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Do You, Can You Argue With An Addict?
Posted: October 4, 2013, 8:13 PM


Posts: 11
Joined: October 4, 2013



My husband, whose great pride when I met him 14 years ago was having stayed clean for 20 years and sober for two. He is still sober but started smoking marijuana 18 months ago. I have never touched the stuff, never even smoked and drink only half a glass at a wedding etc. It was always a joke between us...he with his colorful past, me the nerdy bookworm. I have read and listened to all the legalizing marijuana stuff and came to accept that it was wrong of me to judge. he suffers migraines and nothing seemed to work.

At first it was a relief. After 6 months thing started to wobble. Two months later he quit his job. Now a year later he is screaming yelling criticizing everything I do (I'm 30 pounds overweight, too embarrassing for a good looking stoner; house not clean enough for him to sit around playing video games all day in while I work). He's had several deaths in family during this time, his beloved nephew committed suicide; so I forgave it all.

Now? I don't even recognize him. This past weekend he wouldn't stop yelling. We had house-guests, they all think he is so cool, so cheerful. I was embarrassed, felt like it was my fault that I couldn't stop him yelling. I'd go to bed early to stop the arguing, he would follow me and start hugging me and telling me how much he loved me.My parents kept rushing to me and telling me how lucky I was as when he's high he praises me to the sky. I'm the envy of all my colleagues and acquaintances.

I just want out. I keep wanting to discuss division of property, debts etc with him and all he does is beg me to stay. Up until the pot smoking, for 12 years we were a very open honest pragmatic couple who discussed everything. Whenever I see a glimpse of the husband I just adored I want to talk to him. It starts out good then descends into me judging him and thinking I'm better than him (then the fat messy jibes start).

I know I have to walk. I just keep hesitating thinking he will suddenly see himself and what he is throwing away and stop. But he's not going to is he?
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Posted: October 5, 2013, 7:29 AM


Posts: 379
Joined: August 8, 2005



Your husband is not going to see where he is screwing up because addicts are deep into self-denial. They give themselves all kinds of rationales as to why they use....I'm under stress, I still can function, It's not my fault I lost my job, I'm not hurting anybody, It's only pot, etc.

So far, it sounds like everything is hunky-dory for him to continue using...he still has a roof over his head, people have not turned their backs on him for using, he is not under any pressure to find a job. In his mind, there is no problem. But the problem is, his using is affecting you. This is a big deal because you deserve to be treated with respect and not be subject to his outbursts when he is high.

You won't be able to control whether he gets sober or not, that is up to him. What you can do is exert some personal power over your own life. If he is draining your finances, put the accounts in your name. If he is embarrassing you in front of people, see the people on your own outside of his presence. If he won't find a job, don't give him any money. This is not being vindictive, it's only being fair since he is not contributing to the family and his behavior is out of line.

It's a shame when people choose drugs over a productive life. We who have addicted loved ones are always impacted. We care about them, but they make life so difficult for us. The only power we have is over how we live our own lives, with or without them.
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Posted: October 5, 2013, 9:09 AM


Posts: 11
Joined: October 4, 2013



Thanks so much Roberta,

What is just flooring me is how frozen I feel. I've spent my whole adult life being the big feminist, grandly telling every woman to never ever put up with any s***. Managing rape crisis centers, women's refuges, businesses where 98% of my 250 employees were men - I was known as the woman who would never let any man treat her with disrespect. And here I stand like a deer caught in the headlights, as this guy just walks all over me. It's super humbling! I now feel like going back and apologizing to all those women whom I told it was easy to just walk away. It simply breaks my heart to see what he's become. All his siblings and cousins have committed suicide and he's heading in their direction. Serenity Prayer time I know....

Appreciate your help in nudging me in the direction I know I have to walk now. No feelings of self-righteous anger to (fake) empower me, just overwhelming sadness.
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Posted: October 5, 2013, 11:04 AM


Posts: 2201
Joined: October 17, 2004



I think your husband is doing more than smoking pot.

You might want to check out al-anon, from what I understand it has more to do with you, the family member of the addict than it does with the addict. It helps u gain insight into what you are going thru, etc.

