My Husband is Tortured by Inner Demons from Childhood and Crack Has Been His Outlet
I have been married to my husband for 8 years and together for 10. I work in a professional job and he is a small business owner - hard working and amazing at what he does. For the most part - I'd say we are happy. He is wonderful with our two little boys ... they look up to and admire him.
Even in the worst of times - he has always provided and I have become dependent on that in many ways. My husband is the polar opposite of me. While I grew up in a stable and happy environment - his life was full of pain and hurt. He suffers with serious post traumatic stress issues from his childhood.
It wasn't until a few years into our marriage that I began to learn such things ... in hindsight - I saw warning signs early on that I chose to ignore. Over the past 4 years there have probably been 6 occasions where my husband left to go somewhere on a Friday and didn't return until late Sunday evening. Each time devastated me.
I was filled with feelings of guilt, shame, and worry. Guilt for the impact it could have on my kids ... shame for staying with a man that was capable of this ... "how am I married to a crack head?" and shame for thinking about giving up on him ... I worried about his safety if I were to abandon him like everyone else rather than supporting him.
I constantly worry and weigh what is better; to love and support him and keep him in our boys lives that way ... or be done with the marriage and see what happens. I worry that he wont be able to get better without us. He loves his family to no end ... but his love is killing me.
He was hospitalized once ... follows through - sporadically with a psychiatrist. Has met with an anger management specialist, once. But has never fully committed to a path of recovery. For him - he feels it is hopeless. No one will be able to understand him. No one will be able to help - he's just that bad.
Do I stay if he is willing to commit 100% to a treatment path? or will that never work - do I need to leave for him to feel the real consequences of his actions? It is so hard for me to let go... but in the same breath ... is it hopeless?
Is he right - will treatment never work for him? If I don't make changes now - am I destined for this roller coaster the rest of my life? And my boys... what type of impact is it going to have them? Looking for a crystal ball.
Unfortunately none of us have a crystal ball and can predict what will happen in the future. All we do know is that all actions have consequences - and that the choices and decisions we make now, will have consequences in some way or other down the line.
Is anyone beyond help or treatment?
I don't think so. Sure, some have have more pain or stuff to deal with, but with a genuine willingness to face those demons and heal old wounds, anyone can change or transform. The two main ingredients required are i) courage - because it takes lots of courage to face up to our inner demons and old wounds ii) patience - because change and healing takes time.
So I think your husband is understandably scared. It's easier to keep his demons locked away somewhere in his mind, than have to confront and deal with them. Unfortunately then when something happens that pushes him 'over the edge' whereby some of those demons start re-appearing, his crack addiction becomes his outlet.
There is no uniform approach to use when dealing with a loved one suffering from an addiction or substance abuse. In many cases using a firm, yet loving approach, with clear boundaries and consequences is the way to go. But because your husband seems to have experienced such major trauma, initially a more gentle and persuasive approach may work best.
The main thing is - he needs to get professional help. So you need to try and take that 'fear factor' away from him, or at least make it seem more manageable, and in doing so encourage him to get the help he needs. Talk to him about the impact what he's doing has on the kids and you. If he's committed to being a good husband and father - the thought of hurting his family may motivate him to do something.
So try that and see how it goes. It may not work and you may then have to consider putting clear boundaries in place with definite consequences if he continues on his path, but for someone who has gone through so much trauma, maybe a gentle push and some encouragement will do the trick.
Remember this - we can't control or cure someone else's addiction. Only your husband can face up to his demons and deal with the various manifestations like his crack addiction. But you can try and provide the motivation for doing so.
If nothing works, then yes eventually you will have to reconsider your future and what you want. Because your husband is entirely responsible for his life ... as you are yours. But hopefully it doesn't get to that.
Good Luck and God Bless