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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So the short version of my story is that I'm at the point of feeling like I have to divorce my wife while she is pregnant with our first child. I feel like a jerk.

I'll go ahead and word vomit the long version here in more detail. Forgive me, because this is all stuff that I largely keep to myself and don't generally discuss frequently in great detail.

I'm 35 and my wife is 29, married for 4 years.My wife is addicted to heroin. I myself don't use drugs, never have. I've smoked pot and sure I experimented with other things in high school and college, but never the hard stuff. Everyone naturally assumes that I must be an addict too because why would I marry this woman otherwise? My wife's from a good family, is educated, physically beautiful, but she's a junkie. It hurts to say that and it took me a long time to be able to say it to myself let alone out loud, but that's what she is these days. Her addiction started long before she met me, but she'd been clean for a number of years by then. She didn't tell me about her past problems until we were well into a relationship and by that time I was in love with her. She didn't look or act like what I imagined a typical heroin addict would look and act like. She convinced me it was well in the past and she had control over it and I'm really not that naive but I allowed myself to just be deluded into believing that somehow things would be different for her and it would never be a problem for her again. Looking at her, back then, you couldn't imagine this girl putting that stuff in her body. She worked out, ate healthy, had a good job and seemed "together" in practically every way.

About a year into our marriage she relapsed and started using again. She couldn't keep it hidden from me for long. Looking back, I probably should have just realized that it was hopeless ad left her then before I could get mentally screwed up and sucked in by all of it.But I didn't leave. I stayed and got angry and bitter. We fought a lot, but then other times she seemed normal and those moment were enough to keep me hanging on. She agreed to go to rehab (actually went 2 times). I've done the naranon meetings and chat groups and stuff in the past. She's had blips of being clean over the past 3 years, but it never lasts.

A month ago she confesses to me she's 12 weeks pregnant, had known about it for over a month, and had been using heroin the entire time. The level of disgust and rage I had is beyond what I can put into words. I can't tell you if it was more at her or at myself for staying with her all this time, for having sex with her, for allowing this to happen.

I've moved out of our house because I just couldn't be around her. I'm paying all of the household bills for our home while she stays there. Ridiculous, I know. I just feel better knowing that she's there then somewhere else. She's unisder a doctor's care now and is no longer using heroin - it's been replaced with Suboxone (by prescription), which has been determined to be the safest thing for the pregnancy. She's cried to me multiple times about how sorry she is, how she hates herself, that she's disgusted with herself. I do believe that she feels that way but it doesn't change what she's done or solve the problems she has.

So now I'm at the point of realizing that for my own sanity I probably have to divorce her. I know it probably sounds crazy, but I don't want to divorce her. What I want is for her to get clean, stay clean, and to raise our child together. It's a lot to ask for and I'm not sure I can go on with this relationship knowing that no matter how great it seems, and it was really great for those first few years, it could all go to hell at any time. I know all about co-dependence and I'm not saying I'm not affected by that, but I felt this way about her before she started using again, so it can't all be chalked up to that. I also worry about divorcing her and having to share custody of this child. I'm not sure I'll be able to stand not knowing what is going on when our baby is with her. If she can knowlingly shoot up while pregnant what's going to step her from doing anything if the craving strikes when there's an actual child there with her?

I know this is a marriage forum and not an addiction forum. I tried to find some sort of active addiction support forum and couldn't find any that got more than one or two posts a day, if that. I don't really want to talk about my situation from the addiction/12 step/co-dependent lense. Not to ignore any of those aspects, but I'm really just depressed about what's happened to my wife, to our marriage, to our future. At the core of it, I'm just struggling with the idea of realizing that I probably have to divorce her for my own sanity and possibly for her own sake, even though it's not what my heart wants to do. Addiction can't possibly be the only reason someone could find themselves in this position. How do you finally take that definitive step when your head is telling you one thing and your heart is screaming at youto not do it? And I've said all this and not even touched on the crazy world of custody issues and all of the unknowns and frustrating information I've gathered thus far on that front.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
@lp86 I can‘t really add any advice, this is way out of my league. But I wanted to mention that TAM has an addition forum that may be of some help you, as a resource if nothing else:


Personally it seems to me that you’ve done all the right things here. Sometimes a person with an addiction can drag you down with them if you’re not careful. Also, no offense intended but it might be worthwhile to verify the child is yours. As you know, addicts will go to great lengths to feed their addiction.

