Tuesday September 23rd 2014

Should I stay with my addicted or alcoholic husband?

Are you the wife of an alcoholic or addict? Comment below and provide your email for a chance to win Michelle’s Love Over Addiction program.  We want to hear from you!

Choosing to stay with an addicted spouse

By Michelle Lisa Anderson

It is so difficult to watch the man you love slowly kill himself. You love him deeply and the idea of ever leaving him seems almost impossible. What would you do without him? Where would you go? How would you survive? And besides, isn’t that cruel? To turn your back on someone who is slowly killing themselves.

Besides, he is not bad all the time. Every now and then you see a glimmer of hope of he man you feel in love with. The charming, thoughtful, and kind man you know he was created to be. How could you walk away from the man you know he can become?

Here is the truth: you can’t leave him. Not really. But you know in your soul that being with him is damaging yours. You have family and friends telling you to leave him and asking you, “How can you put up with that?”. And a part of you knows they are right. Because in those dark moments of despair when he lies passed out or didn’t come home again, you feel crazy for staying.

You can’t leave him because you are still protecting him. You still pick up after him, do his laundry, make his appointments. Everyday you balance the role of mother and lover, depending on his mood and needs.

And his needs always come first. When he is upset or angry – you stop everything to take care of him. To nurture him. A part of you loves to feel needed., to pick up the pieces for him hoping to get some recognition and an apology.

Start your own recovery

So don’t leave. Not today or even tomorrow. Forgive yourself for not doing what everyone is telling you to do, and stay with him. Keep loving him. But if you ever want to be able to feel some sense of self worth you must start your own recovery and end co-addiction.

He is not the only one who needs treatment. His drinking and drug use is not just his issue to solve. It’s yours too. You are codependent. And that makes you an enabler. Don’t believe me? When you nag him or yell at him – you are feeding this horrible disease that is taking over your life. You are enabling. When you give him the silent treatment and refuse to talk to him until he tells you what you want to hear – you are enabling.

Yes, you are sick too. And anyone who has spent one second in your shoes would be too. This is an awful disease that takes over the life’s of the man who is drinking and using drugs and from those who love him.  If you are asking yourself when to leave an addict, the answer might be that it’s time for you to get help.

You are not alone and there is hope for a bright, joyful future. But if you want different results you must start making different choices. Your health and spiritually must come first. When you start setting healthy boundaries your self-esteem will improve. It’s important to remember your dreams and

So, let’s agree that we are not going to focus on staying or leaving because we both know that it’s just not that simple. Instead, let’s choose to put our needs, dreams and health first. Let’s focus on ourselves and not his drinking. Make a commitment that your recovery will come first. You can’t control if he drinks or uses drugs but you can control your reactions.

Stay or leave?

Please leave your story or questions about living with an addicted husband below. We’ll do our best to respond to you personally and promptly.

Photo credit: Gregory Jordan

Leave a Reply

32 Responses to “Should I stay with my addicted or alcoholic husband?
Tulip Dsouza
5:57 pm August 2nd, 2013

have stayed-been through the rehab therapy and family meetings n in addition I am a nurse- so I Didn’t Do What others advised me to do- I used tough love n showed myself to be tougher- but in the end internally I am left hurting more than ever- everytime his siblings help him
out financially n also pay for his treatments n when he is out n sober- it is me n our 2 (now) teenage children who have 2 pretend like everything has been wiped clean n all is right with the world.I am concentrating now more on ‘myself’ n ot what pple expect of me- the questions i am asked -are you working yet? not got a job yet? heck with so many yrs away frm my job as a nurse if i am not offered a post when i apply for a job -is it my fault?! I stay busy doing all myhousework,looking after my children’s needs and this experience has got me growing spiritually -so i am involved in community work and church activities—Anything I am doing wrong? Anything more I should be doing? our marital relationship is not repaired- simply because once he is out of rehab- he does not go through the 12 steps prog that involve ‘making good with those we hurt”- so I can’t force him n just focus on seeing my children heal so that their future is not scarred by all they have had to see n endure-
Have no questions just want to say I AM THERE FOR EACH ONE GOING THROUGH THIS and praying that each one will see that day when all the advise given to codependents will not just be advise but will be a truth we can work through and find peace for ourselves.God bless all who work in suipport teams and family Anon

Rina
3:53 pm August 6th, 2013

Almost eleven years of loving an alcoholic. He started drinking heavily when he moved to his parents’ farm, with which they requested his help, and I stayed in the county where we both had lived. I didn’t see it developing, had no experience with alcoholism.

