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    Old 02-08-2004, 02:57 AM   #1
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    Husband's Addiction

    I have been "lurking" for quite some time. I find this board a very supportive place full of kind and caring individuals. I hope it is okay that I lurk; but I have found it very useful in trying to be understanding and supportive of my husband, while trying to protect and preserve our family unit. We have five children ranging from 17 to 4. My husband has always been a wonderful parent; who genuinely loves his children and is has always been commited to our family. He has had trouble with addiction on and off throughout our marriage. We even have separated on three different occasions (during these periods of separation he would always seek treatment, stop using and we would reconcile.) This particular relaspe has been particularly troubling, the relaspe seem to result from the death of his beloved mother (he had just lost his father the year prior). So, I could see he was suffering from a great deal of pain, but unable to talk about or express very much emotion. Around Christmas time I found out he was using again, and it was like someone had hit me in the stomach. I basically stopped functioning for about a week, I just felt so betrayed and angry. But even deeper I felt extreme sadness; because I feel deep down the pain he is experiencing caused the relasped. I basically gave him an ultimatum stop using or he has to leave; well he is still using and still living with us (though he says he is tapering). The problem is now; is along with the emotional devastation it has caused us, the financial impact has been devastating as well. My Mom recently confronted me --- she sensed something was going and now my parents are trying to do what they can to help us. They want us to go to dinner tonight and discuss the steps my husband is needs to take to get help and offer financial support in the interim (we own a home and have a lot of equity), but the bills are piling up. Here is my fear; my husband is basically refusing to go (even though he knows how much my parents love him), and has basically told me to just go get a check from them (he won't go). What do I do? For my children's sake the financial assistance is almost necessary, but my fear is that if he doesn't deal with his addiction he is just going to do whatever it takes to get his hands on the money to buy more drugs. I feel like we are on a sinking ship, if he won't admit that he has a problem and take any steps to get help -- what can I do? Right now he is like a stranger, I don't even feel like I know him anymore. But on the other hand, I know there is loving man with a big heart burried underneath the addiction that is currently controlling his life. My children love their Dad and would be devastated by a separation. Any advice or thoughts would be appreciated. I am sorry for the long post!

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    Old 02-08-2004, 06:47 AM   #2
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    Re: Husband's Addiction

