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Being Married to an Addict

 

In 2010, I was living with my mom, my stepdad, and my 5-year-old son, and I needed a job not only to support my son, but to help pay for the bills and to drink alcohol. My mom actually recommended that I go apply at a local topless dancing club. While it was a great income, it was definitely not one of the brightest ideas I have ever had. I drank there, five nights a week. However, on the plus side, that is where I met my current husband. Here’s the story of how I met him.

One night while working, he came in and intrigued me. He wasn’t like the other guys there. He was quiet but he did ask me if I could give him a dance. While I told him yes, I never did. He kept coming back and one day I sat down to talk to him. In our first conversation, he told me that he was addicted to drugs due to a car accident eight years earlier. He told me I should stay away because of his addiction, but I didn’t. I found that I could connect with him because I had an alcohol addiction of my own, so I understood.

From Work to Relationship

From that point forward, I really didn’t pay attention to anyone else who came in. When he came in, I would sit and talk to him whenever I could. I was falling in love. Not even a couple of days after we met, we started hanging out, outside of work. We spent a lot of time together and he would even come there just to drive me home.

About a month after we met, he told me if I wanted to be in a relationship with him I would have to quit working at the club. I quickly quit the club without even giving them notice. At that point, he was on quite a few different medications including two pain medications, two muscle relaxers, migraine medications, and even over-the-counter medications. He was also using marijuana as well. I talked to him about my concerns and we decided to have him stop all of those medications, except for the marijuana, and enter into a Methadone Clinic. At that clinic, he would go in daily to get his dose, and over the course of two years, he slowly weaned off the Methadone.

After the Clinic, Before the Marriage

Everything was great for about three months without any medications, except for his medical marijuana. However, about three months after he stopped at the clinic, he hurt his back again and was prescribed a pain medication. Before the clinic, he was taking his prescriptions and going to get more from other people too. Since he started that pain medication three months after he finished at the clinic, he had only taken his prescribed dosage. It was about two months after he started taking the new prescription pain medication, that he talked to the doctor about getting a muscle relaxer. He told me he couldn’t live without it and I had heard that before. I was scared but I had seen how he lived without the medications and I hated to see him suffer.

Our Marriage and His Medication Use

About two and a half years later, we were married and he was on the one pain medication, two muscle relaxer medications, migraine medications, and he was using his medical marijuana. About six months after we were married and we had our daughter. I really thought that he was doing great on the medications until he was taking on extra and having to miss another day to make up for it. I wanted him to wean off some of the medication and he agreed. We have now been together for five years and he is on the one pain medication which he is trying to have replaced with pain patches instead. He is on one muscle relaxer, his migraine medications, and using medical marijuana.

The Toll His Addiction Takes On Me

I do have a difficult time dealing with his addiction. While he is technically in recovery (this is debatable) since he only takes prescription medications, I often catch myself comparing his addiction to my own. While I used alcohol to cover up emotional pain, he takes prescription pain medications to cover up physical pain. He recently got medical insurance since I had signed him up for disability. He is seeing a doctor who is recommending surgery. While the doctor says that wouldn’t relieve all of the pain, it might help enough to get him off some of the medications. I believe that he is so used to relying on the medications to treat his pain that he can’t see any other way of living. This is difficult for me to understand. I am always researching ways to help him relieve pain in more holistic ways, but he doesn’t believe they will work so he doesn’t try.

Even with my own issues of addiction (I have now been sober for just over four and a half years), infidelity, withdrawing from him, and sometimes putting him down, he has never left me. I will continue to be there for him as he has been there for me through all of my troubles. I pray and will keep praying that there will be a solution besides those medications someday. I will be the first to admit he is addicted and it does cause problems from time to time, but I have hope for a better future for myself, my husband, and our children.


Cara Havens, author of Overcoming Any Addiction: Finding the Inner You, works as a professional freelance writer. Cara began her sobriety in April of 2011 and specializes in addiction and addiction recovery. She also enjoys spending time with her three children and her husband.

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