Tuesday March 28th 2017

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How to STOP enabling my drug addicted husband

In terms of addiction, enabling has a negative connotation. It refers to a dysfunctional way of helping someone else in such a way that hurts the enabler and the person they think they are helping. In the article, “8 Signs You are a Co-addict“, we discussed many types of enabling. Whichever type you engage in, there are consequences to each.

So, how can you end the enabling and move towards a healthier relationship…a healthier you? We review here. Then, we invite your questions at the end. In fact, we try to respond to all legitimate questions or comments with a personal and prompt response.

Are you ready to hear the truth?

Some women will post on my blog about how they want to stop enabling their husband’s addiction. Their posts seem so desperate and so imminent. I know what they are going through because I have been there; I was married to an addict, too. So, I spend time and energy crafting a heartfelt and realistic response. I try to address their needs and personalize the advice for them and then … weeks will go by and … nothing. Months and … nothing. Some of these women never reply.

I thought about this for a while and tried to put myself in their shoes. When they are reading online for answers and posting their frustrations and their stories they are usually in a crisis situation, either the addict is binging on drugs, disappeared, or done some other inexcusable act. Just because they are posting on my blog does not mean that they are ready to hear what I have to tell them.

When I explain what is most likely to happen or what will help them in the long run, they do not answer back because that is not the answer they were looking for. Most women are not ready to hear that they need to change. Perhaps telling their stories just helps them purge all of their anxiety or they still believe I can tell them how they can fix their partner.

STOP enabling

When I was married to an addict, the only advice I hoped to hear from my therapist and from other support people was that I could do “X,Y, and Z” and that would help me fix my husband and his addiction. I wanted to know that living with an addict was possible, and that he could change. When people suggested I had issues or that I should leave my husband I was mortified. I thought I could not live without him so I continued on the same path hoping something would happen that would change him.

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Twelve years passed and nothing happened.

I still wanted to fix him, until one day an event forced me to fix myself. It was like I was tuning out all of the advice I needed to hear until one day I heard it because I was ready to listen.

My husband was not forcing me to enable him; I was taking it upon myself to help him because I felt bad for him and I loved him. I realized when I did things that I knew made his addiction and life easier, even if it was acting crazy so he could feel justified to abuse drugs more, that I was not only enabling him but hurting myself. If he ever had a chance to stop using drugs, I had to realize it was not going to be because of me.

Most enablers already know that being married, having children, and responsibilities are not enough reason for an addict to get sober. But, they still think one day they will say something and the addict might all of a sudden realize they are.

It’s about boundaries

Most addicts have no boundaries. An enabler eventually loses their own boundaries and their lives become convoluted and controlled by addiction. Enablers lose their identity and do not understand why they keep on doing what they are doing. So, how can you pull yourself back up to stand on your own two feet?

Start empowering yourself!

How to stop enabling a drug addict?

To stop enabling a few things need to happen:

  1. You need to make a commitment to change.
  2. You must commit to stop your part in enabling 100%, not just some of the time.
  3. You must stop negative patterns and behaviors and replace them with positive ones.
  4. You need to get support from someone with experience and someone you trust to help you.
  5. You need to stop enabling him and start empowering you.

Enablers feel the illusion of control when they help their partner. Once you let it go, you can stop trying to fix and control your partner, take that energy, and fix yourself. You can start asking yourself the questions:

  1. Why am I allowing this person and his addiction control my life?
  2. Why do I not feel good enough about myself to want to be treated better?
  3. Why am I so afraid to leave?
  4. Why do I have fears of abandonment, of being alone, of standing on my own two feet?

If you focus on you, there is less of a chance you will have the time to focus on him. If you change your life and start doing things that bring back your self-confidence then it is less likely you will want to repair him.

Addiction is a selfish condition because it usually involves the complete attention of more people than just the addict. It can draw in the wife, the children, the parents, and the friends if you allow it. Nevertheless, enabling is a choice even though it does not feel like one. The best way to stop enabling is to learn your enabling behaviors and make a conscious choice to STOP.

Need some help?

We invite you to leave your questions in the comments section below. We do our best to respond to each person individually and promptly!

Photo credit: Staurt Beard

Leave a Reply

120 Responses to “How to STOP enabling my drug addicted husband
4:30 am April 19th, 2015

I am reading your book “Hope Street” and I find myself connecting with everything you experienced. I was an enabler for years but didn’t know it until I read this page of the 10 enabling signs. Wow. I can’t believe all the things I’ve done to enable his behavior. I’ve bailed him out of jail a couple times. I’ve paid his fines for him with my own money. I most recently went to NA meetings with him. I didn’t realize I was exhibiting the behavior of an enabler. All this time wasted. I’ve known him 25 years. We have 4 children together. We were married and then divorced. We got back together 4 years ago because he completed his first intensive 6 month rehab program. He was clean for 2 years after that and then everything went down hill these last couple years. I asked him to leave the house 2 days ago. He’s at his mother’s house and she’s taking him to an inpatient rehab on Monday. I wish him luck. I don’t want to be an enabler anymore. All I ever wanted was a husband who was there for me. I figured if I let him go now, God will send to me someone who is good for me. I’m a work in progress. It feels kind of lonely without him here but when he’s here it’s been hell lately.

Amanda Andruzzi I
11:39 pm April 20th, 2015

Thank you so much for sharing with us. I am happy that you have found my book useful. So many times, I insisted that I was “helping” my husband as you probably see many times in the book but in actuality I was perpetuating my own sick behavior and need to control him and his addiction. It is a role we get sucked into without even realizing it.
I hope you get to the end, where you will find some hope for this confusing state you must be in right now. You love him and you can’t picture life without him but then again you cannot continue life with him. It is a feeling that no one will truly understand unless they have been there. You hate the person you love, there are no other words to describe it.
I hope you take this opportunity with him gone to get the help for yourself. Enabling can spill over to other areas in life and unhealthy patterns can continue if we don’t heal and learn from our mistakes. It is hard to say that we are wrong for what we do as enablers because deep down all we really want to do is help the addict. But because things become so convoluted, we lose sight of everything and cross so many lines that we cannot remember the person we were before the addict affected our lives. That is why it is so important for you to take the time you need, away from him, to work on your own issues, insecurities, and fears so that you will not repeat the same patterns. The loneliness fades as you become enlightened and pick up the pieces of the person you were and put them back together. I hope the articles here can help you as well as the book, I would really like to hear your thoughts when you finish Hope Street. Please keep your head up, keep me posted, I am here to help!
Amanda Andruzzi, published author, Hope Street, a memoir from a co-addict

3:05 am April 22nd, 2015

Thanks Amanda. I will definitely keep you posted about “Hope Street.” And thanks for your encouraging words. I will stay strong and start focusing on myself for a change.

6:52 pm May 22nd, 2015

I’ve just stumbled across this site – I’m sitting here now and my BF has gone on a binge again. Its been going on for years, he take cocaine and drinks, although not every day – sometimes he is sober for a few weeks. But then binges again – i can’t get hold of him .. he spends all wages on it. I’m based in the UK. When we first met i must admit that i used to do the same, but as time has gone on and i have got older, i have stopped and want to try and sort out my life. I feel guilty about this, as feel like i encouraged it at the beginning. I feel depressed a lot and have stopped work for a few months due to stress. I feel like I’m in a cycle and its never ending. After each binge i say to myself i will leave. But never seem to do it. i feel to embarrassed to tell F&Family, so lie about things being good. I must be an enabler, i wanted to save him – but perhaps that isn’t possible! hard facts to face.

6:35 am May 23rd, 2015

Thank you Amanda for your blog, I have found it very helpful to read. My brother and his wife are seemingly both addicted to drugs and have 3 kids at home with them. My family is at a loss of what to do because they deny everything. I want to follow your advice about not being an enabler and leaving them alone but I can’t stop trying because they still have kids around their home. Any advice?

Amanda Andruzzi
1:02 pm May 26th, 2015


It is different if children are involved. You cannot just leave the children in this situation, you can help the them and not the parents. I would stop howling them and take the children if that is a possibility or make a call to family services. If they come into the home, they can drug test (via hair sample which goes back a year) and mandate the parents into rehab. The children are the most important thing here and someone should step in on their behalf. If the family can get together and do an intervention with the help of a specialist, that might help. If the family can get together and take care of the children or take them out of the home, this cannot be healthy for them to be raised by two addicts. Do not enable them but as they fall apart make sure someone is there to take care of the children. This is an awful situation, usually there is at least one sober parent but when both parents are using you could only imagine what those children see and have to live with. This situation is one where the family should get together, step in and take the children out, that is not to say help the addict, taking the children is not enabling, it is simply saving the kids. I hope this helps. My thoughts are with you and those children. Kerp me posted.
Amanda Andruzzi, published author, Hope Street, a memoir from the wife of an addict

Just Me
5:27 am June 4th, 2015

i too have finally left my drug-addicted husband…after 10 long years…took me awhile to finally decide on that but i did it…finally…if i may place my blog site as well…

Amanda Andruzzi
7:37 pm June 24th, 2015

Thank you for sharing. You have every right to grow out of that lifestyle and straighten out your life without feeling like it is your fault for encouraging him. I would advise you to move on and let go but it sounds like you are not at that place yet. You cannot save, change, fix, or repair another person or their addiction. Once you realize that you can start focusing on you and helping yourself. There is hope. There is a way out of this. I wrote my memoir, Hope Street, of my journey with an addicted husband. Every emotion, every feeling, every hopeless thought you are having I was able to write down and share with the world, in the hope that it would help others.
I would keep reading the other articles I have written here as well so you can try to come to terms with enabling and addiction and understand what you are really dealing with. 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/

Amanda Andruzzi
7:43 pm June 24th, 2015

Just Me,
I hope things are going will for you. I really believe you made a great choice for your future and I hope you are able to grow and heal. Keep me posted, I am here to help.
Amanda Andruzzi, published author, Hope Street, a memoir from the wife of an addict
View the Video BOOK Trailer: http://sbprabooks.com/amandaandruzzi/video/

3:19 pm August 20th, 2015

how did you finally stop the cycle?
did you leave him? is he still an addict?

