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    Old 07-10-2005, 09:53 PM   #1
    numberone
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    Husband addiction personality change

    Hi, first post.

    Not sure this is the right board but it is a good place to start.

    Briefly, my husband has serious spinal pain and fusion helped but the pain is still intense. He started on Vicodin, to the point of stealing mine when I had surgery of any serious kind. He had access to a lot of pills. Ultimately he sought pain management and finally found a pain management doctor who prescribes Oxycontin. He once tried to get off it--and suffered terribly. He did get off but then went back on.

    It has been about 7 years or more on all of these opiates. About 2 on the Oxy.

    He insists it is not addiction, just dependence. His pain is real.

    What I fear is I see a man who has changed so dramatically and who is in denial about it. I have been to therapy and developed a host of stress disorders and in my heart I know it is because I am scared.

    I am smart enough to know that he really is addicted but it is a topic I am not allowed to talk about. Someone I loved is now someone who is defensive, irritable, moody, and puts it all on me.

    I thought I could just ignore it all and just go on with my own life. But to open a conversation is to have an argument.

    He has lost muscle mass, weight, sleeps less. He gets terrible debilitating migraines. Is rarely very hungry.

    I feel helpless. I would be glad if he would just go for therapy for the personality issues and even antidepressants. But, he sees no change at all in who he is and I feel like I could go crazy with the idiotic conversations we have and his self justification.

    I started to write him notes a few years ago, but he rips them up.

    He will do anything for me but be open on this subject.

    It has changed dramatically how I feel about him. Walking on eggshells all of the time is no longer acceptable and I know in my heart that the person I loved is no longer there and I just don't have the energy anymore to fight him over it.

    Has anyone had success with this--or do I just become another casualty of
    this drug?

    I have no issue with his needing the medication, but I surely would feel better
    going to the doctor with him, having him talk about his dosages, showing me what he has left each month and so on.

    It has seriously affected any trust we had and now I am more in a mode of how to take care of myself--I just don't seem to have the courage or strength.

    Thanks for listening as I know this is certainly not unique.

     
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    Old 07-11-2005, 04:13 AM   #2
    thghtsreal
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    Re: Husband addiction personality change

    Oh yes. We know your story. Most of us on this forum have lived it. Both the addicts and the family/friends of addicts know exactly what you are talking about.

    Read on. You will find plenty of people on this forum who have gone through or who are going through the same thing as you.

    Welcome to the hell of Oxy addiction, although it could be any drug really. It would be difficult to be on an opiate for seven years and not develop an addiction. The very nature of the drug requires increasing doses just to have the same effect. Tolerance leads to increased use which leads to more tolerance which, of course leads to addiction.

    I suggest you formulate a strategy of self-preservation first, and then figure out what to do about your addicted hubby.

    One thing you need to do is to talk with some doctors - and I mean that in plural. From what I have seen, many pain management doctors are not always open to the idea that their patient has become addicted to the medication they prescribe. Consult with your family physician as well.

    Good luck. You are not alone.

    Last edited by thghtsreal; 07-11-2005 at 04:14 AM.

     
    Old 07-11-2005, 05:38 AM   #3
    goddessgrl65
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    Re: Husband addiction personality change

    Hi-
    i like the idea-that thghtreal posted to you-about taking care of yourself..
    Its very difficult to deal w/ someone who is dead-set about discussing/connecting to you about his dependance/addiction..
    But this goes into all areas..of your relationship-im sure..and your feeling alienated/isolated from your husband is very damaging to your self-esteem-and marraige.
    this is a long period of time..to be dealing w/ this.
    Have you considered seeking a therapist to discuss this with???
    Since ive commited to therapy(3 yrs)..ive really learned so much about myself/relationships-life..coping skills..to deal w/ difficult issues..and a place where i can really get honest about my world.
    Peace..
    ggrl

    Last edited by goddessgrl65; 07-11-2005 at 05:39 AM.

     
    Old 07-11-2005, 09:39 AM   #4
    numberone
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    Re: Husband addiction personality change

    I am most appreciative of your replies.

    I am an otherwise bright person--but I have low self esteem and my first marriage and now this one, have brought me to depression and severe anxiety disorders.

