Good Evening, friends!
Got a question this evening.
If you read my story, I’ve been with my partner almost 30 years, only discovering he was an addict three months after our marriage. For the first 10+ years, I truly believe that Matt really did not want to seek sobriety. He would do some crazy things. However, for the last 5+ years, I truly believe that Matt desperately wants to be “normal” (whatever that is) and sober. He was clean for an amazing 3+ years recently until he relapsed out of the blue and totaled the car he paid for so promptly by himself. Further, in our early years, I believe Matt’s lies to me were just because he liked being high. Now, I truly believe he lies because of deep shame and disappointment in himself. This shame and disappointment within himself time and time again results in another relapse. When we got together at 16, Matt was always under the influence of something, but somehow I was so enamored with him, I did not see this as a red flag. With under the influence, I mean drinking alcohol and/or marijuana. I found out later his opiate use started around the age of 19, which was also the year our first son was born. Matt’s parents are both now deceased, but when we were married, both were HEAVY, but functioning alcoholics. Matt has often recalled how “fun” things used to be when he was younger and all his family members would gather together drinking, laughing and reminiscing. There was not a time when they stopped drinking, that was until they both developed cancer and died within a few years of one another. Matt’s mom was extremely abusive to Matt and his brother when they were young. Although a fantastic lady, she turned into a different person when she was drunk. Matt has attended probably 35 rehabs in the 30 years we’ve been together. When he’s not in rehab, he’s in jail. Before I had him arrested in August, I pleaded with him to go into a dual diagnosis facility. He’s learned a ton in those 35 rehabs but not what keeps him from going back every time. Matt accomplished a ton of stuff during the 3+ years he was sober. He had the respect of all his kids. I completely trusted him and in fact, left most of the financial decisions to him. He was finally able to gain employment and keep it, something he hadn’t done before or since. As mentioned above, he saved up 14k for a Jeep Compass. He attended NA meetings nightly and was even applying to be a certified addiction specialist. There was absolutely no warning signs that day he relapsed. I didn’t blame him and completely encouraged him that this was just a slip and he’d get back to where he was. Still, the shame in himself just kept him relapsing over and over these last 2 years. He always says, “I’m just a loser drug addict” and I know for a fact that these are not being said to be manipulative. I guess what I’m asking is how to I convince him to seek mental health as, knowing him as long as I’ve had, I do believe this plays a large part. And, following up on that question, how to I encourage him to be more curious about any correlation between addiction and mental health without sounding like I’ve got all the answers and am trying to tell him what to do. It’s really important for me to know that HE is responsible for his recovery and that all I can do is encourage. Sorry for the long question!!