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As a clinical psychologist and certified addictions counselor, I see husbands, wives, and partners in individual or couples therapy on a daily basis grappling with the decision to leave or divorce their spouse or partner. Therapists have long referred to the three “A’s” of divorce as legitimate reasons to consider ending a relationship when the behavior of one’s partner is clearly destructive, abusive, or there is no reason to believe it will improve. Psychologists have suggested that the top three reasons for divorce are abuse, addiction, and affairs.
Researchers have long reported that financial problems are the top area of conflict for most couples, and that communication is the second most-cited reason for marital discord. While that may be true, these problems pale in comparison to the severe and devastating consequences resulting from abuse, addiction, and affairs.
When people ask me whether they should leave their partner or initiate divorce proceedings, very often it is because of one of the above. Any one of these issues, in and of itself, can be severe enough to make the answer to this question simple, yet it is an intensely personal and complex choice and the decision must be made in the context of careful consideration for oneself, one’s family, and the state and federal laws pertaining to the behavior. It is of utmost importance that, when faced with a partner who is engaged in these behaviors, one consults a professional and receives support, education, and counseling.
These are not decisions that should be made in a vacuum—or alone. As the social creatures and pack animals that we are, we have evolved over time to need and rely on social supports to better understand ourselves and the situations in which we find ourselves. Seeking help and support is a necessary, if not sufficient, first step in making the right decision for ourselves when coping with addiction, affairs, or abuse.
Many people do recover. While keeping safety in mind first and foremost, any one instance of the three “A’s” may be something that couples can bounce back from if they receive enough help and support.
One person with whom I worked found that she began to have feelings for a man she met online who was living in another state. She had no physical relationship with this man, but she continued to be connected with him for two years in what she later determined to be an emotional affair. When she and her husband finally entered couples therapy, she was able to confess her feelings for this man and her “emotional infidelity,” and end the affair promptly. She was able to work on what led her to stray from her husband and to articulate the ways in which she felt she was not getting her needs met at home and in their relationship, and they were able to make changes in order to save their marriage.
Another case of forgiving a violation of the three “A’s” involved a couple in which the man was physically abusive. He would block his wife’s exit from a door when she wanted to leave the house, jealously hack into her email, listen to her phone messages, and place restrictions on when she could go out and with whom she could spend time. At one point, he shoved her and she fell, almost bumping her head on a coffee table. While these are considered abusive behaviors in most states and punishable by law, the couple was able to learn about the definition of abuse—physical, sexual, and emotional—and the man fully engaged in individual and group counseling. He found a local therapist who ran groups for men with anger and physical abuse problems, enrolled in that program, and worked hard on himself for two years to save his marriage and family.
Often, couples enter counseling when marriages are on the brink and it becomes clear that one or both partners need individual counseling before the couples work can be successful. This last case is an obvious example where individual therapy would be essential at the start. The husband in this instance began individual therapy and conjoint group therapy, focusing on anger management and coping skills. Most importantly, he was able to identify and stop the abusive behavior, and the couple was able to resume their progress in couples counseling. After significant time and work, they were able to salvage their relationship and the marriage. This involved the wife’s ability to forgive and trust her husband again, of course, but also the husband’s ability to express his anger toward her in a more acceptable, healthy, and helpful way. The wife certainly needed her own individual therapy before she was even close to being willing to begin the couples counseling.
Addiction may be no different from affairs and abuse in this regard. When one’s addiction is severe, it is clearly grounds for ending a relationship or getting a divorce, but by no means is this always the case. When a husband, wife, or partner adequately addresses his or her drug and alcohol issues or other addictive issues, such as shopping addiction, gambling, or love or sex addiction, a couple can recover from the hurt, shame, and consequences of the addictive behaviors.
Many people are familiar with the quote, “We’re not responsible for falling down, but we are responsible for getting back up.” This is a wonderful analogy for the “disease” model of addiction. If you are walking along, don’t see a hole, and you fall in it, it isn’t your fault. It is, however, your responsibility to get up, to get out of the hole or ask for help. An individual with an addiction is not responsible for having the disease. It is sometimes a hereditary illness, a brain disease characterized by chronic relapse with psychosocial, biological, personal, and cultural origins. However, once someone knows that they have an addiction, they are responsible for picking themselves up, getting treatment, avoiding people, places, and things associated with their addiction, and working a program of recovery involving therapy, meetings, and the use of a support network such as a 12-step fellowship.
A few important things to remember: The three “A’s” and the behaviors surrounding them need to cease right away. In some cases this can be a work in progress, but in others it can’t. Physical, sexual, and emotional abuse needs to stop immediately. Some of these behaviors are obviously illegal and nonnegotiable. There is no way to continue an affair and work on one’s marriage at the same time. Individuals need a comprehensive assessment and evaluation to determine the appropriate level of care and to engage in the level of treatment and support that will keep them and others safe. After this is determined, if treatment is not working adequately and that level of treatment is deemed insufficient, then the individual will need to step up his or her treatment to a higher level of care.
Often, separation is a good idea as couples learn about the addiction, affairs, or abuse. A healthy separation can enable individuals to focus on their treatment and come together as needed when both are ready. This sort of separation enables both parties and their family to recognize that recovery is an individual’s responsibility and it is also a family affair. Whether children or extended family know explicitly about what is going on, to be sure, they are all affected. So when an individual begins recovery, so too does the family, and each member of the family may need support and/or counseling.
It is a spouse’s or partner’s responsibility to communicate to his or her partner what is acceptable and what is not. It is also incumbent on a spouse or partner to become educated about the law, about the disease of addiction, and to learn as much about the psychological underpinnings of the three “A’s” and these sorts of behaviors as possible. It is a partner’s responsibility to communicate as clearly as possible about what he or she believes is going on and to insist that his or her partner get help.
Rarely is anyone able to work through these sorts of problems without the support of professional help. Finding someone to help you and your spouse these days is very easy, however. GoodTherapy.org’s therapist directory is a great place to start. You can also contact your local city or state psychological society or association. Speak with a physician or friend you know who has been in counseling and ask them or their therapist for a referral. Most local therapists are willing to consult at no charge over the phone to help you determine if they might be a good match for you or your spouse.
© Copyright 2013 GoodTherapy.org. All rights reserved. Permission to publish granted by Jeremy Frank, PhD, CAC, Drug and Alcohol Addiction Topic Expert Contributor
The preceding article was solely written by the author named above. Any views and opinions expressed are not necessarily shared by GoodTherapy.org. Questions or concerns about the preceding article can be directed to the author or posted as a comment below.
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Being married to an addict was one of the hardest things I have ever done, but leaving him was even harder.
I loved him and I knew that he loved me but it’s hard when you know deep inside that he loves something else even more. Or maybe it is a love/hate relationship but he always seems to need it and turn to it far more often than he does to you. I guess that leaving ended up helping both of us because after that he did get sober and has stayed that way for many years now, but I just couldn’t take the emotional ups and downs that came with that addiction so that’s why in the end I knew that the only hope for either of us was for me to leave and not look back.
I have left my husband for his drug use , I’ve tryed my hardest to help him , I can’t cope with it anymore.. I hope he will change one day for himself .. Being there for him wasn’t helping him so I let him go for his own sake
Hi Lisa, I tried my best to be nice n sweet to my husband becusse I love him so much n do not want to be apart… Because we have 3kids together. But nothing is working.. I left his about 4 times. I’m still end up with him. Now as today of 1,14,2016!! I see it n I can’t stand it or take it no more being with my husband addicted to his pipe more then being home with our kids & me… Every time we see each other face we end up arguing & fighting uhh.. It’s getting old n annoying. Well look at him self.. He being rude n always trying to win our conversations smh.. I try my best not to open my mouth not talk back to him, because I don’t want to fight with him… I feel very hurt n sad to see hurting him self.. And he doesn’t want todo anything help me with our kids.. All he do is his important is shower n spend all do in the bathroom.. Siting there with his phone smh… After shower he go to his sister n hang out… Then he would jutst come home for like 1 hour or 30mins, sometime he showed up for 15 mins then he go to work… He now in his own world n blind he have lovely family.l right now he too busy getting high n having fun hanging out.. Watch one day after I’m ready to leave him.. This time is for real that I will go.. No turning back.. I’m gonna just go with my life n my kids.. Be happy with my kids.. Don’t need to live in miserable life everyday.. He is not the one for me n our kids.. His life is more important n his addicted…
You did good, I had to do the same..after she attacked me.
think about you and you only. They dont have anymore feeling once they use these drugs…
My wife, after so many violence from her..and the last incident, I didn’t see LIFE in her eyes.