We got engaged and I thought the heavy drinking would slow when we married and I moved to the farm, with intentions to buy it and provide for his family. That never happened. Eventually, I learned to see the codependency in his family and we moved, after eight years, a few miles away.

Last year, my denial shattered. I have spent hours in counseling and attend Al-Anon meetings. I am finishing a college course on alcohol and other addictions. I am completing certification in teaching yoga to recovering addicts and their loved ones. Though my finances and credit score have taken a huge hit, I hope to be able to earn my PsyD in psychology, a life goal. My highest priority is taking care of our children and raising them to be healthy which, of course, means becoming healthier myself.

Kyzcy Hawk ‘s recent blog post led me here and I am so glad.

Jyude
8:22 pm August 9th, 2013

Everything is vibrational energy & when someone remains with another who exhibits addictive energy, it affects everything around the addict. Leaving my x-husband even though I still loved him brought me a greater peace and love of myself. It was the best gift I could have allowed myself to receive.

Michelle Lisa Anderson
12:53 am August 15th, 2013

Tulip,

I am so sorry for you pain. Two teenage children and an alcoholic husband. You must feel exhausted. Do you know that nurses are one of the top two professions for codependency? It makes sense when you think about it.

So, it sounds like you are on the right track. You are volunteering, growing spiritually, and taking responsibility for your actions. Well Done!

I will be praying for you Tulip!

Michelle Lisa Anderson

Michelle Lisa Anderson
1:00 am August 15th, 2013

Rina,

I LOVE your comment. You sound like such a strong and courageous woman! Your PsyD – how fantastic!! I am sure you will be an inspiration to many. I would love to send you my program FOR FREE called Love Over Addiction. It has every tool, technique and helpful tip I learned in therapy, al anon, research and meeting with top rehabilitation facilities. I hope you find it helpful Rina.

Again, well done! Look at how something that seemed so bad turned out to be a blessing.

Michelle Lisa Anderson

Michelle Lisa Anderson
1:02 am August 15th, 2013

Jyude,

I remember feeling such freedom leaving him once and for all. I am so glad you feel the same.

Michelle Lisa Anderson

Rina
5:54 am August 16th, 2013

Michelle,
I’d very much like to read/listen/learn your work. Thank you for the kind offer! I am taking the semester off of class to clarify some financial things and work out aid details. This would be a perfect time to add some personal time.
~Rina

Michele
1:16 am September 7th, 2013

My husband is addicted to Crack. He was for 30 years. (before I knew him) He is now 55. I am soon to be 55. When I met him 3 years ago, he had been clean for 5 years. I didn’t even know he was addicted to anything, After a couple weeks of seeing him, he told me of his past. He also told me that he would NEVER let himself get back into his addiction again, I was so Naive to the drug world that I believed him. I was never a drug user. He asked me to marry him and I did. For the first year he was fine. Worked hard and came right home after work. No sign of any problems. After one year of marriage, he got back into his addiction. He doesn’t care what it costs us. After he gets high, he knows I am angry with him and makes all kinds of promises and acts like he is really sorry. He also says he doesn’t know why he does it and that he hates himself for it.

He was away most of the week for work and stated all week that he just wanted to be home with me. He gets away from work today and you would think he would hurry home to me, but nope, he went and bought crack and got high. Now he is angry with me because “I have an attitude”. I want out of all this so bad. i want to buy a new home. i work my butt of for it and I can’t have it because he spends alot of money on crack. We make alot of money from my business. (He works in the business) but we barely save anything because he spends about $400.00 -$600.00 everytime he goes. He does it about once or twice a week.

I don’t want drugs in my world. He knew how I felt about that before we became engaged an promised me it would never happen. My father was an alcoholic and I couldn’t stand that.. I grew up in an unstable home becuase of my father and now I have to deal with my husband’s addiction. I love him but I want out of all this. Am I wrong? People tell me this is a disease. If he had a another disease would I leave hm. No, but I feel drugs and alcohol are very different. I also have a hard time buying it that this is a disease. To me a disease is something that just happens to you beyond your control. Addiction to alcohol or drugs is a choice that they made.

