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Boundaries for porn, alcohol and cocaine addict husband

(63 Posts)
applecurrysauce Thu 11-Apr-19 20:30:29

Hello

I'm hoping you can help me. My DH has been in rehab for the past month for his porn, alcohol and cocaine addiction. I'm attending family sessions and have been asked to come up with some boundaries. I'm really struggling as I feel like he will say I am controlling. Can anyone help me with reasonable boundaries given the above addictions that I can ask of him?

Thanks!

JaneEyre07 Thu 11-Apr-19 20:34:14

My boundaries would be a firm no to having all 3 in my home from now on, assuming he's coming home to you.

And if he can't stick to those, then he needs to find his own space.

You're very forgiving, OP. Not controlling. And perhaps he needs to be reminded of that.....

Lobsterquadrille2 Thu 11-Apr-19 20:52:54

Hi OP, I've been in AA for many years and know a number of people who have successfully managed to recover from the addictions you've listed. I've never heard of their partner being asked to set boundaries; as you say, this implies a level of control and the whole point about recovery from addiction is that it's the addict alone who can make changes.

Establishing boundaries can so easily lead to resentment.

Sculpin Thu 11-Apr-19 21:01:31

OP, I think it’s a bit worrying that you feel completely unable to think of what your boundaries are.

Would you stay with your DH no matter what? If the answer is yes, then I agree you can’t set any boundaries, as it won’t make any difference whether he sticks to them or not.

If the answer is no, what would make you leave? Using cocaine in the house? Using cocaine at all? Drinking until he passes out or becomes aggressive? Watching porn when your DC are in the house? Watching certain types of porn? Watching any porn at all?

These are just suggestions of course. Do any of them strike a chord with you?

It’s not controlling to put your foot down, as long as you’re prepared to follow through and leave if he crosses a line. That just means you have enough self respect to leave someone who is causing you pain and distress.

applecurrysauce Thu 11-Apr-19 21:06:37

I do have boundaries of course. I guess it's just putting them into words I'm struggling with as I feel like he will twist them into me being controlling.

I also don't know how I realistically "monitor" a boundary is not broken. For example if I say no porn is allowed in the house, how do I know he isn't using porn without checking the router or banning 3G connections and doesn't that then become controlling? I'm worried about relying on his honesty though as that's not been working for the last 10 years.

bugeyedbarber Thu 11-Apr-19 21:17:05

10 years of addictions and the lying, spending family money, gaslighting, sleepless nights for you no doubt and all that drama that comes with living with an addict who is either craving, recovering therefore in a mood. The broken promises, the upset caused by yet another lapse.

And you're wondering if setting boundaries will seem controlling to him?? Is that the argument he used when you challenged him about his porn/coke/alcohol habits to shut you up so he could continue in the comfort of marital relationship? If he does that when you attempt to set a boundary then it's time to say goodbye.

His addiction has controlled you for 10 years - he doesn't get to dictate how you make yourself safe and comfortable and certainly doesn't get to gaslight you even in recovery.

Find your No - it's freeing.

Are you getting separate support/counselling?

HollowTalk Thu 11-Apr-19 21:17:44

It doesn't sound as though he's open to boundaries, OP. He's resentful already. Maybe a separate life would be better? There's nothing attractive about living with someone who's addicted to porn, alcohol and cocaine.

Do you have children together?

DelphiniumBlue Thu 11-Apr-19 21:22:53

What outcome are you looking for?
You don't trust him, and rightly so, yet you're worried about his response to boundaries you have been asked to put in place.
Not sure that family therapy is actually the way forward at this point. What about your feelings? And support for you? You're still being asked to support him.
Is that what you want?

applecurrysauce Thu 11-Apr-19 21:25:20

Yes we have three children, all under 5.

The cocaine came as a shock to me and as soon as I found out I asked him to leave and he entertained rehab fairly quickly after that. I still don't know the full extent as he's refusing to share bank statements as he says he just wants to draw a line under it all and that I don't need to see how much he's spent to "punish" him. I just want to know I know the whole truth now but he says I'm fishing for other things. And that's partly true. When you've been lied to for so long and need evidence each time to get any honesty it's hard to not be looking for signs of other wrongdoings.

I knew he had a problem with alcohol but he tricked me saying he had zero % beer etc and just lied about the porn. Staying in hotel rooms when there was no need to access and using the 3G on his phone etc.

He believes he's been doing OK in rehab though and will be a changed man. But I'm upset he won't give me full disclosure. Or I'm more upset he thinks it's unreasonable of me to expect it and we have been rowing for days about this now. I feel like he should be bending over backwards to do whatever it takes.

He wants me to give him one final chance which I've been considering if I get the full disclosure. But I am seeing the therapist with him tomorrow and wanted to present the boundaries as they asked of me fairly. So I'm seen as reasonable I guess and they are more likely to be agreed. I'm also feeling fairly delicate and really don't want to be accused of being jealous and irrational and controlling in the session. I don't really want to go. Im quite worn down with it all.

JaneEyre07 Thu 11-Apr-19 21:25:45

Gosh OP, reading your update, my boundary would be a firmly locked front door that he never walked through again.