Omg sound like my situation with my husband.. In the begging when we met, I was half way pregnant with our first son… Married my husband for 10years. Less then one year thing just go down hill… But that’s time I didn’t know nothing that’s he was addicted to meth user.. I did kind knew it when.. But I didn’t want to say nothing yet.. Until we live with each other so long years.. I kind figure things out, n still not sure about it. So I asked friends round.. About how he is.. Why he always stayed up for few days or more..l I didn’t know the truth until one day we moved to Holland Michigan he told the truth they’d he uses meth ever since in Iowa with his co-worker friends!! My heart hurts so much at that’s time after I found out.. But until last years 2014 & this year 2016!! Hit me every hard seeing him barely come home, every time he get off work 5 am.. He just go striagh to his sister n the brother in law home… He get along with his sister so well… Likes lovers couple… I would feel weird that’s he into his sister more then his own wife! (Me) yes, you could say jealous. But in fact it’s not I’m jelous of my husband. In the point view yes he into his siblings more, why becuz they got the stuff for me.. Keep him happy n going.. I love him so much when I see him staying home sleep n spend time with me n our kids!! But after he get his two or three days of rest. He would wake up n go straight to his sister.. He doesn’t see I’m living in the house no more, he so selfish….. He always have money for him self n his needs.. But when I need something for my baby’s girl,, it’d took him forever to go get it… He rude n control person I ever know…
Im in a dangerous relationship with a herion addict its very hard to deal with,i allways come back to her over,over again i been thru some hard times with this woman,she cheats on me with anybody with a dollar,its sad what should i do and i still love her,care about her for 4 years
It is so hard to believe on him and excuses
It is so hard to live in a rollecoster
how are you feeling now?
how are you feeling now? I am tired of thinking how to handle it
I am going with the same thing. Don’t believe there is affairs but so many lies and lack of priorities. If a fight comes up the answer is I will leave you . 3 arrests and many promises. I see all messages and feel the same. 3 days of ” behaving” being super romantic and nice and than whatever. I don’t know how much more my heart can take. Can some one reply to me??
What made you click and to finally leave? I want to leave I just need more courage he is very good at lying and manipulating people to make them believe him and make me look like I’m crazy.
You know when it’s time to leave when you get so suck and tired if hearing, I’m done with drugs, I hurt too many people. Than you find out that’s he’s gone on his drug run in the ghetto to get his cocaine. Spending money, lying, cheating for the past 30 years is enough to get out. 2 adult children and I’m finally separating from him. He’s going to be moving out and I’m scared financially it will be a challenge. I’ve been in therapy and listening to Michelle Anderson on podcast who helps women living with an addictive partner. She is so interesting and she’ll make you realize you’re not alone.
LEAVE! It’s not as simple as it reads and of course you love him but at the state he is in he doesn’t interpret your love in a healthy way for you and can only hurt you. I was in the same situation although he can make you look crazy in you and him know the truth and dig deep within yourself to put aside the lies and manipulation and love yourself enough to walk away never to return. It’s hard believe me but for self peace it’s worth it and you’re worth it.
There are a lot of conflicting issues when it comes to relationships like this. On the one hand you know that to save yourself then more than likely you have to leave and get out of this toxic situation. But on the other hand you start thinking about all of the time that you have invested and potentially the harm that could come to your family if you walk away, so there will always be a lot of factors, many emotional, that you will have to weigh before making that ultimate decision to walk away.
I think you are being way too nice to the perpetrator. I doubt he or she had their families best interest when they were engaging in the bad behavior. Yes, people make mistakes but mistakes also have consequences. Emotional affairs, especially, have a huge impact on a couple. Trust is the hardest thing to rebuild and many times is not attainable after such a break in the relationship. I say, be strong, doing what’s best for you will ultimately make your family happy. Staying in a relationship for the kids is usually not a good idea. They aren’t dumb and can sense when problems arise. Just because you have a lot of time in relationship doesn’t mean you should stay.
I think until the ‘abuser’ takes full responsibility in their wrongdoing and stops blaming others, then there is no question they aren’t really sorry. Just sorry they got caught.
But how would I do this alone? If I am the one with the abuse issues then this is a time that I need people standing by me and not taking the time to walk away from me.
When you made the decision to be destructive towards yourself and/or your family, it was all about you and what you wanted. No one said do it alone. Get professional help. You sound a little egotistical. How do you get through this? You got yourself in the mess, get out. How is your family going to get through this? Put yourself in someone else’s shoes.
Your need or desire for them to not walk away from you is selfish. You do not want to deal with the fact that you have hurt them enough to not deserve them. For them to stay to “support” you in the way that you “need” them to is not truly a need, instead it is your personal assurance that you are still in control and will never need to deal with the problem fully. Be an adult and learn to stand on your own feet. Fix your own problem: trust yourself, and love yourself, and be kind to yourself. It is only then that you can truly love another, be kind to another, and trust another.
My ex cheated on me all the time, always cam crawling back and telling me he loved me but it was something that he couldn’t shake, this need to cheat and then always try to get away with it. Finally I got so tired of the abuse, tired of being told one thing and then shown another so that was it, I had to get out.
I know that these three A’s are huge in many marriages but many times these are often fueled by financial difficulties in the marriage. I guess that you have to go pretty deep to find the real reason that much of this is going on and I think that for many couples the worries about money and budgeting seriously feed the need for them to escape. What better (to them) way to do that than to either find someone else or to become engrossed in a substance that could help them to forget about it all?
I would much rather my husband have a sexual affair than emotional. If a woman has an affair it’s always emotional, men are different. If a man cheats on you emotionally he loves the other woman. Men cheat all the time. But if a woman has sex with another man while in a commited relationship it’s because she’s in love. Men can have sex with another woman but still love you. If he’s emotionally invested in another woman, you’re screwed.
I found that getting into a 12 step program of my own for “friends and families of…” was the true lifesaver for me. Much better than any therapist I ever saw and over the years there were many. I learned a new way of life and can now truly say that I am at peace with myself and the world. And my 35 year marriage is still intact.
Eliza you are so right about that in many ways and it seems that these tendencies are related to evolutionary behaviors and fears that our partners will not stick around to help us raise our offspring. There have been some studies done which show what you are hypothesizing. Men tend to be more concerned that their female partner will have sex with someone else and women tend to be more concerned that their male partner will fall in love with someone else. It may not just be that men are more shallow than women but it may be that there is an evolutionary basis to this sort of thinking. If a man falls in love with another woman he may leave his initial partner and not take care of his initial partner’s offspring. He will go and be with the new woman and raise their kids. However if he just has sex he can return and take care of his initial partner’s offspring. For a man, he may be less concerned if his partner falls in love with another man as long as she doesn’t sleep with that man. If she has sex with that man then she will have to raise that man’s offspring. So the real issues is that we just want out children to be taken care of and we really need our partner’s commitment and help with that. That may be the real biological and evolutionary reason that we are jealous and why men are more fearful if their female partner has sex with someone else and women are more fearful if their male partner falls in love with someone else. I wrote another blog about this that addresses some of these issues. https://www.goodtherapy.org/blog/cheating-and-concealing-an-evolutionary-perspective-of-betrayal-1012124.
Professional rehab help is the only way to deal with an addiction. Those with addiction problems can’t do it alone. Oftentimes they don’t want to listen to loved ones. Supporting a loved one can be a simple as trying to help them get the professional help they need from a drug rehab center.
Waylon and others, there are many people who can get clean and sober or who can fully recover from active addiction though outpatient treatment alone. I’m pretty sure you know this but I thought it deserved mention. Many people believe that inpatient treatment is the only way to start addiction recovery but this is a common misconception. In a recent book by Anne M. Fletcher entitled, “Inside Rehab: The Surprising Truth About Addiction Treatment-and How to Get Help That Works” she discusses the myths about the effectiveness of inpatient rehab. For many people it is a great first start but still for many others they believe that they are finished when they are done and their hard work ends after completing rehab. Rehab is only a beginning. In fact outpatient treatment in most cases should be tried first. If that doesn’t work then you step up your level of effort and consider intensive outpatient and then inpatient. If individuals can learn how to stay clean and sober on the outside it is less drastic, less costly and less of an interruption in ones life. I understand one needs to be committed to treatment but the best place to start is with an individual therapist who can help you decide what level of care someone needs. Oftentimes when someone starts with an assessment at rehab they admit someone without considering adequately whether they could do well on an outpatient basis.
When a person is ready to be well, there are a lot of different avenues that are possible to take. Some people don’t like inpatient treatment because it is like a bubble and not the real world. Oftentimes the hard work comes when you’re on the ‘outside.’ Finding a therapist that will stick by you is what is most important.
Both spouses need therapy. The addict and the spouse who thinks she can help or change him. We must take care of ourselves and our family. The manipulation and lies over and over needs to stop. The money my spouse blew up his nose, I could have a mansion. I never realized how bad and how many years he’s been using. I was naive and trusting. I wish I knew a lot sooner, but I’m 55 yrs old and I’m going to start living my own healthy life, tired of being manipulated..ive had ENOUGH
I am so happy I came across this with all of your responses! I have a husband whose always in and out of jail and currently on parole in another state. He’s an addict. The “victim” role he plays is one of the hardest for me to comprehend. Nothing is his fault, everything is my fault or someone else. Even his crimes are not his fault. In addition he manifests things and gets accusatory, when I provide solid evidence that he is lying, he will manifest another one … sadly it’s not his job to prove his lies accurate, it’s my job to prove them inaccurate. I’ve become exceptionally well at research for this reason alone. We dont argue, it’s simply he is right and I am wrong and there is no way to win it. I have never in my life felt so weak! My entire life people have told me I am strong, but this man makes me feel weak, inefficient, dumb, and to be honest he makes me feel like the poorest of humans. I have never felt so depraved of life. I wake up tired.