11:28 am September 13th, 2013

Hi Michele. I suggest that you speak with an addictions counselor to sort out your feelings and to create a plan. You can then plan an intervention and set boundaries: your husband should seek help or you’re out of there.

Cheryl B.
3:02 am October 25th, 2013

I’ve been married to my husband almost 23yrs, my husband recently got out of treatment in July 2013 but has relapse for the past 3 weeks of continuous drinking. Last night we talked for a good hour and he basically said that he does not want to stop drinking and that I need to decide if I want to stay married to him that I would have to accept his drinking and not nag him cause it causes him anxiety and stress. We both suffer from depression and are medicated. Today I found him bitter, angry and severely depressed after him drinking 6 beers while I was at work. I honestly don’t know what to do. A part of me thinks I should leave and the other part of me wants to stay. We fight constantly, we fight about our pasts and his affairs. What should I do?

jane
1:12 am November 14th, 2013

Quite honestly.. if someone will leave you because your an addict or if you will leave someone because they are an addict then there was never love, just lust. Ive been on both sides amazingly and addiction can actually be a good thing to make your 2 halves a whole. It inspires soul searching but at the end of the day if you cant or refuse to stop then the person must accept it as part of you or leave. Addiction is not a choice.. make no mistake. Its a terrible life destroying disease.. but the addict did not choose to addicted

Nicki
9:43 pm February 17th, 2014

I have been married for over 9 years to an opiate addict. He was not an addict when we married or when we had our son. This has been over the past 4 years that he has become an addict. In the beginning it got so bad that he stole all of my jewelry and other personal items and pawned them for money for pills. He has been to detox 3 or 4 times, meetings, jail and rehab. I am not sure he has ever made it a year clean but, he always goes back. I would not ever question staying or leaving if I did not have a son with this man. I have no love or respect left for him and probably never will but, I do not want to hurt my son. He now after 3 years of not working or helping pay bills has a job. He keeps money for his pills but, does help pay bills now. I do my own thing, just earned my associates and am working on my bachelors, I also work two jobs and take care of my 8 year old. The only enabling I do is not throwing him out on his but, I do not dwell on what he does and doesn’t do, I think about it but, I never let it stop me from what I want in life and who I want to be. At this point I am not sure if my son would be better off without him or is that wishful thinking on my part. My son comes first, I do not need someone in my life to succeed and make me happy, I do just fine on my own with my son.

Michele
3:59 pm February 18th, 2014

My husband and I found a WONDERFUL place for him to get treatment and he is there now by the Grace of God. The place he is at is all Christian Based. We are both Christians so we wanted a place that would not just “dry him out” and turn him loose. This place is a 4 month BIBLE based addiction recovery and IT WORKS!! So many men who have graduated from there have been clean and sober for many years. Their marriages have been restored also. I am so very happy and see a major change in my husband after only 35 days. He will be there until May 11th, when he graduates. They have a program called “Woman of Character” for the wives of these men too. We don’t stay there but they work with us and counsel us also, if we want it. That part is our choice but I am doing the Woman of Character Program and it is very good. I am finding things out about myself and my eyes are opened to the fact that I am not perfect and some of the things I need to change to make my husband succeed in staying clean. Addictions come in many forms not just drugs or Alcohol. We ALL have addictions. Maybe they are not “illegal” ones but we all have them. I love this prgram and the people who run it. I wouldn’t want my husband anywhere else. I have now moved away from the idea of divorce and we are restoring our marriage. One thing I have found out in all this is how much my husband truly loves me and how much I truly love him. With the drugs gone he is an incredible person. But I always knew that deep down inside. This program is NOT easy. It is VERY intense and they take all distractive things away. The program is FREE except for an application fee of $240.00. They do put the men on a work program while they are there.. I think it kind of makes them “earn their keep” but it also keeps them busy instead of them sitting around like they are in a hospital. My husband LOVES it there and LOVES what it is doing for him and for “us”. They have a VERY high success rate. I went to visit my husband for the first time in 33 days and I could hardly recognize his personality. He is so different but in a very good way. I am so very proud of him. He agreed to go there very easily. He did want the help. The place he is at is called America’s Keswick. It is in New Jersey. No secular program can do what this program does. My husband has done a couple “regular” rehabs and they failed. I know other people who have done them too and they are EXTREMELY expensive and the only stayed clean for a short time and are “back to it” again. When I was at America’s Keswick this past weekend I saw and met NUMEROUS couples where the husband had addictions for so many years and have now been drug and alcohol free for years since their graduation. And the great thing is they actually say this miss America’s Keswick and the people there so they come back to visit and stay for weekends. it is also a Christian Retreat Center and Campground so people that have been through the recovery program bring their families back for little vacations. I can’t say enough about it. I am just so happy we found it and my husband is FINALLY getting the help he needs and so am I. I miss him so much and cannot wait to stand next to him at his graduation.

