this question, “The question is do we really want to quit?” Are you ready to stop the craziness or has there not been enough pain? Our deep moments of pain and hitting bottom are truly a gift, as we can then look upwards and start to move out of the addictive cycle. Until the addiction is not “painful enough”, you’ll probably still use.

Sheyla
3:00 am September 24th, 2012

My husband and I have been together for almost 20 yrs. A little over 2 yrs ago he became addicted to percocet 30mg. I didn’t know until about 8 mnths later. During that time he would lie, disappear at times for hrs and even got in contact with a lady he cheated on me 11 yrs ago. We have been having the worst 2 yrs of our lives. We even moved to another state since everyone he knew and was in contact with was in the same situation or knew exactly who to go to for the drug. He’s doing a lot better but I know for sure that he is still struggling with a full recovery and I knw he’s still messing with it. I don’t want to walk out on him since he never had an addiction before then. How can I help him, since he doesn’t want to admit it and I get extremely frustrated and start fighting and going off on him. Please tell me what should I do..

8:43 am September 25th, 2012

Hello Sheyla. I’d suggest that you check out Al-Anon. While you cannot change your husband, you can change ways that you perceive life. I’d also suggest that you confront your own personal tendencies to help others, and look into possible issues of co-dependency. You may have unconsciously adapted some of these behaviors in your relationship and can start now to set boundaries that are healthy and can support your happiness.

Jamie
2:07 am November 27th, 2012

Hi, my situation is so much similar to the original posts. We have 3 children, and he has had an off and on again addiction for 3 years. This last year it has gotten its worse. He will seek help and pretend to be getting help and its all a lie. I just kicked him out for the second time and threatened he cannot see me or the kids till he goes to some kind of impatient. but getting there is almost impossible due to no insurance and lack of money to pay for treatment. am i wrong for kicking him out? should i cut ties till he gets help…but this is breaking my whole heart. i want him hear. i want my family back.

jess
3:32 am January 16th, 2013

My husband just keeps getting worst.He’s addicted to crack. everytihg is always my fault. i stop being an enabler. He now resents be theres verbal about and threats. HELP!!!!! I HAVE A RESTRAINING ORDER, BUT IM AFRAID THAT ITS OVER.

Nada
3:41 pm February 1st, 2013

I need help my boyfriend is doing the same thing I’ve put him out many time this time he’s been going for a month I am just tied of him I have three kids not for him I feel that I don’t o him nothing I just want to walk away but I love him so please help me tell what to do for him

Lisa Espich
9:49 pm February 2nd, 2013

Dear Jess — Crack was the drug of choice for my husband. After many years of struggling to do the right thing to “save” him, I finally learned that I couldn’t control the addiction (or my husband). It was only after I made the decision to save myself that positive changes began to happen, not only for me, but for my husband as well. Eventually, through gaining my own courage and strength to set and keep healthy boundaries, my husband accepted help and is now clean (over six years). My best advice is to turn your focus inward, and learn the tools to avoid enabling the addict in your life. If you’re anything like me, you probably say that you would do anything to help him. Well, I discovered that helping myself was the first step in helping him. Finding an Al-Anon or family support group in your area is the first step. I wish you all the best! Lisa Espich – author of “Soaring Above Co-Addiction” http://www.soaringabovecoaddiction.com

true
9:05 pm February 7th, 2013

I describe how we overcame our problems on my blog at truefeminismnaphtali on blogspot.com.

Kathy
1:32 pm March 3rd, 2013

Well iv been going through it with my biyfriend for 2 years. We want to get married and have kids but I won’t marry someone who puts a pill before his family. I love this man, have most my life and most people have no clue he’s an addict. We have become closer now then ever before and he is trying to stay clean so we can move forward. But seems to no be able to stop. I cry everytime he uses and he will most the time tell me when he slips but he also lies about it sometimes. I don’t want to give up on him but I can’t live like this. Can someone give me some simple steps I need to take now. I keep telling him one more time and it’s over, but walking away from someone you truly love is a very difficult task. I want to walk trough this with him but not if it’s going to kill me too. He’s almost 40. Thank you!

sta
3:26 am March 28th, 2013

Hello all my husband has been struggling with addiction his whole life we have been together for 15 yrs and 12 yrs ago I packed up me and my 1 yr old son and left. two months later he decided I was serious and he got help. Clean for 10 yrs I recently discovered he is now addicted to percocet 30mg for the past two yrs. The past two yrs of our life has been one big lie.. I seen signs but I was so busy with two kids that I ignored them. It seemed hard to believe that someone who was clean from alcohol and cocaine for so many yrs is now struggling again. If I could go back 12 yrs ago I would have moved on with my life because an addict is always an addict and its a life stuggle. I now have two beautiful talented children and I have to try and explain why their dad isnt who they have know their whole life. My advise is if you are in a relationship with an addict and you dont have children end it. You can remain friends with the person for support but that is it because once you get married and have kids its not just you that is affected by the addicts chioices now the kids are left to deal with them also. This website was alot of help and I hope your husband continues his recovery.

Samantha
6:30 am April 4th, 2013

My boyfriend and I have been together for almost 6 years, we also have a child together. I knew he was an addict when we got together. He told me he gave himself the choice of having me or having the drug. He said he chose me. He continuously surrounds himself with drug addicts. Even catching him with pills or finding them in his belongs was not “proof” to him. I caught him snorting a line in my bathroom, the pill was prescribed to him. I just had my worst fears confirmed by a close friend of his, he said he would be honest. He would not be honest about the times I knew he was doing drugs. I’m tired, confused, and I feel broken. I have no idea what to do as he is blaming me for all of this. Saying the my complaining drove him to this and all he can think about is drugs. He also admitted to telling me he was working when he was actually out doing drugs with his “friends”. He’s mean to me about it, I feel like I don’t even know him. He says wants help but is still lying. I would’ve never been able to confirm without his friends help. He is now disowning that particular friend. I have no idea how to approach this.

tshg
2:04 pm April 4th, 2013

my husband and will be married 4 years on 6/6/13 and he has been clean from opiates (pain pills) since 5/12 after years of being addicted and using pain pills, cocaine, crack oxy’s etc. back in november 2012 i caught him using again (pain pills) and he told me that he didn’t want to be that person any more and that he would stop, but once again i found out that he is still getting them from a doctor. he had some in november, december january february and then again on 4/2/13 (prescriptions filled) when i confronted him yesterday about it he says that he isn’t the same person he used to be and that he never will be BUT that he misses partying with them and if he can obtain then legally and get a buzz and then leave them alone then he doesn’t see an issue. of course this is unacceptable to me because i am well aware of what his addiction has caused not only in our life but in his parents lives too since they are the ones that are always there enabling him. we are in the process of purchasing a house and now everything is turned upside down. i left and am staying in a hotel right now which i don’t have the money to really afford and i don’t have the money to even get me another place to live right now. i just don’t know what to do…..i am so lost and so afraid of what the future holds……i am scared and have no family or real friends to support me and his family always seems to believe his lies and really could care less about me when this is going on. its a really hard place to be because we have had a good life while he was clean but now that he is being delusional about his addiction i am stuck between a rock and a hard place. do i go back and just live and save up money until i can move out or what???? i can’t just live on the street!

