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You Asked: Is it Fair for me to Want to Leave?


Dear Sugar --

I have been married to my husband for just under 5 years. We were incredibly happy until last year. Everything kind of went down hill at the same time, I guess as it always does. Very soon after I had my baby, I discovered that my husband was abusing prescription pain killers. I thought his change of personality was just nerves about being a first time father, but I was sorely mistaken.

To make a long story short, he went to a 28 day rehab and ever since he got out (about 6 months ago), our relationship hasn't been the same. I feel like I don't even know who he is anymore and the person he has since become, I can't stand. He is irritable, snappish, insensitive, he has no interest in the baby, and he never talks to me. In turn, I am finding myself being incredibly mean to him, mostly because I don't know what else to do.

I don't want to be in a marriage like this any longer, but I feel guilty for wanting to leave. I know he is going through a difficult time right now, but I am just not happy - and I know it's not good for my daughter to grow up in this kind of environment. Can I leave him? HELP! -- I'm Done Donna

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Dear I'm Done Donna

It sounds like you have your hands full here. I am sorry you are going through such a traumatic time in your marriage during what's supposed to be such a happy time. Recovering from drug addiction is not easy and the transition back to "normalness" can take much more than 6 months to figure out. From the sounds of it, you have not experienced drug addiction yourself so while you can feel for your husband, you don't know what he's actually going through, and the fact that he isn't opening up to you is a big part of the problem.

Your harsh reaction to the man you used to love makes me think you are harboring some resentment towards him (a completely normal reaction). Are you currently in therapy as a couple or individually? Is he sticking to his sobriety (his 12 steps or another method)? Opening the lines of communication is vital to making this relationship survive. While you say you don't know him anymore, I am sure he is experiencing similar feelings about himself right now. Overcoming any addiction takes a lot of hard work and dedication, not only from the addict, but from their loved ones as well. Sure, giving up and asking for a separation or divorce is the easy way out - but are you certain that's what you want to do? Shelling out support to your husband may sound daunting and overwhelming, especially with a newborn, but it could be just the thing he needs right now.

Ultimately, the decision is up to you whether or not to stay in this marriage. Yes, it's important for you to be happy, but do you think with the appropriate effort on both your sides you can make it work? It's going to take time until you settle into a new routine, but it can be done if you're willing to give it your all. I wish you luck Donna in whatever decision you make.

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