Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Your Turn: “I’m in a Miserable Marriage”

In a feature I call “Your Turn,” in which you, the readers, get to answer the question, I’m presenting the following letter without commentary from me:

I have been unhappy since the day I got married. We got married when I was 20. We have been married for three years now. Unfortunately, when we made the decision to get married I was too naive to understand what I was getting into. My husband has a drug addiction and is very immature. We have been on-and-off since we started dating because he relapses. I shouldn’t even say he relapses because he has never tried to be clean. Not for real, not in my opinion.

I hold so much resentment towards him for the choices he has made and all the horrible things he has put me through. My husband was high the day we got married. He left me on our honeymoon night to get more high and came back home after 2 a.m. I just this year experienced my first holiday where he wasn’t high. Those memories are only the beginning of the worst, saddest years of my life.

I have stuck by him always, through the drugs, withdrawals, jail, and infidelities I believe he has had. I would think that is love, but the reality is that most of the time I just feel empty. Though my husband is now “trying” to get clean, something still feels to be missing. When I think of all he has done to me, I truly feel hate. I’m tired of everything being about him — his addiction, his depression, his withdrawals and trying to get clean. Even his friends are always before me.

I don’t know what to do. I don’t feel sure I want a divorce. But I’m not sure I want to stay with him either.

We have no children and nothing shared. I’m the only one who works, and the apartment is rented under my name. I pay all bills and have bought everything myself. Getting a divorce should be a breeze. But something tells me I love him and that he just needs time. But the truth is, I don’t know that there is anything he can do make me feel he really is sorry. I don’t think it will never be enough for me. What should I do? — Regretful Wife

***************

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If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy@dearwendy.com.

70 comments… add one
  • avatar

    titian January 16, 2013, 9:05 am

    It sounds like you could use some real support. I am so sorry for what you are going through. I’m not sure if anyone has ever mentioned co-dependents anonymous to you. http://www.coda.org

    This program has helped me take care of myself and my needs and it has been a blessing.

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  • avatar

    MJ January 16, 2013, 9:08 am

    Love isn’t really enough in this case. Yeah, you love him. That doesn’t make him a good partner, friend, or husband. It doesn’t make him someone you can built a supportive, loving relationship with. That sucks. But you can’t just love someone into making it work…you need to love someone who can love you more than getting high. Love isn’t just a feeling, it’s showing up and being present for someone every day. It doesn’t sound like your husband is able to do that for you, and you are no longer able to do that for him, either.

    You’re already resentful and angry, but if you can’t bring yourself to end it, I definitely suggest counseling or at least a regular meeting for spouses/family members of addicts. They can help you talk things through. (Actually, I’d recommend those things whether you end it or not.)

    Good luck!

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  • avatar

    kerrycontrary January 16, 2013, 9:09 am

    I am sorry for what you are going through. I think you are spot on saying that you were young and naive when you made this decision. Your family and friends probably share this perspective as well. I am glad that you can support yourself financially and that the apartment you live in is under your name. You sound very unhappy and resentful of your husband and the choices he’s made (I don’t blame you). I suggest that you move forward with getting a divorce and asking him to move out. While you love this man, love is not enough to keep a marriage together. And your lives shouldn’t revolve just around his satisfaction. When are your goals, interests, and happiness ever considered? You were young and made a mistake. You are still young. You have time to start a new path and go forward with your life, the way it should be.

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  • avatar

    Sunshine Brite January 16, 2013, 9:15 am

    I personally think if you are considering a divorce that this is a good option as even beyond the drug addicted behavior he has potential infidelities, he puts friends before your relationship, and has done things to elicit a response of hate from you.

    At least consider a separation while he gets clean, it will be better for you and him to receive the individual supports you need to maintain sobriety and interact with each other in a new way. You’ve only known him addicted and if he does stop use it’s going to fundamentally change the way you interact. Get your own individual therapy and consider a divorce, you’re only 23 and there’s a whole lifetime ahead of you.

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  • Fabelle

    Fabelle January 16, 2013, 9:15 am

    The thing holding you back from FINALLY separating from this man isn’t love…it’s a twisted sort of comfort. You are accustomed & comfortable being this miserable, because it’s the state you’ve been in for so long.

    He doesn’t need time— he’s had all the time in the world to get clean, behave more considerately, & act like a loving husband towards you. It’s time to admit to yourself (and to him) that this marriage was a mistake, & get out now.