10 years??!

Don't you deserve a chance at a better life?

applecurrysauce Thu 11-Apr-19 21:28:00

Sorry @JaneEyre07 let me clarify. We've been together 10 years. The alcohol has slowly progressed and the porn was always there and hidden. The cocaine has "only" been in the last 3 years if I now have the whole truth.

FusionChefGeoff Thu 11-Apr-19 21:28:17

Have you had any contact with him in the rehab and do you know if it's a 12 step based one? Has he changed at all or are they just drying him out??

If it's a decent rehab, he should have done lots of work on himself and should NOT view boundaries as you bring controlling. He should be able to appreciate that it's you supporting him and that you are entitled to needing him to 'prove' himself after years (?) of bad behaviour.

Wolfiefan Thu 11-Apr-19 21:30:25

He only chose to enter rehab when you asked him to leave?
He wouldn’t be coming back. He’s only trying to force you to take him back.

Bookworm4 Thu 11-Apr-19 21:30:48

The boundary would be the front door and he wouldn't get in it again. How can you be with a man who has behaved like this when you have 3 very young children, no financial stability, no honesty.
When he went to rehab you should have filed for divorce and changed the locks.

HollowTalk Thu 11-Apr-19 21:31:30

Do you think you might see other things, like hotel bookings, escort bookings etc on his statement if you were to see it? He really doesn't want you to see it, despite admitting to three things - one of which might have got him kicked out.

I would make the bank statements (going back years) a requirement before negotiating anything at all.

Frankly, though, he will have been told in rehab that full and frank disclosure is necessary before moving on. He's lying if he says otherwise.

applecurrysauce Thu 11-Apr-19 21:31:35

Yes it's 12 steps based but I think he's going through each step quite slowly. I think it's only on the first or second and he already wants to leave. He's also attending groups in the evenings.

He's not really said if he is open to boundaries but he is definitely not okay with giving me full disclosure.

tribpot Thu 11-Apr-19 21:32:50

he says he just wants to draw a line under it all
He's definitely not in recovery. He's just arrogant enough to think he can 'control' it once he gets out of rehab. If you haven't read Rachel's Holiday by Marian Keyes, I really would suggest it - it's hilarious but also brutally honest in its depiction of addiction.

I think your instincts are spot on. It's not for you to draw the boundaries, it's for him to set them and live up to them. I don't know what kind of half-arsed rehab this is but it doesn't sound good if his counsellor isn't picking up on this.

He wants me to give him one final chance
It's way, way too early in his recovery (or rather 'recovery', since I don't believe he is recovering) for him to ask this of you. He's done a grand total of zero days sober in the real world. There is absolutely nothing upon which to base a decision.

I would tell him you will defer making a final decision on the relationship for a year, during which time he works at his addictions independently. You will be attending Al-Anon to seek some much-needed support for yourself. And after that you can both discuss next steps.

RomanyQueen1 Thu 11-Apr-19 21:33:16

They aren't capable of boundaries my love. He'll spend the family money and leave you destitute if he wants to carry on.
They all say they want to change and credit for him giving it a go, but I'm afraid I wouldn't trust him again.
If I had to come up with boundaries I suppose it would be I'll inform the Police next time you do drugs and I'll leave you for drinking.

applecurrysauce Thu 11-Apr-19 21:33:39

That's helpful @HollowTalk thank you. I don't really feel like I know what he is hearing in the rehab and if disclosure is something it's reasonable for me to expect.

I only found out about the cocaine by demanding he show me a bank statement and even then he only quickly showed it to me on his phone. Yes I'm worried escorts or god knows what. I just want the "reassurance" that I finally know everything and what I am dealing with.

SoHotADragonRetired Thu 11-Apr-19 21:34:11

If he won't even be honest with you now and turns it around on you for wanting full disclosure, he hasn't changed a bit and won't. He'll just throw more empty words at you whenever you actually get pushed to the limit and keep undermining you until you are too exhausted and broken to have any boundaries at all.

Please get counselling and Al-Anon support for yourself alone, with a view to getting out.

Haworthia Thu 11-Apr-19 21:36:33

So you think any mention of “boundaries” will be twisted by him into you being controlling?

This will not go well.

Run.

kalinkafoxtrot45 Thu 11-Apr-19 21:37:01

The only boundary you need here are changed locks. Seriously, 10 years of this stuff? And he’s gaslighting you by claiming you are controlling? He’s never going to be a decent husband.

HollowTalk Thu 11-Apr-19 21:40:44

I'd give up on him, tbh. He seems to think rehab is easy and won't take long - that's completely unrealistic.

Did you have shared accounts?

Wolfiefan Thu 11-Apr-19 21:46:26

So even now he won’t be honest and doesn’t want to stay at rehab?
Time to say enough.

applecurrysauce Thu 11-Apr-19 21:46:31

Yes he expects to be out in 3 weeks and has said I have no right to say he should stay longer. Apparently him being able to choose when he leaves is his boundary!!

We have one joint account and individual accounts too. He was paying himself money into his individual account from his company and not moving across everything so I hadn't noticed any missing money. He had been "overpaying" himself to fund the drugs if that makes sense

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