Where do I begin


#1

I don’t want this to become a huge rant but this is my first time posting and I just feel like there’s so much I have to get off my chest. My loved one is struggling, hard. But then sometimes I feel like he is addicted to the drama, addicted to the pain because it validates his own feelings about himself and it means he can be the victim of an awful disease that he has no control over. Now I know addiction is a disease, I mean who would choose to live as addicts do, but what I don’t get is the constant blame of other people, the lack of ownership over his actions and the repetitive nature of them.

Also I have felt for a long time that I am to blame or at least am making things worse and not better by supporting him and not letting him hit rock bottom. But to be honest rock bottom could be death for all I know as I don’t think anyone else would step in here and his other mental health issues (anxiety and depression) just make it so much harder to give the tough love that sometimes I think he needs.

To give this rant some purpose I’m going to make sure I ask questions.

Firstly, what do I say when I am blamed for his addiction? For example, I am constantly manipulated into driving him somewhere he shouldn’t be going, because he can’t drive and is likely to get himself in a fight or arrested if he goes alone, then once he’s had his fix he throws it back in my face - ‘you were the one that drove me to get the drugs in the first place!’

Secondly, I am often accused of ‘abandoning’ my husband, or putting anything and everything in front of him and his needs. For example, if he has been on a bender and I have work the next day I sleep in the other room so I can get some rest. But he says I am being selfish and I don’t care about him in his hour of need. On special occasions, be they birthdays, christmases or anniversaries, he commits to coming with me to see my family who live a couple of hours away, then will binge the night before and say that he is ‘too anxious’ to attend the following day. Not always but sometimes I will go anyway and leave him behind because quite frankly I’m pissed off and don’t feel I should miss seeing my family because of his drug use. Later I will be told by him that I should have stayed and part of me agrees but part of me struggles every time to make the decision and ends up being resentful for being given such a choice in the first place.

The drug use is getting worse, the lies are getting worse and to be honest my mental health is getting worse. I am trying so hard to be understanding, I put up with so much abuse and heart ache and see the same situation unfold again and again and it’s making me cynical. I consider myself a total optimist, always believing every time he says it that he really is done with drugs, he really is going to change, but now I am losing hope.

To my friends without experience of addiction the answer would be clear and they would tell me to leave and let him deal with the consequences of his actions. For that reason I can’t talk to people about this because they do not get it. And that makes it a lonely place to be.

Despite everything I love my husband so much and all I want is for him to be himself again and not the empty shell he seems to have become. I know he is in there somewhere but I’m scared the longer things go on the less chance there is of him ever coming back.

How do I know if I am the thing standing in the way of his recovery? What can I do to help him without losing myself completely? How do I know that the things he says are not true, that I am not abandoning him and being selfish?

He always says that I should read a book on addiction and recovery and doesn’t believe that I have because according to him I should know what to do if I have read about it and I should be able to stop him. I have explained the three Cs of al-anon and yet this isn’t good enough for him. In his eyes it is everyone’s fault but his own, and it is down to others to save him, not himself.

I just don’t know what to say or do anymore :pensive:


#2

Gosh I can relate to every detail of your post except that my loved one and I are not married. I feel your pain so deeply and I wish I had words or advice. But quite honestly I am struggling just the same and don’t know how to deal with it either. I know what I should do is leave but My heart says otherwise. But I’m thankful to have support from the Village. Know that you’re not alone. I look forward to reading other comments that may be posted here.


#3

I have found in my experience with the 2 personalities my guy portrays… (the sweet sober caring intelligent funny light-hearted and honest to name a few and then the selfish, manipulative, deceitful, spiteful, score keeping, projecting, inconsiderate, disrespectful) is between him being clean and who he becomes with the significant side affects that drugs have on decision making abilities, etc. So when he’s lashing out and blaming me or using my past transgressions against me as a tactic to get the spot light off himself… it takes everything in me to remember who his real self is and who he is on a soul level, not surface level. I hope this makes sense and it definitely doesn’t make the betrayal and the pain that sticks with us as a result of their mistreatment any less hurtful but it helps me to remember that it’s not the real him doing this. More like a mask he puts on to protect himself from the unbearable amount of guilt and shame he’s brought on himself. Almost like survival mode.

