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My Husband is a Drug Addict and Alcoholic. He is Also Bi-polar. Is this a hopeless situation?

by Brandy
(san angelo, tx united states)

I have been married to the love of my life for 2 years. We have been together for 3 years. When we met he told me about his drug addiction. I thought I understood, but I wasn't quite prepared for what I have got ...

He was sober at the time I met him, but shortly after I met him I realized that not only was he a drug addict, but he was also an alcoholic. We fought over this and I was not so stupid to think that he would quit for me. It was a serious battle but he has been sober from alcohol for over a year.

But it seems that once he quit drinking he picked up smoking marijuana. I am not an advocate for any type of illegal drugs what so ever. We fought over this too. In the mean time he sought out treatment for his bi-polar disorder. He is taking depakote. He had an epiphany and quit smoking marijuana. That too was a long hard battle.

Again I am not so stupid to think that he will never smoke or drink any thing ever again. I was just trying to prepare myself for that time so I could try to have a clear idea of my next step. And then 2 nights ago I confronted my husband with a pawn ticket that I had no idea about. I had lost my wedding ring a few months ago and I always thought in the back of my mind maybe he took it. I felt bad for thinking that, but I had a feeling.

Well come to find out it was my wedding ring. Then my husband brought the sledge hammer down hard when he told me that he had been using meth for about a year. He says he uses it once a week, but he wanted to quit. He said he has been clean for 1 week. Of course he is sorry. I told him to save his sorries because I don't need them anymore.

When I looked back at our relationship I realized that my husband has never been honest with me. He tells me half truths. He told me he needed to be a better husband and stopped smoking weed, but the whole time he was snorting meth. I called the person he has been buying his drugs from (its the daughter of a dear friend of mine). I told her I know that my husband has been buying drugs from her and it needs to stop.

I also called his uncle who is a recovering addict himself. He told me to get out now. He also told me to get out when my husband was drinking, and I think to myself, well he quit drinking. But in reality he replaced every drug he quit with something else.

I love my husband but I don't know what to do. He is going to NA and is looking into out patient treatment so he won't have to quit his job. Do I stick by his side while he is working on himself or do I run for it? I am so angry and confused.

I am not in a position where I can just up and leave. I am caught in a 1 year lease and I can't afford to damage my credit when I have worked so hard to repair it. I told my husband he needed to leave but he refuses. I would leave but I know once I do the bills won't get paid and it will go on my credit.

I make more than him, but we do combine our money to get the bills paid. I watch the bank account very closely so I would know if something out of the ordinary were happening. I did see signs of his drug use. He kept getting extremely hyper at least once a week and it would last for days, but I contributed that to his bipolar.

I kept telling people this is not normal and no way to live when he would get hyper. I felt bad for him and couldn't wait to talk to his psychiatrist again, but time kept going by and he said he couldn't get hold of them. That is not that uncommon with this psychiatrists office, they take up to a week to get back in touch, but this time months had gone by and no response or appointment.

This was all part of his arsenal of lies. As I look back I see all the obvious signs and I am so pissed that I didn't put everything together. I want to hug my husband and give him love, but if I did that at this point I feel it would just be showing him that he can crap on me anytime he wants and I don't care, but I do. I never wanted to be the idiot woman who stands by her man only to get knocked down with every turn. Answer

Hi Brandy

Unfortunately what you've experienced is part of the beast called addiction - the lies, empty promises, irrational behaviour, theft ... etc. It's sad, but unfortunately comes with being involved with someone who struggles with drug addiction and alcoholism.

Whether you should stay in your relationship or leave now is a decision only you can make. You have to be brutally honest with yourself about whether your husband is realistically going to turn his life around and successfully achieve a life of sobriety. If you don't think that's likely to happen, then you should listen to his uncle and leave now - because the heartache and insanity that accompanies the life of addiction will continue.

The fact that your husband is going to NA and wants to go through an outpatient drug and alcohol rehab program are encouraging signs. But is he doing that just to please you - or is he genuinely committed to quitting drinking and using drugs for good - and prepared to do whatever it takes to achieve that?

Only you know your husband well enough to answer that question. You could put an ultimatum in place and say this is his last chance - he gets totally clean and sober now by really working NA and the 12 steps, and going through a proper addiction treatment program. Because if he doesn't your marriage is over since you can't continue living like this. Then the choice is his. But you really have to mean it.