Amanda Andruzzi
5:25 pm August 20th, 2015

Yes, I left and he is still an addict to my knowledge. You need to get your life together, learn self-love, and care about yourself again so you can focus on you. Please pick up Hope Street, it is my memoir of my life with an addict. It will really help you.
Amanda Andruzzi, published author, Hope Street

2:33 am September 9th, 2015

Hi there, I see this appears to be more targeted at women struggling with this issue, but I found your post quite helpful and wanted to ask if you could offer any advice on my situation. I am engaged to be married to the most amazing woman I’ve ever met, we’re currently booking things and making plans for the wedding mid 2016, the issue however, is that I am having some trouble NOT going home after work each day and smoking a bit of marijuana, and my fiancee’s addiction is wine. We’ve been together two years and it’s been amazing, and for the first 10 months together, I didn’t smoke at all, but my partner has apparently been quite hooked on wine a few years now (I had also previously been a heavy marijuana smoker before we got together). We both work full time, keep things organised etc, but we have both gained weight since getting together, and my partner is now being asked if she is pregnant occasionally!! one of the many issues with all this is that I’m still extremely attracted to her and constantly just wanna be close to her and tell her how amazing and sexy she is, but because of how she feels about herself, she now actually gets angry at my compliments and at me suggesting anything sexual wise etc… We constantly talk about starting the week fresh, no alcohol, no green, but one hiccup and one of us will quickly be talking about having a drink/smoke once home..the problem is that we both have our addictions that kinda get that “pay-off” when the other person says “I don’t mind if u smoke/drink tonight” so we’re effectively enabling each other…I just love this girl so much and hate seeing her so unhappy with herself, especially when I still think she’s a goddess…any advice would be eternally appreciated! Thank you

Confused mt
4:00 pm November 4th, 2015

I have been with my husband for 12 years, married for 8. He does pills pot meth cocaine alcohol uppers downers anything he can get his hands on. I thought I could fix him and fell in love. 4.5 years ago we had a little boy and my entire outlook changed. My husband got cancer and went thru chemo. It was horrible but he was healed. Then went to prison for 2 years. Then I made him leave last December. I was tired of the up and down, the abuse, no money, him not working I was numb and TOTALY finished with him. Then in September I got a phone call that changed everything. He had a massive heart attack. I realized I still lived him but dont know y. I went to hospital and his much older sugar mama girlfriend was there so I left. He is healing and we visit on the weekends. Now I feel sorry for him, I buy him groceries sometime, I miss somethings, I mostly hate that he says he loves me and wants to come home but has a girlfriend. I almost want to forget everything and let him come home do we can b a family again. But then he does something stupid and I’m like y do I even love him? Please help!

Amanda Andruzzi
3:05 pm November 18th, 2015

It is hard to stop using a substance when it works in your relationship with the other person and enabling is going both ways. What you are both doing is using these substances to cope with life and we all do that to some degree. You are both very functioning people but spending your life drinking and using marijuana on a daily basis is no way to live, especially if you want to start a family. What I would suggest is therapy with an addiction counselor to help you find other coping skills. I have 3 children and I volunteer my time to help other co-addicts on top of work and finishing my Master’s degree so when things get rough I don’t pop a pill or use a drug, I go to the gym, meditate, do yoga, or sometimes just stop and breath. I see a therapist to help me through the rough stuff but am armed with skills to help me when I am struggling. I have never had a substance abuse problem but I lived with someone who did and enabling was my specialty. I changed and so can you, but you should focus on your own issues and help each other change.
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
3:13 pm November 18th, 2015

Confused Nut,
He is keeping you involved in his life because that is what addict’s do. They draw others into their addiction and it is not fair to you. If he is using and has a girlfriend, then you have to ask yourself what you expect to happen. If he comes home, he will just have a comfortable place to live while he uses more. I would get yourself unstuck to this person by moving on with your own life. This is something that takes work and is not always easy but can definitely be done.
Amanda Andruzzi, published author, Hope Street, a memoir from the wife of an addict
View the Video BOOK Trailer: http://sbprabooks.com/amandaandruzzi/video/

5:08 am December 4th, 2015

I need help understanding boundaries. I’ve been working a program for codependents. I can understand now when I am focusing on me v/s when I am controlling him. BUT when he does something I am not ok with, what do I do about it? I recently started just clearly saying “Something bothered me & I need to get it off my chest so we can deal with it.. (explaining what he did & how I felt) … If I’m going to trust you I need that not to happen again.”. He typically gets really angry, then tries to make it all about him & his stress. What do I do next? And what do I do when it happens again anyway?! That’s my biggest confusion. If I allow my boundaries to be crossed, aren’t I enabling? But I can’t stop that from happening if I’m not controlling him. ??? Is the only answer to leave?? Thanks in advance.

Amanda Andruzzi
2:07 pm December 4th, 2015

If you have boundaries and he is constantly crossing them, staying is just like saying it is okay. If your partner is an addict, this is something you cannot control and you will never have a healthy relationship with him. Addiction is selfish and irrational so trying to coexist in this situation and be happy is not likely. Counseling for both of you would be great but not if he is an active addict. Enabling is not going to help you or him but how do you stay in the relationship with someone who constantly makes bad decisions? You can’t is the answer because you will always have inner turmoil and never be able to fully trust or enjoy that person because they are addicted FIRST and in a relationship LAST. Their priority is addiction. Your priority needs to be 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/

4:48 pm December 17th, 2015

How does the enabler realize their own behaviors? My husband has been in an out of prison for last 8 years, gone longer than home. In and out of rehabs for last 8 years as well. I try to leave always go back, I know I deserve more. I just graduated nursing school on 12-15 so that took attention away from him. I don’t know I am lost, he is yet in another sober living 1.5 hours away. We can’t even communicate anymore.

7:36 am December 28th, 2015

This is an amazing site and much needed. I have been with my alcoholic husband now ex-husband as of 2010 and back together again to make it work only to be completely let down and he is now worse than he’s ever been. It would take a ton to explain all I’ve been through but jail, suicide attempts, not working for years and me supporting him, and all the while he continues to threat me like dirt.

I went through Celebrate Recovery and really learned so much and worked through so much crap that I had been harboring since childhood. Well two months ago I did it I set my boundaries and made up my mind and communicated to him that this is what I have to do and will do. He likes to leave for days and drink and then come home drunk and mean and sick for days… No more. Well he did it again after 2 weeks and I told him I’m moving to evict you. That started the downward spiral of him drinking every single day since before Thanksgiving and not giving a crap about my feelings, rules, etc… And in the state of Nevada I have to evict like he was renting from me… Crazy. So right before Christmas 12/23 to be exact he was moving his stuff out and got pulled over and is now sitting in jail for DUI, open Container and illegal Lane change. He called me to bail him out and I said “NO” but now he wants me to pick him up tomorrow after his court appearance where they will let him go till his court date for sentencing in 2 to 3 months. I am at a loss for what to do, I feel like if I don’t help him move the remaining stuff out he will continue to be here! I’m just angry and feel that darn codependent side of me coming out again. I did so well with the eviction and sticking to my boundaries only to have him get arrested and thrown in jail again. Please help and and all words of wisdom as harsh as they may be… I need it! Thank you!

Amanda Andruzzi
2:49 pm December 28th, 2015


Ask yourself why you feel you are still in this relationship. What are you getting from enabling him? When you realize you are enabling someone you have to look within yourself and realize that this has to do more with you than with the person. You can love someone but if the relationship is not healthy then you should walk away. The fact that you’ve been in the relationship and he’s been gone more than with you is a good indication that you were on the right website and hopefully the information that I have here will help you.we all have our own story and I stayed for 12 years but each of us come to a point where we need to move on and that happens only in our own time. Keep searching for answers, read the 35+ articles I have written here by clicking on my name next to my picture and you will find great resources to help 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/

5:49 am December 29th, 2015

I enabled an addict for over 20 years. Please don’t end up like me. 4 kids later and they have no good father figure in their lives because I was too weak to let go of this toxic man. I last posted here on Apr 19th and fell back into the same ole routine of giving him chance after chance. It wasn’t until I bought a house 2 months ago that I started to realize how much better I do without him. He was with me during the closing of the house but I searched for the house and made the down payment all by myself and my God of course. God kept telling me to leave him with all these hints that I kept ignoring. He finally got a job after we moved in the new home because I told him I was tired of taking care of a grown man. But of course that was short lived. He never paid child support his entire life! We have a 24, 23, 18 and 10 year old. What do I need him for exactly? He was just taking up space and making me and the kids miserable. My sons almost beat the crap out of him one night. And the last straw was him stealing $50 from my oldest. She was livid. I blame myself for thinking he would change. He then stole from my brother who lives in a rooming house. Before we moved to the new home I told him it was for a trial basis. I was already stressed over the buying process so I didn’t need his added stress. After he stole OUR daughter’s money that was it. He had to go. The difference this time around is I feel it in my soul that I won’t take him back. I don’t miss him at all. In fact I get angry when he contacts me. He texts me from different numbers trying to get me to respond but I told him during our last phone conversation to never contact me again. He said he wouldn’t but he still is. I guess he’s not taking me serious because I always took him back. But being a first time homebuyer has made me wake up to all the things I can do with my life if I set my mind to it. There are dreams I still have that I can make happen but I can’t with him bringing me down, taking me backwards. I had to let him go so God can send me someone meant for me who cares about my happiness. I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired. Yes it gets lonely but I was lonely with him around so I may as well be alone for a while and work on a better ME. I was so jealous seeing other couples building lives together while I build alone. I know we all have to learn this lesson until we GET IT. And once you get sick and tired too and realize all the great things you can accomplish without that weight on your shoulders, you’ll be so happy you finally let go. The worse thing you can do is worry about him having a roof over his head. He will find a way trust me. Put yourself first and think about how you deserve so much better. Thanks again Amanda for having this forum for us to share.

Amanda Andruzzi
9:45 pm January 8th, 2016

You had your AhHA moment. I am so happy to hear that you are there and YOU ARE THERE! You are sick and tired of riding the merry go round. We all have different time limits and different thresholds to tolerate things so that is why there is no magic answer it is simply when you get it, you get it. You wake up, have a spiriual awakening and realize the peace and happiness you can have without the toxicity in your life. Good for you. I am so happy for you. Please 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/

11:04 pm March 14th, 2016

I am a recovering addict whose partner is using drugs still.
I had two months up clean cos I left him, and then I missed him so much and felt like there was no way is use again, so I got back with him.
I ended up using again.
I seem to stay clean when he’s not around but then I miss him and feel lost without him and even though I know I get triggered when I’m with him, I take him back again only to use again the day I see him.

I can stop using while he’s not here but when he’s here I can’t say no even though I desperately hate it and don’t wanna use.

I’ve begged him to stop so many times cos I can’t stay clean and be with him but he says he will when he’s ready but I mentally and internally cannot handle using anymore but he won’t stop.

So I say he’s triggering me. But I can’t leave him. I feel so depressed and lifeless and can’t function without him and I end up begging him to come back even though he treats me quite aggressively most times we see each other.

I need help. I can’t stop using while I’m with him. He treats me like crap at times, yet I can’t stay away from him. I feel like I can’t live without him.
Please help me.