    I have been treated for quite a few years now. medically, counseling, medications. I am currently on about the right meds, addictive-or at least dependent in my own right. Antidepressant- Effexor-lowest dosage and the very addicting Klonopin--lowest dosage. Plus serious Thyroid issues that resulted in a partial thyroidectomy.

    I take very good care of my own well-being-other than the weight gain of 20 pounds that is part of the Seretonin medication.

    I know the solution is tough love. I just can't seem to cope with it and one would think I would be smart enough to face that vs. what I now go through.

    I have taken my husband to therapy with me a few times--but it is clear he will not participate if it is about 'us' only if it is about me.

    If I rock the boat for his Oxy treatments--I fear for myself. Not that he has ever been the type to hit physically, just mentally. But if he can no longer get his meds and is not weaned--it will all come down on me at a time I can't really cope.

    My trying to ignore it has just increased my own internalized anger and frozen my emotions--as you all know.

    I am now thinking of asking for a weekly accounting of the drug dosage and
    an occasional visit with him to his doctor. I know that he is fearful that the doctor will cut him off. The doctor has already had some legal issues and likely doesn't want exposure. I believe the doctor is a fine doctor but does not deal with the addictive side. His patients tend to be much older than my husband and nearly incapacitated. He is their last hope.

    My husband should be advised to seek counseling while on Oxy- swim, exercise and such.

    I am now of the opinion since I am tracking his debilitating migraines that they come about 5 days before his doctor's appointment. I suspect tho he denies it (don't they all?!) that he feels he can take an extra pill here and there as needed then skimps near to the appointment and that what I am seeing is slight withdrawal.

    He fills the prescription in another town, the same day. I don't even know the dosage any more. He is supposed to keep a log, but I know he just does it the last day and it is more to CYA the doctor.

    What is his appointment? Well, I went twice in the beginning. Hello. Let me see your log. Stretch. Touch your knees. Pay me. Here is your prescription.

    Fortunately, due to me, we both have an extraordinary endocrinologist who is aware and disagrees-but still treats him. Hubby gets bloodwork and liver function tests with regularity. But- I can't really discuss him with the doctor to due patient privilege. My doctor, like my two therapists (one for anxiety and one a Psychiatrist both agree that my ailments are due to the stress of my relationship.

    So, here I am. Paralized with fear. Afraid it will kick my anxiety disorder off the chart. Afraid that I will lose my job if I have to go on leave. Or myself be hospitalized with a serious panic attack.

    I am a loving person cared for by many--but unable to have any real intimacy with my husband. I thought hobbies, outside interests would help.

    It really doesn't. It is a living hell with someone who loves you in the only way they know how, but doesn't understand that that is not the answer.

    I say to myself, if I knew all this and he asked me for a date--I wouldn't accept.

    Yet here I am. A smart, liberated business woman who is near 60 and like a deer in the headlights.

    Once I considered a support group but I live far from town, have a fear of driving, and travel exhuastively in my work. It is the coming home that causes my hands to tremble.


    And all of it is mental. If I am the 'nice wife' things are smooth. If I stay on safe topics, all is well. If I bring up anything meaty--well-- I am trying to start an argument.

    No help from his family at all. Nor mine.

    That is why I called myself numberone because I have to start thinking about it but I have sadly lowered my expectations of happiness because it is too painful when I have hope.

    Boy, when I re-read this I know the answers---I wish I had the courage.
    Too much repression. Too much inside crying. I don't cry at movies for the plot. I know I cry for me. And even for him...

     
    Old 07-11-2005, 09:39 AM   #5
    Sylvia224
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    Re: Husband addiction personality change

    It sounds to me as though he is scared, and possibly feels a little trapped in the situation. When the pleasant buzz of opiates wears off, it is a heavy load to carry to know that youíre addicted, it certainly makes me irritable and is the motivation that carries us though withdrawls and recovery. However, I imagine itís hard for you both because he has legitimate pain and letís face it -- Advil isnít really an option here. Is he crushing the oxys? (Thatís the typical way to abuse that drug, it disrupts the time release function) If he does, that has to stop. He needs the pain relief, which heíll get by swallowing them as intended. Crushing them will mean that he gets high and then it wears off too quickly and heíll need more too often. Have you talked about the possibility of you doling out his pills? It sounds like that is probably not an option though. If he wonít even talk about it, he certainly wonít let you "police" him. Sorry, I guess I have no good answers, I just wanted to lend my support and say welcome.