tshg
2:05 pm April 4th, 2013

***he has been clean since may 2009 —- he has almost 4 years clean!

EM
7:42 am May 8th, 2013

My husband has a prior history of drug abuse, specifically cocaine. This was before I ever met him. WHen I met him he was in state ordered drug counseling, and at the time I did not know the center was specifically for cocaine addicts. He was prescribed trazodone which, among other things, treats depression, aggression, and cocaine withdrawal. We have been married for almost two years and over the past year I have noticed changes. He is now consistently exhibiting signs of cocaine use. I contacted the owner of that center he used to go to and told her what I was seeing and she immediately asked if it was cocaine and contacted his former counselor. I have yet to hear from him. My children’s daycare provider met him one time and asked me privately was he using cocaine. We are currently separated and he has popped up late at night. The most recent incident involved him wanting to use my car and it ended with him waking our children (1 and 2 years old) and proceeding to threaten to take them as a means of bargaining for the car. Needless to say, the police were called and he left without the children before they arrived. I know he left because he either had something on him or thought they would be able to tell he was high. He has stolen a large amount of money from me recently and any money he has cannot be accounted for. He is constantly asking for money from people and always in increments of 20. I am concerned after the incident with the children and have been advised to file a restraining order. I love this man and I know this addiction is controlling him; however, I cannot have my kids around him. He is growing more unpredictable and I do not want to be around should psychosis develop. The second I stopped enabling him, the worse those mood swings got. He has threatened to break the car windows with the kids in the car while I was driving. He continues to threaten to take them. I am very scared. He refuses to admit or acknowledge what he is doing. I feel he is giving me n choice but to obtain legal protection that will enable me to move to a different location to protect myself and my children. How in the world do you help someone who does not want to be helped? He is so far gone it is scary. This potentially is a very serious relapse. He is extremely nasty towards me and then can be sweet as sugar. I am fearful that this will get worse.

Wifeofanaddict
1:28 am May 9th, 2013

My husband relapse a month ago and was on it every week that I know of. Just three days ago he told me some bs. he was going to cut hair well I found him at the dope house. Went inside and told him to bring his ass out. I kicked him out that night and told him I was done with him. Early the next morning he called and asked if he could come back home because the people he spend the night with had to go to work. (Probably some more bs) Anyways, I let him back home. He told me to take his car keys with me to work, so i did. He asked me to take the car keys again the next morning, he said he wants to get the drugs out of his system so he can build the strength to fight the drugs off. It sounds good right now, but I know the routine. This is actualy the first time he told me to take the keys. I avoid watching anything to do with drugs or alcahol, afraid it will trigger his urge so soon. I need to know what exactly I can do to help him. I do not want to be the enabler any more. I’m the only one working right now and paying all the bills, he quit his job a month ago that’s when things went down hill. He was doing okay for 5 months then relapse. My inner strength and prayers is what I’ve been going with. Wife of an addict seeks help.

Lisa Espich
2:34 am May 13th, 2013

Dear Wife of an Addict,
It is a good sign that your husband is acknowledging his problem, and looking for ways to avoid drugs. Unfortunately, the chance of him getting and staying clean on his own is unlikely. There is no absolute right advice that can be given. Every situation is different. I can give my opinion based on my experience, but only you can decide the right way to move forward. I would suggest researching your husband’s options for treatment. Even if you can’t afford a program, almost every city has options for those who are financially unable to pay. A good place to start your search is The Substance Abuse Treatment Facility Locator at http://www.findtreatment.samhsa.gov This federal agency provides an online resource for locating drug and alcohol abuse treatment programs. Once you find a treatment option, you can be prepared for those times when your husband claims to be ready. If he refuses to accept treatment you are left with deciding how to move forward. You can not control his decisions — you can only control your own actions and decisions. If you haven’t already gotten involve in Al-Anon, now is the time. Through Al-Anon you will learn how to set boundaries and respond to the craziness of addiction in the healthiest way possible. I understand the pain and confusion you are going through because I have been there! I am married to a recovering alcoholic and drug addict. He struggled with his addiction for nearly twenty years before getting clean. It has now been over six years and we are enjoying a healthy marriage. Recovery is possible, but in my own experience, it took me getting help first, and as a result my husband made positive changes as well — eventually accepting treatment. I have written a book that shares the steps I took in detail titled, “Soaring Above Co-Addiction: helping your loved one get clean, while creating the life of your dreams”. I invite you to visit my website at http://www.soaringabovecoaddiction.com
I wish you strength and courage during this difficult time. Reach out for help through groups such as Al-Anon, and listen to instincts! Lisa Espich

