a journey of being married to an addict

I knew nothing about drugs. I had never done them and had never been around people that had done them.

When I fell in love with a methamphetamine addict and alcoholic, I had no idea what to expect.

Here is my story.

How Audra Met Trey

I met Trey when he was working for my neighbor as a ranch hand. I had no idea that he was an addict until after I had fallen in love with him. More than that, I didn’t know he was an addict until after we found out that I was pregnant with our daughter.

I loved him completely, but in the back of my mind, something was off. Certain things never added up. For example; I would wake up at 3 or 4 in the morning, and he would be gone. He told me he couldn’t sleep and was visiting his dad’s grave. Little did I know that he was really off getting high, but I had no reason not to believe him since I had no experience with addicts.

When Audra Realized There Was a Problem

I remember too vividly slowly becoming scared that Trey would abandon me.

I remember when he took my wallet, my car, and all of my money and left me at my first doctor’s visit to see our daughter on the ultrasound. I remember looking for him frantically in the waiting room…but he had left. Nowhere to be found.

I remember fearing, “This is how it is going to be.” But I still loved him. I still wanted to make this work. If not for us, then at least for our daughter.

I remember him running off to use drugs after the birth of our daughter. I remember trying to hide his paycheck throughout different areas of the home in hopes that he wouldn’t find the money and he would stop getting high.

It didn’t work.

I tried everything I could, for months and months, to try and get him to stop his addiction. Threats of him losing his family didn’t scare him. Getting caught by police didn’t stop him. Nothing seemed to work.

He did, after a series of painful events, admit himself into an intense drug rehab like center where we lived in Texas called Oak Ridge Disciple House.

My husband decided to go back to his lifestyle of drugs after 10 months of rehab. He had been graduated for 2 months before using. We were married August 1st, 2014 and he began using at the end of that October. We separated in November and I filed for divorce in December. I paused the divorce in hopes that just filing would push him to sobriety.

It didn’t.

I saw a glimpse of hope. I went against my better judgement and let him back in our house. He stole pain pills from our neighbor and stole money from our daughters piggy bank for drug money. I was at my wit’s end and decided to complete the divorce. At the time I felt relief. Again, Satan is good at what he does. A master of disguise. With a clearer mind and a little over a year later, I see the damage divorce does. I also see the pain addiction creates.

My deepest struggle while married to a severe methamphetamine addict & alcoholic was the feeling of hopelessness. I had no hope that he could change. No hope that my daughter would have a good strong Christian leader as her dad. In return, that set in the fear that she would be exposed to drugs & the cycle would repeat with her. Seeing the hell her father put himself through with drugs led to my BIGGEST nightmare – her repeating that lifestyle.

I didn’t and still don’t understand how an addict can watch everything they love disappear and love the drug and the high more than anything. How they will cash everything in, and even decide to live on the streets instead of in a loving home with their wife and children.

I thought that it quitting drugs was simple: you choose to quit, so you quit. I had no idea that drugs create such a hook that it feels like death to quit, and yet again it feels like death not to quit.

The Decision to Divorce

I remember several times waking up & looking at my husband who was fast asleep and feeling the hold that Satan had on his life. When he was awake I could look into his eyes and feel the black hole in his soul these drugs had created. Perhaps the hardest part was that I knew the wonderful man he could be, yet the drugs erased that person completely. I always questioned when I would get him back…or if I ever would.

At this point, we are divorced. I still love him deeply.

Did I make the right decision? I wrestle with that question every single day.

What if I had just separated from him instead of divorcing? I believe either way he would still be using. I didn’t want to abandon my husband, but I also didn’t want to enable him.

I don’t believe in divorce. God called us all “to pick up our crosses and follow him.”

I feel like I threw my cross and ran the opposite way.

I know there does come a time when divorce is the only option left. I know there comes a point when a person has to protect themselves and their children from harm. I know I had to do that.

I know my husband sober. He is the most amazing man and a loving father. I hate what the drugs do to him. He completely changes.

Satan also worked hard on me during the separation and divorce as well. He would put men in my life who promised a good, safe, secure life for me and my daughter. Let me tell you, NEVER did those men offer what they promised, which always led for more confusion and destruction. That is EXACTLY what Satan aims to do: destroy, confuse and conquer.

My family, friends, and some church members all encouraged me to divorce him. A church member actually lent me the money for the divorce. Your loved ones do not want to see you hurting or in danger, and who can blame them?

Did I make the right decision to divorce comes into play again. Only God knows if I made the right decision.

I wish I had known from the first time he used the right steps to recovery. It is not a simple, quick fix.

It is the hardest battle I have ever faced…and I’m not the one with the addiction.

Steps To Recovery for the Sober Spouse

  1. Go get help. You cannot do this alone, and neither can your spouse. However, you cannot control your spouse’s actions. Even more importantly, you are not responsibile for your spouse’s decisions. You can only be responsible for yourself and your children.

    Some of these help groups include Celebrate Recovery, especially for the hurting spouse trying to help the addict.

    The best thing you can do for yourself is to join Celebrate Recovery as well. Find a support group that knows what you are going through and has survived it. Don’t find a fly by the night support group, either. Research these groups. Find a group that transforms your heart to the heart of Christ. Learn to love like God did. Remember, Jesus still would get upset with the church, but He never abandoned his church.
  2. Set boundaries. Do not enable them. I know you love them, and you don’t want to see them hurting or living on the streets. However, if you continue to allow them to use, steal, and lie, then you are enabling them. You are aiding in the process that could eventually lead to terrible consequences. You have to put your foot down and be strong. They have to be allowed to hit rock bottom. They will never look up if they aren’t at the bottom.
    It is a good idea to separate yourself and have boundaries for your protection. Doing so also helps in stopping the enabling (that may or may not be intentional). What does that separation look like? What do those boundaries look like? You have to decide for yourself. It does not necessarily mean that you have to leave them completely or even quit seeing them. Just remember to always be careful and to protect yourself with a lawyer if necessary. Addictions, especially ones that involve illegal drugs, can have legal ramifications.
  3. Regarding kids, be honest. Don’t hide what is happening from your children. They have a right to know. Some details are not needed, but they do deserve the truth.

