I Am Married to An Addict

I have been married for 22 years to a man I have known since I was 17 years old.  He had drinking problem for the first 10 years of our marriage, then hit bottom, cleaned himself up and we had 10 wonderful years with our two children.  Recently I found out from one of his siblings (he comes from a family of high-functioning alcoholics) that my husband, love of my life, has been smoking meth on and off for the past 2 years.  They confronted him and he lied his *** off for as long as he could (until confronted by his ex-sister-in-law/former dealer). 

I was shocked beyond belief and am totally broken.  He confessed all to me and was down on his knees crying, so I knew he had hit bottom.  UA tests since then show he's clean.  He is going to Narcotics Anonymous meetings twice a week and we are going back to church together on Sundays.  I am in counseling for my "co-dependency" issues...I just don't know if I will ever heal.  The real kicker on this, and the thing that makes it so highly ironic, is that I work in law enforcement--specifically, I come in after the cops break down the door on search warrants for drugs and I dig through all their crap, seize their drugs and paraphernalia and book it into evidence.  I have read their journals, seen their kids taken away and looked in their eyes as they are carted off to jail.  I've testified against them in court--yet there was a meth addict in my own home and I didn't even know it.  Oh, some things were starting to appear "strange" to me--his new "friend" in the neighborhood (dealer since the ex-sister-in-law went out of business after I got her busted by the cops--more irony, I was working to get her busted and my own husband was smoking it with her--she gave him it to him oftentimes for free to buy his silence).  Anyway, there were the hours and hours he spent in our garage tinkering with the same thing, the facial tics (I was worried he was getting Parkinsons or something) the weight loss and gray palor to his face....oh, but it couldn't be, right???  I didn't even give it a second thought.  He holds a great job in management and is a responsible father, I thought, it can't be.  He even traded a car we were going to trade in on a new one for dope!  He told me it wouldn't be worth anything on a trade-in, so he gave it to a "needy" friend, you know, the dealer?  I was in such  D E N I A L!

So, he's clean now and has confronted his two alcholic brothers and one the their wives about their alcoholism--haven't heard from them since.  My mother and father-in-law have faced it head on and admitted to me that they were alcoholics the whole while they raised the boys.  My mother-in-law had gotten drunk when she was 8 months pregnant w/my husband.  SO, did he really stand a chance?  The alcohol was a huge issue for us--he cheated on me when he was drunk when I was pregant with our now 19 year old daughter and we worked through that and he quit the alcohol then--eventually just switching to a different substance.

I have been humbled to my knees.  I now have pity for the addicts I deal with on my job and leave a schedule of Narcotic Anonymous meetings with them during search warrants.

The layers of betrayal here are outrageous--he could have been busted and I would have likely been asked to resign my job (they frown on employees being married to felons).  He would have lost his job and his retirement and his wife and kids....he is so lucky none of this came to pass.  He admits he's thanked God for that not happening.

So, he is now doing everything right, considering the circumstances.  He goes to meetings, he comforts me when I cry, he listens as I vent my anger at him. Oh, the first 3 days after I found out I crawled into a bottle of booze, but by the 3rd day was feeling like I was forcing it down. Guess I couldn't be an addict if I wanted to.  If I go into the garage and if he's standing there, I'll have a panic attack--has happened twice.  So, I'm on anti-depressants and meds for the panic attacks when they happen (they make me very sleepy).  I want to save my marriage.  Everyone I trust in my life tells me my husband is a good man with a bad addiction.  The 10 clean years we had were wonderful and I thanked God for the blessing of this man I married and for our children.  I just wonder if we can ever get back there after this....

preciouslola preciouslola
41-45, F
2 Responses Jun 9, 2007

3 days ago, my husband called me at work crying, and told me he needs to go to rehab. He kept talking but I just kept saying, "For What? For What?" He said, "meth." I couldn't believe what I was hearing. We've been married for 19 years. He said he's been using for a few years, but I now know how long he's been using. It's been at least since 2003. How did I go that long being that naive? I never in a million years would have thought meth. Sure, I thought mental illness, for sure, but never would I have guessed meth. But now that I know he fit every single one of the symptoms. It makes me sick. Paranoia, gone for a day at a time without calling or answering his phone, lost his job, didnt pay his bills, didnt care, sexual violence, talking and laughing in his sleep, depression, withdrawal from family and friends, skin problems. But I never would have thought, "hmmm...I bet its meth. I better look up the symptoms of that." He's been pretty worthless. Yep, worthless. Can't finish a project. Didn't help me with anything. Missed a lot of our boys' lives. I don't know what I'm going to do at this point. It's all so new, and I'm so confused about my feelings. I was out of love with him before I knew because of all he put me through, and now he asks me to stand by his side and help him through this. I made an appt for counseling for tonight. I hope its something he can stick with, and that he means it. I told him last night, that last Wednesday was the last time he was going to use. He said, "Yes. That's what I figured when I finally admitted it to you." And I said, "No, I mean that IS the last time. Or I'm gone. No second chances." He got very defensive with me, saying he guessed he shouldn't have told me, but I said, "I just want to let you know up front what my expectations are. Next time you are lying in bed talking and laughing in your sleep, keeping me awake, I'm going to be packing your stuff." He wasn't too happy with my tone. But now that I know what I'm dealing with....now that I know it's not mental illness (it runs in his family but not diagnosed), I'm not willing to tolerate the effects of his use even one more time.

I sincerely hope that you do get back the good days of your marriage. Its great that you were able to help him before it was too late.