Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
Partner is at his 1st NA meeting(42 Posts)
Just as my title says my partner has gone to his first NA meeting tonight after an ultimatum from me. He has been clean 20 days but is still drinking & he needs more help than I can offer. His drugs of choice were smoking heroin & crack, sniffing coke & alcohol. His family all do drugs. He thinks it is all normal. he has 3 sons he can not see because of drugs & DV. We have a 1 year old. We separated for a while & are together now as he admitted a problem but still hadn't got help. last night he went to the shop & was gone 3 hours, drinking. I left him a quilt on the sofa & went to bed & today told him he gets help or gets out. So he went, after much mud slinging this evening & nonsense. he just rang me & is telling me he's surrounded by zombies etc. I said have you found nothing helpful. He said oh yeah it's people like me, we are soft good people, bend over backwards for others & always bite our tongues over the hurt & that is why we do it. So I see it hasnt helped his finger pointing/blaming others for his addiction. He said he is going to make his phone ring & say he has 4 kids & is needed home so he can leave early. I said no you need to stay to the end as I know they do the serenity prayer, keyrings etc. He started shouting at me so I hung up. Also shows he hasn't told them he can't even see 3 of his kids so has either kept quiet or if I know him done the my mrs is a loon, she sent me here or is going to throw me out. I only do it coz she slept with my brother/mum/dog (I didn't) etc. Dreading his return, he has no key & if he is shouting at me then he can sleep elsewhere.
Not really needing replies just needed to get it out.
Ummm. What exactly are you getting from the relationship? Relationships are supposed to be mutually loving and supportive fur the benefit of both parties.. Not to mention the type of role model he is being for your own dc.LTB, you deserve better
This was his final chance. Me offering him help to get clean in the hope that my son would have a dad because I can see him dead in a gutter if not but I'm not optimistic & his reaction to the meeting has just made me less so. His family ignore my son in the street, ignored his 1st birthday, Xmas etc but he is talking about a mothers day card for his mum. He has smoked heroin with her on various occasions. Not much of a mum. I think I should send him back to live with her & be done with him.
As far as I know, AA doesn't work if the person isn't ready so him going 'for you' & feeling like he is better than the others there won't work. That's just if NA works in the same way...
Are you getting any support?
The anonymous programmes don't work like that. I'm sorry. You need to find your own way on this. NA won't fix your husband and send him back to you cured. I think your last thought about sending him back to live with his mother is the way to go. Really sorry.
Please don't take this the wrong way but why, if he was/is not allowed to see his other three children and has previous for drugs and DV, did you start a relationship and have a child with this man?
Cut your losses now and leave. YOU are the fool if you stay.
I really don't mean to sound harsh but you have to face up to what the hell you are doing - to yourself let alone your child.
Thankfully we aren't married & he doesn't live here so separating an emotional upset but no more than that. He talked the talk when we got back together 2 weeks ago but I now feel it was just that 'talking the talk'. His whole family are a mess, drink, drugs, kids given away, kids taken away. We were introduced by a friend & found out all this & his issues over a period of time. If my friend had told me on day 1 I wouldn't have touched him with a bargepole. My life was normal before him but now it resembles a bad episode of Jeremy Kyle. I need to cut him off completely, this won't work if he doesn't see himself as having a problem. I know cutting him off means no access to my son as away from us the drug use will pick up & I'm not having that around my kids.
We separated for a while & are together now as he admitted a problem but still hadn't got help
You are on a hiding to nothing, I'm sorry, OP. You urgently need to seek help for yourself, to deal with the consequences of being in a relationship with an addict. I would contact Al-Anon even if his primary addiction isn't alcohol.
Put yourself and your ds first. Your ds does not need this dad. If he can get himself straight perhaps he can still be a dad to your ds.
Oh dear. It really doesn't sound like he's been listening in the meeting. That's all you're advised to do initially, listen & notice the similarities. He sounds like he's a long way from ready to stop & there's nothing you can do about that I'm afraid. Take care.
Kick him out and keep him out: concentrate on yourself and DC. 12-step programmes quite often don't work anyway - they are based on superstition, not science. They will only 'work' if the person starts attending them at the point when the person is really genuinely ready to end the addiction.
Do they not work? I thought they were regarded pretty successful.
I think there's some debate about the effectiveness of 12-step vs other addiction recovery programmes but none of them can work if the addict isn't fully ready to address their problem.