Letting go is hard because I still see the things I want to be true about him. The things that brought us together in the first place. I always think what might be worse, living the rest of my life never feeling the good I once felt with him again, because I can only get that from him, or living the rest of my life feeling the way I feel right now.
Loving an addict is one of the hardest things a person can do and I wish so much I would have understood that before falling in love.
I filed for a divorce! but even this comes with an emotional price that I fear will never be paid in full.
Ive got a huge mess on my hands, i dont understand how my husband recently REGRESSED into denial.
My girlfriend was in rehab for 14 days after 5 days of detox. During this time she called me every day i was the one that told her farther and she blames me.I’m 45 she is 29 her dad nows that it was kilLing me and he asked me to move on, I was engaged to this woman and if I did nothing she be dead. On her last day of rehab she asked me to pick her up I told her her dad was she begged me to see her an hour beforehand so she can have a cigarette I told her I would not disobey his wishes she got mad hung up 2 days after her release she told me it was over that she’s no longer in love with me I know I’m a little older than her but I’m not a full but I was played as one
Well where to begin um I’ll start by acknowledging i’m the drug addicted wife married to a man who has never been addicted and constantly puts me down about it making me just want to get more messed up. He says he doesn’t want me to work but when i quit he would keep all the money on him like i’m gonna steal it. Every time we argue it’s the first thing he does goes gets all the money out the safe and hides my keys won’t let me have my phone, purse, etc, blocking me in a corner saying you’re so high on drugs look you’re crazy making me so filled with rage break a window trying to get my stuff so i can leave the situation he stops me calls the cops (oh forgot he came outside w/machete but since he didn’t say nothing threatening its ok in cops eyes) they let me get my purse but surprise i knew he took my phone and wallet with id & bank card lying to cops saying he didn’t know i must had them knowing dang well he had them. He doesn’t even try to get help to know how to treat an addict & understand my mind set. He’s very selfish, only cares bout him always taking care of his needs like oil change on his truck but procrastinating doing mine even though been time over month now. He makes it look like i’m the crazy one to every one else but behind closed doors hes totally diff i feel like i’m losing myself i don’t care anymore bout anything and most time wish i could die. I also have depression but he don’t care to know bout that either. I have no where to go only work few days week $9/hour i have insurance, house, my dog here so what to do???
Thank you for your comment, Kristi. We wanted to provide links to some resources that may be relevant to you here. We have more information about what to do in a crisis at https://www.goodtherapy.org/in-crisis.html
The GoodTherapy.org Team
Thank you for the support & showing me the many options for help i had no idea were even available! I’ve tried therapy but it seemed all my issues & things I’ve been thru & still goin thru seemed way too much for the counselor at church so i find myself resistant to go back. It’s not so easy for me to feel comfortable & open up to someone when I’m an introvert who rather keep it all inside. Hard for me to communicate because when I do try to be honest & communicate my words gets used against me & thrown back in my face making me regret ever saying a word.
Thank you for posting this, I am currently on the breaking point in my marriage. My husband is a addict, he has done everything imaginable but yet i am afraid to leave. I am not afraid of him hurting me but more for the fact of our children. I have fought with him for the last 6 years where he would “take breaks” from his drug use but always turns back. He came from parents that were/are heavy drug users. The still enable him and put me down for riding him to get help. He was also abused by his father pretty severely. I am ready to say goodbye to this lifestyle but am having a hard time leaving as even if I were to leave, I dont feel like leaving him will make him leave. His family is really close in proximity to my family, he doesnt listen to the law now for his DUI and POSS of Marijuana and fails to comply with treatment, currently has warrants. He has made us go so far into a hole i cant dig us out. I dont have anyone to turn to and no one to help me, I start working in the next 5 days and I cant get childcare assistance because he isnt working but am afraid to leave the kids alone with him as he falls asleep all the time or is “high” and isnt focused enough to take care of the kids. I am at a loss on what to do any my family will not help me out of fear of retaliation and the fact they just plain and simple dont want to get involved. I am scared, alone, and desperate. I dont think at this point treatment will even help him, he needs anger management, he is already on depression meds, he needs mental health help as he has not coped with the abuse and stuff that happened to him as a child nor with his parents divorce. I know this is a long haul but I also fear that since all he has is a DUI and a misdemeanor for possession of marijuana they will allow him unsupervised visits with the kids, this is why I have stayed so far is I feel my kids are safer with me here than to have to go on weekends with him without me there to protect him the children are 8,6,2. However the 8 yr old isnt his, but the father is with my sister-in-law(big mess, but making the circle so small i feel I cant escape) I do not have any money and he screwed up welfare assistance for non-compliance so I cant get that any longer. I am at a loss for ideas and the homeless shelters are wait listed, the battered woman shelters are even hard to get into right now. I am in a community property state as well. If someone can give me a small light at the end of the tunnel I really need it. I have no idea what the hell im doing at this point
Coming from an addict myself i promise anything u threaten him with like leaving if he dont stop will never stop him. We only care about ourselves and until we want to get sober and learn to love ourselves ur going to be disappointed thinking hes gonna change just like that. We have an illness and for me it runs in my family and as bad & embarrasing bein addicted to drugs is its not something i can stop on my own. I was upfront with my husband bout my problem & i only care bout myself right now so please let me go and go b happy cause i need to work on myself & love myself again before i can even begin to be the wife u deserve. He always says i take the bad/good but then constantly judges & puts me down about it. I already feel bad enuff for my problems dont need him reminding me all time. He should be 1 bringing me up not kicking me while im down thats y i beg him to go to al-non meeting to get educated bout how not to treat an addict & get an understanding but he wont. Its very hard being an addict married to someone never been addicted but its just as hard for yall to live with an addict. We will lie, cheat, steal to get our drugs w/no care who we hurt its all part of our disease. My issue is i dont even care to quit i have nothing good no reason for me to quit. Ive gone thru so much i just dont care anymore maybe a supportive husband might help me want to stop but instead he makes ten thousand times worse. Its not ur fault or ur problem but i thought marriage made each other as one & to love in sickness & health unless the love isnt there anymore i know u can only take so much! Its very hard for everyone involved trust me us addicts dont enjoy the drugs least i dont its more that i dont want to withdrawal. I dont enjoy hurting & embarrassing my family but at least they here for me cuz they know i come frm 2 addicts so was destined for me.
PS i dont steal for my habit i work to pay for mine but my sister has got loan in my name & stole from me even though let her live for free with me. She had a baby with someone i was inlove with but ill always be here for her. The woman who gave birth to me stole my mustang conv & scrapped it for money on drugs plus credit card in my name on top of that told me how useless, worthless piece of s**t i am & that its blessing god didnt give me children & i said ur dead to me so she responded my death date was 2/2/2002! Ya shes very bad on drugs. So i know how much it hurts being cheated & lied to by ones supposed to love u the most maybe thats y i refuse to b like that ill work for my habit could never pawn anything for it either.
I’m married to an addict. It’s been extremely difficult dealing with the ups and downs of the on and off recovery. Needing you to tend to his needs, not go to work to stay with him, buying fresh fruits and making extremely healthy meals. Paying for Dr appointments and rehab when he’s going through withdrawals and the secrets of having started again and seeing it everyday when you ask him how he’s doing today. Stealing credit cards and taking cash for every other reason but the one they won’t admit.
He left a great job and not working for the last 6 months had contributed financial issues that I know had him using more to escape while I struggled into debt paying for everything.
Last week he left me, took every piece of jewelery off me on the way out, letting me know I was never there for him and he’s out. I love him and I found this site looking for hope and statistics of an opiate addicts recovery success. I have spent years having faith and hope and it hasn’t brought light and love back to me yet. Only the sorrow of knowing the man that once loved me loves his addiction more, and until he has freed himself I will never be free.
I know it is extremely difficult to be married to someone who is an addict yall dont know how to act yall dont understand why we’re being distant an unaffectionate like it must be because they found someone else when that’s not the case at all at least in my situation. I’ve grown apart & have hate for my husband because all he wanted was me to b honest so i tell him hey im back on drugs & dont care to quit & instead of understanding & lifting me up he throws it in my face everyday calling me “crackhead, an idiot just quit i quit drinking” if it was that simple i would have. It makes me regret ever telling him anything then to have my husband on makin me feel less then i already feel myself on daily basis. I’m not asking to enable me but try making me wana quit for u instead of making me jus wana get messed up even more. I didnt ask to be a drug addict its a illness but think he cares to understand it by going to al-non meeting heck no! I don’t steal his money on my habit i never pawned anything for it like most addicts do i try to be honest about my addiction instead of being indenial & all that ever got me was anything but good. I’m so sick of him accusing me of finding someone else when thats last thing i want trust me i rather do bad on my own. He hides all the money like i am a thief, hides my keys & phone tries to seclude me frm everybody like my family im just so unhappy but feel stuck cause have nowhere to go the womens shelters have such long waiting lists & im scared what he could do mentally not even physically to me. Sorry rambled making this all about me i just wanted to say i know its hard for a non addict to deal with someone addicted because we dont care about anything else but the drug no matter if it hurts our loved ones were selfish and judgment clouded. Maybe therapy might help u to understand its not ur fault!
