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Treatment Supporting a spouse

Dunno22

Greenlighter
Joined
Mar 20, 2017
Messages
19
Hey everybody. I'm just hoping to gain some insight into how to be more helpful and supportive for my husband in his recovery process (opioids/heroin). It's not going very well and I just really don't understand what goes on in his head. It's kind of foreign territory for me because I've never been addicted and have never used drugs (aside from weed for a few months as a teenager). So if anyone is interested in sharing, what is the best thing your husband/wife/girlfriend/boyfriend has done to help or support you? Or likewise what do you wish they would have done differently?
 

Nomasfent

Bluelighter
Joined
Mar 17, 2017
Messages
128
be patient your boyfriend is going through a very painful process...and don't expect anything from him.... be like very easy going ...I know my husband must be kind of frustrated with me, but he is being pretty understanding ....also in my case its dragging on and on and on ...be happy for the times he feels kinda good and just accept there are going to be days he will not even want to get out of bed ....I am weaning from fentanyl which I am guessing would be simler to H...I am doing my through my doctor, thanks in some part to the new stupid FDA rules ...I am hating the FDA right now with a passion right now ...your boyfriend may have some anger at what ever just let him vent ...
 

Cdkman

Bluelighter
Joined
Feb 9, 2016
Messages
302
Location
Imperial Empire
What I used to tell my girl friend is..to be an addict and not do opiates when u have the money and the dealer is like being as horny as u have ever been and not being able to touch yourself..lol..then we'd have sex and I'd go get my opiates %)
 

simco

Bluelight Crew
Joined
Aug 20, 2014
Messages
2,247
Location
with the dead crow god
Hi, Dunno. I'm sorry to hear that you and your husband are having to go through this. But my hats of to you for educating yourself. That's an important step, one which too many folks skip.

(I'm typing on my phone, so this will be briefer than I'd like. )

Nomasfent is right on target: patience is going to get both of you a long way here. To the extent that you and your husband can be allies in this, take that and run with it. It may help if you can remind yourself that your husband is probably very unhappy with himself and disappointed with / afraid of letting you down. You're likely to be angry with him during this process, and that's fine, of course. He's surely angry at himself too, which can often explain addicted folks' dishonesty, etc.

But another crucial aspect of this is to be kind to yourself. You'll be the best help to him if you are compassionate but also frank (at least to yourself) about your own needs. As he cleans up, he'll need your love and compassion. But that doesn't mean you need to stretch yourself too thin emotionally speaking.

My wife and I are going through a similar process--I'm a recovering heroin addict, and my wife is not addicted. It's been hard on both of us. But so far we're getting through it. Lots of love and lots oh honesty.

Please let us know if more info would help!
 

Dunno22

Greenlighter
Joined
Mar 20, 2017
Messages
19
Nomasfent- did I mention I'm not patient? This has been my biggest struggle by far. Even though I know logically that it won't happen overnight I definitely feel this sense of urgency. Having young kids makes this a lot harder because I want him to be around for them, but they also inspire me to encourage and love my hubby through the hard times. I want them to grow up knowing that it's ok to be kind and show love to addicted people rather than shunning them. The world would be a hell of a lot better off if more people grew up knowing that an addicted person is not inherently "bad".

Cdkman- now that makes more sense to me than any explanation I've ever heard haha

Simco- thank you thank you thank you! I have made things harder on him in the past by not educating myself. Rather, I tried to educate myself but every book I read and meeting I tried had the "protect yourself from the bad addict" message ingrained and nothing seemed to help. It was like being understanding of anything other than complete abstinence and I was "enabling" which didn't make much sense when severe depression is involved and heroin was sometimes the thing keeping him from commiting suicide. I find it interesting that in a fairly brief post and knowing very little of my situation that you happened to mention dishonesty. The lies/hiding are by far the most painful, hurtful part for me. It makes me angry and so sad that he can look me straight in the eye and lie to me. But I'm working on it! I'm trying to live by the philosophy that if I'm kind and loving, even though he's not necessarily treating me very well, the two possible outcomes are that a) my love helps him through it, or b) it doesn't help him but I come out of this a hell of a lot stronger than I was before
 

Dunno22

Greenlighter
Joined
Mar 20, 2017
Messages
19
Hubby is withdrawing now, not a good night here. Talk about feeling totally helpless.
 

