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How can I help?

My husband has been on a downward spiral for over a year now. All of our money is gone. Our lives revolved around pills. And our sex life was gone. It finally became to much for me. He refused to get help and our lives were miserable. After one particularly bad day he couldn't get his pills he lashed out at me. He broke many things in our home and I was scared of him for the first time.
After everything calmed down I made the decision to leave. We talked at great length and I told him I couldn't live this life anymore. And it's as if something clicked. He admitted he has a problem and he promised he would change if I would stay. Against my better judgement I stayed. I love this man.
For a month we made preparations for him to quit. And he went cold turkey. He went through terrible withdrawals, but he has struck with it for over 2 weeks. I know that this is just the very beginning of our journey. I'm more scared now than ever.
He is very resistant to getting professional help. He wants to do it alone. My question is how do I help? How do I support him. Some days are fine and I have my husband back. But some days, like today, he is cold and withdrawn. He just lies in bed staring at the wall. How can I get him to see that we need to involve someone or some program for him to truly be successful? He is adamant he doesn't want to get on subs or methadone. He needs to be done completely. And because of his profession rehab is out of the question.
I know I have control issues. I like for everything to go my way because I feel like I know best. This isn't the right way to be. I want to support him, but it's hard trying to let him do things his way without wondering if it's just his addiction talking.
And lastly, how do I stay patient with him? I know these changes won't happen overnight. But I have needs to. I know that sounds terribly selfish, but I feel so alone. When will his libido come back?
2 Responses
Avatar universal
I wanted to respond to your post as I can personally relate to many of your worries. My addict is my addicted adult son. There is much support here and we know first hand your pain and heartache.
My son has had the same attitude that your husband has currently. He detoxed many times and was able to stay clean for several months at a time. He always resisted professional help.
The past two years have been  brutal for him and for his family. I had to make him leave our home because of his usage and he spiraled down very quickly. It took over a year for him to finally realize that the game was over. Several arrests and many nights sleeping in his truck.
Addiction is progressive and if your husband has been abusing for several years his recovery process may be rough. It can take awhile for the brain to recover from the false stimulation the drugs provide. A feeling of depression can overtake the euphoria he experienced while using. This is a very vulnerable time for a person trying to recover as sleep patterns and every other aspect of their existence will feel impacted.
   I completely understand your husband's attitude currently regarding subs and methadone. My son feels the same way. I would say that those drugs have a place in recovery for many people and they have saved lives. Hardened addicts who have been using street drugs for years can recover their lives using these protocols.
The decision to go that route should definitely be made in conjunction with professionals. He may not need that type of intensive program.
I will say this. I know from the addict's perspective that the shame and disgust and denial are the primary reason an addict refuses to seek help.
Everyone on this site will tell you that unless a person is willing to have a recovery plan in place, they are probably resisting getting clean. This must be nonnegotiable for you.
Is he experiencing issues in his professional as a result of his addiction? It is very clear from your post that he is very close to losing his marriage.
I am in a better place today than I have been in for 2 years because my son finally realized he had lost everything to his addiction. This is a man with a college degree and a Paramedic certification. He lost his job, his friends and his family.
Until he lost everything dear to him, he "played"  with recovery. I forced detoxes, NA, counseling...but he was just buying time. He wasn't committed.
He is now committed and has been clean for 45 days. Still not out of the woods but he is 100% committed which he never was before. The difference is that he is in an Intensive Outpatient Program and he has doctors and therapists holding his hand and holding him accountable.
I tell you this because it is very rare for an addict to get clean and stay clean without some type of recovery action plan. I'm not saying it can't be done but the likelihood is very slim.
I heard a thousand times that an addict won't get clean until they are ready. I think that you can impact when he is finally ready. First of all, if he is clean today, now is the time to get him to commit to a program that will support his new found sobriety. You have leverage and his head is not clouded by drug usage currently so you have a very good chance of making him realize this is a non negotiable for the marriage. If he seems moody or depressed, use that concern to get him to go to a doctor who will help him negotiate next steps to feel better. That very fist step is the hardest. I told my son: These medical professionals are not going to judge you. They will be impressed that you are taking steps to reclaim your life. They see addiction every day. This is an epidemic and you are one of the victims of the oxy mess. Let's move on.
I promise you, once your husband finds the humility to take that step, your lives will move to a different place.
Please let us know how you are holding up today.
3 Comments
Thank you so much for taking the time to reply. One thing he constantly says to me is that I cannot help him because I have never been in his position. But he seems unwilling to get help from someone who can. I think he is committed to getting clean, but he is too proud to get help. And I can't force him to do it. For the first time in my life I feel little hope for the future.
My next suggestion is to attend alanon meetings.  There will be people there who have walked the same walk whether it be drugs or alcohol..addiction is addiction.  There are online groups, but in person are best.  Do not be afraid to ask for help.
sorry, may not have been clear..you should attend as they are for families who are or have dealt with members who are addicts.
Avatar universal
Hi, welcome. I was just thinking that every post we get from the loved ones of an addict is identical so your situation is far from unique. First things first: get into alanon immediately. Tomorrow. I cannot find the words to tell you how transforming that will be for your life once you start going. You will start to see this w/ a completely different perception, a healthy, detached perception and you will start to be able to focus on your life. You will be able to feel free and calm despite what the addict is doing or not doing. I noticed that you used "we" and "our" a lot in your post. "We" planned a detox, "Our" lives revolved around pills. Those are sentences that should read "he" planned a detox, "his" life revolved around pills. I'm not judging you as that is very typical of a co-dependent, but I want to point out your thinking.

His ability to stay clean and get into a program is all "HE." There is literally nothing you can do. What you can do for YOU, is learn to refocus, have patience and empathy w/ yourself. Loved ones of addicts who are not getting help completely forget they exist. Their entire focus becomes trying to save an addict.  You weren't put on this earth to do that and you deserve better.  The good news is you can change it, but like the addict, you can't do it alone. Get yourself into alanon and you'll see:)
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