Addiction Survivors


Unread 07-31-2014, 11:14 PM   #1
Junior Member
Posts: 2
Thumbs down Hi. And Help, please.

Twelve weeks before my husband and I got married, he told me that he had a sex addiction. He started attending SAA meetings. This came after he made an advance and I had turned him down. He blew up, he was so angry I had said no. It scared me. I started making distance because I didn't want to be with someone who couldn't handle no. He kept going to the SAA meetings until they told him it was really time to select a sponsor. Then he sort of fell out and stopped attending. He told me he felt he was under control. He kept pushing me to do things I didn't want to do (more sex, more drinking then sex). I finally just told him point blank: I am not your band-aid for when you feel bad. I am not an object. You need to talk to someone about your feelings here and figure out what is going on.

Then he went and saw a therapist.

Then he decided to see a different therapist. And yet another. Then he told me he felt he was wrong, he doesn't have an addiction, grad school is just really hard and he stopped therapy.

A year later he was back in therapy, and alluded to feeling suicidal. He got really angry with me when I alerted his family.

As he studied for his qualifying exams, I found that our whiskey was disappearing at a fairly alarming rate. We were also going through quite a bit of beer, and no bottle of opened wine stayed around for more than a day. It's stress and the pressure of preparing for the exams, he said. He said it was well-earned relief. The thing was...he kept telling me about immense pressure and hard work, but all I was seeing was him playing video games and drinking beer for hours at night.

Then he started proclaiming that he was going to get high with his friend, because he had 'earned' it. I was quite angry-- Im working two jobs to support our household. "Why the hell are you telling me you don't have enough time to get all of your work done and yet you are planning to spend an entire day getting high and watching star wars?" I said. It became an argument. It came out in the wash that he'd been smoking marijuana without telling me.

I was really clear before we got married that I don't smoke, I enjoy alcohol on occasion, and I certainly do not want any kind of medicinal or otherwise marijuana in my home. He had been hiding this from me intentionally. I was livid. I said 'no more dishonesty, please'. When we were dating he had told me he was not a marijuana smoker, that though he had experimented he did not do it regularly anymore because it made him feel bad and that I expected him to keep his promise.

Things seemed to settle for a little bit. Then he started picking fights with me. He'd tell me things like "I'm not getting enough hugs from you". I'd try to give him more hugs, he'd say "Your job is to make me happy and I don't feel happy. I make you happy, don't I?". I became defensive after time. He'd tell me he wasn't getting enough sex. He wasn't feeling loved. Ask him what I could do to make him feel more loved, "I need more hugs", give him more hugs "well I wanted a hug at X time and you didn't give it to me".

I work two jobs to support our household and was coming home exhausted. His only responsibility has been to get through graduate school. I can't quite fathom how not giving a five-minute hug on my way out the door because I need to be on time means "I dont love you" when I am working like hell to support our household.

This progressed on for two more years. December of 2012, he went to see a psychiatrist who gave him a prescription for an anti-depressant. Ok. Ive spent a significant portion of my life on Zoloft. No biggie, i think. Then a month later, he was given a prescription for adderall. He tried to hide it from me. I've never complained about prescriptions before. I've never had a problem with them. He made this big show where he said to me "you wouldn't approve of this". I was upset. Why hadn't he told me that his psychiatrist thought that perhaps he is struggling with ADHD? Why wouldn't I approve? If he needs help, he needs help! Why would I have a problem with him getting the help he needs? .

He deflected and told me that it's because it is clear to him I don't care. I got more curious and wanted to know what his symptoms are...he was vague. And the thing is, he is extremely smart. He can take a battery of tests and choose answers to come up as having the problem he wants to have. So...big talks about how hiding things in a marriage is intrinsically problematic ensued, all the while my gut telling me that something is immensely wrong. Its not totally uncommon to take an anti-depressant and adderall in combination, however, it is a pretty potent mix. He tells me it's no big deal. And keeps drinking his beer. And goes on his merry way.

December 15, 2013 he tells me that he's been smoking marijuana while in his office at school. He's been hiding it from me for 6+ months. He told his parents and his therapist first. All this time, he's still been drinking all that beer. He's still complaining about never getting anything done. He's still spending hours a night playing video games. He never wants to go out and do things, just stay home and drink and play games and read articles on He complains about always feeling anxious and never being able to focus.

I was so angry and hurt. Why the lies? Why the hiding? Honesty is foundational, isn't it? He didn't even want to own his role in being dishonest. "Its your fault because you..." were the words coming out of his mouth. He told me that morning that he would be home at 7 to let the dog out. At 6:55 pm I got a text from him telling me that he was too high to get home when he said he would be.

There are so many more stories and details between all these bits. So much of him telling me over and over and over that his problem with X is all because of me and my failure with Y. So many times he's tried to tell me I should have known something that he had never shared with me. So many times I'd share my feelings and he'd turn them around on me and tell me that actually HE feels that way, so it couldn't possibly be that I do.

Eventually it came out in the wash that he'd been lying about a lot of things. About where he was, what he was doing...he told me he just lies because he gets anxious. That was terrifying.

We started couples therapy. I was really clear that the lying had to stop. As things progressed I shared my fears that he perhaps has an addiction problem. He denied.

