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Desperate Need of Advice
By CH
4/1/2012 6:46:58 PM
Hi Friends,
I am 23 years old and my husband and I have been married for almost two years now. Just a few months after being married he fell and broke his wrist and became addicted to narcotic pain pills. It has been about a year and a half since the addiction started and I will admit that it has been the hardest and most scary time of my life. I love him with all my heart and honestly I can't imagine my life without him. He loves and I dont doubt that but I live everyday questioning and wondering if he is being honest and clean. He went to two different rehabs last summer and has been doing quite well since, however, my family is so scared for me and has been all along. They tell me that I should leave him because staying with him is going to be a life full of misery. It truly scares me to death thinking about several years down the road with kids and what if he falls and uses again? We are already in debt and from him buying pills and paying for rehab and it stresses me out every day. The hardest part though is that every single member of my family (there are a lot) feel as.though I deserve better and should get a divorce because they say I will be dealing with this addiction forever. Like I said, I love him so much but I dont know what to do. I have fasted and prayed and prayed for the last year to know
what to do and I feel like I never get an answer. I am terrified of making the wrong decision. Please help and give your HONESTY opinion

Comments:

For better or for worse, In sickness and in health...    
"The best people I know are recovering drug addicts and alcoholics. Is he in recovery? If so, maybe he's a keeper. Your family should really allow you the respect of making your own decisions."
posted at 23:25:28 on April 1, 2012 by Anonymous
response    
"No matter what you end up doing, probably the most important thing is for YOU to get support. The ARP program offers great support programs for families of addicts. No one there will advise you as to whether you should leave or stay. But, they WILL help you access the power of the atonement to heal the wounds you've endured because of this situation. No one can tell someone else if or when they should leave a spouse. But, I'm certain that Heavenly Father will lead you out of the situation if it's His will that you should leave. If so, He'll help you. If not, He'll ALSO help you to get through it and have "peace that passeth understanding" ... in other words, peace that makes no sense, given the situation you're in."
posted at 00:13:30 on April 2, 2012 by sharanon
Well, Anon that is a strange comment    
"Since when are husbands "keepers." he's a human being. The marriage vows say something about going through the best of times and worst don't they? You can't blame him for everything, after all, you married him. You have to think, why did you marry him, why did you love him, why did you decide to take this eternal journey. 2 years seems like nothing compared to an eternity, doesn't it? You can see it two ways, this is a a temporary problem that you can fix with him, or you can see it as ehh, I just got married so maybe I can find a new husband really quick. I hope marriage still means something this day in age.

Im definitely not judging you. I dont know if you have kids, but my parents divorced. Sometimes I wonder if they could've stayed together, and I've asked my mother. she only told me she had her reasons but I could tell she was genuine. I think you should really put all your effort into trying to make it work. Forget what your family says as a whole, and only listen to those who really care about you.

He can get help, bit you can only be helped of you want help. So judge him on his willingness, as long as he makes true effort.

Good luck, God bless

Moroni"
posted at 00:17:16 on April 2, 2012 by Anonymous
You don't fall out of love...    
"You fall out of repentance.

That is the advice that my mom gave me. She's in her 3rd marriage right now. Her first marriage was to a gambler. Her second marriage was to a man who cheated on her. And now she's married to my dad who had an alcohol problem. My mom is a great woman. And yes, she made mistakes. Married the wrong guy, married too young. But when I ask her for marriage advice, she is great. She said it didn't work with her first husband because they got married so young and he gambled them into debt and couldn't stop. She didn't get a divorce because she fell out of love or it got too hard. She got a divorce because repentance had stopped. And repentance holds people together. Her second husband refused to repent. They got a divorce.

Now her third husband is a recovering alcoholic. And their marriage isn't perfect. They fight, they argue, they go through rough times. But she said that the difference now is that they repent. The love remains because God remains at the center. He is working to be better, she is working to be better.

Marriages aren't perfect. What if we left someone just because they had a flaw. Will my future marriage not work because I have had a sexual addiction? Will my husband live in fear that I will cheat on him or relapse into porn? I struggle with this. But I hope that my husband and I can work through it. That we can constantly repent together. That God will be the center of our relationship.

So I say, assess your relationship. Is God at the center? Are you two trying to be better? Is there still repentance? Don't fall out of repentance.

I'm not married yet but I've seen so much divorce and sometimes it's good for the kids. But really, I like having my parents stick it out and work together. As a kid, I prefer marriage over divorce. But it is 2 way so see if you both can make it work."
posted at 01:42:54 on April 2, 2012 by iamstrong
Take care of you first, educate yourself on addtictions    
"I know how it is to be married to a pill addict. My husband was injured in an auto accident early in our marriage and it grew progressively worse over 28 years. We raised 3 wonderful kids together. Were they all good years together? Mostly. Were there some hard years? You bet. About 8 years ago, he had disappeared into his addiction to the point I had to leave for my own sanity. It was a sad, hard decision, One I did not make lightly. Lots of prayer and advice from my Bishop. It was between God and I, no one else. Unfortunately, he died in his sleep, one month after I left him. I think he just gave up. My advice to you is to educate yourself as much as you can about addictions, behaviors of addicts and codependents, spouses of addicts, etc. The LDS social services can direct you to Addiction Recovery meetings and spouse support groups. Work through the 12 steps yourself. It is not just his problem, it is your reaction to it as well that will affect your behavior. It is now 5 years later, I am grateful for the journey. It has made me stronger, better aquainted with my Savior and has given me a better understanding of forgiveness, repentance, the Atonement and the love of my Savior. Get close to your Bishop, if he is supportive, if not, find another Priesthood holder who can give you support and blessings when needed. I am so sorry you have to go down this road. If you love him, try all you can to work together on recovery. Best wishes to you."
posted at 05:16:32 on April 2, 2012 by BTTB
Wait upon the Lord    
"I would say don't give up, but then I am a recovering addict, so I might be prejudice.