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Browndog113@yahoo.com

No matter what right you did or what wrong you didn't do: When you're the black sheep, all blame belongs to you
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Posted: October 5, 2013, 5:05 PM


Posts: 8548
Joined: April 24, 2007



There is nothing to celebrate in the dissolution of a marriage, but Roberta is right in that he has no reason to stop doing what he's doing...things are pretty cushy for him. Have you actually ever suggested to him that he is not pulling his weight? That he should be managing the house since you are working and providing and he is home all day? That there is no good reason for a healthy man not to be working? What are his responses? Does he somehow make it all about you?

Whatever the answers, you are not happy and the relationship no longer fulfills you, rather it is a drag on you. The outcome of any good relationship is that it uplifts us...sure, times get tough, but we need to have a light at the end of the tunnel and addiction never shows us that light. The light comes only when the addict decides to get clean...he's not there.

Good luck ~ MomNMore

PS I also agree with BrownDog that he is doing more than smoking pot. It actually soiunds more like synthetic weed...check out the thread about it.

This post has been edited by MomNMore on October 5, 2013, 5:06 PM

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You will not change what you are willing to tolerate.

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Posted: October 6, 2013, 4:13 AM


Posts: 11
Joined: October 4, 2013



Thanks guys,

I really appreciate your input. It just upsets me so much to see what is happening, to see this adored happy helpful man slip away. Sure I point out that he's not pulling his weight. He just counterattacks with a grandiose list of all my failings over the past years. Today I asked the wife of his dealer if this is what she goes through...she just burst into tears (husband grows it in the backyard, seen the plant). I liked him as he didn't drink or smoke, I just don't like speaking to people with 'altered states of consciousness'. It's boring and silly. If we have problems fine, talk them out. I don't even know who this is anymore. People who know us just rave on about what a great couple we've always been, what a great guy he is...I needed outside objective opinion, so thanks.

It's simply sad. As for the Al-anon, been there done that. I know I've enabled him and held on too long to a man who kept apologizing and insisting he would change, because I loved him and oh shocker, wanted the man I loved to get well and our up until then happy marriage to be saved. But as for me *causing* the problems, nonsense!! It's him who is choosing to inhale the substance, unleash verbal abuse on me and refuse help. That is absolutely neither my choice or fault!

Have a good week all, fedup

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Posted: October 6, 2013, 4:25 AM


Posts: 11
Joined: October 4, 2013



Oh and thanks for your quotes on allowing and tolerating btw guys...plus this Mom:

The outcome of any good relationship is that it uplifts us...sure, times get tough, but we need to have a light at the end of the tunnel and addiction never shows us that light".

Needed to be reminded of that. Guilt is my default emotion...trained in me since childhood by depressed mom. Quotes now printed in size 24 font & pasted on the wall in front of me!
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Posted: October 6, 2013, 1:27 PM


Posts: 2201
Joined: October 17, 2004



For some reason my wife has put up with me for well over 20 years, but I tried to treat her good, or OK & not my addiction FU things too badly. The last few years things have been falling apart , and though we cared about each other, and loved each other, it was almost over in both our minds.

I went to detox/rehab for a 30 day thing. A big part of it for me was to get out of my house & then get out of there at the same time I had money coming in. I also wanted to detox off of suboxen, and at least part of my thinking was I could then get high on opiates again 'once in a while' (suboxen blocks them.)

Anyway, in spite of myself, for maybe the first time ever, I came to an internal awareness that a clean life was not only possible, but I could live a satisfying life without it.

Since then I have been learning about being honest with myself, & came to realize that everything wrong with our marriage was not my wives fault.

Anyway, I was blinded by my addiction. I see things way different & even listen to her when she talks. If I hadn't changed, I don't believe there is any way we would be together. But I couldn't (I don't think) have changed to 'save' our marriage, or for my grown children even if I wanted to. I had to change for me, and everything else starts falling into place.

I did not recognize what a negative force I was. I'm not sure if this helps much, but I just felt inclined to share it.

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Browndog113@yahoo.com

No matter what right you did or what wrong you didn't do: When you're the black sheep, all blame belongs to you
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Posted: October 6, 2013, 6:26 PM


Posts: 11
Joined: October 4, 2013



Thanks browndog,

I really appreciate this. And wish you all the best. I just don't think people get what a terribly painful force these chemicals can be in the users' lives - for them and everyone around them. Chemicals scramble peoples' brains...my husband transforms into this babbling fool who thinks he is king of the world when he's high. He talks nonsense and becomes aggressive and arrogant when I beg him to stop of walk away. *Can't I see how right, how fantastic he feels, and therefore must be?* Crazy-making stuff and an absolute tragedy for all concerned!

