My wife and I both have a problem with pain Killers and are trying to quit and get out lives back in order and family back together. I wanted some help figuring out how to do this successfully. Is it possible for a husband and wife who once had the whole at there fingertips and now are the verge of losing everyhting make it all right again? Its hard enough for 1 addict with the help of a supporting loving spouse to help them through their addiction. How does it work when both need help and need each other as well? ITs a catch 22 becasue on one hand we are each others worst enenies becasue we justify use when we are together however without each other how can we find the strength and incentive to clean up and stay sober?
Please I am desparately looking for answers and success stories or advise on how to do this? Can it be done? Is it hopeless?
Anything is possible you are in the unique position to be in a relalionship where you both don't have to lie about your addiction to the other..... You both understand what the other has been through...... Plus you can both support each other and help each other with recovery.........
Another great thing is you both cannot lie to each other about your addiction... Go to N/A meetings together and see an addiction counselor once a month of possible...
Whether your married or not both of you can get to recovery if you bust your asses to get there..........
Congrats to you and wife for trying to get your lives back together. It's a tough road.
I believe you can make it together. However, one thing I can say from experience is that you have to work your own programs. Whether it be counseling or N/A, or whatever you choose. You each have unique issues that got you to using in the first place and they need to be addressed individually. The pain meds just masked the pain of whatever you each had going on in your lives, but they are not the problem. The problem is something deeper, and I would imagine it is different for both of you.
I know "together" and "separately" seem confusing, but it does work (from my experience). If you work on your individual problems, then you can support each other together.
my husband and i both had a problem too, we both were taking anything we could get our hands on. then we both started methadone (not clinic), he is still on prescribed methadone for legit pain awaiting approval for surgery, and i have stopped the methadone and am taking suboxone. WE couldnt get clean together, we just couldnt do it together. one of us had to be stronger than the other, and in our case it was me (nevermind he really does suffer pain, he still wants to be clean, but i wanted it more). its EXTREMELY difficult to do it together because we have 3 boys, and we just couldnt be sick at the same time, someone had to be somewhat with it to take care of the boys while the other is sick. thats how we are doing it, just a suggestion and i hope you find a way, its a horrible disease that effects all of the family in some form or another.
About ten years ago, my man at the time followed me to a treatment center to tell me how much he loved me, after me wanting to hear these emotions for five years. I told him I needed time, and introduced to my friend of 4 days and roommate in the place. They are still married, with kids now, and still clean. EVERYONE told them they had no chance. They followed their own programs, individually, and got into counselling together. Open communication. If you can practice, and get a groove with it, there's a chance for you. I can just say, take care of you first. Like the airplane, put your own oxygen on before trying to help anyone else. Best thoughts.
I am merely going to tell you my own personal experience and you can answer your own questions. My addiction started almost 4 years ago with my then boyfirend. I had a simple toothache and he went and got me some percs. I took and them i loved them. I had to go to the dentist and he gave me a script of the percs. I took a couple for a few days and my pain was gone, so me and my b/y decided to finish the script as he liked them too. We found a friend who sold them and we continued to by a few percs on the weekends, then it turned into every weekend. The weekends turned into a few weeknight, and so on....We were then taking percs every single day. Our tolerance grew and grew to about 30-50 percs, EACH, a day. We were spending massive amounts of money so we switched to Oxy Contins. Big mistake. Our tolerance for them continued to grow until we were both eating anywhere from 8-15 80mg Oxy's, EACH, a day. We got enganged, then married in Oct of 05, all while being addicted to Oxy's. No one knew, not family, not friends. We spent every last dollar we had. Prior to our addicted my husband invested in some real estate, and sold all the properties, we spent all of the $ from the houses as well as all our wedding $ and savings. In july of 06, I found my husband dead, he had overdosed from the Oxy's. I cannot bring him back and am still trying to get over to this day. I was to blind to see that we were killing ourselves slowly. I cannot change it but I can try to save someone else from having this happen. I dont know how much you use, or what you are using, but your tolerance will only grow and grow. Get the help you both need and please and save your lives. I am sure you both love each other and can have a wonderful, sober, life together. There is hope for you both.....Good Luck, I will be praying for you both....
I know more than a few couples where both are in Recovery. The ones who succeed all seem to have one thing in common: Recovery comes before the relationship and the relationship is strictly contingent upon the continued Recovery of both. So, their hard and fast rule is that if one of them "goes back out," they are in fact out of the house -- at least until they are back in Recovery.
It may sound cold hearted, but I don't think it really is. Anything I place in front of my Recovery is going to be lost anyway and I'm no good to myself or others if I don't stay in Recovery. Staying in a relationship with someone who has returned to active addiction would be an immediate and serious danger to my Recovery. If I don't protect my Recovery by backing away from that Relationship (at least for the other's active period), it's far more likely that my Recovery will fail than it is that I will nurse the other back into Recovery. If my Recovery fails, I won't be ANY help to the other.
Anyway, it does seem to work, with the proper ground rules.
i just read your post, and am now crying...i am so so sorry for your loss, i wish there was something i could do for you and your situation. but i think i may have come close to your situation twice, both times i found my husband lying on the kitchen floor completely out of it, and i wonder if i had not found him what could have transpired...it upsets me terribly... and please i am not comparing my situation with yours, it just made me think of those 2 horrible nights i found him like that, i dont know what would have happened to our family. if you dont mind me asking (and if you do then just ignore) how did you get through your situation? i still worry about my husband with his methadone....thank you and again i am so so sorry for your loss...
I'm so very sorry. Roxy30blues as Beach so wisely (as usual) says, you are in a unique position to have someone with whom you can be so honest. You haven't really spoken up here after your OP, so its hard to know how deep you're in. It sounds like its not a chronic pain thing with you two that you do them to get high. Use your relationship to both of your best advantages. Help each other stay strong. If he gets weak you stay strong. Tell him to do the same for you. Listen to Beach here, if you really want to stop. He knows his stuff.
You've gotten 8 comments from people who care, but still just your one. Like I've seen Beachtowel post before "do you really want to quit", or are you just surfing the internet? There's help if you want to quit. Help each other and both of you use the forum to help you both.
You haven't described the extent of your addiction, what pills you are taking, how often, how much its cost you in your life so far. Write it down. Write down the destruction you have witnessed to your lives so far. Things become more real when you write them down. It gives folks here an idea of what you are up against. You've gotten 8 other folks here reaching back out to help you. Do you want their help or not?
Thank you so much for your post. It is so hard still to this day. I didn't want to scare Roxy or anyone else that may be in this sort of relationship. Anyone can get help and I think if they did it can only make them stronger because they have shared this life changing experience together. I just wanted to let him know my situation. I am trying the best way I can to get through it, but it is so hard. The pills masked my pain and I should have never continued to take them after he died. You would think I would have stopped, but I didn;t care about anything anymore. I am now determined to get my life back. I may not be able to get my husband back, but I can try and make my future better and hopeful..
I also wanted to point out that when my husband was alive and we talked about quitting or getting help, and actually did try to quit, one person would always cave in and go get pills or make the other want to cave in and get pills. Withdrawing from Oxy, with your partner...is nothing short of pure hell. It was a nightmare and instead of having beautiful memories of my husband, that is what I remember most. That, and also finding him, already gone....I hope things work out for you...
i just dont know what to say..i am so so sorry...i bet it is hard, i think you are a very strong woman to go through a tragedy like that and able to come out on top...i admire you greatly for that. i am still so in love with my husband after 18 years that if i lost him, especially to drugs i just couldnt go on (the guilt would kill me, when i met him he wouldnt even take a tylenol, then i introduced him to opiods) ...you are definately an inspiration to me... and maybe being scared is what roxy needs, i know finding my husband like that was enough for me, i just couldnt imagine what you have had to go tthrough....thank you for sharing your story and strength.
OMG lascamdave you story is almost identical to mine! Except I was the one to OD, by the grace of God, my husband was in the bed with me when I started pucking and getting choked on it. I was flown out to a bigger hospital and put on life support for 2 days. It was the worst thing in the world that ever happened to me, but at the same time it was the best thing as well! I just can't get over how similar our stories are. I had a root canal and got pain meds for it, and I was off and running. Then we went to the oc's and it went downhill from there.