Wifeofanaddict
10:14 pm June 3rd, 2013

Thank you for the advice and suggestions you have provide, My husband decided to check him self into a treatment center today, Last week I went out of town while he stayed home, he relapsed again so he sold all our t.v’s and dvd’s for drugs(crack). I knew right away he was on one of his binges because he didnt answer my phone calls, When he finally called back (next morning) he tried to lie and said, he didnt take anything out of the house. But, I know when my husband is high and lying. I immediately told him to get out!! I did not want him living with me anymore. I called the police to report my items were missing but since we’e married there is nothing they can do. This is the 3rd time he has taken our t.v’s and sold it for crack and I’m up to my neck with this repeated selfishness. I’m tired of going to the drug dealer and pawn shop paying our items back. I’m so fed up with this. Later on that day he text to say, he was ashamed and disgusted of himself. I guess his coming down from this drug so his coming to reality. I was not trying to hear his pitty, sad depress story. I was done!! He kept texting and said how sorry he was (again) for putting me through this, He is so tired of the set backs and wish he can just shake this, “monkey off his back”… I did not care where he was going or where is was going to stay, but I told him I will not live under the same roof with him when I come back home. He text to say, he was really tired and his going to check himself to a treatment center for help. At first I didnt believe, I thought it was one of his games or trying to manipulate me again, But, he did.. When I got back in town the next morning I took him to the airport and his in the treatments center in Florida. He was looking for something closer to the house, but then he told me, that he was so tired of this drug ruining his life this is the time to go. So, he left to Florida. I’m seeking help as well. I’m going to a Al-Anon meeting this week, to help me understand and get the support I need to get through this. I’m still skeptical with him coming back home because I dont know if I can trust him again. I am not going to buy another t.v or anything that I think he can sell until I know in my heart he is done for good… In a way I do believe his getting close to recovery and why I say that is because 3-17 years ago when he did go on one of his binges he would stay gone for days and weeks and now when he relapse he comes back within the same night. The latest he stayed gone was until 10am, I just dont want to nag him if he is really trying to get clean. I pray and pray for myself and husband that we get through this together and he stays clean for life!

Rachael
6:31 pm June 17th, 2013

I need help. My husband I have been married 6 years and have two young sons. He’s addicted to marijuana. Additionally he has depression and anxiety and has been prescribed meds (which he does not take) he’s started using two years ago and went on a month long drug binge. I took him back and encouraged recovery via NA, therapy, medication. He was clean for nearly two years, but relapsed. Long story short, I called the police on him last month because he was smoking in our home. I finally followed through with my threats. He left the house then, and believes he’s legally not allowed to return. He calls and texts me to blame me and say he misses the kids. I know I’m doing the right thing because I cannot tolerate drug use around the children. In a month he’s spent 5 grand, lost his job, dropped out of school (getting his MSW so he knows exactly how/where to seek help)l and drove his car into a tree. It was totaled so now he has more cash to spend on drugs. Tell me if I’m doing the “right” thing!? Is this how I’m supposed to help him realize the reality of his drug use? Is it wrong to not offer to “help” even though he doesn’t want help? I feel helpless and devastated for my children. Any advice or suggestions would be really appreciated.

Michelle
8:10 pm July 3rd, 2013

Your story gives me hope. I just put my husband in jail because his addiction got so out of control that he threatened my life. For the first 2 years of our marriage he was doing well having been in recovery for about 4 years but this year has been a nightmare. I emptied out our apartment and left the state. He is now in jail facing all the warrants, and charges that he’s piled up while on his downward spiral. Although everyone is telling me to get a divorce right now I just want to take things one day at a time. Taking this leap is exhausting and devastating but the idea that it is possible for us to work out if he chooses the right path is hopeful. I can only hope that he chooses to do the right thing. If not then I have to let go and move on with my life.

robin
7:35 pm July 8th, 2013

My husband has been an addict for 20 years with periods of being sober. He was sober the first three years we where together but two weeks before we got married he relapsed. Its now been over a year. I myself am a recovering addict ive been in recovery for over 6 years. so to say the least I understand and know addict. Now he seems to be doing better, he has started meetings and is staying sober for longer (there are still a couple slips) My problem is that after everything that has been done in this addiction I just don’t know how to trust him anymore, which has turned me into a very negative not supportive wife. I love him very much and I want him to get better but im scared I actually might be the reason he isn’t getting better, I can see him trying but it just doesn’t seem to be enough. I think im to scared to give in and give him trust again (up until 2 months ago I gave him full trust after every slip with no repercussions) just to be burned. Im at a loss for what to do, part of me wants to hang on and hopefully one day ill trust him enough to let him into my heart again but then another part of me wants to run and hide and let him fix himself. Im tired of hearing that he only uses because we fight, it makes me feel like I can’t communicate with him which has I guess made me turn my emotions off. Has anyone else ever gone through this? should I leave for his own recovery or would it help him more if I stay?

