: Drugs, alcohol and mental health

Discuss the twin challenges of mental health and substance use

9 replies

The Betrayal

Why didn't you tell your spouse/significant other/loved one that you tried coke (or whatever it was/is that has you out of control). And, that you want to keep doing coke, and you will keep doing coke. And, all the good/bad/ugly events that happen to you while you are experiencing the highs/lows/cravings/withdrawals - you will not ever tell me about. Why? Why was I not included in this decision of yours that has totally changed our lives? Why wasn't I even given a chance to know the truth of what was happening? This seems to be a common behavior of the addicted - hiding. It feels like a most awful betrayal and it hurts like Hell. To not know anything about it for years and feel something is so wrong. I hope someone can answer, because he still hasn't given me an answer to this.

replying to ThisTim3

I am so sorry that you are going through all of this. I completely understand where you are coming from with the questions. It just doesn’t make sense… but from my research into addiction and anecdotally I’ll give you my understanding of it.

If our addicted loved ones told us what was going on, they would be faced with a choice: stop or lose us. They love us, so they don’t want to lose us. But they NEED to use. So lying is the way to do both.

Through my own therapy, I’m trying radical acceptance. To an outsider, nothing an addict does will make sense. It probably won’t make sense to them. But to save yourself anguish, try and work from a place that whatever they did was because they had to, that’s always what was going to happen. They didn’t choose it, and neither did you.

Only you can choose what happens next and what you are willing to put up with.

I hope you find some peace, it’s hard but I wish it for all of us on this forum

replying to ThisTim3


I am so sorry for how you are feeling and would love just to hug you. I am going to come from a personal perspective. I met my Husband at 15, from the age of 18 to 21 he was a cocaine addict whilst I cared for my Nan (best friend) as she was dying. I saw signs, questioned, yet never pushed too far for answers, for that I am glad as at that point our relationship would have been over and we would not have our 4 beautiful children.

At the age of 39 I suddenly decided to buy cocaine for the first time, I cannot answer why to this day. I however have been truthful from the start to each and every person (including police and social services). I believe 100% in honesty, or I did! This is where I can understand your Partners view point. In me telling the truth I have been made to feel worthless, verbally and physically assaulted by my Husband and Son, had reports written by Social Services that cut me to the core as so much of it was lies. It leaves me thinking it would have been so much easier had I just not told anyone!

I obviously understand your hurt from past experience yet my advice would be to have a blunt yet peaceful conversation, men in my experience find it hard to open up and us women tend to shout alot ;) You love him, if you did not you would not be here seeking guidance, he is on a pathway which yes is illegal, does not conform to the 'normal' society yet he is the man you fell in love with. All pathways will end when we have learnt what we were put on that pathway for.

I truly hope that you can work through this - my marriage a few weeks ago was what felt like over! With talking, calmness, honesty, support and hugs it is now stronger than ever. However, Christ what a year 2021 has been, I would say the worst ever yet I lost those who judged and never really knew me, gained some wonderful non judgemental friends, assisted charities and most importantly met my demons yet at the same time believed the beauty in helping humanity that lays in me. Yes us drug abusers can be loving, empathic, lawyers, graduates etc.

Give him time hunnie, until you feel that you can give no more - but at that point then please be honest with him - it may just wake him up.

Happy New Year.

Much Love Debs x

replying to ThisTim3

Thank you so much, Loving and Worthless for your words. They mean so much.

replying to ThisTim3

Hi ThisTim3

I know exactly the pain you feel as my husband is a recovering secret cocaine addict. The only person on the planet apart from him who had an inkling was his dealer. Knowing the person you love has concealed a huge part of their life hurts like nothing i have ever felt before.

My husband used cocaine in secret for two and a half years. It started when we had been through a very difficult few years and he began to resent me for how hard life was. He then had some kind of mental breakdown due to work and cocaine slipped into his life - a little late at night on weekends at first, but over the following 30 months it took over everything!

But he never said a word. We all knew something was wrong but we didn't know what. His behaviour completely deteriorated and his health went to pieces. On some occasions i asked him straight out if his was on drugs but he denied it.

But why.... first off he knew that if he said he planned to take cocaine around the kids i would have put a stop to it straight away (obviously!), then.. once it had begun he was filled with shame, embarrassment and at the same time he did get a kick out of the secrecy, he felt he liked the control too (though looking back he can see it was completely beyond control), he also was frightened but didn't want to admit it to himself, let alone me or anyone else. The more he did the bigger the hole he was digging. More shame, worse physical shape, bigger rows and deeper denial. He lied to himself throughout the whole of his active addiction (his words not mine).

About 8 months into his recovery i realised that i still felt completely shut out of this massive part of his life and i also became aware that he was carrying a huge burden of guilt and shame - he was afraid to tell me the nitty gritty of his experiences.

We went out to the seaside and talked and cried for hours. Once the barriers came down it was a big turning point. We're doing okay now. Still have a way to go but 11 months in and at least we're on the same page.

We've been together since 2003 and i always thought the one thing we had above all was 100% honesty. To find out about this terrible secret was the worst feeling I've ever had.

I hope you're able to break down the barriers with your partner.

1 reply

replying to ThisTim3

@faithnotfear I am so happy reading your comment. There's nothing more I can add. You are proof that with connection, understanding, and most of all your husbands commitment to getting clean that love is the answer to addiction.

replying to Jamesb

aw i feel a little teary reading that! thank you so much xxx

i can hardly believe we've got here sometimes - in the beginning i never thought it possible.. all i could do was focus on the greater good and give my husband a safe space to recover. he wanted out though - active addiction is misery.

we went on our own journeys but hand in hand.

i am amazed looking at his journey and couldn't be prouder of him.

we are lucky to have eachother xx

2 replies

replying to ThisTim3

So lately after learning about the extent of his addiction to coke (I doubt I'll ever know everything) all these years later - he is now suffering from panic attacks. It is like our discussions have stirred it all up in him and he's having a hard time with the memories of what he was doing then. More than 30 years ago, when he quit using coke. So scary. He has hurt me emotionally more than I could have ever imagined, he has hurt himself same or worse. He has agreed to begin individual counseling next week. I've never seen him this upset.

replying to ThisTim3

unfortunately they will always carry the burden of guilt and shame, all they can do about it is understand they weren't in their right minds and continue to make amends to those they hurt... my husband is only a year or so in but he does lots of nice things with the kids to make up for them missing out on having a loving and present daddy 💔

he does quite often cry for what he has done and i don't think he'll ever get over the guilt and shame.

I'm not sure I'll get over what he put me through - we just learn to live with this burden and muddle along as best we can.

I think he might need therapy one day too.

At least our kids are okay x

replying to ThisTim3

It's good to hear from someone who has weathered the storm long term. My hope is that when we're old and look back, the horrendous cocaine years represent only a small percentage of our overall years as a couple.

We have talked a lot about what it was like for him during this time, so hopefully he won't suffer in years to come like your husband.

Addiction really is a most ugly and destructive problem.

Yet still they come down that road!

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