Best of luck to you!
Right, I know this is a bit heavy but I appreciate the response.

No offense taken regarding the paternity comment. Almost everyone I know in real life who is aware of the situation has said the same thing and it's already on my list to do. I don't really think anything like that has been happening but nothing is impossible.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Just in case you decide to verify that the baby is yours. You can get a paternity test before the baby is born, once ten weeks have passed a blood sample from both of you can be tested.
Good luck whatever you decide to do.
I’ve already looked into it and it can actually be done as early as 7 weeks. Sounds like they only need a blood sample from her and a cheek swab from me. She threw a fit when I suggested it. She doesn’t want to go to “one of those places” and have to get her blood drawn like she doesn’t know who the father is because, she says, she isn’t confused and there’s no other possibility but me. You think I want to have to go somewhere to give my DNA because I can’t trust my wife? Of course I don’t but you do what needs to be done in this situation. If there’s nothing to hide then just suck it up and do it, but she’s still largely in her selfish mindset right now and she does have a fair amount of shame about her addiction and everything that surrounds it so from that end I can understand some of her feelings. So I decided not to push it anymore when she freaked out about it and am hoping once her mind clears a bit more I can convince her.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I was a parole officer and I had one guy that was a co-founder of the arian circle gang. He said once, he kind of scares himself at the degrading things he makes these girls in their 20s do for dope. If they don't have money, he will have them screw other guys or multiple guys for the dope.
It definitely happens. Some of the things I’ve heard from other people are even worse - much worse, sickening beyond belief in some cases. The desperation is next level. I can’t say that I’m entirely convinced that sexual favors were never done in exchange in my wife’s case when she was younger. She denies it and I do know where a good chunk of the money came from but I try not to even let my mind go there as far as anything that happened before I even knew her. This time around she’s just financially ruined us.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
It isn't that you don't trust your wife, you don't trust a addict. Maybe she doesn't realize it, but you can't believe one single thing an addict tells you, not a single thing.

I'm curious, did her heroin addiction start with a prescription opioid problem?
She was prescribed opioid painkillers after a sports injury when she was 16. That’s how this all started. She has transitioned to heroin by the time she was 18.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
If you do leave please do all you can to protect the child from the drug taking etc.. Get legal advise about getting custody.
I think this needs to be my priority whether I leave her or not.

If I divorce her a petition for custody and she fights it, there is a good chance that I can get court ordered drug tests included as part of the deal. Since our baby will be born addicted to opiates, I think there is strong grounds and probably cause did the courts to require regular drug testing as part of any custody agreement, but scarily enough there’s no guarantee that this will be required of her unless she screws up and gets arrested or something.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I don't think the polygraph is necessary for your situation. Usually people recommend them when someone is considering reconciling after cheating. But in your situation, it's not even about cheating...you simply cannot stay attached to an addict in any way without polluting and damaging your life as well. You really MUST divorce, or you will be wasting your whole life dealing with the turmoil and self-destruction that she causes.

Does she know that you are going to legally enforce a paternity test if she doesn't cooperate and get one herself?
I honestly probably don’t even want to know the truth to everything she’s probably lied about.