No matter what I do, it is never enough in the eyes of my guy when he’s in active addiction or it’s somehow with ill intent. When he’s clean, he will explain to me that he truly doesn’t see me the way he expresses when he’s under the influence. It’s more like he’s talking to himself when he’s spewing his hatefulness to me, in those moments. Also, I’m the enemy bc I put his security blanket in jeapordy. The fear of the unknown is too much for his fragile state to process.

I definitely empathize where you are because not long ago, I was the one doing everything I knew to keep us afloat in all aspects. I’ve slowly started to accept a perspective of letting it go and only putting my energy into the most important aspects of this circumstance (his safety, my sanity, the quality of our day to day life). I hated putting my foot down because I felt more hurt and fearful of the ramifications of my choice to stick to my guns than I assumed he did in those moments. My own fear of losing my relationship and being alone was too great versus having peace of mind and calmness. But, I’ve learned through experience to stick to my limits and boundaries, even though I’m just getting the hang of it… he may “knuck and buck” and get pissed off and try to be vengeful/spiteful but eventually once he calms down, he comes around. I just have to be brave and sure enough with myself and my decisions to give him the time and space he may need in those moments. Without fearing if I just let him/it be, he’ll walk away for good.

My thoughts go out to you and please reach out if you want to vent, etc. ANYTIME!


#4

This can be tough, but try to increase your awareness around the situations where you feel manipulated. You will only be manipulated if you allow yourself to be. Notice your thoughts when he’s asking you for a ride. Are you thinking “If I don’t do this, something bad may happen to him”, then remember that if he chooses to go and seek drugs, he is risking a negative consequence and that’s on HIM, not you. Don’t take ownership of a negative consequence that he is choosing.

I’ve been accused of abandoning my partner too. This usually happens when I make a decision to put my health, safety or peace of mind first. Remember that you have a right to take care of yourself. When you feel like it’s the right thing to do and he gives you push back, you can simply communicate your feelings, like “I hear that you feel abandoned right now. I love you and I support you, and right now I need _______. When I take care of myself, I’m a better supportive partner to you. Thank you for understanding that I need to take care of myself”

Get help for yourself. List all the things you want him to do like go to therapy, get a recovery coach, participate in a supportive community, take care of his mental health, etc. Then do those things for yourself. It will NEVER be a waste of time to invest in your own physical and mental health. The more you learn about yourself and how to manage your own negative thoughts, the better partner you’ll become. THEN, you’ll be able to help him so much more.

I’m right there with ya…I just had this epiphany today though: I chose to be with someone who struggles with addiction, and then I get upset when he STRUGGLES with it. I am choosing to stay with him through the struggle, so I have to keep working on myself in order to support myself and him better through the struggle.


#5

Boundaries, in my opinion, are the biggest thing and a great place to begin. I recently went through an extremely rough patch in my relationship where my partner was causing me real harm and wasn’t able to really see anything around her except the need for escapism. It took a huge toll on me and it hurt a lot, and it sounds like you’re experiencing a lot of pain and confusion currently in your relationship as well, and I’m sorry you’re feeling that. The reason I share my experience is that the #1 thing that I eventually did to hurt less and take care of myself was to set boundaries.

I thought about what I needed to happen in a different way, what I contributed to or was involved in that I just couldn’t do anymore, I thought about the circumstances in which I would need to take time to myself and no longer engage with my partner. And so I went to my partner and I said, I cannot do these things anymore, they aren’t working for me, and I asserted that to be a better partner I would have to take more time and space to be alone with myself.

It’s made a world of difference, but that doesn’t mean that it wasn’t super hard OR that it is always taken respectfully by my partner, but when she responds to my boundary emotionally, I am able to remind her and myself that I am taking care of both of us better by taking care of myself.

And her resistance to that in a moment is something that I’m learning to live with, and is in some ways lessening as she gets used to my boundaries. It’s important to recognize that we can maintain boundaries even if someone reacts negatively to them, while also compassionately understanding that when a dynamic changes, it can be confusing and an adjustment. Hope this helps.


#6

Wow the last paragraph of your comment was really an eye-opener for me. Very good point.