Thank you for your comment, Kristi. We wanted to provide links to some resources that may be relevant to you here. We have more information about emotional abuse at https://www.goodtherapy.org/therapy-for-emotional-abuse.html and additional information about what to do in a crisis at https://www.goodtherapy.org/in-crisis.html
The GoodTherapy.org Team
I married a drug addict..things were great when we met, after a year together, I asked her to marry me a year later, she was arrested for prescription fraud for oxy 6 month later, she went to rehab for a week, she said she would be OK, we moved forward with getting married, she started abusing a week after we married, I did not know what to do, she said it would never happen again, money missing, bills in the trash, I would go into her purse and find drugs, confront her and she would fill out on me, then week later admit she still had a problem..her family knew of her past, her 2nd marriage in 5 years, her ex husband sued her right after we married, 4th time in less then a year she admitted she needed help, I got her help and told her this was last time, she then left me weeks later and told her family I was abusing her,heart broken and sad, 11months the marriage lasted, she blames me for everything she has moved on after 3 months of leaving me..
Am sorry you had to go through that. It seems consistent for an addict to blame everyone else for their issues.
I have tried very hard to maintain some relationship so he could get on his feet if he was recovering and I still get belittled and attacked. Then they’re sorry and having a hard time.
It hurts to watch them distroying themselves and there’s nothing you can do no matter what.
It is hard, and difficult to understand, but the most important thing to do is move forward and try to heal.
Thank you..I have beat myself up pretty bad, asking how and why, I feel cheated out of 3 years of my life with someone who lied the whole time and would always yell at me for going through her personal things and find drugs, its crazy that she can move on so quickly and not hurt like me..
Joe, how long has it been since you seperated?
It just over a month for me and I have tried to do my best to heal and take care of myself. All the things I neglected putting him, the addiction first. I certainly struggle, some days worse than others, and I know he loves me and is trying but I’m in two minds. I have to remind myself the lies, the abuse and emotional strain is what we have now.
I’m working through looking forward and trying to stay strong not to look back.
I wish my days away just to create time. Looking forward to when I can be free of the hurt and happy in my soul again.
She left 3 months ago, again she moved on 2 weeks after she left on a dating website, her mom renting get a place and we have not spoken, I am learning to move on but now pending divorce, again I did my best..
I am sorry everyone has to go through this. I am having great difficulties myself. My husband who I love so much is an addict. He does drink all day, all night, 24/7 He gets sick from not eating. Then says he doesnt know what happened. He makes a mess, on and on. Finally I asked him to clean up his mess. I should not have to. It was on the couch, floor etc… It would have ruined the floor. He takes no responsibility. I was so fed up. Probably not the best thing but I took his book and wiped up the beer as I had enough of it. He took the book slammed it in my face and broke a tooth. I had him removed from the home the judge gave me a restraining order. I feel absolutely terrible. It has been 3 weeks since I have talked to him. I am told he is going into rehab today. I just bursted out crying. I dont understand how someone I love so much can do this to me? It hurts so bad. He has broke my nose, broke another tooth, broke the bedroom door, wrecked the car 2x it goes on and on. I am the bad person his family says. so hurt
I’m 38 years old. I have two children and am married to a meth addict. I’ve lived with an incredible amount of anger toward my husband for years, yet occasionally, I catch a glimpse of who he is without the drugs and it makes me weak. I asked him to leave a week ago because he has been using heavily and I fear for our safety. Meth is an unpredictable and dangerous drug. I now have a PFA and ultimately believe this will end in divorce. My husband doesn’t believe he needs help. It is the most devastating situation I have ever encountered. Addiction destroys lives. It’s destroying my family.
The GoodTherapy.org Team is not qualified to offer professional advice, but we want to encourage you to reach out for help. This page has information on crisis resources:
If you would like to speak to a therapist or counselor, you can search for one in your area here:
If at any time you feel the safety of you or your children is threatened, please call local law enforcement immediately.
Please know that help is available. We wish you the best.
The GoodTherapy.org Team
Im 31year women 5kids been married. For 10years my husband is a meth addic he’s never home he comes and goes he sometimes dont come home till 5 or 6 in the morning says he was at his friends smoking meth this happens a lot when he is home he spends all day outside in shed never comea inside he neglect his kids and me…im emotionally. Tired i don’t. Know what to do to help him ..
My husband walked out on me because he likes to smoke crack and also for another woman who he’s been seeing for awhile like about a year imma chalk this up as lesson learned him and his girlfriend could continue to be great @ smoking crack its painful because I was his gf for 14 years then we married 6months ago and the marriage was a joke to him because I don’t use drugs I’ve been clean for 13 1/2 years but how ever he don’t want to stop useing or cheating so im filing for a divorce only thing could help our marriage if Jesus Christ Save him for dereliction and his lust issues
I know how you feel Felicia. The main thing is that God knows all that has happened, and if you have done your best, then that is all that you can do for him at this point. My husband left – and in the process took up with another woman – but, on my good days, I realize that God removed from my life and my son’s life, what I did not have the strength to remove myself. I love and miss him – the good memories of him – however, I do not miss the lies, the confusion, the irresponsibilty, and the abject selfishness that he displayed throughout our relationship. I am beginning to realize, accept, and (hardest) believe, that I do deserve better, and so does my child. Prayers and love to you, and to everyone else going through this drama. My heart is with you…
Kimberly, I am going through what you went through and have an 11 year old. I would love to be able to ask you questions.
I have been a stay at home mostly and am seeking full time employment. I worked in the stock brokerage biz for 17 yrs prior to daughter being born. So, hoping to get back in asap.
One thing that terrifies me is the feeling of moving backwards in life. But, deep down I know I have been moving backwards staying in this relationship. He has lied and deceived and lied and deceived and I became a codependent, lost friendships, and became a cynical depressed person. It’s not me, I have always been loving and happy. This has torn me apart and I have become a bad role model for my daughter.
No more. I will not put up with him one more day. I am putting me and my daughter first and getting my head straight
I am confused, my husbands been lying to me about money he has been known to do prescription pain pills in the past and has lied to mw seceral times avout money,he always says he is not addicted though and doesnt take them to get high but to forget about the pain he’s always in. Our moneyvsoesnt add up ges always tgroqs it in ny face that im not a good wife when i say i want him to leave is he in denial or what?
I neglected to mention that my husband is a heroin addict.
If my addict husband is not paying the bills how can I get him out so I don’t get bad credit trying to keep up with my paycheck?
ive been living with my boyfriend for ten years. he’s been a crack/cocaine addict since day 1. i thought i could love him through it. i was young and naive and thought i could be enough to “save” him. I’m not. its gotten abusive. he belittles me, has put his hands on me … lies. he doesn’t admit he’s an addict, but he is. he uses several times a week, thinks I’m stupid, like i cant tell. he recently let me know I’m a “fat, disgusting slob,” who no other man would ever have. assaulted me, left me covered in bruises and a sore body the next day, so sore it hurt to move. that was the straw that broke my back. he’s said cruel things in the past, cut me to my core, pushed, shoved, threw me to the ground and calked his fist in my face …but i always say its not really him doing these things, it’s the cocaine. I’ve felt for more than half of our relationship as trapped. I love him more than anybody but i can’t take it anymore. worrying about what he’s doing, who he’s with, if I’m coming home to the same man i left this morning? is he alive or did he od?? for the last 3 years its gotten the worst it’s ever been. he was hurt at work, is completely disabled. does coke most days while I’m at work. i come home to a miserable, irritable, mean shell of a man . it’s heartwrenching! it hurts me to see him in such a state but i feel such anger and resentment for him. i want out but i don’t at the same time. i keep waiting for him to wake up and realize what hes doing but all he can ever do is blame me. when he’s sober, which i can usually get a few good days a week out of him, he’s the most perfect man for me, we click and connect. yet deep down he’s hiding this huge thing that is ruining our relationship. i met someone. he tells me I’m beautiful and that he wants to be with me and make me happy. get married, give the world. he has many qualities of my dad, and that’s a good thing. at first i was feeding into him to pet my long suffering self esteem and worth but something changed and i contemplate the possibility of him. i feel no guilt for the affair. I feel as if i deserve to have my own dirty little secret that i can think about when i come home to that monster most nights. i still don’t know what I’m doing but i do know that I place the deterioration of our relationship on him, completely. i give it another year, if his addiction continues, once i find a way to make sure he invests his settlement into a property for himself (and not drugs ) and i know he will be able to take care of himself and the dog (i haven’t decided if I’m taking him yet)..i think I am really going to leave him.