She knows I will find out the paternity after the baby is born if she doesn’t agree to it before. I won’t even need a court order at that point just to get a dna test for my own knowledge. She’s going to make me as the father and I will be the presumed father at that point and if I want to swab the inside of ‘my’ child’s cheek I’ll have every right to do it. She said it’s fine and I can do it then but that I’m being “ridiculous” and she will not go get her blood drawn for it. I just don’t get that thought process. Why not just settle it right now? We could know in as little as 3 days! We’ll see what she says when I meet her for her next doctor’s appointment tomorrow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
Don’t bother with a polygraph. Someone who is a habitual liar can pass them without difficulty. And believe me she’s a habitual liar.
Not news to me. She once told me and several close friends that she had been diagnosed with a fatal disease just for the fun of it all I guess. I’m freaking out, calling her doctor trying to figure out what we’re going to do for treatment and to find out what the hell was going on. The doctor knew nothing about it. It was all a lie and she was just having a laugh. I had to call all her friends to tell them and we were all completely dumbfounded.
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
Honestly, she should be in a inpatient treatment for as long as possible. She needs to learn how to cope without the heroin. Heroin is the hardest to kick and it will be tough going. But I say this with kindness, you need to detach from her or your life will be a living hell. You need to think of the child at all costs. In some states, using while pregnant is against the law. I would go scorched earth on her and not look back. She has to enter treatment immediately.

Have you or her considered abortion? Hard question I know.
Yes, but I cannot force her to go to rehab or have an abortion.

She has been to rehab and in a few different treatment programs in the past.
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
Does she know that you are going to end the marriage? What about her family, what do they think?
She knows it’s headed that way but I haven’t told her that I definitely am because I don’t want to say it and not follow through. I’ll hate myself even more if I do that.

I moved out and limited my contact with her. I just needed to be away from her for a while. But it’s complicated because I want to be involved in the pregnancy and I can’t necessarily trust her to tell me the truth about everything going on so I have to be involved, be at every appointment so I can hear things directly from a doctor and not filtered through her. I’m angry and frustrated but I still love her and it’s hard for me to not respond when she begs me to come see her, when she’s feeling sick, when she’s struggling. Sometimes she lays it in really thick and it’s easier to resist in those moment. Sometimes she says she understand why I feel the way I do and why I had to leave and she’ll be real quiet for a few days then it’s like she can’t stand it anymore and is crying and begging me to come home, saying she’ll do anything. She’s making an effort, compared to a mont or two ago, and I want to support her in that but it’s just not enough. I don’t feel like she’s doing enough.

Her dad remains in denial about just how bad her problems are. It’s his baby girl and he just doesn’t want to admit that this is her reality. He knows she has problems but he bails her out, brushes stuff under the rug, and she definitely puts on the best act for him and it’s like he plays along pretending she’s fine half the time. He thinks maybe this baby will straighten her out and will be a magical cure all. Her mom is more ashamed and works very hard to keep my wife’s problems a secret from everyone even though it’s really no secret at all to everyone. Her entire extended family knows but nobody talks about it. Her mom has blamed me for the pregnancy and even yelled at me “How could you?” As if I raped her or something or did this on purpose.
 

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Discussion Starter · #35 ·
you have no choice but to divorce. If you haven’t seen an attorney while you KNOW your wife is poisoning your own child, your weakness and inability to make decisions makes you a poor dad.

My advice:
See an attorney.
Get your wife thrown in jail where the baby MIGHT have a chance at a normal life.
Divorce your wife immediately.

Even if this isn’t your baby (likely it isn’t), you should still try to save it from its own mother.

there is no way to have a marriage to a heroin addict. It’s impossible. Why have you done nothing? It’s wayyyyyyy past time.
I never said that I haven’t already consulted with an attorney, but I do understand why most normal people can’t understand why I’m not already long gone. i would have thought the same thing as you 4 or 5 years ago.

In the past I would sometimes pray that she’d get arrested. It’s not as if I can just call the cops and ask them to come take her away. She’s not doing anything illegal (most likely, hopefully) right now. The opioid she’s on now is being prescribed and it’s the safest thing for the pregnancy. I can tell a major difference in her behavior and mannerisms and for the time being I do believe that it is the only opiate she’s taking. It’s still not ideal but right now she’s doing what the doctors and experts advise is best. I do believe that she does feel genuine remorse and guilt that the baby will be born addicted, not that that absolves her at all.