Roxy30blues, yes you and your significant other can get soer together, but let me warn you it is incredibly hard! My husband and I have both been sober for over 3 years. It is a very long story, but he relapsed while I was pregant with my little girl and I couldn't handle it. He was doing oc's which was my drug of choice, and I wanted them so bad. I was not strong enough to not do them. That is when I od'd. He has never used since the night that happened 3 and 1/2 years ago. He still cry's when we talk about it. He ended up going back to rehab the day after I got out of the hospital, and I was stuck at home with a 2 month old baby girl. I had severe post partumn depression. All I wanted to do was sleep! I new I could get some Ambien so I went and got some and ended up taking 15 in one night. This was less than 4 days since I got out of the hospital on life support. Addiction is a crazy thing, and will make you do crazy #$*! I didn;'t see anything worng with taking the Ambien, although I did not mean to take that much. Anyways we have both been very dedicated in our recovery's since then. And that is what it takes, you both have to be entirely commited to your recover, before your relationship. My husband and I had been to treatment about a year before the od happened. We probably would have gotten a divorce, but I found out I was pregant and we decided to work it out. I got pregnant the day before we came home from treatment together. After the od we went to seperate tretment centers. I went to Arizona and he went back to Minnesota. The sencond time worked better beacuse we focued on ourselves and not each other. The people at Hazelden did not want us to come together the 1st time but we instisted! We wouldn't have gone to treatment if you could not go together. That was a big mistake! Please try to find an addiction Dr. to help you and you spouce get the proper treatment! Please let me know if I can do anything for you all! If you click on my name, I have my email on there, let me know if I can help you!
Well, I don't know if we're a success story yet but my wife and I have both had pain pill addiction problems for years. She had a previous history and when we had our crack up, it started off the whole chain of events. After years of going back and forth, we finally both got fed up.
The final stopping is the hardest part. We've been together 15 years, and we both hate seeing the other suffering. So we decided to stagger it this time, and when I reach D-day (I drew the short straw, get to go first!) we've actually discussed the idea of my getting a room somewhere for the couple of weeks if it's really bad, so she doesn't have to sit by and watch me suffer. Otherwise, it's very hard to deal with. So if you're smart, you should be able to make it through. Both of you. Just make sure you arrange things practically. You'll have to take turns being out of comission, and let the other one take care things, while staying away if necessary.
Yeah, after 15 years, what the heck else would we do? Start computer dating? *shudder*.
I guess I can say we've been lucky in this. Although we did have many years together before the addiction thing. I've heard people say that people who hook up as addicts never work out together if they stop using. I can't say I recall that being true or not... but I guess if you stop using and find out that's all you have in common, where else can you go???
Sorry for the delayed post but my wife is living at her mom's now and I get my son for the weekend so all day and night has been dedicated to him. As far as usage at our worst we had it up to about 30-30mg rocies a day each. I am 6'3" 280lb and a ex football player and my wife is 5'2" 115 lb ex cheerleader and takes as many as I do its unbelievable and scary as hell. I have it down to fewer than 10 a day now and it’s been that way for a while. I am not anti-program at all I think it is a wonderful fit for thousands of people but it’s not for everyone. That's not to say everyone can't learn from it and apply many of its rules and guidance to any other program but to go all the way 100% committed to the program is a change of life. I want our old lives back not a new ones. I just refuse to believe it is the only way to have success quitting. I have been to meetings some good and some bad, I have read the big book, the 12 steps all which are great in pieces and through each individuals interuptation.
If I sound all over the place with this it is because I am. Its seems very black and white with the program and the use of it. It reminds me of the Catholic Church before Vatican II, when if you weren't a Catholic you are up the creek basically, however I think the program needs a reform i.e. Vatican II or Program II. What I am getting at is after Vatican II the church said (in much fancier words) "It doesn't matter if you’re a Jew, Muslim Protestant as long as you are good faithful Jew, Muslim; etc you’re going to got a shot at going to the Big Dance." I just want to work a program that feel will be the most successful in the long run and it’s not exactly AA or NA. IT may be similar in ways be not in other ways, other ways which are completely unacceptable to the program true believer.
My wife's have been involved in the Program here entire life because of her dad is a lifetime member and still using on and off every few months. He is a Heroin addict that and was a alcoholic prior and has been in the program for over 30 years and dragged his family along for the ride. He has 3 kids of which two are addicted to oxys (one being my wife) and the youngest daughter such an anti-anything person she refuses to drink a beer during her college experience. She is the extreme opposite just the other way which has left her feeling out of place confused and a whole list of things. This may be a bad example of the Program results but its what I have to go on. Her father is what I call and expert Program person. He is very good at it, we knows everything to say and do to be a proactive member and typically has most fooled on when he is using and not until my wife and brother find him passed out at his desk with needles and spoons all over his office on a Monday morning prior to a meeting with some bankers. He has fulled his entire company with people from the program and it totally consumes (ed) his entire life and most of his families. In my opinion her mother failed as well by accepting this way of life and forcing it on her children. They never had a shot, it was almost an option to become a addict and when they did it just was like they processed them and officially signed them into the group. The first time my wife went into rehab her father told her mother that “you know this is not the last time we will be doing this with her” So he already assumed she was going to fail before she even had a shot at fighting to stay clean. That is just the complete opposite and mindset I have, I have to believe and tell myself I will not fail this time and I am going to fight with every last breathe and stay dedicated to doing this the right way and a successful way. It also helps they are millionaires and don’t mind spending thousands of dollars in rehabs and treatments time after time. Ultimately her dad and mother divorced about 5 years ago finally because her father found someone in the Program that he could relate to didn’t judge him and understands him, an ex-crackhead dancer (I am not judging just stating the facts). She is in a wheelchair now from getting so wasted about a year ago she sleep in a weird position for 8 hours and cut off all of the blood to her legs. They had to remove most of the dead tissue from her legs and now she’s legality on 80mg OC for the pain and most likely will be forever.
My family has its share of alcoholics, almost all the men, and a few of the women. There are a few drug users including me now (I was once the pride & joy of my entire family. I was the first to graduate highschool, first to go to college and graduate, then became a CPA, as did my wife. My uncle was also a 20 year heroin addict who quit cold turkey and never used again, then was a severe abusive alcoholic for many years until quitting that cold turkey as well. Its not to say that my family wouldn’t use treatment centers we are just overall a poor family and o not have that kind of money. Now I have my father who is hooked on Oxys after a car accident and its been about 7 years now and he has lost everything and is back living with me at least until my wife comes back home.
In my opinion neither method worked very well and there for them and with the right help could have maybe found the right solution. But what I am CERTAIN is the program is not for me, however I am immediately branded narrow minded and anti-program. I constantly hear “I know you thing all this Program stuff is BS”, I constantly defend my self and state that is the farther thing from the truth.
Why can’t I just be supportive for those in the program and work my own program for me? This is now the big challenge I face with my wife’s current position. She is 30 days clean & in the Program living with her mother. Here Mother in my eyes is just repeating the same role she took with her husband unsuccessfully for 28 years now using my wife and son. I have to do something, of course the start is to quit myself again, which I believe I’m in the position to do. Due to the advise of her counselor she refuses to talk to me and has set boundaries with me out of her life for now while she takes care of herself. I had another post with “Bosox0407” earlier which I changed because after I wrote the message I thought the username would give me away to certain people so I want to me able to speak freely here without that worry so for those who read that message, same guy. As I mentioned before I am just confused on how to approach this situation with my wife and how I can get my family back, all clean & sober.
