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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

AnotherEmma Thu 11-Apr-19 21:47:33

Um. Boundary number one. Do not accuse me of being "controlling" when I discuss the behaviour I will and not accept. Boundary number two. Do not accuse me of being "jealous" and "irrational" when I discuss my feelings about your behaviour.

But you've said you don't want to go. So don't go! That's a boundary. You are not willing to attend a therapy session when he is clearly not ready to treat you with respect. He's blaming you. You feel worse after talking to him don't you? That's your answer.

I think you need your own counselling and a solicitor, tbh. I'd be focusing on doing everything I could to make sure he gets supervised contact only with the children.

Fuck him. (Don't actually fuck him, obviously grin)

applecurrysauce Thu 11-Apr-19 21:47:42

@Wolfiefan how long is it usual to stay for? He says others tend to leave after 3 weeks and I think that's what's making him think it's fine. It feels like he got a nice holiday while I had to cope with the kids alone!

SoHotADragonRetired Thu 11-Apr-19 21:48:35

Honestly applecurrysauce, can you not see that leaving rehab when he's barely begun and refusing your totally reasonable request for disclosure shows that he's not engaging with it at all? He's not recovering. He's not sober. He's not even trying to be.

What keeps you in this relationship, truly?

RomanyQueen1 Thu 11-Apr-19 21:49:11

Your children deserve better than this, you should put them first and not even entertain supporting this liar and addict.
He has done such a good job on you that you can't see that the children come last in your relationship.
I don't blame you and not having a go at you, but surely enough is enough and it's time to put your children first.

applecurrysauce Thu 11-Apr-19 21:50:39

I do @SoHotADragonRetired but he seems to have the support of the rehab centre so it's making my arguments that he should stay longer feel rather flimsy.

applecurrysauce Thu 11-Apr-19 21:51:59

@RomanyQueen1 I do try very hard to make sure they don't come last Romany. I'm a SAHM but would rather be working and I do try to spend my days focused on them. I hope I've given them stability. I'm trying my best.

AnyFucker Thu 11-Apr-19 21:53:47

You are flogging a dead horse, op

Offload him before he brings you all down

Wolfiefan Thu 11-Apr-19 21:54:19

It doesn’t matter how long he stays. He can’t come back to live with the kids.
Rehab works when someone is truly committed and not pushed into it. It doesn’t even always work then.
He’s only there as you’ve thrown him out. He thinks he can stay away whilst you calm down and then you will have him back. He’s not being honest and is refusing to be open about the scale of the problem.
Don’t take him back.

HelenUrth Thu 11-Apr-19 22:01:26

I think perhaps you need to be clearer as to what a boundary is. It is not a "law", e.g. banning porn or cocaine in the home.

It is expressing what behaviour you will accept. He can behave how he wants; however, you need to spell out what the consequences will be if he does x, y or z.

Then he can decide whether to behave within these boundaries or not.

E.g. you could say if he uses porn in the house then he will need to move out for one month. Be warned, if you set boundaries and fail to follow through with your stated consequences, you are giving him free rein to ignore everything you ask of him.

From what you have said, I think you would be far better cutting your losses now and getting rid of him. Your children will be better for it - I say this as someone who grew up with an alcoholic parent.

He's using the 12 steps to suit himself. One of them is about making a list of who has been hurt by the alcoholic's behaviour and another step is about making amends. Just saying sorry is not making amends. Refusing to engage with you regarding his financial behaviour is like shouting in your face that he's not sorry.

Go and see a counsellor - for you, not for him. You deserve better.

SoHotADragonRetired Thu 11-Apr-19 22:05:26

I really doubt that the clinic do "support him leaving", in the sense that they think he's doing great and will stay sober. (Unless they are absolute charlatans, which is possible.) They probably just recognise that he's not at all engaged with sobriety or recovery so he might as well leave; they can't stop him or help him until he actually wants help.

HollowTalk Thu 11-Apr-19 22:05:41

Have you read Rachel's Holiday by Marian Keyes? It's really well worth reading if you haven't already. Her main character thought she was going on holiday when she went into rehab.

Susanna30 Thu 11-Apr-19 22:09:11

What's the point?

Walk away from him and take care of your children.