    MJ, You came to the right place for support.Believe me, we all know what you are dealing with here.Your husband sounds alot like mine in that communication(lack there of)was the main reason that we seperated last year.There were some other issues but that was the big problem that led to some other problems you know?From what you have stated, it sounds like you have really been through hell and back with his addiction.It sounds like your kids have really suffered as a result of this too.My youngest is still dealing with alot of issues as a result of the whole nightmare we went through last year.My husband grew up with a father who basically felt that if my husband showed emotion that he needed to just suck it up and be a man kind of thing.As a result of that kind of upbringing, it was very hard for him to show emotion,which led to big problems whenever i would try and talk to him about problems in our marriage.This also led to him drowning his sorrows in alcohol.Actually, the only time that he was ever able to show any kind of a willingness to talk with me was when he had been drinking.Then the words would just flow practically non stop.So beleive me, i know where you are coming from here.It sounds like your husband has a real problem with talking about his feelings which in turn is causing major devistation once again.Unfortunetly, it sounds like in order to help him, you are going to have to follow through on your ultimatum here in order for him to get clean. Don't let him use his mothers passing as an excuse,if anything, he needs to do this also for his mother.You say that he has told you that he has been tapering/Has he showed you any real evidence of this?You can always tell him that okay, if you are tapering, in order for you to continue living here, you need to let me hang on to your pills or whatever and let me be in charge of it.But he could always go and find some more so this probably wouldn't work really well either.The only way that he is going to know that you mean business here is by telling him either he goes through treatment again(in order to remain in the home)or he is outta there.I know that this will be hard for you and especially hard on your kids but someone in the family needs to be the grown up and look out for your kids and your finances.You say that you are in a financial bind as a result of his addiction and that if he had the access to any money from your parents, he would try and get it to by more drugs.So if you get any money from your parents ,don't put it where he has access to it.If you have a joint checking acct, start another one that just has your name on it.That way he wont have any access to it.If there is even the slightest chance that he would try and locate the checkbook, don't leave it at home.Give it to your parents or put it somewhere that he would never be able to access it like at work or something.You can't afford both emotionally or financially to have him in the home right now while he is still using.He wont seek any kind of help as long as he is still there.I know that this being hard on the kids is probably the only reason that he is still there but things are only going to get worse,not better if you enable him to keep using.Are any of your kids in any type of counseling?Alanon is really a great place for them to go just to try and really understand just why their father keeps on using.They might be taking this as somehow being their fault or something,Have you sat down and discussed his addiction with the older ones?Keeping them informed is really the best way to go here so they don't start thinking things that aren't actually true you know?Sit down and talk to them about possibly having to ask their father to leave again and tell them why.I would think that the best way to get to your husband right now,since you say that he is really a great father,would be to emphasize just what he is doing to your kids.Hopefully this might be a way to get him to seek treatment again.Tell him that the only way that he is going to remain in the home is by following some rules.The first one being that he must seek treatment yet again,and must really work the program and go to NA/AA meetings.Secondly, you will have total control over any financial decisions,and be in charge of paying any bills.As far as him actually going to dinner with your parents, I wouldn't hold my breath.He is afraid of being confronted by them so he is going to avoid them.I would tell him that if he doesn't go to dinner with you or at the very least ,seek treatment again,that he no longer has a place in the home.You have to be tough here, you are the one who has to put your childrens best interest in front of everything else as he is not going to do it at this point.You have to make sure that your finances are in order so you don't lose your home.I really feel so bad for you and your children MJ.Unfortunetly you and your kids have had to deal with this way too many times.You need to tell him that for the sake of your children, that this is it.If you don't go into treatment and really honestly and sincerely try and get better and stay that way,you are just not going to give in and let him stay or ever come back.Just how much are you supposed to take here?There has to be an end to this merry go round that you are all on.I hope this helps somehow.Take care and keep us posted,we really do care about one another here and you always have a place here to vent or ask questions,okay?Best of luck MJ,hang in there. Marcia

    Old 02-08-2004, 07:48 AM   #3
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    Re: Husband's Addiction

    I'm sure your husband, as you said, is extremely depressed. He's also extremely humiliated that he has lead you two into this financial situation. This is why he doesn't want to go face your parents. I can relate to what he is feeling... I've been there. I'm currently on Suboxone and doing wonderfully. I've been on it since Dec 1 and don't even really think about doing pills anymore. I just wanted to chime in and say I can understand where he is coming from. Addiction is something he cannot control unless he goes to meetings or has some type of a plan. I don't attend meetings because the Suboxone has basically made 'it all go away'. I will probably be on it for quite some time... Anyway, I can relate to you as well because my mother was a terrible drug addict so I've been on both sides. I'm sorry you are having to deal with all of this... what hell you have been through. I just don't know what to say other than you cannot tolerate his drug usage. Remember though... he cannot quit for you or for your marriage. He has to quit because HE wants to. Most of the time, it takes hitting rock bottom for this to happen. Please keep us posted... I'll pray for both of you.

    Old 02-08-2004, 08:13 AM   #4
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    MJ -

    I'm glad that you jumped that deepest, toughest crevass---from lurker to leaper! The first "crosing" is always the toughest. Welcome.

    First of all, re your parents' money: With no legal expertise, I would still suggest a couple of things. One, that when your parents give you the money, you open a separate account with your name only (or your name and your parents names). That will be your "Family" account--for food, shelter and clothing....and the bills. That will become your responsibility for now.