I am so glad to hear it is possible and its inspiration reading actually stories of husband and wives getting through this and ended up together. Again here is a perfect example, I am trying to apply the take care of your self first concept from AA, but have a ton of mental conflicts with this idea. First, I think its ironic that we should now worry about ourselves, as an addict I can personally say that is all my wife and I have worried about the last 2 years is ourselves. I certainly wasn’t worrying about my wife and being the man she married who was everything her family was not. I was so anti-drugs when we started dating and actually broke up with her once in college because she tried ecstasy with her brother and his friends. Now look at me. If I wasn’t so selfish the last 2 years I would have stayed strong for myself and our family. Also, I sure my wife wasn’t thinking about being a good mother for our my son when I was snorting 30 blues a day , I think she was think about only herself. But the first thing the Program says it worry about yourself, again which is exactly what we have been doing unfortunately. How about for once put yourself on the back burner and not be so selfish and put the needs of our son and his caretaking first or maybe worry about your spouse and how your are effecting him or her. That makes more sense to me. Instead which is my situation, my wife will not interact with me unless it about our son. She won’t give me any timeline or incentive or goals or anything. No I love u or see you at the end of this, literally zero communication, which I can understand how this is possible. We talked everyday for over 12 years, how can she just not talk to me? Does she not love me anymore? I couldn’t ever do that to her. Its hard enough quitting with a support group but to do it alone at home after my wife and son moved out. Its been and was devastating mentally and I have had serious lows like never before. No matter what I do she wont budge. She will not see me at all or be alone with me, I think (hope) its because she knows she will break down because she still loves me.
Well the first excuse of not talking she gave was because she quit and I still was using. So I detoxed cold turkey that next day over a 4 day weekend. Its only the second time I went cold turkey and it was horrific!! Then she talked to me but wouldn’t come home still because her mom has her convince that if we are back together we will justify using to ourselves and be back on them in a week. We it’s a long story but this time is like no other, the consequences that came recently and stand to come if we don’t are leaps and bounds above any type of motivation we had before when trying to quit. So about 5 days into me being clean, she still wouldn’t see me and speak that much just bare minimum and it really was hurting my because I was going crazy sitting in a big empty house without my family, while she had a full house and a full schedule. Well I wanted to talk about down the road a little bit and she jumped down my throat about looking to far and take a day at a time. Which is easy to say when she is making all the calls! So we got into a little argument and it got heated, very small fight , nothing like we had gotten used to. Then she shut me out again and wouldn’t talk to me again even though I was clean. She wouldn’t answer my calls and text me all communication must go through her mother. She wasn’t able to deal with those types of discussions right now and she is going to listen to her aftercare staff and not communicate with me until I at least 30 days clean. Well of course you can guess what happened next, serious mentally crash, and I lined up 6-30s and away I went. Now I tried everything to start communication back up but nothing! I am not blaming her for my relapse, its actually exactly what she said she didn’t want to happen is that I quit for her and the first fight we get in I go back to the pills. It appeared that way but it was a giant build up and a very bad setup to begin with. I was almost destiny to fail the way I was mentally at the time, my wife and son leaving was still was fresh, she wouldn’t talk to me I and had all erratic behavior which lead my mind to make all sorts of crazy conclusions.
Its been enough process and think a lot and not be so emotional and up and down. Also I have been able to understand some of the things she is doing still not all. I also didn’t have all of the detox meds I needed to complete the entire process. I am giving quitting another shot over the upcoming long weekend and will succeed again, of course that is not the tough part staying off them is the hardest. I am prepared for all sorts of curveballs and I am not going to let myself go off the deep end again. Hopefully once I can show her I am not using again she will talk to me and come home with my son.
I am so sorry for the long post but as I said I am here in a big house with no wife and son and I haven't had anyone to talk to specifcially to talk about this stuff. God I have so much more to said and there is so much more history and facts that are so important to try and understand but any advise is welcome and thank you all again for all the posts they helped more tha you know!!!!!
maybe you can get clean...(be selfish for YOU) get your **** together, and have a plan for YOUR recovery, and when she sees that you have done it for you and only you, she will see that it CAN be worked out...and maybe that will be incentive for her to stop being so selfish of your needs. you cant keep going down the path of self destruction...especially because of someone else. you have to realize (selfish or not) that you have to find yourself worthy of the same type of sober life...with her or without her, and also maybe when you are clean, gone to meetings and/or therapy..you yourself may decide you want a different type of lifestyle for YOU, and at that point you put your child first and keep moving on up from there...no other place to go from there but up...i am curious as to if the mother inlaw in a way blames you for all of the family problems...and if she is going to mommy to work out her problems instead of you.... just a thought, i dont want to sound harsh. i personally understand how this must feel,but you cant let how she is acting ruin you, because it can and will...you need to think about you and how your want your future to be and just do it....
My wife is tiny like that and the same quality holds true. She gets half of everything.......Take that any way you want. It still holds.
Her counseler is off by telling her not to talk with you. But, if you getting started is what they are waiting for then, there is your choice. Theres a new sitcom on thats on talking about compromise. "My wife wants a cat, I don't. We compromised. We got a cat. I've been married 24 years with the same kind of compromise. Ha Ha. I know your deal is very serious, but get you family back together. I was never a meeting kind of a guy, but if you are use that tool. I think your wife's counselor is nuts, because you two could be stronger together.
I can understand the bad influence of her parents too. Mine are now dead, and I am only now recovering from their abusive influence on me.
I quit Cocoine, by deciding in my mind that I would literally "die" if I ever snorted another line. I truly believe that and I haven't snorted a line since I decided that. I'm not going to bore you with my Miami stories in the Cocaine Cowboy days, but I was a bouncer and bodyguard (to coke dealers) in Miami in the late 70s early 80s. There is a Cocaine thread here where I put more detail, but I won't punish you any more.
Your wifes counselor has her going down this road alone and to the counselor you can be cast away if you dont stop too. Get rid of that counselor and get your wife back. Go into it together. Taht is just too sad. If my wife wouldn't support me during that toughest time of my life, then the marriage would suffer. I've been married 24 years.
Start your own program by yourself. Youre strong. Prove it. Quit. Get your wife back. Give this story a happy ending. Don't live her parents lives.....Their problems are their problems, not yours or your wifes. I did a 30 day rehab in early 80s for alcohol, but the true times that I've really quit in this world were on my own.
Hi, I'm new on here but I have been reading these posts for weeks now. I am in quite a predicament. I am 23 years old, married with a 2 yr. old and a baby on the way. I have been taking hydrocodone for about 2 years now. I didn't care how I got it, just as long as I got it. I have switched from hydro to oxy and then to cough syrup. I found that it was easier to get the cough syrup since I have asthma. I have told myself for 2 years that I would quit when I got pregnant again. Well, here I am, 5 weeks pregnant and completely addicted to hydrocodone. I've taken around 120 mg for about 2 months now. I've tried to come off cold turkey which was awful especially with my 2 yr. old in my care and my husband oblivious to my addiction. The withdrawls are something that I couldn't have ever imagined. I'm really writing because I don't think that I can get through this alone. I went to a doctor that I looked up yesterday and he suggested that I either go on methadone or subutex ( suboxone). He couldn't guarantee the safety of my baby but right now I have no other choice. I just know that taking the hydro will also hurt this baby and I don't want the baby to go through withdrawls when he/she is born because of my mistake. I love my family but I don't feel normal without the hydro. Can anyone tell me how the subutex is going to affect me? The doctor felt like it would be more stressful on the baby to go cold turkey. I'm a housewife with no one to turn to. Please help!!!
I just went through a hydro withdrawal. Although difficult it is not as difficult as harder stuff like the oxys. If you feel you need a med to get off, then Suboxone may be a good choice as opposed to the methadone. Methadone is aharder drug than the hydro. Hearing that you are pregnant the doc is probably right about something being better than c/t............so...............
Hi hun, and welcome. Do yourself a favor: go back to the forum and "post a new question" to speak of your problem and ask for help. The topic here is not about your particular situation and you may not get very many responses,
suggestions, etc. here.
Hope to see your new post. I can share my experience with Suboxone, but do not feel it proper to do it here. Hope you understand.