Thank you for your comment, Maebe. We wanted to provide links to some resources that may be relevant to you here. We have more information about domestic violence at https://www.goodtherapy.org/therapy-for-domestic-violence.html and emotional abuse at https://www.goodtherapy.org/therapy-for-emotional-abuse.html and additional information about what to do in a crisis at https://www.goodtherapy.org/in-crisis.html
The GoodTherapy.org Team
I’m at a cross road….I live with my boyfriend of 6 years and he is an addict cocaine/crack. We dated a year before I knew his problem was still active, he told me he was no longer using. When I found out his family disowned him and he had no-one. I managed to get him into rehab, however very 30 to 60 days like clockwork he goes on benders. It takes months to recover from the financial havoc he causes. When he not using we seem have a good relationship, however I don’t trust him and I find myself resenting him. But on the other hand I feel obligated to maintain due to he has reconnected to his family and my fear is that if I leave to save myself, I will destroy his family and him. He has threatened to kill himself if I’m not in his life. He refuses to go to meetings, get a sponsor etc, stating he can do it on his own. This has proven to not work. I’m lost and feeling hopeless.
Shan, it’s important you look within. You are the most important person in your lives and he the same. Together it builds you up not down.
My husband has been struggling with opiate addiction and started agressive using needles the last year, taking my cc’s, money. Quit his job to be self employed i was financially ruined paying to support him on credit. I did everything I could to help him and he wasn’t ready to help himself no matter what I did. I trusted him. When he left he took my wedding ring and my jewelry off me along with all small valuables. For 4 months after he left I continued to support him and motivate his efforts in hope he will find his way but no change. Now he’s in collections and repo is knocking at my door. I can’t find it in my heart to forgive him or trust him anymore and know now. It’s now been 6 months and I filed for divorce this week.
It hurts but rock bottom maybe the only way for him to stop.
Don’t lose your sanity or what you’ve built together. He needs help, but you need it too.
I wish you the best and hope there is clarity in your thoughts for what is right for you.
I will help sharing this information. I believe this is a great way of providing awareness and promoting change to those who fell in addiction.
I’ve been living with a alcoholic for the past 11 years. We’ve been married for 10 years. We have a 10 year old son and a 7 year old daughter. I’m at wits end. I’m scared to be in the house we share with our children. He also smokes and sells marijuana. He has random people come over while my children are here. Last week he took a hit of his bong and passed out and hit his head on the tile. I work at night and there is no telling what goes on while I’m not there. All my family and friends want me to leave. I will be honest I have been a enabler when it comes to his alcohol. But When you love someone so much and you hoped that they could change, you will do anything for them. But things are only getting worse. If I don’t do something he’s either gonna die from a liver issue or kill Someone else drinking and driving. I’m afraid when I come home from work one morning my children are gonna be taken away from me. It’s time I grow up and leave to protect my children. I’m physically, emotionally drained. I always put my self last, it’s time I put myself and my children first. My self esteem is so low bc I get put down each and everyday I get blamed for everything and get called crazy. I’m moving out and I’m gonna give him a ultimatum. Weather he takes it, that’s on him. I deserve better than what I’ve settled for.
Hi me ams my husband has been together for almost 9yrs.we have used meth together 3years ago and was able to stop cold turkey.we were clean until 6mos ago we relapsed.moved in with a friend and her husband and it got to where he would start calling me names all hours of the nite n before he left for work.he stopped giving me money and buying me things.knowing I only had a 300 dollar income.the only thing he would do is share his drugs with me.I stopped having alot of sex with him cause of my depression and Minapause.I just don’t have a sex drive.so he would tell me as long as I don’t do my wife duties of having sex all the time with him then he wouldn’t support me or do anything for me.well he started putting his hands on me along with the verbal abuse.always telling me that he hates me and that I’m pushing him further away.he slept next to me 6timea in the last 3months.we has sex maybe 5 times in the last 3 months.he would either stay awake all nite or fall asleep on our friends chouch
I told him his actions were speaking louder then his words he said he knew that but he didn’t no what as wrong with him.he was always on my phone watching porn and would take my phone I the bathroom and go on dating sites then block everything so I wouldn’t catch him.I finally got the courage to leave him last Friday.he hasn’t called or anything. He told my friend that it if as over a long time ago.he told me when I’m was leaving that he would never talked me back if I left.well I left with his ex wife who he did the same thing to for 2yrs.that where I’m staying at.imsick and so depressed and feeling like its my fault and I should of never left.why do I feel like this.
I swear I am in living hell right now. My husband who is older than me by about 14 years is addicted to hydrocodone. He had issues back in the 70s with heroin…I think Hydrocodone is his new heroin. He does have some very serious physical issues…..that I will attest to. We have been married only about 3 years. It is so bad that I broke a bone and got an Rx for hydrocodone….most of which I gave to him. He is VERY successful at work and earns a good living but on the weekends, because he takes too much during the week, he is without pills. He is mean, demanding, verbally abusive. Due to other issues of mine, I am almost physically disabled. I don’t work. He owns EVERYTHING. All I have are my 2 dogs. He told me last night that he wished he had killed himself 10 years ago. All because I found him passed out in the shower and knocked on the door to see if he was OK. He got out, slammed a door in my face and said “F U”, then told me I had no compassion. A few hours later, he gets up and demands that I make him dinner …explicit down to the tee (30% this, 70% that, no spice…etc…and I am a chef by training….). I have no $ of my own, no where to really go and I cannot leave my dogs….. I just cry to myself, I live in a town where I do not know ANYONE. I once had to go into the psyche ward because of the stress and he told me if I ever asked for help again, it was OVER. I feel like a small boat lost in a storm, I never know when the next wave is coming or when it will just sink me period. We can NEVER talk about his pill issues but my drinking is fair game any chance he gets. Also, if you don’t already know, hydrocodone kills sex drive. It has been 2 years without……..I would run to the nearest shelter but they won’t take my dogs and they are all I have…….
Are you still in this situation? I would like to help you if I can.
My husband is a recovering drug addict ( her been clean for over 7 years) but I’ve just found out he’s been cheating on me for the last 6 months. We have a 2 year old and one due in 4 weeks. Is this common? Do you think he’s replaced his addiction for drugs with the excitement of an affair?
It is more common for men to cheat when their partners are pregnant. It’s probably more common for addicts and people in recovery to cheat. Yes, he’s looking for answers to his internal struggles through the excitement of an affair. It’s important to get individual and couples therapy for both of you now.
I am an alcoholic. I recently found out my wife has been having an affair for over a year. We have been together for 10 years and married for 2. Have two children together. I sobered up for almost a year a few years back. Our relationship was great but through the stress of some hard times financially and being around a couple people I should have never been around I turned to drugs I never imagined doing. She never knew about my new habit which I kicked after about 7 months. Our relationship was pretty good I thought but I turned back to drinking and its destroying my family. My wife and kids mean the world to me yet I put them thru hell on an emotional roller coaster. I could tell there was something wrong and could feel she was straying but couldn’t put my finger on it do to the ability to hide so much on smartphones. I was very un loyal to her our first 5 years but loyal these past 5. She is a very forgiving person but no one forgets. With the feelings that I couldn’t figure out like why she wouldn’t share feelings with me and was always listening to me being a complaining Alchy. She kinda quit takin care of the house and sex became something she just felt like she had to do. I just drank more. I’m afraid now that if I don’t just drop the affair ordeal and move on than I’m going to loose her. I turn to drinking to forget and than can’t drop it when I’m drunk. I’m self employed and not around people very much. I’m lonely and my wife said that all my problems which I would come to her with cause I’m always alone is what drove her to another man. I feel broken and unfixible. I just needed to let that out. Readings others comments actually helps a lot
Thank you for your comment. We are sorry to hear of what you are experiencing. The GoodTherapy.org Team is not qualified to offer professional advice, but we encourage you to reach out. A qualified mental health professional can offer compassionate support and help you address any of the concerns you are facing.
You can search for an individual therapist or even a couples counselor on our website. To see a list of practitioners in your area, simply enter your ZIP code here:
Please know you are not alone. Help is available, and we wish you the best of luck in your search.
The GoodTherapy.org Team
My husband is a alcoholic and crack addict . We split up for 3 years and are back together . 4 months ago he had a baby with another addict. She has 2 other children all born with coke in them. Her sister has the kids . My husband wants custody and helped the mom get into a rehab . I want to beat the day lights out of him but he is not worth it . I’m going to get a divorce and sue both .
I was married to a drug addict woman, I didn’t know until she started using Meth..
After 4-5 times, with 1 week for every “trip” and trying to help her. She ends up by attacking me for $5 that I didn’t want to give her…she was already taking money from home and having affair with drug dealers…
After spending about 2 months in jail, (3 prisons trip in 1 year) and we just got married…
I tried to help her, then she played me just to get one of my car and keep it / using it with her dealer boy friend to …Now, I am trying to get sign our divorce paper but she keeps playing me and or avoiding it.
Sad, but she want to put a restriction order….and I find out about her past..her criminal record is as big as a phone book.from NY,NY,FL and now in CA>>
I am moving on…..