I don't discount the love and support one can get from al-Anon meetings...I have met many lovely people there. But they seem to be trying to supporting each other through shocking lives, telling each other that their behavior is to blame for their husband's (usually) verbal tirades. I grew up in this nightmare and have seen the 'refugees' from this type of life all around me. It just shatters people (esp the kids who are stuck in the yelling crying household) and I have to learn to walk away - knowing it's the drugs that my husband is shoving into his system...willingly, knowing what it's going to do - that is the problem. Not the man underneath. But while ever he is using he is not the man underneath anymore. * 100% his choice to ingest the drugs, every single time!*
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Posted: October 8, 2013, 2:59 PM


Posts: 2305
Joined: February 20, 2010



what i get from alanon is..you get the behavior you tolerate. My son is an addict, a hard one, in and out of jail, abcesses, od's, thieving, outbursts...most of of us here totally understand what a hold drugs have on a loved one. many of us struggle daily to have a better life by limiting the horrible life that comes with drugs. as a mother i did and still do tolerate WAY more from my son than from any other human in this world, blaming it on his drug use, but i also have tried to establish boundaries, that has meant that i have had him arrested, physically had him thrown from the house, almost anything you can imagine. i think people are telling you, don't like what he does? stop it, tell him it isn't acceptable, walk away when he starts ranting, don't give creedance to his outbursts, don't make excuses for him, tell him you will not tolerate his abuse.
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Posted: October 10, 2013, 7:25 PM


Posts: 2201
Joined: October 17, 2004



Momg, Fedup,

It is a terrible situation u are in. It seems (at times at least) that the family member who is closest to the addict (the mother, the spouse) suffers as much or more than the addict.

Sometimes outsiders judgmental advice (regardless of their intentions) might do more harm than good. It is pretty easy for someone to say to a mother or father or spouse "Just throw him out, cut him off, use tough love. " I doubt people who are so free and easy with advice have ever come close to experiencing the situation they are advising on.

I have never been to al-anon, but I had thought it was way different than u guys described it. I thought it was a support group and more- a place where partners/families of addicts were givin clear insight into what's really going on, and were strengthened and became self empowered to make clear decisions..

I know I have gone to some bad and counter productive NA meetings. Is it possible alanon could be like that, or am I way off base, blabbing about something I don't know about

--------------------
Browndog113@yahoo.com

No matter what right you did or what wrong you didn't do: When you're the black sheep, all blame belongs to you
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Posted: October 10, 2013, 9:33 PM


Posts: 8548
Joined: April 24, 2007



BD, there are good AlAnon meetings and not-so-good, just like you found in NA/AA. These things develop a culture of their own. AlAnon is about the lives of loved ones having become unmanageable for a variety of reasons. It isn't about insight into the addict or alcoholic so much as it is about insight into ourselves, out own motives, compulsions, reactions...it is about looking at what we do, how we respond...it's a 12 step program for spiritual fitness. Some folks go there expecting advice on how to fix or otherwise deal with their addict or alcoholic, and when they discover that's not what it's about, they become upset and think, "Why should I have to do this? I'm not the one who is sick?" But we are...it is its own special brand of sickness and who likes to hear that? Anyway, it's just like any 12 step meeting, take what you like and leave the rest...that's what I did and it worked for me.

Good to see you posting these days =)

Peace ~ M&M

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You will not change what you are willing to tolerate.

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Posted: October 11, 2013, 11:43 AM


Posts: 9129
Joined: December 1, 2005



Excellent analogy of Alanon, Mom. For me, in any 12 step meeting I attend, I look for meetings where the solutions are discussed and not the problem. I find if I am in the solution and focusing and working on what I can change & control, then I am on the path of recovery. If I am sitting in the problem, then I become the problem.

xoxo

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Happiness is not in the bottom of a pill bottle. It's inside you.
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Posted: October 12, 2013, 11:35 AM


Posts: 2201
Joined: October 17, 2004



Thanks very much for the clarification. It sounds to me like a really good place with a lot to offer.

--------------------
Browndog113@yahoo.com

No matter what right you did or what wrong you didn't do: When you're the black sheep, all blame belongs to you
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