Addiction: Living with an Addict Community
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Avatar universal

Need some Advice

My husband has been addicted to pain meds for the last 4 years. He was a drug baby and prone to an addictive life. First was porn and when we got that all straightened out and taken care of we had one good year and then he had an accident and got hooked on pain killers. This last year was bad. When he started messing around with them and using  needles to shoot up. He hasn't been able to hold down a job and any money he did make feels like went straight to drugs. His family wanted to help us of course but they have enabled him and it feels like he's never really grown up. We have kids together and it makes me sick to think back on those years and think I should have left then. My kids don't need to be around this or see this. This fall we did separate. I made him find his own place and a job. His family cut him off and my family just hates him. Which is hard to be torn between your family and your husband who your suppose to spend the rest of your life with. I understand that addiction is a sickness. I don't want to give up on a marriage because i am one who believes in family should stick together and work through things but it just is beginning to feel like too much. I don't trust my own husband, it feels like I have no support for staying with him, if that's what I decide to do. My kids are my main focus right now and I don't want to hurt them with a divorce or an addict for a father. I just wish he would get it together and go to rehab so that maybe I would believe that he's actually getting better. He did find a place and a job, but we'll see if he actually will hold it down. He told me he did set up to go to a counselor and out patient rehab but again how much do I really believe that comes out of his mouth and I'm sick of being his mother and checking his story. I will not do that anymore. Will I ever be able to believe him or trust him again? I've been hurt so much already I just am stuck and don't know where to go from here. Does it sound like a divorce waiting to happen? Am I just putting blinders on from what Might happen?
18 Responses
1530493 tn?1410056636
Hi and so sorry your post was missed, hope you haven't gone any where...bumping it up.
Just to try to ease your mind some. ..this doesn't mean a divorce is in the cards.
But itll be a long road, if he's willing to fight for recovery...you'll beable it fight right along side him.  Your trust is broken now, that will take time to rebuild, but will come if hes giving his all.
If he's resistant, it's a whole different story. ..what you feel now, won't change.
It is in his hands as to where he is willing to take his life, his recovery.
when we ignore it, stand back out of fear, let them do their own thing,  the only outcome will be his addiction intensify & your burden heavier,  until the time comes you can do it no more.
your on the right track, he moving out getting a job. ..space between you gives you both time. Making him responsible, at the very least for himself right now.
answers won't come quick, I know we want them to, there will be many stumbles, possibly falls the important thing is he getting up and trying again.
until that time you need to protect your children your heart.
Living with an addict is far more distructive than a divorce when it comes to the kids.
they pick up on things very early,  causing damage we don't see until later in life.
kids bounce, unless it's embedded in them.
We're here for you. ..once again sorry your post was missed
you need support too... ok. It's just as much about you as he
Avatar universal
Thank you Deb. That was really comforting. I know that I won't have any of the answers I want for a while. It just feels like wasted time sitting around waiting. And how long does a separation go before you know when it's over or actually getting better? Right now I feel like it could be an entire year before things actually happen. He keeps saying he wants to "date" me again to earn my trust back and says he's doing all this stuff. It almost feels like he's ignoring what happened pretending it never happened and just wants to move on and be a happy family. Thanks for the support. I don't really have anyone to talk to. I can't talk to my family because they pretty much hate him and are just waiting for me to divorce him.
1530493 tn?1410056636
Addiction a family disease, not only do we hurt with and for them,  a path of destruction is left in the footsteps ripping families apart.  Including your parents his parents anyone close.
your parents don't want to see you hurt, they can see the situation much clearer as their hearts are not as invested as yours.
That's why outside help and support is so important,  otherwise you will find yourself isolating shutting down.