Believe it or not, I do think the baby is mine but not stupid enough to not get proof. I figured out her weakness and she’s “agreed” to allow me to spend $1000 to find out what she already knows (her words). She agreed to a prenatal test this morning after I told her everyone I know plus people I shared this story with online think the baby isn’t mine. So she’s not doing it for me but to prove everyone wrong. I should have approached it that way from the start, knowing that might trigger her. Working on making the soonest available appointment right now before she backs out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #41 ·
One look at your newborn baby in the NICU while suffering from drug withdrawal will be enough for you to hate her even more than you do right now.

Though, if you weren't using condoms while screwing a druggie then you are just as much to blame for the suffering that baby is going to go through for the rest of its life.
Unprotected sex or sex of any sort was not happening on a regular basis; however, I place a great amount of blame for the situation on myself, believe me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #42 ·
lp86 check out www.soberrecovery.com for family and friends. There is a drugs thread. They have all been through your experience.
I’m aware of that site and the family and friends section is pretty slow but I have gone ahead and posted.

It’s actually hard to find stories of men in my situation. They exist, but I don’t see a lot of people talking about it. If I do find similar stories, the male spouse is often an addict themselves. I did use to communicate with a group of non-addict women (just so happened to all be women) who had addict spouses but that particular site has pretty much died. I’ve been looking around quite a bit online and even amongst addicts it seems like being a pregnant user is taboo and although it’s happening all over the country right now people don’t want to talk about it. I wish my wife would find a support group of some sort, ideally in person locally, but I can’t imagine her ever going. She thinks she is above attending a support group for other pregnant women or mothers who are addicts, Iike they’re all trash and she’s different.
 

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Discussion Starter · #53 ·
Recap of what the lawyer told me is that it would be wise to move out, set up a separate home of my own, yet remain completely involved in the pregnancy and continue to support and provide basic needs for my wife as a way of showing that I was committed to parenting the child and had already invested in the child’s well-being. I was already doing those things before I spoke with him, although leaving our house was not and still hasn’t been made officially permanent.

He advised that I get a prenatal paternity test for my own piece of mind and so that we could know the facts ahead of time, even if a prenatal test isn’t permissible in court. It will allow us to get ahead of the game.

The state we live in does not automatically arrest pregnant women who use illegal drugs during pregnancy or test positive for them at the hospital after birth. They actually don’t even automatically take a newborn away. CPS will be brought in and will evaluate the situation. If the mother has stopped using the drugs, has been involved in treatment and seeking other services that show (whether genuine or not) that she is making an effort, a newborn could be sent home with her. The CPS case will not be closed at that point and the situation will be monitored. Some babies, maybe even a majority will be taken from the mother, but not all. The general message is that some drug addicted moms are given a chance. It also means that I’m not guaranteed to just waltz out of there with full custody. She also has no official records in the form of criminal records related to her drug use. I hate to say it this way, but it would help my case if there was more “proof” of that sort.
 

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Discussion Starter · #54 ·
I also went to her appointment today. Everything looks ok right now. We’ll have an ultrasound in 4 weeks. It’s difficult when she appears normal-clean although I know it’s really fake because it’s this maintenance drug just filling her craving without actually getting her high. Somehow I leave the whole thing feeling like **** because she’s begging me to give her a chance and not take her baby away. I want her to have a chance too but a human being isn’t really something you can screw around with. I get sick thinking about divorcing her and the court giving her a “chance” that involves anything beyond completely supervised visits.
 

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Discussion Starter · #60 ·
Your compassion and love for your wife is a total enemy to the child. You should be absolutely ruthless with her while handling this legally. Your wife has, and still is poisoning her child. You know what she’s going to do after it’s born….. You need to detach. Do the 180.
You’re not totally wrong, about me at least.