Overcoming addiction requires hard work and total commitment to personal change and embracing a new way of life. Words and promises are meaningless. And you'll quickly see if your husband is putting in the work by going to NA meetings at least 4 times a week, working the 12 steps, making a real effort to change.

Whatever you decide however understand that your happiness is not dependent on anyone else - and that you need to work at finding happiness and peace of mind irrespective of what your husband does with his life. Also surround yourself with good, supportive people like those you'll find at Al Anon and Naranon (groups for family members of alcoholics and drug addicts) - and it will make things easier for you and help you to heal.

Never believe you're stuck. There are always options and ways to start over if that's what you decide. If it got to that you could get the relevant authorities involved, should your husband refuse to leave. Speak to a lawyer and find out what your options are in that regard.

I know it's not easy, but whatever you decide, trust that in the end it will all work out for the best. Good Luck and Take Care.

Comments for My Husband is a Drug Addict and Alcoholic. He is Also Bi-polar. Is this a hopeless situation?

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MY husband is drug abuser that is bi-polar
by: Anonymous

My husband is in total denial about the drugs and speaking to his doctor. He had been clean for 6 months but is know back on drugs and taking meds for his bipolar. I have to decide what I am going to do as he lies and hides things also.

Bipolar husband with substance addiction
by: Anonymous

My husband too has bipolar and also is a substance abuser (mostly drugs and alcohol). I've been married for 14 years (together for 17years) and feel pretty much like what you've just outlined. The lies never stop, I can guarantee that. I've tried everything. He's been to NA for a few weeks at a time then said he's too busy to go. Seen therapists for years, taking medication daily but still mixes drugs and alcohol with it. I feel completely worn out and wonder will he ever change but I honestly know that he will never change. I'm still here, the stupid woman that I am. Why do I stay, well he provides for me financially. We have a business where he goes to work (a roofer) and I do the bookwork from home. We work well in the business but the rest of our relationship is pretty crap. I always feel that I never know what he's telling me is the truth or if its just more lies. Most of the time I feel like he is covering up one lie with another but I still stay. I'm now realising that I'm getting too old for this and that life is hard enough without all his problems. Still I don't have the guts to leave, how can I still be so stupid. Well I think because I've been here in this relationship for so long that I am used to his bullshit and I know definately that he will not change. I hope you get out early cause the longer you stay the harder it is to go. Hope this helps cause I had the chance to divorce him 7 years ago when I kicked him out cause I was fed up with it all. But I gave him another chance cause he needed medication and a therapist so I took him in and helped him back to feet. Only to go through it all again a second time. The promise that he wouldn't lie to me and wouldn't take drugs again but all his promises mean nothing, just words. He's still on drugs and still lying to me today. Well how stupid am I. Don't let yourself be a fool like me escape while you can. Run and don't look back. I guarantee you will be better off and feel a major relief when its only you that you have to worry about. Not like me stuck in quick sand.

Value yourself above all
by: Anonymous

Good comments. As I am too potently going to be in a live in relationship with a recovering alcoholic I am preparing for a relapse and what I will do if it occurs again. Since meeting my man, he has relapsed briefly but he was totally upfront with me and told me he had started "controlled drinking". I really love this man and was not prepared to allow myself to get into anything unless he stopped. I gave him an ultimatum- me or the booze! He thought he could control the drinking but since joining this forum I see there is no such thing as "controlled drinking" with an alcoholic. They simply cannot drink fullstop. I know he really loves me and doesnt want to lose me. I have since been away on holiday for 10 days with him and I was with him every moment and I know he never touched a drop (I would have smelled it on him or noticed his absences to sneak some drinks if he had relapsed.) Anyway the upshot is that I have mentally prepared to brace myself and only give him one chance- if he relapses again Im outa there. Im not going to put myself through hell for no one. I deserve better. I think you need to value yourself to the point that you are prepared to give him up for your own happiness. Yes he needs to do this for himself first and foremost and secondly if he wants to keep you in the picture. An ultimatum is the only way. If he doesnt do it then you need to be strong and resolute and leave yourself. He can take responsibility for the consequences- you dont need to be his gatekeeper.Even though it will be hard be resolute and value your own happiness above all. Like the previous comment said- you are the only one that can make yourself happy- not him. All the best :-)

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