Once the needle is involved,  the addiction has become pretty hardcore, something he cannot just walk away from.
He's going to need intense rehab, therapy, counseling. ...something to help him help himself.   He's going to need to relearn a life without drugs.
It could and very possibly will take him a year, to learn coping skills it will also be a life time fight to stay sober, but, it CAN be done.
If hes truly committed (you'll know) than you walk that walk with him with your full support.
There's a saying here... support only their recovery, not their addiction.
I found if I had to question something I was doing. ...I was supporting the addiction. Follow your gut instincts right now not your heart.
Don't waste your time sitting around waiting for him to decide, learn to live your life for you and your children.   You don't need to start dating,  but the busier you can keep yourself,  the less you'll focus on him.
you've taking a big step by separating...that's the hardest step for most in your situation to do.  I would take this VERY SLOW...know he's going to do something about his addiction,  before you try to date "him", don't let yourself fall back into that same trap unless he's making a change, he's going to have to prove it to you.
As time goes on (depending on his actions) you will begin to fit in life where you belong. ...with our without him.
take care of you and your kids now. ...stick with us...others will be around,  also others here that will hopefully connect with you that are going through the same thing as you. ..It makes it a bit easier when you don't feel alone
3060903 tn?1398565123
HI there, i'm really glad that Deb bumped up your post. You have done the exact right thing having your husband move out and take responsibility for his lodging, expenses and keeping a job. From what you've said, he is attending an Outpatient Rehab, and that is a great first step , in that he recognizes that he cannot quit his habit in a vacuum, he must continue to rely upon others who are fully aware of the steps that need to be taken by an addict to achieve  a clean and sober lifestyle. It takes time. The first few years are the hardest. This i know from my own experience. It took a long time for me to finally get the help i needed. I was enabled and sabotaged in great measure, by my family. It truly is a family disease , and the actions of others close to the addict are of the utmost consequence. You are doing everything right, by backing away and allowing your husband to do what he must. I also was an IV drug user (who got hepc) and had to find my way to an Outpatient Program', A Job', NA meetings;  Addictions Therapist meetings for the first few years; separation from family and friends that triggered and sabotaged my sobriety; making friends with long term clean and sober addicts. I also arranged to have no money on my person for a couple of years and initiated blood/urine testing every second day for over 2 years to help me keep my sobriety. All of this so that i could  regain custody of my son. I did for him, what i could not do for myself.

I think your husband needs to prove through drug testing that he is ; and continues to be,; clean and sober before being allowed (monitored) visitation with his children. Often, young children are the catalyst that an addict  needs to bring themselves to a clean and sober lifestyle, so i think that this ups the odds of your husband rebuilding a clean and sober life.

Have you ever been to an NarAnon meeting? They are the Family Group Meetings , that are the same for families as are the NA meetings that your husband needs to attend. There you will meet others in your position, and gain the support and friendship that will help you moving forward.

I think it would be good for you to talk to an Addictions Therapist, about how you are dealing with the addict, as there is no therapist involved in NarAnon. You may be able to access the Addictions Therapist at your husband's Outpatient Program as well. How old are your kids? It might be that your kids would benefit from also being able to talk about their feelings having their dad out of the home. One thing that i stress is that the simple words of an addicts children to them, can move mountains in an addicts life. I was totally cut off from my son for 5 years, and i know that had i had any contact with him at all. It took one note that got through to me, that said "I miss you Mommy" that rebooted my faith and awareness to a level like none other than i had ever had before. I immediately got a brave new demeanor and tackled all of the things that i needed to finally get well, and have been since that time. for the last 16 years.

This site can be a huge benefit to a newly sober addict. It might be that you can let your husband know in the family portion of his Outpatient Rehab, that you are finding Medhelp a resource and you have seen that other addicts are finding support here as well. The more that your husband sees that you are on top of the topic of addiction, the better.

Your husband is the father of your children, and together or apart, he will need to continue to prove his abstinence, in order to see his children (in the best scenario). Let him know that he will need to drug test , for years to come. and that if he does relapse, , you will expect him to go back to a Relapse Prevention Rehab, in order to regain visitation of his children.

