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What to do about husband's addiction

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  • What to do about husband's addiction

    I am at my end. Here is some background…

    My husband and I have been married for 20 years. When we married he was a recovered drug addict – he used >>>>>>e and other drugs via needles years before we met. He has always had a temper and has always been very controlling, but I was able to deal with that part. We have four children from 15-23 with the youngest three at home.

    About three/four years ago one of our children found an unmarked/labeled pill bottle of his hiding in a bag. A week prior to this I asked him if he was taking anything because he was acting very different/weird/angry/mood swings. He told me no – then the pills were found. In that one bottle were 3-4 different pills including oxy, Vicodin, and I don’t remember the rest. (We looked them up online by the codes printed on the bottle. He said he got them from family, customers, and doctors. He has a bad knee and needs knee surgery which is his justification for the pills. Anyway, that is where everything went downhill.

    His anger grew intense and aggressive and violent. He would yell at me and our children until midnight when we had to get up for school and work the next day. He broke my laptop which he says he will still do again. He would take my keys to my car and leave. So many things. He was and still is very mean – criticizing everything we do. He blames me because our kids do not even want to be around him – they actually want me to leave him. He blames me for everything that is wrong in our family.

    He has been going to a rehab place for about three years which prescribed him methadone and then subutex or suboxone which he is still on. He has lied to me about everything. Gave me at least five dates when he would be off this stuff and every date has come and gone. We have been to counseling which the counselor recommended individual counseling for us (we cannot afford that). He has put a password on the pharmacy account so I can’t find out what he is taking. He won’t let me talk to his rehab doctor. I called the rehab, explained to them my frustration and the man told me, “Everyone has their secrets.” What?!?! He hides money from me. Holds money over me. Doesn’t pay the bills when they need to be paid – he uses that as a control issue because he doesn’t pay the bills ‘because of my attitude”. He buys himself whatever he wants and he won’t give me money to buy myself anything – he says it’s because of my attitude. He has never once been honest about any of this. I have no idea what is going on, how many times he goes to rehab, how much he spends on rehab, what/how much he is taking.

    This summer we went to our pastor for counseling because I don’t know where else to turn. My husband stated that he would be off the drugs by the end of July. He agreed to let me keep his pills (which he had rolled up in a small plastic bag) and keep track of his ‘weaning off”. I really thought this was going to work. Well, close to the end of July he was acting really happy. He would bounce down the stairs which he could never do with the arthritis in his knees. I asked him if he was taking anything else besides the quarter pill per day and he said no (lies). I ended up finding out he was taking another prescription he filled while making me believe he was only taking the pills I had.

    So now, I gave him an ultimatum late July: He is honest with me, I talk to his rehab doctor and he gives me the password to the pharmacy – then I can move forward. Until then I have closed myself off to him. I have not been nice to him the past few months because I am so tired of what he has put our whole family through – especially our kids which I didn’t even write about. I just don’t know what to do? He expects me to ignore his drug habit and pretend like it’s not even there. Every time I bring it up he becomes mad and says, “I’m not talking to you with your attitude.” Always making excuses.

    Any advice is appreciated! My family doesn’t know about this so I don’t really have anyone to talk to.
    Last edited by Anonymous; 11-14-2013, 10:25 PM.

  • #2
    Regardless of the drugs, whether they're fueling his behavior or not, the guy sounds like an abusive, narcissistic trainwreck. If it was a close friend telling me what you wrote, I would tell them to run--- get the kids and get away. If your kids are telling you they want you to leave him, that should tell you something.

    IF he even has the potential to return to being the man you fell in love with and married, he isn't going to be able to, or even have to motivation to try, unless his life becomes vastly different. Finding himself alone might give him the fuel to start making those changes.

    But regardless of that, he seems to have some very serious issues. The things he is doing--- breaking your laptop, leaving you trapped without your car keys, using money to manipulate you--- those are all textbook abusive behaviors. You have an abusive husband. Who happens to also be an addict. As a mother your first loyalty is to your children. You are modeling to them that this kind of treatment is to be tolerated. Unless you show them (and yourself) that you can stand up to him, how can they ever expect to stand up for themselves in their later relationships.

    I sincerely wish you can find the strength within yourself to get away from this. He is going to do what he is going to do, but that doesn't mean you have to stick around through it.


    • #3
      Also, if you look up Narcissistic personality disorder, the dude sounds like a good fit. That is not something you want yourself or kids around. This will continue for as long as its allowed to--- meaning until you put a stop to it by removing yourself and kids from his wrath.


      • #4
        Thanks so much for your response. It is very difficult to leave. I am going to talk to someone about a legal separation. I don't make enough money to support myself and my children so I don't know what I would do. He is very vengeful and he would do many things to get back at me if I left. Plus he is self employed so he could choose not to work just so he wouldn't be able to pay any type of alimony or child support.

        I don't know why he would let this stupid drug addiction do this to our family. He could just be honest and get off the drugs -which he promised me that 5 times- but instead he continues to hide his drug use and lie about it. Then he expects me to act like nothing is wrong. How is that? I really can't believe my family has come to this.

        Why do they even call it drug rehab because it really isn't rehab. Their 'patients' just become addicted to a different drug. I don't feel like this rehab place even wants to help my husband get off the drugs which is probably why he continues to go there.


        • #5
          I'm just some goof ball tapering from opiate addiction myself. I too had many years clean off drugs and became addicted to opiates after surgery. My family was also very unhappy with me. I did the opposite, guilt money. They got some pretty cool stuff. It didn't do more than buy me a little time, if that.