MrRoot

Bluelight Crew
Joined
Apr 15, 2011
Messages
2,122
Location
Finland
My ex-wife didn't do anything for my opioid addiction. She just pretended that everything is ok and tried to not see the huge pink elephant in the room as well wanted to others know we had perfect life.

Well I was a functional addict and got my drugs from doctors and it didn't cost at all to us in terms of money and I was able to work as well as get military pension and benefits because getting wounded in Afghanistan by roadside bomb when doing my peace keeping work.

Finally I found out by loaning her phone to use it to order a hobby stuff I needed as my phones battery died and found out that she has been messaging with literally hundreds of guys and I stopped counted with how many she has met and had sex after I managed to find 25 messages from different guys involving discussion about their late meeting had been and how the sex had been.

Sorry to rant as that was even started when I wasn't on drugs so actually isn't related by all parts to my drug addiction but I just want to tell that that some drug addicts can be decent parents.

Now she dates with a guy she has known and gone out as a teenager even before meeting me and I guess they even might have had relationship all those ten tears she was with me.

Of course that what she actually did lead me to consider my drug use after it of course went worse at first as I blamed my drug use and what I have become because of that as the reason why she kept doing that.

Funny thing is that she was very jealous of me being around other women while still breaking at the same time whatever she claimed to be s filosophy of life regarding to being together with someone.

F**king gold digger. I even got multitudes of my own money now compared to when we used to live together although I had to pay mortgage by my own as well has give child support payments as I am just a weekend father. I trusted her enough to let her handle our bills etc. For all those years and she managed to fucking get a 50% downpayment for her current apartment by slipping to her pocket money which was meant for our mutual expenses.

It has taken a lot of selfcontrol to not sue her over that but I don't want my daughter's mother to end up in to jail and them to lose their current apartment.

What I am pissed about most is that my daughter has to spend time during weekdays with that piece of shit male that was having an affair with my wife. He doesn't even play with my daughter at evenings as he is so tired of his fucking druck triving that he just watches tv and goes to sleep after drinking a pack of beer. If I would be violent person I would beat the crap out of him but I am contempt by the fact that some day it will dawn to him my he is being used the same way as I was used and that my ex-wife haven't stopped seeing others and I won't do him a favor and tell that he wasn't the only one she was cheating me with.

Even I was a better guy in my worse addiction phase as I always found time to be with my daughter. I even raised my daughter when my ex-wife wanted to get back to work asap and continued to raise until she was old enough to get into family day-care center (not a kindergarten but instead a small group of children taken care by always the same certified kindergarten nurse which imo is a better option than being in a huge group that reminds more a facility than home).

While still abusing drugs and raising my daughter I managed to do it so that I only took a minor dose daily to keep withdrawals a bay and being able to function with my daughter and took a recreational dose after my daughter was went to a sleep.

IDK even if she really is my biological daughter as we wen't through many infertility treatments and suddenly she just become pregnant and I have just some time until my daughter turns five years old to seek out it through court but I am 99.999% sure I won't ask court to check my paternity as for me she would in any case be my daughter as I have cared and raised her and continue to do so on weekends (and this is because she wants the fucking child support payment and knows that a dad who goes to opiate replacement therapy and also is a veteran wouldn't be quite successfull to get 50/50 or single parenting deal out of court)

My daughter born through caesarean section so I was with her those first hours of her life keeping her against my body and that was when I decided to not cause harm through my drug use for her and changed my usage habits although of course an addict cannot be as good parent as sober one could.