Well, I’m done. I hope my family member leaves hers. I’ve HAD IT to the point of no return. I’m damn tired of making EXCUSES for his perpetual bad behavior. I was not put on this earth by God to sit an babysit a grown person or a man that should know better. I’m tired of his drinking, womanizing, popping pills like they are candy, mismanagement of business funds, the blame shifting, the name calling all the while I have to babysit him and make sure he takes care of accounts, does the right thing, stops flirting with women (it’s pretty sad to have to let a man damn near 45 that he shouldn’t be flirting while married,) help him and my family member raise his kids while he’s out hanging at a bar with his buddies, the porn addiction (hey fellas us ladies can’t compete with porn, so if you start watching it, reap the consequences of your own actions,) the gambling, every thing known to man that is destructive he does. We are all in a family business together and my family member married a moron that I get stuck babysitting constantly. I’m frigging fed up with it all. It’s like dealing with a rebellious teenager that is in a man’s body with a boy’s mindset. It’s ridiculous. His latest stunt is hiring younger secretaries and then “bothering” them. I guess he thinks a nice build old sexual groping lawsuit would be great for the company too. Then again, he takes his 2 hour lunches, leaves on Wednesdays for golf outing, Thursday are his company meetings at whatever restaurant the company dime pays for, for 3 hours, and Friday leaves 4 hours early to work on paperwork. What a damn joke. Life sucks and is totally toxic because of his narcissistic, sociopathic, addictive tendencies. Life isn’t fair and it’s draining dealing with him. TIRED AND FED UP!
a nice “big old” lawsuit is what I meant to say….I get so aggravated thinking about all the BS he causes I can’t think straight, yet another issue that stems from him, AGGRAVATION! Take care!
I have a friend that is going through a divorce after 20yrs together. The wife is an alcoholic/cocaine addict…..during the marriage she had numerous affairs and used cocaine in the children’s presence and included the kids in her partying. The husband offered to support her with treatment, but she refused so he filed for divorce. During this process the wife has continually treated the husband as if he is the bad guy, and has tried to take the children away from him, and take him for everything, with no thought to how all of this bizarre behaviour will effect the kids. Dealing with an addict is absolutely the same as dealing with an insane person, there is no rhyme or reason to any of it except to hurt the person they once loved for a very long time. Unfortunately it is the kids who end up paying for the parents inability to behave with integrity, maturity, and respect. The husband in this case continues to be a bit naive and tries to “keep the peace”. The problem with this is what it really does is enables the addict to continue in their addiction and allows them to have control over a situation where not only do they not deserve to have control but, they also lack the maturity to make any decisions concerning the children’s welfare. The addict is an insane person and needs to be treated as such until they get better…if they get better. The “well” parent owes it to their children to be the mature, responsible parent and make some tough decisions in the children’s best interest, keeping the peace only perpetuates the addicts behaviour and keeps it going on and on and on……trust a very sad situation….
It is easy to give advice after the event.I feel we all should be more aware before we get involved with someone who has an addiction.Far easier to not begin something that will have no legs to grow. When you meet someone make mental notes- If alcohol is something you both enjoy….fine but if you are contsantly waiting for him to pick him up or to bail him out or you watch while he drinks himself into oblivion- that is the beginning of shades of your life.Is that what you want. I can look back on a life wasted with someone who chose to drink and drive and have accidents and be self-induced brain damaged- wrecking lives and watching, watching, wayching. I gave up my own life unknowingly and now an older crinkled, wrinkled version of my lovely self is all I have-Destitue and homeless- nothing left except my dignity after a life of being with an alcoholic. Don’t date an alcoholic- Don’t marry one and if you are married- leave.Even if they sober up there is a chunk of their spirit that doesn’t exist- even a sober addict is not a whole person.I know.
My husband of many years surrounded himself with people who all drank- someone was killed due to alcohol. His long term affair was well known in the inner circles of the corporation- so many of them cuckolded their partners- These decrepits are mostly long gone now or divorced or turned a blind eye- Tey cheated everyone- enslaved their workers – never invested anything inthe people except themselves- Should you stay or go- I would say if he has money split and start fresh- but get therapy as the same guy will show again and again until YOU can see what you are attracting into your life- You can’t get back the days yu believed in a person all the while that person was sleeping with soemone else who ironically now heads a religious group- church going people ugg all lying cheating fueled by alcohol but don’t blame it all on alcohol- a [erson is who they are and alcohol just intensifies that flaw.
Those jokers sound like a barrel of laughs. I can relate-I worked at IBM in Stamford CT and in the 80s these corporate husbands and wives, all prim and proper were behind closed doors boozing it up with pool parties and what not. Throwing keys in the air- it was a regular Updike type lifestyle- Stepford Wives meets Mad Men but without any of the Mad Men finesse.
I put up with my husband for 15 years and then left, penniless also and decided to divorce him- there was nothing to take away- I had my children and they were then teens. The weird twist was, that the children instead of being proud of me as I naiveley thought- were devastated- They sided with their alcoholic father- Felt badly for him and turned against me. Funny, because I never said a bad word about him even though I led a completely loveless existence.The only sex I knew, was drunken sex that felt like grains of painful sand against my skin. I hurt- I haven’t known what it is like to be held and loved and to love someone in an adult sensual way. I cry for the lost years, not just for me. I regret that I can never show my now grown children what it is like to see two parents in love- he pushed me away at every chance- He was verbally violent with me- I luckily became ill and almost died- I lay there in that bed day after day unable to move- trapped and planned my escape.
When I finally began to recover I squirreled away a dollar here and a dollar there- I stuck my head under a pillow when he violated me and in a really bizarre twist of fate the divorce papers were delivered to him on the same day that he had demanded I abort our first child. He wasn’t ready. I had that abortion awake and without any form of painkiller- I watched as they suctioned the remains into a cloth covered bottle- I was so in despair but didn’t know what to do-One is in shock.
I take care of him now because no one else in his old age wants to be with him-I bring him hot meals and see if he is okay.That is okay as I am free .I do not trust myself to ever allow a man to love me- Because love felt so awful. This man was an orphan and had no bonding with anyone- he did have sisters and brothers-all addicts.I came from a very lovely family but didn’t meet his until we were married. By then it was too late. I think some people are kind and some pretend to be kind so they attract the gullible. I was gullible.
His family scared me- they were so strange- I know he didn’t introduce me as I would have not continued with him. And they lived across the country. Please, I beg of anyone reading this to NOT be involved with an alcoholic. They can’t relate to their children ( maybe there are exceptions) they will never be there for you- they will embarass you.You feel full of shame around them.You will never have nights where you talk and hold each other-Just fetid breath and grunting and unsatisfactory sex that will leave you so empty you feel you want to die.Thank you.
I was with a man for 20yrs while he was addicted to smoking pot . He never considered himself an addict the only probkem he only saw was the fact i couldnt accept or give him my approval as i was raising his three children with him to me that was a reason if any to give it up . He also drank to the point of getting absolutely smashed whenever we went out that was always embarassing as he was loud and abnoxious and we always ended up fighting . 2011 he started working for a youth organisation that should have been another good reason to quit instead he worked with a woman at this organisation who overlooked his occasional turn up for work stoned days . This woman was a councilor and his co ordinator they started an affair and he eventually left me for her . The biggest issue i have now is my youngest son is addicted to smoking pot from living with his dad and this affair partner . What is even more upsetting is this woman was and is a practicing minister so my youngest thinks this is all exceptible behaviour .😢
Ok so I’m 7 months pregnant and my boyfriend has me driving him around all over the city for 5-6 hours plus and he doesn’t give me gas money, doesn’t pay for cigarettes or pretty much anything I get while stopped at the gas station. I know he is using me why is it so hard to have some respect for myself and tell him to go be a loser somewhere else? My feet are so swollen from my pregnancy it hurts and I tell him this all day but nothing but a sorry is all I receive. I honestly don’t want to leave him tell he sees how unfairly and cruel he is to me and I know that in itself is wrong but he brought me to this point. I think I hate him honestly.
I am married to a drunk. Let me tell you it is terrible. I have never felt so belittled in my life. This man has done emotional cheating, taking cash, taking credit card, bank cards, wrecking things, hitting me. just goes on and on. I had him removed from the house 3 weeks ago. the judge gave me a restraining order. I did not ask for it. He has been in trouble before. Of course blames everyone else. Says he is sick of dealing with the police, courts, etc…. I am sorry I need to protect myself. I lost a tooth. I am told he is going into rehab as he has hit rock bottom. I am an emotional mess. I am not sure of what I am feeling. I love him so much, but not the drunk person he has become
It is so hard to hear everyone’s pain and suffering from being in relationships with people with alcohol or drug use disorders. I know it helps to talk about it here or with friends or therapists and so I applaud that so much. Even just writing about these things here should help and help others to feel comfortable to step forward and ask for help. There is only so much we can do though and we have to remember to take care of ourselves first. If we can be self compassionate first maybe our loved ones will see that and they will start to take ownership of their own problems. If they don’t though at least we can be strong, aware and ready to make changes if we need to make them. Jeremy Frank PhD CADC. jeremyfrankphd.com Philadelphia and Bala Cynwyd Addiction Psychologist.
Wonderful write up.Thank you for sharing it.