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  • avatar

    csp January 16, 2013, 9:15 am

    LW, I can tell that you are writing this letter in a bad mental place. So take a breath and make a pros and cons list. Talk to loved ones and maybe find a support group. When you are contemplating a divorce, you have to deal with all sorts of emotions like getting the stigma of divorce. Maybe you feel like the people who didn’t approve will now have i told you so on thier lips. Maybe it is the harsh reality that you need more than love to make a marriage work. It might be the in sickness and in health vow you took. Really work through all of these and realize that you have 70 years of life left (god willing) and you have a choice of how you want to spend it. Good luck.

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    • avatar

      Oldie January 16, 2013, 10:11 am

      This is such a load of crap. Really, a pros and cons list? She is supporting a drug addict to cheats on her and places being with his friends with being with her. The con — the stigma of divorce? There really isn’t a stigma of divorce in today’s society. Don’t guilt this poor woman with your ‘in sickness and in health vow crap. She is married to someone she hates. A guy who apparently never even checked into his own marriage.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest January 16, 2013, 11:07 am

        Well, maybe your list would be her pro and con list and would actually help her decide. She obviously can’t decide if she’s writing in.

        Not everyone tosses aside sickness and health vows. I’m not saying she should or shouldn’t tolerate this, just saying it might not be easy for her to leave because maybe she takes her vows very seriously.

        Personally, I’d say its ultimatum time: go to counseling together, get into treatment, etc.

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      • avatar

        jlyfsh January 16, 2013, 11:20 am

        yeah i agree I think in this case the pros and cons list might be needed. if this LW was feeling confident enough in her decision, like you said she wouldn’t be writing in. i think if anything making a list like this might help her see why she might be staying and help her gain the confidence to actually move on and get the divorce.

        i don’t think the pros and cons list is about staying with him vs not staying with him, but a tool to help her move on. but, i’m always a fan of a good pros and cons list. i use them a lot.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest January 16, 2013, 11:23 am

        Thanks, after I wrote that, I finished reading the comments and seems everyone is pushing for divorce. Hopefully all of these comments will help her decide what she needs, but yea, love pro con lists. Great for an indecisive person or a tough decision.

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      • avatar

        jlyfsh January 16, 2013, 11:32 am

        I think she seems to want to fix him, but at the same time isn’t sure if she can ever forgive him. And I think both those are big red flags. No relationship will last if you feel the need to fix them or can’t forgive them and move on.

        And obviously his drug use/inability to get sober is a big issue, but I think that this is a case where it’s more about her than it is her husband. Like if it wasn’t him she might be with someone else who needed to be ‘fixed’. But, that was just my interpretation of some of her statements!

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest January 16, 2013, 11:37 am

        I agree with all that. I admittedly don’t know much about drug addiction, etc. but I believe people can get sober and stay sober. If he can do that maybe all will improve. There’s also the possibility that he does get sober, and they aren’t compatible because, like you said, she needs someone to fix.

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      • avatar

        jlyfsh January 16, 2013, 11:43 am

        Oh yeah I agree with that too. Many people can and do recover from addiction and save their marriages. But, the partner has to deal with the new person and be able to forgive.

        But, I think his drug addiction paired with her issues are why a lot of people are saying to divorce 🙂

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      • katie

        katie January 16, 2013, 11:46 am

        she says she was too naive to understand what she was doing when she got married- i highly doubt she takes the vows as seriously as some other people do … its pretty obvious she is in this spot because of lack of self esteem, familiarity of the situation, and fear of the unknown.

        i hate the guilt because of vows, thing, though. its pretty ridiculous. divorce for petty things is and will always be stupid, but for this girl to put up with so much shit for so long and then have someone kind of insinuate “well, you took vows, you gotta stick with it” is pretty shitty.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest January 16, 2013, 12:12 pm

        I have no idea how seriously she takes her vows. Neither do any of us.

        I am not guilting her about vows. I’m saying IF she is someone who is trying to stick it out in a bad marriage because of taking her vows seriously, they should then get into counseling and him into treatment.