Samanth
4:27 am March 24th, 2014

Oh my god.. These stories are so sad. And really put the past 10 years of my life with a drunk into perspective. My husband has been an ‘alcohol addict’ since he was a teen. he’s now 40. We met when I was 15, and he was 30. I really didn’t know how to deal with what was going on with him and we ended up going on a crazy roller coaster ride for the past 10 years due to his ‘addiction’. I’ll trl you what though, he would start and stop drinking when he wanted. It might be a strong urge but these people either have a conscience and willpower or thr Don’t. It’s taken me this long to realize it, thru living this horrible life, that my husband was too selfish to do what he needed to do for himself and his family. Anyone who stays with these pieces of Crap are choosing to make noth only their lives as miserable as the addict’s, but dragging their children thru a horrible upbringing that will no doubt give them serious psychological issues later in life. Eeryone I have Ever known that grew up in one of these households, grew up resenting their parent for their weakness and staying, not having enough love for themself and their child and giving them a Better life..and these kids either grow up and become addicts themselves or grow up thinking its normal to live with one. I left my addicy a month ago and I never knew I could feel so alive and liberated and free, and that there’s still hope. You can still love these addicts, but you’re stupid to stay with them. You only live ONCE. Dont waste your life like these idiots.

Elizabeth
2:42 pm March 25th, 2014

My husband and I have been together for 14 years and he have been married for 11 years. We have 3 children together. He has been addicted to weed for over 20 years (smoked 24-7). During our marriage I have asked him stop on many occasions. I have tried to enlist the help of his friends and family (no one really helped though; they offered some suggestions, but mainly laughed it off). In addition, to his weed addiction, he has been verbally and emotionally abusive (and a few times physical). He also has had on-line affairs and emotional affairs with various women. He has also been fired for $exu@l harassment. I have stuck by him through all of it. However, in January, I told him I could no longer live with his pot-smoking and it was putting me and our children in danger. He did not handle the news well and he became very self-destructive and abusive. He threatened suicide on several occasions, he has spread nasty rumors about me, gossiped to everyone we know (including my safe zones…..my work and my family) and was extremely verbally and emotionally abusive. He created a new bank account for himself and took money out of ours and he also contacted several lawyers. His family is full of attorneys so they drafted several threatening separation agreements and shared parenting agreements. His family was not supportive of me at all and bullied me. Finally, after seeing a text to another woman that was flirty I had reached my boiling point. In response to me finding the text, he cut his chest about 25 times with a pocket knife. After a long dramatic 3 months he has decided to go to rehab. During these three months, I have attended counseling, read books, attended A-ALON meetings and I am going to peer groups and counseling for domestically abused woman. I was ready to meet with a lawyer but my counselor has suggested I wait until after he goes through rehab to file for divorce. I don’t feel like I want to stand by his side anymore. There has been so much damage. I am not sure my feelings for him will ever return. He is begging me to stay with him and is very much in love with me. I told him I would not meet with a lawyer until after he returned from rehab and after a month of being separated. I am not sure this is something I want to do. I feel like getting on my with my life but I feel selfish for feeling this way. I have been taking care of him for so long now.

D
3:42 pm May 7th, 2014

I have no choice but to leave. He is physically, emotionally, verbally and financially abusive. I have $20 in my accounts although our combined income is over $100,000. I reached out to my parents but they are devout Christians and are encouraging me to stay with him and have him seek treatment. He has sought some treatment but he still drinks. At this time, I am seeking affordable housing as he will not leave our home.