EKGEMS Thu 11-Apr-19 22:09:28

If he isn't willing to be fully open and truthful about his addiction it isn't going to work-rehab and the relationship!

mooncuplanding Thu 11-Apr-19 22:17:47

I feel worn out just reading your posts

What is the actual point? He either wants to become a better person or he doesn't. Not in your control and completely up to him.

He sounds like he doesn't want to truly get better and hasn't quite hit rock bottom. You should what the next step is for you in all of this.

Clutterbugsmum Thu 11-Apr-19 22:21:54

More you write the more I think the only boundary you can have is him living elsewhere.

The fact he will not be completely honest with you suggest that he is only paying lip service to rehab. The fact that he thinks if he has to stay longer in rehab then he wants shows he is not ready to leave and come home.

He is not ready to give his addictions and be a better husband and father.

applecurrysauce Thu 11-Apr-19 22:23:25

And if he refuses to live elsewhere? Which he sort of has...

I need to go?

HollowTalk Thu 11-Apr-19 22:33:03

No, you don't go.

What's your situation in term of renting/mortgage/work and children?

applecurrysauce Thu 11-Apr-19 22:34:14

We are renting. I don't work but I receive dividends from my husband's company though. It would probably be sufficient to get a new rental though. I'd have to look into it.

HollowTalk Thu 11-Apr-19 22:34:18

Sorry, on my phone and didn't notice some things.

You have three children and are a SAHM. Do you have any help with childcare?

He has his own business. What's happened to that now?

applecurrysauce Thu 11-Apr-19 22:36:10

No I do all the childcare, other than clubs and preschool etc. He's told me if I divorce him he will get the kids 50% of the time.

The business is still running while he's away. He has staff and I help out.

YouBumder Thu 11-Apr-19 22:41:35

He’s a gaslighting arsehole and it sounds like he’s never going to face up to what he’s done, he’s just going to twist you asking for information as being “controlling”. He bloody needs someone to control him tbh as he’s clearly incapable of doing it himself.

A coke addled, alcoholic, porn addict. Jeez what a catch. I agree with those who have said the boundary would be the front door he wasn’t allowed over. And he wouldn’t be getting to see the children unsupervised either.

YouBumder Thu 11-Apr-19 22:42:59

He's told me if I divorce him he will get the kids 50% of the time.

Oh sure he will, the courts will be just falling over themselves to let such an amazing father have 50/50 custody

AnotherEmma Thu 11-Apr-19 22:46:44

"He's told me if I divorce him he will get the kids 50% of the time."

He's a fucking drug addict for fuck's sake.
Skip "family therapy" and get legal advice.
Try Women's Aid and/or the Rights of Women family law helpline.

FusionChefGeoff Thu 11-Apr-19 22:51:25

The people who I know who have the 'strongest' recovery via rehab usually stayed for months - and often were begging to stay longer. They appreciated the value and wanted as long as possible to do as much work on themselves before attempting to live normally again.

The people who bounce in and out for a couple of weeks here and there invariably end up going back to their addictions and, sorry but it's true, quite a few end up dead.

HollowTalk Thu 11-Apr-19 23:17:31

If you work there, can you find out how much he transferred to his own account? I hate to think of the tax situation if he's been helping himself.

He wouldn't get 50:50 and he wouldn't want it, either. It would stop him enjoying himself.

SpamChaudFroid Thu 11-Apr-19 23:27:12

OP, rehab has a tiny percentage of success the first time. Paired with the fact he's not prepared to be transparent with you, it's not sounding very hopeful I'm afraid. Especially as nothing changes for him, no consequences to his actions, so no reason to make a change. He wants you to carry on like before and not question him.

Apologies if already suggested, but are you having separate counselling yourself for the co-dependency? Believe me when I say living with an addict who doesn't want to stop is a living nightmare

SpamChaudFroid Thu 11-Apr-19 23:36:48

I just read he only plans to stay for 3 weeks. shock A programme of 12 to 16 weeks is usually recommended. Then aftercare, and if following a 12 step programme, NA meetings.

PickAChew Thu 11-Apr-19 23:38:33

None of those things happening in the same house as you and your children is a perfectly fair and not controlling boundary to set.
And how is he going to get hold of his coke with under 5s in his charge, cramping his style? He's completely bullshitting on that one.