    Once you have that account, you can arrange to have automatic payments for standing monthly bills withdrawn directly from the account, to pay, say, the telephone company, etc. ....or for direct deposit of part or all of your paycheck (if you work outside the home.) When we first got married, my husband (now my ex :-( and I opened an account with my mother's generous money gift, just for home expenses and bills. This new account will hold all of your parents' gift money plus any other "family monies" that you contribute. Once you do this, you will know the money is safe--with no opportunity for your husband to withdraw this gift money for his addiction.

    My other thought (if opening a separate account from your husband disturbs you for any reason), is this: If you have a very close, easy-going relationship with your parents, you may be able to ask if you could send them your family bills and they would pay them directly from their own account--you would be keeping records to deduct each expense they pay from the agreed total amount of their gift.

    The most important thing you need to do, sadly, is to be certain that no money from your parents is accessible to him He will understand exactly "why" you have chosen this path--and may even feel some relief that there is no way in which he can betray your trust. Discussing your own financal fears and your personal fears for him, may help him to discuss his own.

    Either way you choose to protect your parents' generosity, at least, you will have peace of mind knowing that their gift has all gone to where it is most needed.

    As far as your husband's current monthly contribution to family, food and expenses--the method of how he's always helped pay the bills--he can now either pay that monthly amount into your new account (which would certainly keep him aware of what his "cheating" led to), or continue to add it to the regular joint account you share--or whatever way you usually pay your bills. (Brian, mu ex, and I always had our main monies in our own separate account--we both worked, but he earned more--so he paid proportionately more. Not having any children--tho my dogs ARE my kids-- this worked well for both of us. If Brian suddenly just had to indulge himself in some expensive piece of software--the dollars flew out from HIS bank account. Alternatively, when I felt this "compelling urge" to upgrade my trusty skis--and test them out on some nice Colorado slope on a vacation with my skier twin sister--it was MY account that suffered.)

    Do you know exactly what drug he takes and how much? Whether he gets it from his doctor....or an on-line pharmacy? I just wondered about this, as you mention he admitted to his taking up pills again, before you noticed his behavior changing. (I know, for certain that except for my closest friend, others have not detected my "secret" (and I am now tapering.) The "highs" and "lows" I've experienced are not discernable to others--just as no one, except those I tell, know I suffer from such awful clinical depression without my antidepresants. Even when I had to take a 3 month medical leave during one particularly bad episode, I still don't think that I had convinced my friend and workmate that I had fallen into a black abyss and could not even get out of bed. could not eat, think, etc. She insisted that I hadn't been that way the week before I took the leave. But she was soooooo wrong! So, sometimes we do not know for certain when even our own family member is anxious, depresed and using drugs to lessen the symptoms.

    From what you wrote, your husband has a lot of love in him--and the death of his mother--so soon after his father--must have been a horrendous blow. For eight yeears my sister and I cared for my mother, who suffered from dementia, caused by mini strokes in the brain. It was so heartbreaking--almos unbearable--to see her suffering. She KNEW what was happening to her mind. I am mentioning this because my sister and fel like our hydros (Vicodin ES) pulled us through that period! As much as we knew and kept learning about the dangers of this drug--these Vicodin pills produced the only "sense of well-being" that broke through over the entire 8 year period of 24/7 sadness. So, I can understand, in a way, how your husband felt after losing his mother.he had felt. (We took about 7 a day then.) But his problem sounds out-of-control--needing more and more--and using family monies to pay for them, in spite of his great love for you all. I do hope that you help him deal with his problem one more time....though I know how awful it must be for you--and your children. Other than detox programs...does he have a sympathetic psychiatrist, who he can talk with? Is there possibly an underlying clinical depression there, that might be eased with antidepressants? The antidepresants that I took (and still take) are such miracle drugs for me. I know that they've helped me with my taper plan.

    Please write back and let us all know how you're doing. You'll find some very informed (and kind) people on this Board, who sure do know their brain chemistry--and how drugs can alter it. You'll get lots of psychological comfort here, as well. Hope things work out for you.