Alisa Edwards
6:33 am June 1st, 2014

I have been with a drug addict/alcoholic for 12 years. We are not married but we have 5 kids together. I am so drained. I have had this battle of do I leave or stay for 9 years now. He has gotten alot better than he used to be. He used to use everyday. Now its once to three times a week, but he refuses to get help. I love him with all of my heart, but recently he has started to make me feel worthless and ugly. I moved from my home town 1500 miles away to be with him in hopes that when we moved he would change. He didn’t. Now I am all the way up in New York with his family and I have been contemplating whether or not to take the kids and go back to TN with my family. I am so confused and lost, I need help. I don’t know what the right decision is for my children.

parkeragain
1:59 pm June 5th, 2014

Oh my how life repeats itself. I was previously married to a wonderful man who at the ripe age of 40 decided he was depressed. Was diagnosis with clinical depression and given Prozac. After feeling like the depression was over he decided to mix alcohol with the prozax he quickly turned into a bi-polar state. He had previously drank for many years and was a dry drunk for 7 years prior to this episode. I was attending alanon during this time. Long story shortened . After a total of 18 years I left. Mainly due to what he was putting our son and daughter through. I raised the children on my own for the next 10 years. It did feel good to leave he never recovered and passed away last december in the street totally alone. A very smart wonderful husband and father when he wasnt drinking. Moving fast forward to today. I am living the same story. Just found out my husband of almost 8 years has been hiding alcohol,zanax you name it and using. Yes, there has been episodes I questioned and his past remarks of the ex and how she projected her past alcoholic issues on him. However, in my blindness I couldnt believe that this was happening to me AGAIN! He had a small in house accident and hadnt been the same I mentioned I thought he was depressed…he ended up on effexor and mixed all with the alcohol. I travel a lot with my job and have the entire marriage. I know he was binging during these times of separation. He has willingly on his own plan entered an out patient rehab. I attended the family session this past monday. 95 % are parents I felt so stupid. A part of me is so angry at WHY am I staying? I cant even bring myself to return to alanon. I know in my very pit of my stomach he is going to return to drinking and I am setting that as my boundary now but I know I am not ready to leave. I know what happened to the person I left last time. Thanks for letting me vent

lindsey
11:33 pm June 5th, 2014

Reading the above actually brought me to tears. It hit very close to home. My husband is an addict. He likes pills, pot, and booze. We have had low points with all 3. There is also probably more I am just oblivious to. I trust him. I believe him everytime. My husband just got done with 4 months of rehab at a mental facility for vetrans. He is working a program at the VA. Today he told me he wants to go out for a few beers after work with his co-workers. And all is see is all of that hard work all of that pushing through all of the crying and fighting go out the window. He is mad at me for my negative reaction. So he will for sure go. He’s not mad though the addiction is mad because I’m common sense talking. I am 5 months pregnant with our second child (yes I know why would I get pregnant with an addict) we are living in my parents basement. My husband still has a warrant out for the last time he hit rock bottom. I am terrified nothing I say or do will be the right thing. I 2 any to badly to have a healthy relationship. I love my husband and our son loves him. I have no idea how to grab hold of my life and make things better for our family. I am constantly waiting for him to lead his family. Waiting for him to look at me again like I am someone to be with. I am tired of crying myself to sleep and feeling so alone.

Sabrina
5:31 pm June 10th, 2014

So I have already decided I am staying and I have been doing lots of research, attending Alanon n seeking help anywhere I can get it as I am suffering. But I am struggling as I am new to it all, the admitting, on boundaries. My alcoholic is and has been in past controlling, verbally and physically abusive. At some point I became all of those things as well in the heat of the moment. But I recognized that I sling insults when I’ve asked a million times that he stop or apologize and I just hit that point where my anger gets to me n I sling one back. Or I pushed him the other day when he kept calling me names. It was the first time I have ever put my hands on someone n I am so appalled at myself that I started researching n looking for help n soul searching which led me to realize I am co-deoendent. So I am trying to fix myself. I realize I gave him control and I allow the abuse. So I set boundaries. We live together with our infant daughter and my elder daughter. So I told him that if he verbally abuses me or physically

