It’s a great relief to find your advice section. I’m so confused because there are so many things that are going wrong in my life and I don’t know which one I should deal with first or how to even start. I’m 33 yrs. old, married for 13 yrs. with 2 children. My husband is 10 yrs. my senior. He’s a very good provider, but throughout our married life he’s never been faithful to me. He’s been in and out of affairs which I unwillingly tolerated, because I don’t have the means to support myself and my children. To cope with my dissatisfaction/frustration with my marriage, I spent my time going out with my peers drinking, hanging out in bars and lately, drugs. I’ve been in and out of affairs too. At present, the man I’m going out with is jobless, separated, a drug user, but swears he loves me. I’m starting to feel unhappy with our situation because I’m the one spending. Each time I tell him to find a job, he either ignores me or tells me to give him time. We’ve been on for almost a year now, and all he does is drink and bum around. I feel that I love him too, but I’m unhappy. What do I do? He sometimes threatens that he won’t let me leave him. Three years ago I sought the help of a psychiatrist, and I was diagnosed to have mild depression. I got well, but then it kept on recurring, because I can’t resist the temptation of doing drugs. Sometimes I feel I’m a hopeless case because there have been so many unfortunate events in my life. Most of the time I struggle just to keep my sanity.
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I’m glad you wrote, because it sounds as if you really need some direction in your life. Getting off of the drugs would seem to be an important goal, and to stay off them. To that end, you might look into trying one of the many self-help groups available within most communities for ex-drug abusers. 12-step programs, such as Narcotics Anonymous or Rational Recovery (see our Self-help Sourcebook for contact information), can be very helpful is staying off of the drugs long-term. Many ex-addicts and ex-casual users swear by such groups, so you really need to seriously consider them. A relationship like the one you describe doesn’t sound very beneficial for either of you — get a backbone, girlfriend! While you can go on indefinitely (forever!?) in a dead-end relationship with a bum like that, what use is it? Love is a nebulous feeling at best, and one which can be readily found again in the future with a man who acts more maturely than this loser does. If you need further assistance, I strongly suggest looking into therapy too. It’s a great way to get to know yourself, and increase your self-esteem. You sound like you’re in a dead-end marriage, a dead-end relationship, and need a lot of direction in your life right now. You can find many of the answers you’re looking for with an experienced, caring therapist. Best of luck, – Anne