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Addiction to Drugs/Wife Battling Addiction

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Question
My wife and I have been together for 5 years and have 2 children. She has been battling addiction for almost 10 years now. I didn't know her when she started. So I am going by when she told me she started. My question is I recently had to transfer due to my job. She refused to move even though neither of us are from that state. She told me that she wanted time to figure herself out, but won't admit that her problem is bad. She doesn't want professional help or my support. Not sure if it matters, but she is a convicted felon for dr shopping. She blames me for her drug usage. I have never had to battle addiction so it is hard for to understand her feelings. I try but she doesn't open up to me about it. She told me that she wants to get better on her own. I can't help but feel that there is more to the story. She wants a temporary seperation until she decides what she wants, but she wants our children with her. I am just so confused and frustrated that I don't really know what to do. I have our children with me. Should I believe that she is really trying to change or does this seem like another trick? Should I keep paying her bills there to keep her from becoming homeless? She doesn't even deposit her check to pay bills. Love can't be turned on and off. I also feel obligated to keep her under a roof and groceries in the house. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Answer
Hi Jeremy,

I appreciate your situation. It is always difficult to care about and love someone affected by the disease of addiction.  As I am sure you understand, when someone is addicted, those around them get sick as well. Boundary issues and codependencies are the manifestations of addicted disorders in family members and loved ones. In other words.... it is time to set boundaries and gain support for yourself. If she is hungry , provide a sandwich, if she needs a place to stay,  provide the phone numbers for detox or shelters. Up the ante so that she has limited choices, and hopefully will choose treatment.
Most people suffering from this disease can not get well alone. It is natural that she wants to remain private given the shame and embarrassment that are consequences of her use. It is also normal to deny that she has a problem at all for the same reasons. Addiction is a difficult hat to wear.
Of course, your natural inclination is to protect and serve her in her time of need. You can not "fix" this situation for her... but you can point her in the direction of treatment centers, or counseling arenas that specialize in addiction counseling.
It is also important that you seek help and support for yourself to deal with this emotional time in your life, as well as to help you make the best decisions for your family. Please seek out Al-anon, which is a support meeting for the family and loved ones of those suffering from the disease of addiction. You can find a meeting in your area by going to www.alanon.com.
I wish you all the best
Sherrie

Addiction to Drugs

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Sherrie Sweet

Expertise

I am qualified to answer questions in all areas of addiction and recovery. If you have a question that I can not answer, I am not afraid to tell you that I do not know, however, I am willing to help you find the answer. I am qualified to assist you with questions asked by the individual who is using drugs or alcohol, as well as questions from concerned friends and family members. I understand the stigmas of this disease and the difficult issues that arise from substance use. I am here to offer guidance and support.

Experience

I have worked in the field of substance abuse for 20 years. I have experience working in the areas of inpatient detoxification, outpatient counseling, halfway houses, self help groups, individual, marital and family counseling, drunken driving education, pregnant and parenting programs, and medication assisted treatment. Additionally, I have a strong background in medical issues, psychopharmacology and mental health issues. I believe in individualized treatment which meets the specific needs of each person suffering from the disease of addiction.

Education/Credentials
I currently hold a Masters Degree in Human Services/Psychology. I am also continuing with a PhD in Counseling Psychology. I am internationally certified as an Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselor, and licensed as an Alcohol and Drug Counselor. I am additionally pursuing the credential of a Substance Abuse Professional which will allow me to work with and evaluate individuals who are employed within the D.O.T. system. Lastly, I am a partner in private practice working with individuals who are seeking recovery from addictive disorders.

Past/Present Clients
I have extensive experience working with individuals from all walks of life. I have worked with professionals, community leaders, NFL players, police officers, lawyers, nurses, homeless individuals, the indigent, doctors, and attorneys.

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