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At my wits end

My husband of 8 years has a cocaine addiction. It started when he was in his 20s before we got married, he was a daily addict and it got so bad I kicked him out. He got clean by himself (bar a few relapses) and I took him back, we got married and had two children together. They are 6 and 3.

I thought that part of his life was over but at the age of 35 he relapsed and is back in the throes of addiction again. Instead of using every day, he now goes on all night binges every 2-3 months where he is uncontactable. He’s spent thousands of pounds and there have been occasions where he has disappeared in the middle of the night and I’ve woken up and he’s not there. I’ve stopped all access to cash (at his request) but he still finds ways to buy the drugs.

The last time he called me at 5am asking that I transfer money to a bank account as he owed a dealer money and that he was in trouble. I didn’t transfer the money, it was all lies and he came home a few hours later.

My husband is a hardworking successful man who does everything for him family and I love him very much, but the addiction has changed his personality.

In the days after a binge he is sorry and tearful and appears to really want to kick the habit, but in the weeks that follow he buries his head in work and pretends nothing is wrong. He has tried going to meetings and counselling but he says they are not ‘for him’. He accepts that he has a problem but doesn’t want to be like ‘those people’ at the meetings.

If I try to confront him or discuss the problem he gets hostile and deflects the conversation to talk about something trivial that I have done or minimises the problem. It’s like talking to a brick wall. Even when we do have a meaningful conversation it’s all forgotten about the next day and he’s back to burying his head in the sand. Literally nothing I can say.

This has been going on for a year now and I can no longer live like this. The constant worrying, the shattered trust, the lies and the manipulation have just got too much for me. If he was in the right mindset then I’d support him in his recovery, but these relapses are his addiction and he’s not dealing with it.

He says if I kick him out he’ll go on a downward spiral which I obviously don’t want and my children will be devastated if he leaves but I can’t see him getting better without hitting rock bottom.

I feel as though whatever move I make now will upset my children. If he leaves they’ll be devastated but if he stays they will start to understand what’s happening and it will have a detrimental effect on them in the long term. At present he doesn’t use in the house and the children are completely unaware of what is happening.

My family are so worried about us but no one can give me any sound advice on whether he should stay or go. I feel as though I’m between a rock and a hard place.

Any advice is greatly appreciated.

replying to jacjacjac

Hi there.. im in the same situation as your husband... and i cant stand the stuff! Im lapsing once a month. And there are a lot of simularities with your story that are same as mine. Cocaine makes you do stupid things and its like the devil on your shoulder. Coming down off it, it makes me depressed and suicidal , and i have kids and i regret it all the next day.

Im doing various things to keep me occupied.. ive took up reading, more sessions in the gym, i listen to coke recovery stories. A bit of russell brand and his addiction stories.

But i lapsed this weekend after a month again.. and today i had a hypnosis session for £85 for 2 hours, and thats all i need to stop and he had great reviews! So fingers crossed it works! Feel free to ask me anything

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replying to jacjacjac

Thanks for your reply, I’d love to hear how the hypnosis works for you please keep me updated.

You sound very determined in your resolve to quit which is great and the fact you have taken the time to read this forum and are taking active steps to recover is fantastic. I see cocaine as the actual devil that has possessed my husband and I have genuine sorrow for anyone with this horrible affliction.

The problem is my husband is too proud and will not accept it is something he has to work on every single day.

If he, like you, made his recovery a priority and I could see real positive steps I’d support him 100% but the reality is he’s in denial and nothing I say will help.

Best of luck with your recovery.

replying to jacjacjac

To be honest he really does need to want to quit himself. Your right though.. it is the devil. Its such a sneaky drug, and it makes you cause arguments with your partner as an excuse to get it. Its a very clever drug and messes with your brain.

The problem is as well, the more money your earning the more you will tend to have, and the worse you will get. Its everywere now, its in every pub, people take it to work. Its easy to get dropped off aswell..

How much is he spending a week?

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replying to jacjacjac

Hi Jacjacjac,

You sound just like me and my situation.

I dont have advice, because I dealt with my situation badly, or at least it felt like I did. My husband is now 4 months clean and its like living with a different person, life is pleasant and calm. No more wondering where he is, what he's doing, endless paranoia, panic attacks, that sick feeling in the pit of your stomach thinking what the hell am I going to do..... I suspect one reason you stay is because you know theres a good person in there, two - he's the father of your children, three - you dont want to be the reason he self destructs, am I close to the mark?

How did he stop? Well I dont know really, he went out one night, didnt come home (regular occurance) I had been awake since 3am thinking the worst. He strolls in at 7am and I just break down. He sees that i'm not angry, i'm broken. Lightbulb came on and he stopped. HOWEVER, I do feel like i've been here before and i'm on tenterhooks thinking he'll relapse.

I hate the drug, I hate his 'so-called mates' who hang off him when he's using, but don't actually care about him at all, I hate the fact that I've had to live with this on and off for the best part of 10 years (worst in the last 3). I feel angry with occasional users who don't see the destruction it creates in family homes. I want stricter laws around it, I want to grass any dealer and user I know of to the police, its all consuming.