     
    Old 07-11-2005, 10:03 AM   #6
    butterfly64
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    Re: Husband addiction personality change

    Numberone,

    I am so sorry for what you are having to deal with! Being the addict in my marriage, I definitely know the other side.. I'm not sure if I have the words to help you, I have a feeling like you said, you know the answers...it just isn't always easy to act on them...

    It really depends on how your husband is taking them, as Sylvia said, if he is crushing them, then he is definitely abusing them. And there is a difference between addiction and physical dependence. The fact that it sounds like he runs out every month, pretty much says it all. I know from my own experience the resentment you must be feeling...I am still having to deal with the damage that I have done to my marriage...I am now on day 21, from 5 yrs of the hell of addiction. And, I can't even count how many times I tried and failed. Besides for myself, which is the absolute main reason, and it took ME deciding to do this, I knew if I didn't, I was going to lose my marriage along with everything else I managed to screw up along the way. My point, I think is, you truely have to look out for you. It sounds as if he is still in denial that there is a problem(at least with you, although he probably realizes it).....so until he faces the problem, I'm afaid there won't be alot you can do to force him to. I can tell you, that he probably is feeling an incredible amount of guilt, but the fear of withdrawl is enough to beat the best of us!!!!
    And even though I love my husband with all my heart, while I was still using, the pills ALWAYS came first!! Because without them, I knew I would be sick...and the withdrawl process...especially from what he is taking, is a very long, and painful experience...

    So, like I said in the beginning, I have no idea if any of this helps, but just thought a glimpse into the other side might help you do the right thing, whatever that is for YOU!!!

    Just focus on the stregth that you know you have...and draw from the people on this board, we really do understand what you are going through!!

    J-
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    Last edited by butterfly64; 07-11-2005 at 10:05 AM.

     
    Old 07-11-2005, 10:08 AM   #7
    thghtsreal
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    Re: Husband addiction personality change

    Sounds like an icky mess.

    You probably don't like icky messes, so clean it up.

    Once you get started, you will gain some momentum.

    Like you said in your own words, you know what to do.

    Do it.

     
    Old 07-11-2005, 01:08 PM   #8
    numberone
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    Re: Husband addiction personality change

    Thanks-all.

    I do not believe he is crushing the pills. I think some are 40 mb--but he always has them on him so it is hard to tell. He has told me over and over that to crush them is to die..so I think he gets it. What I worry about is that
    he is taking an extra during the day and figures on a less painful day he can manage.

    We had a major confrontation a few years ago when I was hiding all of my post op Vicodin. I would count them and they were always 'short' of the count and he had no 'clue'.

    Finally, one day I went looking for the pills since I take them with me when I travel. I once ended up in another state in the hospital since I have a bad disc--so I carry a few pills for emergency.

    I found the bottle-empty-with a note inside from him saying that he was sorry but he needed them.

    I was on my way-with him-to a major company function. I could barely breathe.

    So, I have Vicodin for recent surgeries and intense migraine. I take maybe one half a pill every now and then for sever migraine. I count and double count and keep rehiding them. Ocassionally, some are missing but he insists I have miscounted. I number and date the bottle.

    Once he ordered from Canada and the Postal Authorities took it. That was a wake up call when he tried to quit. He actually did-as noted earlier-but then went back on them.

    Again-

    I really have no issue with the need for pain relief. I have a serious neuropathy condition and nothing to take for it. I know the angst of 24/7 pain. What I struggle with is how this has tarnished our truthfulness, affects libido (I am guilt of this as well with my meds for depression), makes him think any disagreement is an attack, he is tired a lot, cranky. Hardly any laughter.

    While he is 'loving' it is always saying I Love You but adding that we will not have any conversation. So odd. All is well if I am just quiet or talk about things like weather. There ois always the 'elephant in the room'.

    So, I no longer have a 'best friend'. I have close internet friends I have never met. I work a job that gives me a lot of people 'touching'. But the one person I want to reach is now driven by the need for relief and a personality that seems almost paranoid to me.

