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To think that it is NOT OK for DH to pop a codeine tablet on a Sunday afternoon because he was bored, and not tell me about it?

(63 Posts)
LineInTheSand Thu 14-Aug-08 10:06:47

I noticed that one (now I can see two) tablets were missing late last night. I checked them because I was suspicious about whether he was taking tablets on the sly (a box of valium we got in Mexico on our honeymoon disappeared slowly despite his never telling me that he'd taken a tablet, and despite my never having taken one). I am particularly upset because (a) he didn't tell me; (b) he did it during the day when we were playing with our son, who is 16 months old; (c) we've been struggling with trust issues relating to his drinking problem, and just the day before he'd taken DS out and had a beer, and lied to me about it when I asked him if he was drinking a beer, and fessed up later when they got home (this despite a rule that he NEVER, EVER drink when DS is in his sole charge).

Sorry, this is getting long. I confronted him about it this morning. At first he was defensive, like it's no big deal. Then I convinced him that, yes, in light of (a) through (c) above, it is a big deal. Then he tried to say that it's not that much codeine, and wanted to compare it with a Nurofen Plus (12.5mg, I just checked). Then he apologized, and said that he realized it was not okay, and he wouldn't do it again. Then I brought up his mother, who routinely got pissed/off her head on drugs when he and his brother were boys, to such an extent that (with father absent completely) they had to look after themselves at a very young age. I said, think of that as one end of a spectrum, and get yourself completely to the other end. He said he understood, and he is working on it.

More background: he is in therapy for anger management and communication of emotion issues that relate to the drinking. He's been working really hard on it, and I've seen major improvements (despite these two setbacks over the weekend) in his ability to communicate and control his drinking.

So I guess my question is not, am I being unreasonable, because I am pretty damn sure I am not, but what do I do now? When has it gone too far? Bearing in mind that things are actually getting a lot better, and I do love him completely, but also at times think of how much easier life would be if he'd just get hit by a bus. It's also relevant to know that his drinking put DS in danger twice in the past - once when DS was about 8 months DH dropped him while trying to put him on his shoulders. He was completely pissed at the time. The second time DS was probably 11 months old and I went to a show with my mum and DH was looking after DS on his own, got completely drunk after DS was asleep, then DS woke up and DH rocked him back to sleep but passed out in the chair. When I got him, DH was covered in a pool of his own piss, DS was soaked in it, too, and had just woken up and was about to fall onto the floor off of DH's lap. DH did not wake up until I shook him awake after retrieving DS.

We are now six months down the road from those awful incidents. Things have improved, but there are obviously still issues. DH is in therapy, he does seem to be getting better, but still this has happened, and I don't know where to draw the line in the sand - it feels like it keeps moving.

I've changed my name to protect my privacy. TIA.

nametaken Thu 14-Aug-08 10:12:00

It's not really any of your business whether or not your dh takes a codeine tablet surely! He's a grown man and if he decides he needs a nurofen he'll have one. You'r his wife, not his mother.

I'd be more concerned about his drinking.

And why buy valium in Mexico and then complains when he takes one.

Either you are a very strange person or there is more to this than you've told smile

Bumdiddley Thu 14-Aug-08 10:12:59

Why did you buy valium in Mexico???

AND what's wrong with taking one codeine??

SuperSillyus Thu 14-Aug-08 10:15:14

Well, if he is working on it that will take time and you love him and he is lucky to have that.

But it does just mean that you are having to shoulder the responsibility and there is no way out of that for now.

Do you have good friends and family network for yourself?

2point4kids Thu 14-Aug-08 10:16:09

Isnt codeine just a pain killer?
Do you ask his permission to take a pill every time you have a headache?

nappyaddict Thu 14-Aug-08 10:16:19

not sure what is wrong with him having one drink and one painkiller whilst looking after ds tbh.

2point4kids Thu 14-Aug-08 10:17:30

the drinking is not on obviously but it sounds like he doesnt do that any more?

BlingLovin Thu 14-Aug-08 10:19:07

I'm assuming he wasn't taking it because he had a headache? In which case I understand your issue - it's not about him being so out of it he's about to drop ds, it's about him betraying your trust by trying to find artificial ways to feel good about himself?

twoluvlykids Thu 14-Aug-08 10:19:58

"easier if he was hit by a bus"

i think that sums it up.

do you want him to be a child all his life, coz that's how he's behaving.

Arbuthnot Thu 14-Aug-08 10:20:38

I disagree with the others as actually if it is strong codeine then basically he was using it to get off his face and that is not ok. However if he has problems with alcohol/drugs/liking to be out of it and cannot limit it to times when it is 'safe' then sadly you are going to either have to make sure there is nothing in the house, or re-evaluate your relationship.

