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Addicted, Immoral Husband

Question:

I am asking about whether this is due to clinical depression, past child abuse or just plain character flaw. My husband of 18 years has basically been getting worse with his immoral behavior and ended up having to get drug treatment for meth addiction. Prior to the drug use he drank a lot and hung out at bars as a musician. He has had past episodes of lust issues. Flirting, chatting online and even picking up a hooker. He also has shown bad behavior to me by acting as if I owe him something and actually blaming me for his drug use. “If we didn’t have marital problems, this would not have happened”. I know I am not to blame for any of the crap he’s done or caused but he also has had an unfortunate childhood with the typical Cinderella syndrome step-mom & step brother & sister. Also, his father was abusing alcohol and biological mom was a total nut case and is now on heavy depression meds. He says that he did not know what a normal childhood really was. Is this acceptable as why he turned out so crappy? He is now starting to realize what has happened and is showing lots of remorse for his selfishness. I told him that I no longer trust him but I still feel like if he got counseling about his childhood, he might actually be better able to work out his problems. I have told him that I am not making any promises as far as our future together is and that I like him staying in a clean and sober house for at least 6 more months to one year. I am financially stable and care for our kids alone so I really don’t need him for anything other than being their dad. Please help if you can.

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Answer:

Let me start by commending you for your positive and strong attitude. You are aware and seem to see through the mind-games your husband is trying to play with you. That is refreshing and wonderful to see. There is no sure-fire recipe for drug addiction. Every person who becomes addicted finds a new way to do it. Living through a chaotic childhood doesn’t help anyone and probably did push your husband in a bad direction, but it is not an excuse for drug addiction and treating you badly either. Your husband sounds like a selfish and immature man who has not lived up to the requirements of family life. It’s fairly normal for an addict in early recovery to ‘get religion’ and to grieve over the loss or near loss of valuable relationships and family. I’m not surprised to hear he is making those sorts of noises at you. I don’t think you should trust him at this point though. Many addicts make these noises and then relapse. Sometimes this happens repeatedly. You don’t need this sort of chaos, and your children certainly don’t need this chaos either. I think it is an excellent idea that husband spend a year or so living in sober housing (maintaining sobriety the entire time) before you let him back into your life. You’ll want to see if you can get third party verification of sobriety too. Addicts lie. This year will be a test for him to see if he can make it without relapse, and it will also be a test for you to see if you love him enough to want to take him back after living for a year without having to put up with the sort of crap he’s been pulling. Life is difficult and I do believe in second chances. Addicts do recover and marriages can recover too. The odds are against sudden turn-arounds of your husband’s behavior, based on what you’ve told me. Also, the question of whether there is a good explanation for why your husband has gotten so messed-up is besides the point if he can’t get himself un-messed-up. I think you’ll be best off keeping things cool for a good long while.

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Comments
  • cheryl

    I too live with a substance user, but his preference is alcohol. His self-induced behaviour is getting old & emabarrassing and is way below my maturity level, but that behaviour is his to own and his journey to seek treatment.

    We all have a choice. For now in this economic turmoil I'm choosing to set an example of not consuming alcohol around my children and focusing on the mental health of my family.

    This is not easy to do, but he is showing signs of awareness of his illness and his first steps towards acceptance.

  • betrayed in ohio

    35 yr marriage husband alcoholic,i had chronic illness wk of cure he is caught in affair with hooker/ stripper took him back,forgave ,he tormented me til he could get back to bar,gambling and stripper, he filed for divorce,pretended he was christian 20 yrs now i didnt get cure but have 4 stds permanent and one now will cost me my life and addict cant understand why grown child doesnt want to be part of husbands chosen life when his stupidity cost the son his moms life,lived dual life and didnt know it,you trust but being home sick while lying husband ran free,and keeps giving son ultimatiums to be around filth,son is done im gonna be done an yes alcohol help them become insane,immoral and delusional and very good liars

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