Allison Hollins
6:47 am August 18th, 2013

My son in law is a cocaine addict. He began using in 2006. He has been to rehab twice and lived in an halfway house for 1yr. He has been clean now for 2 yrs. he goes to na meetings 3 times a week and has a sponsor. They have 3 children ages 5, 3, and 1.
He is a vet and diagnosed with PTSD. He is finally working at a job that can support his family and has gotten approved for disability payments. He received back pay for the disability amounting to$30,000. He paid off their van and put money in savings but insisted he be put on the savings account. My daughter was against him being on the account because she does not trust him. He claimed he was clean after his first rehab but later told us he slowed down but never really quit. In the last 2 month he has become argumentative…name calling and insisting that he be in charge of the budget. He has threatened to take HIS money as he calls it and leave. He says he does not mean it but continues to say it. My daughter feels less and less secure bc she feels he his going to walk out again. He belittles her and initiates fights just like he used to when he was using. When we point out the behavior he says he is the same asshole he was when he was using and he is going to get mad and lose his temper…recovery does not mean u do not get mad. If we mention his addiction he says we are bringing up the past and he will not live in the past. I know you can’t live in the past but I don’t think you simply ignore that it exists. We have gone to a couple of support meetings but at the time my daughter was just too angry to her anything helpful. She wants to believe he has changed and to rebuild thir relationship but he just keeps bullying her bc he feels she cannot forget the past. I try to explain it is hard to forget the past when his behavior is still so irrational. They have been meeting with church members to talk thru issues but things are not getting much better. I feel with everything he has put our family through he should be willing to understand our reluctance to trust him fully and he should make every effort to keep is moods level. Apologize when he is wrong and show my daughter some compassion when she feels uneasy. Instead he just gets mad….as if all should be forgotten as if it never happened. We need help. They live with my husband and it. The kids see the constant fighting. Each day is a challenge. Life does not have to be this hard but it seems it will never be any better. He can be a wonderful person and an attentive father. He can also be self-centered and hateful. Problem is you never know day to day who u are going to get. We are all tired of the drama and ready to have a normal life. Is normal even possible with an addict? I fear my grand kids are going to be badly scarred by all of this. I try to explain things as bet I can. Any help would be appreciated.

Joan Cebuana
9:32 pm August 23rd, 2013

Im married for 12 yrs with 1 son. My husband has gotten worse. He’s into meth which is popularly called ‘shabu’ around our place. I thought I am alone in this kind of situation. I read everything on this page and I can relate to what everybody’s saying. I’m also confused, tired, and alone in this fight but i also care a lot for my husband. I just don’t know what to do. I don’t want to kick him out of our house bec. he has nowhere to go. He doesn’t have a job. His real friends avoided him bec. he’s gotten worse. He’s also stealing, lying, coming home in the morning, easily gets mad, never admits his faults, keeps saying it’s all my fault. I have a job, and sometimes i go to work very sleepy bec. i never sleep when he’s not home yet. No matter what I do, i can never sleep when he’s not home. I’m afraid to tell my parents bec. they’d never stop bothering me with so many questions esp my mom, and I don’t want to answer them. I’ve attempted suicide but I didn’t go thru with it, bec. of my son. If we didn’t have a son, maybe we’re not together anymore. My son loves him also bec he’s a spoiler. I just don’t know what to do. I got my strength to go through everything by praying. Thank you for this site.

