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When is enough, enough?

I have been with my partner for 4 years. We both have children (not together). He has had a cocaine problem his whole adult life (now 37). when we met he stopped for about two years. I don’t touch it. Never have. Things started creeping up on us about 2 years ago. Until recently he’s been doing well but I notice the pattern now. The odd slip up here and there, then more frequent, then weekly, until it’s every day and crazy amounts of money. I’ve been so stressed with this virus, schools closing, having to work from home and not knowing if he will be bringing money in much longer (he’s a tradesman). I need him to be there for me but he’s not. He’s only worried about doing coke. He ruined last weekend wasting hundreds of pounds. Looks like this weekend is going the same way. I don’t think I have a choice but to ask him to leave. I can’t cope with the stress on top of everything else and I need to know I can pay my bills. Has anyone been through this? How did you deal with children? Mine are teenagers and now they don’t have to worry about exams and we will be spending a lot of time together, I figure it’s a good time. Has any one been through it already? Do you have any advice about how to talk to teenagers about what is going on?

replying to Asdf

You always have a choice, its just harder to see when you are trying to desperately to keep up appearances. That's what happened to me.

My Ex partner (we still live together pending the sale of our flat) is addicted to cocaine and will do it every other day. wasting at least £100 every time he does it. We are behind on mortgage payments, water, electric, council tax. Just about everything. its about £6000+ in total. Not including the debts he has outstanding with a number of drug dealers. So i really can relate. i just have to call up all of the providers and say we are in financial difficulty and troubles at home (without actually saying what it is) and put us on plans to repay. I Also have a 2 year old son with him. He will have no issue about doing it in front of him even when the little one is eating breakfast. it breaks my heart, but i cannot enable it anymore. I decided that i did have a choice and i spilt up with him after 10 years of being together. so much happened in those 10 years with his drug addiction i could write a bloody book!

I try and get out of the flat away from the ex and do something fun, although it can be difficult as i don't have much money and only work part time with 80% of my wages going on the bill to cover what the ex hasn't paid. so i go on a lot of walks, to the park and try and find deals to go to places wherever i can on, places like groupon.

I have tried to get him help but nothing has worked. i tried actively for 4 year with professional help, separate counsellors, couples counselling, group sessions. He just thinks that he is better than it all.

To be honest i don't have advise on how to talk to teenagers, my son is only 2 at the moment so haven't yet reached that stage. but when the time comes for me, i think trying to be honest about the situation without too much story telling on what he has done would be a start. They will have there own opinion on him and the emotional side of the addiction. Researching some facts about cocaine you could ask them what they understand about drugs and what effects they have physically and mentality, the science behind it. Maybe telling them that the drug can sometimes overtake the person that they used to be, its a very delicate situation and you know your children and what they will be able to take in. They might even have a clue or seen snippets of it already so it might be a point of putting the puzzle pieces together.

The main thing is to look after yourself, its so hard to be a mum as it is let alone to mother a partner with a drug addiction. do something today that makes you happy. Have a bath or read a chapter of a book. or even try (and it know this might be pushing it as a mum) a sit in a room to reflect or meditate for 10 minutes. I never thought i would ever be a person to mediate or do yoga, but it took my mind off it for at least 10 minutes, i felt free in those 10 minutes and i didn't care if i looked silly, i done it for me.

I hope this helps, just know you're not alone lovely. I will be thinking of you today xxx

replying to Asdf

Thank you for your reply. It sounds like we are in a really similar situation. We have been to all the services who will help us and done all the counselling. He just tried to rush through everything and never really digs deep enough to make a difference. As soon as services stopped due to corona, he was back on it. I just can’t deal with the anxiety, never mind the ridiculous amount of money. He won’t be staying here once I have figured out why to tell the kids.

I hope you are keeping strong. I have lived with an ex before and it is so draining.

