How has this affected your marriage or relationship with SO?

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by strangeworld, Sep 28, 2017.

  1. strangeworld

    strangeworld Member

    Marriage is difficult enough even in the best of circumstances. Throw in difficult child and it changes the dynamic over time. I notice over the last few years, since my daughter began having problems, I found myself feeling resentful of my husband more and more. When kids are little and things are rolling along smoothly and parents still have a bit of "control" in the home, it seems like we got along much better. It makes complete sense that when your teen starts having issues, it triggers flashbacks or remembrances of your own youth which was possibly a dark period of time. Not really knowing that this is happening intellectually but feeling it emotionally. I know my husband and I deal with things differently. Perhaps his way of "getting on with" it is a protective coping strategy that he has learned over the years - growing up in an alcoholic family (both parents), losing both parents to alcohol without any goodbyes, losing a beautiful sister to alcoholism with no goodbye, a brother homeless for years, and now his daughter falling into this same futile lifestyle (which hopefully will not end in the same way). It's so very painful maybe, that he just can't deal with his emotions, nor mine. Maybe it's that he's a man and can compartmentalize better (my mom says this about men anyway). I go from somewhat okay to almost happy to complete despair several times a day. I grew up in a loving, healthy family. Not perfect. I was treated like I mattered and that it was okay to have feelings. I knew and still know I was and am supported by my mom and dad. He didn't have that.
    I have not been a very happy person to be around for a long time now which must be hard for him. He probably wants me to be okay and doesn't know how to make my heart heal. He doesn't do therapy or self help books and I'm the opposite. He is definitely right on the money most of the time however - that our kid needs to figure it out for herself. No amount of rehab or therapy or medicine is going to solve her problems until she realizes she wants to live her life differently. It just makes me sad that my daughter's father isn't going all out to "save her", but I know she can only save herself. I guess it's good that he gets on with it without too much despair otherwise we'd be doomed. I can't control his reactions - I can't control his relationship with his children and family no matter how much I want it a certain way. I can only control how I react and my own relationships.
     
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  2. Nessie

    Nessie Member

    I feel like I could have written your post, and I have a similar thread. I am not sure what the answer is because it’s very hard to stop your feelings.
    I get extremely frustrated with my husband and then I feel guilty. We argued last night about our son and I also feel he doesn’t try to help as much as I do. To the point that if I wasn’t around I doubt they would have any contact.

    On the positive side I’m glad to have my husband and he does give me support. I hope we can make our relationship stronger as dealing with difficult adult children is hard enough.
     
  3. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet

    Strangeworld:

    I totally agree with everything you have said. I think men handle it differently. It's not our job to manage the relationship that our husbands have with our children. This is pure hell and everyone handles it differently. I used to try to control that. I'm so much better now.

    My husband has a right to his feelings, actions and opinions. I know that he loves our son.

    Yes we just had a post on this.

    My advice is if you are married to a good man then SAVE your marriage. You need to find time with your husband and enjoy that relationship.

    Since my son moved to Florida last year for rehab we have really gotten to enjoy some peace. Our son is still struggling but we are stronger than ever and I'm so thankful for that.

    Every word you said is true. Maybe you should try to see a therapist together a few times if he will go to try to get on the same page and create healthy loving boundaries for yourself and your daughter.
     
  4. Shelley

    Shelley Helicopter Mom in Recovery

    Boy can I relate to this. Same husband! I have pulled back from him with resentment because he also believes in moving on! I always blamed this on the fact he is the stepfather since my son was 2 years old but that is a long long time.
     
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  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Men can be more logical. Maybe they dont try harder to "save" is necsuse they know it isnt possible. Its not faif in my opinion to expe t them to do more. What can they do? Nothing WE do works...they have to do it.

    Certainly the hubby who lived with so many alcohplics alcoholics understands this by seeing it.
    This is one disease that is 100% dependent only on the person. Love, good meals, warm beds make us feel better, not them. They tend to do the best they will do AFTER we stop doing for them.
     
  6. strangeworld

    strangeworld Member

    I peobably shouldn't have used the word "save". I think I meant connect with her more. I am the one she communicates with. Always. She doesn't reach out to him and so he does not reach out to her.
     
  7. Littleboylost

    Littleboylost On the road unwanted to travel

    Oh I do as well and I am burning out from it. I envy my husband who seems to be able to disconnects from the stress of it all.

    Same here and I think that is fairly common. Although there are a fair number of men in my NA meetings. My husband sneak reads my materials. He is learning a lot about detachment in our private cousneling sessions.

    We had a really hard time getting on the same page as each other. We spent a year separated before we got the hang of it. Our 30 year relationship was almost lost to our sons addiction.
     