Sorry Dunno22 that I ended up talking about my own problems but I felt I finally had to share my thoughts as I very recently engaged a really awesome girl and also wanted to give an example that relationships may be shit and harmful without drugs involved and if you feel like doing something - Do something. Either work things out or move on without drama.
 

simco

Bluelight Crew
Joined
Aug 20, 2014
Messages
2,247
Location
with the dead crow god
Dunno... I'm really impressed by how clearly and compassionately you're thinking about and experiencing all this. Your husband's a lucky guy (tho I'm also sorry to hear he's deep into WDs).

I wanted to to edit a bit of what I said, in light of a good point you made...the traditional al-anon mantra of protecting yourself from a virulently ill spouse is mostly a one-size-fits-all answer to a highly individual set of problems. There's some truth to what they sell, but there's no substitute for following your instincts, along with a healthy dose of skepticism and observation of details on the ground. I just wanted to make sure that I separated my urging that you protect yourself from the often-adversarial dynamic that's commonly offered to folks in your position. Mainly, I just want you to take care of yourself. If nothing else, you can't support your husband if you're under water.

yes, the lying. That has certainly been the toughest thing on my own marriage. It's also the thing that ultimately got me to ask for help (well, that and a few other issues). My hunch is that your husband is mourning his ability to be honest with you. Without knowing him, I obviously can't say for sure. Nobody wants to be caught in a network of lies, especially to people they love.

This brings up one other facet worth mentioning. One thing you might think about...I think a great way to help your husband might be to remind him periodically that an honest relationship isn't off the table--I.e. That you and your relationship aren't lost to him. It could be a very helpful motivator as he sets about the hard work of early recovery, knowing that a reward may be regaining his authentic relationship with you. One thing that makes recovery so hard is that the rewards are so abstract and intangible. It makes things easier if a person in recovery can keep in mind some concrete rewards that will fall into place as their life stabilizes.

Of of course the tough part of all this is that in recovery, making promises is risky. Unfortunately we never know how situations will play out. So, unfortunately, you'll need to strike a balance between letting him know that he hasn't burned bridges and asserting that stringing you along in the short term is not ok. This is the kind of stuff that makes all this very difficult to pull off in practice
 

Msk00

Greenlighter
Joined
Mar 26, 2017
Messages
18
Location
NJ
I'm an addict and my husband of 16years isn't and never has been. He has been beyond patient and has no more tolerance for my bullshit. Every relapse he takes as a personal dig, like something I'm doing purposely to hurt him which of course is never the case. I think it's important for you to know that it's probably the greatest fight of his life to get and stay clean. Every part of his body and mind is screaming for dope. The only thing that can be done is to ride it out. I'm sure your fed up by now. We all lie and do terrible things when we are in the grips of active addiction. I think the hardest part for the spouse of an addict is the helplessness. Good luck to you and your husband. I hope he can beat this and you guys can mend your marriage.
 

Msk00

Greenlighter
Joined
Mar 26, 2017
Messages
18
Location
NJ
Dunno... I'm really impressed by how clearly and compassionately you're thinking about and experiencing all this. Your husband's a lucky guy (tho I'm also sorry to hear he's deep into WDs).

I wanted to to edit a bit of what I said, in light of a good point you made...the traditional al-anon mantra of protecting yourself from a virulently ill spouse is mostly a one-size-fits-all answer to a highly individual set of problems. There's some truth to what they sell, but there's no substitute for following your instincts, along with a healthy dose of skepticism and observation of details on the ground. I just wanted to make sure that I separated my urging that you protect yourself from the often-adversarial dynamic that's commonly offered to folks in your position. Mainly, I just want you to take care of yourself. If nothing else, you can't support your husband if you're under water.

yes, the lying. That has certainly been the toughest thing on my own marriage. It's also the thing that ultimately got me to ask for help (well, that and a few other issues). My hunch is that your husband is mourning his ability to be honest with you. Without knowing him, I obviously can't say for sure. Nobody wants to be caught in a network of lies, especially to people they love.