Hanab Thu 11-Apr-19 23:38:50

No advice really ... have a long hard think about what YOU want and need from this relationship .. add up the proc and cons snd decide wether or not you will be content with what he is offering or not in this case ..

He is a little shady & delusional in my opinion .. hr is not earning back your trust and not being truthful either

Sculpin Fri 12-Apr-19 05:26:33

As someone else said, a boundary is not a law and it’s not up to you to monitor him 24/7. But if you do find him crossing a boundary, then he has to immediately take the action he agreed to when you set up the boundaries (eg leave).

OP, you should also be making plans to leave.

Of course he won’t get the DC 50/50! You’re the primary carer and he’s a proven drug addict! He’s just saying that to make sure you don’t dump him.

Starlight456 Fri 12-Apr-19 05:59:17

The 50:50 is just a threat to keep you in place.
I lived with an addict . I think the nail in the coffin was the trust . After the last time we split up , he wanted to try again. He said he would give up drugs . I said basically heard it all before . His response was oh I am ready now I was just saying it before .

Your h seems to be going through the motions planning to change nothing

I would get myself in the housing list , start getting your eggs in a row . Are you a director of the company because I would have concerns there too.

Petitprince Fri 12-Apr-19 06:21:11

You need this awful man out of your life OP. He will not change.

FarFrom Fri 12-Apr-19 06:24:51

Op may well need to leave this man and put the mental health of her children first. But some of these replies are awful. The man is not well and may die from his illness. Addiction treatment is often awful and as this thread shows so is the ongoing public perception. Op I’m so sorry you are going through this and I agree you need support for yourself. There are no winners with addiction. It’s a horrible and woefully untreated illness.

Feb2018mumma Fri 12-Apr-19 06:28:28

I am so sorry, I can 100 percent understand how it's been 10 years especially if he was functioning like normal. You really need to tell the therapist and him that for the relationship to work you need full disclosure. You need to say that him saying he wants to draw a line is unsympathetic to what you have been through as a bystander and is minimizing the impact not knowing is having on your life!

The only way this will work is if he tells you everything and the fact he won't after telling you he's a alcoholic drug and porn addict just seems like he has more to hide? I know it must be so hard but try not to let him back into your life unless he is willing to open up and share everything. I can't imagine how scary it is finding out your living with a stranger flowers

Feb2018mumma Fri 12-Apr-19 06:33:18

Just read he threatened to take the children half the time if you leave. He isn't planning to change anything, that amount of aggression isn't exactly screaming someone who is ready to come home from rehab! You need to protect your family, he won't get custody as you have always been the sole care provider and he is unstable flowers

SpamChaudFroid Fri 12-Apr-19 09:22:14

Addiction treatment is often awful and as this thread shows so is the ongoing public perception

I think the negative comments are about OP's DH's attitude to his own recovery, not about addicts in general. I'm an ex addict myself, so am well aware how difficult recovery is.

ADHDme Fri 12-Apr-19 10:47:25

I think the boundaries you are being asked to set are to demonstrate that you can set appropriate boundaries and take a firm approach to safeguard your children and promote a positive family life.

You have got some major issues here and it's not appropriate for you to be asked to deal with them alone. Firstly I agree that he needs to describe exactly to you everything he did. Until he does that you cannot even begin to have him back. Secondly he needs to acknowledge who he has affected and how. You need to voice your side too. Then you need to talk about what would make things better.

Second he continues to get recovery supoort when he comes out. Cocaine anonymous groups etc. Third 100% control over finances. I couldn't give a shit if that is controlling, he is an addict and if you want to help then cut that off otherwise you are enabling. Fourth block all the porn stuff, there is software for that. Lastly 100% honesty. No demands, threats, bullying. I suspect he has told rehab he has a wonderfully supportive wife at home etc...

Personally I think the violation of trust is massive. You have to heal from that. Depending on how long this went on for I would consider him getting a six or twelve month rental nearby. He seriously has to reform but may need the support and motivation of his kids to do it.

I have no idea if it will work, its not an easy road, but you have posted under addiction support flowers.

ADHDme Fri 12-Apr-19 10:51:47

God ten years - definitely a rental nearby and he doesn't come back until he has reformed and you have rebuilt your relationship (and worked out if you can love this man).

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