12:43 pm March 15th, 2016

Hi I’ve been with my partner for 14yrs he is a herion addict and was when I first got with him I wasn’t a very confident person all them years ago and I allowed him to control me and treat me like rubbish for years. I then fell pregnant with our son at this point he was coming and going every time he left us it made me become a stronger person to witch he liked about me and would come bk and stayed clean for a little while each time and then he would start using again every now and then then his addiction would take over his life again. It’s been like this for years. Then one day I turned round and told him that’s it I’ve had enough I want nothing to do with him and I didn’t for 10months I was strong and stood by my word. Then the letters started coming from prison and there questions I wanted the answers to so I went to see him and and fell in to the trap again of loving him so much and thinking this time we Gona be a proper family when comes out. Well everything was all good for 4months he had even lowered his self off his methadone and was attending drug groups and was doing best I’ve ever known him to do. Then he met a girl at the groups that was a user and 8yrs younger then him and she flirted with him made him feel like the best looking bloke in the world for him to then leave me and his son before Xmas for. It felt like my world had fallen apart. And hit me hard this time cause in my head I thought we were getting somewhere cracking the drug problem. I still did not give up cause I wasn’t prepared to lose what I had fought for all these years. But this time it feels harder and I’ve lost all my confidence again and is now on antidepressants I get panick attacks when the thought of going to work incase he goes out to meet this girl again. I don’t go out anywhere I don’t talk to my family much now I do anything to make him happy I feel like I’m fighting with myself with my head and my heart. It’s like I’m waiting for something to happen to make me think I’m not doing this no more. Why can’t I let go I want to but can’t. I’ve lost myself and is finding it hard to be bk to that strong person I once was. XXXX hope all this makes sense xxx

Amanda Andruzzi
2:31 pm March 15th, 2016


This all makes perfect sense to someone who has lived with or loved an addict. I would definitely seek help because it sounds like with your confidence he also took your self- love, independence, and ability to see clearly. I understand wanting to mend your family but there is a point where there is no going back because it is hurting you to the point that you are becoming sick. That’s an indication that this relationship needs to end. The problem is most of us do not want to give up because we are scared of what else is out there for us. We don’t know if we will ever be happy again so we stay with something that is familiar. I can promise you that there is something else out there because I have been where you are, married with a child and together for 12 years. That is why I wrote my memoir, hope Street, to give other people insight, help them feel understood, less alone, and give them the courage and the hope to Move on.
Amanda Andruzzi, published author, Hope Street, a memoir from the wife of an addict View the Video BOOK Trailer: http://sbprabooks.com/amandaandruzzi/video/

3:15 pm March 16th, 2016

Hello, I am the mother of a 26 year old son. He is my only child. I love him with all my heart. He is an alcoholic and drug addict. His use has been problematic for about 6 years. He pounds vodka and whiskey straight. He uses meth, pot, whippets, and other drugs. We have set him up in a mobile home, a college dorm room, our house, 2 separate apartments, and 2 stints of 30 day treatments. He has 3 DUIs. Currently, he is serving a 30 day detention for his last DUI. He is due to be released on April 3rd. He does not currently have a job, although he does work most of the time. We pay all of his bills. He recently ran up my credit card $1500 on alcohol, whippets, and items he probably traded for drugs. I just learned that he is evicted from his apartment because they found pictures he had taken of himself using drugs. My husband and I will be traveling to his town to retrieve his car, motorcycle, and all of his property so that we don’t lose it. We have paid for most of it. My dilemma is that I’m sure my son will want to come home to our house while he figures out his next move. We’ve asked him to consider long term treatment but he refuses. Do I let him come here this one last time, or let him figure it out? He has no resources. We are broken and exhausted. Thank you for your advice.

4:44 am March 17th, 2016

My husband has crohns disease and crohns arthritis. He has been an awesome provider. Very physical job. He is now beat. Somehow in the past 6 years he has been buying painkillers of the street. Too much money, years and brain cells have been argued about. What do I do?

Amanda Andruzzi
1:12 pm March 17th, 2016

I know you are at the end of your rope and because it is your child you feel you cannot give up on him. The feelings you have are ones I never hope to share because having a child who is an addict is the most painful experience, however, there are things you can do. By paying his bills and supporting him, you are actually enabling his addiction. You are making it possible, if not easy for him to comfortably continue his addiction. When someone needs help for a mental illness you they don’t always know what is best for them. If he has no consequences to his drug use that drastically change his life then he has no real reason to stop using. When he gets out, he still has home, food and everything he needs and fighting his desire to use drugs will not be necessary because addiction is much stronger than you know. His brain has shifted and he probably has some underlying issues which no longer give him the ability to make the right choices. If you continue to enable him, expect more of the same. He will never hit his rock bottom or come to the conclusion that is life is unmanageable on his own. Most addicts need to fall without rescue before they go for help. Sometimes cutting them off financially is the only way. to have them deal with their addiction. I would seek counseling for you both so you can make informed decisions that may help him instead of making decisions based on being scared, and other emotions. You are not helping him or you. I know letting him go on his own is a risk because our fears of what will happen are real but things are not changing with the status quo so something needs to change. I would cut him off financially and not allow him back into my home and let him know how much I love him but will no longer watch him destroy himself. I would let him know my door is always open when he is ready for long term recovery and then Let Go and Let God. Al-anon will be really helpful for you in this situation. He needs help getting down to the reasons he uses drugs in the first place; underlying mental illness, depression, anxiety, chemical imbalances, trauma, etc. and deal with the root cause through therapy with an experienced therapist that won’t be fooled by the lies addict’s tell. The money spent on his lifestyle, I would switch gears and put it towards rehab, long term care out of your home, therapy, and other alternative treatments.
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
1:22 pm March 17th, 2016

In my other work, I help people heal and recover from chronic illnesses naturally. I know firsthand that there are healthier ways to deal with Chron’s and arthritis. In fact, if he were to have a multi-faceted approach, he would probably be able to reverse his conditions with lifestyle, diet and therapy, so do not let him tell you he needs the painkillers. He is an addict and addicts say and do whatever they need to in order to keep using. I cannot tell you what to do but I can tell you what might help you and has been more effective than just continuing on the way things are. You need to create boundaries, like you will no longer stay together if he continues to use and does not seek treatment. Please read my other articles here, especially Zero Tolerance for Addiction: Help for Families. Clicl on my name Amanda Andruzzi near my picture and they will all come up. You have to stick to your boundaries or he will know you are not serious and he can go right on using. He is not going to just make changes, so the rational person, you, needs to. Even if we argue but we stay in a situation we know is toxic for you and for him, this is enabling. If he refuses to get help, then I would focus on getting help for you so that you can move on.
Amanda Andruzzi, published author, Hope Street, a memoir from the wife of an addict
View the Video BOOK Trailer: http://sbprabooks.com/amandaandruzzi/video/

7:21 am March 28th, 2016

I’m a first time reader of this blog and have learned a lot already. My boyfriend is an alcoholic- a severe one. He’s gone into full-blown DTs more than once. He’s also extremely institutionalized and has no true idea of his own identity. I feel sorry for him a lot of the time, but every time he half-ass detoxes, or I have to rush him tote ER for his withdrawals, I become resentful because he’s doing this to himself repeatedly and doesn’t consider how it affects me. I have made a commitment to cease all enabling behaviors. I just don’t know where to start. The next time he goes in DTs, do I just call ambulance and stay home while he’s in the hospital? I won’t give him money, but I do occasionally buy him a beer because I’m so sick of his antics I just don’t want to deal with it. Do I tell him, firmly but with care, that theses are the boundaries I have set up- or do I just slowly begin implementing these changes until he starts to get the picture. I don’t know what do… Any advice is appreciated.

Amanda Andruzzi
6:51 pm March 28th, 2016

I think you seriously need to ask yourself what you gain by being in this relationship. I would say 100% that you need to let go and move on with your life. What you are doing is the definition of enabling. You are on a cycle of co-addiction that is not going to change unless you do. You can’t save him or make him change so your only option is to make changes with yourself. Have you been to therapy? Al-anon? Support groups? Read Hope Street? This blog is a great start, try clicking on my name and all of my articles will pop up.
Amanda Andruzzi
Hope street, a memoir from the wife of an addict

8:03 am March 31st, 2016

I’m new to this…seeking advice that is. I’m at the end of caring about and for my husband. His choice to use meth.pot and pills is effecting my way of existing. I want help for myself…to become self supportive and feel safe. Any suggestions,advice or comment will be valued. Thx

11:25 am April 2nd, 2016

Thank you for this blog – I’m new to it, but already finding it helpful to read (if not a little painful to see myself as an enabler, when all I want to do is help so my husband and I can get our lives back to “normal”).

My husband has been struggling with alcohol abuse for about a year and a half, and now is moving towards abusing prescription anxiety meds. He’s not yet ready to admit that he’s an addict or has a *real* problem with substance abuse. He lies constantly about how much he is using, and I never can trust what he’s telling me to be true – this is all very new to me, only in the past 6/8 months or so have I been aware of the problem, and I’m still just realizing the frequency of his lies about using.

He also suffers from anxiety and depression. Last summer he went into inpatient treatment for a short time (my suggestion), and he is distrustful of me because of that.

I guess my question is…at what point are my behaviors enabling, and at what point are they what I need to do in order to keep him safe. I know that one of the issues that causes him to drink (at least this is what he’s told me that he and his therapist have determined) is the fact that I try to control his addiction and “catch him” when he’s abusing. I do do this…I search for liquor bottles and try to monitor his behavior at night to see if he is drinking or taking meds. I know that his drinking and taking pills is dangerous, though, so I wonder if it is irresponsible for me to just ignore this behavior and let it continue.

I would like to convince him to go into treatment, but I think maybe that is enabling, too? By not letting him make his own decision to go?

And lastly, I’ve just discovered that he is abusing anxiety meds. He has a psychiatrist and I would like to call him and let him know that this is going on – I worry about drug interactions and overdosing. I feel like that is a responsible action….but I also worry that it may just be enabling again, treating him like he can’t take care of this himself, and could really damage trust between us. Or worse, just cause him to stop seeking any treatment at all.

I’d appreciate any advice you can give. Thanks!

1:01 am April 5th, 2016

Thank you for your article Amanda. I am struggling right now with being an enabler. My fiancé had a problem before we started dating, that he didn’t tell me about until I realized there was something wrong during our first year. Then we thought he cleaned up and he got on a program for a year, he proposed and we found out we were pregnant. We finally had our baby girl in December, we bought a home and I find out he’s been using and messing up almost the whole time he was off the program. We have a little baby, a new home we’ve been living in for two weeks and now I am at a loss for what to do at this point. I’m truly lost.

Amanda Andruzzi
7:45 pm April 5th, 2016

The advice here is to do just those things in steps. Start gaining your independence emotionally, financially and then physically. It doesn’t have to happen over night but you need to understand more about your part in this and how to break the cycle. You need to gain the tools to help you get out of this and stay out. Therapy, reading the other articles I have written here, reading my memoir Hope Street, joining al-anon or other community support groups will help you have your AHHA moment and get to a place where you will be able to move on. Don’t give up and certainly don’t stop here.
Amanda Andruzzi, published author, Hope Street, a memoir from the wife of an addict
View the Video BOOK Trailer: http://sbprabooks.com/amandaandruzzi/video/

2:29 am April 6th, 2016

I have been on the roller coaster with my ex. He has done crazy things and I continue to enable get him off the streets etc. Even him disrespecting me, cheating accusing me of doing what he is doing etc continues every time. I am ignoring calls and emails and I think he feels I’ll always be there. I feel I need to be done. We had been together 25 years the last 4 struggling w/addiction. It feels like letting go of family. I seem to keep reminding myself of all the bad. I just want him to go away and get better. I want the strength to do it. I don’t trust myself , any advice will help. Thanks.