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  8. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I agree and believe men process very differently than we do.

    My husband is not my daughter's Dad and of course he came on the scene when she was an adult, but he helped me raise my granddaughter thru her teen years (which turned our hair even more grey) but one thing I learned in the process is that when I was completely caught up in my daughter's or granddaughters intensity and "stuff" it was a signal to me to get out of Dodge. I've mentioned this often, he and I used to take off once or sometimes even twice a week on "road trips." We hit the open road to the ocean, the woods, the city, wherever. A long drive somewhere. The distance from home provided us a sort of sanctuary, a place we could create together which had nothing to do with the "kids" and only to do with US. The US can get lost in the never ending dramas of difficult kids of any age, they do tend to suck up all the air in the room......so we took respites. As we drove out of town, we would spend a bit of time talking about the "kids" and then we would begin to check out the beauty of nature, or the glitz of the city, or some cool place we drove to. It began as a way to escape and turned into our time together where we could be present with each other without any interference.

    I think our kids can create damage to our relationships because all of our attention goes onto them and all of our conversations are about them and all of our focus is on them. I believe we have to nurture our relationships with our significant others as well as our relationships with our kids.....it's easy to forget that when so much of what we deal with is so intense and in your face....but for me, I wanted my best friend back and to that end, we created OUR time together. All these years later, we still take off a couple of times a week on our mini road trips.

    Once we established these road trips on a regular basis, our communication improved, we were more on the same page, it enhanced all the parts of our connection....
     
  9. Sam3

    Sam3 Active Member

    RE

    You mentioned your long drives on another thread and I thought what a wonderful respite. A little vacation for the soul you don't have to pack and move mountains for. No reservations for dinners you're too tired to enjoy. Just get out of dodge. It's so simple yet genius.

    Oddly, the drive to visit my son in inpatient was lovely. And it still is. Unlike so many other day to say triggers you drive by, that hasn't been tainted for me. Maybe it isn't that odd.
     
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  10. ColleenB

    ColleenB Active Member

    I guess in some weird way our marriage has actually become stronger. We have both been on the same page throughout this horrible journey and that has been both good and bad (like when we both became so depressed).

    We so cherish our alone time and often do mini road trips which are the balm to our hurting hearts. We both know how precious our marriage is and try to nurture it. We just had our 25th anniversary and I hope the next 25 can be a time of healing and hope. There was a time not long ago I felt helpless and hopeless. I could see no positive in our situation.

    I know my son may never be "ok" but I want us to be more than ok. I want us to enjoy life and each other. We all deserve that.

    We are far from perfect, we don't have all the answers and we fight and argue and blame just like other couples. I think our secret is that we have each other's back and we know it.
     
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  11. mof

    mof Momdidntsignupforthis

    triggers, I wanted to ask how so many of you deal with the triggers of places.

    Drive by where they used, worked, went to school etc. I have not eaten at a McDonald’s since.

    I sometimes wish I could move to remove those triggers
     
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  12. Littleboylost

    Littleboylost On the road unwanted to travel

    AS has 5 jobs of about 4 months each. 2 grocery stores, a Pita Pit, a furniture warehouse and the pool and landscaping company. I see a parent or a place that triggers daily and sometime more than once.

    It is way too difficult.

    Big Higs.
     
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  13. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    strangeworld, hi.

    what a beautiful and wise post.

    i had your husband's life. the struggles of my son , coupled with other losses, have triggered very painful heretofore suppressed childhood agony. mainly sadness, grief and guilt. but fear too.

    despite a lot of self-esteem based upon achievements mainly i find myself feeling like a bereft and powerless child.

    your husband's life has been full of tragic losses and abandonment. with everything in him he is trying to ward off his grief.

    just like you wrote in your post.

    he must feel like i do, that it is his fault. all of it. and now a child he loves more than his own life. he must be hanging on by a thread.

    omg he is blessed to have you. of course you are human. how could you not wish that he was more available to you and your daughter.

    i am struggling with this too. but in your husband's role. i have been more and more sad. i retreat and barely function. do not take care of responsibilities and become a bigger and bigger burden. my so is resentful, critical and fed up.

    i feel like crawling in a hole and leaving the relationship.

    then i remember. your post helped me. maybe m, my so, is reacting to what it is to live with somebody who feels they want to die to stop the pain.

    this is agonizing. each of us is carrying a personal hell. and with some of us this triggers something worse. memory.

    your husband may not be able right now to do better. it may be that you will have to do for yourself. but it does not mean he does not love and value your daughter and you. the reverse.
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2017