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      • avatar

        csp January 16, 2013, 1:44 pm

        So many people are focusing on why she should leave, LBH and I are trying to shed light on why she has stayed so far. I think we are trying to figure out what is holding her back. This reason is what is paralyzing her. It might be a vow, it might be shame, it might be that he is so sweet and nice when he is sober, she might like how much he depends on her, she might dream of the man he will be when he stops useing drugs, or she might be comfortable and fear change. These reasons make all the difference.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest January 16, 2013, 1:55 pm

        Excellent. Liked your comment below also.
        Everyone is saying this guys a loser, leave now, go for it. I know Sampson has said sometimes people feel like they need permission to do that, and maybe this LW does, so great, she’s getting it.
        But maybe she’s not going to just read that everyone said divorce, and then run out and get a divorce. Maybe she needs more than just the ultimate answer.

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      • avatar

        csp January 16, 2013, 1:32 pm

        This was what I meant. Much better put.

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      • Kate B.

        Kate B. January 16, 2013, 11:43 am

        I have to agree with Oldie. Sometimes, there is such a thing as “too much thinking”. This is not a marriage. Get out now before you get in deeper, like say, a kid comes along. There’s not a whole lot to work through here, in my opinion.

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      • avatar

        csp January 16, 2013, 1:39 pm

        Look, here is a girl who has made a set of decisions that she needs to work through. I have always found that putting pen to paper helps clarify things. all of the things you have put are things that would be in the con side. But sometimes articulating why you are staying can bring things into perspective. I have found reading this blog. That people many times write in on thier worst day. You can usually tell because the letters are skewed one way. So rather than getting a follow up letter that says, “once I calmed down i realized it wasn’t that bad.” she can make a concrete list of facts. There are many reasons why she could be staying but she needs to clarify what those are just as much as why she is ready to leave.

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  • avatar

    artsygirl January 16, 2013, 9:15 am

    Please LW get out of the relationship. It sounds like there are some codependency issues going on and overall nothing in your relationship sounds healthy. You already resent him, you resent the drugs, and you resent the years you have spent with a man that is not willing to take responsibility for his actions. Get out now before you end up pregnant or some other action will tie you to him forever.

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  • avatar

    Miss Dee January 16, 2013, 9:26 am

    My heart goes out to you. You are only 23 and you are going through so much. I agree with the posters that you will need counseling and support as you move forward. One exercise that has helped me when I need to make difficult choices – where do you see yourself in 5 years? Is it with an immature, drug-addicted spouse who is unable to contribute to the household or provide YOU with emotional support? If not – you have made your decision. Be grateful you don’t have any children together. One day you will look back on this time on your life and be grateful that you moved on. Good luck!!

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    • othy

      othy January 16, 2013, 11:07 am

      I love asking where you see yourself in 5, 10, 20 years time question. In 3 years, he has shown no interest in changing, and has continued to bring you down. Do you really want to put up with this forever? MOA, get yourself some support, and in 5 years, you will find yourself in a much better place.

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  • Amybelle

    Amybelle January 16, 2013, 9:27 am

    LW, you need to get a divorce. I know what it is like to be in a bad, unsalvageable marriage and yet not be able to end it, and not even know why. A therapist gave me a copy of the book “Too Good to leave, Too Bad to Stay” by Mira Kirshenbaum and it helped me to see things as they really were and move forward. I was going to say you’re young and don’t have kids yet but the truth is even if you were older and had kids my advice would be the same. What I regret most is the time I wasted trying to fix a marriage that was beyond repair.

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  • gigi

    Gigi January 16, 2013, 9:32 am

    Waiting will not help. Loving someone enough will not change them. I married an alcoholic at age 19 & took my vows seriously. I believe in his own distorted way, he did love me, as much as he wwas capable of, but it wasnt enough to change him. I waited for 7 years, through emotional, verbal & physical abuse & financial ruin. No children as I recognized that he was not good father material right from the start. The trick is realizing that loving YOURSELF enough to feel worthy of better things in your life & feeling that you DESERVE to be treated with respect & decency & love. Please leave him now & seek counseling & the suport of family & friends, don’t waste one more year of your life on this man.

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  • avatar

    EricaSwagger January 16, 2013, 9:32 am

    I don’t know much (anything) about marriage/family law. But something about this letter screamed “annulment” to me. I feel like with drugs involved, it should be relatively simple to get out of this marriage. And yes, I think you should definitely get out of this marriage.

    LW, I think your indecisiveness is just due to the fact that this man has been in your life for so long. It’s hard to walk away from a relationship when you don’t know anything else. I know some people have a “stand by your man” mentality, but that doesn’t really apply here. You’ve been miserable for a very long time and (while I don’t know you, I’m going to assume) you deserve better.