This is know was the catalyst in my husband's immediate recovery, after a relapse. We had gotten clean and sober together in '99 but he relapsed in 2001. Before he did, we had agreed that should either of us relapse, we would immediately come clean to the other person; that manditory drug testing outside of rehab would be expected should there be a question of sobriety being breached; and a 90 day Relapse Prevention Program gone to should a relapse occur. Not only did my husband go to the 90 day |Relpase Prevention Rehab (after a two day lapse in sobriety) he also was committed to the local hospital Psychiatric Ward to diagnose an underlying mental condition and placed on medication, for the 3 weeks prior to his attending the 90 day Relapse Prevention rehab. i think it'  should be an imperative to plan on what happens if and when a person does relapse, and I think that having children involved can be used very effectively as a deterrent against using, at least while the children are still children. Once they have grown up (as in the case of my husband), there were years of AA and NA; and years of sober living that kept him clean and sober long after our kids had grown and left home.

You have done so much right. I hope we can assist you for the long run. You're in my thoughts an prayers.
Hope to hear back from you often, on this journey.
Avatar universal
Thanks Liz.I did search for an Nar Anon group in my area but the closest one is an hour away and it just doesn't seem possible to go there. He says he's going to start an outpatient rehab but again hasn't yet.  So I will push that more on him. It was so hard for me to kick him out of the house that it seems that If I tell him he can't see his kids until drug tested and going to rehab, it will be too much for him me and the kids and that scares me. He's always been good with the kids and helps me pick up my oldest son from kindergarten because I work. And the kids Love seeing him as much as they can. He does have Major depression and has since he was a kid and that makes it so much harder! And has been suicidal in the past. How do I get him drug tested? He's on suboxine (which I kind of hate because to me it's almost like a crutch) will that affect the test?
I did forget to mention that he actually shot his foot just to get more pain killers, so he does have pain. I just don't know if it's as bad as he thinks it is because he's been on pain killers so long his brain thinks he's in pain more than it is.
Taking the kids away from him just seems like too much for me to handle.  He wants to see them every day at least to say hi and kiss them. My kids are 6,4, and 1 and love their daddy!
16776862 tn?1452777676
As the wife of an opiate addict, i understand. Like you, the naranon meetings by me are too far away. Alanon is basically the same thing, ive been to 2 meetings so far and have decided to continue going. From what i understand, the disease and its effect on friends and family is the same regardless of the drug of choice of the diseased. It was also recommended that i attend some open NA or AA meetings. I attended a group meeting with my husband at his intensive outpatient program yesterday and found it very helpful. I was the only non addict (besides the therapists) in the room and was able to share my experiences and how addiction affected me and i listened to their stories and discussions which helped me better understand the perspective of husband and other addicts. Ive also found this forum very helpful for support, encouragement, understanding, and perspective.
Avatar universal
I really have to get on top of this and look up stuff around me. It's getting so frustrating because everything seems to be doing better and things are finally looking up and then he tells me that he bought more suboxine instead of his antidepressants which he obviously needs more! AH! and then he asks me why i'm upset. Um HELLOO! I got a separate bank account a month ago and now he's putting his direct deposit into my account (his name isn't on it at all) so i can take care of his money for him and pay his bills. I hate to be his mother and do everything for  him when we're suppose to be separated but it's better than him ruining both our credit and having money on him. But I know he's going to be asking me for money all the time and coming up with all sorts of lies and excuses. He's a really good liar. (I guess all addicts learn to be that way) Any Ideas on how to give him money and knowing what he uses it for?
3060903 tn?1398565123
Great catch and suggestion about the AlAnon meetings being the same content as NarAnon Family meetings. So true!!!
3060903 tn?1398565123
I hate to be his mother and do everything for  him when we're suppose to be separated but it's better than him ruining both our credit and having money on him.

Yes, it is a good thing that he's willing to direct deposit his money in your account. Always tell yourself, it's for the kid's future that you're doing it.

You can find which grocery store near to him, that offers Gift Cards for his groceries ; and ask for a bill, in case there is a wine and liquor bar in the store. You may be able to do the same for her petro gas as well. Since he needs to stay away from licensed restaurants, he needs to make his lunch to avoid restaurants and drinking, as it often leads to dual addictions. (when quitting one drug, addicts will often start to drink which easily turns into another addiction , as it did for me and so many others) You can also purchase gift cards for coffee, if that is a habit of his.

