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Husband addicted to pain pills, in denial
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Husband addicted to pain pills, in denial

My husband was diagnosed with fibromyalgia about four months ago. One of his "friends" gave him some oxy for the pain. It all started out innocently enough, but of course it has recently snowballed. The last two months he's been distant, cold, uninvolved (NOT like himself). Our normally very active and fulfilling sex life disappeared. In the last month I've caught him snorting pain pills, and in the last two weeks he's jumped to smoking them.

His mother and his brother are both addicted to pain pills and my husband has long had no tolerance for them -- he's been very harsh about their addictions, and now this -- he's hooked. But he can't admit it.

He's the strongest, proudest, most determined man I know. And he will not admit he has a problem. He says he's fine, he's taking it for pain, he doesn't need to go to the doctor because no doctor will prescribe him these pills (GOOD!), so he has to take them like this. Meaning he has to pay a ton of money to get them from horrible people.

Our money quickly disappeared for the month ("oh, I don't know where the money went"), and he's been through a day or two of withdrawal only to start back up again. He has no desire to quit.

On Saturday night I came home to discover tin foil with scorch marks. I confronted him, he denied it, even though the evidence was right there. I found out he's been lying to me about so many things. We had a horrible fight and he left. He packed all his clothes, said he didn't love me anymore, said I do nothing but nag him, that he'd had enough. He came back yesterday to pick up more of his stuff. Says he wants a divorce.

People, we've been together for 14 years and built a beautiful, happy life together. We were married in April and were blissfully happy until he took that first pill. Now this.

I know that I have to take care of myself, that I can't control his addiction, and that it's not my fault. I just miss the man I married so much and I can't imagine how it's come to this. I'm going to go to an alanon meeting tomorrow and I have tons of support. But what about him? I feel like he's just going to spiral. My heart aches for him, even after all the lies and poor treatment. I don't want people to think badly about him, but he's behaved so badly. I want so much for him to get help but he just can't see it.

Reading these posts has been so helpful for me. I wish he'd wake up.

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15 Comments Post a Comment
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82861_tn?1333457511
Nobody here will think badly of either one of you.  This is just the animal called "addiction."  It makes good people do bad things.  I'm so happy to hear you're getting support for yourself.  It really does help to meet and get to know other people who are dealing with the same situation.

Much as each of us wants to help our loved ones find the desire to quit, it's so hard to really believe that we can't.  All we can do is protect ourselves and be ready support their recovery when they're really ready to recover.  As long as your husband denies he has a problem, he isn't ready to recover. And yes, he's been spiraling out of control since he took that first unprescribed pill.

For now, you'll need to take steps to separate and protect your finances.  Painful as that may be, it's necessary for your financial health.  If he ever admits to his problem and seeks treatment, that status can always change.  It will come as a shock to him to realize just how much he's spending on drugs, particularly if you both work and have joint accounts.  That's a major consequence and right now he needs to feel and deal with the consequences of his addiction.  The harder life gets for him, the sooner he'll admit he has a problem.  That's another reason that you need the support of Al-Anon or something similar.  Whatever rules and boundaries you lay down to protect yourself need to be realistic and not empty threats.  The sooner he has to deal with boundaries and consequences the sooner he may see the light.  Stepping aside and allowing someone to royally mess up his life is a horrible thing to have to do, but it's necessary where addicts are concerned.  They just don't learn any other way.

You might want to go ahead and look into rehab facilities nearby and see what, if any, coverage is offered by your insurance plan.  If your husband decides to go into treatment it's so helpful to have that information handy so you can strike while the iron is hot.  

Since he's talking divorce already, you'll need to get some solid legal advice so talk to an attorney.  I hate to see any long-term relationship flushed down the toilet - and so quickly - but if he's truly serious you need an attorney and the sooner the better.  Normally I'd say a crisis situation like this isn't the time to make big decisions about things like divorce, but if he pursues it you have to respond.

I am so sorry this has happened to you both.  You've got a great battle plan in starting Al-Anon.  Stick with it!
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Avatar_m_tn
We don't have joint accounts. I've removed the most valuable things from our home and have changed the locks. I HATE that I even have to think about the possibility of my honorable, responsible husband stealing from me, but I have to, don't I?