    His family is totally ignorant about mental/drug situations.

    I can see only a few solutions:

    Ultimatum-quit or I am gone. Doubt he can handle this.
    Ultimatum-keep me in the loop or I am gone--I think I will get the silent treatment, or the drive away for a few hours thing. I will have to be the one to just leave.
    Suck it up and wither away inside and continue on my own meds to survive.
    Suck it up and accept what is and go on with my life by making different friends, visiting family by myself (which I have been doing), hobbies. (Just started one).
    The only thing that would cause him to assert a dissolution of our relationship would be if I was unfaithful. Nothing has really interested me in that way--but I know his pride would then force the issue--and I -would of course, be the bad one.

    Is it OK to say that we are between 50 and late 50's? Too young to be
    celibate creatures with no other form of communication.

    Writing really has helped--but I still have lead feet and icicles in my heart :-(.

     
    Old 07-11-2005, 02:19 PM   #9
    young momma
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    Re: Husband addiction personality change

    I started getting on here because my husband is/was an addict. Reading on both sides helped me some. I messed up and didn't take care of me. I was too busy taking care of kids and hubby. I guess we learn from our mistakes though. Living and being married to an addict is very hard work. I had to hide my meds too. If there are some in the house, they will find it. I had started hiding mine in the duct work! I think he is completely done. I don't know for sure because he has lied so many times before. It is really sad that he may be being completely honest with me. I just have lost any sort of trust that we had. I wish I knew when that will come back. Now, I have some mental issues!! Go figure!! I am so scared to go to the doctor and be put on anything. I have seen him popping pills for so long. I am scared to death that I will become addicted to something. I don't think I have much of a choice anymore. I have turned into a basket case. I know why. Like I said, I am scared. I have waited too long though. I just kept building up all the crap! I am so broke down now.

    There are so many people on here that know what you are going through. Nobody can make any decisions for you though. We can all help support you and let you know that you are not alone!! Read some other posts and that will show you that there really are some success stories! There is hope! He has to want it though. It is hard if he hasn't accepted that there is a problem. Maybe he has and just keeps himself bottled up.

    Hugs and more hugs!! You need them and deserve them!!

     
    Old 07-11-2005, 07:28 PM   #10
    numberone
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    Re: Husband addiction personality change

    It feels good to give help back.....

    As much as it sounds like I am against addictive medications- I am not. I am against not being on them with proper management and precautions.

    I have severe depression and panic disorder. I am not happy to take the medications--but have educated myself to the realization that some aspects are environment/relationship and some are chemical and genetic.

    You can go on medication, stabilize, then taper off with proper help and counseling. It is critical to have a doctor that monitors you and doesn't just prescribe the latest and greatest. Even menapause can affect the dosages.

    I have been on about 4 different types of serotonin uptake and now combine Effexor with Klonopin, counseling and regular check ups.

    Where I am not disciplined is that I should also have a good exercise program.

    Go and get yourself stable. Then, see what you can do to taper off with supervision. There is nothing wrong with needing long or short term medication.

    My gripe is not dependency or even addiction. Mine is that the medication should improve the quality of life. When the medication changes your personality, as my husband's, to one that is alarming and not like the person-that is different.

    You owe it to yourself to restore your well being. Don't be fearful.

    Of course, it is easier to give than take advice...:-)....

    Keep posting.

     
    Old 07-11-2005, 09:44 PM   #11
    young momma
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    Re: Husband addiction personality change

    Thanks!!
    That is what is great about this site! You take advice and can give it!! I am making an appointment in the morning! Keep us updated!! Or if you just need to vent, we are here!!

    Thanks again!

     
    Old 07-12-2005, 08:26 AM   #12
    numberone
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    Exclamation Re: Husband addiction personality change

    Good for you!

    Me, well, another story.

    I decided to check my husband's pill bottle. I looked while he was asleep. It is empty. It is not 20mg 4X a day it is 40 mg 3 times a day and he has 20mg somewhwere also.

    Once again, I am missing 6 vicodin that aI have for migraine. They were in my purse and available since I just came home from a trip. I recounted twice a day and yesterday 6 are gone.