4:41 am August 26th, 2013

Hello Joan. I’d suggest that you seek counseling for yourself and your son. You need to talk this issue over with a professional, and to get clarity on your role and what steps you need to take to protect yourself and your child from an active drug addict. You’ll need to come to the decisions yourself, but you may need to cut of all financial and emotional support of this man while he’s using meth. Are you ready to do this?

darrin
12:34 pm September 7th, 2013

I’m 45 and the one using drugs. Crack cocaine to be specific….I’ve been fighting this disgusting addiction for over a year. It has slowly torn mu life apart . And worse has truly hurt the ones I love I’ve lied and stole to feed the addiction just like many others that suffer from it. the woman in my life has broken up with me and asked me to move out till I prove through time I’m clean. I ‘ve started seeing a drug counselor to help me beat this and straighten my life out before its too late….I guess what I’m trying to say is that, even though I’m aware of the pain I’ve caused my love ones…. I did not realize how badly until I read this story and the posts that follow it. Thank you to the people that opened their souls to write about bow addiction has effected them…It has given me hope that change is possible. Even for me

Honey
5:46 pm September 24th, 2013

my husband is an addict long before we got married.. as early as 15 years old as what he had told me whenever he is willing to talked about addiction.. he is 33 years old now.. we got married in 2003 and since then he’s addiction is on and off..whenever he feels that he failed in some of his decisions he turn into addiction and not only that after he used Shabu he goes to casino.. and pawned what he got like cellphone, wedding ring, watches… anything even the cars of his parents, good thing his parents has enough money to get back the car… it happened twice…he’s a seaman (cook) and the his last job on board is 2011.. he finished his contract July, 2011.. we’re so busy that time in preparation for our only son 7th bday.. it’s only about a week before the celebration, he had met his long time friend and he went home late crying that he had lost his money in the casino… am so sad and i can do nothing but pacify him and understand him, his situation.. he told me that he just want to double his money and in the end NOTHING left…
after that he told me that he wanted to go back to school.. it was November of 2011.. we asked the help and support of his parents… he promised that he’ll finish his study this time but to no avail again.. he goes back to his addiction coz he met again his old friends … casino again until we (his mom) decided to stop him in schooling (month of January).. he ended up here in our house.. everytime he goes out we’re with him.. its either his family or us(me and my son).. i think he stop using (shabu) that time.. we don’t have any problem at all esp with our relationship and cannot understand why its happening to my family… to my husband..
then came JUly 2012.. my sister n law decided to put up a cafe.. then he asked my husband to help her..of course its also a big help for us because he has no job that time and he doesn’t want to go back On Board.. then we started to feel again that something is happening again to him when his parents has misunderstandings.. he told me that he doesn’t want to see his parents like that..(BTW my father in law is also a seaman)…that time we also have a new printing business started in Sept of 2012..again problem occurs even if we don’t want to… his sister got problem in registering her business and end up closing her Cafe before the end of October, 2012.. his addiction worsen and ended up in Casino and this time he’s with his cousin, which is younger than him and doesn’t know anything about his all wrong doings.. they always thought that he’s a good “KUYA” a very good elder brother… that time even my son’s PSP ended up in selling to someone they don’t know just to get some money to play in the casino..as the days, weeks, month goes by he’s gettin’ worst..it was January of 2013… when we the family (his parents and sisters) decided to end up this all.. they talked to me that even if it really hurts we need to send him up in the rehab… there;s an instance that i thought that i don’t know him at all… even “he” my husband told us that no one can help him… i can see that he’s also tryin to find someone that can really help him(maybe)..and when the day came we brought him in the rehab.. he thought that we will just visit a retreat house that time.. and now he’s been there for about 8mos.. every other week we visited him.. he changes a lot.. from the time we brought him there… i can see his smile again.. talks a lot.. how he enjoys every minute inside.. the one who guides inside them told us that my husband has a weak personality.. he’s a very good guy after all but every time he has a problem he ended up not solving it rather make it worst because he doesn’t know how to handle it properly.. and that is where the guyzz focusing at.. to make him strong in every trials and solve it in a nice way… now in his 8 mos. inside and 4 mos left.. i hope this is the beginning of our new life as husband and wife, as a family…i am not losing hope( In God’s NAme) that one day we’ll be together again happily without worrying about drugs at all.. my husband is the head of the family now (that’s what they called their group inside) ….