I went away to cancun for a weekend with a girlfriend. I was gone for four days. In that time he went through a couple cases of Stone beer, several bottles of wine, a bottle of Frangelico, a bottle of Baileys. I came home and the house was messy, it was clear things hadn't been taken care of since I'd left. I asked how the weekend went, he said it was great. I took the recycling out and saw all the bottles and was alarmed.

Two days later he called me at work, and told me he was drunk. He was supposed to go to a talk at school, but he got anxious, he said- and so he stayed home and drank.

As time has progressed, I have pushed my boundaries. I dont like being around marijuana, but he really wants to smoke. So I say "well, you need to tell me when you're goign to do it then, so that I can avoid it". But he doesnt want to have to do that. He thinks I should ok with being around something I dont want to be around.

He gets angry when he's been drinking and I dont want to be close to him because he is sloppy and doesn't listen when I say no.

The therapist doesn't think he has a problem because he seems so self aware.

He's tried to tell me conversations we've had and decisions we've made never happened.

I chose to marry this person. But I've been walking this road for four years now and the same cycles are just repeating over and over again. With pot, with alcohol, with video games with lies, with anxiety, with avoidance, pornography, sex...over and over and over.

I got a wild hare one morning early, I woke up out of a dead sleep. Something told me to go check his pot stash. I did- it was clear he had been smoking recently. But he hadn't told me. That was the agreement- he would tell me. On the one hand, sure, anyone could stand there and say "well if you couldn't tell, it shouldn't matter". But he's been dishonest about his substance use, and it scares me, and I need to feel safe in my own home, so I request this courtesy. I ask him about it when he gets up. He denies it. I ask again, he says he doesn't know what I am talking about. Finally i tell him that I know damn well things have shifted, is he seriously telling me he hasn't been smoking? And suddenly now he is out with the truth. But it is immediately my fault. What is wrong with me that I am so critical of his alcohol use? of his pot use?

Am I crazy? am i seeing things? am I overreacting to his blatant disrespect for my need for honesty and transparency?

Friends are telling me: he is an addict.
Therapist says- maybe not, he seems so self aware.
Does it even matter?

I can't keep living like this. He is choosing any substance over honesty and transparency, and substance or distraction over me. My instincts are telling me that he isn't even aware he is doing these things, he doesn't even think about it.
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Unread 07-31-2014, 11:37 PM   #2
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So, after this recent series of lies, I told him I do not want to be married anymore.

I keep saying there is a boundary, I have let him step right over them several times. I think it is time to just stop. I am just going to have to value myself enough to walk away from it, because it seems like staying here in this situation is just encouraging or enabling something that just isn't right.

Ive read about addiction. Ive been uncomfortable trying to find a group to talk to because he doesn't seem to really have a single substance of choice-- its like this never-ending list of things, and he will just switch from one thing to the next to the next.

I am struggling with some guilt. Did I make the mistake by even staying with him and marrying him in the first place? I can't change this person, I know that. But did I make mistakes by staying this long? Am I wrong for throwing the towel in now?

on one hand I am excited for there being hope and light at the end of this journey. It has been a hard slog. I have wanted to be supportive and loving and caring and right there, but it seems that approach leads only to more lies and more obsessions.

On the other hand, this is the hardest thing I have ever done. I feel like I am kicking someone when they are down.

Last edited by Piangere; 07-31-2014 at 11:40 PM.. Reason: more thoughts I wanted to add
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Unread 08-01-2014, 10:10 AM   #3
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Posts: 11

He is an addict, cross addicted to different substances, it seems. I married one like that at an early age, thinking I could change him. I could not. 14 years and 3 children later, I finally gave in and divorced.

Addicts lie, cheat and steal. Boundaries mean nothing. You'll hear all the right words, but they are only empty words. They will eventually drain the life from you.

Learn about enabling behavior - it's what we all do with addicts we love, but we must stop for the good of both - you and the addict. As for "kicking someone when they are down" - you didn't cause his downward spiral and you can't fix it, either. There are many options for him to get better if he wants to. If you stay, you'll end up going down, too.

If I could give you one piece of advice, go through the pain now and leave him. The pain later is so much worse.

I wish you much wisdom, courage and strength.
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Unread 08-01-2014, 10:37 AM   #4
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I also am living with (but not for long!) an addict of multiple substances. Mostly alcohol and porn. The lies and the stealing and sneaking are the worst part of the addiction for me. I have found that it is completely pointless to make my addict confess to lying or sneaking. Even if I catch him red handed he will deny it. I used to feel crazy, but now I know that I am sane and he is the one who is messed up. He will attempt to manipulate me in any way he can so that he can feed his addiction.

Al-Anon has been a tremendous help. They would not care if your husband doesn't fit into a tidy box of "alcoholic" or not. Al-Anon teaches us how to deal with ourselves and take care of ourselves, and not try to control or fix the addict. Through my support group I have learned that unchecked, as your husband's addictions are, his disease will only get worse. And if he is not concerned with getting help, he will not get better. We cannot make the addict get help, or control themselves--but WE can get help. We can control ourselves and how we live our lives. Best wishes.
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Unread 08-02-2014, 06:30 PM   #5
R. Lee
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Libelula, Way to have a support system to get through this. You have a life now go & live it with out this burden. My best to you.
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