    Get your divorce. If he really “just needs time” then who knows… he could end up getting clean, turning his life around, and seeking you out to apologize and ask for forgiveness. Then if you still love him and want to give marriage a second chance, go for it.

    More realistically though, you’ll end up realizing how much better life can be when you live it for yourself first.

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    • avatar

      kerrycontrary January 16, 2013, 9:46 am

      I wonder if they get divorced she’ll have to pay spousal support (alimony) since she worked and supported him staying at home. I don’t know if that gets taken out of consideration if one party is a drug addict, but it would be interesting to know.

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      • avatar

        GatorGirl January 16, 2013, 9:59 am

        That is a very very good question.

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      • FireStar

        FireStar January 16, 2013, 10:20 am

        Courts where I live factor age and length of the marriage into those determinations. So leaving after a relatively short period of time while both parties are young is infinitely preferable to leaving after there is more of a history of support in the marriage. It’s an excellent reason to avoid procrastination and to at least separate as soon as the situation becomes untenable.

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      • theattack

        theattack January 16, 2013, 12:29 pm

        Where I live it would be very possible she could have to pay him alimony, but there are a lot of factors that can go into it, such as length of the marriage, whether or not there were infidelities (and if they had sex after the infidelity), etc.

        Any amount of alimony is worth it to get away from this guy though.

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    • katie

      katie January 16, 2013, 10:08 am

      yep- if he was high on the day of the marriage, it could be annulled.. but i wonder if it would have to come from him, because he was the one who was high, and therefore not able to consent to the marriage? i dunno about that part..

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  • avatar

    SuzyQ January 16, 2013, 9:36 am

    Kick him out and don’t look back. Ots the only way you’ll be able to see how great your life can really be. You’re way to young to give up like this. Time for you to have fun and be happy.

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  • FireStar

    FireStar January 16, 2013, 9:48 am

    You don’t sound like a woman in love… so I suspect that “something” that is telling you you love him is really just a fear of the unknown. Don’t let fear hold you back any longer. It’s time my dear. Speak with a family law lawyer to start your divorce proceedings and if the thought of you leaving him is finally enough to get your husband to seriously deal with his addiction then let that be your parting gift to him and not a reason to rope you back into a situation that has, sadly, already played out for you.

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  • QaraKoz

    QaraKoz January 16, 2013, 9:50 am

    I’ve said it before here: anytime you are unable to say a single positive thing about someone your relationship is over. All that’s left is for you to admit it to yourself LW. The easiest solution would be to kick him out and never look back but if you feel like you cant do that in good conscience, its probably time to start talking to a professional about why you feel so dependent on this person who has never made you happy, never supported you and who you honestly don’t seem to love.

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  • avatar

    Wendy (not Wendy) January 16, 2013, 9:51 am

    There’s never going to be a time when you feel totally ready to leave and get a divorce. If you’re waiting for a sign that it’s time, or waiting until you feel 100% sure that it’s what you want, you’re just going to keep waiting. My ex did something terrible and it was unthinkable that I would stay in the marriage–no one who knew the truth even suggested that I could stay–and yet even then I had doubts. If I hadn’t moved away, I think it’s likely I would have tried to get back in touch again. That’s how powerful the pull of marriage can be.

    I believe that you love him, but that doesn’t mean you have to, or should, stay married to him.

    Only you can make this decision, but I want to encourage you that there is life on the other side. You’ve given three years or more to this man who always puts you at the bottom of his priority list and I doubt you want to give him any more.

    And another thing to keep in mind–depending on where you live, yes, right now divorce should be a breeze. In some places if you are married for a certain length of time, say, five years, it becomes infinitely more complicated.

    I highly recommend the book The Divorced Girl’s Society.

    Good luck to you.

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  • avatar

    Addie Pray January 16, 2013, 9:53 am

    Oh oh oh fun grammar discussion! If you smoke weed, and then smoke up some more, are you higher or more high? I kind of think it’s the latter, like LW put it. But “more high” sounds WRONG, so I dunno. I clearly missed the day in English class when the teacher went over proper drug speak.

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    • avatar

      GatorGirl January 16, 2013, 9:58 am

      I would say you’re just stoned!

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray January 16, 2013, 10:07 am

        Or stoneder?