Renee
4:05 pm October 6th, 2013

I have been with my husband for a little over 10 years, married 2. We do not have any children together, yet. He has a son that we have partial custody of. He was not an addict when we first started dating, but started using pain pills when he got a really strenuous job. I found out he wwason pills but never knew how serious it was until our honeymoon. He was so sick and I didn’t understand why. Then my eyes opened and figured it out. He tried stopping cold turkey bc he knew I wouldn’t marry him if he were aaddicted. I really thought about leaving after that but obviously I love him and his son. We literally have one of the best relationships of anyone I know. He sees a doctor and counselor regularly so this is not black market stuff. He has never sold any of our stuff to buy pills and he is a very hard worker – never misses a day. So my question is, is this a problem? Why does it make me angry and not want to bring a child into our lives? Am I blinded by our love and great relationship? I’m lost on what steps to take…

Bronte
1:11 am October 7th, 2013

Hi there,

I have a couple different situations going on that I need help with. First of all, some background information:

My boyfriend of 4 years served in the military for the first 3 years of our relationship and was sent to Afghanistan for the last year of his contract. He was overseas for 11 months and has suffered a great deal since coming home (PTSD and depression). He seemed to be fine for the first 5 months after coming home but secretly slipped into drug and alcohol abuse to self cope shortly after the 6th month mark. He kept it hidden for quite some time and it wasn’t until he was 3 months into using that he broke down to me and admitted he was experiencing a great deal of trouble. Since then, he’s gone through a denial phase, a realization phase and now is struggling with the addiction. He started out using drugs and alcohol to cover up the pain and guilt of his duties over seas and said that he could “stop at any time”, but as we all know, it becomes a physical addiction. He went from being an outgoing, positive, and spiritual man to a very reserved, quiet, depressed and angry person. He hates what his life has become and is now trying to take the proper steps to overcome the addiction to drugs and alcohol, but is struggling. He is a very determined person, and wants to “beat this” on his own. He has started to see a psychologist about the PTSD and has been prescribed certain drugs for his sleepless nights and high levels of anxiety, but unfortunately, is becoming dependant on those as well. She has suggested treatment at an out of town rehab facility, but he wanted to first try kicking his habit on his own by weening himself off in hopes to have a full recovery (and not have to go to rehab). His first stint of “personal rehab” went fairly well at first, but he has frequent panic attacks (due to the PTSD and flashbacks) and he relapsed. He keeps pushing back his appointments with his doctor because he keeps trying to do this on his own. My fear is that he will keep failing himself and become even more depressed. I don’t know how to get through to him that his best chance at recovery is through the rehab program that is being offered to him without discouraging his past attempts. He has his entire family for support as well as me, who he heavily relies on. I do my best, but at times I become too frustrated and overwhelmed and end up breaking down because of the stress it puts on my shoulders. I know it’s my job to be supportive so I try and keep that part to myself. I have seen a counsellor for this, but with the busyness of life, I have lost the time to go.

His fear is that when/if he is able to have a full recovery from the addiction, what will he do about the PTSD and depression/anxiety, how is he going to recover from that?

My biggest question is: HOW DO I GET THROUGH TO HIM?

Any suggestions are appreciated, I feel like I’ve tried everything. Thank you in advance,

Bronte

Dawn
6:37 am October 17th, 2013

My husband is addicted to crack. We’ve been together for six years, we have a daughter together. He’s off again on one of his highs. I never know where he is or who he’s with. He claims he sits in the van all night. I have found evidence of this but not sure if he’s alone all the time. He was clean I believe when we first met. We lived together than I got pregnant. He was very supportive through the pregnancy . Just about three weeks after bringing our daughter home, he started not coming home. He would do a night here and there. Than I was catching him in lies. He would stop answering his phone and disappear for a week. He’s been to meetings and in programs. He can go three months clean, everything will be wonderful than its goes bad for weeks than he cleans up again. Than its back to not coming home again. Our daughters old enough to be affected by it. He misses events, taking her places many broken promises. I’ve tried everything. I don’t know what to do anymore.i love him and I just see him digging his own hole and its getting bigger and bigger. He hasn’t worked in three weeks. He’s a mess, physically and mentally. He’s usually down for a week after he’s been gone along time, this time it’s three weeks, laying around doing nothing. I don’t know if I just should kick him out or try and get more treatment for him. I just don’t know how much longer I can do this.

maddy
5:55 pm October 27th, 2013

I have 26 years clean & sober he had 20 we always went to meetings for 5 years weve been dealing with him on vicodine to zanax im tired have to worry about own recovery every time hes done would putting him on siboxin help for i know its also a mental craving please need answers