7:04 am April 17th, 2016

I neep help I’m married for 2 years going on 3 years this September and im tired of my husband doing drugs (crack) and drinking every single day from the time he wakes up to the time he goes to sleep. I’m tired of it it’s not healthy for me or my 4 kids (boys) I be telling him he needs to stop but he tells me it’s not my business. He does not work he does sometimes he does tattoos and haircuts and thats how he buys the drug if he don’t have no money he ask me for money all the time if I don’t he calls me all kinds of name and get a bitchy mood with me. He uses my van which I still pay monthy car payments for it to give rides to his friends and the money he gets for gas he buys his drug and YES I’m the one who puts gas he waste it giving rides.. I was working and I had to leave my job because he was bitching about taking care of my kids I only have one with him but I have total of 4 kids but thats not all I was paying him to watch them. He charges me for everything if I have to run to the store I have to pay him to watch my kids.. Even to pick them up at the school bus stop. In some point I have to pay him to have sex with me. I’m tired. What can I do? I love him but I guess he don’t he hurt me in so many ways I sometimes think he got married with me just to so call home cause when I meet him he had no where togo. Need help!# please

7:32 pm April 17th, 2016

I really found your article very helpful. I am living this and know I have been an enabler. You are right, it’s a very hard change. Do you have any other resources? One question I have is the issue of keeping things a secret. I have held this in for a long time. I have tried not to embarrass him so I have been enabling. He agrees I need to talk with others. I started seeing a therapist and have opened up to two friends that he doesn’t know or know well. But I been hinding this from my family and close friends. What should I do in that area? I will listen and appreciate your help!

Amanda Andruzzi
4:44 pm April 18th, 2016

I am glad you feel that it is your time to move on. It is not your job or responsibility to take care of someone else, especially when they are not taking care of themselves. It is like losing family but even toxic family relationships should not be continued. You are not able to have the life you want and it is time to start doing what is right for you. If you can’t trust yourself then that in itself is an issue that you need to be dealing with. You need to focus on you and what issues you have so that you can be a healthy and happy person.
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
4:48 pm April 18th, 2016

I am not sure that you ever had a healthy or happy relationship so I don’t understand what you are holding on to. I am also very concerned that you pay someone who is high on crack and alcohol to pick up your children and watch them, especially when one is his. I don’t mean to criticize or judge but not only would you be better off without him but I cannot understand why you would love someone who treats you so awfully and you have to pay to keep in your life and to have sex with. You are a mother of 4 children and you are not doing them any good by being with a person who smokes crack and is around them. Please re-evaluate this situation and I would recommend a restraining order because it sounds like this man is not only toxic to you and your children but a horrible person. What you need to work on is your self esteem and realizing you can be independent and you will be better off on your own.

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
4:51 pm April 18th, 2016

Thank you for sharing. I do believe there is a toxicity to this type of relationship and secrets. I always shared this problem with family but definitely played it down for many years. Until you change, are able to move on, get real support and be honest with yourself, your situation will stay the same. You need to be honest with what is really going on and how much you want a happy and healthy life which you CANNOT have with an addict. Have you read Hope Street? It is a memoir I wrote of my life as the wife of an addict, other than that, you can click on my name in this article and 38 others will appear, all regarding how to help you! You have to do the work, learn the tools and commit to moving on no matter what and then and only then will you be able to get through the pain to the other side. That is what Hope Street is about.
Amanda Andruzzi, published author, Hope Street, a memoir from the wife of an addict
View the Video BOOK Trailer: http://sbprabooks.com/amandaandruzzi/video/

leaving isn't an option
4:30 am May 1st, 2016

I can’t even begin to explain my situation. I’ll try my best to give the shortest version possible. I’m in a commited relationship. We’ve built our lives together. To me leaving has never been an option. Sounds stupid, I know. But I’m starting to resent her. She does terrible things like steal and lie to her family and pretty much ever job she’s worked for. It’s gotten so bad that she only has one person in her family that still talks to her and tries to look out for her. He even gave us a place to stay while we were going through a rough patch and she’s constantly doing shady things to him….she claims that she’ll do anything for me and for us, but the only thing I’ve ever truly asked from her which is to pretty much stop doing drugs and stealing from the people she claims to love, gets tossed under the rug and isn’t talked about again until I bring it up. It’s always an argument. And she’ll always cry and say that I’m attacking her when in reality I’m just trying to make sure she doesn’t lose the ONLY people she has including myself. At what point do I say enough is enough? I can’t live the rest of my life trying to fix or turn someone into a better person who just doesn’t see the Bad in their actions. I don’t want to turn away from her….at this rate I’ll probably be the only person she has left in this world As well as homeless if and when he finds out. I also can’t stand the thought of being labeled a Bad Person by association. Am I wrong in hoping she’ll change? Am I wrong to think of the person I’m supposed to spend my life with this way? Is it even possible for me to look at her in future and not see a shady person?

Amanda Andruzzi
2:10 pm May 5th, 2016

leaving isn’t an option,
if leaving isn’t an option than I am not sure how I can help you, help her. The number one rule for addicts is that you cannot help them change, you can only change yourself. I learned that after 12 very difficult years with a high functioning addict. I think you are enabling her and I know because I have been there but if you are not willing to leave the only thing I can recommend is to detach from her with love and go about your life trying to make yourself better. Perhaps stopping all of the enabling and the support you give her will allow her to hit rock bottom and make the decision to change on her own. If she doesn’t want to make the change, which she does not, then there are not many ways for you to help her, I would recommend helping yourself instead.
Amanda Andruzzi, published author, Hope Street, a memoir from the wife of an addict View the Video BOOK Trailer: http://sbprabooks.com/amandaandruzzi/video/

10:13 pm May 29th, 2016

I am sick of feeling worthless, not loved and being told that I’m the one that’s the problem. My partner has binged on cocaine for years which has affected me mentally and since our second child was born it was getting better but I’m always worrying “when will he do it again” I have recently had a hysterectomy and this has affected my ability to cope with normal tasks and find it hard to cope in different situations and shout a lot in the house. I have asked my partner to help and support me which has now given my partner an excuse to go on a binge. I think that by confronting him about how his binges affect us all but it just makes things worse and now tonight he has left the house. I honestly don’t know what to do anymore but want better for me and my children!

10:43 pm May 30th, 2016

I have left my addicted husband. I had no set plan ahead of time. I am wondering if there are programs available that can help me emotional ly and.financial ly. I reside in florida. Any feed back will be.valued. thank you Amanda

7:38 pm June 1st, 2016

my husband has been in a 28 day rehab 4 times. The last one was last June. I just discovered that he is taking a drug that was prescribed for sleep at night during the day. At first he lied and then he admitted it. I am terrified of living on my own – but at the end of last rehab I said one more time and I am out. I think I should seek the advice of a lawyer – financially things are not perfect – but are they ever. I am the total enabler – the reason for his use is he is going on a trip to Ireland. I questioned this trip right from the beginning. I am going to seek advice from a lawyer – should I pay behind his back or pay from our joint account?

11:14 pm June 5th, 2016

My spouse is an addict. He’s been to rehab multiple times. 30, 60 and 90 day programs. And his relapses are like clock work; I know and see the signs before he even knows or will admit. I’ve tried everything with him it seems. I’m a recovering addict myself. Since my last relapse I’ve started college to become an addiction support worker, moved out of our home together (because of his relapses). I’ve been trying to help and support him in his recovery being apart but it doesn’t seem to be helping. He’s good for 30-45 days then uses again. I get people relapse, however it’s always anticipated with him. Do I just wipe my hands of this relationship in hopes he gets better? Even after all the steps I’ve taken am I still enabling him by trying to be understanding? I feel like I’ve come a long way from where I used to be with enabling him and worrying about him. I don’t lose sleep anymore if I am aware of his using, before I wouldn’t sleep or anything. I’d be obsessing about his well being before my own. I suppose I still am worried about his a little before my own. I just don’t know how to completely stop or when to say enough is enough.

12:54 am June 6th, 2016

My husband abuses me everytime he gets drunk or high off powder. I refuse to support his addiction. I have prayed, I have cried and he threatens me if I try to leave. I love him but I love myself more. How can I help him before he kills me or himself

4:52 am June 7th, 2016

Hello. I found this site and needed some advice. I am a christian women so I try to put my trust in God but I feel as though at this point I need some professional advice from someone who understands addiction and being with an addict. My husband and I have been together since I was 15 in an now 28 and we have two children together and a step daughter. We both started out partying a lot and he became and alcoholic. I eventually had to put him in jail because of him being abusive towards me from alcohol. After that we have our lives to the Lord. I would always come back to him after so much bad stuff he had done to me. As we grew in our faith some things changed but he switched from alcohol to marijuana. The effects were different but in a while new aggravating way. He would sneak around and lie so he could go smoke, he would be like day and night and a couple times had gotten so mad he pushed me down and sometimes more ( never punched me). I would scream holler and degrade him. I even cancelled our first wedding because of marijuana! I would take the kids and leave but then he would sucker me in and it’s almost as if I would forget why I was even mad? I almost started to convince myself.. it’s not all that bad. Every time I would leave he would beg and be done for two months then go right back again. The latest thing that happened was a came back the day after fourth of July 2015. He stoped for 2 months and Then while I was on the phone with him when he said he was going to one place, I caught him going somewhere else and I knew it was to smoke. So not only did he lie but he also ended up drinking that night! I tried to make it work but all the while I kicked and screamed was mad every day. Because he was high all the time I didn’t even want to have sex and since I didn’t trust him it made for some big problems which brings me to now. He pushed me down. I did get physical first but it was because I was defending myself. It was in front of the children and it was a mess. I chose to leave but have done this millions of times. He keeps telling me you don’t leave your husband you don’t do this and again I feel sick about it, I feel like I want to go back but when i am there I am miserable! I want to crawl in a ball and sleep all day and I turn into an angry mother. He keeps making me feel bad about leaving and then I feel like what if he meets somebody else who accepts him for him and I end up all alone? Why do I feel bad when I leave but literally tear him to shreds when i am around him. Im sorry this is so long….I have been dealing with this for awhile and it is weighing on me. This is just a snippet of my story…,please help..
I also want to add that he is not a bad person.I know I portrayed him as a monster right there but there are other things his does that are wonderful. He tells me I am beautiful all the time, he spends time with the kids when he can, he still works a hard working job, and the funny thing is is i know he loves me, he is a completely functional marijuana addict EXCEPT He can not live without it. Iove this man with all my heart. I sometimes wonder if the only reason he is loving and caring is because he is high? We have gotten in our worst fights when it’s become physical when he has been trying to quit. How can I show him I stillove him but can not live this way. I am miserable more than not but still want to work on thia! Is such a sick twisted mess!!

Amanda Andruzzi
2:16 am June 10th, 2016

Tammy, that is okay that you did not have a plan. I am unaware of your situation but I am not that familiar with Florida and its financial assistance system. If you have children I am sure you can apply for medicaid and welfare but if you are on your own I am not sure what financial help is available. I would say as for some support from your family and friends until you can figure things out. Also, I would join an al-anon group or any support group in your area. They are all free and may really help you focus on you. Please don’t give up. I had to find my way on my own and it was scary but it forced me to do it. You will grow and learn and you will do it too.
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
2:37 am June 10th, 2016

You are caught in the vicious cycle of addict and co-addict. He leaves and you threaten to leave and then he comes back and things get worse, then better, then worse and this continues. I have been in this cycle and I know the only way out is to leave it, make a change for you. If you read my articles here, they will help you as will my book, Hope Street.

