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18 yrs for what

Posted by Too long on 10 November 2016.

I met him after the failure of my first marriage. He was so caring, so loving, such a special man. He moved in with me and my children. He was so good with them and my eldest was so awful to him. I became pregnant and was overjoyed. He'd told me about his past but no mention of addiction. He'd made bad choices and been to jail but oh my arrogance - i could make it all better. I could give him a life worth living. I was so sure. He got a job and every pay day he would disappear.i knew drugs were in his past but had convinced myself that being on weed was no biggy. Even tried it myself. Tried other things with him too. Once i was pregnant came the worry, I'd been dabbling would that have harmed my unborn child? On the day my child was born he kept disappearing,going out for a spliff.. during all this i was the bread winner, bought our home, worked full time. Started to have real money problems after my child was born, kept running out of money before pay day, overdraft and bank charges out of control.suffered with post natal depression, couldn't understand what was going wrong. Got treatment for the depression. Returned to work. Financial problems where a constant issue and getting worse. He lost his job. Started having problems with the relationship between him and my other services were involved. Got a kitten, he passed out and suffocated it by rolling on it. Finally found out he was a heroin addict when my youngest was 18months old. When i met him he had been clean for 3 years but had been an addict since he was 17. I had no idea, my life before i met him had never involved drugs of any kind. It's ok i can support him and help him. I had to remortgage my home to sort out my debts. I just wanted the man I'd fallen in love with back. Over the years I've paid for/ taken him to get his fix/ even buying methodone illegally and controlling his dosage to "wean him off" ignorance, lack of knowledge. I believed him so many times. On and off for year after year. 6years ago he'd progressed to injecting as I'd learnt all his tells over the years. It was always my failure, i wasnt enough, not good enough, not strong enough to help him. He became violent when i found his needles. Money troubles on and off all the time,  a second mortgage on the house. I asked him to leave, he became violent and abusive for the first time i was actually afraid of him. I had to have him arrested. He stayed at a friends, got on a programme properly for the first time. He'd hit rock bottom he said. He was willing to do anything he didn't want to lose us- he said. He was clean, not on anything. He was the person I'd  fallen in love with after all those years. He came home, i was so happy, my child was over the moon. He had a job, we had money. He asked me to marry him. I was the happiest woman alive. The fear was always there, the distrust, but 3 yrs clean, we got married. He failed a drug test at work, he brought me a drug test slip proving he was clean. (Forged) he lost his job. Suddenly my wages wasn't enough to last the month anymore. He needed petrol for a job interview, he never got the job. He couldn't hold down agency work. I was using my credit card to get through each month, got a second credit card cos he'd get a job soon. Got a loan to pay off the credit cards. Got a second loan to pay off the cards again just 5months later. We didn't sleep together any more. He slept downstairs or all day while i was at work. Mortgage went into arrears. Bank charges crippling me. Set up a payment plan to pay off my arrears. All the time he was adamant he wasn't using again. I never saw any of the tells or the smells but knew, in my heart i knew. But couldn't catch him and he was so - it was me - my imagination. How could i treat him that way. The constant denial. He was so convincing. Besides he had no money how could he be using? Then my bank card went missing, my mortgage payment had not been paid. I'd defaulted on my mortgage payment plan.  I went on a token payment plan for my loans and credit cards. I cancelled my card and that next morning it was back. He'd been willing for me to call the police. The bare faced lies. He even accused my child of using the card. I became a person i didn't recognise. Then i found a receipt from the pawn shop, he'd sold my jewelry. I had to make him leave. He stole the rest of my jewelry to get his fix while he was waiting for his dole money. None of my jewellery was valuable but it had all been gifts. Each piece had an emotional attachment for me. Now, he has been gone for 9months. I can't get another remortgage because I'd defaulted on a payment plan. The loans and credit cards are giving me grief because they don't want just token payments. I can't consolidate and worst of all i can't see how i can give my child a basic Christmas. I don't have enough money left each month to pay for a Sunday dinner never mind a Christmas one. My child's friends are all excited talking about what they will be getting for Christmas. My child is so understanding and that makes it worse. Right now i'm at my lowest. My child shouldn't have to be understanding, i have a good job, i work hard but the only way out i can see is to sell my home to release what equity there is so that my child can have at least something, like a school uniform that fits.  but I'm not getting any younger, as my child will be finishing at uni i will be at retirement age with nothing to show for my life of hard work and long hours just a hard old age as i won't be in a financial position to retire. I know addiction is an illness but it's an illness that the addict has to want to beat and he just wants it all. When i asked him to leave it became clear why he wanted to get married - he wanted the security that gave him to stay in our home, he couldn't be removed by the police if we where married. So the addiction has him, i have my children and the heartbreak of knowing that just providing the basics of living is getting harder every day. Knowing addiction is an illness doesn't make any of this any easier to bare. My child makes me so proud as they know about his addiction my child is so hurt that his addiction has won. But is so special, putting their effort into school and trying so hard to be helpful, and i feel so guilty - so selfish that i have put them through this, all for that person who was so special, so caring but in reality had probably only been that person for 6 years out of the last 18yrs. It's coming up to Christmas and for the first time I'm crying, not for him, not even for what could have been but crying because I've let my children down. They are paying the price for my selfishness.


