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Husband a log time crack addict, I found out too late...
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Husband a log time crack addict, I found out too late...

Hello Everyone,
    Can I please get some basic information?   I have beem married just a year and a half to a man addicted to crack.   I didn't know until after we were married how bad it was because he is so good at hiding his habit, and to be honest, i ignored the red flags because he seemed to be such a "good catch". He is what I guess the experts call a "highly functional" addict.  He makes himself visible at all the right places at the right times, he's a deacon at church and a longstanding member of a local charitable organization.  It didn't take very long for me to see the real man.   He lost his job not long after the wedding, collected unemployment until his 62nd birthday and retired.  I have heard him tell buddies that the best thing about retirement is not having to worry about random drug tests at work.  In the short time we have been married, he has been diagnosed and is being treated for prostate cancer, we were homeless and had to live with relatives for a short time because he dissapeared with his first unemployment payment that would have caught us up on bills, and my then 18 year old daughter's car for 4 days.    He is like many of the others I read about on this site.  He may be clean for a while, but i know its because he has given over control of the money to me, then i relax my guard, he gets access to funds and vanishes for days, resurfacing when he is broke.    What really ticks me off is that when he is home, he sits around and tries to treat me like some Stepford wife, wanting meals prepared after I have worked a full day.   He doesn't even know how to operate the washing machine, and leaves the dirty dishes throughout the day for me to load "in the empty dishwasher" when I get home.   He literally sits in an easy chair all day and watches TV.    When night comes, and his addict friends with jobs start calling, he jumps up and leaves.   I am sometimes glad that he is gone just so I can have some peace.  When I get upset and start to challenge his behavior, he acts like I am the one with the problem.    My blood pressure is up, I had to go to the ER with dizzy spells last week.   Yet with all these problems, emotionally I cant let go.    I have taken one small step.   I have started to stash away $$$ just in case.    I don't know if it is to leave him or to avert a new crisis.   I found out from hsi family members that he has been ib rehab several times.   He tells me he doesnt need rehab, that he can drug socially and leave it alone when he wants.   We all know that is bull.  I dont know if I should give him an untimatum or not?  
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18 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar_f_tn
First of all, crack is NOT physically addicting.  Just mentally.  He is making a choice to do what he does & it sounds as though he's using you to foot the bill, so to speak.  There are alot of "functioning" crack addicts like this man you talk about, you should not enable him.  If you give him an ultimatim, it should be meant.  Tell him you will leave if he doesn't stop.  He won't, of course but be prepared for that, and when he returns home, have the locks changed.  He will "hit rock bottom," by you kicking him out like that.  Your not saying "If you don't attend an NA meeting with me or you don't stop I'll go," you are just enabling him to do what he wants to do which is walk all over you & do crack when he wants to.  Do the ultimatim first then lock him out.  He will have to hit rock bottom before he stops.  You should also tell others of the issue so they do not help him when he asks after e hits his rock bottom.  This is causing you health issues & stress.  The addiction will eventualy kill him.
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Avatar_f_tn
You know, i pretty much came to the same conclusion, sometime you just have to hear it from someone else.  Thank You so much.
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271792_tn?1334983257
Hi & Welcome,

I am very sorry for what you are going through. I cannot tell you to leave your husband but I think you need to take a long, hard look at what is going on. What is the reason that you married him? Do you love him? Do you want to spend the rest of your life like this, worrying, broke, possibly homeless? Make a list of pros and cons and see how it weighs out.

Your husband has a disease for which there is no known cure. Crack is one of the hardest drugs to get clean from because there is no real physical withdrawal so there is very little incentive for him to get clean. He can binge, stop and nothing happens, then binge again. Until he admits he has a problem and asks for help, he will not get clean.

I have a hunch this has been going on for a long time. I don't think this started when he met you.

Whatever you decide, take care of yourself and lock up anything he could possibly steal, pawn and/or sell. I am sorry but I do need to mention that crack addicts often participate in deviant sexual behavior. If he is "disappearing" for periods of time, he may be doing more than smoking crack. Please protect yourself and I also have to suggest that you get checked for STD's.