    Old 02-08-2004, 11:24 AM   #5
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    Re: Husband's Addiction

    im 44 and got divorced because of my addiction to opiates...i too have chikldren,two 9 and 12 and left my family was pain med that was my downfall because of a injury and that led to heroin cause of its opiate tendencies wife makes 70,000 a year though and she lives in the house i biult for 300,000....he has to make the determination to quit...whether he starts to a/a or n/a...what type of drugs?....i too love my children but drugs became in-laws found out about me too and it not only was embarrasing,cause folks dont understand opiate addiction/pharmecy drug addiction....they also obviously turned against me too....its a long hard day/day recovery...understanding addiction helps...try alanon if you are to try to work it out...for the kids,trust is hard to recover but it is wife thru me out and regretted it two years did i....chef

    Old 02-08-2004, 03:30 PM   #6
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    Re: Husband's Addiction

    Your kindness and responses mean more than I can even express. I can't tell you how comforting your wisdom is to me. As far as the financial part goes, I agree, it is necessary I open another account to ensure he doesn't get access to the money my parents are giving us to help in the interim. This is all so strange, because I feel like I have been walking around in a fog -- barely functioning myself; it has almost been as though I have been in a period of mourning ... not knowing what to do. So, in a sense his addiction became my addiction because I have literally been paralyzed from taking any sort of action -- just basically sitting around feeling sorry for myself, crying, or sleeping to escape the reality of this nightmare. I can't tell you how empowering it was to have my mom comfront me (with concern and compassion), I just burst into tears about all we have gone through (my children and I) and it all just came pouring out of me.
    Twinlynn; to answer your question -- yes my husband does suffer from depression, he had been taking celexa and his depression had been relatively controlled; I guess my indicator of his relaspe should have been when he stopped taking his Celexa -- but I was in such denial and refused to see what was right in front of me. The thing is, my parents understand addiction (especially my mom), my mother had achoholic parents and had to deal with so much growing up being the oldest child in her family. So, it is not as though he'd be facing angry, resentful people. They're main concern is that he gets help and that he WANTS to get help. I definitely can tell he is tapering, but he is so angry all of the time and seems to blame me, the more I reach out, the further he pulls away. He has basically said he will not leave and has told me I will have to be the one to leave. The idea of uprooting my children after what they have already been through breaks my heart. Also, I have to protect my investment in our home. I do not want to break up our family, but if it comes down to it I have to ensure my children and are in a financial position to get settled elsewhere. It is a double-edged sword with no easy answers. I love this man, I know deep down he loves me and our children; but right now the addiction has basically left only a shell of the man he once was. He does have great addiction/recovery coverage through our medical insurance ... but he refuses to take the step to get help. My oldest son has been deeply impacted ... he has such a sweet sensitive spirit, so he is in counseling. I will definitely seek support from Alanon for the all of us .... we need it! Again, you are all so wonderful and I am very grateful for the you have taken the time to provide with your wisdom and support.

    Old 02-08-2004, 09:17 PM   #7
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    Re: Husband's Addiction


    I am glad you found this board. It has helped me tremondously! I of course, am the addict in recovery. I am on suboxone. It is a ying and a yang! Truthfully, it has saved my life. If you have insurance, (it is expensive) it may be a thought. It helps w/the withdrawals, but unfortunately, it is hard to get off. So, I, for instance look at it as a life long maintenance drug. It is better than the alternative, for me (Jail). I have a hubbie and 3 kids and it has brought back joy in my life and family. I believe you should keep the money seperate. Addicts minds work very deviously, at least mine did! Please keep asking ?? I would be happy to help, good luck! Shell

    Old 02-09-2004, 05:21 PM   #8
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    Re: Husband's Addiction

