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Drug addictions & affairs

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Areukiddingme posted 4/18/2014 10:13 AM

Okay, so I'm still relatively new here and read a lot but don't do a lot of posting. I'm currently in IC but only attend about once a month. H is a recovering addict (pain killers). The affair seems to be a mirror image of drug addiction....feel better, thrive on secrecy, exciting double life, incredibly poor choices, fog, and lies ( don't even get me started about that one). If we R, this is what I'm looking at for the rest of my life, isn't it? I find myself dragging my feet on MC and feel like IC is a better option. He had been in IC (straight from rehab last year) when the affair started and quit several months ago saying he felt like he was just going over the same stuff that was PTSD related. I don't even know what I'm asking here....I guess just wondering if anyone else's WH also struggles with drug addiction issues? I know I've seen SA listed a lot. Thanks for listening.

AppalachianGal posted 4/18/2014 10:41 AM

My H is an alcoholic. I mistakenly believed he just "became" one during and after Iraq in 2004-05. He has PTSD & major depression from Iraq. His alcoholism goes back to his teen years. I just didn't know it. I've thought MANY times that addiction/affairs go hand in hand. His first admitted ONS (I believe there have been more) was in 1993, well before Iraq, and while he was in a..... bar. Duh. Looking back, I completely see now that the ONS was just another symptom of someone who needs something to get them through the day... anything from pills, booze, cocaine, or sex. It was also a symptom of someone with low self-esteem (nothing I ever do is good enough for AG, poor me, she is so unhappy, she hates me, etc). I'm afraid you are right. This is your life with this man and always will be. This is my life with my addict. I hate saying that. I've always believed in change, but I'm not sure addicts every really change, especially ones that think IC isn't working (like mine, too).

I just read the book Too Good To Leave, Too Bad To Stay. It gives guidelines that we answer to help decide if our marriage is going to make us happy. Guess what my result was? Yep. I'd be happier if I left and never looked back.

Areukiddingme posted 4/18/2014 11:42 AM

Thanks AG. So have you accepted that? What are your future plans? I'm looking for an Alanon meeting, but I'm kind of far away from everything. I think my brain knows things aren't really going to change, but the rest of me hasn't caught up with that. The thought of being collateral damage to whatever he is going through at the time and how he chooses to deal with it is a bit unnerving.

AppalachianGal posted 4/18/2014 11:54 AM

I haven't accepted it. I'm very stubborn and strong willed. I also seem to enjoy misery. I'm still on the roller coaster that everyone talks about. My first D-Day was just 4 months ago. Some days, I do NOTHING but think of his hit & run sexcapades. Other days are good. Its back and forth, up and down. Right now, the only plans I have are finishing a medical coding class I just started (trying to increase my income) and joining Weight Watchers and losing 40 lbs that I have acquired as a result of years of misery. As far as my marriage? No clue. Most days, I just want to die.

I've done Al-Anon for a few years now. There are private groups on FB. I belong to one. It has helped in ways. I still have a huge issue with the whole "disease" concept. Remember, I am strong willed. I can do ANYTHING once I decide to do it. So, I have a hard time understanding someone that allows alcohol or whatever to rule their life.

But, I guess I have become a prisoner to my own misery, so I have no room to talk.

Scubachick posted 4/18/2014 11:58 AM

My husband is addicted to gambling. He took the ow to casino's and gave her money to gamble with etc. He tries to blame his addiction but he could have gotten his fix without involving another woman. Gambling is his escape and so was his EA.

Areukiddingme posted 4/18/2014 12:18 PM

My second DDay last month was because OW was kind enough to share/sell her suboxone to him so he wouldn't relapse. Wow, I didn't know you had to f$ck someone for it, I thought you went to a clinic to get it. Gambling, drugs, or alcohol + another woman = I can only handle one crisis at a time. Today's just not a good day for me...too much thinking.

[This message edited by Areukiddingme at 12:20 PM, April 18th (Friday)]

suckstobeme posted 4/18/2014 13:20 PM

I believe my exwh has an addictive personality and very low self-esteem. He's also the most conflict avoidant person on the planet. Apparently, this is a killer combination when it comes to affairs. That information would have been so much more useful to me before I married him, but I digress.

He's certainly got issues with alcohol. I've had a hard time figuring out the definition of a functional alcoholic, but I'm pretty sure he fits it. He didn't drink every day when he was at home, but when he drank, it was to excess. There wasn't a time where he would have just 1 beer or 1 small glass of wine. He would drink an entire 6 pack or a goblet of wine and think nothing of it. I actually didn't think much of it a lot of the time either since I'd always known him to be like that and other members of my immediate family were like that. My mother actually picked up on a lot quicker than I did because, as she says, my father was a functional alcoholic.

When the alcohol wasn't doing it for him anymore and/or kids came around and he couldn't go out and party as much as he wanted, he started gambling. I have a very vivid memory of him holding our 7 week old infant in the middle of the night at the computer desk under a bright light with one hand on the mouse and one hand on the baby's bottle. He wouldn't even stop when the baby needed a feeding - I woke up and saw that and almost died of sheer disbelief. He always told me that it was on the free poker sites and I believed him. That is, until I discovered $30,000 in cc debt that I knew nothing about. Also, OW has a big mouth and would put out on social media sites that they would go to the local casinos at least once a week. So, there was a big problem there.