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    • Diablo

      Diablo January 16, 2013, 10:00 am

      Addie, as an experienced weed smoker and grammar expert (and i presume the LW is talking about something more dangerous than weed), I can tell you that if you smoke more weed, the correct grammar is “more higherer.” However, practically speaking, unless you are a teenager, you won’t actually become more higherer. Instead, you will become incredibly boring and then fall asleep. On the plus side, you won’t have a hangover, unless you count not being able to blink your eyes in unison.

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    • Diablo

      Diablo January 16, 2013, 10:00 am

      Addie, as an experienced weed smoker and grammar expert (and i presume the LW is talking about something more dangerous than weed), I can tell you that if you smoke more weed, the correct grammar is “more higherer.” However, practically speaking, unless you are a teenager, you won’t actually become more higherer. Instead, you will become incredibly boring and then fall asleep. On the plus side, you won’t have a hangover, unless you count not being able to blink your eyes in unison.

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      • Diablo

        Diablo January 16, 2013, 10:01 am

        you may also accidentally post things twice. you may also accidentally post things twice.

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray January 16, 2013, 10:05 am

        ha ha

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  • Diablo

    Diablo January 16, 2013, 9:56 am

    LW, look at it this way. You are NOT married to this man. You are simply footing the bill for his real relationship which is with the drug. When the drug calls, he comes running. Can you say the same? To quote Lou reed’s famous drug song “Heroin,” “It’s my wife and it’s my life.”

    Be done with this. If at some point in the future, he decides that you come first (and not because you can buy drugs for him), he can clean himself up and see if you still think he would be worth the bother. If he did that, maybe he’d be the one in a thousand. If he doesn’t, which is most likely, you know that he still puts the drug ahead of you. Never settle. Find someone who will put you first. And until then, put yourself first.

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  • avatar

    painted_lady January 16, 2013, 9:59 am

    LW, just because you feel badly about leaving your husband doesn’t mean it’s not the right thing to do. I feel badly when one of my students does something completely unacceptable in class and I have to send them out, but I’m doing them no favors by enabling that behavior, and neither I nor anyone else in my class should have to tolerate abuse so that one kid doesn’t have to face unpleasant consequences. I feel badly when I get a call to come in and work last minute for one of the theatre companies I work with and I can’t, but that doesn’t mean I have to drop all my other plans and commitments because they failed to plan ahead. You may feel badly that your husband will be sad and hurt. You may even miss him. But just because he failed to hold up his end of the marriage vows, over and over, doesn’t mean you have to be punished for the rest of your life. There are no medals for standing by your shitty partner – just a lifetime of increased misery.

    Another thing: you leaving may give him the kick in the ass he needs to finally get his shit together. It may not. In fact, it probably won’t, especially if he’s been to jail multiple times and that still hasn’t done the trick. But if you’ve been cleaning up his messes and tolerating his fuckery, he’s got zero incentive to change. So while he may not change if you leave him, he definitely won’t if you stay with him. You can’t love him into sobriety, and you can’t love him into not being a terrible husband. But you said it yourself – you don’t even love him. So go.

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  • avatar

    Maddie January 16, 2013, 10:03 am

    I can appreciate trying to make a marriage work and not turning to divorce at the first big problem. However, it takes two people for a relationship to succeed and right now it’s not happening. You’ve said nothing to give any indication that this is a good marriage other than “something” tells you that you love him. My guess is that you’ve been together so long and through so much that you don’t know anything else.

    Honestly, please leave him. He needs to fix himself (and want to fix himself) before he can fix your relationship. Maybe in a couple of years he’ll get himself together and you’ll reconnect. But for now, for your own sake, MOA.

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  • katie

    katie January 16, 2013, 10:15 am

    where do you draw the line, LW? where do you draw your “line in the sand” of, fuck this guy- its over? where is that? you need to figure that out.

    because seriously, fuck that guy- it should be over. i get wanting to “help” people you love, but at some point, you have to stop the bleeding and save yourself first.

    love is never, ever enough. if love was enough we would all be with our first junior high boyfriends.

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  • avatar

    Oldie January 16, 2013, 10:15 am

    LW — See a lawyer immediately and get a divorce. You do not love your husband. You hate and resent him. Please don’t feel sorry or guilty about those feelings. This man-child has given you ample reason to feel that way. The little voice telling you that maybe you actually love him and maybe he will really change is just your own fear of making a change and being temporarily alone. To bridge the temporary loneliness, get a dog or a cat after you kick this guy out. An animal will treat you much better than this guy is.

