Jump to content

Newly Wed to an Addict


Recommended Posts

My husband and I got married last December and our one year anniversary is coming up.


He is an addict but when he proposed and during our year of wedding planning I was under the impression he had been in recovery.

After our wedding he started having very obvious relapses that he was not able to hide and has been relapsing this entire first year of our marriage. I recently found out he had been relapsing far before that including the day after he proposed to me. It has really hurt to be lied to so much.

I married him understanding his situation and that we would inevitably run into bumps along the way regarding his sobriety. But I feel completely betrayed about being lied to for so long.

It has gotten to the point where I currently hold zero trust for him. Our emotional and physical intimacy is zero as well. It's hard sometimes to even have a conversation.

We started seeing a counselor last week and will have our second session tomorrow, but I feel so defeated at this point regarding the idea of repair.

What is the likelihood of being able to repair something like this?

Link to comment

Unfortunately you can not separate addiction from lying. They always go hand -in-hand. Addiction is all about lying. Perhaps you can attend AlAnon or NarAnon to better understand your role as the friend/relative of an addict.


An addict's primary relationship is always with substances. Other people are tools to enable the use of those. Did you secretly hope all would be well with "just a few bumps" and marriage would fix everything?


You can not repair this. It's his choice whether to continue being an addict. You can only repair yourself and your illusions and from that make a decision about your life.

I recently found out he had been relapsing far before that including the day after he proposed to me. I feel completely betrayed about being lied to for so long. Our emotional and physical intimacy is zero as well. It's hard sometimes to even have a conversation.

We started seeing a counselor last week

Link to comment

With some substances and depending on the history of the addiction, it may take up to 4 years to achieve something like an acceptable level of cognitive clarity - there is a haze or cognitive habits that can lift up slowly with the help of therapy or support. With some addicts, addiction was a lifelong story so there is a kind of arrested development. It depends on the person and the circumstances really. For instance, heroin and cocaine addicts may have to get used to the idea of "boring sex" because even if it is hard to perform with some substances, sensations because of the substance are very different in their minds. This is probably not a super significant problem experienced by painkiller addicts who got addicted to prescribed medication after an injury etc etc. With some addicts, things get so worse after quitting (personality disorders etc are revealed differently) that partners embarrassedly miss the days when they were using. Is it possible for you to provide more details?

Link to comment

Sorry to hear all this. Sadly "I'm in recovery" is usually just another lie to get people off their backs and perpetuate the deception and denial that often both people "want to believe".


In addition to therapy get to a support group for relatives of addicts so that you are enlightened to what the road ahead is. Tough love? A funeral? Bankruptcy? Because it won't be a picket fence, 2 happy bouncing babies and Disney.


More lies, more things not adding up, more unaccounted for time, more money missing, ER visits, finding him on the floor, lost jobs, crashed cars, DUI arrests, jail time, lawyer fees, putting your house up for bail...it won't "be a few bumps" no matter how much he reassures you (which of course are just more lies).

He did give me the impression that recovery was going very well which I now know was not.
Link to comment

Zeino, he had an injury at a young age and was prescribed OxyContin. He got addicted tony abused and moved on to other pain pills and eventually heroin.


His current relapses have been with benzos. Not as horrible as the alternative preferred drug. But still painful to see someone abuse and painful to be lied to about.

Link to comment

Thank you for all the information you provided. I'm sorry that your husband became an addict after an accident, it is a very common and very sad story. However, unfortunately, he has tried many other things that has increased his risk taking behaviour.


Whether this is repairable or not does not depend on your actions or goodwill at the moment unfortunately. It would be more repairable from your side if he quit and managed to put some significant time under his belt emotionally (even though the relapse risk would still be an issue.) With this story, however, it may take some time to come to that point because addiction may severely interfere.


Theoretically, this can be repaired because the "disease" perspective of addiction allows partners to actually forgive things more easily than they would with other people. However, used wrongly and without proper boundaries, this can all too easily become a codependent thing that results in the ruin of the non-addicted partner.