Thanks for the advice. I will definitely look into rehab and our insurance, just to be prepared. I have legal counsel in my family, so I should be ok there.

Thanks again. I'm learning things I never thought I'd need to know. :-(
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1235186_tn?1339127464
hi i have been where you are. it is a very scary,hurtful,confusing and sad place. the reality of it is yes he could very possibly steal from you. i had jewelry stolen,cash,checks and he would always deny it. i would sleep with my wallet and checkbooks under my pillow. what a sad reality.
you stated the money disappeared and he denied using it. it will only continue.
good for you that you removed your valuables. does he know yet that you changed the locks?? when i tried to lock my husband out, he came through the window once, and also broke a door and a window. the addiction controls them. they become a totally different person.
its good you have legal advice. i believe it just might be an attempt at further manipulation on his part. once they are out of control they say and do things that are so out of character. of course he still loves you,he hates what he has become. they get so angry and frustrated when they lose control that they will lash out at us who are closed to them.we love them in spite of how we are treated and hurt. we do miss them, my husband had become a shell of the man i married.
my husband has been in recovery now for 22 months. i just started going to alanon meetings about 4 months.. i didnt know about it during his addiction. that is great you are going it does help alot. support for you is so important. we get just as sick as they are when we are consumed by their addiction.
he will have to make his own plan. prayerfully he will come to terms with his addiction sooner than later. he is obviously in denial.
take care of you,
hugs and prayers to you
debbie
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Avatar_m_tn
There are bits of my REAL husband still lingering. He has some good intentions about paying me for things and covering certain bills. We'll see if/how long he's able to.

He noticed that the silver was gone and was angry that I was treating him like a thief. He made a small dig about the locks being changed, too. I told him if he wants out, he needs to not be going in and out. I know it's an affront to his pride. Before this, he was a very reliable, honorable person.

Of course, he still says it's not the pills. I sure as hell don't know what else it could be.
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Avatar_f_tn
I know all about how easy it is to get started on those horrible pills. My hubby started due to a severe spinal injury about eight years ago. Thank god he never had to steal to get his pills as his injury happened on the job. All of his doctors gave him what ever he wanted, and when they stopped working they upped the dose. That was a horrible existence for both of us. He was transformed from a loving, caring, enthusiastic man into a nasty uncaring without any ambition. This was not the man I married!!! Well long story short I told him I had enough and left him. That made him mad at first until he realized all that I had been telling was true. Through the grace of God, Med Help and some great counselors my man is now 520 days clean. He is back to his real self not the oxy self. The reason why I am telling this is to let you know that if your man wants to get help he can and you both can get your lives back. Right now you must take care of yourself though and it sounds like you have a plan to do so. I also went to Al-Anon and it taught me to take care of me and not enable him. I wish you great luck and I will pray for you.
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Avatar_f_tn
Yes they always say its not the pills!!!!
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Avatar_m_tn
Thank you all so much. I can't believe I'm going through this now, but it's a help to know I'm not crazy and that there are others out there struggling with the same thing.

I told my mother tonight that I think he moved out so quickly because I would just NOT let it go. I couldn't ignore it. I hounded him and hounded him, and checked up on him and checked up on him. He got no peace. Now maybe I can get some.
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Avatar_m_tn
I'm just back from my first Al-Anon meeting. I cried the entire time. They were very nice. I'll try to go to another meeting tomorrow night and then there's a newcomers meeting on Friday. I need all the support I can get.

I'm trying to let go, to realize that I can't fix him. I'm realizing that all the policing and nagging and demanding and cajoling I did were completely useless.

I'm dreading seeing him tonight when he comes for more stuff. I love him so much and he's so far beyond my reach. I see him and I just want to hold him. But he doesn't even want to look at me.
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Avatar_m_tn
After days of stonewalling me and being cold and distant and insisting it's not the pills, he called. He's talking. He sounds awful. Very upset, ashamed, hurt, lost.

From what I've read, I guess he's in withdrawal to the point where he's starting to FEEL. He says he's not taking pills -- I know I can't really trust that.

He apologized for hurting me. He said he loves me, that he wants me to be happy, that he's not good enough for me and never has been. That he doesn't want to keep hurting me. He said he feels like, no matter what I say to the contrary, he doesn't satisfy me.