The odds are in your favor, my husband and i have been addicted to painkillers for the last 2 years and we have been trying to quit for the last year. First we tried weaning off of them together then my husband fell back back on the band wagon and so i followed his lead. Then about two months ago he decided it was his time and he was going to quit, this time i let him do it alone and i only encouraged him and told him how proud and happy i was that he was doing so well, deep down i was jealous but more than that, i was ashamed, ashamed that he was doing so well by himself, but he did it, he took his last pill a week ago and he feels great. I felt so alone because now i was the addict and the weak one. I decided that weaning off of them wasn't going to do the trick for me, it made me too miserable for too long so i decided to go cold turkey, i took my last pill yesterday morning, im using the thomas' recipe and i feel absolutely wonderful, just a little achiness and restless legs and insomnia but its nothing that i can't handle. It is amazing haw much those amino acid's help you keep your spirit up, and my husband is by my side cheering me on. I know that if i was doing this without him then i wouldn't have the will power to quit. The moral of this story is, If your going to do this together you have to understand that what may work for you may not work for him and the only thing you can do is help yourself and do your best to encourage your husband, you HAVE to be there for eachother. I believe that going through this together you will have a better chance at success than people going it alone, because you both understand what eachother is going through and you can relate. Some people on here don't have that kind of support and understanding, their spouse will tell them "oh its not that bad" or "its all in your head", and when you have a force in your life as close to you as your husband, and he doesn't believe or understand what your going through then its going to be a LOT harder. The best thing for you is encouragement, and the best way to get encouragement is from the person closest to you, your spouse. Maybe you should both try going cold turkey but at different times so that the other can do whatever they can to help you through it. So, yes, two addicts can make it together, just beleive you can do it and you will.
Hmmm... y'know, I'd have to know more about your situation, there's a few things in your post that ring a little strange from your wife's side. Is her family supportive of your marriage and do they like you? It almost feels like your describing a "closing of the ranks" against you.
Not to say I'm right, I'm only going on what I've read so far, and not everything is there.
First, the odds aren't in your favor, I hate to say. Most couples don't survive this kind of thing. It is possible though.
Yes, when in treatment, it's common for the people surrounding the person they're involved with helping to "close ranks" against the other partner. There is a logic to this. When going through treatment you don't know where you'll end up, and the assumption is your rebuilding a person back up. Unfortunately, that doesn't always mean they'll keep aspects of their old life (like a husband or wife). But if they express a desire to have you a part of the treatment, then you should be there.
And if you're still using, they will tell her not to associate with you. Now, I did suggest time apart to adjust. But I was talking about a few weeks at the beginning. But you DO have a child together, and whether she likes it or not, that ties you together. She has to deal with you eventually.
Don't push her on her treatment path. It'll just alienate her. As long as it's working, leave it at that.
BUT, it would be a good idea if you started couple's therapy. If they're telling her not to speak to you, she can't object to this aspect of YOUR treatment. Unless she's totally writing off your marriage, and we aren't assuming that. If you haven't guessed, I'm an advocate of SOME form of therapy, even if it's intense self-analysis (Sit home and ream Plato, Aristotle, Rousseau and reflect! :) ) well, maybe not Rousseau...bad choice for an addict???
You may think you don't need it, but you need something. After all, if you were fine, you wouldn't be here. But you should start a dialogue with her, otherwise she will possibly leave you behind. Remember, from her perspective, the attitude that "I can just stop and be fine" won't cut it. She has years of teaching from AA, and you aren't going to convince her of otherwise until years have passed. By her view, you're in danger and a danger to her and your child. You can't change that, but you can change how she sees you.
I got a little lost in where you are exactly now. Have you stopped, or are you still taking something daily?
Yeah.... and more power to them. But from a psychological point of view (sorry, know you'll hate this :) ) your introducing a tertiary "person" (God) or support system that the two people share in common. It keeps the couple from growing apart as they rebuild themselves in treatment. The mutual obsession shared by the two sets them on a similar path. Which means there's less chance of catastrophic separation.
That's actually roxy30blues biggest danger here. His wife has accepted NA as a core belief/faith system and he's either opposed or at least obviously indifferent to it. She'll resent this and everything he does will be tainted by his lack of acceptance of this. Unless this problem is resolved, it doesn't speak well for hope of reconciliation.
hi, reading your posts I feel that you are having trouble accepting what has happened, you keep going over the past and obsessing about your wife and her mother. I'm like that. We need to deal with the cards we're dealt, rather than the cards we wish we still had. Best wishes
Lexy thanks so much for your post, it was like you had a camera on us the last 2 years and seen all of the different times and ways we tried to quit. The encourage for you and everyone has helped a bunch. I told my wife this forum was like going to a group session and I believe it truly is a big part of my "Program" that I am working. It’s not AA or NA but it’s what I believe is a little bit from the Program and all of the advice and experienced people's advice I have heard.
Retireddm - Obviously the past is the past and I would be glad to put it away and just work on the problem now we are facing, however I believe some of the process is figuring out how you got to this place to avoid it from happening again. For example, she was right and proved herself right when she said if I don’t quit for myself the first fight we had I would go right back to the pills, which I did. However she and my son just left me and said they weren’t coming home for awhile before, I just cold turkey quit again, there was a lot of other issues and problems that I had not deal with or accepted yet. She wouldn’t talk to me if I was using so that weekend I quit, without any preparation, mentally or physically, I had not "Program" in place for any aftercare or theropy I needed. So when she stopped talking to me again after I was clean because I she wasn't ready and I was far enough in my sobriety, I lost it.
Where I am now is, I have my doctoring weaning my down and plan to switch to Subutex this weekend. I am seeing an addiction counselor that is not an AA or NA "pro" doctor, however does support that treatment in some cases just not all. Therefore I feel comfortable he is the correct person to assist in my aftercare. I am very much for treatment and therapy just not AA for me. I still feel any treatment without the support of your spouse is doomed or the cards severely stacked against you. This is still my biggest fear.
Savas you post is what I was afraid to hear the most, but thanks for being honest. I will never accept NA as my core belief system and make my life center around it. It will never come before my family or my wife as the program asks. I understand the idea of if your don’t choose the program you will lose your family anyways, however I don't agree. Being a using and successfully justifying my use to everyone and everybody including myself for a long time, I know and many of you will admit the core ingredient is truly wanting and committing to quitting. IF you don’t want to quit you can go through all the programs and treatments as you want and will end up back using. I hope I can convince her to appreciate where the program has got her but now there may be some modifications or compromises that she needs to make to make our marriage work and provide a normal stable home for our son. Of course I would never expect her to come home if I am still using, but at least talk to me. Like many of you suggested, doing this alone without some support would be impossible. We moved to Florida for her family all of mine are in the Northeast, so I am truly alone to go through this. AT this point just knowing she would be there when I am clean would be enough incentive to at least push me through the hard parts, but she can’t tell me that per the counselor because she can’t have anything to do with me quitting. I did suggest couple therapy at least so we can ensure we are communicating correctly to each other and she won’t do that, I think because she will have to talk to me.
The other point I can't agree more with and I think AA has right is that God needs to be first and back in you lives. Every time my life started taking a bad turn I have gone back to church and my life has improved significantly, then of course like everyone when it’s good you abandon God again. I am going to try and not do that this time around because I have a little guy around now who I need to set a great example for and ensure God is in his life from the beginning. I actually suggested we at least go to church together as a family, she said no, which I think because we would have to talk to each other. I even suggested driving separately, just walking in together and she can leave right after and you can’t talk in church so I thought it was a good idea. No response to that either.
Sometimes I am at a lost to if she even wants the marriage to work or if the people around her has her convinced that it can’t work so worry about yourself now and what will be, will be of him. I hope that is not the case, we took vows before God, she was a wonderful wife and my best friend before the drugs entered our lives and I believe I was the same for her. We have always been there for each other and figured no matter how bad this got, we loved each other so much and had a child together that we would make it through. I never thought I would be doing this alone with not even an ounce of support from my wife. However, with everyone telling me it’s over and move on its hard to do. I still want this to work out, I will clean up and get my life in order, I am determined of that. Even if my marriage doesn’t work out, I cannot ever go into a new relationship like this or ever be the parent I need to be like this. I just hope my future is with her, but there is something that is hard to undo and everyday I feel we grow further apart. We created this mess together over the last 2 years if we spend the next 6 months apart cleaning ourselves up, I don’t think we will have patched up enough of the relationship for it to ever work. IF the marriage is going o work after you have to do this together.
Thanks again everyone - Please suggestions on what to do now are very much needed.