    When my daughter ask where her daddy is (during his times of using), I tell her “Daddy is sick. He has to get better before we can go see him.”

    This is the truth. What he is battling is a sickness. A life-altering disease. Make sure you keep your children safe. Drugs are not something to be taken lightly. They have no place around a child. Do not jeopardize your child’s safety and continue to enable your spouse.
  4. Co-dependency doesn’t work. Control doesn’t work.

    Co-dependency goes hand in hand with addictions. If you are trying to put up “road blocks” to stop someone from using then you maybe suffering from co-dependency. I know I did!

    I tried everything I could think of: Hiding my wallet, changing the debit card pins, hiding extra money through the house so he wouldn’t use our last dollar on drugs, hiding car keys, blocking certain people from his Facebook and cell phone. None of that worked. It only led to my husband feeling controlled and more anger.

    These boundaries are a choice they will have to make themselves. They must break the addiction first, and then never surround themselves with people who are avidly using. It will not end well. They can say otherwise, but remember addicts are professionals at deceiving and manipulating. You have to trust your gut instinct and God’s voice.
  5. Fight for your marriage. This does not mean that you should not set boundaries. This does not mean that divorce won’t happen. This does mean that your end goal is to restore the marriage if the chance comes. Surround yourself with people who will help you stand for your marriage even when it hurts, people who will pray with you and pray for you.
  6. Do the research. Learn what addiction truly is. Learn as much as you can. Knowledge is power.
  7. Forgive. Every day forgive. Do not hold grudges. Satan will use those to destroy your marriage and possibly their sobriety. He aims to destroy. You are in this battle as much as the addict is. Satan uses everything in his power to destroy.I’ve never prayed so hard to forgive someone…ever. I hit my knees and let the tears just wash over me. Matthew 5:4, “Blessed are those who mourn; for they will be comforted.” God wiped away every ill feeling I had for Trey. I cried myself to sleep one night praying for God to change my heart. He did.
  8. Learn your spouses “triggers” to use. Most importantly, get the addict help. They CANNOT do this alone. Conquer the addiction. Change the heart.
  9. Then see a counselor for the damage that has been done to the marriage. You have fought so hard through this addiction. You will both have the most incredible God story to tell.
  10. Your mess can be turned into a message.

    My mess is being turned into a message. Even though my husband and I have divorced, I still fight for his sobreity. I still care for him deeply. But above all, God has provided for me. He has provided a testimony for me and a heart to see marriages affected by addiction restored, even if mine isn’t.

My Faith and My Future

Not every addiction is the same. I’ve seen marriages and families saved after addictions. I’ve seen the chains of addictions completely broken through Christ. I believe that is the ONLY way to break those chains. Give your life completely to God.

I feared my loved ones finding out about my husband’s addiction. I did not think that I could handle their judgement. I knew they would all encourage me to leave him. On the other hand, I knew that a sober person should not continue to surround themselves with someone who is addicted to drugs.

There is hope for addicts. They can get help.

I lost all my faith through my divorce. I will stand up and say that God restored all of that to me; ten fold. I have a healthy relationship with my now ex-husband. Unfortunately, he is still using drugs. When he is using, I do not contact him or let him around our almost 3 year old daughter. He has to pass drug test to see her. I do not require child support from him. I do not lean on him for anything. I lean on God and that is the ONLY one who has gotten me through all of this.

My relationship with God has strengthened so much because of everything that Satan put me through. That being said, God can restore everything. Satan has NO power over our God. When the days seem terrifying and you have NO idea how you will make it past today remember Matthew 6:34; “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

You don’t ever have to give up on an addict. I would never encourage that. That can drive them deeper into the addiction. But you do have to have healthy boundaries for yourself. Protect yourself. Addiction is not a light matter, and it is capable of total mass destruction. Walk with God. Listen to God. He will guide you, protect you and provide for you.

One of my main worries during the whole divorce process was, “How was I going to make it on my own?” I had just been laid off from my full time job due to budget cuts. I was left alone to take care of my daughter and myself. All of the bills fell on me for the first time. I never in a million years thought I would be able to provide a house, car, utilities and every day needs for us.

By the grace of God, I did. It wasn’t always easy and some months the car note was late, but we were always protected and sheltered. God never turned His back on us. Through him we survived. I opened my own photography company which paid all of our bills. That was a God thing, and it had nothing to do with the amount of talent I had or didn’t have. It was all God. He gets all the glory. When the photography slowed down during the summer, I had no idea how I was going to pay rent, pay fir my car, or buy groceries.

Then, God blessed me with the most amazing job. I was hired on with a Christian-based company that is dedicated to saving marriages and helping people affected by divorce. I applied for a job I saw online. It didn’t list the company or what they specialized in. The ad just stated the position available. When I researched the company, I was dumbfounded.

It was a God thing. Nothing else. I am so blessed to work for Marriage Helper.

We Can Help

If your marriage has been affected by an addiction, whether it be to pornography, alcohol, drugs, or another type of addiction, we want to help.

While Marriage Helper does not specialize in sobering people suffering from addiction, we can help restore your marriage that has been affected by addiction. We understand addictions, and we are passionate about helping people restore their lives from addictions.

For more information about our workshop for marriages in crisis or marriages wanting to restore their marriage, please fill out the form below: