How do you know when you've reached the end of your rope?
I think about this often though I never really talk about it with anyone. Not even my husband. Our marriage has been a series of ups and downs like most couples. Not unlike any other couple. The only difference with us is we have had drug addiction thrown in the mix. Not my cup of tea.
Over the course of the past 10 years I have truly taken the opportunity to learn about myself. Done some real soul searching. Some of the lessons in life I have learned through my children, other lessons I have learned by being open to change. But all in all I'm realizing that I probably am the only one experiencing real heartfelt growth in this relationship. Sad.
It's taken time for me to grasp the concept that I, and only I, control my happiness but by the same token it's been very liberating to get up each morning and be truly happy with myself. But like with many other things there's a catch. (You knew there had to be a catch)
Though my husband has his faults he does make some efforts every now. Aside from the nice things he does occasionally he is a hard worker and provides well for our family financially. He has personal ambition for the things that are important to him. And I stress HIM. Though there are these positives in our relationships, for me it's overshadowed with the fact that some core elements of relationship have been forever changed and in reality, I don't know that we really had the foundation I thought we did.
You see he had suffered with an addiction to Cocaine for many years. When I met him I knew he HAD done the drug but he made it clear that he had cleaned up and really, he minimized the amount he really used. (read: DENIAL) In my mind I thought he maybe had tried it a few times and that was it. I never knew it was a regular habit. Yes, he did kick the coke habit a few years back (2 years to be precise). He had been clean and sober for those 2 years and in the process things really got bad between us. He had anti depressant/anxiety pills prescribed that in hindsight didn't help him at all. Actually it washed our sex life down the toilet which was one of the many negative side effects to those stupid drugs. I know the drugs benefit a lot of people but for a person who has a high tolerance to any brain altering substances it does jack shit.
Our marriage got to the point where I knew if things didn't change (the constant fighting and negative energy) then one of us was going to have to leave. Making that choices wasn't going to be easy because we have kids. I have been out of the work force for many years and taking care of kids and going back to work would be a challenge to say the least. So I did what made sense. I talked to him. I didn't get a warm welcome to my suggestion of communicating. No surprise there but I'm a vocal person and I really think that there are thing in life that need to be talked about. This was one of those things. After a few reluctant and nerve racking conversations he got the gist of what I was saying though. Things had to change.
Here's the kicker.....
A few months later he had a solution to the problem. He went back to a less potent substance (read: DRUG). You see, for him this substance acts as a calming agent, so to speak. It does truly mellow him out much more than those anti-anxiety pills ever did but there is such a stigma in society with doing this "natural" substance.
Unfortunately I didn't discourage his use now. I'm at the end of my rope. We have kids to support in more ways than just financially and I needed a reprieve from the fighting. I desperately needed a break my soul didn't break. I was out of energy to fight and just wanted it to stop. But I'll tell you something, I feel guilt ten times over for not discouraging him.
Your probably wondering if I helped him find other solutions. Yes I did. I'd try leaving him alone to make his choices on his own. After all he's an adult and should make his own choices. I also told him how much he'd benefit from finding some more hobbies he could immerse himself in instead of 'using'. We tried to acclimate him to a few hobbies (very costly ones I might add) but after the thrill wore off that was it. We talked about the benefits of going to talk therapy. He's most certainly NOT motivated to do anything like that. Actually he won't go to therapy. I've tried doing everything under the sun but I'm coming to the realization I can't control his happiness. Nor can I control his actions. In the end he is the one making the choice and as I keep telling him. He has to make choices he can live with in the end.
Yes. I am at the end of my proverbial rope. I'm frustrated that he neeeeeds this outside substance to create his happiness. I'm angry that I can't do more to help him get out of his own way. I'm scared that I'll never really be out of this vicious cycle. I wish he could see the whole situation for what it really is.