I am sorry you don't feel like you are getting any answers. To me that is a sign that you probably need to be a ways down the path of your own recovery before you make a decision. God will answer your prayers. There may be too much noise in your head for you to hear Him right now. He is the only one that knows what you need to do. I will say this; it might seem easy if you don't have kids at this point to pull out. Even though you are young, you will still be a divorcee which in most LDS circles may put you in a slightly different category. Most likely anyone else you marry will have some baggage to bring into the relationship. There is a possibility that you will find the perfect man and everything will be great. Unfortunately some of those perfect looking, clean cut, very active, return missionary types are also porn addicts; just speaking from personal experience. The choice may be between known issues and unknown issues. I would get yourself far enough through recovery to really feel your Heavenly Father's guidance. He knows if you should stick it out or drop him like a hot potato. He knows exactly what can give your husband a wake-up call if that is what is needed and let you know what it is if you are suppose to do something.

I'll just say that I am thankful that my wife prayed about it both times she wanted to leave me. I am also glad that she stayed when He told her to even though that wasn't what she wanted to do and there was no evidence at the time that it would get better. After 25 years of marriage with 14 before recovery even started we are in a better place right now than many who never had this experience.

You didn't mention anything about your husband being in a 12 Step program. Rehab can be good to clear the brain, but he needs some kind of program to really help him recover. Something drove him to be an addict. Not everybody who has taken pain killers becomes an addict. He needs to fix the hole that he was stuffing pills into. The Atonement can do that and the 12 Steps are the best thing I have found to make the Atonement work for me. The Atonement provides complete healing.

Dealing with it the rest of your life? When it is all said and done you can end up with a much better man than you ever thought of, but he will always have to vigilant. Once an addict there is always the possibility of going back. Satan never takes us off his list.

I am glad BTTB weighed in on the subject since she has been there. You might also watch the special they aired between the Sunday conference sessions:
http://www.ksl.com/?nid=296&sid=19827401
I know Rich and have met his wife. Your story sounds very much the same as theirs. He is the facilitator coordinator in the Davis County, Utah area. I could put you in touch with them if you want.

You can heal either way. God may be the only one with advice who doesn't have an agenda.

Prayers to you,
Your Brother John"
posted at 17:44:58 on April 3, 2012 by justjohn
Thank you for the responses    
"Thank you so so much for everyone who responded. My husband admitted his drug addiction just a few months after it started, that was a huge step. He also told me he wanted to go to rehab and get help, I did not have to convince or make him go. He got out last august and has been sober since. Then in february he got in a very serious car accident and had two broken ribs, two crushed vertebrae and internal bleeding. They of course haver him pain medicine in the hospital but he did not take any home. Since then he has been struggling with thinking about and wanting to take pills. From what I know he still has been sober. He just decided that he doesn't want to fall and went back into rehab. I think it is fabulous and am so proud of him for wanting to get more help. However, family and friends tell me that he is going to just up and leave me for the rest of my life and head back to rehab. They make it seem like a bad thing and feel like he abandons me, I see it as him realizing he needs more help and trying to fix his addiction to become better. I just feel like I have so much pressure from family and I dont know how to change that. What do I say to family and friends? I love my husband so much and I want to stick by his side."
posted at 21:13:04 on April 11, 2012 by CH
The thing about pain medication...    
"I don't think I can add a lot to what is being said, but I may be able to contribute from a more medical side (I'm starting my Masters in Neuroscience in the fall). If he has been sober since August, he is doing great. Most of the battle at this point is strictly a battle in his head (the physical dependence is gone). Having said that, pain medication is always given with a prescription, and if the doctors orders are followed it is safe. He knows better than anyone what his limits are, however, so maybe the doctor can suggest different alternatives to pain relief. He shouldn't feel bad for considering his options, though. He seems to be aware of his weaknesses and that is a great sign.

As for your family, it seems like they are well-intentioned but their input is not welcome or appropriate. Does your husband make you happy and respect you and invite God into your home? If so, that is all that matters, and from what you have said, you may be one of his biggest inspirations and positive influences. As well-intentioned as your family may be, they might need to hear a good old-fashioned "shut up, if I want your opinion I'll ask for it." :) Keep close to the Lord, counsel with your Bishop, and pray with your hubby."
posted at 23:07:46 on April 11, 2012 by Fatherofone


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"You lived with your Heavenly Father in a premortal life. You were there with Him. Your spirit knows what it is like to live in celestial realms. You can never be truly happy in an uncelestial environment. You know too much. That is one of the reasons that for you, wickedness never can be happiness. What a great thing it is to decide once and for all early in life what you will do and what you will not do with regards to honesty, modesty, chastity, the Word of Wisdom, and temple marriage. "

— Larry W. Gibbons

General Conference October 2006