Gigi
1:03 am January 10th, 2014

I know this thread hasn’t been commented on in a few months but I just needed the ear to listen.
I got married a year and a half ago to a man who told me right off that he was a recovering addict but that he hadn’t used since he had gotten out of rehap 6 months earlier. Well, we fell in love and got married 7 months after meeting and I didn’t find out until 6 months later that he had been back to using drugs only a month after we met. We live with his parents because he can’t keep a job and I’ve been at my whits end so many times with his addiction problems. The lies and manipulations are what get to me the most. I have a very strong intuition so over time I have been able to ‘read’ him pretty well and just this evening I felt that he was struggling. He had pretty much ruined my life in so many ways and I feel so alone. I don’t want to leave him because I believe that marriage is for life but I just want to have a normal life and see him succeed and over come this problem. I’m at a loss and all I can do if pray. I see other post about being married for 20+ years and I see hope but I also see the ones that say they are still struggling with their spouses issues that far into their marriage and it just scares me. If I could find a pill/suppliment/vitamin that could stop all this I would do anything to get my hands on it. I just want to see change and to know I will not get stabbed in my back again.

Nichole
6:26 am January 20th, 2014

My husband was a recovering addict. 2 years he was clean and I am still a recovering addict. He has again for the past 4 months started doing opiates again. I try to be there for him as much as I can buy my spirt is being broke down. I stopped for him for our family and feel as if we’re not important enough for him to stay sober. I am trying to be the rock and hold us together bit I feel like I am sinking and starting to drown. I will not go back to my past life I only live going forward not behind. I am so hurt, and feel so lost and am at my breaking point. I have to stay strong for our baby and our other kids but I can’t take much more what do I do. Something had to happen soon or I feel our marriage will be over there same as his sobriety.

Rosa
12:42 am January 24th, 2014

I need some advise….. My husband is an addict and has been dealing with this for about 5 months now he started while undergoing medical surgeries and started misusing pain medication and when he could get that he did heroin….. He now for the past three months has been taking suboxon or subutex but when he can’t find that he gets heroin….. Recently I lost my job and we have lost everything…. He does not work….. When ever we get money the first thing he does is get his dope….. We could have 60 dollars and know we need it for a place to stay and he’ll take 40 of it for his habit…… I’m at wits end please someone help me….. What do I do I love this man but he does not see how this is killing me hurting me!!!! He says he don’t want it anore but won’t follow thru with leaving it alone says the withdraw is too much and I’ll never understand cuz I have never been thru it!!!!! Please help me understand

jessica
3:19 am January 28th, 2014

First of all i want to thank kristina for the post she made on how Dr Adams helped her in bringing back her lover before christmas. At first when i saw the posting i was so happy and in the other hand so scared,That this might not be real, Then i decided to give it a try in which i contacted Dr Adams and told him how my lover left me for another lady for the past 3years and i have been lonely and depressed without him,So i told him if he has helped anyone called kristina and he said yes, that was the lady he helped in bringing back her lover before christmas. I said good and i told him that if he can help me in bringing back my own lover,He laughed and said once i have contacted him that my problem will be solved. He said that my lover will be back to me within 24hours and do an unexpected thing for me. i said really, Truly when the 24hours was completed i got a text from someone saying am sorry then i decided to call the number i saw it was my lover smith voice. I was so happy he was begging me on phone, That he is ready to do anything that will make me happy in life,So i told him to come over which he did,As he was coming he came with a brand new Car as gift i was so happy and made me had access to his account to prove to me that he is not going to leave me for another lady,Am so happy today and am also thanking kristina for posting this early. Dr Adams you are truly a man of your word. He can also solve any kind of problems in this world. Friends you can contact Dr Adams.

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About Lisa Espich

Lisa Espich is the author of the multi award-winning book, Soaring Above Co-Addiction: Helping your loved one get clean, while creating the life of your dreams. For additional articles, resources, and a free preview chapter of Soaring Above Co-Addiction visit her website. Her book is available at bookstores everywhere and at Twin Feather Publishing.