Theres a great song by Bliss n Eso, called Devil on my shoulder. Its worth a listen, I think its about someone with a drink problem, but it resonated with my husband.

Thinking of you, you're not alone x

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replying to Ash2013

Hi jules,

My husband is 8 months clean. As you say life is now pleasant but for how long?

Everything is going well now between us, but I can’t help thinking it won’t ever be the same as he put me through so much. I questioned most of his decisions whilst he was using thinking “ was the behaviour him or all down to the drugs” rationally I know it was the effect that the horrible cocaine did to him as I’ve been with him 17 years and for 13 he was amazing until he discovered coke! That’s why I hung on. The hardest bit comes afterwards trying to regain some kind of trust and trying to let go of the past which is incredibly hard. I’m having counselling and it’s helping but it’s literally been the most horrendous last few years of my life.

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replying to B8988

I feel exactly the same B8988.

I cling on to the good times, and I know I did that during the bad times. Not sure that helped. None of my family or his knew about the addiction either, so it was all on my shoulders. I work full time and I was basically a single parent, but worse as I had all the angst. I couldnt leave our daughter with him because I was scared he would do it with her in the house, I couldnt even ask him to collect her from childcare because I dont think he'd have thought twice about driving high. He was also taking diazepam in an effort to hide it from me, except I knew, I always knew and then I knew he was taking something to come down.

I've been with him 15 years, 11 years married. He did it occasionally in the past, but it got more regular, then 7 years ago he saw a dr, who he respected, and opened up to. He was put on anti depressants, and for a couple of years he was clean (at that time I fell pregnant) then over the last 5 years its been a rollercoaster. I'm ashamed to say that at points I have been scared of him, too frightened to ask where he's been for fear of a blow up or the silent treatment. Its turned me into a shell. I'm getting better, but I'm still nervous to not say the wrong thing, even though he's clean. Old habits die hard so they say.

I could do with seeing a counsellor, would you recommend a particular search criteria?x

replying to jacjacjac

You said this:

If I try to confront him or discuss the problem he gets hostile and deflects the conversation to talk about something trivial that I have done or minimises the problem.

Exactly the same as I went through. Deflection/gas lighting I believe this is called.

I was accused of having affairs with my boss, then one of his friends.... but the flip side reality was that he was seeing someone, so in his head I must have been too.

The thought of having an affair and adding to my lifes drama was about as far from my mind as it could have ever been! I didn't have the energy to deal with daily tasks, let alone have any inclination to play away!

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replying to jacjacjac

Thanks for your replies ladies.

It seems so unfair that we are the ones with the constant worry, stress and anxiety as well as the responsibility of our kids. My husband doesn’t have a care in the world as he’s burying his head in he sand.

I see him kind of like a child, unable to make responsible choices and this is not how a marriage should be. A marriage should be for the mutual support of each other.... this just isn’t right.

I’m the same as you Jules1980 I don’t leave my kids with him anymore so I basically have no social life. He says when I go out in the evening it’s one of his triggers so I’ve stopped going out at all.

I’m so glad your husbands are clean right now and I pray for a happy ending for you both.

I heard a great analogy recently, that as soon as a person takes cocaine it’s like a seed is planted in the brain.

You water the seed by continuing to use cocaine and it grows into a tree, getting bigger and bigger, overtaking more and more of the persons personality.

The only way to kill the tree is to stop watering it (using cocaine). As it shrivels and dies and more and more of the person comes back.

Eventually all that’s left is the seed, which will always be there but is totally harmless as long as you don’t water it.

Sending lots of love xxx

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replying to Ash2013

I’m seeing a marriage counsellor but he focuses on us individually as well as a couple. I just googled marriage counselling and luckily found one that was non profit so £30 an hour, but I do manage to get loads in that hour.

I went primarily because I thought my husband could now be a potential cheat. He was the most loyal and trustworthy man ever but due to the explosive fights we’d have over his drug use, he’d think he didn’t want to be with me. He told me he didn’t think he loved me or the kids anymore at times, then the next begged me to stay as he did love me it was the coke that made him think he didn’t. Since coming on here I’ve noticed that seems to be a common trait! He would be paranoid that I was going to cheat and be jealous over ex boyfriends I’d had when I was a teenager. During one argument I told him I didn’t think he was attractive anymore and threw a cup at him.

He left me and went on to add loads of random women on fb, telling them we’d been split months and how he hated me etc. Although nothing happened between him or any of them, I think in his head he was planning on maybe leaving me, thinking his addiction could only be maintained if we weren’t together. Cocaine then came before me or our children. Trouble is he said when the drugs wore off his love for me came back and he’d feel ashamed, so to block out what he’d done, he’d take more coke!

I think his self esteem was at an all time low too and he was acting out as a confidence boost to see if he could get attention. By flirting with others every time he thought his marriage was in trouble. It was all so out of character. That was the ultimate betrayal though and the one that hurt the most.

The marriage counsellor has seemed to pin it all on his childhood, his mother left him when he was small and he never seen her again until he was an adult, he had different step mums in and out of his life and was left alone for long periods of time as his dad was always working.

He does seem committed to changing for good this time, I’m just hoping it lasts, I can’t go though it again! I have 5 children to think about! X

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