I hope this all works out for you and you can get on with your life.
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Avatar_f_tn
I am living in your shoes.  My husband is also a crack addict.  I did not have a clue throughout our 5 years together until about 6 months ago.  The last six months have been a hellish nightmare.  My husband is also a "highly functioning crack addict".  He holds down a job and just messes up enough at work to stay under the radar.  He has spent almost $10,000 in the last 6 months.  Our bank account is almost non-existant.  I've heard all the lies.  All the promises.  I have left him, and heard all the I'm sorrys and promises to go to rehab.  I came back becuz I am scared to death he is going to die over this.  I took our children to live with their grandparents.  But just yesterday a serious "calm" came over me.  I kicked him to the curb. Changed the locks.  He has been back a couple of times begging for money to buy more crack.  I refuse to give him one more penny.  With all of my love and my trying to help him...he only got worse.  You can not help him.  He is not there.  His body is there but his mind is gone.  I finally realized that he spends every minute of every day thinking of his next lie to get me to give him money, or his next lie of how he is going to slip off to buy.  It has consumed him.  It's too late.  I truly believe that he will eventually become a "full-time" crackhead.  It is only a matter of time.  My advice?  Live your life how you need to.  It is affecting your health.  I was having all the same symptoms as you.  I ran myself ragged trying to "babysit" him so he would not use.  You can't do it.  You have to live for you.  He doesn't appreciate your concern or your help.  He can't.  He is in a whole different world than you.....
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599071_tn?1300072302
I can add my experience to itsover's.  I stayed too long in a marriage to a high functioning active cocaine addict at the cost of extreme psychological trauma, loss of our home when all the money went on drugs & 2 years later developed cervical cancer as a result of his, (later admitted), extreme sexual promiscuity.

Long term crack or cocaine use can permanently damage the frontal lobes of the brain, which are responsible for impulse control & moderation of behaviour.  For this reason, it takes a very clear & overwhelming desire for an addict of these drugs to overcome the urge to use, in the same way that a strong willed toddler with undeveloped frontal lobes needs to learn to curb his behaviour by experiencing consequences.

I truly feel for your situation and you won't be able to reason with him, as it's over says, "he is in a whole different world."
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599071_tn?1300072302
Just realized that you are also living through this now.  It's been more than 20 years since it was over for me & all I can say is that you sound very wise & I'm afraid that your prognosis is likely correct, (unless of course, he somehow develops the drive to get clean that we see here on Medhelp.)

My own ex did lose his very high paid job as a very senior major music company exec, not that long after we separated & despite several stints at rehab has not yet been able to stay permanently clean & still thinks like an addict.

I wish you both the strength to do what you need to do to change your lives for the better.
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948349_tn?1294383837
Hi just read the post and would like to offer my opinion too.  I know about crack first hand since I have used it... been clean from it for almost 2 years now.

Okay... so he is 62, and you are 49.  I think that's a pretty big age gap if he's a crack addict.  If he was healthy, successful, working, etc.  Then that might be a marriage worth keeping.  But let's face it, if he keeps smoking crack he's gonna get crack lung (emphysema), and a crack brain(multiple mini-strokes particularly in areas of higher thinking), in fact he probably already has those problems now.  He could have a stroke or heart attack at any of his crack uses.  If he's been using for that many years on and off, it doesn't matter there is some serious serious damage done to his entire body. There are probably parts of the brain already that have sustained loss of blood flow.  Honestly... age 62, no money, lost job, smokes crack... He's on the verge of the end of life.  His brain is completely ruined beyond repair.  With countless relapses and binges, the best predictor of his future behavior is his past behavior.  

Cocaine contains special blood clotting capillary constricting capabilities quite capable of causing multiple mini-strokes... and it's no joke.

When I smoked crack, my brain was completely fried for 2 or 3 days after.  Even after 2-3 months of not using I could still really notice the effects on my brain.  After my last use, and I had only used about 20 times in my entire life, my pleasure centers in my brain were completely ruined for a whole year after using it!   Music, food, sex... nothing brought me pleasure.  Only after I started exercising, taking the right supplements was my mind able to recover... and my higher order thinking still doesn't work!  I don't know maybe i just became depressed.   But seriously, i have only went on 20 binges and my brain is like half ruined!  Brain scans of crack addicts have proven sustained loss of blood flow throughout the entire mind!  I can go on and on about how it damages the mind and body because I've read so much on it.