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
2:40 am June 10th, 2016

I do not know the specifics of your situation or your financial situation. An addict can get angry and spiteful so I would make sure that you are calm and have all your ducks in a row before you tell him. If that means consulting a lawyer on your own first then that might be a good idea. I would get a plan and then serve him with the divorce papers. I really hope you go through with this because you have no idea how happy you will be in the future, not right away but definitely in the long run. You are making a decision that will seriously change your life for the better.
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
2:51 am June 10th, 2016

I am so glad to hear you are actively in recovery. This is a great place to be but if you don’t work on your issue with this man, you are at risk for relapse yourself. People, places and things are important in recovery and although you can give back and help others, you cannot force someone, as you probably already know to get help. He will be ready when he is ready and not a moment before. It sounds like you are not moving on with your life fully and won’t while he is still in your life. The key to stop enabling is sometimes just to let the person 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/

Amanda Andruzzi
3:00 am June 10th, 2016

If you love yourself more, then you have to stop worrying about how to help him and help yourself. Being abused is a serious threat to your life, physically and emotionally. Ask yourself if this is the person you want to spend the rest of your life with and then make sure you think this through because this person, this addict you see may stick around forever (even if there are times of sobriety) and it might rear its ugly head even after you think it is gone. You will be emotionally tortured in the times you are not physically and so I ask you, is this the life you want to live? I know, I lived 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/

Amanda Andruzzi
3:13 am June 10th, 2016

Jennifer, How wonderful can he be when he is pushing or shoving you, especially in front of your children? How great can this marriage be for your if you are angry all of the time and the children have an angry and depressed mother? You can leave someone if they are doing something that they refuse to change, especially if that something is drugs and addiction. You are going to be upset when the person you love lies and is high all of the time. Being lied to is not something that makes you feel beautiful and loved. Actually he is just like any other addict, words but no actions. When you are a Christian family you don’t leave at the first sign of trouble, but if you are hurting the ones you love, you should do anything to stop that. He is hurting you and won’t stop and in turn, you are hurting your family with being angry and unhappy. That won’t ever stop unless he stops getting high and lying. Your choices are to go back and continue more of the same cycle or stay gone and break 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/

6:32 am June 19th, 2016

This really helped me. I have been with my fiancé for eight years and have tried everything to get him to stop. At t he sane time when he made me feel bad I would encourage it so he wouldn’t be upset or make the day bad. I know it sounds pretty pathetic but other than his addiction I feel like he is my sole mate and love him so much. I naturally am very controlling or try to be. But really have never been in controlling of anything. This has made me realize I have to look in the mirror real hard and start making repairs thank you

No name
2:25 am June 20th, 2016

I can’t stop taking cocaine I’ve tried I need it don’t feel like eating or spending time family just want be alone an get the happy flowering feeling from the coke. But day after tired as can’t sleep all Night and makes me down til I take again. I know it’s a sin I’m Muslim but I can’t live without it an I feel paranoid wife is cheating on me I see things in my head. Help me

Poor Sue.
12:43 am June 25th, 2016

This is my !st time writing about this. I’ve been married 23 hrs and didn’t know what I was getting into.We have 4 kids.To make a long story short. I’m at a crossroads, I don’r want him here anymore but the stress over the decades I believe has contributed to me having Multiple Sclerosis. Now I feel stuck in this situation. Ive quit smoking 3 months ago and am trying to concentrate on my health and not his addiction. If anyone has and advice for me I’d love it!. P.S. He won’t leave.

Amanda Andruzzi
10:30 pm July 1st, 2016

You have the illusion of control but you are not controlling anything, in fact things are really out of control but by trying to keep him in line you don’t have to admit that you should leave. Sometimes the hardest thing to face in all of this is ourselves in the mirror. Don’t give up on you, let go of 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/

Amanda Andruzzi
10:47 pm July 1st, 2016

Poor Sue,
You can make him leave, you can call the police and let them know the situation and that he is a drug abuser and you have children in the home. Unfortunately it won’t be pretty but if you want out then it can be done. You deserve peace and happiness and the ability to be a mother to your children without the constant struggle of an addict in the home. You have to make the decision to do something and then make a list of the steps you need to take so that you can get there; then make sure you are prepared to execute them!
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
10:53 pm July 1st, 2016

No Name,
Stop hiding and come out and tell your wife and family. You need help, right away because those lows you feel will only get worse and you will need more and more cocaine. You need to detox and then get stable with the help of doctors, therapists and people who will care for you until you are mentally stable enough to go home. Don’t continue to fool yourself that people don’t know you are an addict anyway, they probably already do. Reach out for help now before it is too late. What you are doing to your brain, your health may not be reversable.
Amanda Andruzzi, published author, Hope Street, a memoir from the wife of an addict
View the video book trailer: http://sbprabooks.com/amandaandruzzi/video/

8:29 am July 12th, 2016

How do you stop enabling someone who threatens to hurt you in some way(verbal and physcological,and physical)?He won’t take no for an answer and forced me to borrow large amounts of money and then complained when he paid only part of it back?

7:57 am July 27th, 2016

This is all very new to me. My husband confessed his drug addiction to me 2 weeks ago and says he needs help getting clean. Little did I know this has been a problem for 3 years now. My biggest anger and frustration come from the fact that we have 2 small children, 3 yrs old and 9 months. So while I have been conceiving and caring for babies he has been using drugs and lying to me for years. He doesn’t seem to see the “big deal” considering he has been a functioning addict. He still has a job, a home, and a family. I kicked him out when I found out for fear that his unpredictable and often violent nature coming off of drugs could be dangerous and detrimental around my children. I am insisting that he get into a rehab asap but a lot of damage has already been done especially to our marriage. Every day is a constant battle to keep him away and focused on finding a rehab. I would just like to know if I am doing the right thing distancing him from me and my kids and what to expect in the near future. Will he ever really be “better”?

7:57 pm July 29th, 2016

Hi. I am new to this blog but have already found supportive and helpful information. I am also married to a drug addict. My husband is a doctor and utilizes lies and sneaky behavior to obtain the drugs “legally” through his practice. He uses often and I have caught him at it so many times over the past 3 years.
He is still able to work and function on a daily basis….but the lying. He constantly lies to me in order to separate himself and be alone to use.

I’ve asked him to seek therapy, short term rehab, long term rehab….he animatedly refuses. He says that he can stop if he wants to and there isn’t anyone out there that will be smart enough to help him. He believes he is better and more intelligent than any therapist available to him.
Every couple of months I catch him using…I explain how detrimental it is for his health, his career and his family (we have no children though). I’ve come to the point where I just don’t get emotional about it anymore. I realize that he has to change because HE wants to….I’ve asked him so many times to get help, but I guess he won’t until HE thinks he needs it.
I used to freak out, cry, beg for him to stop….but then I thought perhaps that type of behavior is justifying his addition. He thinks he deserves it because he “wife is nuts”….so now I find that I am very calm, detached and matter of fact about it. Regardless, it isn’t helping. He is still using and I caught him again yesterday.
I will not take second fiddle to a drug addiction. How can I make him understand that? Do I have to leave him? Present an ultimatum?
I’m scared of what it will mean….

Amanda Andruzzi
1:31 am August 1st, 2016

If there is violence or even the threat of violence, you get out of the living situation, the relationship and go to the police to obtain an order of protection. You cannot live under the assumption that he won’t go through with those threats.
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
1:36 am August 1st, 2016

It was all new to me too and I had no understanding of what addiction really is or means for a person’s future. It is all up to him, unfortunately and he won’t do it unless he really wants to. You are doing the right thing by giving him an opportunity to get help because without treatment, he may keep going in circles. Have you read Hope Street, if not, please try to or at the very least keep reading the articles and stories of others in my section of articles. It is going to be a hard road either way, but there are are no guarantees and the only advice I give is that you have to go with your gut right now. You know when things are not right and don’t let him convince you otherwise.
Amanda Andruzzi, published author, Hope Street, a memoir from the wife of an addict View the Video BOOK Trailer: http://sbprabooks.com/amandaandruzzi/video/

5:31 pm August 3rd, 2016

Amanda, thank you for this blog and for your consistent willingness to reply and provide guidance for these many folks in dire need of it. Hoping you can afford me some of the same. :)

I’m 7+ years sober and active in recovery from alcoholism. My spouse of 2+ years (known him for 5+) was originally a sober member of a recovery community but has relapsed several times and has no program at the moment. His opiod addiction is medically managed at the moment with suboxone and has been for years, under a doctor’s supervision. But his mentality remains fundamentally that of an addict.

Last year we welcomed his 15 year old son to our home. Husband got full custody because child’s mother is a train wreck and is across the country. Child is difficult — tough teen stuff and some acute attachment disorder issues which make it tougher. The stress has been a lot for both of us (no other kids). Husband, because he is an essentially unrecovered addict, has succumbed to smoking pot on occasion. This jeopardizes his union job as well as destroys the trust and respect between us. It renders him a hypocrite with respect to his son, who desperately needs his father (a long overdue role).

Here’s my question. But for the son, whom I love and have managed to have a positive impact upon (I’m really the only solid adult this kid has ever known), I would have already left or kicked husband out. My sobriety is not in peril, as it exists independent of the actions of others based on my daily maintenance of my spiritual condition. I am just over it with husband; I have exhausted my personal wellspring of hope for him. But there’s the son. I have no legal rights over him, but I am his life raft.

Do I stay in an unhappy marriage for a couple years in the child’s interests? Any interruption to the family unit would be dire for this kid, he’s had so much of it and his counselor is working hard to patch it up. I think I can do that, but I WILL enable husband if we are cohabitating. That’s just how that goes. So … which devil do I choose? Husband has been in and out of the program most of his adult life so he knows exactly how and where to get help if he chooses. He is not choosing to now and makes no promise at the moment that he will.

2:11 am August 4th, 2016

Hi. I’ve been married to my husband for 32 years. He has been an addict for at least the last 20. I have come to terms with the fact that I enabled him for years hoping things would change but they’ve only gotten worse. Now I know it is time to leave. My problem is that I don’t have a dime to my name. I had breast cancer treatment last year and have been unable to find work. I really want to leave and start a new life. Any suggestions?

Amanda Andruzzi
3:24 pm August 8th, 2016

Thank you for sharing with us and I am happy you are able to maintain your sobriety. Spirituality is definitely something that is needed to keep your recovery in check. I hope I can give you some useful advice. You cannot sacrafice your sanity, happiness, and well-being for an addict but I can guarantee that you can gain custody of his son if you want to fight for it. I think what you are willing to sacrafice for this boy is very noble. I woud feel the same way. If you can insist on custody he might just let you have it and if you legally go for custody, you might get it based on the fact that he is old enough to decide where he wants to live and because his father is an active addict. The choice is yours but I think you would both (son) better off 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/

Amanda Andruzzi
3:57 pm August 8th, 2016

If you have been married to him for that long than you have half of whatever you both have. If he lost everything due to addiction that is another story but you are entitled to have of the assets. If that does not help then it is time to go to family and friends for support. Sometimes putting yourself out there and allowing people who love you to help you through this time is hard to do at first but it might be just the catalyst you need. Being around supportive people is not what you have experienced in your household so having healthy, loving people around you might help you get through this and help you get back on your own two feet again.
Amanda Andruzzi, published author, Hope Street, a memoir from the wife of an addict
View the video book trailer: http://sbprabooks.com/amandaandruzzi/video/

Rock-ME-Hard Place
6:51 am September 6th, 2016

After more than 20 years, this will be the first time i tell anyone my story. My husband chooses drugs over me, his children, his pets, and our home. I say choose because he has quit on a couple of occasions when significant, negative life events happened without any signs of withdrawal. I’m not exactly sure what drugs he uses but it involves those copper scrub pads. He is over 65 and not wasting away so i dont think its crack or meth, but i could be wrong. I am the breadwinner of the family. He only receives a very small SS check and does an occasional handy man job. I’ve endured his behavior for years to protect the children, or so i thought. They are damaged because of him. I want him to leave, or die, but he won’t. I make just enough money to keep a roof over our heads at this point and am in debt up to my eyeballs. The kicker is that i work from home so if i would leave, i would lose my job plus my son has recently needed to move home and there are pets to consider. His abuse is verbal and environmental. He says things that are so vile and hurtful on a daily basis. They cannot be unsaid or unheard. It’s like a game to him, like he could go further than saying things like digging up my dead mother and selling sex acts on her. If he doesnt get what he wants, he flips the breaker and turns off the electricity and takes away my dog. He has also put salt in my soda bottle and sprays chlorox all over the bathroom because I’m allergic to chlorine. He gets in debt to his dealer, or so he says, and uses that to extort money i dont have from me to keep us safe.