This brings up one other facet worth mentioning. One thing you might think about...I think a great way to help your husband might be to remind him periodically that an honest relationship isn't off the table--I.e. That you and your relationship aren't lost to him. It could be a very helpful motivator as he sets about the hard work of early recovery, knowing that a reward may be regaining his authentic relationship with you. One thing that makes recovery so hard is that the rewards are so abstract and intangible. It makes things easier if a person in recovery can keep in mind some concrete rewards that will fall into place as their life stabilizes.

Of of course the tough part of all this is that in recovery, making promises is risky. Unfortunately we never know how situations will play out. So, unfortunately, you'll need to strike a balance between letting him know that he hasn't burned bridges and asserting that stringing you along in the short term is not ok. This is the kind of stuff that makes all this very difficult to pull off in practice

I so agree with the part about lying and dishonesty. I hate myself for every lie I told to cover up where our money went, why I need more and why I'm not feeling good. I really hope after I adjust to not using anymore I can rebuild trust again. In the past it has almost been like a vicious cycle of feeling bad about the state of my life and marriage and self medicating with more dope, helping me feel better for the moment but digging the hole deeper.
 

simco

Bluelight Crew
Joined
Aug 20, 2014
Messages
2,247
Location
with the dead crow god
Damn, MSK00...it's like you're telling my story!

I'm so sorry to hear you're stuck in that spot. The trust can usually be mended. All we can do is keep trying our best. It gets exhausting (for everyone involved). But it gets better, too.

<3
Sim
 

Dunno22

Greenlighter
Joined
Mar 20, 2017
Messages
19
Msk00- that seems like exactly what goes on here too. I get frustrated with my husband for lying and then he goes off and uses because he's upset by the struggles in our marriage.

And simco- I really appreciate that, but I'm the first to admit that it took me a long time (and some therapy) to get to the place of peace that I am in now. I was very angry and I was mean. I did much more harm than good over the last year since I found out about the addiction. Like msk said, for a spouse the relapse really does feel like a personal betrayal. Like "if he really loved me he wouldn't do this". But after a year of watching him struggle through withdrawals, make some good progress, and then relapse over and over, I've learned so much and as crazy as it sounds, my love for him has grown through all of this, even though it hurts like hell most of the time. A good friend recently told me to take it one day at a time. Onward and upward, hey?
 

Msk00

Greenlighter
Joined
Mar 26, 2017
Messages
18
Location
NJ
Damn, MSK00...it's like you're telling my story!

I'm so sorry to hear you're stuck in that spot. The trust can usually be mended. All we can do is keep trying our best. It gets exhausting (for everyone involved). But it gets better, too.

<3
Sim

I hope so! I truly am remorseful but it means nothing if I continue to do the same things over and over. I'm very lucky to have a life partner that has stuck it out with me this far. I NEED to get this right this time.
 

Msk00

Greenlighter
Joined
Mar 26, 2017
Messages
18
Location
NJ
Msk00- that seems like exactly what goes on here too. I get frustrated with my husband for lying and then he goes off and uses because he's upset by the struggles in our marriage.

And simco- I really appreciate that, but I'm the first to admit that it took me a long time (and some therapy) to get to the place of peace that I am in now. I was very angry and I was mean. I did much more harm than good over the last year since I found out about the addiction. Like msk said, for a spouse the relapse really does feel like a personal betrayal. Like "if he really loved me he wouldn't do this". But after a year of watching him struggle through withdrawals, make some good progress, and then relapse over and over, I've learned so much and as crazy as it sounds, my love for him has grown through all of this, even though it hurts like hell most of the time. A good friend recently told me to take it one day at a time. Onward and upward, hey?