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replying to Asdf

It honestly feels like a rollercoaster of emotions! Yesterday was good but I popped out to return my sisters dog I had been looking after for the week, as they went on holiday. I left the flat on good terms with our son asleep in his room and was gone for 45 minutes. In that time he had already got coke dropped off and made his way through it. I just feel a prisoner in my own home (although we can’t even go out now really) I still can’t even escape when he is doing it. And Feel so guilty for leaving my son with him. Our flat is small and I can’t literally hear him sniff every line! I mean he’s doing it right now, again for the 4th night this week!!

I’m just so scared for my son when we eventually live in separate places that he will not take coke when he’s around. I don’t know what to do. I don’t know if I should legally put something in place or have an agreement that he has to show he’s making the steps to change. It because he uses so much the chances are that he will use when he’s looking after our son. What should I do?

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replying to Asdf

One thing you should never feel is guilty. Addiction is a disease and you are a victim of it. Children have a strong feeling of good and right at that age and so if they recognise his behaviour as bad then it could mean less chance of addiction themselves in the future, particularly if you talk to them and instil the message that how your partner abuses drugs is not positive and will only have negative effects. I would say be very open and honest with them, they'll probably know about drugs and so they'll know that your partner has an illness that can be beaten but takes a lot of time, effort and willpower. Legally binding steps can be the right way but it can also create lots of problems and even rifts in a family. I'd be very sure that was what you wanted, as potentially much more effective might be to, as you say, make him show hes changed.

Keep going, we're all with you xx

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replying to FRH92

I have decided to talk to my two. I’m working from home but have the Easter holidays off as annual leave so I will talk to them then. That gives me time to make sure they’re ok and I can answer any questions and have space to get over it myself before having to work.

With your little one, I honestly wouldn’t leave him alone with him. I know it is hard but he’s not safe. Even if he accidentally got hold of something...you would never forgive yourself. My partner thinks he’s got it all together but there’s no way he can after using. He’s left things lying around and I’ve found residue in the bathroom etc. it wouldn’t take much for an inquisitive 2 year old. And you don’t want him to see that and think it’s normal.

You are strong. You will get through this and life will be so much better ❤️

replying to userna123me

Thank you for your message. It has helped a lot. I will talk to my teenagers. He’s not their dad so no legal issues to worry about. I doubt he would have contact after we split! Mine have been through so much already that this is going to be hard but the madness of isolation and lock down means I have more time to help them through than I’m ever likely to again. I feel like I have to take this opportunity. I hope my partner can recover, but it is clear that he won’t do it yet and he is doing more harm than good being with me now. I have tried everything I can to help and nothing is helping because he isn’t ready. It is heartbreaking but I know there’s no more I can do.

replying to Asdf

That's good, let us know how it all goes! i will be thinking of you over Easter! i think that's a really good idea. There is nothing worse then going into work and all you do is think about what is happening at home!

Yeah i haven't left my little one since that happened now even for 5 minutes, i just can't trust him. I have that horrible feeling in my belly that hes going to do drugs again tonight. Mainly because its payday for him, but we need to pay the mortgage today and i know which one is going to take president!

He leaves things lying around all the time. Whenever i go back into the living room where he has been doing it all night i have to do a quick sweep of the room and hoover before the little one can go in. its horrible that i have to do that.

I keep on wishing away time and hoping that i will just blink and it will be all over, then i feel guilty because that must mean i want to skip the time with my son too. i desperate for all of this to be over and its just me and my little boy together! xx

replying to Asdf

I'm sorry that at this really stressful time you have all this to cope with too. I'm so glad you found this forum and that you are able to talk with others in similar situations, which I hope helps to know that you're not alone.

I work for a charity called The Icarus Trust. We offer support to the people who are dealing with the impact of a partner's addiction. We know how hard this can be so we have experienced trained people who understand what you are going through, that you could talk to. If you contact us I can put you in touch with one of them. May be that would help you.

You can contact Icarus Trust on help@icarustrust.org or visit our website www.icarustrust.org

All the best to you.

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