I Married an Addict

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

My husband and I have been married a year and a half I became aware he had a drug problem about 6 months into our relationship. When confronted I received the “I will change” speech. I always believed it which now a days has left me with some kind of resentment towards the entire thing. After a year of his inconsequential actions the lies and use became to much and he decided he was ready to get help. he went to a detox center was clean for about 20 days promising it was all over only to relapsed. i confronted him he was clean for 14 days and relapsed again. First relapse being Halloween second being Thanksgiving. He can’t stay clean and I can’t say goodbye. What’s keeping me here? Is there hope he’ll change or should I remove myself before anymore heartache?

A: It’s very, very hard to give up on someone we love. But in this situation, the “other woman” in your life is, and apparently always has been, his addiction. His love for the high is bigger than his love for you. You’ve given him multiple chances. Yes, he tried. But you don’t give me an indication that he is trying very hard. Within weeks of detox or a new start, he is back to the habit.

You are only 22. You are just starting your adult life. You married someone who was keeping a critical secret from you from the start. Secrets and lies aren’t a healthy foundation for a marriage. As hard as it will be, I think you should cut your losses and move on. Throw yourself into school or a career as a way to give yourself time to recover. Then make yourself available to someone who loves only you.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 Jan 2014

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2013). I Married an Addict. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 24, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2014/01/06/i-married-an-addict/