Tonight, i sit here after enduring 3 hours of being berated with so many vile insults, being in the dark and heat, without my only friend (my dog), with the little food i scrimped for rotting in the refrigerator, with heart palpitations due to the stress, and my job in jeopardy. I didnt cave and risk bouncing the rent check as i have done so many times in the past for him. He turned on the breaker, gave me my dog, and said i “won” this time, whatever that means. I’ll keep my knife and my dog by my side tonight and if a dealer shows up, i will gladly point them in his direction.

Thanks for listening. That alone is invaluable to me at this point.

5:07 pm September 6th, 2016

Thank you for the feedback! Husband has come to a place of willingness and will leave Friday for a month of treatment at Cumberland Heights, where they will detox him from suboxone and work specifically on relapse prevention. The minute he expressed willingness to go my heart softened and I realized that he can recover — because anyone CAN recover. Often people don’t; that doesn’t mean they CAN’T. I have and I watch other people recover every day, so I know it is possible. With willingness, open mindedness and honesty RECOVERY IS POSSIBLE. But if you’re loving someone who lacks one or more of these critical elements, there will be nothing but pain ahead.

Before he agreed to go, I had prepared divorce papers and given him a copy – preparing them was hard but it made it “real” for him in a way my words did not. Now that he’s agreed to get help, I will wait for six months after his successful completion of the 30-day program to decide whether to file. What I know is that I’ll be fine either way: with him or without him, I will be okay.

8:53 am September 7th, 2016

How can I stop enabling my husband when he threatens me if I don’t give him money?He gets really crazy mad and violent and abuses me mentally and won’t stop until he gets what he wants!

Amanda Andruzzi
2:25 am September 13th, 2016

Rock me,
Please know that the dealer will come after him and if you insist or file an order of protection then the addict will no longer even be in your home. I know it is scary, I have been where you are but you deserve peace, a better life and so do your children. It seems he only detracts from your life and your household and you have to support him. Wouldn’t life be easier if he left? You can do this if you want to, though it may not be easy, you can.
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
2:27 am September 13th, 2016

Good for you Renee. I do hope things work out for the both of you but as you said and most importantly, either way you will be okay.

Amanda Andruzzi
2:31 am September 13th, 2016

Do you want to continue on this way? If you don’t do something to change things, then they will stay the same. I know exactly what you are going through, the mental and verbal abuse is horrifying but you have choices; you can stick to your boundaries and tell him you will not support his addiction and/or you can leave and extricate yourself from this situation. If he knows you are not going to be intimidated, then he will move on to someone else he can intimidate.
Amanda Andruzzi, published author, Hope Street, a memoir from the wife of an addict
View the video book trailer: http://sbprabooks.com/amandaandruzzi/video/

6:57 am September 16th, 2016

Such an amazing read. Married for a year and a half now, and have discovered my husband is using meth/ice. I say discovered because he doesn’t yet know that I know. His behaviour hasn’t been quite right for a while now. And you know women’s intuition is a powerful thing. I did some snooping and found his glass pipe in a small bag with a short straw and bits of sponge and some empty baggies. He goes to the bathroom and takes forever, but I hear his torch lighter clicking away. His eyes are nearly always glassy. We work together and he disappears to the bathroom up to 3 or 4 times a day during work. I know what he’s doing. I have since found his stash, he lies about why he’s late home when he leaves before me and gets home after me. He never has money and I’m usually left with all the financial stuff. Rent bills food. Im so hurt by this especially since he knows my ex was a heroin addict and everything I went through with him. I sometimes think I’m emotionally done, I feel exhausted and numb. And I don’t even know how to begin to tell him I know. I don’t even do drugs, but it seems I sure know how to find men that do.

12:01 pm September 16th, 2016


I am married now 2 years, I had been feeling lonely in the marriage for sometime now that I went to a counselor on how to talk to my husband on things that could have been fixed, like spending more time with me, being intimate and attending family functions. It’s like pulling teeth to get him to go anywhere and most of the time he says “no you go ahead and have fun” so I discussed these things with him and he said he’d try and work on them. Not even a week later I walk in on him snorting OxyContin, he looks good on paper, great job, nice house all the hoopla. I’ve asked him if he has a problem and he denies it, and says it’s just recreational, but after looking around the house I found muscle relaxers and Xanax too and approached him about those too, straws in the garage and his car. I’ve asked him to get help, and help for us and says we don’t need it that he can stop on his own. All love, trust and respect went out the door when I saw that. How he thought I was going to be ok having to watch him do that I don’t know?! I have separated myself from him and still nothing, then he tells me he will go as far as going to marriage counseling but that’s it, I badly want kids and now he says he doesn’t. There is no family involvement, his family stopped talking to me after our wedding and he wants nothing to do with mine. I’m at the point of divorce and ready to sign papers this has all been in about a month and a week now since the incident and I don’t think we can get back to a normal life. What’s your advice?

1:36 pm September 16th, 2016


I am married now 2 years, I had been feeling lonely in the marriage for sometime now that I went to a counselor on how to talk to my husband on things that could have been fixed, like spending more time with me, being intimate and attending family functions. It’s like pulling teeth to get him to go anywhere and most of the time he says “no you go ahead and have fun” so I discussed these things with him and he said he’d try and work on them. Not even a week later I walk in on him snorting OxyContin, he looks good on paper, great job, nice house all the hoopla. I’ve asked him if he has a problem and he denies it, and says it’s just recreational, but after looking around the house I found muscle relaxers and Xanax too and approached him about those too, straws in the garage and his car. I’ve asked him to get help, and help for us and says we don’t need it that he can stop on his own. All love, trust and respect went out the door when I saw that. How he thought I was going to be ok having to watch him do that I don’t know?! I have separated myself from him and still nothing, then he tells me he will go as far as going to marriage counseling but that’s it, I badly want kids and now he says he doesn’t. There is no family involvement, his family stopped talking to me after our wedding and he wants nothing to do with mine. I’m at the point of divorce and ready to sign papers this has all been in about a month and a week now since the incident and I don’t think we can get back to a normal life. What’s your advice? I have also sought out the help of counselors for advice on addicts and even my priest at church and the answers are all the same. Unless he’s willing to change there’s nothing I can do.

5:23 am September 20th, 2016

I swear to god I don’t know where to start, I have been with my husband 10 years married 6 we don’t have any children together, in fact we don’t have anything together , honestly in my heart I know this is not healthy for me, I am jus thankful to GOD that I can admit that this is no good for me I know ( truely know ) that he’s not gonna stop , unless He except his addition , take it to God and believe he can change ( and do it )but I do t see that happening no time soon it’s now been 11 days since I saw him, he changed his cell number to keep me from calling him jus knowing I would fuss , so guess it gotten to the point he don’t want to hear the fussing and I’m sure he don’t , because the truth don’t need any support , I fast and pray to God for certain things , I have to be honest I KNOW my husband is not gonna stop and in due time he will wind back up in prison, no I’m not one of those who don’t want to hear the truth , I’m one of those that’s looking for support to help me get pass this and the funny thing is that I feel he’s having and living in with another women, why dose that bother me so much ? ( I wouldn’t know ) so because I know all of theses things , someone please help me and give me some encouraging words I have to get out of this but I swear to you I don’t know how my feelings are do caught up,I’m here crying and wondering everyday while he don’t have a care in the world, I calls him and text him so many times in one day that I loose count, and he never answers or respond I need help so bad so if anyone feel they can support me , please do I’m so broken hearted right how can he go all of theses days without seeing or talking to me , why am i
the only one crying , hurting and seems that he has jus removed himself from my life completely , please anyone I need guidence I don’t deserve this and I would think all the times he’s went to jail I was right there for him even when he got out no matter how long it was I was there , I am so hurt and confused help me please

6:20 am September 20th, 2016

Well, I did it. We were arguing about money, and him trying to justify where all his pay goes. I asked him, how much do you spend on drugs each week? Well! That was it. He flew into a rage, took off his wedding ring, said i’m out of here. You don’t know what you’re talking about. I told him I had found his pipe and his drugs. Where? Show me! I had to explain that is found them a few days earlier. Then more yelling about going through his stuff. Then an angry admission that it’s not that bad, he only uses it every now and then. Then off he goes in his car. Later he throws his kit at me with a pipe and empty baggies in it and says is this what you want.
Next day at work I get an apology, and the same old, I don’t use that much, I don’t have problem. I’m not addicted. Then off to the bathroom he goes, and returns with glazed eyes. He’s in quite the chipper mood. But how’s he lighting up when the pipe is at home? On further inspection when I get home, it’s not even the same one that I found previously. Then when he gets home he says proudly I’ll smash it with a hammer, you’ll see I don’t need it. So this he does. He must be feeling so happy and smart to have pulled one over on me. That was just the first step. Things are going to get messy, I just feel it. He got so angry telling him I knew, how’s he going to be when I tell him that wasn’t the pipe I found, and I know he’s still using during the day. Now I have to pluck up the courage for the next step.

10:28 pm September 28th, 2016

Yep i am the biggest enabler out there !!! I believe his crap his promises i need a back bone i love him so much he is not only my husband but my best friend he isnt always using gets clean & our life is amazing then relapses. Easily led. I am such a pushover i feel like dirt on his shoe. We only got married 2 wks ago and he has relapsed already. These should be the happiest days of our lives :( im so so devestated. Only for my babys id be dead im not cut out for this erractic life. Im so weak. I need to tell him to leave i do say it & then tell him to stay because im a coward & dunno how to be without him & dont want him to suffer ha how ironic. I need some wise words im keeping this all inside me like a caged animal :(

5:37 pm October 4th, 2016


5:46 pm October 4th, 2016


5:50 am October 12th, 2016

I have decided i can’t live like this anymore, after my partner has went thru yet another one off his ‘phases’ 4 in 2 years. I have always made excuses for his behaviour. But this time I just feel let down and wonder what the future holds for me and our kids. I have made the choice that if he doesn’t get proper help, then I can no longer have any relationship with him. The hard part is our 2 small children, where do I start. i have no trust in him to put kids first and make sure their okay. He will smoke drugs and take drugs and drive.