I feel like my wife is in a 100% "locked down" environment and what I am afraid of is she has not had the time to chance to make any decisions yet for herself. She doesn't have a car and when she uses her mom's she has to call as soon as she gets where she has to be and when she leaves to go to the next place, even between meetings. These are all rules of her mother. Her mother screens most of the called and many times it’s tough to even get a minute to discuss something as it relates to our son, which is the ONLY thing she will talk to me about. She refuses to see me at all in person, if I have to pick up my son her mother brings him out. She has no money and her mother holds any money she makes and gives it too her when needed (She actually asked me for some spending money the other day, like $50 for cigs and gas, which I gave her of course). As I said, prior to her moving out we decided not to put my son in day care. Now her mother and she enrolled him in daycare without my consent. They both are not working (my wife does a little consulting here and there). However now with my son in school all she has too do is work her program every day. Her mother is paying any bills that were hers personally, not if they were for our family. Before she asked her family for help to get another car, which the answer was of course no, now they are going to buy her one and she only needs to make payments to her grandmother instead of a bank. Obviously they provided no financial support when she lived with me, which is fine I don’t want or expect any help, I just hope this is not being offered as a way to keep her from me. Meaning if you talk or go back with him you are on your own again. Which is exactly what I want. This all is coming from a woman (her mother) who constantly drilled into my wife's head how she was in controlling relationship and needed to leave me, now look who is controlling one. The ironic thing is when she lived at her mothers for the 2 weeks prior to actually going into treatment she hated it and called me every night crying about being there and now I think she still doesn't like being there but likes the idea of having no responsibility in the world but herself more appealing at this point.
Prior to her not speaking to me again, whenever anything is discussed related to real world problems like our mortgage or car payment or any other problem from the life she abandoned my wife says she can't handle that right now on top of dealing with staying sober. I do not have that luxury I have to keep working and trying to climb out of the financial hole we made together. Also, she is on Suboxone now which she has to get weekly from the doctor (which I can’t believe they actually increased her dose last week????), therefore the option to use again is also not there because anyone who has stupidly tried to take a oxy while on Suboxone knows you go into horrific withdrawals.
I certainly understand a person needs time to focus on recovery and to be strong in the early stages, however I think too much isolation from the real world is counterproductive, as many of those real life problems are triggers for use, whether it is the stress of bills, fighting with a spouse when working through marital issues, etc and the real question is how is she going to do when she has free will again or even a choice. What will happen when she doesn’t have her mom keeping her on lock down. Her mother who lived with a heroin addict in the program for 28 years should know this method doesn’t have good results once the addict is given there freedom back. They have her believing that if she had the choice and lived with me she would 100% use again within a week, but on the other hand can lecture me on how far she is in her sobriety.
I don’t mind the bills and financial mess that I am left to clean up alone, but as I keep referring too are the marriage that is being ignored and the effect that will have on our child if it ends. I asked her mother, when her 90 days are up and or whatever time she is ready to reenter life on her own, is she going to be strong enough to do that as a single mom living in an apartment or house be herself with a baby to raise on her own. She had the benefit of being a stay at home mom and I could support us both, if this marry ends I really don’t think she understands the life she will be going back into that they are leading her into. I know that she has not been allowed to even think that far ahead; she just needs to focus on today. That theory works I think if others (specifically a spouse and child) who are impacted by your decisions.
I even told her I am not asking for much, I don't want long conversations about our marriage or negative past issues. All I want is so normal discussions, what I really what is just to hear her voice and that she still loves me and wants the same end result still, which is our family back together. I'm just not sure how to get her to talk to me and reopen a line of communication no matter how little. I told her I would be willing to wait no matter how long it took 6 months whatever, I just need to hear "she loves me still and wants to be a family again, if we are both cleaned up" she said she can't tell me that right now. Does that means she doesn't know if she wants to be with me anymore or she can't tell me because that is what her counselor is telling to say at this point because she can't be the reason for my stopping? But, this is just one of the crazy confusing issues that I am left to guess about what the real answer is and I must make my decisions based on my guess of her silence or her robotic quote she will give me from her counselor.
We talked everyday for 12 plus years, I don’t know how she can go this long without talking to me, when its eating me up. If I was in her shoes, further along in the process I would be trying to help my wife get and stay clean. Now I realize that may not mean moving back home or at all be my counselor because I am sure she is not strong enough for herself yet never mind me, nor is she the right person to be my counselor through this. I assume an I love you and I am proud of you should be allowed and she should want to say those things. Like I said I am not asking for much just a tiny glimpse of my wife or little evidence she wants this to work out. The one thing I know that she has said bothered her is, that I haven’t quit yet. I do believe she resents the fact I am still using (probably jealous in a way , especially when she gets cravings) however I am going to detox again this weekend and hopefully stay clean this time. She was forced to go into treatment when she did because she failed a drug test. She has no job, no bills (very little), her mother watched the baby). I have a job and other responsibilities, I know there is never the perfect or even a good time to quit and there will always be a reason not to quit but there are slightly better times, meaning getting fired or now to wait a few weeks. Also, I finally detoxed a couple weeks ago and like I said when she still wouldn’t talk to me, I lost it and went right back. I am in a much better mental place now and have aftercare setup to ensure that doesn’t happen again . But even if she resented me and was upset and taking it personal I didn’t quit yet, I would hope that her counselor and personally could love me enough and see through that since she has been on the addict trying to detox and stay clean side of the game. I just can’t figure out where she is coming from on this no communication issue. If anyone has any suggestions on how to get through to her and past what her counselor is suggesting she do?
Wow. Umm...okay. I'm not sure what to say that would help you get what you want "now". I can tell you one thing. If you keep pushing her, your playing right into the mother's hands. It's just putting fuel on the fire.
Are you seeing the child now? At all? Can you? If not, if she's denying you your legal RIGHT. My advice for what it's worth, is to tell her "If you won't discuss our relationship at all, fine. But we need to set up a visitation schedule."
I don't care what her counselor or mother says, you have a LEGAL right to see your son. And if either of them says otherwise, it's a court-going situation which they will lose (unless you are still using). If you are still using, by her NA logic, you are unapproachable and undealwithable, so hope it's just that on her end. But you should stop. The Thomas recipe is a mix of med's, the chief one being a blood pressure medication like clonidine.
I can tell your frustrated and angry about all this and you've got a right to be. But if you keep trying to force the issue with her, you will lose. You know the old saying;
"If you love something, set it free.
If it loves you it will come back to you.
If it doesn't come back you never owned it.
(We'll leave out the old joke of "And if it doesn't come back, hunt it down and kill it!!!")
Well, it's corny, but it applies. You probably see what I'm saying and are nodding your head, but it's one thing to see this intellectually and another to know it in your heart, and apply it in those moments of anger and frustration.
Lets face it, she likes to be controlled. She's got a controlling mother, and you sound like you've got a bit of a control freak in you too (welcome to the club).
But she's chosen to let her MOTHER control her life right now. My advice is only talk to her when she wants to (unless it's about the kid) and DON'T give her anything, money or otherwise. Just smile and say "I'm sorry, according to your program, that would be wrong, and possibly enabling." And DO NOT sound smug when you say it. Sing it like you mean it. As if you understand her philosophy and while you don't agree with it, you do respect it.
This way, at least if you lose her, you'll do it with dignity.
The following is my wife speaking/typing, Roxy, she thinks her woman's perspective may help:
Take it, Bunny!
Let me first say, I totally sympathize. I have been through some similar stuff, maybe I can provide some insight. First of all, years ago I split up with my husband to get clean and get our lives straight. We did it separately and got back together months later which worked for years (we did split up but it was years later for different reasons and we are still friends). Anyway, my point is, that sometimes things work out in ways you don't expect. Try not to insist that you know exactly what has to happen (like, you have to work it out together, now, in the same place and at the same rate). Try not to script your lives, open yourself to what she needs and maybe what you need that you are not aware of right now.
Also, if you are alone right now, take advantage of it. It seems like you are on the right track. Stay that way, continue to improve your life. She might be so impressed and surprised that she will want to get back with you. Instead of stating to her what you will do, just do it and let her see. Not to mention her family. Sometimes you have to be patient and show people that you are serious. I know that when you get clean and mean it, it seems like everything should happen just right, but it might not. Life is like that, even when you are clean - no one will reward you. I know it's tough, but it's true.