Piffle Thu 14-Aug-08 10:20:50

codeine can impair your reflexes and should not be taken with alcohol
I know as was on it for long term pelvic nerve pain
The bigger picture is addiction and anger issues prob stemming from his own childhood
The issue here is trust as well
Popping codeine for fun with no pain reason is a worry esp given the whole story
Am quite surprised at replies tbh

BlingLovin Thu 14-Aug-08 10:20:52

Although I feel I should add that he's obviously made progress. If you feel you can make him understand how you feel, and assure him that once the trust is back you aren't going to get too worked up but that you're feeling concerned that he's still not able to control himself? In which case, is it worth sticking it out as improvement continues? It's a relatively minor set back?

elliott Thu 14-Aug-08 10:22:41

I think people are missing the point here - this is someone with a drink problem taking tablets in secret as 'recreational' drugs, not just a regular guy taking a headache pill!
I think it is good taht he is making progress, but you also have to be clear with him about what you will and will not tolerate. Only you know when the line is crossed such that you cannot put up with it anymore.
I don't know much about addictions though so probably not best placed to advise. It must be very difficult.

LineInTheSand Thu 14-Aug-08 10:23:19

Okay, maybe I am being unreasonable. In my opinion, taking a codeine tablet *because you're bored* is not something that an adult, father does, particularly not when looking after his son. Taking one because of pain is another story, obviously.

I don't think I am his mother, but because he's drank and lied to me about it in the past, my concern is that this is just another way for him to get high/drunk/whatever behind my back.

What's wrong with one beer? Because with DH, in the past, is hasn't been just one beer. It's then two, three, four, and he's lost count because he's too pissed to notice.

We bought the valium on our honeymoon, just after a time in our lives when that seemed like a normal thing to do--buying pharmaceuticals in Mexico. But things were just starting to change, I was pregnant with DS, and since then I thought we'd both grown up a bit such that we weren't the pop-a-pill-on-the-weekend kind of people anymore because we have a child and are responsible adults.

LineInTheSand Thu 14-Aug-08 10:26:51

Thanks to Piffle, Blinglovin, Arbuthnot, twoluvlykids.

I do have a support structure, my mum lives with us. I don't have many friends because I am an ex-pat, but I am working on that.

I do think things are getting better, and this does feel like a minor set-back in comparison to how things used to be, so I appreciate the encouragement to stick it out and explain how I feel and continue supporting him and encouraging his recovery.

I know he is acting like a child. That is the most frustrating thing of all.

twoluvlykids Thu 14-Aug-08 10:27:35

yeah lineinthesand, you've grown up and taken responsibility for your child,but he hasn't. you can't make him,he has to want to.if he wants to take recreational drugs,i don't personally think that makes him a safe person to have sole care of a child.not now, not ever.if you want to go out alone,you'd have to get another adult to do the childcare.

Overmydeadbody Thu 14-Aug-08 10:27:39

Um, what's wrong with him taking a codeine? It's not hard drugs you know.

And fgs, you are acting like his mother. It is not up to you to tell him what medication he can and can't take.

The drinking and accidents with yourt ds are an entirely different matter, , which your DH is obviously working on.

Flier Thu 14-Aug-08 10:28:33

YANBU. Your DH has dependancy issues - whether that be with drugs or alcohol. But you shouldn't have had the codeine or valium in the house if it is such a big issue in your lives.

Overmydeadbody Thu 14-Aug-08 10:29:09

Why is taking a codeine a minor set-back? What exactly is wrong with doing that? It won't make him incapable of looking after his son.

morningpaper Thu 14-Aug-08 10:31:36

Sorry to hear of your problems

Why do you have these drugs in the house? They are prescription-only as far as I know and if neither of you have a need for them you should dispose of them. If he is prone to experimenting then you are both putting temptation in his way TBH by having them around. Get rid of them all and the temptation won't be there.

LineInTheSand Thu 14-Aug-08 10:33:33

Overmydeadbody, it's a big deal because of the addiction issues, and because he obviously did it behind my back, and he wasn't in pain, he was taking it because he was bored. This is a problem in my opinion, because of the context.

I have taken the codeine out of the house. I can't stop him getting nurofen plus, but hopefully it hasn't got to the stage that he'd pop those on the sly. This morning he seemed to really understand that his behavior was completely inappropriate of a father and adult.

twoluvlykids, you may be right, it's just so sad to think that way. Hopefully we will get to a place where he won't take recreational drugs when he is meant to look after DS. I really think we are close.

It's really interesting to me how many people don't think this is a problem at all, even given the context of addiction issues and trust and deception. It's making me think that I actually am overreacting.

Flier Thu 14-Aug-08 10:36:15

you are not over reacting.

Bumdiddley Thu 14-Aug-08 10:37:10

Sorry, still don't see the point of taking codeine or Nurofen. Is he drinking and taking the pills??

One Codeine or Nurofen will not get you high.

policywonk Thu 14-Aug-08 10:37:42

Codeine is an opiate and a mind-altering substance. It can be habit-forming. It's obviously a problem if someone with addiction issues is taking it, particularly if they are doing so in secret and then trying to deny it afterwards.

It sounds as though your DH is trying to address it though, Line. It's good that he's in therapy. Dealing with addicts is incredibly hard. As MP says, it might be an idea to go through your medicine cabinet with a fine toothcomb and remove anything that might be a temptation.

Overmydeadbody Thu 14-Aug-08 10:37:50

Ok, I understand the adiction issues, but to be fair you need to support him through this, not just try to control it for him. It''s easy to see why he did it behind your back isn't it.

He's not going to change because you tell him to change or take all the medication out of the house is he? He's only going to change if and when he wants to.

It's not always bad and wrong to take medication or drugs recreationally, altohugh I understand your concerns with his past and being adicted and stuff.

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