It is easy for you to pay his bills online, ie. cable/internet ; gas; hydro/water etc. Also , you can find out how to pay his rent, easily. Doesn't take me longer than a few minutes a month to spend all my money, lol.

You need to insist on his providing you with receipts. It is easy to never have cash in your pocket, if you use gift cards monthly and it doesn't take too much time or effort. It becomes easier knowing that you are supporting your husband to build his program. The benefits far outweigh the negatives by handling the finances.

Also, you can tell him that you will not support him  by handling his finances and allowing an open house to see the kids, if he doesn't start an outpatient program. You can also ask for the number of his sponsor, so you can get the proof you need that he is attending NA regularly.

As i said, you have all the leverage as the primary caregiver to the kids.
Remember, it is a finite period of time that you will have to look after your husbands finances. and with the ability to pay bills online and purchase gift cards for gas food drug store (if there is no drug store in the grocery store) it is easy to accomplish.

As for your husband continuing to see the kids daily, that is your choice, You are in the drivers seat and you will know if he is not respecting this privilege and can change the status quo at any time. As long as you and he both know that unless he provides you with the proof that he's doing things right financially and with drug testing, visitation can continue without it enabling him.

You can pick up drug tests online. As well as attend meetings of Alanon or NarAnon online.

This is a site for home drug tests....there are other options, ie. walgreens


Alanon online.....

NarAnon online.....

Keep up the good work. Know you are doing God's work, and you're doing it all primarily for the kid's to get their father in their lives.. clean and sober, with or without your relationship working out...

3060903 tn?1398565123
You've said that you don't want to with hold  visitation with the kids, but the fact is without using that leverage, it might be that your husband does not take advantage of outpatient or inpatient rehab.

You can talk to an Addictions Therapist about his not going to rehab, and it might help you to force a change in his priorities more easily.

You can also get advice on home testing from them, or arrange for drug testing through them. Your husband may be refusing rehab, because he knows that drug testing is a part of that. You can work around that by insisting on drug testing so that he can visit the kids.

I realize that you appreciate him picking up your child; however, it cannot be the thing that is a priority before him getting into rehab. In other words, you can not be manipulated into accepting him not progressing in a program, so that you can avoid paying for a sitter for your son. You can have him help pay for a sitter instead.
Avatar universal
Well He set up another meeting to start outpatient Rehab but missed it again... I told him I was serious and needed to start fixing this so we both can heal. That he has to start and prove he's serious about it too. He set up an Appt for us both to attend on Tues. So this is a good start. But I told him If he can't miss another one. He keeps saying, What do I  have to do to prove to you. Obviously he's  not listening to me when i'm telling him what I need from him. What is a good check list to give him for him to check off that shows he's serious about sobriety?
3060903 tn?1398565123
first things first, he needs to get into the rehab ' admit to others he's and addict and follow the recommendations of the attendant addictions therapist. If he stalls out again, i would take that as his final answer.

You have to worry about your check list now !!!
Avatar universal
I think maybe he's scared of rehab because the last time he went to rehab (in a different area) he relapsed because that's where he found all his sources and drug buddies. He is going to see a counselor with me, maybe they will help tell him that's what he needs to do. I keep telling him this is not the same  rehab. I just need someone to knock it in his head!
3060903 tn?1398565123
Don't you get paranoid because he is, there  are more people seeking treatment in rehab than otherwise, He needs reinforcement that he "stick with the winners"... he's not a kid anymore and cannot continue bad high school habits of sitting at the back of the room, it's time for him to step up and out distance those that are holding back....

Can't wait to hear about the counselor appointment  and how it went for you both.