I understand all too well. Please make sure you are taking care if yourself too. It's not easy dealing with this. You probably constantly question yourself and it shakes your own self esteem. Do what you need to for you and give yourself space away from it. Your own health and well being is important!
 

simco

Bluelight Crew
Joined
Aug 20, 2014
Messages
2,247
Location
with the dead crow god
Thank god for loving partners! Nobody is perfect--not addicted folks or their partners. But it sure is a wonderful thing to know that someone has your back. This stuff is so hard, and it can be awful. But nothing is more awful than feeling marooned and alone.

Hugs ( ( ( ( ( <3 ) ) ) ) )
 

jordanwonder

Bluelighter
Joined
Mar 5, 2017
Messages
26
Location
Somewhere beyond right and wrong, there is a garde
I recently found my boyfriend's H and have been dealing with all that comes after...

The way I live isn't for everyone so if it isn't for you, please ignore. But what helps me is...

When I find myself struggling with how to handle a situation, or I get frustrated, or sad, or scared, I sit quiet and get focused for a few minutes and ask myself how I can be more loving right now. If our job is to be a good steward to others, how can I do that, right now. (This is how I handle all the tough stuff in my life).

And the answers become clear and the anxiety and stress kind of disappears. And I find myself with an open heart which you and your husband probably need right now.

It's a honor to be able to walk this life with someone, to hold someone on their darkest days.

And while you deserve a partner that is willing to give you their best. That best changes from day to day. Deal with today. Trust that he's doing his best.

As Rumi said 'we are all just walking eachother home'.

Love and strength to you.
 

g0to

Bluelighter
Joined
Oct 31, 2008
Messages
820
If he had it for you to find it, obviously he doesnt care that much if whether you know about his habit or not. That, or he is unable to control himself to the point that he's leaving it out, without thinking. Either way-- bad news. That type of behavior brings along bad attention whether it be from law enforcement, his peers, alleged customers, and most importantly YOU. Bad vibes = bad news = you cannot control the consequences of something if you are unaware/not present to figure out the premises.

I know exactly how you feel. Those are symptoms of drug induced slight PTSD + possibly a preexisting anxiety disorder.

It can get really lonely sometimes, but keep keen about things, know that there are other people in the world JUST like you, and you don't need to put yourself down a notch or two in order to experience the joy that you and your boyfriend experience in your best moments.

I'm going to PM you some information that perhaps might help, if you need someone impartial to reach out to.

Love and light.
 
Last edited:

Jabberwocky

Frumious Bandersnatch
Joined
Nov 3, 1999
Messages
50,775
Location
Looking-Glass Land
[mention]jordanwonder[/mention], great post! I'm also a big fan of Rumi :)

It can get really lonely sometimes, but keep keen about things, know that there are other people in the world JUST like you, and you don't need to put yourself down a notch or two in order to experience the joy that you and your boyfriend experience in your best moments.

This is some real wisdom.
 

jordanwonder

Bluelighter
Joined
Mar 5, 2017
Messages
26
Location
Somewhere beyond right and wrong, there is a garde
I'm just not sure why he assumed I was 'taking myself down a notch'. In my experience, when I am my most loving self, I rise. Every time. And I give the people around me room to rise in love as well.

It doesn't mean that we tolerate less than we deserve, at least not in the long term. I've walked away from a marriage when he wasn't treating me well anymore and didn't want to work on it, jobs, a small addiction, friendships, etc. that weren't right for me and what I want out of this one precious life. But I did so with love and grace. And yes, those moments are so so lonely.

But in this experience, and perhaps what the OP is going through, I find myself intuitively feeling that understanding and patience is what he needs. And sometimes turning inward to ask myself how I can be loving in his darkest moments, helps me. I know the lies and the hiding have nothing to do with me. And he's fighting an internal battle that I will never fully understand. When we detach from our ego, we act from who we really are.

And if the time comes, that he can not or will not beat this, then I will move on knowing I acted as my highest self. And knowing I probably made his journey a little easier.

But for today, I'm going to be present for what's in front of me. And prepare for his first home detox. With love.
 
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