          If your husband is like me he wants to get clean again.
          He hates you she he's using and loves you when he's not
          He doesn't know how to taper without extreme physical and emotional pain.

          I SUGGEST you ask him if he wants to get clean. If he says no, you must figure out how to move on without him. If he says yes, show him robert_325 taper plan. It works. The great thing is the subs if properly following the taper plan, will block opiates and eliminate withdrawals.

          Show him this plan, it has worked to get 100s or 1000s of opiate addicts successfully detoxes off of opiates.

          You may want to print it without the forum address. My guess is he will be upset if he reads your post.

          Taper plan here-->



          • #6
            There is always hope, good luck.


            • #7
              Thanks Lincoln. It's a roller coaster with my husband. He also gives guy money and then later he gets angry and gives nothing. He has arthritis in his knee which is his excuse for pain pills. When we have talked about him getting off these opiates he has told me he wants to but nothing else works. If he doesn't take them then he won't be able to work and obviously don't care about or support him.

              I told him I would go to his knee doctor but he won't take me which just reinforces to me he doesn't want off. So, yes, he does say he wants off but I really don't think he does because he doesn't take the first step in that direction.

              Are you clean? Did you family stay with you?


              • #8
                You mentioned that nobody in your life knows about what's going on. Perhaps now might be a good time to lean on a trusted friend or family member and tell them what you're going thru. At the very least, then you will no longer feel burdened by the secret. Also, I hear that al anon or nar-anon are wonderful resources for family members of addicts. You may discover some resources you didn't know about.


                • #9
                  meant to say *guilt money not guy money....


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by istherehopestill View Post
                    Thanks Lincoln. It's a roller coaster with my husband. He also gives guy money and then later he gets angry and gives nothing. He has arthritis in his knee which is his excuse for pain pills. When we have talked about him getting off these opiates he has told me he wants to but nothing else works. If he doesn't take them then he won't be able to work and obviously don't care about or support him.

                    I told him I would go to his knee doctor but he won't take me which just reinforces to me he doesn't want off. So, yes, he does say he wants off but I really don't think he does because he doesn't take the first step in that direction.

                    Are you clean? Did you family stay with you?
                    I was clean for over 20 years from crack and alcohol I suppose. Although I was drinking like most 20 something's when I tried crack I was addicted broke and house less in 6 months. Went through treatment and stayed in the program for 20 plus years. I had minor surgery about 5 years ago the dr prescribed why too many Vic's. I did not ask for help and thought I can't get addicted, it's been too long. I remember the feeling when I first started taking them. It felt good, I was getting high.

                    After the refills ran out I went to NA and complained about my back surgery. There were plenty of friends (newbies) that gave me a handful here and there. 5 years later and 2 years of unsuccessful cold turkey attempts I found this web site and these fine people.

                    I start the taper plan. I have been following the plan to the letter and have to say. This has been the best week for Me, my wife and kids on a very long time. I shared my plans with the family, at first I don't think they're on board. On Thursday my wife said I don't know anything about drugs or this new drug your on, but it's so nice to have you back. Yes, I cried a little.

                    In NA we have a saying it's harder to get clean than to stay clean. Well, suboxone combined with the taper plan makes it easier to get clean. Staying clean requires maintenance and I know how to do that part. I need to do it and keep doing it one day at a time.

                    Today I am doing it.

                    You see I'm a really selfish person. My using hurt others first. After time it hurt me really bad. Any addict who is using knows that pain. Most want to get clean but cold turkey and tapering without suboxone is just too hard.

                    Once I started on the program I started feeling way better and now my family is doing better too. I'm selfish, I'm happy they're feeling good about the changes, but I did because I was sick of the using cycle and all the physical, mental and financial problems that accompany the addiction.

                    I consider myself in limbo, I'm not clean and I'm not getting high. I am simply taking medication to eliminate opiate withdrawals for 6-8 weeks by using the taper program outlined in the link I sent earlier.

                    I am not abusing suboxone. My suboxone dr. Recommended I take 16mg per day and I started at 2. I didn't need more to get comfortable. Again I followed the robert_325 taper instructions for setting the right induction doses. It varies from one person to the next. I have received a TON of support from the folks on this forum who are further along than me, have been to a couple NA this week and really enjoyed this past week.

                    I agree with my wife it's nice to be back.

                    If your husband is presented this information and the timing is right. He should want to give it a try because it sounds like he has tried other methods. Long term abstinance and quality of life is more tan getting off of suboxone or any other drug that's been abused long term. It requires support from recovery meeting, counseling or church. Whatever works. It's really hard to go it alone.

                    I can speak about my experience. When I got a couple days on the proper dose of suboxone my ability to ask for help changed, I am more humble now and open to suggestions. I am not the know it all I was last month.

                    I know how to get and take huge amounts of opiates, now I know how to transition to a painless transition to no opiates. I will need help with my dose reduction every 4 days and continuing to live drug free.

                    I wish the best for you husband and your family. You all deserve to live without the pain of addiction and Robert_325 can help him take a big first step of eliminating opiates from his body without the pain he knows so well.

                    Sorry for the long rambling response. I'm so excited with the progress I have made in one week. I feel so much better.

                    Kind regards,



                    • #11
                      As far as the knee deal. I'm sure it's real. There are chiropractic alternatives to opiates and surgery may be the the answer. Knee replacement surgery is common too.

                      Take care.