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Old 11-29-2012, 10:13 PM   #2
Chicky77 Chicky77 is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Seattle, WA
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Chicky77 HB User
Re: Husband is an addict I am so confused

First of all, big hugs and I'm so sorry you're going through such a rough time. I was in a similar situation about a year ago and you really are at the worst stage right now. First of all, I know things are incredibly scary right now, but congratulations on your bravery! It's always easier to go with the status quo than it is to push for change. Asking for a separation takes real strength. He's an adult and you're not responsible for taking care of him. We all have our issues, but you deserve a partner who is working his butt off to fight his addictions and compulsive lying and is able to be a support to you too. If he's not doing this, by continuing to live with him you're sending the message that it's okay to act like this in a marriage. Of course, it's not.

I really hope that this time apart will be a wake up call for him, but remember that it might also be a wake up call for you. When I separated from my husband, his self-destruction increased (i.e. quit his job, addictions worsened, treated me poorly in counseling), but I needed to see that. I'm in the final stages of my divorce now and watching what happened when I stepped back gave me the clarity that I needed to move forward. Even though it was the hardest thing I've ever been through, 13 months later the world is looking a hell of a lot brighter and I'm genuinely happy for the first time in about 3 years.

That's not to say you're heading for a divorce. Our society puts a lot of value on decisiveness, but I promise you that you will know in your bones when the time comes to either file for divorce or move back in with him. I'd really encourage you to take as much time as you need to let that decision come to you. I cannot say how important a great couples counselor is at this juncture. Remember that good counselor has seen the inner workings of thousands of marriages and can help you work through issues like no one else can. If there's any way you can afford it, go weekly. I'd also recommend a counselor for yourself too, it's an investment in the future you.

It was also helpful for me to remember that addiction and codependency often go hand in hand. Remember that you are your own person apart from this relationship and use this time apart to work on yourself and observe his behavior like an outsider. Try to put on your anthropologist's hat and ask yourself, what would I tell my friend if she told me her husband was acting like this? Remember that you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink. If he doesn't try to change and you jump back in and rescue him, you're not only doing yourself a disservice, you're doing him a disservice too. It might feel like you're being ripped in two when you separate, but you need to have nerves of steel and stick to your guns about wanting 2 months of no contact (except for counseling). If you need to, have a friend screen any emails or voicemails these for you and give you only the critical information in their own words. Be prepared for him to guilt trip you for leaving, to swear he'll change, to get angry, etc. On a practical level, if you're concerned for your safety, even just a little bit, go get a lawyer and file for a legal separation. This is easy to do and will allow you to change your locks and separate your finances from him, but it's not a divorce filing.

Also, remember the basics of self-care. Lean on friends and family members--that's what they're there for! If you don't have anyone that you can talk to openly who's just there for you, join a support group for separated people. Take good care of yourself--eat right, exercise, sleep lots, avoid alcohol and drugs, don't begin any new relationships or make any other big life shifts and above all remember to go easy on yourself. This is one of the hardest things you'll ever go through, you're not going to be functioning like you normally do and that's okay.

You are doing a really brave thing! Much love on your journey, I'll be thinking about you and I promise that either way it goes, it will get better.