11 Nov 2016

As a recovering addict who has a supportive partner I thank every day that she  is still by my side. I am unique in so far as I seem to be able to hold back from sliding into total chaos so the damage I do is less. I've still lied and been a jerk like all addicts are but I suppose there is enough of good in me to keep her with me.

I am working on my issues. I am getting help and I want to change.

All I can say to you is that you gave it your best and you are not to blame for him not stopping.

You are to be admired for trying so hard.

Also if you can find a little forgiveness in your heart for he will be hurting so much. Addiction is the cruelest of all mental illnesses. The drugs ease your pain for a bit but then create even more than before. Dragging you down until there is nothing left of you.

I hope I have found the stop button. I am sorry your husband didn't, for both of you.

Too long
11 Nov 2016

I wish you all the best in your fight to battle your addiction, your partner obviously sees the beautiful person that is behind the addiction. Forgiveness I'm finding is very hard this time there has been so much of it over 18years. I find i can't forgive the pain and suffering he has now caused for our child. I've forgiven behavior i would not tolerate from anyone else for the beautiful person i met and love. This last time i became a person that i hated and didn't recognise because of the pain he was causing my child.

13 Nov 2016

Hi again.

It was late when I replied to your first post and actually re-reading it you need to get some help from a professional group.  Whether or not you choose to stay with him, get back together or whatever relationship you decide to keep with him, you need support.

As a recovering addict I also can see that you have been trying so hard to help him and rescue him and in fact that's often a mistake. You need to look after you and then get some boundaries in place.  Of course he has been trying to get you to do this and that. His addiction is in control and you can't change him. Only he can choose to change but you can change what you do and I guarantee it will help YOU and maybe him.

I don't know what help you have had but Adfam are just one of many groups that will offer you advice and support and ways that might make all the difference to you.

One of the things I can see that you are doing through being a caring person is actually enabling him and there are ways to stop that and for him to still be in your life if you want that.

Enabling sounds like it's your fault but it's what we all naturally do for someone we care about. So to learn how to stop it, you need help  for you. It sounds odd for an addict to be telling you that doesn't it? Yes he needs help but he needs to seek it.

I bet you if you get some help, put some boundaries in place and get some help for you then your life will improve.

I'm not an expert so please reach out to someone who is.

Icarus Trust
15 Nov 2016


I am so very sad to read your story and all the pain and hardship you have gone through. Please believe that none of it is your fault. Your children are lucky to have such a strong loving mum.

Sparky is right it doers sound like you could use some support for yourself. The Icarus Trust is a charity that was set up to support people like yourself who have been affected by a loved one's addiction. We have trained experienced people that you could talk with. That might help you to make sense of what you have been through and what you want to do next. Its good to talk and they will understand what you are going through. This is a free service.

You can contact us on or visit the website

I do hope that you can find some support and that life gets better for you. Good luck!

Icarus Trust
15 Nov 2016

Thank you Sparky for sharing your story.

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