I have been with my husband for 12 years on and off. He was addicted to crack not long after we first met, and hid it from me for a year. I moved away from him and he just kept following me and not letting me get on with my life. This went on for 4 years until finally he let me help him with drug counselling etc
Now we have been Married for nearly 2 years and only 3 months ago I found out he has been hiding the fact he is addicted to crack once again. He has hidden it from me for 10 months. I have tried t help him but he just lies and deceives me and puts myself and my son in danger. He wont leave me alone he sends me messages making me feel its my fault and he says i’m leaving him to die etc…….. I just want to have a normal life but i’m constantly dragged into this horrible one. I don’t know what to do? I feel I may have a break down if it doesn’t stop!! Please I NEED advise!!
Everyone here has a story about an addict that they love. Well, here is mine. My husband of 18 months is addicted to synthetic cannabis. For those of you who don’t know, the effects of synthetic cannabis are more analogous to methamphetamines than actual real, natural marijuana. Synthetic cannabis is almost a euphemism for what is actually a highly dangerous synthetic drug. The withdrawal effects can include vomiting, seizures, migraines, sweating buckets into the sheets so that your spouse has to launder them every time you’re done taking a nap… etc…. While the addict is actively taking the drug, side effects can include vomiting, seizures, slurring, affected motor reflexes so that the addict’s spouse has to mop up the mugs of coffee the addict spills everywhere all the time, comma, death, and (always) a negative balance in your joint bank account, which the addict only rectifies after you (the spouse) confronts him about it. I say “him” because my spouse was male. So here I am, the spouse, feeling sad, depressed, hopeless, angry, guilty, afraid, and regretful. These are all feelings that are conducive to a good marriage between a co-dependent and an addict, that is, if you think such a marriage is good. My spouse was severely abused by his biological family from birth all the way until he was a 32 year old man. Why he didn’t cut off contact with them earlier, I have no idea. His biological family had substance abuse problems, which he downplays — first alcohol (his father) then weed (both parents, because they thought that replacing alcohol with weed was “safer”). He first smoked at age 14. Then his parents started growing weed for him because they felt it was safer than letting their son buy it on the street. These are supposedly educated people. They have a fancy house. They sent their son to a fancy school where the kids were blazers and the teachers wear bow ties and the school has a crest that may or may not feature a griffin or a unicorn or some other fake animal. So in case you are wondering, addiction can happen to anyone. My spouse responded to his parents’ domestic violence problems by using drugs as an escape. At first I did not know how bad it really was. I thought, well, everyone has tried a little bit of weed (maybe except me… but then, I’m weird). I also thought, he can quit it anytime, because that is what he told me. I told him that if I moved in with him or if we married, he had to quit. He agreed to quit. But then years later, here I am married, although separated, and he had lied about having quit repeatedly. He would lie, get caught, promise to quit, sometimes he would even cry, then get caught lying again. Sobriety would never stick. He could only manage a month and a half of sobriety before getting caught in a lie again. He started having overdoses and serious accidents (seizures, sprains, accidents where he would smash his head against the floor and need stitches…. once he fell into a lake.) He developed aggression. He developed psychosis. He stopped sleeping, eating, or cleaning himself unless he was prompted or helped. He reeked like a skunk. He resented being helped. I tried to get him in see a GP, a psychologist, a psychiatrist, a neurologist, I got him into a chronic pain clinic because he said he was smoking for his PTSD and chronic migraines, I even got him cannabis oil as a substitute… but nothing worked. He just wanted to try to quit on his own. Finally when I got an addiction medicine specialist for him to see, he started blaming me for his addiction, saying that if I had had more sex with him, he would not have to smoke. He said it was unfair that he had to live in a sexless marriage, that he would still sleep with me even if I were high ALL the time. Then he became violent. So I got him removed from the house and there is a restraining order out against him. I contacted all his friends and told them what was going on and said he needed a place to stay. He said he didn’t want to see anyone, he didn’t want any help, but if he died on the streets it would be my fault. He called me a bad wife. He was angry that when he was removed, I had not packed a breakfast for him as he was hungry. He said it was my fault that he now did not have a job. He said that I did a very bad thing by locking him out of the house and that I was being abusive for locking him out. He called me repeatedly, saying, “say goodbye to your husband now, I’m going to die on the streets.” He got in touch with our relationship counselor and said that everything has been my fault, but he still wants to get back together. He wants to get back together for… for what? So that he can force me to apologise? So that he can punish me for “making” him homeless? For what? Part of me says that this man was and is abusive. It’s psychological abuse and it was well on it’s way to become physical abuse. In fact, I’m still not sure if him trying to break down our front door was physical abuse because I feel dizzy, as if I had been knocked over the head and have just regained consciousness. Part of me feels terrible that this man with a mental illness is on the street (if he really is on the street). Part of me feel a deep, deep sorrow for what I think I’ve lost. I guess what I want to say is, if you suspect someone you love has a problem with addiction, leave before you get in too deep. You can’t change them, you can’t control them, you can only decide what you are going to do with your life. My spouses’ addiction became my addiction because for years I did nothing but try to manage its effects. I’ve lost my career, my hobbies, my friends, but more poignantly, I’ve lost my thirties. I regret that the most. I still sometimes think of how it might be like to get back together when he is healthy and sober, but I also fantasize about having unicorn wings.
I have no words, its so tiring. I have been with my husband for 15 years. He has been trying to get clean on and off for 7 years. We have no kids. I was away for work last week, and my husband used cocaine twice.. in fact he could not wait to drop me at the airport.
The sad thing is, today is the day that I know I am done. I want a divorce. He has been trying so hard, and has been an amazing husband over the last couple of months but its not enough. I cant have this in my life. I am at risk. I am not going to think with my heart anymore. I now need to use my head. What if he gets arrested, and I am away for work.
He earns a good income and has been so focused on getting better, but refuses to join a 12 step program and he really needs the support… but he is not an addict!
I am so tired. I am so scared. I am going to look at a place to rent this afternoon. I just have no more strength for this behaviour. I am looking for advice – people who have left – do you regret it? There is a risk my husband will kill himself.
My heart goes out to you. It sounds like you are done. It sounds like you are strong. Now is the time more than ever that you will need to dig down deep and ask for support from your friends, from family, from new friends, from professionals. I am sure that you can do that and I know when you are through this difficult time you will be much happier for having gone through this process. Jeremy Frank PhD CADC Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor in Philadelphia and Bala Cynwyd at Jeremy Frank and Associates.
It is so hard. My husband is an immigrant and helped me for 14 years. For the last 2 years he is in meth and I have the hope all he tells me is true. Not sure is a reality. but I keep accepting all lies
Hi Jeremy, thank you for replying. I finally left a month ago. I have been in an Air B&B and will move into my own place on the 01/12/2017. It has turned out so ugly – I actually cant believe I have put up with it for so long. I can’t anymore. He has taken time off, done so much coke on debt, and not even 4 days after I moved out, started a friendship with somebody who is 16 years his junior. I am not bad looking, fit, and have a degree with a career, and just like that! But yes, I am not going back, my friends have been amazing, I am so grateful. I have joined Alanon and am seeing a psychologist. Thank you for your kind words.
Hi , I am considering leaving my husband 0f 20 plus years. He has sex addiction, food, gambling- to recover monies that he spent on himself, massive debt- from his fantasy life- played out secretly. I have done an intervention on him twice with each previous one only revealing a small amount of the actual problem. This time I have the whole pandora’s box and it is scarey. I love him but cannot see how I can stay with someone who blantly throws away trust. This time I rebuilt thinking he had good therapy but it turns out he lied to her and only let her in on part of the issue. I cannot stay as each debt cycle becomes worse and he is on the verge of bankruptcy. He has so many addictions even if you call a good time an addiction, I dont know how possibly therapy can help him. They are so intertwined. How do I protect myself, support him as his counsellor would like me to be on his treatment team, and stay sane? Each time he talks to me more comes out and I am bathed in more outstanding and duplicitious behaviour. The person who does these things is not the person I see at home and it is both confronting and conflicting.
Addiction should never be grounds for divorce, especially if you believe that it is a disease. It certainly is not grounds for a divorce between two Christians. The addict suffers just as much, if not more, than those who are close to the addict. Would you recommend a person who lives with someone with diabetes to divorce them if they did not manage it in the right way. No! You would not, because you know that it is a disease and because it is a disease it is much harder to control than the writer of this article seems to understand. It is also very subjective to tell the reader that you should leave the marriage if the addict continues to struggle. Struggle is a sign that the addict hates his or her disease and that is extremely painful. If you are talking about a spouse who enjoys being an alcoholic and could care less about their own recovery or their spouses pain then that is definitely different. But, I do not know of anyone who fits that description. If someone loves their addiction and do not care then the problem is not addiction. The problem is that they only care about themselves and not the spouse. I am tired of hearing spouses talk about how bad they got it because their spouse is an alcoholic who struggles with relapse. Again, the key word here is “struggle”. The cravings of a true addict are almost unbearable and are stronger than the need to eat, sleep or survive at all. Grace and unconditional love go much further than the threat of divorce is someone does not get their act together. If it is about a spouse getting their act together then your marriage is a marriage built on performance and not love. True love endures; true love keeps NO record of wrongs. Divorcing a struggling addict who is clearly suffering and who continue to relapse is abandonment – plain and simple.