Now, my current husband sometimes tries to force situations. He loves me so much and wants everything to be right, but he is learning that it doesn't always happen immediately and the way he wants it (understand he is a very gentle guy, but he is a guy and likes to fix things like all guys do!). I love him and I understand, but if I were in a vulnerable place I would prefer that he just listen and give me some space rather than try to fix things and make everything be OK.
Maybe some of this applies to you? Anyway, good luck and take care of yourself and your son.
This is Savas again:
Argh...women. Can't even get any peace or privacy when I'm on the computer! See how I suffer people?!?! Just not bloody fair! Uh-huh...that looks like a large baseball bat she's got...gotta run-literally!!! :)
I can see you have hit on a very contreviersail topic. I purposely did not read any post other than yours so that I could give you an objective opinion. And it is just that, an opinion.
As a person who spent almost two decades in NA I can say that the only couples I saw who made it together are the ones who worked their own program.
They each had a sponsor, who had them working different programs all with the same goal, perosonal recovery. Whatever that means to each individual.
In those almost two decades, I have to say I saw maybe a handful of couples who made it. Not many. But that isn't to say you two cant be one couple who makes it.
You must be committed. You have to each have your own sponsor and work your individual programs.
Im speaking from experience and from what Ive seen. If both parties dont do this, couples, no matter what the love or how strong, end up not making it. If both are committed though, Ive seen couples blossom into a love that is unbelievable and so strong.
you are so right and intelligent and caring and most of all sensitive in the ways you speak to people when you know they are suffering, whether its mentally or physically...you have become MY king of the forum...plus your damn funny too...you will be able to help alot of people here and they will listen. i kind of wish i knew what your career is/was and your wife seems the same, very caring...you 2 are the real thing, good people... If you speak, They will listen...thank you.
Both of you, thanks SO MUCH, you have no idea how much this is helping. Okay, you did it! I am going to stop chasing her and begging for something that should be a given (interaction and conversation with your wife). You are right and like most things I am stubborn when it comes to admitting things about my wife. Everyone has told me that if I keep chasing her the further she is going away. God even her brother, who would deny it if confronted, told me I should act like I’m moving on and dating other people and she will come right back. While I don’t think its that easy, nor do I want to play that game, he was right in saying she knows where I am and what I am doing every min of the day and I never have a clue where she is or what she is doing. That is primarily cause I work 70 hrs a week and almost every other is spent with my son.
Which brings the next very touchy point, my son. Yes I see him and have him for the weekends. Which now I actually spend more time with him than when we were together because instead of the hour or two a night I see him because of work and then in and out normal type weekend routine, I am so excited to see him and he I from the moment I see him on Friday afternoon until he is crying when I drop him off at daycare I spend every second of the entire time with him, it very intense quality time together and its my fuel that gets me up every morning. Since I work and my son just started day care when I wife when to rehab this last time, her mother watched the baby and until my wife got out she made it very difficult for me to see my son. Luckily it was under a week. It was always too late to come over or she didn’t think something was a good idea. Well, this has taking a serious toll on him even at his age, the biggest thing not being home and the pick up and drop off situations. The first 2 or 3 times I left him over his grandmother and he was screaming daddy as I walked out, I cried all the way home, because I when back to him at first which made it worst. Now, unfortunately, I just turn and walk away quickly. I tried sneaky out in the beginning which totally backfired because not only is the separation and not have a stable home tough, he is scarred to death I am going to leave him when I am with him. From Friday, it takes until about Saturday afternoon before I can get a drink or go to the bathroom without him running after me to make sure I don’t leave. That I can’t stand. I offered for her to move back home and me to move out just so he can feel comfortable in his home but no go! Instead she asked me if I could watch the way I use “home” because his grandmother said we are going home when they went to Target and when they got back to her house instead of mine he went nuts. That’s not fair to do to him. Plus he hasn’t seen us together even friendly interacting in awhile.
Honest news but not the best, however that is exactly what I need. You said what makes the couples make it, through working their own program, however, I think more importantly through your experience what are some of the consistent things you seen that destroy the couple or make the relationship not be repairable. Because the ironic thing, like I was dicussing with my buddy if we were to get a divorce it wouldn't be over a fight or a disagreement. We didn't have a major falling out or big event that ended our marriage like I would assume happens in most divorces.
Sometimes when we get into recovery we discover who we really are. Like I said, I didnt read the other posts. Were you together before addiction? Sometimes that makes a difference.
Things I have seen tear people apart are that one is more committed to recovery than the other AND
OR one or both discover that they have grown into two very different people.
Those who I have seen stay together fell in love before the addiction and in recovery have been respectful of each others recovery, not jealous if their mate spent time out with his or her sponsor, and did not tell each other how to recover.
Its hard for me to put this in laymans terms without using Narcotics Anonymous lingo.
In NA terms, those who took their own inventories of character assets and liabilities and NOT their mates, seemed to stay together and have an awesome relationship.
Its like they work on their own issues independently and then come together to enjoy the fruits of that labor.
I dont know if Im making sense to you but I do know what I have seen over the years.
I just read a bit of one of your earlier posts. PLEASE dont think your wifes dad is an example of the NA program. HE is not. Im not saying this in an aggressive way, its just that I have at least 6 friends within a five milie radius who each have twenty years clean from all drugs, INCLUDING alcohol, thanks to NA.
If you want to let another persons experience define what the NA program is for you, you might miss the benefits of actually DOING what is suggested. It is so much more than reading steps. It is working steps with a sponsor, changing, learning, growning. You find out why you used in the first place and why you keep wanting to use. Of course its up to you and I do wish you the best in whatever program you choose.
Yes we certainly knew each other and we madly in love before the addiction and drugs. He started dating in high school, fell in total love. I had a football scholarship out of state and had no money for school otherwise, she had a prepaid college fund for instate college but parents were rich. She followed me to college and instead of her getting like $5,000 back in grant money (because she was so smart-wicked smart) instate and school costing zero her parents paid over $150,000 four a 4 year degree at very prestige college. She had some depression issues a 90% because of she felt bad because she wasn't home and her dad was in and out of rehab and her family was struggling through it. It was actually great looking back she wasn't here because she would have dropped out to help or just finished at night, instead of having a glamourous degree. Other than that we grew extremely cost during college, she felt very protected and safe with me, we drank at parties but that was the extend. She hid smoking cigarettes from me because I was so straight edged.
After college, we moved back home, which now everyone we knew were on drugs or soon to be including her family and a few of mine. We had busy professionally lives for the first several years then got married still perfect love story ending just needed a few kids. We moved into my house I built with my dad together as a investment, he lived with us our first 8 months of marriage, then her cousin lived with use the next year and a half and then her sister next 4 months. The never should have let anyone live with us specifically that early. It was the first time we weren't tied at the hip and going in different directions. She did her own thing with her cousin on did my own thing with my dad then her brother. Her brother is where the drugs started from, which had been on them since we started dating but I started spending a lot of time with and it started slowly then the story is all the same and meaningless from this point on.
You both are so right, it is just easy said than done. The ironic part is, we both made bad decisions and mistakes and shouldn't have done what we were doing. We at one time had the world and people envied us and thought we had the perfect life. Of course people never know what goes on behind close doors, we did have an amazing thing and were two really successful, well-liked and respected people. I think that is part of the repairing our relationship issue and continue use our expectations of each other are set so high. We both refer to getting back the “old” person, which is never happening there is just way to much luggage. That’s not to say we can’t get back together but I am in agreement it will come after she see glimpses of the old person and that creates her wanting to reconnect. You both are right and it helps to hear it from a woman it does, that I need to back off, since all the guys of course are saying forget her! My wife was always scarred to death that I would get clean before she did and I never understood why until now. Being in rehab before and around the program her whole life she probably expected I would treat her like she is doing me, however I would and could never.