Amanda Andruzzi
4:09 pm October 12th, 2016

Jo, Tanya, Denise, Shona, Lisa, & Shirley,

one thing that all of you have in common is that you love an addict. The situation may be different but the framework is the same. An addict and the illnes of addiction is selfish, self-centered, sociopathic, manipulative, pathological, and toxic all rolled into one. And the one major thing you all have in common is that you’ve lost yourself. I am thinking about starting phone and online support groups in the near future so if you would be interested please let me know. Until then I wrote Hope Street so that I could help you, all of you understand better what you are going through and what you I need to do to get yourself better and out of this 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/

12:38 am October 20th, 2016

I know I am an enabler but honestly don’t know how to stop. Each time i try i find myself just justifying enabling in a whole different way. My husband and i have been married for 8 years . WE have lost our living situation three different times during these years of marriage. I have always been the income provider and now we are in seperate homes renting rooms seperately. I sneak him in my room a lot at which i know I am enabling him. I feel i need to cut him off until he chooses to get clean but then he lies and manipulates me that he is working a program and there i go again enabling him. I feel so dumb for doing it but stuck in this cycle . Sometimes i think its me who needs the help more than him. I just dont want to live a drug filled life anymore. I dont use drugs and just want boring normal…. Work…come home….eat dinner…watch tv and on weekends visit grandkids and family……this up and down i am losing who i am…..my confidence is shot and its all my fault. I cant blame anyone for me being an enabler. I need help.

Amanda Andruzzi
1:11 pm October 20th, 2016

Lori, I am glad to hear you say that you are the one who needs help. He needs help but a very different kind. Half the issue with co-addicts is that we don’t think it is us who is the problem or part of the problem. We think if we can just change the addict, we will be okay too but if our life depends on another person’s condition, then that is a problem. If you need help, get it, ask for it. Find a support group, people that you trust who can support you, therapy, and try all of the steps I have written about in this blog in my 40+ articles here. Don’t give up, you can have normal but you have to change.
Amanda Andruzzi, published author, Hope Street, a memoir from the wife of an addict View the video book trailer: http://sbprabooks.com/amandaandruzzi/video/

It's time
3:48 am October 29th, 2016

Thank you for sharing! It’s time to make a change for my children (both under 4) and for me. My eyes have finally been opened and I am able to see things for what they really are.

Thank you!

1:41 am November 1st, 2016

I am now starting to feel like a fool. My addict spouse played me over and over and I was so naive I let him. All of the scenes keep playing in my head now and I am upset at myself for being an enabler and losing everything. He is in jail now and has been substance free for 6 months. Says he has hit rock bottom and does not want to go back to using. I don’t know how to trust this? The bad scenes keep popping into my head like PTSD. I hate myself.

Amanda Andruzzi
12:50 pm November 1st, 2016

It’sTime and Anne,
There comes a point when you open your eyes and realize your contribution to the situation. He would not be able to manipulate you if you were not enabling. You have to learn to break the cycle. That is what I am here for; to help you do just that.
Amanda Andruzzi

1:51 pm November 7th, 2016

Thank you for doing this.. this is the only thing I’ve read that makes sense. I feel so selfish by shutting the door on his when everyone else (including his “friends) has!

Amanda Andruzzi
1:11 am November 18th, 2016

It is not selfish to take care of yourself especially when you are at the point of drowning. If this relationship is causing you harm how can you take care of anyone becaue as a co-addict I know you sure aren’t taking care of yourself. The guilt will fade when you realize that enabling an addict really only prolongs their addiction and if you leave they may hit bottom or end up doing the same thing they did to you to someone else. Either way, it is not your fault.
Amanda Andruzzi, published author, Hope Street, a memoir from the wife of an addict
View the video book trailer: http://sbprabooks.com/amandaandruzzi/video/

5:05 am November 21st, 2016

I’ve been married to a meth addict 13 years. I’ve left and he always begs and swear he is clean. I came back for the last time 3 days ago. He said he’d been clean 6 weeks but told me the truth today less than a week. He has always lied about using but he is finally telling me and himself the truth. This is the last time I will deal with this. I’m so tired.

Amanda Andruzzi
7:04 pm November 21st, 2016

You should be tired of this. When you are ready for this to stop I am here.
Amanda Andruzzi, published author, Hope Street, a memoir from the wife of an addict
View the video book trailer: http://sbprabooks.com/amandaandruzzi/video/

10:45 pm November 27th, 2016

I have been married for 13 years and for the last 6 years my husband has been a cocaine addict. For a year and half his addiction was extreme, but most the most part he has done it sporadically. (i think ;). The one thing about our situation which is incredible is he has NEVER told ANYONE about his addiction and I have NEVER told ANYONE about his addition. It’s all very secret. We have large home/ cottage/vehicles/ doing well financially but our marriage is a sham. Loveless/ sexless and hurtful. 3 kids 10 and under. I just caught him again doing the drug. I told him last time he would have to leave if he did it again …….and he’s still here, …. making chilli right now ! and helped our son with guitar practice earlier. He’s no angel. Paranoia, anger, no patience and switching blame to me is constant but my kids adore him he’s a fairly good dad. He’s here never gone and drives to lessons / cooks /cleans….etc. I almost feel numb – definately stupid. It’s just not bad enough to blow everything up and get a divorce – but I have serious doubts that time will fix what is going on. I read some posts about enabling and I realize I am probably doing that. Mostly by letting him stay here. I think I need to get help. But I’m so scared to tell anyone and have our reputation / kids reputation ruined. (He know’s this). I am in my mid 40’s haven’t had sex in about a year now – and I’m miserable. Oh he’s also an alcoholic – still finding empty vodka bottles hidden in walls etc. We have settled on drug tests. It worked for a while until I realized he had ordered opiate drug tests., oh there was the stored up urine for tests too. Yup….I’m an idiot! Oh and just today he finally admitted it has been the handy man who has been supplying. Yes …..’it’s amazing I can even leave a reply to this blog with my level of intelligence!
Think I am going to seriously start reading about how to help me/ go to some classes and focus on myself for a while. Slightly concerned about the money. We are not hurting but have to some day put kids through school and I’m sure he has spent thousands. Has his own business so no boss or demands ever put on him. Life is good for him.
Ahhh – don’t know what to do. But feels good someone might read this. :)

1:04 pm December 6th, 2016

Thank you for this website. I’m posting because I’m four months into separation with my husband of 5 years due to marijuana addiction. We have a 4 and 2 year old. I tried to get him to quit many times which always resulted in lies. So I stopped trying after a point and promised myself if he ever hurt the children I would leave. One night he made hash cookies and mixed up the cookies with the children’s. Thank God I was the one who are the cookie, not the babies, but that was enough. I called the police and filed for divorce. His time with the kids has been supervised and now his hair follicle levels are zero. I am contemplating going through with the divorce or not. He never went to any drug treatment, he just quit on his own. He has used God to help him quit. My problem is his lack of ownership, he blames me for putting the kids through this and him through this. He says he wants addicted he just likes it. He has never really apologized to me. He says I don’t trust him because of my past issues and does not own how he caused the problem. Those facts tell me I should not take him back as he still has the addcits mentality? Should we try counseling? I could care less about him in my life, but missing half of my children’s lives for 16 years while they are with him is heartbreaking.

4:22 pm December 6th, 2016


I was in the same boat except no kids and instead of cocaine it was OxyContin and benzos, and, muscle relaxers. I had no idea and we’d only been married for 2 1/2 years. But he still got his work done, errands, chores around the house and so forth, a great job, nice car, nice house, I still felt lonely in the marriage. No intamacy, we hardly went out for a date, things I though we could work on, until I walked in on him snorting that stuff. I pleaded he get help, so he could stop I have it some time but he didn’t budge, I found text messages between him and dealer and found pills all throughout the house. I filed for divorce and moved out, part of me feels free, I don’t have to worry about coming home and seeing him dead on the floor, he’s not my responsibility any more and then there’s a part of me that does worry about him and still wants to go back because I feel guilty in a way for turning my back on him. But I wasn’t happy and I had to do what was right for me. There’s no good that will come out of living with an addict no matter what and I’ve realized that especially having a really good friend that went through this mess, she went back 3 times after all the Im clean stories. It’s a bunch of BS and unless they truly want help they have to do it for themselves. They have to hit rock bottom before they even realize they have a problem, which is what numerous drug counselors told me. Protect yourself and your family. I worry to but I’m gonna manage and make it. Starting over isn’t all that bad, change is good in these situations.

Amanda Andruzzi
10:07 pm December 6th, 2016


Where does holding in this secret get you? Maybe outside things look good but I know you are dying inside, just going through the motions, resenting your situation and being the only sane person in your marriage. Sometimes for things to get better they have to get worse. The thing you don’t want to let go of is the exact thing you need to in order to make progress and heal your family. I can’t guarantee he will get better but I can guarantee that you and your children will be better off either way; they get their dad back, sober or he he leaves and the toxicity of the addiction is gone and you and your children can be free and heal and find a new normal and even be happy. Secrets and enabling only eat away at you and allow the addict a free pass to keep using.
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
10:12 pm December 6th, 2016

Christina, if you don’t want to be in a relationship where your partner gets high all the time then you have every right to do something about it. Don’t let him intimidate you or make you feel guilty that you don’t want weed in your home or your children’s parent to raise them being high all the time. He won’t get 50/50 custody with his history and you need to do what is right for you too. You have the right to be happy so that you can be a better parent. More spouses should follow through with their boundaries like you did instead of enabling an addict.
Amanda Andruzzi, published author, Hope Street, a memoir from the wife of an addict View the video book trailer: http://sbprabooks.com/amandaandruzzi/video/

5:26 pm December 11th, 2016

To make this as short as possible, am I enabling my husband more by trying to control when he gets his meds, or to let him take them and be out and suffer the consequences?

10:10 pm December 17th, 2016

information about alcohol and drug addict

11:15 pm December 20th, 2016


I still don’t understand what I should do to stop enabling; I AM more than ready to get going as am fed up with his lies. please i need help to go through this hard situation; have two very young daughters and it is very hard

Amanda Andruzzi
6:19 pm December 21st, 2016

Yes, you are enabling by trying to control his addiction in any way. You have to do what is best for you and I don’t think it involves managing someone else’s medications.
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
6:21 pm December 21st, 2016

get support for yourself in the form of therapy, Al-anon, and enlist friends and family first. The next step is to become educated on addiction and enabling which you can find in my articles. Then you have to stop your enabling behaviors; maybe all at once or little by little but you need to come to a point where you are okay, even if the addict is not. This is about your health and well-being and your girls right now.
Amanda Andruzzi, published author, Hope Street, a memoir from the wife of an addict View the video book trailer: http://sbprabooks.com/amandaandruzzi/video/

11:50 pm December 29th, 2016

I am a recovering addict who is clean but am married to an active addict and we have three children ages 5 and under. He abuses his anxiety and pain pills and drinks moderate amounts of alcohol. He has a bad back problem as well as anxiety but he snorts his pills, takes too much, runs out early, is an asshole and can’t cope when he runs out. He lies. He denies his use until I have so much proof he can’t deny it; but still only fesses as little as he has to. He has told me he would stop and either did for a while and failed or just hid it more. He has relapsed so many times. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to believe him. I realize I’ve enabled him to use again by not enforcing my boundaries. I kicked him out in spring of ’15. He stayed with friends and started going to meetings. We got back together and had our third child who is now 10 months. I’m obviously trying to give him another chance to recover and spare our children, him, and myself from the pain of separation. I told him yesterday that I’ve failed in my recovery as a codependent and have let his shit slide and that I have to draw the line. I gave him a deadline of the end of the month of January (he may have misunderstood me and thought I meant the end of this month, December) for him to clean up, get back to meetings, tell his sponser, accountability partners, his family, etc, or I would have to make him leave again. I slept late today as I was up very late reading articles and comments here and crying for feeling disappointed and sad that I may have to kick him out again and he really may never be clean and I and my children may never get to have him be clean and healthy. When I got up he was on the phone with his sponsor. He finished and told me he had called HR at work and told them he was in recovery and needed to be allowed to miss part of his shift once a week to be able to attend meetings. He flushed his whole prescription of pain meds he had filled yesterday and said he was going to be sick for three days and asked me to be patient with him for three days. I don’t know if this will work for him. I’ve told him he is the only person who can do this. I am determined to work on just me and to follow through with not enabling him. That may end up meaning I will have to make him leave. I wrote to my sponsor and told her what was going on and that I am going to talk with my mom to explain to her how badly I need to get back to my meetings and I know once I ask she’ll take care of the kids so I can go. I feel sad and happy. I feel scared. Things need to change. I don’t know how they are going to change or exactly what is going to happen. But I am going to follow through and do my part. I’m going to do the right thing. I’m going to use my logic, not my emotions. It will still hurt. But I am in recovery, and I will own my recovery. I am scared.