    He was sleeping by 9 am. Gets up at 5. He had a 26 hour migraine this weekend and vomiting. I asked if he is using the pills faster and told him I do not believe that my pills are going into thin air.

    He insists he has no idea. He insists he takes the pills as prescribed. He insists that I may an issue of it and if I would just support him in his pain treatment. He seems to have no empathy even when I suggest that I may have to leave. He says that is my choice but he loves me. He says we can't talk about it at 2 am because he has to get sleep. He works for his own company...small---but he is his own boss...)

    I remind him that in one session we went to with my doctor that my anxiety attacks can spring from fear of what I don't know. He says his treatments are his business and it is I who continue to make it a marital issue.

    I insist that it is not the treatment it is the dynamics of secrecy and the appearance ot theft. That if this were all open, he would simply put the bottle out, be forthright. I would be accepting. He then turns that into
    I am mistrustful.

    Classic transference.

    So here I sit, fighting off an anxiety attack. It makes no difference if my severe migraines (TMJ related) go untreated because of so many missing pills. I have developed a condition called Existosis. A severe enlargement of the ridge bone along the gums. It is like a bunion build up of severe grinding-in spite of a TMJ device.

    The rationale side of me says he is no longer a caring person. That he is transmitting the blame to me. That my well being has ceased to matter to him. That I no longer have responsibility for him in sickness and in health because he refuses to accept any help or include me.

    There is no intimacy. No trust. And barely any love because the things love needs to survice have withered.

    I know it is time to move on. I just fearful I will lose my job and be in a residential facility for anxiety disorder. This has come close tho this once before where I was unable to leave the house or breathe.

    I am fighting it like mad...it takes all the courage I have.

    I get no family support as they are far away and too selfish in their own worlds. My kids are too far and too young. His family is primitive in this regard.

    I don't know how to cope...but to try to gain control of my body first.

    Yup, all he wants is for me to go to the movies. Take walks. And just let this 'little thing drop'.

    So tell me, is it a little thing? For someone like me, I think if he can hide this--what else can he hide? Who is he really? Who do I sleep with at night? Who is this man?

    How much of my own anxiety is making more of this than it is or am I rationalizing?

    He is otherwise a hard worker. Tells me he loves me always. Is only like this when I need answers.

    I am sure this is familiar, but do I blow it up too much???

    I no longer know what is rationization and what is my own low esteem and fear.

    You can be candid to me.

     
    Old 07-12-2005, 09:26 AM   #13
    Sylvia224
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    Re: Husband addiction personality change

    Iím so sorry for what you are going through Ė but do NOT second-guess yourself now. You are absolutely correct in your estimation of what is happening here, and his defense is to make you question yourself Ė "is it me thatís blowing things out of proportion/projecting my fears/being paranoid/giving him a hard time" Ė whatever youíre thinking. It is not true. Your husband is addicted to opiates and until he is ready to face that and leave it behind, heís going to do whatever it takes to protect his drugs and his use, including manipulate you. I know this because Iíve done it to my own husband Ė I feel so horrible when I think of it, heís the kindest man in the world Ė but you should see my wide-eyed innocence and my Ďwho ME? Gosh I think you might have some trust issues there dear." And before long, he believed this stuff. He thought HE was the one with the problem, so he backed off and I desperately did my drugs.
    I really donít know what kind of advice to give in terms of what you should do to confront the drug use and save your marriage. I honestly just donít know. But I do know that you are very intelligent and strong Ė thatís apparent in your posts Ė and that you will do the right thing. I just want to confirm what you said Ė those vicodan did NOT disappear into thin air. And if his pill bottle is empty and it is not time to renew the prescription, then he has a problem. So donít doubt yourself, you know what youíre doing. And if heís anything like me, he DOES love you, as I do my husband Ė very, very much. It is himself that he despises.
    Take care and good luck.