Please never forget this: Your health is in severe risk when you are associating with an addict. These guys have different survival skills, basically if you had lead your husband's life, with your present skills, the game would be over for you in ten days. There is something in addicts that makes it possible for them to carry on despite very scary things. They are actually super resilient in some very different senses. You probably don't have this. Recovery rooms are full of stories where the addicted partner somehow gets better, even becomes pretty functional whereas the non-addict loses everything such as health, assets, you name it. Never for a minute assume that you are the stronger one here who has the luxury of not prioritizing her own well-being first. If you don't do this, your stress levels may lead you to develop say fybromyalgia - very common in partners I think- and you start having aches, too but then your partner can steal your pills and apologize. It becomes a crazy world.


At the moment, the healthiest thing you can do is to suspend the idea of "repair." Because what happened happened without your knowledge, if your husband starts speaking honestly, you will first encounter a completely different world, mindset, incredible stuff (and probably certain cognitive impairments) kept hidden from you. And your understanding may change quite a bit. You are probably in shock right now, and that shock can also get bigger. And if you choose to do the "right" things from a marital perspective right now, you may find yourself trapped in something because of intentions defined too early.


The best you can do for yourself is to keep yourself contained in your boundaries and Al-Anon or SMART recovery can help with that. This is about your survival (repairing stuff only comes after this.) Give yourself time to arrive in other decisions later.


Couples therapy can surely help with a lot of things, patterns of lies etc. But I would like to share something from the addiction perspective. Terminal exceptinalism. Addicts don't always approach lying and honesty etc the way you probably do. They have this understanding that they are honest people with high moral standards (and they really are) in things other than addiction. But they have this ingrained exceptionalism when it comes to addiction which deep down they feel doesn't clash with their normal values. This is called terminal exceptionalism because it actually kills. It takes a very long time and a detailed recovery programme to break these mental habits and also building new values to change these things. I am not sure that this can be done with marital counselling only. (Lying about stuff has its own excitement and its "high" sometimes for some addicts. The normal foundations of not being judgmental and thus expecting honesty may not always work depending on the addict.)


I also would like to comment on the hierarchy you have in your mind about heroin being worse than benzos. That also depends on the addict and your understanding of what is good and what is bad. Heroin rightfully has this reputation and IV death rates are very high. But here is something. IV users for instance are often careful with their dosage (meticulously so) and after a while they start the nodding thing and cannot do super crazy things - basically because they can hardly move. Benzo users, on the other hand, get this feeling of not caring (another kind of invulnerability) , getting involved in high-risk behaviour such as speeding and mixing stuff. More trouble occurs with the latter - many people who use both would agree with this. And some feel that their brain has been more damaged (gaba receptors) because of benzos. Withdrawals are a known story.


So, I would drop all assumptions about his addiction and find a support group for myself which helps tremendously with the feeling of "what now." Spouses who have experienced the same things help tremendously in many ways.

Link to comment
Zeino, he had an injury at a young age and was prescribed OxyContin. He got addicted tony abused and moved on to other pain pills and eventually heroin.


His current relapses have been with benzos. Not as horrible as the alternative preferred drug. But still painful to see someone abuse and painful to be lied to about.

If you're going to stay in this marriage then you would be a very smart cookie to keep your finances separate and do not for the life of you put your name on any loan, credit card or credit line with his. If he hasn't already put himself in heavy debt keeping himself in his addition then he soon will.


Had he ever been to in house rehab?

Link to comment

Sorry to read about your struggles. My good friend is married to an alcoholic. He walked down the marital aisle this way, cleverly hiding it from her. It has sucked the life out of her. The lies, the financial and emotional impact all this has caused... Her health is marginal, she suffers from chronic pain of unknown origin. It think it is the stress all this has caused over many years. All I can say is protect yourself. Only you can do this. Good luck.

Link to comment
Thatwasthen, I do keep all our finances separate. It feels bad to have to do this with the person you are married to. Be he also understands why and is ok with it.


He has been to many, many in house rehabs.


