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Question
Posted by: Sweetie | 2011/08/25

Ex husband now on drugs

My ex husband attempted suicide. I knew that he had a psychological problem after our breakup almost a year ago and encouraged him to seek professional help. He got involved with drugs and several other women, of which one is having his baby in a couple of weeks'' time. I found him and rushed him to hospital. The psychiatrist informed me then that it was the 2nd time that he was admitted for a drug overdose / attempted suicide. I decided to stay over for a while to support him. He has neglected his job to such an extent that his employer wants to let him go. I am meeting with them to try and persuade them to give him another opportunity. He holds a senior post in the company. The kids are quite stressed out about his situation and also because one has to prepare for some year mark tests next week and all this happenings are affecting him to such an extent that he has trouble concentrating. It is in my nature to assist where I can and I let go of my new life for a while to help my ex overcome this demon. I booked and persuaded him to go to rehab and he will be going there tomorrow. I am mentally and physically exhausted and have to perform at my job having had a few hours of sleep for the past week. I have included his pregnant gf in updates about his condition, took her to the hospital to visit him and took her for her antenatal session this week. Last night he lied while I went to drop her off and by the time I got back he had already had a fix. Whilst his family was also there, he went into the bathroom and had another fix! The kids saw what he was doing and are devastated. I sat with them and tried to explain that it is the addiction that made him do and talk weird things. I also lost it with him and at once stage slapped him. I am ashamed of my reaction. He seems to believe that I can save him. I can''t! I don''t want to give him false hope of a reconcilliation, but he seems to be begging this, almost holding it against my head in exchange for him seeking appropriate help at the rehab. I am so tired and sad. I don''t know what to do any more. His family is also looking to me to help him. He also got involved with some shady characters who are threatening him.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

From your message, it's clear that you did not only all you could do, but much more than most people would have done, for him. It doesn't sound as though he did all he could and should have done to save himself, and that was primarily his own responsibility.
Anyone may become depressed, but drug use inevitably makes one's brain as well as one's social situation, worse ; and having affairs and children out of wedlock, helps nobody and is so unfair to the child.
Its kind of you to try to help, but the central problem is that he seems to be taking no proper responsibility for his own bad behaviour and bad choices, and you cannot do that for him - indeed, by doing too much you could even discourage him from doing what he needs to do to help himself.
What he has chosen to do ( depression does not compel someone to be promiscuous, for instance, or to take drugs ) has been unkind to his existing children and the one to come, and the woman he has made pregnant, and to you.
There is no demon involved - an illness, complicated by a lot of bad and selfish behaviour, and which can respond well to proper treatment IF it has his full cooperatiopn with his shrink.
If he is taking IV drug injections while in hospital, he is deliberately subverting the treatment he is supposed to be receiving - and effectively doing it in front of his children is outrageously irresponsible.
Addicion is difficult to deal with but does not force him to do such things.
It is absolutely true that you cannot save him - ONLY he himself can save him, and placing the responsibility on you is irresponsible and a way of continuing to evade responsibility for his choices. And a way of blackmailing you back into caring for him.
Remind his family of this fact. Trying to hard to help him will only make i easier for him to continue to indulge himself and to avoid doing what he needs to do to have any chance of getting better. Does his shrink and the hospital know he is continuing to take fixes while in the hospital ?

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Our users say:
Posted by: Vis | 2011/08/26

You are a better person than I am. You act as if you''re responsible for this man, but honestly, he''s your kids'' father, but not your responsibility.

How did he get a fix in hospital? Someone must have brought it for him. Now he knows how much you care, so he''s using this to his advantage and you are letting him.

Reply to Vis
Posted by: Linus | 2011/08/26

Sweetie - I know for a fact the your ex husbands employer can''t just let him go. The fact that they are aware that he has an addiction that needs treatment means that they are obliged by law to try and help him  try and work it from this angle. Also from what you say he sounds like he is at an advanced stage of addiction and what you really need is an outsider from a rehab centre to cause an INTERVENTION in this situation - to take hold of the situation and shake it by its throat with maximum confrontation. As all family are emotionally involved only a skilled outsider can do this on your behalf and this needs to be done urgently. I also think you also need some urgent support and well done on everything you have managed until now - very tough love is what is called for now and all the best.

Reply to Linus
Posted by: Phil | 2011/08/26

Sometimes  we can''t help grown ups. They have to help themselves. That''s the way it is for all of us  we have choice  responsiblities and accoutabilities. No one can make us do anything  we have to live our lifes. I guess your life and what you do with it  really is in your own hands.

Reply to Phil
Posted by: Romany | 2011/08/25

I agree with Liza.
You have to be cruel to be kind here.
You will end up losing your job abd your children''s respect if you continue trying to save this man who does not want to save himself.

Reply to Romany
Posted by: Liza | 2011/08/25

First you have to realize that you are not responsible for his bad choices. It''s not your responsibility to do anything except ensure that this situation doesn''t affect your kids any worse than it already is. You''re going to have to put your children first instead of the ex-husband - i.e. If the kids see him doing drugs, it means he shouldn''t have been allowed near the kids in the first place. If his family expect you to look after him, it''s because they don''t WANT to. Perhaps they''ve had enough. BUT their expectations that you''ll look out for him is totally selfish and unacceptable.

The only way for your ex-husband to pull himself together, is if he does it for himself. Saying yes to rehab, but doing a fix afterwards, means he has no intention of trying to pull himself together. Tough love is the only way to get through to him. You''ve done far too much for him already. If you catch him with drugs in your home, you should have him arrested. Even if he wants you to ''fix'' him - it isn''t going to happen - EVER. He has to fix himself.

And setting conditions for going to rehab by wanting a reconciliation is COMPLETELY manipulative. It shows that he really isn''t willing to try and change his ways. Kick his lazy butt to the sidewalk, go to court and ensure he only has supervised visitation with his kids, tell his boss to fire him and leave him to the shady characters. Only by hitting his head REALLY hard will he realize that he has to clean himself up.

Good Luck
Liza

Reply to Liza
Posted by: cybershrink | 2011/08/25

From your message, it's clear that you did not only all you could do, but much more than most people would have done, for him. It doesn't sound as though he did all he could and should have done to save himself, and that was primarily his own responsibility.
Anyone may become depressed, but drug use inevitably makes one's brain as well as one's social situation, worse ; and having affairs and children out of wedlock, helps nobody and is so unfair to the child.
Its kind of you to try to help, but the central problem is that he seems to be taking no proper responsibility for his own bad behaviour and bad choices, and you cannot do that for him - indeed, by doing too much you could even discourage him from doing what he needs to do to help himself.
What he has chosen to do ( depression does not compel someone to be promiscuous, for instance, or to take drugs ) has been unkind to his existing children and the one to come, and the woman he has made pregnant, and to you.
There is no demon involved - an illness, complicated by a lot of bad and selfish behaviour, and which can respond well to proper treatment IF it has his full cooperatiopn with his shrink.
If he is taking IV drug injections while in hospital, he is deliberately subverting the treatment he is supposed to be receiving - and effectively doing it in front of his children is outrageously irresponsible.
Addicion is difficult to deal with but does not force him to do such things.
It is absolutely true that you cannot save him - ONLY he himself can save him, and placing the responsibility on you is irresponsible and a way of continuing to evade responsibility for his choices. And a way of blackmailing you back into caring for him.
Remind his family of this fact. Trying to hard to help him will only make i easier for him to continue to indulge himself and to avoid doing what he needs to do to have any chance of getting better. Does his shrink and the hospital know he is continuing to take fixes while in the hospital ?

Reply to cybershrink

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