As far as her poisoning the baby, yes she did. What she’s doing now is not ideal in the sense that there are still opiates pumping through the baby’s system which wouldn’t be a thing if she hadn’t been using heroin in the first place, but it’s the safest option given the circumstances. For those who aren’t aware, it is not advised to completely withdraw from opiates when pregnant. That is what she’d prefer to do now and I believe she’s genuine. She doesn’t enjoy the way the Suboxone makes her feel and she does feel guilt and shame about doing it to the baby. If she continues to take only what is prescribed, at least there is good chance the baby will go to term, be in a normal weight range, experience milder and shorter withdraw, and possibly not have any withdraw symptoms if we get really really lucky. I don’t say any of this to defend her, but I know that most people thankfully don’t have experience with this and might not be aware that this is what the experts advise.
 

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Discussion Starter · #62 ·
How do you respond to her when she talks like that and begs you?
I spend most of the time being quiet trying not to fly off the handle at her. I have been mean and frustrated with most of my responses.

Yesterday I let her know that I am happy that she’s following the doctor’s instructions, but that I feel like she’s doing the bare minimum and not showing the type of effort that would make me believe she’s truly committed to getting clean. I don’t want to take her baby from her and I would like for my child to have his or her mother in their life and for her to be a normal, healthy, trustworthy parent. I don’t want to see her fail. I’m in this strange situation where I want her to succeed and I want to help and encourage her but at the same time I feel like I might just be setting her up in the perfect position to easily manipulate those who may feel she is deserving of a chance with this baby when maybe she might not be ready yet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #65 ·
It’s so sad. I totally agree with what you’re saying. Your wife is likely not some monster, but she’s an addict. You love your wife.
It would be awesome if she’d stop the heroin.
I think when you say somebody is an addict, namely heroin, one automatically pictures this soulless disgusting, dirty, disease ridden troll-like person with scabs all over their arms, living under a bridge and sharing needles. I know that’s what I use to think of all of them. Some are that way, but that’s not my wife. It could be her future though. She’s a far more complex person than that and if you saw her with your own eyes right now you’d never know what she was struggling with.
 

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Discussion Starter · #68 ·
No she's not, she's like anybody else. She just hasn't reach that level (yet), or she might never reach that level. You are rationalizing and looking at her through your biased perceptions of her due to your emotional involvement. Certainly, I have never met her nor I know who she is, but there's not need in order to ascertain a common human biological response trait. You could be the most high functioning individual in the world, but if you're and addict to some kind of drug, them the psychosomatic responses within the individual are pretty much a patron within humans. So, please, let's not deluge with biases.
In no way did I mean that she is any less addicted, physically and mentally dependent, or controlled by her addiction than any other addict, nor anymore trustworthy when actively using.

I think to some people there is just one image of an addict, as this evil, soulless, lepure-like person and the individual is reduced to nothing but that. To someone who thinks like that, they may have a difficult time understanding why I feel the way I do. They are seen as 100% bad with no other layers to who they are and in some people’s minds that’s it cut and dry. I do think that some people fall so far down that they do begin to lose their souls and their minds, but realistically many addicts are more complex than the stereotype. I’m admittedly biased towards by wife. I wouldn’t want to be in 20 feet of a dirty, street-dwelling heroin addicted woman turning tricks for a fix. I don’t think that my wife, when she’s using, would be anymore trustworthy with a newborn baby than that street woman though. And I am terrified of my wife becoming that woman one day. For now, she still has a soul and her mind and emotions are still there and constantly conflicted and struggling. She isn’t “evil,” but is she a fit mother right now? No.

I also can’t claim that she’s the most functional addict out there. She’s no longer employed because of her issues and normally spends about 5 hours in the middle of the day passed out in bed which is enraging. She’s now gone 3 or 4 days without taking a nap and it’s like a major achievement for her which is just terribly depressing.
 
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