I know I am not even close to the man she married and a lot of the qualities that attracted her to me and made her love me so much I have not shown in quite awhile, and I do believe you are right in staying once she sees that guy again and those qualities again she will want to get back together. I’m confident of that. As much as I can knock myself because I can, I am ashamed of what I have let me self become and I am a disappointment to myself the most, a giant disappointment. I also know I can rebound from this and become a good honorable man again someone to be proud of and this will be one more thing tat was horrific in my life that I went through and persevered. I did have a very hard life and way set and expected for failure but somehow made it, then basically let my selfish decisions with these pills bring me to the verge of complete ruination. During the process, I kept my job no matter how hard and I truly believe I was a good father. I could have been better of course without doubt but I tried never to let them effect our relationship or time. I didn’t heavily use when with him. But I also had limited time with him to give her credit. I did put him in danger except by leaving him with his mother , which I guess makes me just as bad as her and I think that is the first time I have ever said that or thought that which just saved me typing 5 paragraphs on how bad she was and how badly emotionally neglected our son was. But I protected my wife and did nothing and therefore am no better. Wow!!
Obviously, I am not back to that guy yet so its tough to talk about this with any certainly, however just as she won’t talk about anything down the road I am constantly reconciling who this works with the future and I can see this being bad. Yes I fell far but I also went an unbelievable way to get there and more importantly during last few years certain crucial things for a relationship I still kept like my loyalty to my wife against anyone and anything I stood by her I protected her which came back to bite me in the butt as I knew it would. I stood by her against my family and hers, I also took her side. I believed in her when no one else did and her family fired her and basically signed her off. However how did she response to trouble? She admitted (when sober) she destroyed my name to deflect any blame or attention to herself. She didn’t stickup for me but joined to get the pity vote and ultimately on countless situations she always takes her family over me no matter what. Now during what may be the hardest time of my life, to clean up, rebuild financially and regain my respect and confident she turns her back and is going to make me do it alone and go start fresh with her family’s support. My question is do I want that person back drugs or no drugs did she show her true colors now that times are tough? Sure she wanted to be with me when I was on top of the world. When using you can write everything off as just that, no matter how bad it is because that is not you. Well her turning her back on me like this. I think you are right move on and just see what happens!
Savas and ex are so wise, they say it better than anyone, thanks for your wisdom. roxy, I just meant you and I of course need to learn from the past, I just wanted to help you, like myself, learn to focus on the things we can change. The Kubler-Ross model is so true. Denial : The initial stage: "It can't be happening."
Anger : "Why ME? It's not fair?!" (either referring to God, oneself, or anybody perceived, rightly or wrongly, as "responsible")
Bargaining : "Just let me live to see my son graduate."
Depression : "I'm so sad, why bother with anything?"
Acceptance : "It's going to be OK."
Well it sounds like you've got the right idea. Just try to be careful and not think in terms of "getting back what I once was". Even saying it that way can set you up for frustration and anger. I'm just now starting to get used to doing this (well, kind of!). If I focus to much on everything I've lost, it can drive me insane. At the same time, it's not "lost", it's just part of my past. (I'll just...keep...saying that...untill I believe it!!! Aghhhh!!!)
You know, this trial separation sounds like it may be good for you. I hate to say it, but your wife sounds like she needs to develop some maturity and backbone to stand on her own. Everything you say about her (and I know, we're just getting your side of it, so it's possibly skewed) sounds like she's spent her whole life being looked after and protected.
The best thing she could do is spend time away from EVERYONE, learn what it's like to be her own person. Blaming you to her family for things that have gone wrong is classic behavior of someone who isn't secure in their own maturity as an adult. She doesn't sound like she's capable of making serious life decisions right now, regardless of her addiction.
And I know that's hard to hear, you want her back so badly, want the person you loved back now! But if she came back now, you'd just have an illusion, a happiness that would be the calm before the storm.
Your child is about 4 years? Tough age for all this. I don't know if you've talked to anyone "professional" about this, but it's crucial you take steps here. Your best bet is to try to keep up what your doing. Keep the play dates you make, on a regular schedule. He's desperate for structure right now, and stability. Also, try not to let all this spill over in front of him. Be careful how you speak about his mother in front of him, try to only say positive things. Watch out for your tone and inference too, children are sensitive and pick up on this stuff. Also, try to make sure mom and mom's mom does this AS WELL (There's a reason children are referred to as casualties in divorce). Especially casual conversation with your son around. Some of the worst damage is done to a child's psyche this way. The best thing you can do is make it seem like all this was planned, it's supposed to be this way. And if you can step back and accept the situation, be okay with the hopefully temporary separation, he'll pick up on that and calm down. Children aren't dumb. I'll bet he's picking up on your anxiety and stress. If you just smile and act relaxed about leaving, with an "oh, I'll be back Wednesday as usual!" attitude, it will probably help alot. He's probably more upset over the tension between you two than the seperation.
Try not to be to hard on yourself. The hardest thing to cope with, is it took time to get into this mess, and it will probably take the same amount of time to get out!
Hehe, thanks, we're glad we can help others. Oh, for those confused, my wife of now was married for a short time before we met (one of those teen marriages). He's a great guy, but lucky for me, it didn't work out for them! She divorced him and decided, no dating for a while!
I was in an incredibly miserable engagement (for me) and broke it off with the decision of not dating for at least a year!
But we met a month into our "monastic lives and well... 15 years later, and here we are!
She's an old hat at this sort of thing. She used to work for SHANTI back in the early 80's, which is about the hardest counseling work you can do. (Counseling to end stage AIDS patients. Brutal stuff). I did my degree in Child Psychology-Abnormal Psych, (double majored with Philosophy) and at the time I think we both decided it was just too much suffering to eat on a daily basis. Interesting the decisions you make in life. Makes you wonder what would of happened if you did "this" instead of "that". But to much of that, and I'll end up down at Central Park feeding pigeons and mumbling to myself all day!!!
You two have been through some tough times and sound totally committed to each other. Love means wanting what is best for each other. I think if you both get help and work on your individual issues of addiction you will be fine.
Remember, using the drugs is toxic to our bodies. Love means helping each other to grow and be the best we can be. I think you two will be fine.
Thanks for sharing your story, I can tell you love her dearly. I wish the best for you two
Savas- Man it is getting scary now. You truly are hitting way too many buttons. Seriously I have almost verbatim said some of these things either to myself or my counselor. Unfortunately, I have this chip in my body that will override all of the good and logical advice I receive as it relates to her and take her back in a second and protect her again while she steps on me. Don’t get me wrong, I truly believe the reason I do this is not because I am an idiot but because I am chasing that girl I marriage or even better the girl I started dating and what kind of man she helped me be.
What you said here is my situation I feel its me and her:
“And I know that's hard to hear, you want her back so badly, want the person you loved back now! But if she came back now, you'd just have an illusion, a happiness that would be the calm before the storm.”