You need to talk about your own agenda as well.

for instance, i arranged my own blood/urine testing when i got clean and sober finally. Can he arrange long term drug testing ? any recommendations on that ?

there needs to be a plan for additional rehab (a relapse prevention program) in the even that the spouse relapses, as well as possible sober living house if he relapses after he leaves the initial rehab.... anything in place that acts as a deterrent is healthy for an addict to contemplate ...

he needs to talk about how his relapsing and using is a very bad example for his kids, and he needs to be told that he needs to take responsibility for what he exposes his children to, moving forward....

if he relapses, he needs to associate how this will affect his children now and in the future, and be made aware that having his children in his life is and should be regarded by him, as a privilege, like driving, If he breaks the rules, like driving, there will have to be consequences....

there can no longer be an open ended excuse for him to use , and an open ended invitation for his children to witness it....

the kids must come first...

this is how you can assist your husband now in his program,..

he has to see, with the help of the Addictions Therapist, that he is expected to put his kids needs first, and not give up on the expectations of being a good father...

he is capable of doing everything that it takes to make you and the kids feel safe around him, |IF he is kept to the highest standards of behavior... that's what he will strive to maintain...

Please let him know i'd love to talk to him privately, if he feels it might help to talk to someone whose been exactly where he is today.

Avatar universal
You are right Liz. You give such helpful advice. Thank you. I will let him know that you are there to talk to.
Today, I feel, went well. My Husband was getting to that point that he always does when he's on the right path to getting better. He got a job, likes it, is holding it down, got his own place and is taking care of himself and he feels like that's all he really needs to do right now to prove he's getting better. He didn't really understand when I kept telling him he still needs to do this this and this. He just wanted praise for what he did do and for me to know that's he's "all better now" So today was a big break through. We went to the counselor and he really got through to him. Made him see that it's not enough. It's a great start and definitely praise worthy but it's still not enough for me to drop all of my defenses and just all of the sudden trust him again. We set up a path to healing basically saying that if He starts rehab he can have longer visits with the kids. If he holds down the job for 4 months then we can do a weekend together and so on and so forth. So I think he finally gets it that it's going to take a long time for me to build that trust up with him again and rehab,NA meetings, and counseling is a very important part to recovery. I'm feeling hopeful. I really like our counselor and I think he's going to help us.
3060903 tn?1398565123
WOW, good job at the therapist's appointment. So many in your position skip the talking and planning and advice that a good Addiction's Therapist can give. I mean it's essential to have a long term relationship for both the family and the addict. It's crucial. I feel really good about where you two are at, and what's going on. You are so right, yeah, it's great he's gotten another job, but that has nothing to do with how he's going to handle cravings, in fact, having a job can be the worse thing, because of the money the addict could access. What did the therapist say about you looking after all the finances? hows that going anyway ? how exactly are you dealing with that ?

What about drug testing? did they say that they could do drug testing on him ?

You've hit the nail on the head, Rehab, Therapy,NA meetings, are all daily considerations for an addict in solid recovery. I'm so glad he's gotten the memo. lol

I'm so happy that you two have the support you need.

Thanks for letting me know how the meeting went. I'll be looking forward to hearing how things are going for you both, and the kids.

Know that if you want me to talk to him about NA meetings, or rehab, I'n here and would be happy to oblige.

xo Liz
Avatar universal
He had all of his checks deposited into my bank which he doesn't have access to. I've given him a gas card and gift cards and ask for receipts for everything. He's been doing goo with that and I pay all his bills. I bought some drug tests and make him do it randomly. Right now  we're just seeing a marriage counselor with a background in drug therapy so he's a good fit for us. They don't do drug test where the counselor is. We've been working to find a good rehab program and NA groups that he can go to. He works at night so We've been trying to find one in the mornings.
Avatar universal
Felt Super depressed today. Broke down about how I felt like that stupid girl that got pregnant and married right out of high school who is eventually going to get a divorce because she married that weird guy that turned out to be a drug addict and that's what statistics say. Living with my mother, in a rut I can't seem to get out of. Didn't go to college yet so there is no good job which means i'm living paycheck to paycheck and sometimes not even that. I felt like I was stuck at the beginning again and starting over, which is awful! I Just felt pretty hopeless today. Hopefully I get out of it because when i'm feeling off my kids can tell. So we had a pretty rough morning all together. I wish there was just a huge flashing sign right now telling me when it was all going to work out finally and get where I want to be.
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