    Well, went to my folks last night and they loaned me the money to get us out of debt for a while. I opened a separate account so my husband wouldn't gain access to the money. Of course he refused to go last night. I had my hopes pretty high that he would go to dinner with us; but he refused. Before the kids and I left I asked him to pull out his insurance card and call the addiction/recovery assistance for help. He refused and basically said "that doesn't work for him". When we got home he was sleeping, but when he got up he just stormed around the house refusing to even look at me. He proceeded to pack his suitcase, but then went back bed. Haven't seen him all day since he left for work he was due home two hours ago. I just feel numb. Still sad, but mostly numb. I guess he sees me as to blame for all of this, I'm not sure; but he just acts like he hates me. Last night my father said he wished my husband and I hadn't reconciled after his last relaspe (over 9 years ago). I just burst into tears, because the reality is I wouldn't have three of my beautiful children if we hadn't of reconciled... I guess there is always a silver-lining and our children definitely that for me. Thanks for you encouragement and support.

    Last edited by Mart7; 02-09-2004 at 05:23 PM.

    Old 02-10-2004, 07:44 AM   #9
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    Re: Husband's Addiction

    when my husband was in active addiction(pills), he acted the same way. angry all the time (esp when he was out of the oxys), slept, complained of being sick, basically didn't participate in our relationship or in those with family and friends. now he is on methadone (for about the last 5 months). he finally works every day, but his attitude is horrible. we don't have a normal hubby-wife realtionship, to me its more like roommates. today, i am trying to maintain my sobriety which involves meetings every day, talking to my sponsor and other sober friends, etc. i feel like i am alone when we're at home together and it really sucks.
    my parents know how hard i'm working on myself but they know how screwed up he is. i think that really makes them angry. but the bottom line is none of us can make him feel better or act any differently. that is what i struggle with every day. anyway, i'm rambling so i'll go.....

    Old 02-10-2004, 10:00 AM   #10
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    Thumbs down Re: Husband's Addiction

    Hello from a curmudgeon who cares. I can understand there are a lot of things you want to hang on to, but how would it feel to release all the material stuff, put responsibility where it belongs, and just walk away? Would it feel free? Would your kids feel relief, and would they be happier? It isn't your job to make sure your husband does what is right or gets in the position to do what is right. It is his responsibility. Addicts will use ANY excuse to "feel better." Losing a parent is one way they sucker significant others; they might not give a damn about the parent's passing, but others won't challenge them about it, and will say "poor baby." (I work on a psychiatric ward sometimes; family dying is the #1 excuse for those in relapse.) This is where he is and you are. Loving him won't fix things, and you won't win a prize by sticking around. My God, the man has put his CHILDREN in financial jeopardy, and now you are taking on the parent role for them and HIM! And now you have dragged your parents into it. This is screwed up. Not you, the situation.
    I got a lot of gray hairs from trying to be the responsible one and trying to keep things right (alcohol eased a lot of pain on both sides, his and mine). But one day I asked myself, what would happen if I quit trying? Why is it all my responsibility? So I called the real estate agent, told him to sell the house and keep the profit (that's illegal for him to do, but it worked), and I walked away from my house in Hawaii. I also quit taking the responsibility that rightfully belonged to someone else. I put my son first instead of my situation. He was a lot happier after that. So was I. And you know, even after asking my parents for money, even after working my *** off 24/7 to make things financially right until he could "get on an even keel," even after me being the breadwinner so he could go through college "for us," even after me buying that house, when he got that degree and the well-paying job, he bought an expensive new sports car and left us. And he never did stop drinking. Be careful about what you spend your time and money and love on; addicts manipulate in ways to spend time with their substances.
    You will always be blamed for not treating them well, not having enough faith in them, not having enough patience, not whatever. That is another hallmark of an addictive personality; the finger pointing. So just suck it up, cry as much as you need to, and move on to stability. If you issue an ultimatum, back it up.
    You don't "deal with" cancer; you cut it out and kill it so that it doesn't kill you first. -Goat
    Don't cut them any slack; insist that they accept and fulfill their responsibilities.

    Old 02-10-2004, 10:06 AM   #11
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    Re: Husband's Addiction

    Even if pushed,they will stop only if they really want.They have to hit rock bottom first.............

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