4:48 am January 2nd, 2017

I found out on 23rd December that my husband of 2 and a half years is addicted to cocaine and has ran up massive debts. I am devastated and feel so stupid as I didn’t have a clue.

We’ve been together for 16 years and we had recently started trying for our first baby and I feel that he has taken this away from me as I can’t bring a child into this mess.

He says he will do whatever it takes and wants help but won’t talk to me about anything. He gets upset and feels extremely sorry for himself and tries to put some of the blame on me. He has also taken overdoses and keeps telling me I’d be better off with someone else.

I’m so angry with him and sick of his temper. I love him and want him to get better but I just don’t know if it’still possible as I think he is still very much in denial. He has been referred to an addictions centre so we are still waiting for the appointment to come through. Life really does sucks at the moment and I hope I’m not wasting my time trying to support him.

Amanda Andruzzi
6:16 am January 2nd, 2017

Thank you for sharing here. I know you are scared but you will find comfort in knowing you are doing the best thing, the right thing for you and for your children. You, as an addict in recovery must know that this is on him; he has to do this for him, on his own terms and not for anyone else. You are going to get through this either way, remember that.
Amanda Andruzzi, published author, Hope Street, a memoir from the wife of an addict View the video book trailer: http://sbprabooks.com/amandaandruzzi/video/

6:27 pm January 8th, 2017

I have a serious problem. I am codependent. Married to alcoholic for 35 years. Nothing has changed. He cannot be trusted, lies, steals and will never change. I am 65 years old and this life is taking on a toll on me. Why do I live this life? I need serious help.

Amanda Andruzzi
5:01 am January 18th, 2017

It is never too late to change your situation and leave. If you have become addicted to him and your life in some way, I know leaving is hard but I can assure you what you have been dealing with for 35 years has been much harder. If you are serious about getting help then don’t wait. Get a therapist, a support group, join Al-anon and confide in friends and family for support. Do it now, don’t wait.
Amanda Andruzzi, published author, Hope Street, a memoir from the wife of an addict
View the video book trailer: http://sbprabooks.com/amandaandruzzi/video/

5:05 pm February 2nd, 2017

I need help . My husband is a “functioning ” addict if that’s what you call it . He goes through periods of being clean then binges and spends all our money on bills. I try to take all the money and keep him from it but he is now demanding he won’t be ” rationed” his own money. I had a health crisis recently and I am not able to just leave because of money and literally no where to go . I realize that he will never stop unless he wants to but how do I pay bills with him like this ? I feel stuck. Giving him access to money just enables him more and I can’t save to leave . I’m desperate I need advice. Please help. How do you keep a man away from his own money ? When it should be going to the household. I just need to find the help to just let go but also need to survive with 2 children.

6:34 pm February 9th, 2017

I met my Husband on Jan 1st, 2015, he said he was Seperated, from his wife, and was getting a Divorce. He ask me to Marry him, on February 14, 2015, and I said yes. We got married, only 10 months after we met. He used to do Crack COCAINE, and some street drugs, told me he hadn’t done that in 20 + years, and would NEVER do them again. I believed him. Well I found out he was doing street drugs again and Crack COCAINE again. His Daughter told him to tell me, the truth. He did, because his Brother he was doing it with, committed Suicide. We lost our Rental, we lost our Business, and became homeless. 10 months later were still living between Friends, and my Parent’s. I don’t TRUST him. He lies alot. I sometimes think he’s a CON artists, because of all the things he was able to talk me into. He is a very controlling, Jealous Man. He complains about me being on Facebook, and always ask who I’m talking to. I feel that I’ve started to be controlling to him, in the since that I always want to know where he is, who he’s communicating with. It’s Exsuhusting. Help. My Family won’t talk to me, my Daughter’s won’t let me see my Grandkids or Them. No one has respect for me anymore. It really hurts my Husband. It’s extremely hard on me, and it is causing martial problems. My Family knows I’m in a bad situation. What can I do

5:57 am February 11th, 2017

My name is Danielle I am a mother of three amazing boys and a 16 year old daughter that came into my life when she was three when I met her father. I have been with the father of my kids for almost 13 years now and for a long time we were happy and I thought there was nothing in this world thatcould have come between us. Boy was I wrong…. For the past 3 years he has used prescription drugs. He has lost jobs, we have had to move multiple times, and we barely get by financially week to week even tho he brings home close to $1000 a week. I have recently found out that he is also using crystal meth. My two oldest have found his empty baggies and pipe he uses to smoke it. I am finally realizing that I am his enabler. I tell myself he has to work and cant go to work having withdrawals so I give him more money. When things get really bad and I threaten to take the kids and leave he promises to change but it never happens. I have always chosen to stay because I am scared he will get worse if the kids and I leave, that he will feel like we are abandoning him. I am also scared to leave bc of our 16 year old daughter she has already lost one parent bc they chose drugs over her. Her father has had custody since she turned 5 and bc we r not married I have no legal rights and dont think he would allow me to take her with me. I dont want to leave without her or want her to think I am leaving her behind bc I don’t love her. My mother has found out about his recent drug use of meth and is threatening me that if I dont get her grandsons away from their father and come stay with her she will have my kids taken away. I have already been battling severe bouts of depression this past year and feel like I am drowning with no way to get back to the top for air. I need some advice and have no one close to turn to. Please help

Disgusted, tired and alone
6:42 am February 23rd, 2017

I could write the whole story out but it sounds so familiar to the ones I’ve already read on here. Married 16 years to an addict who’s been an active, high functioning addict for at least 10. We’ve lost vehicles, our house has been in foreclosure, he’s went to jail, facing prison, lost jobs. The list is long. I love him. Always have. But I’m so tired. I don’t leave because of money. Plain and simple. I have no one else to rely on. I work but make the bare minimum. No college education. Nowhere to go and can’t afford a house on my own. I have three kids. They adore their dad but are picking up on the fact that things aren’t right. My life is hell and I feel stuck. I love this man from the depths of my soul but I hate him too. I hate him for destroying something that could be amazing. We tried rehab. He got kicked out. We tried outpatient. It didn’t last. I’ve asked him to go to counseling. He never does. The man I fell in love with, doesn’t exist anymore. I still love my husband but I don’t think that’s enough. I want out and I wish there was more help for women like me. I can’t make it on my own with three kids so I stay and our lives are miserable. We have no assets so. Blew his 401k. Have lost everything else. He’s even pawned my jewelry and everything of value that was mine. Stolen from the kids. I feel sick just writing this. Yes, in my heart I am done. But financially, I am stuck.

5:46 am February 28th, 2017

Can a spouse be arrested due to his wife’s drug use?

10:57 am March 4th, 2017

Hi there,
My husband has been smoking hashish on and off since we met. He knows I hate it and only agreed to get married and have children if he stops. When he has a spliff he will most definitely goes back for more and of course, he does it in secret. He’s known not to pay our rent for 2 months to feed his habit.He used to apologise when I found his drugs but not anymore. I don’t want an apology, I just want him to care enough to stop. I would leave him but we just moved to Sweden and I still have no job to support myself and our two children. I was even thought about telling his sister and ask her to have a word with him as they are close, but unsure if it is a good idea. Please tell me how to stop enablin him and what else can I do. Thank you!

9:33 am March 5th, 2017

hi I been wiz my husband for 13 yrs n have a daughter 6yrs.when I married I never know he was a drug addict after a yr in I found out.we moved from home country for 6 yrs to work abroad every was fine never used drugs or anything since we had our daughter n came back life came hell he start again lies excuse.we had money issu I went back to work leaving my daughter wiz him n his mother when I came back it was worse.that was in 2012 .all I work I put in own business so I depend on him to live so ever time we argue he black mail me not giving me my expenses he say he not addict he denied every time he take methadon every so he get energy to work so every 2 or 3 month he relapsed then arguments lies denial false promised now when I comfort him he say it nothing to do wiz me he does hurt me when he doing drugs.now that my bad is bedridden am at my dad place ,still he never happy everytime he put me down emotionally n mentally am drain he take out his frustration on me.I look after my dad my daughter school shopping cooking he just look after the business when he home am stress I just down know how his mood will be.he want everything to be perfect when he is not always verbally abused me n my family. it two week he left I found out he took drugs again he say I need to help him but I try so many time but every time same thing happen.I want him to leave me alone but because of the business we r connected .really fed up can’t take it anymore we r building our own house but already told him I won’t move in wiz him n he ask to give him a room upstairs so he can see our daughter.It will be the same routine again.please help i dont have any income no one to help if i go back to work n my dad to look after.he not living wiz me but i wanted my own house i work hard to expand the business n he wont give me the house alone I know I can divorced him n earn half but my daughter will loss all we work so hard tocearn really don’t know way to do

7:10 pm March 12th, 2017

I tend to minimize everything. People point this out all the time. The state is going to put a restraining order on my husband because I can’t seem to. He spent all his money on crack and he won’t be able to survive on his own. I fear for him. I am the enabler. I know this. I feel like there is a death in the family. I’m going to lose him. But he’s not the person I thought I married. I’ve allowed this for 23 years. I will allow the restraining order to be done by them because it lasts longer. I’m sad I have to give him up. This all happens in 2 days. Then what? I don’t know. I have 4 kids. My husband and I grew up together basically. He’s all I know.

1:36 pm March 23rd, 2017

Thank you for this great blog. Its been very helpful. I have neen married for little over a year to my drug addicted husband. I have managed to minimize arguments by simply letting him be. We have a peaceful life however he is controlled by drugs and alcohol. It use to be worse when he was younger. I am though tired of seeing him throw away his life. I feel i am throwing mine away by being married to him. I think about divorcing him all the time. He is afraid that i will leave him. I have suggested we get him help but he is resisting.

1:30 am March 25th, 2017

I am so lost. My husband has to smoke pit or drink alcohol otherwise he’s mean and angry. I have no clue how I’m an enabler. I just feel sad and stuck. Sincerely, Tanya

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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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