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  • avatar

    OmniaParatus January 16, 2013, 10:45 am

    In my opinion, I don’t think this marriage is worth saving. Your husband has a very serious addiction problem, which doesn’t seem like he’s even aware of. People with addictions love their addiction above all & from your letter it sounds like your husband isn’t going to make the changes you need anytime soon.
    I would suggest getting some counseling, figuring out why you got yourself into the marriage in the first place so you can avoid these problems in your future, letting go of all those harbored resentments & getting out of this relationship. Luckily no kids or serious collateral is involved, so it shouldn’t be so difficult in the long run. From your letter, I truly believe there is no way but downhill for you in this marriage. It’s time to be realistic & strong.
    Good luck.

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  • avatar

    Caris January 16, 2013, 10:50 am

    Divorce. You hate resent him, you’ve been miserable for 3 years, he only cares about his drugs and getting high. You mentioned nothing about him that you like or any good reason on why you got married. Actually, the only reason you gave was that you were too naive to know what you were getting into. Stop being naive and get out now. The longer you wait the worse it gets. You may love him, but like everyone else said, that won’t fix anything.

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  • avatar

    Bossy Italian Wife January 16, 2013, 10:50 am

    Before you leave, you need to begin a program of your own. Nar-Anon or Al-Anon is the place for you right now. Go and get support specific to your needs (being married to an addict) and also perhaps get yourself in counseling.

    Marriage is a huge commitment, and I learned the same thing when I got married. It was a shock to me as well. Divorce is also a big decision and not one that you have to rush into if you aren’t ready. Because the Nar-Anon and Al-Anon programs offer steps (just like the addiction program does) you can decide when and where you are ready to make changes. Listen to your heart, but DON’T go this alone.

    One thing that I would like to say and I know that a lot of people who do not have addicts in their lives might not understand (I have been in the Nar-Anon program now for a while), is that addicts are not bad people–they have a disease. It can be so hard to separate out these things. And sometimes you just need to leave. But that is not something that someone can just tell you.

    PLEASE, for your sake (more than your husband’s) go and get support and don’t make a snap decision. This really has nothing to do with marriage itself and more to do with addiction.

    Good luck LW!!!

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  • avatar

    Rachel January 16, 2013, 10:51 am

    It doesn’t sound like you really love your husband. It sounds like maybe you did once, and now are clinging onto the idea of something that once was. And, honestly, even if you do love him – love is NOT enough. You are so young, you have so much time to get over this and find real happiness. I think you should divorce him, and also find a support group for family members of drug addicts. His addiction has wreaked havoc on your life as well as his, and it will likely do you some good to face that so you can move on.

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  • bittergaymark

    bittergaymark January 16, 2013, 11:17 am

    Stop being mad at him and start getting mad at yourself.

    YOU dated a drug addict.
    YOU fell in love with a drug addict.
    YOU got back together (repeatedly) with a drug addict.
    YOU got engaged to a drug addict.
    YOU married a drug addict.
    YOU put up with the fucked up behavior of a drug addict.
    YOU willingly stood by him when he was in jail for being a drug addict.
    YOU even accepted his infidelities because he was a drug addict.

    Sorry, but the real problem here lies with YOU and YOUR choices. But that is actually GOOD news. This means that YOU can leave him and stop clinging to the fantasy of the relationship that never truly was… THREE YEARS is NOTHING in the grand scale of one’s life. It’s NOTHING…. LEAVE NOW. YOU can just LEAVE now. Or kick him out. Whatever. Just fucking file for divorce and get rid of him.

    Yes. Yes, it REALLY is that easy. If you choose instead to stay and remain miserable, well, then YOU will truly have NOBODY to blame but yourself. So go. Just go.

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    • avatar

      GatorGirl January 16, 2013, 11:23 am

      Love this BGM. Love.

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    • avatar

      bostonpupgal January 16, 2013, 12:38 pm

      Yea..I have to agree with BGM on this one. I would have said it less harshly, but still…this situation screams self esteem problems and codependency issues. You went into this marriage knowing he was a drug addict. He showed you where you stood on your WEDDING NIGHT, for god’s sake. There was never any doubt about the kind of person he was. You can’t really blame him for acting the way he’s been acting for years.