I know you don't want to hear this but someone who has been in many, many in house rehabs and is still using isn't getting it and likely never will. You remaining with him is allowing him to continue the habit with comfort.


If you love yourself, and him actually, you'll stop enabling him and you'll leave him so that he has a possibility of hitting his rock bottom. (he may never quit even then) but as concise as his response was, Lester tells you the truth in post No. 13. "The bedrock of successful addiction treatment is the fear of loss." He doesn't fear losing you because he keeps doing the same thing and he doesn't lose you.


Sorry you are in this.

Link to comment

I found myself falling into emotional infidelity via emails with someone I had been confiding in about this situation. I feel awful and depressed and now I'm the untrustworthy one in this situation.

I pulled away from the situation, but can't get it out of my mind and just realizing how badly his addiction and my codependency has damaged our relationship. I still want to believe there is hope to fix this.

Link to comment

We started seeing a couples counselor two weeks ago with a counselor who specializes in addiction. And since he has attended an NA meeting.


I'll be honest, I'm not sure what else he is supposed to be doing to be considered in actual recovery.

Link to comment

Rather than "relapsing", someone in recovery contacts their sponsor when they feel the urge to use. If he continues to use, he's not actively working his recovery.


Did I read it right, he's attended ONE meeting in the past year? I do realize you have to start somewhere, but did he just recently go to that one meeting? Or was that a while ago?

Link to comment

He attended one months ago. The first time in three years. And with our counselors urging just attended another a few nights ago.


I flushed his pills a couple weeks ago and since then I don't believe he has been using anything. But it's impossible to know this for certain.


Just the fact that he's not stressed makes me question what he could be using.

Instead of just being happy he's possibly figured out a healthier way to deal with stress, I've become dysfunctional in all of this and can't even accept the good moments.

Link to comment

Is he actively pursuing recovery? Or does he have to be "urged"?


I dated an addict years ago. He talked about wanting to be sober and even badgered an inpatient treatment facility until they put him at the front of their wait list. When a spot opened up, he moved in. He lasted 9 days before walking out. He claimed he had all the "tools" he needed to stay sober even though he only stayed for 9 of the scheduled 60 days of treatment.


Yep, a week later he disappeared for 3 days. When he came back he was wearing the same clothes he'd been wearing 3 days earlier. He was filthy and scattered. He then proceeded to go through one job after another, going on a bender every time he received a paycheck. He eventually went to prison for grand theft because he'd resorted to stealing to support his habit. Fortunately we'd broken up long before he went to prison. Unfortunately he'd married another addict and had two children whom he now has no contact with.


A young man I used to work with had just been released from a 3 year prison stay. He'd committed an armed robbery of a pharmacy because his supply of pain pills (Oxy) had been cut off and he was desperate to get more.


Yes, these are horror stories. But, unfortunately you'll have to live with wondering where he is if any time is unaccounted for. You'll have to watch the bank account, and you'll have to watch to see if any of your jewelry or electronics go missing (pawned for drugs). And, of course, you'd have to put off having children because you need to know for sure that he's sober if he is ever put in charge of watching the kids. It would be horrible for him to be pulled over and arrested for having drugs or DWI with the kids in the car.

Link to comment
This is a mess. I'd suggest you get an annulment, if possible, or divorce. If he spends some time in ACTUAL recovery, maybe you can try again down the road. Sticking around now isn't doing either one of you any good.


I second this post. I highly doubt this will ever be fully resolved and lead to a happy fulfilling relationship. I would move on. You're young with your whole life ahead of you and your best years are now being spent in something toxic/dysfunctional. It's up to him to sort himself out, and will only do this when HE wants to, or feels ready to. This can take years and years, if at all. Maybe time to re-think things very carefully.

Link to comment

Many many enablers do this, they pour alcohol out etc. Now he'll just hide his stash elsewhere. With each of these maneuvers you will make him smarter on how to hide this from you.


You will never be ahead of this cat-and-mouse game because his brain operates to get his fix and he's more well versed in that than you will ever be.

I flushed his pills a couple weeks ago and since then I don't believe he has been using anything.
Link to comment


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...