This is my first time sharing this story. I'm not in an awful place right now, but not great either. I'm sorry if none of it makes sense, I think it's just helpful for me to share with people who might understand where I'm coming from.
When I met my now husband, he was a recovering addict of 20 years with only a few years clean. I had no idea about addiction and thought if he's clean then it must no longer be a problem and will be all smooth sailing from here, it's been such a steep learning curve for me.
I began to notice that he had like a switch where he would turn into this different angry person with a screwed up face and nasty voice. If I brought up the 'wrong' topic, however nicely, he would turn into that person with no warning, calling me names and sometimes breaking things. I felt like it was addiction related because it was more intense when he was coming down off pot (so not actually clean), and I also knew that he hadn't been through any rehab at all from opiates. He decided to give up smoking cigarettes, I was really happy about it and supported him as much as I could and he did. Except he didn't, he just told me he did and then he kept smoking for a whole year and lied about it when I smelt it and asked him what the smell was. He eventually did give up smoking- I think! I asked him to go and get some help from a specialist and he did for a while, but then he got 'discharged' which really surprised me because his behaviour hadn't changed much. I wondered if he had charmed the person and himself into believing that he was completely well.
We got married one year ago, and sadly this has been the most challenging year yet. His ex (also a recovering opiate addict, but still using other stuff from what I gather) is pretty volatile and narcissistic and wasn't happy about us getting married. She let everyone in town know, especially my husband and their kids together. She started to alienate my step-kids from us, turning them against us until a breaking point where she decided (for no real reason) to completely stop access. It was a completely heartbreaking 6 months of not seeing them and put so much stress on me and my new husband and our darling toddler.
At this point things started to get really intense with my husband and he was taking it all out on me. He would get off the phone from trying to calmly talk his ex around and then just start yelling at me and abusing me and telling me it was all my fault. A couple of times in those 6 months he got violent with me, the most serious was while he was on pot and I was constantly being abused and spoken to with complete contempt. Thankfully none of this was in front of our son, so that's one thing to be a little grateful for. I got rid of all the pot in the house and told him that was enough and he hasn't smoked since. He also- at my request- started going to a course to look at the violence but he's finished that now and he's still got the behaviour thing going on.
I've learnt that he's quite paranoid and responds to things that I say as though I'm attacking him even when I'm completely calm and even feeling happy, lighthearted, loving and jovial. Sometimes he even responds as though I've said no when I've actually said that sounds great. I've learnt that he now behaves worse when he's on or coming down from alcohol and I feel like he's just switching substances.
I'd love him to try going completely clean and for him to see how that feels. I’d love him to do it for me and our kids and our one on the way- to see who he actually is underneath all the (what I perceive as) chemical imbalances in his brain. I know that the only reason we are still together is because he's active about getting help and that's a really good thing. I also know that he genuinely does want to get better. We are going to the doctor's tomorrow to try to get a referral for either mental health or cads help. This is because he had a few episodes last week and on the weekend and I've had enough. I just don't understand why I should put up with someone speaking unkindly to me while I am being kind and loving to him, and I don't know how much more I can put up with.
I'm scared that he will ignore advice to try going clean from alcohol even and that he'll just charm the next person too. I think he wants to get better but I'm not sure he understands how serious his behaviour and his mental state are and I'm pretty sure he's in denial about the substances being a part of all of this. I'm pretty sure in an ideal world for him he would still have all the drugs whenever he wanted - except opiates - especially because dabbling in drugs and drinking lots of alcohol is a huge part of our subculture and especially his subculture. I'm also concerned for his mental and physical health because surely all those flare-ups can't be good for the body/nervous system. I hate feeling like things could blow up at any minute and I'm often wondering how I got myself into this situation. But at the same time, I do love him and I know that he is being really active off his own accord and making some progress. I just don't want him to put the efforts into the wrong area anymore and I'm pretty sure that most of his behaviour is addiction related so therefore he needs help with that first.