I Love Him, But He’s Addicted…

My husband is a recovering alcoholic/pain meds, he has been sober from drinking for 4 yrs. We have been married for 2 yrs and have a two year old I son. During the time I was pregnant up to now he has involved himself with 5 women, watches porn and is a workaholic. I have been more dependent because of my son and his age and am scared but feel I can’t continue on with this relationship any longer. I have no trust in him and he is very negative and angry towards me at times. He mentioned a few weeks ago that he wants to go to counseling. I have found a few for myself and for us. I am going to Alanon when I can. I’m trying to figure out why I have found myself in this situation and how to help myself. Being a mother has been all consuming and has given little time for myself. My husband says I don’t give him any attention (and that is why he has resorted to cheating and porn). I told him I am not responsible for his actions and that those are his choices. I love him but I don?t know what to do.

Response from Daniel?.

Yours sounds like a relationship plagued by your husband’s addiction, i.e. his need to seek relief via means outside of himself (porn and sex) and your relationship. He hasn’t achieved a period of sustained stabilization, which is the first stage of recovery, nor does he have an adequate program laid out for himself or adequate sober support. For all intents and purposes, he does not appear ready or able to participate in a relationship with you and be a functional partner and father.

When you say that you still love him, I’m getting that that thought is driven by an underlying desperation and dependency you may not be fully aware of or am in denial about, as the reality is that he isn’t providing for you emotionally or physically. He is behaving irresponsibly which erodes trust, yet you’re still hanging on, and which doesn’t appear to be in your best interests. The goal of your individual therapy should be for you to learn what it means to take care of yourself and rely on yourself to the extent you can refrain from hoping and waiting for him to change, which is not going to happen unless and until he seeks help for himself. In typical addict fashion, he is coming at you with the self-centered expectation and assumption that you’re there to fulfill his needs while remaining oblivious to yours, as well oblivious to his irresponsible and destructive behavior, and you’re buying into it.

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author Daniel Linder
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