I am in a complicated situation. My husband of 20 years has been having exotic massages…this was also happening before we met. This is one part he does not see as extra marital He has covert depression, grandiose behavior and significant debt…another addiction to food, living the high Life. This was hidden from me. Small eruptions occurred throughout our married life of debt and porn cycles. He has been manipulated and shaped by his family which has in part caused the covert depression. My own part of this mess is my own pnd and life issues which I have been working on and resolving. This last eruption has blown our entire marriage to pieces. I am seeking and have help to address the PTSD from this. I am unsure whether to forgive and rebuild as I was so shutdown. How can a relationship recover, when according to some his behaviors has been classified as financial abuse, then a type of an affair and addictions. Are there any resources or books that can help me/ us to recover and heal?
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Monica, thanks for sharing your comment. I am currently in exactly the same situation and I relate to everything you said. It helps to hear that others understand. I have been married almost 19 years and he has been in recovery for 7 years, but still can’t let go of his addiction. It makes me sad to leave someone who isn’t a bad person, but has never been whole. And our kids are now paying for it. Even my oldest who is now a teenager can tell that he has had parts of himself cut off from us. I am grateful that I finally have the clarity to try to rebuild my life now and I hope he can do the same…
I’m happy to say at 31 while I’m still young and not stuck with a kid that I’m leaving a triple AAA threat. He has abused me emotional, and physically, is an addict, does not work, and recently I trust my gut and uncovered an affair. He used to be addicted to pornography, I guess that wasn’t enough. I’m done with his pathetic toxic ass. It’s amazing that this complete psychopath manipulator accused me of fucking men on work trips. What a diabolical evil person. I’ve never even touched another man since we were dating. His karma is coming for him. I’m not an evil person, but this demon of a man terrorized me for two years of a marriage from hell. I was nothing but good to this user. He knew of my history of being sexually abused in childhood, my history of other men cheating on me. I was groomed and befit his victim, but no more. Once the divorce is finalized, I will finally be free of his psychological warfare and I can heal, but I will never let another man in. Marriage is chosen slavery for women.
I have been married to an alchoholic for 30 years, it wasn’t so bad in the early years tho, only when he drank too much with friends, he socially drank mostly back then but would get drunk and be abusive physically and mentally if he didn’t get his way. I thought we were young he’d outgrow it. He wouldn’t drink everyday just here and there but when I knew he was drinking I didn’t want to go home from work. As the years went on it got worse, he lost jobs because of spotty attendance, he wasn’t always an alchoholic but I could see it coming, just mostly selfish and lazy and let me worry about bills. Eventually the drinking got really bad, he was even addicted to crack at one time but loved drinking more. I stayed with him through the crack phase and I would hide my purse and money and jewelry. He got over the crack but drinking got work eventually last year around October 2019 I left. The thing is I know hes bad for me and I never want to go back, he tore up the house, its unsellable unless he fixes it and I cant count on him for that, though home remodely is what he does when he does work. He has not paid the house payment the whole time and I have not cause I don’t want the house, he wouldn’t leave so I had to. I just feel so much guilt, he calls me and cries and says hes going to homeless when they foreclose and why wont I help. He has worked but who knows what he spends money on, he works as his own boss because he cant work for anyone, because undependable and like to drink as soon as he wakes up. A lot of home owners get fed up with him, he takes a long time to complete and end up firing him also. Am I responsible for him because I stayed so long and let him get worse? I tried to help but eventually I was just surviving, doing everything and paying all the bills. My son moved out a few years ago and things seemed to get worse then, no buffer but he would fight with our son too and my son loves his dad but nobody wants to live with him. I just feel like I enabled him and now im responsible? Most of me says that’s nonsense but this little part of me nags me making me feel bad. Im so scared I will end up going back out of guilt because winter is coming and I don’t want him to be homeless but i will be miserable with him
Replying to Scott. You claim Christians shouldn’t divorce. I disagree. My husband has been using Meth for 6 years. I put him in treatment 3 times. I put him into school to be a drug counselor. Hoping it would help him to get clean & help others. Which he was doing while using. I have a degree in drug counseling. I was raised by alcoholic parents. I knew my husband was using crack when we first met. I believed he would change. We separated for a year. He told me he was clean. We got back together. It was the worst 119 days of my life. He stole my car, stood me up for important dr appts, blew money. He was gone for 9 days. He assaulted me and I am going to court to have him removed. If a believer in God wants deliverance from drugs he does everything in his power to get blessed and gets help. My husband is refusing drug counseling & he is still in school studying to be a counselor. He lies about money. He stays out 5-6 days a week out overnight. Then he comes home complaining about me. Yelling cursing and calling me everything foul and disrespectful. You say Christian s shouldn’t divorce. In my estimation anyone can claim to be a Christian. Yet they don’t live the life. They aren’t a Christian. This man has been practicing witchcraft using Meth. Using the name of Jesus pretentious. Satan goes to church every time the door opens. This doesn’t make him a Christian. I know addiction is a disease. At the same time I know what Narcissistic behavior is as well. Im a Christian and this man has me so angry cursing and using foul language that I never used. I am angry. I wasted 6 years. Waiting on him to stop. No more. Now it’s time for me to get better. DIVORCE.
My x husband of 30 years is an anesthesiologist who I turned into the DEA for prescribing opiates to friends and buying them back. He physically abused me at the end, cheated, stole money, hired someone to drug me, and is also an alcoholic. He is a sociopath who engaged in extreme parental alienation. I have read that chronic use of these substances can induce sociopathy in those with narcissus which he was diagnosed with, He is 64 years old, lives with an alcoholic nurse, shows no remorse for what he is has done to me and my family. My question, how long do they typically live with this condition. He has a family history of alcoholism and heart disease and has hypertension and smokes.
I have been living with an addict for 30 years. In the beginning because we were so young you think that they will eventually get better. He was abused at home and left when he was 15yrs used weed and occasionally cocaine to cope with the abuse. He did stop in his 30’s until he hurt his back at work and was prescribed pain meds oxytocin and spiralled out of control. He did get off the oxytocin’s with help. Now in his late 40’s he is having back issues again and uses crack and zoplicone instead of oxy’s. He doesn’t want help and I have tried to get him to treatment to deal with his illness. I know it is an illness but being loving and supportive doesn’t work to help him get better. It enables them to continue the use, for them it is away to stay in the addiction and have the life of comfort with No consequences for his bad behaviour until this last year. He has been in trouble with the law and always blames me for it. Because of the prolong abuse he is becoming violent and I am starting to get scared. I am getting up the courage to leave but I know he won’t let me go that easy. There have been a couple of time before that I told him I was leaving and he overdosed. I can’t take the stress anymore and have become a person I’m not. All because I was loving supportive. He is in denial about his own illness he uses every excuse to continue. I have tried everything but it doesn’t work. He says he wants to quit but that is just a thing he says to make me stay. I am tired of being manipulated and abused physically and emotionally. I just want me back to enjoy the rest of my life, the life that I have worked so hard to build
My husband is addict too, last week he beat me, and the judge gave me a restraining order too. I still love him and want to help my husband get rid of drug addiction, but I dont know how… did you manage to solve the problem or did you leave him?
@Scott M: Thank you for adding this comment. I came to this site because I wanted to understand why addiction should be a justifiable reason for divorce. I agree that an affair or physical or intentional emotional abuse are justifications for divorce, but suffering and struggling with an illness? I’ve been noticing for years how often Western therapy encourages people to end relationships–with spouses, children, parents, family, friends–that aren’t ostensibly beneficial to the person in therapy. I’ve even read therapists encouraging people to end relationships with others suffering from other chronic medical conditions–to “save” the rest of the life of the “well” partner, maximize their potential for “happiness.” Maybe wedding vows should replace ” ’til death do us part” with “until I’m not happy enough anymore.”
I agree with you that addiction is often a disease people suffer from, struggle through. It’s also noteworthy that people who struggle with addictions that serve society–like addiction to work or to managing some service that society profits from–are far less often demonized. Their spouses far less often are encouraged to abandon them. I think most of us have some kind of addiction. Luckily, for many of us it’s not alcohol, pharmaceuticals, or street drugs. How demoralizing that abandonment because you’re not well but are struggling to be well has now become an official social value. So much for commitment. Thanks, again, for adding another perspective.
I finally threw my SEVENTY YEAR OLD significant other out after he was staying out all night … once 3 nights in a ROW! When he got his SS check in Feb. he sailed right past my house and went down to a local meth house, where he stayed all that day and all night. Took his stuff there the next morning and put it on the trunk of his car and threw what wouldn’t go on there IN THE ICE-COVERED STREET! He said he uses it “occasionally”…yeah…RIGHT! HE WILL NOT STAY AWAY FROM THAT PLACE…BROUGHT BEDBUGS TO MY HOUSE! SOMETHING IS DRAWING HIM THERE. A homeless prostitute stays there too. He gave up a nice, clean place to live with everything he NEEDED for THAT!!! 4 MONTHS NOW…NO REGRETS!
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