So in short I would just like to say, do yourself a favor, your daughter a favor, and get out of the marriage.  Sorry, I know there's that certain feeling of attachment you may have developed, but there's no reason to hold onto this marriage, I see absolutely no reason why you should continue to share his problems.  Marriage is supposed to be mutual where both people benefit from it, not parasite where he get's to benefit from you and all he shares is his problems.
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Avatar_f_tn
Wow you guys, can you believe you have answered a lot of questions that I haven't even asked yet?    I was just wondering about the mini stroke thing, I never heard of crack brain,but I was actually wondering if he had had a mini stroke two days ago because of some things that were happening all on one side of his body.    As for the frontal lobe damage info, that was also new.  I think in his case its probably worse because he survived a gunshot wound to the frontal lobe some forty years ago.   I had already researched the effect of frontal lobe injuries, so the damage caused by crack added to that is probably catastrophic.  
Logically, I know what I have to do.  Practically, I have started the ball rolling, but, unfortunately the job situation here is pretty dismal.  I only work part time, so the majority of our income is his retirement.    I will however start saving any way I can so that I can be prepared to follow through when I confront him.   Emotionally, well, I still need to work on that.   I don't understand why it's hard to let go. You are all helping me tremedously.   Keep us in your thoughts and prayers.
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948349_tn?1294383837
really, I just made up the term 'crack brain' myself.  I made up that term because there is actual physical damage done to the brain that can be seen in brain scans, and it's all related to the crack use.  

Some people have multiple strokes from crack.

Can he raise both his arms, smile, and talk?  If he can't do one of those things then he probably had a stroke.  
I
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Avatar_f_tn
He was takling like he could only move one side of his mouth and limping badly on the same side.   These symptoms just mysteriously disappeared after about a day.
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Avatar_f_tn
Did you get some sort of counseling?  I know many times codependents end up in new relationships with the same type of people.  Case in point, I divorced an alcoholic about 7 years ago and was happily single for 5 years.  I thought I was healthy, and ready for a good relationship, yet this one is little better than the last.
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Avatar_f_tn
Still the same old thing....
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Avatar_f_tn
Wow.... This sounds like my life. Married my highschool sweet heart at 17.Had two kids together. Found out he was doing crack when my second child was 3. Fast forward a bunch a years, a ton of money and many three - four day crack binges later. Four rehab attempts, Only to have him be clean for three years, relapse and leave me for the local crack dealer. Now I am 46 and finally learning to live like I was supposed to without the craziness.
   Cracks hold is a hard thing to break. I see a ghost of the man that I married. I'd love to tell you to run as far away from him as you can. But, only you kniw what's right for you. I just know that I stayed way too long. Don't be me. Good Luck!!!
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Avatar_f_tn
Why is it so hard to leave when the writing is on the wall. im being accused of things that are not possibly my fault.  In fact, they are the direct result of HIS actions!  He is spoiling for a fight, but I refuse to engage.   His payday is coming soon, I dread this time of the month, the craziness starts earlier and earlier.  
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406584_tn?1333917818
Hello Seeker.. I'm very sorry to read you find yourself in a relationship where you come second to drugs. I hope you do not take this wrong but I will be blunt. There is usually a reason we put up with the disrespect the lies abuse. usually we stay with abusive partners for there is a pay off for us. I know for I have been in 2 relationships 1 a crank addict and the other heroin. I put up with a lot of abuse I also used as much in each.. what it took for me to break away was a instinct for survival. I hope you use this time that you are indecisive to work on why you are staying.. I understand love but it does not tie us and our children to the craziness of a speed addict..  I also hope you protect your assets. your health. From my experience speed addicts are pron to promiscuity. speed it gives heightened senses.. You should be regularly checked.. speed addicts are good at their stories.. the bottom line he sounds like he goes all out when he is using and is experiencing paranoia along with brain damage much less nerve damage along with his major organs.. I would suggest if possible to rely on family if need be and get out while you are still safe and your daughter will not carry the influence.. He will not get clean till he hits bottom but with his family willing to tolerate his behavior this make is very difficult.. My heart goes out to you it really does for I have been where you are.. You are a Good women that has gotten lost along the way. Please look inside and think about your reality right now.. warmly lesa
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Avatar_f_tn
To all of u that replied, I just want you to know that I left him 6 months ago.  It was the best thing I've ever done.    
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Avatar_f_tn
Oh honey so sorry. I had a serious relationship with a dentist an dboy did he ever hide it well. He lost his license but, the good news he has been sober for 8 years and found his true passion. He works in oil and gas but, he is an amazing artist and did murals in Augusta @ the big Golf extravaganza. He and I are close friends to this day but, you do not have to live in misery. There are sucess stories but the majority fail. You can <3 the man you once knew but don't ever sell yourself short. Move on and be happy for him if he gets into recovery. Big HUGS and nevre give up on your dreams. After all we are the only ones who can make ourselves happy!!
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406584_tn?1333917818
Hi Seeker. I hope in these last 6 months you are healthier and your stress is way down. I know it must have been very difficult but I'm Happy for you That you put You and your Daughter first.. Good for you !! I wish you a wonderfully happy life.. lesa
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