Before gambling and after alcohol, there was food. He had this personality where he couldn't just eat one doughnut. He would bring home a dozen and sometimes, for stretches of time, he would do that every night. Or, it would be ice cream or cookie dough or burgers. Then, when he started getting too big, he would go on these extreme diets. Extreme to the point where he would just drink coffee all day and eat a small meal at night. Nothing was ever balanced or healthy. Nothing was ever done in order to effect a life change - it was just a change for now, KWIM? By the way that he looks, he still acts like this with food. He will go for periods where he'll tell the kids that he's on a diet so he can't have what they're eating. Other times, they'll mention that he ate a big plate of nachos or chicken wings for dinner. Again, nothing is ever balanced and done in moderation.

While I have no proof, looking back, I think there were other As. Most likely they were ONS type of situations. His job gave him the perfect cover for being out some nights. I was too busy and too tired taking care of kids to notice whether he got home just a tad too late or whether he had been drinking.

This last A was the big one. It was with his own secretary and he got busted, big time. It was very easy to see that she condoned his drinking and even encouraged it.

It's sad that the alcohol, the gambling, the food, and even the affairs were used to fill a void that I never knew he had. Even though it's been very hard to reconcile the person I thought he was and the person he turned out to be, everyone close to me, including my IC, has told me that this whole thing was a blessing in disguise. Had he continued to cover his tracks as well as he did, he would have dragged me so far down with him I don't know that I could have recovered. As it is, he put me in physical and financial jeopardy. Who knows how long it would have taken for him to just stop paying the bills. Who knows how long it would have taken for someone to knock on my door with a foreclosure notice because he was too much in debt and too conflict avoidant to come clean.

I feel very bad for people who are still involved with addicts. I see that they suffer just as much, if not more, as the addict. When the addict is in a good place, things are great and that person that you so badly want them to be shines through. But, when things are bad, it's horrible. I can't imagine.

The problem with all of this is that there is no way to love them or shame them or coerce them into wanting to change and fly straight. There is something inside of them that has to want it more than anything they've ever wanted. I think a very small percentage of people with addictive personalities can do the work to make those changes. There is so much behind the reason for the addiction. I don't have those traits so I can't speak from personal experience, but from the little I know, I would bet that trying to make those changes on a permanent level is pure torture for them. That unfortunately leaves you in a position of having to figure out exactly what you want out of this marriage and what you are willing to put up with. If there is no permanent change, you will eventually be back here. Are you willing to put up with that?

tushnurse posted 4/18/2014 13:26 PM

Yes it is very much like and for many WS is an addiction. Your situation is the exact reason I am always harping on the WS figuring out their why. If they don't and dot do te hard work they will repeat and/or replace one escape with another.

They have to be willing to recognize it and then put in the hard work to get to a place where they are truly healthy.

Your H replaced one addiction with another. His IC NEEDS TO KNOW THIS. otherwise hea wasting his time and money going. I think MC can also be very helpful. It puts someone neutral to help you both deal with the relationship issues.

Hang in there and know that an addict has to do the work himself. This is no reflection on you

surviving4jg posted 4/18/2014 13:31 PM

MY WH is a drug addict and an alcoholic, plus had an affair with my best friend. I discovered the drugs and the affair 5 months after my DS was born. He completely denies all of it, even with proof. I threw myself into IC and I am currently waiting for the divorce to be finalized, along with custody.
You are completely right about how the affair mirrors the drug addiction, in my case I believe the ex BF was enabling him as well. I couldn't live the rest of my life dealing with the lies, fog, etc. Continue with IC, it will help you, and listen to your gut. My gut has never failed me! Sending positive vibes your way!

AFrayedKnot posted 4/18/2014 13:34 PM

I am an addict. I have been clean for 9 years. By clean I mean: NO DRUGS, NO ALCOHOL, NO SEX outside my Relationship.

Addiction is a disease that you can never fully understand unless you have it. Even therapists and councilors don't really get it.

Addiction is an obsessive/compulsive disorder, where the tick is self. Addicts cant think of anything, say anything, or do anything that doesn't revolve around themselves. They have a hole in there gut, or a sense of dis-ease, that there is something incomplete with them inside. They obsessively search for something that will fill that hole and make them complete: drugs, alcohol, sex, gambling, shopping, food, sports, work, money, you name it. These things work for a short period of time, then the guilt sets in and the hole grows. This is where the cycle of compulsion starts. "Whats next? I need more!!!"
Most addicts I know are sensitive, loving, caring people. They dont want to hurt anyone but that need to fill themselves and the guilt from doing it is so overpowering that they cant stop.

I have found freedom from this vicious cycle ONLY through vigilant 12 step work in a 12 step fellowship. My priorities in order are:
1. 12 Step Fellowship
2. Relationship/Family
3. Work
In any other order I will eventually destroy everything around me.

I am also in a relationship with an addict. The last six years have been a cycle of relapses and A. For her the addiction was the reason (not excuse) for everything. That is her story and I will let her tell it. DDAY was Black Friday 2011 and TT until 9/11/12, when the whole truth came out.

We are in R. We are working vigilantly on R from many different angles. "THE DEAL BREAKER" for me would be lack of 12 step work on her part. If that stops so does the R. I know from my experience and the experience of many others, that It Works...

I wrote this in another addiction thread when I first got here. There is hope. I think there is actually more hope. 12 step programs offer a straight forward path of recovery that effect all areas of our life.

AppalachianGal posted 4/18/2014 14:22 PM

Oddly enough, my H will not gamble. He has a friend, a fellow Iraq vet with alcoholism, PTSD, bipolar disorder and a gambling addiction that is constantly inviting him to go play cards or whatever. H refuses. He says he knows that he'd like it and he'd lose everything we have. Is that not the oddest thing? So, he really CAN control himself when he wants to.

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