      Get out of this situation. Like, right now. Today. Please. Before it gets worse. Get a lawyer, meet with a counselor, and get tested for STDs. Start taking care of yourself and the issues that led you to choose, and stay with, this horrible partner

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      Amanda January 16, 2013, 2:14 pm

      This is my all-time favorite BGM comment. LW, what BGM says is the absolute truth. Take control of your life and get out of this marriage.

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      PFG-SCR January 16, 2013, 4:23 pm

      I agree with you, BGM. Maybe someone has already mentioned it, but this is a classic co-dependent relationship, which is recognized as a psychological condition. She likely needs some support and professional assistance to do all of this, so it’s not as easy as “LEAVE NOW.”

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    j2 January 16, 2013, 11:20 am

    Why should he change?

    I mean, he has a woman to support him, one who will bed him when he is able, and who will put up with him when he is high. He has no reason to change. Heck, from his point of view, he has it made!

    If you need to justify it to yourself, three years was far, far more than long enough for him to change if he was going to on his own. Do NOT give him an ultimatum, because he would likely promise anything to make you back off, and then get angry and possibly violent when you told him he had not kept those promises.

    Get thee to Al-Anon and a lawyer, and not necessarily in that order. If you waste any more of your precious life on this waste of space, you’ll be forcing me to break out the facepalms again. I swear!

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    jlyfsh January 16, 2013, 11:25 am

    I think you need to go and talk to a professional about what is keeping you in this relationship. I think the line for me in your letter that is the most telling for me is this one, “But something tells me I love him and that he just needs time.’ It sounds like you might kind of like the idea of ‘fixing’ him. But, you can’t. Only he can and it’s obvious he doesn’t want to. You have to stop thinking about ‘being’ there for him and potentially fixing him and work on yourself. Divorce sucks, even when the person you’re married to sucks worse, but you will get through it. And hopefully in the future you will be able to stop yourself from getting in to similar patterns.

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    PFG-SCR January 16, 2013, 11:35 am

    Given all that you have said, I don’t understand why you would continue to stay married to this person. He’s not in any way a partner for you – he’s a drain on your emotions, finances, time, etc. He has consistently chosen drugs over you, and you’re at the point where you don’t love him and feel nothing but resentment and hostility.

    I realize you are young and this is likely the only “adult” relationship you have ever had, but this isn’t a healthy relationship. You already know that, and you already know that you’re miserable. Even if you continue to stay in the marriage, it’s highly unlikely that things will change for the better, except possibly temporarily. The longer you stay in this, the harder it’s going to be to leave, and if you stay, in another 3, 5, 10, etc. years, you’re going to wish you could go back and leave him earlier.

    Not to oversimplify it, but who cares if you are divorced? You were young and made a mistake, but that’s no reason to continue to live a life that isn’t what you want, especially since there are no children involved to complicate a divorce. You are young, and you have your whole life ahead of you – love yourself enough to walk away from this. It is the best thing for you, and it might force him to clean up his life because right now, he has you enabling him.

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    Lindsay January 16, 2013, 11:42 am

    Get a divorce. You didn’t say a single nice thing about this man. You said you’ve been unhappy your whole marriage, that you hate him and that the past three years have been the worst and saddest years of your life. Feeling sad about leaving your husband and being unsure about divorce aren’t signs that it’s a bad idea; you’re going to feel those things even if it’s the best idea in the world. Even if your husband could get clean (which seems to be pretty far-fetched because you don’t make it sound like he cares), you seem to resent him so much over the wasted years, that I doubt you’d be able to love him the same again.

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    zombeyonce January 16, 2013, 12:17 pm

    From my point of view, there was a glaring omission in the letter: her husband expressing any sort of regret or apology for his addiction and treatment of LW. He may have, but since she doesn’t mention it I’m going to assume that he hasn’t. While she said he’s “trying” to get clean (which sounds like he’s pretty unenthusiastic and therefore unlikely to succeed this time), there’s still no expression of how he wants to have a part in fixing this marriage.

    Unless he recognizes the result of his actions and wants to better himself and his marriage, this relationship is basically LW being a parent to her husband rather than a wife. It sounds like it never was a real marriage to begin with and, to me, LW’s only hope is to stop enabling him and get out. He may get better, he may not, but she is getting nothing from this relationship but heartache.

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    Sistine January 16, 2013, 12:38 pm

    Get a divorce now, before you end up bringing a child into this situation.