My son is 2 ½ years old and I could start a post just for this subject because believe it or not it’s the one I feel the most strongly about and certain on my decisions. I will try to keep it brief and maybe I really do need to start a new post, since this has helped so much with my decisions for my wife. I certainly would love your input given your professional and educational background. This situation has taking a serious toll on him, specifically; if there is one thing that will turn me completely off and in a serious other direction is my son heath and well being. This situation should appear to be no different then when daddy went to work out of town for a week here and there and could be with some sacrifice and cooperation from my wife and mother in-law. Instead I truly believe he is affected the most drastically each day. It’s been month and a half and he has a developed a serious fear of me leaving him, because I always have too. The biggest issue I believe is as you suggested he need stability and structure. When we had marital problems in the past, my wife’s first threat is my mom thinks (and her of course) we need some space and she and the baby were going to move out and back home for awhile. I was ADMITTEDLY against this no matter what. First step would be me move out and mom and baby stay home. The key is that is his comfort zone, his safe place, the only place where he feels totally comfortable and safe still. I believe there is nothing worst than moving a child from home to home, throw in no parents seen together anymore and you have the beginning of a problem. I know from experience I had 3-1st grades 3-3rd grades and 3-5th grade classes, my parents divorced when I was in the 1st grade and mom took me and my sister out of state and away from our dad. I wasn’t reunited with dad until 8 years later, my mother dragged me and my sister through an physically and mentally abusive second marriage. My dad, after losing his family spiraled out of control and went on a 5+ year cocaine drug binge. Mom went on to ultimately abandoning me and my sister during her final crack/cocaine drug addiction, which landed me with dad and sister on her own way too young. I never had stability so I understand its important. My wife parents did divorce after she returned home from college and she grew up in a few different houses all in the same neighbor less than a couple miles from each other, therefore I feel she takes for granted what her parents provided, they stayed together for the kids and her mother allowed and stuck by her husband through 28 years of alcohol and heroin abuse. Now at the first sign of real trouble she has done everything she can to support and encourage my wife to leave me, ironically for her to put her daughter and my son in the exact position her husband was in. I am not sure what makes her think she will be successful this time around with her daughter and grandson as test subjects. What people, place and things has she changed – None. She still living her same life but instead of her new husband being the addict her son and daughter are. Also, ironically she has not suggested that her son’s wife leave him actually just the opposite “she needs to stick it out for the kids”. You know when I knew she would fail with her daughter drastically, a couple key things. One just as I do, she will protect her against the world wrong or right which has stopped any effort I could make ever on forcing my wife to get help because her mother would step in and demand we both are the same and need the same treatment, again later on I discovered she didn’t feel I needed what her daughter needed at all but she would not let her daughter have rehab and “drug abuser” label and I did not have the same because she has convinced my wife I want to take the baby from her and leave her, this alone is a giant part in the inability to rebuild trust in our marriage. I want to make clear these are not my opinions I have either had my wife or her mother admit all this to me in their moments of weakness, despair or sober moments. The other thing she did to prove she is a failure at this, she constantly blames me for her daughters inability to quit, she tells people this as well. She thinks ever time my wife has tried I give her pills to stop her it one of my “controlling habits” she actually believes I like the situation because I know where my wife is and have complete control over her without a job and needing me for money and pills. This must be one of the most riduclous things I have ever heard a person actually say. Yeah, I want the have passed out, jobless, broken looking, mean and distant wife she is now instead of the beautiful angel I married. I want that just as much as she want the giant disappointment for a husband (and all the other things she is too) she has. Come on NOW! What kills me more is that because my wife can deflect blame she allowed this bashing of her husband, instead of correcting her and not allowing her to talk about her man that way. That is what I do always and my wife has witnessed me go to battle on her behalf against my parents when she was 100% wrong. Sorry I am venting, but it feels good, back to my point (sorry for the tangent) the last sign for me was after all of the putting down she did about me for giving her pills instead of showing “tough love” my family was in town for the day and my wife was sick in bed without anything, We had 1 80 and I had to go to work 10 hours hat day on it, therefore my wife stayed in bed and cried to her mom my family can’t see her like this, because they don’t even know for sure what is wrong with her because I don’t bash her to my family in hopes to have them respect and like her in the future. Instead of letting them she the situation for what it was, which who knows could have been a turning point ,she went and demanded an 80 from her son to straighten his sister out for the company! Now I am not against that it is exactly was I was doing for her daughter the last 2 yeas you would think she understands how difficult of a position that her daughter puts you in. Okay that wasn’t enough, after child services came in and made my wife go to rehab she had like 3 days before she could she a counselor at PAR, so her mom started to brag how she would handle her daughter now and get her cleaned up and back to work. Well, the morning came for her interview with PAR, which will and did have a significant impact on the issue of custody of my son. Guess what? Into her safe her mother went and put came another 80 for my wife to go to her interview with PAR, I assume she wouldn’t being her in during the middle detoxing in her actually condition, she ensured she straighten her out for the meeting. I couldn’t imagine if I did that I would have been crucified. Please AA/NA experts and experienced people I would love and need your input on what her mother did and if she will able be able to have a different result with her daughter than her husband, which is enable enable enable.
Sorry for all that but background is important and once I get going, I obviously have a ton built up. Back to my ultimate point which is the baby needs to be home in his environment and not going from grandmother Monday through Thursday with mom and the weekend with Dad. He is so confused I see it in his eyes and his actions and his demeanor. I also seem him glow when he comes home and go into a fit and get SO upset the whole morning he is leaving because he knows its coming now.
sorry it took so long to respond. THe recipe im using isn't exactly the thomas' recipe but similar. I take 2 500mg doses of l-tyrosine, 2 50mg doses of 5 HTP, 500 mg of magnesium at the end of the day to help me sleep, 1000mg of vitamin C a day and when i need some energy i take 1 hydroxycut.
Life is...complicated. Hehe, sorry, but that's what I usually say when someone asks "How are you doing?" and *everything* flashes through my head like what you said above and you realize it just isn't a simple answer.
I often think that the hardest thing a parent faces is not transferring all the bad things you learned or had happen to you in your own childhood onto your own children. No matter how hard we try, it inevitably happens. How can it not? Your experiences make you what you are. Half the time, you aren't even aware you're doing it.
Let me just say that keep in mind that what I'm giving here is advice based on what you write (there's no personal interface). Don't confuse it with professional therapy. While I hope we all can help, and this sort of thing is great for helping you work through it, beware of "tearing off" and doing something rash based on anything anyone says here (I know, you aren't an idiot. But I've seen more people do more damage in there life after having a few drinks with "friends" who give "terrific advice", especially by the fourth drink, and then going to confront someone. Hey, I've even done it!)
And you alpha guys are right up there with this. It doesn't take much to rev you up and set you off on a path, and let the chips fall where they may! It usually ends up with you sitting there, everyone mad at you, and you with that slightly stupid confused look on your face going "Wait, I meant well!!!" (God, been there to. Daily.) I suppose I'm speaking on "patience" here again. Which is ironic for me, since I'm being "required" to apply this very thing over the next year and a half due to a situation of my own making. Being told if I take action, things will go badly. Just wait it out. Goes against the very grain.
I'm not sure how old you are exactly, or how long your marriage has been going on, but it does sound like you've reached the point both where all the good things and bad that make up both of you are coming to a head. It's a crucial time for you both, and whether you try to break old bonds and make yourself into something better and new or just circle continually in the same pattern, stuck in the same behaviour, is...well, up to you. True change rarely happens when you're happy and things are going well. (This actually applies to everyone at some time).
And watch out for this; I bet you're feeling like you're being expected to have heroic amounts of restraint, compassion, and understanding with everyone. You're expected to rise above it all, earn for yourself and your family. Be a wonderful father. A good husband. And most of the time...you say "That's fine, I can do it!"
But then you start resenting all this, and eventually it explodes out in a flash of frustration.
Your right, everyone does take it for granted. Why not? You put yourself across this way. So you have to choose if your going to really "Be" that person, and not complain and just be "A Hero", or just be an everyday person with weaknesses imperfections. The two don't work together well.
I can't speak for your other half and her people. I HOPE they're doing the right thing, but sadly, even if they aren't you have very little control over it (really know that, it's important). The most you can do is damage control. Like I said before, the rules are different with a child. The best thing you can do for your son is be honest with him, and try to make sure you don't express any of this towards him. Because he can't choose sides, it will kill him inside.
I'm not an expert on toddler therapy, but if he starts developing panic attacks, night terrors, regression, acting out, anything like that, you may want to get him into a play therapy situation. It can be enormously helpful. Until he regains trust of his parents (it's likely brittle right now) it will give him an objective, unopinionated adult role model (without connected emotional baggage) who can be an anchor until he mentally stabilizes. I know, you want to be that person right now, and I'm sure you will be in time, but your son has so much stress and worry focused around his parents that it just may not be possible at this moment.
I'm not saying he needs this now, what you've been describing is fairly normal. But it's something to keep in mind should his emotional condition deteriorate.
(If cost is an issue, it's not uncommon for therapist groups to offer "scholarship" so to speak for children.)
I can't even imagine what it must have been like to be in the health care industry back during the early Shanti days. I remember my wife telling me stories of AIDS patients who were so starved for just the simply intimacy of "touching". People wouldn't shake your hand, horror stories of doctors or nurses who were reluctant to touch them during exams, there own loved ones refusing even the most casual of contact for fear of catching it. She said it wasn't uncommon to have patients break down uncontrollably the first time one of the group just hugged them.
Were you a nurse in SF during that time? They seemed to be the one place that really got on board with the whole situation. I was in LA during that time, so didn't see the worst of it first hand. But I remember the fear in the acting community (took a break from college, was working the comedy circuit in NY with a friend for fun and we got "picked up" for a movie and flown out to LA. Which obviously didn't work out, or I'd be hobnobbing with celebrities and "snubbing the little people!" Ah, who am I kidding, we'd have been third rate celebrities, at best! Fourth, even!
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