|Subj: Help! What can I do?
To: Dr Irene
My husband is a very good provider and we live a comfortable
life. He is also an addict. When he uses he is horrible to me and our kid. He promises to
stop using but I used to catch him all the time and used to throw out what I found. I went
to ALANON and learned I had to get a life. I got it together and have a career. I
live a life with our young daughter and he is not involved very much. I stopped throwing
out his drugs and stopped looking for them. We don't even fight because I don't care when
he is lying to me. I even saw a counselor for a while. She suggested an intervention, but
we have no good family and few friends to do it with. Now I think I did everything I was
supposed to do and he still uses. I don't want to leave him and that is what ALANON is
telling me. The advice is stay and take it or leave. I don't want either one. I want him
sober. What can I do?
The problem is that you cannot make your
husband stop using, but you already know that. You made many changes in yourself to stop
enabling him, but you have not yet accepted the hard reality that your husband
runs his own life, whether you like it or not, despite what you do or don't do.
When you stay, you accept the conditions
that are. You don't have to like them. You can work towards accepting what is and towards
disengaging more. On the other hand, you leave when you are no longer willing to accept
what is and want to create a different place for yourself. There are no guarantees, but
your leaving could provide the major wake-up call he needs to begin the sobriety process.
Or not. (You do not leave because you hope to jar him into sobriety. That is acting out.)
I wish I had a magic wand. I don't. The
reality is that you have control of your own life - only. My prayers and best
wishes to you both.