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    cdobbs January 16, 2013, 12:39 pm

    as someone who has been through a similar situation i have to tell you that you need to leave him now…i stayed with an addict and while we were not married, we lived together and i stayed with him because i thought i could help him get clean…he constantly lied to me and instead of trying to get clean would just try harder to hide it from me (although he could not go a day without getting high and so he wasn’t really trying that hard, just lying more)…the last straw was when the police showed up at more door and arrested him for stealing a truck!…that night i found out he had been lying about so many things even the fact that he was married and had two kids (one a baby less than 1 year old)…he also lied about his occupation (police officer! crazy i know) and that he owned his own house (he was living on the streets when he didn’t stay with me)!…i was devastated and told him we could not be together anymore, but that if he wanted to go to rehab i would take him there…he still denied everything after all of that, called me C()#t! and left…that was the last time i saw him…not even one year later he died of an overdose…i guess what i’m saying is, if your husband truly wants to get well, then HE needs to do it for himself…please don’t let this man ruin two lives (his and YOURS!!!!)

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  • AKchic_

    AKchic_ January 16, 2013, 12:42 pm

    LW, what exactly do you get out of this relationship?

    You pay for everything. You take care of him. You ENABLE his drug addiction, drug seeking behaviors, and suspected infidelities. How? By continuing to stand by him rather than walk away when you’ve had numerous opportunities over the years both before and after you got married. You could have cut the money for his supply off years ago but you didn’t. You could have chosen to not marry him when he showed up high to the wedding, but you chose to marry him (maybe because you didn’t want to be embarassed calling it off at such short notice?).

    Part of getting clean and staying clean is taking responsibility for your own actions. It’s time you took some responsibility for your (in)actions. You actively participated in his addictions for years. You didn’t hold him accountable. You didn’t walk away. You helped finance things.

    Yes, you have every right to feel angry. He used you and manipulated you. However, you allowed yourself to be played. Instead of demanding a respectful relationship, you allowed him to choose his friends and his drugs time and time again. Expect this to be the same for quite a while because sobriety can be a rocky road. Especially when a person is married to an enabler (however unwilling they may be).

    Cut the strings and move on. You deserve happiness. You deserve to be with a man who doesn’t think that he needs substances to get through life. Who doesn’t use you to get those substances.
    You probably stayed with this jack-hole prior to marriage because you felt that you deserved this kind of a guy. You deserve better. Real men don’t make their girlfriends/wives mother them.

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  • avatar

    Diana January 16, 2013, 12:45 pm

    Honey, get a divorce. Now. Immediately. Protect yourself from this man who can’t love anyone but himself and his addiction. Aim higher next time. Get yourself into therapy. Get to know yourself. Take some classes, get a dog or a cat. No one deserves this and it is not going to get better.

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  • avatar

    Older and (hopefully) wiser January 16, 2013, 12:56 pm

    Gaybittermark is spot on. Best advice you’re gonna get all day.And by the way, if you think this is love, you’re going to be pleasantly surprised when you find the real thing.

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  • avatar

    Sue Jones January 16, 2013, 1:10 pm

    This is a no-brainer. Kick him out. MOA. And get some therapy. You will be so much happier! And aim higher next time.

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    Lucy January 16, 2013, 3:48 pm

    I feel for you. I have been in your position. My husband was more of a drunk than a drug user, but the effect on you isn’t really too different. I stayed with my husband, but it took literally years before I trusted him again. I remember the day when I had finally known him sober longer than I had known him drinking; I think that was when I really started to believe he could be trusted again. That was eight years in.

    If you aren’t already, and it sounds like you aren’t, go to Al-Anon. You will learn so much and meet so many people who have been where you are and can listen and understand.

    You don’t have to decide now whether to leave him or not. You may find that once he gets clean and stays clean, you feel more love for him, even if you don’t really trust him yet. You may not. You can leave him anytime, now or five years from now. So if you want to give him a little more time, that’s OK. Take your marriage one day at a time.

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    Sue Jones January 16, 2013, 5:54 pm

    Also really, LW, you have NOTHING to lose by kicking him out, moving on with your life and chalking it up to being young and inexperienced. We ALL probably have dated/married losers at some point in our past, and yet you have EVERYTHING to lose if you stay with this guy!

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  • avatar

    TheTruth January 17, 2013, 4:32 pm

    Stop wining. Its only going to get worse. Leave him immediately while you are still young enough to get a decent guy. Also, take a good look in the mirror… how did you end up with the loser in the first place. You are responsible for your choices.

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