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Husband with chronic pain, depression, and alcohol issues has left. Please help

Community Member

Hey guys,

I'm looking for some direction in how to bring my beautiful husband home after he has left.

He suffers from chronic pain from a serious accident many years ago, and has since had hit after hit of bad luck (half our house was demolished due to mould and our toddler and I had to move interstate for 4 months while he stayed and worked, then a month after the works were completed he lost everything he owned personally in a garage fire, recently he had another serious car accident). Our marriage has been suffering the past year due to miscommunication issues and his drinking (never good) has turned into a serious problem over the past two months. I've recently found out that he's also been doing cocaine, though I have no idea how often. When I found out about that he said he wanted to end our marriage (we've been together 10 years).

I am absolutely convinced (as are his friends) that he is suffering from major depression, though hides it very well and flat out refuses to believe it or speak to anyone about it. He is so far from the wonderful man I married and I completely understand why he would have turned to drinking and drugs to escape his life/pain. But I adore him. I've always adored him. I'm so worried about him. I don't want him to push us away. He is pushing everyone away that tries to help and it's scaring me.

I've been told there's nothing you can do when someone won't help themselves, but I don't really know what that means. Should I stand my ground and tell him I love him every day (which seems to push him further away) in the hopes that he knows I'm always here and not leaving him, or am I supposed to stop contact (as much as you can when you have a child) and let him go?

I don't want to hurt him. He's been through enough. But pushing his family away is surely not going to help? Or does he need to be without us to realise he needs help?

I haven't spoken to him in two days and it's tearing me apart. I don't know where he is staying. I find it hard to believe a lot of what he says at the moment because he's just not the guy I know.

If there is someone that has been in a similar position, please, please tell me how I'm supposed to handle this??

6 Replies 6

Community Member

Hi Bella,

I'm sorry you and your family have been going through so much. I'm not married, I'm a thirty yo man with alcoholism. It has been tough for my family and relationships. It is amazing and admirable how much you are doing to support your husband.

I wanted to say you should make sure to watch your own emotions as well. It sounds like you are being incredibly strong at the moment, but also going through a lot. Just make sure sometime you also think about how you are doing, and if you need to talk to someone in person, a therapist might be insightful about something like this.


Community Member

Hi Bella,

I think you're doing the right thing, with being honest and real about your love for him, and trying to help and stay compassionate, considering how hard life has been for you both. There is a lot of confusing literature about enabling on the internet, but I don't believe that with holding love from someone you love is the way forward. Nor do I really believe anyone truly causes someone else's addiction, its completely their own decision.

I would like to caution you that from my own experience, drug addicts can sometimes end long term relationships with very good people abruptly and very painfully , and never look back. So my main concern is with you and your wellbeing. Please do hope for the best, but also protect yourself in case the separation is permanent. Do things like get some legal advice if necessary, and think about your backup plan if you have to go it alone for a while (a person like you will never be alone forever, don't think about it like that).

If I was in your situation, I'd also want to find out if there is another woman involved. What would set me off is how rejecting he is when you say you love him-There may not be anyone else, but I would want to know for sure because if there is, its less likely he'll be back. Do you think that's possible, or very unlikely? Not trying to scare you, just a word of caution.

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni
hello Bella, I just want to thank Kieran and Bindi for their excellent comments, and Bella I'm so sorry that you are going through this, it's very unpleasant and rather disappointing.
I understand all that has happened and realise what he is doing, is his way to escape all the pain, however all of this has now involved you in such a way that you're grieving what's he's doing and don't understand why he won't return home.
At the moment grog and drugs have taken over his life and if you send him messages that you still love him then this maybe reinforcing what he is doing, so at the moment I would let him sort himself out, I know how powerful this is for you and I am truly sorry to mention it, but now is when you must see your doctor, you have to look after yourself.
Trying to get him to seek medical advice won't work, it could push him away even further, I'm sorry but I was in a similar situation in depression, I only wanted to drink and pushed my family away until it eventually caused my wife to divorce me, this upset me greatly, but in hindsight I don't blame her.
We still keep in touch, but for you Bella, it's going to be a long hard road ahead making decisions that you may not want to do, this is when it also hurts you.
I absolutely feel your pain and suffering, so if you could keep in touch with us, we will do everything possible to help you. Geoff.

Community Member

Hey guys, your answers have been perfect, thank you so much for the support.

On Thursday I found out that yes, he has also been having an affair and to say I'm completely broken would be the biggest understatement of the century. He was my whole world. I absolutely adored him. My heart skipped a beat every time I heard his car in the driveway.

I kicked him out, and I'm in a world of pain. I believe he is living with her now. I cannot believe how much my life has just flipped in the past few months. I honestly feel like he has a list of things he can do that will hurt me more than anything, and is just ticking them off, one by one.

This is not the man I knew. This isn't anything I ever thought could possibly happen in my worst nightmares. But it is, and it seems I cannot wake up. I'm absolutely devastated.

Hey Bindi, I put another reply at the end.

Obvious, isn't it? We just try not to see/believe what we really don't want to.

I think he still needs all the help he can get for his problems, but my line has been crossed. 😞

Hi Bella,

I am so very sorry that it turned out to be the case. Hugs, there's so much about this situation that is painful. The fact that you struggled so long trying to help and live with his problems, the amount of care you invested, and to be brutally replaced instead of him giving you the life you had hoped for and deserved for all your effort and love.

I don't exactly know why addicts erase and replace their loved ones instead of getting help, but I can say he's probably chosen an enabler, and his life will suffer more because of it...his physical health, his mental health,all of it. That man has a lot to learn about life, how to value and appreciate good people, and how to be a human being.

I know you don't feel this way yet, but there is a positive side to being free of someone who is ruining your life, you dreams, and your hope. There's something about investing so much into a person with problems, where they invest nothing, that drains your self esteem, year and after year. Its tiring living that way. The Love and effort and tenacity you gave deserves reward, something you hoped would happen and really should have got.

Don't give up on `you', the beautiful person who stuck by his side through disaster after disaster. Try to look for situations, now, however small, where your love is rewarded and your investment is matched by a similar investment. You can find that simple healing lesson through other good people, or even animals. Anyway i think thats what you need right now, to understand that you are still worth something, and much more than that. You are worth a lot and deserve to be cherished.