Thank you all for your advice. I have contacted dash for counselling for myself. He obviously isn't ready & cutting all ties with him is what will help myself & DS. It will be hard because I got involved with him not knowing, fell in love, found out then foolishly thought I could change him & now have to admit defeat & walk away from him although I still love him because he is toxic. I will though because my children are too precious to me to be putting them through his bs.
They work for many people but like SGB says, only if that person is genuinely ready to make big changes. There are other less 'superstitious' programmes too but people often haven't heard of them.
Hi OP, find out where your local Families Anonymous or Al-Anon meeting is and go along. You'll find other people in your situation and they will be able to offer you support.
Interested in your take on 12 step sgb - a friend of mine is currently going through it. When I looked into it was shocked that this is the programme of choice for addicts - as it seems to be founded on dubious principles!
Didn't mean that addicts choose this programme rather this is the main programme used
12-step works for some addicts, though it is likely that what actually 'works' is that the person is genuinely ready to stop and determined to change. At which point anything would work, whether that's AA, a locked ward or tying a white ribbon round your ankle. There are a lot of problems associated with the 12-step movement and a lot of opposition to it, which is not just from addicts-in-denial. It's completely unscientific and it's basically a cult with all the defects of any cult. It just happens to have good marketing strategies.
Sorry OP, bit of a derailment there. But you are doing the right thing in cutting this man off. There is nothing you can do to 'fix' him, he has to sort himself out, and you are under no obligation to sacrifice yourself or DC to his problems. Whatever sort of rehab or recovery treatment he chooses to engage with is up to him, you need not worry about it, but there is basically no magic-button treatment that will stop him drinking and drugging even though he doesn't want to stop.
12 step programme of AA is not marketed,
It is self supporting, has no management, just trusted servants.
IME 12 step programmes do work, I know hundreds of hopeless cases who have recovered, myself included.
Millions worldwide have recovered.
As has been mentioned, you have to want it, though losing everything, the relationship and another child may help him hit bottom and want recovery.
Whether he listened or not, the idea of recovery is planted in his mind now.
I would start getting on with life as much as you can, not thinking if or for him.
The chapter 'to wives' ( free to view on line through the website Alcoholics Anonymous ) may be able to give you some useful suggestions on how to handle it, and has been said, Al-Anon.
All the best.
Thinking of or for him.
Thank you sgb you have articulated what I was thinking!
Sorry op for the derailment but thank you for posting this.
I agree that the only way that the addict will stop is if they want to. There is nothing you can do to stop it And the addiction is no reflection on you.
Doesn't sound like he was actually at a meeting tbh, using his phone during it would be strange and certainly wouldn't have to make an excuse to leave. Just get up and go, no-one would question it.
He sounds like he isn't going to be able to be a good dad or partner at the moment, you can't go on like this.
If not being able to see his other 3 kids doesn't make him realise he is an addict, there's not much hope is there? There will of course be an excuse and it won't be his fault because in my experience addicts stay the same mental age they were when they first started using drugs. Unless he wants to stop, you are powerless. The drugs will come first.
Although I agree with a lot of what SGB said I will say that I think 12 step bashing can be at the least unhelpful and at worst positively dangerous. People will do whatever works for them when they're ready to stop & to put people off fellowships (ie the Anonymous organisations) could be the difference between life & death, not least because they are the best known and most easily accessible programme available.
I have put a lot of thought & research into whether or not the 12 step programme is a cult & even though it often felt that way in my 18months of attending they never sought to alienate me from my loved ones, never demanded money other than what I chose to chuck in the pot (a quid, usually) never chased me down the street & didn't hassle me when I made the decision to stop going beyond a natural concern you might expect from friends. Then there is the issue of whether or not it is brainwashing. I decided that element might have some grounds but quite honestly I needed it because my brain was filthy ! I learned a lot from my time with the fellowship about the nature of addiction & ways that I could live my life in a different way and for that I am very grateful, however, like I said before I no longer attend.
I do a different (secular) programme now based on sobriety being entirely my responsibility, a modern programme based on a tried & tested psychological approach but when I first set foot in a 12 step meeting I was utterly desperate & I don't know what I would have done if someone had told me it was a cult & should be avoided.
Apologies for the derail!
Schlock: I think it's also dangerous to insist, as some people do, that 12-step 'works' when it absolutely doesn't - seeing it as some kind of magical cure for addiction is frankly daft as well as dangerous. Finding a 12-step programme a load of nauseating unhelpful nonsense doesn't mean that a person is doomed to die of his/her addiction, it means that a different type of rehab/support is more likely to work more effectively (though of course nothing will work until the addict is ready).
BTW there appear to be studies showing that 12-step programmes are actually the least effective way of helping addicts.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.