     
    Old 07-12-2005, 10:36 AM   #14
    young momma
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    Re: Husband addiction personality change

    I remember those times. Fear of what you don't know? Deep down, you do know. I think that is worse than not knowing. Well, sometimes. I wish there was some type of hypnosis to let you forget sections of the past. It would at least let me trust again. He probably isn't hiding other stuff. Just his addiction problem. My hubby after I thought he was done with narcotics, I found out later he was still taking oxy's and methadone. Pretty much whatever he could get his hands on, he was taking. I kept asking where money was going. I wanted to believe him when he said gas or cigarettes. Later, he admitted to me he was buying them off of someone. It is still so hard to trust him though. I fell for it before, maybe, I am falling for it again. I think he really is clean. He has come back to life!! I have seen him cry again!! He talks to me again. He even starts the conversations!!

    Sylvia is right though. Nothing will change until he is ready to face it.
    Keep your head up high!!

     
    Old 07-12-2005, 01:46 PM   #15
    Karebear71
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    Exclamation Re: Husband addiction personality change

    Numberone:
    I am not a very religious person, but I believe God or my guardian angel just paid me a visit. I just had one of the many similar interactions with my husband that you describe. After bawling my eyes out for a good 20 minutes and taking a Valium (GREAT decision considering the board we are on, NOT!) to calm myself down, your post was the first one I read. I have been posting here and there and keeping up with folks, trying to offer support where I can, etc. Let me start my history by saying I am an overly-sensitive, cry-baby, woe is me, type of person to begin with. Being this way, it has been a challenge my entire life to know if I am getting upset for a good reason or just over-reacting again. I am in my early 30's and, until I got married 5 years ago to the person whom I thought was my best friend, was very responsible, successful, and content to live by myself. Our relationship has been more than I could ask for, much like you have mentioned about your husband. He has always been very kind and loving to me. Never hesitating to tell me how beautiful, smart, and wonderful I am and how I am his life. I was raised by a divorced mother who was very anti men my entire life, so it took me this long to find someone I could take to my mother and say, "Look mom, there is a man out there who will treat me right and literally be my best friend!" My mother has always been very opinionated and judgemental and influenced me to be the same. She made it clear that if I ever took drugs, got pregnant as a teen, etc. that I would immediatly be out on my own with no support from her. After an all-in-all perfect teen & young adult life, much to my mother's delight, I started developing severe migraines in my mid 20's allowing me to experience Vicodin for the 1st time. I, like you, had a never ending supply at my disposal to use whenever a migraine would strike. After marrying my husband, I would occasionally offer him a pill to ease a headache or other pain that may have befallen him. Although we both were honest with each other about how "good" they made us feel, I can honestly say we were neither addicted or dependent on them. Blissful years passed (with a few healthcare issues of my my own in between that I won't get into now) and all was well until last summer. My husband got in a severe accident breaking his back and neck. To make a long story short, he was put on a fairly strong dose of Oxy's. He also got in with some unsavory characters as a result of trying to cure the boredome and depression of not being able to work. I have a pretty good feeling he may have gotten into methamphetamines as well, although I can't prove it. He is no longer the person I met 6 years ago and I feel as though I am stuck, much like yourself. Every opinionated, judgemental portion of my brain (which, I might add, has become a portion of my personality well covered up by the compassion and understanding that marriage brings with it) tells me to "kick him to the curb". My family is also pushing for this, which adds even more pressure. His family (not nice people) just ask me what he gets of mine in the divorce. (I had my own house and almost everything we have was mine when we met) They are very materialistic (strange attitude when you consider hat they say I am the best thing that ever happened to him) and could care less about the hurt this change in him has caused me. I cannot leave because we have animals and I don't think he would take care of them in the state he is in, not to mention be able to pay mortgage. He stays awake constantly and putters in the garage, coming in occasionally to complain about his aching back. I WONDER why it aches!!! If I try talk to him honestly about how I feel, he says I am selfish and unsupportive and that he is not on anything but his pain pills. To top things off, within the last month, if I inadvertently leave ANY money at all in my purse it is gone. Every penny. When I ask him to give it back, he says "I didn't take it!" As if I am some sort of idiot that I would believe it. So between the stealing, the lying, the drug use, not being able to leave my home, and him refusing to leave (having no money and nowhere to go) I feel trapped and at times it seems like the only out, as terrible as it may seem, is death. I am at the end of my rope. HELP!!!!!

    Last edited by Karebear71; 07-12-2005 at 01:55 PM.

     
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