Sabrina
5:42 pm June 10th, 2014

Sorry my phone froze. I told him if he verbally, physically, economically or emotionally abuses me that he needs to leave the home and we will not see or talk to him until he can respect my boundaries. Now my question is, I changed the locks some time ago so when he leaves he cannot come home unless I say, am I setting too strict of boundaries? Cuz I have read that going from one extreme to the other is still co-dependency. Also am I being controlling as I am not allowing him access to his child, dog or belongings? He has been staying at his parents for some time,months, on and off while this has been going on. 6 months to be exact, so he has quite a bit of belongings over there. N I block him n refuse to talk to him in between though that’s a newer thing. I used to demand apologies n allow him to call me more names n anxiety n blow up n just let him get to me. Am I being unkind by ignoring him? Am I doing the boundary right? In a way yes I’m trying to control his behavior, cuz he shouts I’m just trying to control him, my rules my world no one else has a say, but I’ve only set these boundaries cuzive read I’ve allowed the abuse n the only way to make him respect me is to stand my ground. Cuz if I don’t respect me he never will. No know it still may not change him but this is the hill I’m willing to die on. I will leave over this, love him or not. But then I keep thinking but I’ve started controlling him too here at the end. Demanding apologies, searching his phone n car, yelling n screaming, threatening him back when threatened. So how can I say I wont tolerate this when I do? I am trying not to. No succeed most days but I’m human n fail others. So shouldn’t I give him that same benefit of the doubt?

Parkeragain
2:55 pm June 11th, 2014

Wow it is so amazing what we are willing to live with when we love someone isn’t it? The question I believe we need to ask ourselves is “Do we love ME?” As in really love ourselves. We state that we love this addict and believe we are the co dependent who we have allowed to rule our life. If that is so, and we know what type of life we are allowing our ME to live … we need to stand up for ME. It all boils down to what are we really willing to live with? My husband had a positive drug test at our group counseling session last night. We were called aside after the group session for the counselor to consult with us regarding this topic. While awaiting the news I asked my husband if there is something he needed to tell me. He said No of course NOT. I was about 60 percent shocked with the results. when asked if I remembered weds and if he acted any different I couldnt answer the question. A part of me was proud! Had I detached myself so much that I block out noticing any odd behavior? Demeanors, I, in the past, looked at under a microscope? But the old me felt guilt! I should know this answer I should know my husband and his ways and take care of him!. Again what am I willing to live with. What are my boundaries? ok you slipped all addicts are going to slip. It has only been 14 days of sobriety.Do I give you three slip ups …10 ? But if he is lying what help is that to anyone that is trying to work the program with him? Then what do I do but spend half the night reading on what could possibly have given a false positive result? I so want to believe in him, this man I say I love. But then I say I LOVE ME!! Would I lie to me regarding pills or help? Would I protect me regarding pills or help. If I truly love me I have to work on ME. It is very hard to do this.

Lilly Good
3:03 am June 17th, 2014

I enjoyed reading this blog immensely. Finally some information that helped me see the need for me to help myself and not just focus on helping him. Any information that could help me heal and focus on my and my child’s future would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you so much!

D
5:02 pm June 17th, 2014

Still trying to leave. Even after treatment the psychoses that go along with the addiction usually remain. So, even if your addict receives treatment and does not relapse, their mental condition is still poor, even in the best of circumstances. Have not left yet due to financial challenges, i.e., accepted for housing but trouble coming up with additional deposit (low credit score due to financial/economic abuse), payment for truck/movers, etc. Prayer is that he move out of marital home. Family with financial resources unwilling to assist. It is not their responsibility. I have to “squirrel” more money away to be able to move smoothly. A shelter is not an option. The abuse continues. Dysfunctional Father’s Day: his children and grandchildren (from his first marriage) are a “mess” – long story shortened.

To Lilly Good: Suggestion: Leave the relationship. Let Court/mediator/therapist decide what is in the best interest of the child. The toll on children in these relationships is devastating. Only a suggestion. During this time: Prayer Therapy Support Safety Prayer

Katie
5:27 pm July 16th, 2014

Hello,
I am living with an alcoholic spouse, and i have just read your article, i agree 100%, i am completely addicted to his addicton, and i am an enabler to him also, all i want to do is get away from this man, it is my dream !!! I have tried so many times only to return to the sane thing over and over again, i gave birth to his son 4 months ago, of course he was great for the first while but it is all back to normal again, i now have to be strong for my son and i have to start recovering myself from this disease, i am aware i am also sick and i need to now start putting myself first, but how and where do i start ?

Alice
10:43 am July 22nd, 2014

Alisa Edwards, I too moved 1200 miles (from Florida) to be near & live with my boyfriend in NY. Your story struck a nerve in me. Al-Anon is useless. Yes, they say live your own life. Quite impossible if you are not allowed on the computer, the phone, or to do anything else beyond go to work and come home to take care of the kids. He’s a high functioning alcoholic who demands my attention (only when HE wants it). He’s been an alcoholic since he was a teen. He’s 46 now. He is intensely loving. We will have a great day and just like flipping a switch, something tiny will set him off and that will start WW3. He told me to pack my crap and go (for the bazillionth time – and in fairness, I have left him on my own a few times). So I did as he said, and left. He’s trying to bargain with me now saying he’ll stop drinking if I come home, take care of his son, and work on US. Nope! I told him he needs to be 6 months sober before I’ll see him again.

When I say that I am devastated, it is truly an understatement. I told him my life is a wreck now and he said it’s because I made it a wreck and threw him into the middle of it?!?! The only thing I know without a shadow of a doubt, is that I cannot allow my own son to grow up in this environment. He’s too sweet, easy-going, and gentle to have his life ruined by an addict. Find a good therapist who specializes in addiction. And if you can, go back to TN. Save yourself – Save your babies!

Mary
4:44 am August 2nd, 2014

I’ve been together with my husband for 14 years 8 living together. And some how i never saw this person as bad as i see him today. (His mother left him when he was 8 she went back for him when he was 16.) Just so you know his damaged. When i met him i didn’t know his whole story but even before i did, i knew he just wanted somebody to love him with everything they had. And i did with everything in me. After like 4 years in the beginning bf and gf i had this special day planned for us, our 4 year anniversary. I waited he never showed i didn’t hear from him in 2 days that was on the weekend. He only knew my brother inlaws number he called him i got the phone he was in jail for being at my school, we didn’t go to the same one. That’s when i saw another person In him. He started drinking more and i hated that because my father was an alcoholic as well he beat, cheated and wouldn’t come home for days and i never understood why my mom stayed with a man that would hit you. I know i didn’t want that. So when i seen this different him I started telling him i had somebody else and that i didn’t want to be with him. I didn’t know it would hurt him as much as it did. Now I know trying to scare him wouldn’t have helped. We have 3 boys 7,8 & 3 months :/
He leaves right in the time i want to start believing in him. I don’t know what to do anymore. My heart can’t take no more i don’t want to walk away when we’ve both fought so hard to be together. I’ve been so depressed, head hurting. I’ve been trying to find my self but i keep seeing him asking me for help but not saying it. I’m lost and i don’t know how i got here or let it get here

Chrissy
12:13 am August 11th, 2014

I have been with my addicted husband 2 1/2 yrs married 2. I met him 5 1/2 years ago when I began my road to recovery. I am a recovering alcoholic. I dated men who were normal drinkers but didn’t meet the right person. Husband and I had been friends and both single began seeing each other. I was excited that he too was in recovery. I liked the idea that we could celebrate it together. Boy was I wrong!!! He had two years sober when we married. I am at fault for not asking all the questions I should have. He has been in and out of sobriety for years. He developed a cocaine addiction 30 some years ago and goes between crack and other forms. He used for the first time in our relationship right after our marriage. I was devastated and shocked. I didn’t know his drug of choice. He had lied about that. I recovered from my shock and tried to write it off as a very bad decision on his part. I welcomed him into my family who loves him dearly. We both had good jobs and got even better jobs. We had a grandson. Bought a home. None of it matters. He goes to meeting everyday and works with a sponsor but he doesn’t want to be clean. Seven times of his using later and I am done. My heart is broken. I am blessed to have my family and my sobriety. I have been through so much I can do this but I am so sad. He lies and manipulates and I see that’s all it is now. Having done this for 30 years I feel little hope he will ever be clean and I don’t think I could ever trust him again. He has lost children to his addiction he has been arrested I just don’t know. He hasn’t reached the bottom. I’m so afraid what that might be. I’m so so so sad. Letting go. I have to take care of me. The pain of the loss is huge. Thank you for a forum to let it all out

Charrann
5:32 pm August 16th, 2014

Yes I am married to someone that is active in their addiction. It makes me nervous because I do not know what he is capable of.

Niki
1:32 pm August 26th, 2014

My husband and I have been married for 14 years. He has been an alcoholic every minute I have known him. Some times better than others. Lots of ups and downs. He’s tried to quit a few times but the withdrawal effects drove him back. He can consume between 30 and 50 beers on any given day and does not drink anything but beer. He has been in an inpatient rehab facility for a month now. When he arrived his BAC was .40. He has a great mindset and really seems to understand the gravity of his situation. However, he is still angry and controlling and I don’t think that the mentally abusive controlling behavior he’s always shown is gone. He was always distrustful, never wanted me to do anything without him around. Always was going through my phone and email and facebook. We have 3 kids together and our 4th child died when when she was 3 weeks old and that was when he really spiraled out of control. I feel like I should be very glad that he got treatment, that he wants to be better. But the last month at home with the kids has made me realize that I have been carrying the burden of single parenting for years. The only difference has been that my stress level is diminished. I can pay the bills without worrying that he’ll clean out the checking account with no consideration for what I need to get us by. I told him last night that I didn’t think I could ever give him the relationship that he wants from me. I can forgive him and I can be a coparent with him. But for at least a year I have been here to make sure that the kids had someone stable around 24/7 and because I felt if I left, he would die. I care about him and I want to support him and I can even say that I love him. But it’s not a romantic “in love” love. I’m tired of putting my life on hold to keep his ship stable. I want the peace and happiness that the kids and I have had for the last month to be our new normal.

Mrs. SEK007
5:21 pm August 27th, 2014

My husband has an addictive behaviour personality. He was a recovered alcholic for 22 years, but he just changed his drug of choice. Since we have been married we have gone thru different addictions; gambling, pain killers, sextexting, craigslist meeting women and then back to antidepressant binzos. He is rehad now. I am not taking him back. When I met him I was a single Mom with 2 girls. He and I got married and had 1 daughter. He was great the first 7-9 years of our marriage. Then his addictive behaviour came sneaking back. It was very subtle and since I had no idea how or what I was dealing with, I was enabling because I loved him. He is coming out of rehab and I am asking that he not come home. He will either be going to a sober living home or wherever. I am tired and hurt by things he has done and said. I would rather live alone and have my girls and family than to have him. Ive been to Al-ANON meetings. Ive been to therapy. I held up my vows to the best of my ability. This man will continue to do bad things and will continue be self destructive and has taken a big part of me down with him. I refuse to be an enabler, I refuse to be a victim and I can and will only take care, fix, manage what I do. When he was texting and meeting women he was looking for someone in the Nursing or Caretaking industry, he is charming, loveable and attentive. He knows how to manipulate and is well rehearsed in self projection. I am getting away from this man. Believe me I prayed and got my answer. I hope everyone in this situation gets the answer they want regarding their relationship.

Angie
8:15 am September 15th, 2014

The stories on here made me cry and gave me comfort. I am home alone, after another horrible, exhausting experience with my addicted husband.
He has just come out of a withdrawal unit for his dope addiction, but has started alcohol bingeing again, the real demon in our relationship.
We have been together 20-odd years, married for 14. As the years went on, his behaviour after drinking grew more and more frightening and intense. Rages, including in public, where I would be called the most awful things, and menaced and terrified until I was a cowering, sobbing, stuttering mess. Then he was content. It did once cross over into physical abuse (which he claims he can’t remember) I do not know this man when he is drunk.
Usual story: intelligent, generous, funny, affectionate during the good times, but I came to believe that all THAT was the fake part, the real him came out after drinking. It was a very, very frightening realisation.
Last night he came home after drinking, banging on the door at 1am, to et him in. I (politely, of course) asked him to leave out my keys on the table. He’s lost them earlier in the day, and I needed them to get to work etc, plus, they’re my keys! Reasonable request… Of course, that set him off, so I just quickly, and quietly went back to bed.
Got home from work today, without a key to get into the house, he’d conceded to leaving out only the spare care key, and of course I can’t get into my own home. There’s a text message saying he’s staying in a hotel tonight to “decide about our future.” One hour, one locksmith and $100.00 later, I’m inside, AND he still hasn’t replied to my msg re the key.
You see, he doesn’t care, quite possibly has never actually cared. He feels no remorse, no need to make things better, or safe for me. In his eyes, he owes me no explanations, no concern and no apology. I don’t even actually know why…I suspect he is talking himself into despising me, so it’s easier to leave. I know he desperately doesn’t want to be seen as the “bad guy”, so I guess he’s got a bit of strategizing to do.
So, hotel in town for him, there’ll be alcohol, and sex involved I’m sure. He has very low impulse control with both, and is very much into instant gratification and being admired.
Thank you for letting me share. I am so sad, and tired and confused. So many years. So much debt, and wasted opportunity. So many tears and days of utter and total confusion and fear.
I wish you all well, I really do. I hope you can find some comfort and support whilst you are enduring all this.

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