I told him I'm sorry he feels that way, that I love him, that before all this I was so happy with our lives. I told him that I thought most of this was to do with the pills. I said I know he started taking them for his pain but that it escalated and he got addicted. I told him he had strikes against him for taking those things because of his family history of alcoholism and addiction. I told him that I will always be here to help him if he wants it. I told him I was going to Al-Anon meetings and that I thought he should go to AA or NA meetings, that it would help a lot. I said that with his family history and his current situation, he needs HELP. That he can get through this, that he can be better, but he can't do it alone.

He said that I was probably right about the pills, that he knows he messed up, but that when he hurts he doesn't care, he just wants the pain to stop. I asked him to think about going to a meeting and he said he would. I texted him some info on local meetings.

I can't know what he'll do next, but I hope beyond hope that he'll stop using and get some help. I don't know how long he's gone without pills, but if he's opening up like this maybe a few days. I hope he can keep strong and go to a meeting and get some support. He said he has to get through this his own way, and I know that's true.

Meanwhile I have to keep strong and tend to myself.

Thanks for listening. I'm not a praying person, generally speaking, but I sure am praying now.
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1235186_tn?1339127464
i am so happy for you that you went to a meeting. it is important to know that there are others in the same situation and there is healing and hope.
we can recover and so can they ( our loved ones).  insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. we fall into that trap of yelling,arguing,begging, threatening it does become insanity. we do become insane. it is only after we realize and admit that we are powerless to change the situation that we can begin to recover and find some peace amongst all the chaos in our lives. the topic at the meeting i attended today was "taking care of ourselves" . we lose site of ourselves and live in there in addictions.always trying to fix them and help them. alanon will put things into  perspective.
hopefully he will start to take care of himself, putting distance between you and him is a good thing. just take it one day at a time, let go and let GOD.
hugs and prayers
debbie
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82861_tn?1333457511
You get the gold star today!  Congratulations on your first meeting and also realizing that what you were doing wasn't working for either one of you.  It's not at all surprising that you cried.  When you experience an epiphany like that it's overwhelming, isn't it?  When your emotions calm down, I hope you'll realize it's also liberating.  Not only do you not have to play DEA cop anymore, you've got people supporting you in that decision.  Nice, huh?  :-)
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Avatar_f_tn
After reading your comment on my thread, I had to read yours.  I had to stop because I started tearing up and I'm at work.  I am so moved by your story because it hits so close to home for me.  You sound like a very loving, caring, supportive person who has done whatever you thought you could (or should) to be there unconditionally for your husband.  I have tried to do the same for my boyfriend.  I've gone so long trying to pretend that the pills c an't be the root cause for so much.  Hey, I'm far from perfect and I have my own issues, but when things are fine and out of the blue he blindsides me with hurtful words or actions, I just can't deny that something is going on.

I could be wrong but it sounds like there's guilt on your end for finally having to make a stand (changing the locks, hiding things, etc.).  I have a feeling it's part of what we go through.  I've been made to feel guilty when I don't enable him, most recently just before Christmas.  I told him very nicely when I got my latest prescription filled (which, by the way, will be my last and I plan on saving it only for emergencies for myself for my back) to not ask me for any.  Well, he ran out and when I wouldn't give him any, he wouldn't talk to me, told me I was the reason if we have a lousy Christmas, etc..  I'm at the point where I don't cry any more because I'm so hurt and so angry that I've reached my limit.  Then I feel guilty because I want to be there for him to help him through this.  Lately, however, I've been asking myself at what cost.

I haven't realized that I was playing detective just as you were.  We went through this a little over a year ago and ever since, I've been worried.  This is not a  way to live, for any of us.

Ugh, Ihope you are doing ok.  And here's hoping for a better new year for all of us.

Hugs back to you!
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82861_tn?1333457511
Just checking in to see how you're doing.  Hoping your holidays were calm and peaceful.  :-)
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Avatar_m_tn
My husband has been taken oxycontin for several years now. He has just being diagnoised as having blood in his urine. Could the oxycontin have caused it? If so, does it mean he has kidney damage also from it?

Very Worried
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1235186_tn?1339127464
hey jeanie,
this is an old thread. no oxycontin doesnt cause kidney damage. does he take it mixed with tylenol? tylenol can cause liver and kidney damage.
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