Dear Husband

When Your Husband Struggles with Addiction

Dear husband,

I want to tell you I’m angry. I want to say I’m disappointed. My heart hurts, and some days feel so long that it’s like two rolled into one. I’m lonely and tired and sad, so, so sad.

I want to scream and stomp my feet in an epic toddler tantrum. You know I’d be so good at it. “It’s not fair!” I’d yell. “This is not what I wanted!”

I want to ask you why you let this happen, but that’s unfair.

Addiction is a disease. Addiction is cold and callous and heartless. It tears away everything you love. It makes mental illnesses worse and sometimes creates new ones. Addiction is not a choice. It is a symptom, the effect in a cause and effect game where the cause was pain or desperation or emptiness. Addiction is not a weakness of the spirit. It isn’t a failing of will.

It is a disease, a selfish destroyer of lives.

My heart breaks for our children who see but don’t understand. Hell, I don’t even understand. It doesn’t matter how many books I read or doctors I talk to. I don’t think I’ll ever understand the battle you fight every day. I’ll never understand why this is happening to us.

I won’t understand, but I will support you. I will continue to call in our families for support. I will continue to shield our children so that you can focus on getting well again. I will push and persuade and coax you into every recovery opportunity I can. I will hold down the fort, rain or shine, sick or well so that you can take the time you need to heal.

In the midst of my anger and frustration is resilience… or stubbornness. I’m sure we could call it both at times. Whatever it is, it pushes me to stay strong and keep my head up. It forces me to put one foot in front of the other each day and not let my list of grievances poison our lives.

I know things won’t ever be the same. I’m positive it will take me a very long time to get over this anger, but you committed to rehab and put all your chips on the table. So, here goes.

I’m all in, too.

If you or someone you love struggles with addition, please know you are not alone and that recovery is possible.


Quick Tips

  • If you ever have to call the police for any reason, request an officer trained to handle those suffering from mental illness. This additional training can help an officer adequately assess the situation and respond based on the person’s need for treatment over incarceration.
  • Check for local community recovery centers, which are often run by addicts in recovery who can be a wealth of help and support.
  • For parents, do not keep your children in a situation with an addict that is dangerous. Take appropriate steps to remove your spouse or you and your children from that environment however possible. Then offer support to your spouse.

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