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Husband had an affair while tapering off Suboxone
  1. #1
    KrisD12345 is offline New Member
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    Unhappy Husband had an affair while tapering off Suboxone

    I really need help with how to support my husband as he tapers off Suboxone. I have no experience with addiction, so I am really struggling with how to relate and support him. He has been taking it for over 5 years, starting at 16mg and currently at 2mg tapering down. On top of Suboxone, we are dealing with his infidelity (a 5-month long affair I just discovered), as well as chewing tobacco use (which he kept hidden from me until I found out about the affair and we laid EVERYTHING on the table).

    He has been hiding a lot of things from me, but he is ready to live honestly and has stopped the affair with the other woman and we are in counseling. We have been married 2 years and we have a perfect healthy 10-month old daughter who is the light of our life, so I am not ready to give up on the life we want to have together. I need help on how I can support him as he fights his demons and still allow myself to express my fears, sadness, anger, etc for what he has done to our family and demand that he be the man I know he can be for me and for his daughter.

    Our Timeline:
    Oct 2007: (before we met) My husband was rear-ended while driving and got a herniated disc in his neck. He was given pain pills... way too many pain pills... and got hooked.
    Dec 2008: He realized he had a problem, and began going to a methadone clinic to get clean.
    Nov 2009: Completely off of Methadone... a couple months later we met and started dating
    Apr 2010: after a root canal he was prescribed more pain pills and relapsed.
    Jul 2010: He began Suboxone treatment and opened up to me several months later about his struggle with addiction and his efforts to get clean. I supported him and have ever since... we got married in 2013 and had a baby in 2015.
    Jan 2015: He began tapering to prepare to jump off Suboxone before our baby was born in April, but as he tapered down he got scared and re-stabilized his dose
    Jan 2016: he is STILL on Suboxone 5 1/2 years later, paying $250 per month all this time for the clinic that prescribes it to him. He has tapered down to under 2mg per day, planning to make the jump sometime this year.

    A couple specific questions I have:
    - I know Suboxone decreases libido, which is partly why our sex life has been non-existent. So WHY did he have lots and lots of sex with another woman? He is having trouble explaining this to me / what he was thinking / how could he do this. Is this sort of wreckless behavior and ignoring consequences something that prolonged Suboxone use can cause?

    - He wants to go camping in the woods for a couple days when he makes the jump to stop taking Suboxone because he loves nature and feels this is the way he wants his withdrawal experience to be. He seems to think that tapering to a very low dose will minimize his withdrawal symptoms, but I worry he has been on it so long that his withdrawal will be really rough. I don't think it is wise for him to be somewhere alone & exposed to the elements and not able to get help or a hot bath or a comfortable place to sleep... . Should I let him do what he wants to do or insist that he be at home with me when he makes the jump? I am going to be worried sick about him...

    -With his herniated disc I am going to live in the fear of relapse forever since he will have pain from that injury throughout his life. Should I insist he join a 12-step program or find a support group to help him find positive ways to cope with pain and stress instead of wanting to turn to pills again?

    -I am insisting that he stop the chewing tobacco asap because after putting me through his infidelity, he is not allowed to get cancer and die on me, too. He agrees that he does want to stop and is worried about the cancer risk, but he is not in a rush to stop and is not really receptive to trying the patches / gum. Is this something that I should ease up on until after he finishes the Suboxone detox process? I find this habit disgusting so he does it when I'm not around, and in the wake of the affair I am not sure this is good for us re-establishing trust.

    -He needs to get life insurance now that he has a daughter and family who depends on his income, but with Suboxone in his system we are worried that he will get denied coverage and that will prevent life insurance coverage even in the future when he is clean. Does anyone know if you are denied coverage now if it will affect future coverage?

    Sorry this was so long - if anyone can help answer my questions I would really appreciate it!

  2. #2
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    Feb 2016
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    Hi Kris,

    You certainly have a lot going on with your husband right now and I am not here to judge or to tell you what to do, I just want to help if I can. This place can get very quiet at times. As I was detoxing from oxycodone last weekend a few people were there to help even if it was here or there.

    First off, the infidelity thing, that's for you and your husband. As a husband I can tell you that drugs make us do stupid things and everyone makes mistakes. Some people might tell you different but I applaud you for your loyalty. I hope you two can come out stronger regardless of his missteps.

    It appears that he need to work out some things other then just this drug addiction. Counseling can help with that.

    On the suboxone, there are some great people on here that can offer advice. Go to the suboxone thread and there is a sticky at the top with info on a great taper plan that would take your husband about 6 weeks to accomplish with determination and support.

    The chewing tabacco, I struggle majorly with this addiction and have done so for the past 10 years, quitting and starting again so many times. My personal opinion, now is not the time to quit this while he works off the suboxone, one step at a time and the suboxone is a much bigger problem.

    I too have a herniated disc, surgery in 2012 and had it reherniate in November 2014. My back feels better now 9 days off oxy than it did while on them. Injections are good for these issues. He may feel more relief off the Meds. Don't let him use this as the excuse for not stopping. He can address the issue with non narcotic medicine at the time he gets off.

    About the going at it alone option in the woods, from what I have read suboxone takes longer to recover from and he will need your support. I would advice against this because he can use your help and support through the process.

    Again these are my thoughts and opinions. I want to help and didn't see anyone helping so I figured I would step up. Good luck in your journey. He needs to be the one who wants to stop. He has to make the decision. As much as you want him too, you can't be the decision maker here. HE has to buy 100% in and commit.

    RJ

  3. #3
    KrisD12345 is offline New Member
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    Thank you RJ! I have had my emotions swinging from one extreme to another and just getting some input on these questions helps me better relate to my husband (hopefully) - I know he wants this, he just needs to do it on his timeline and I have to be ok with that. He is committed to being off Suboxone within a year and hopefully sooner.

    Thanks again!

  4. #4
    Catrina is offline Diamond Member
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    Welcome!

    You do have a lot going on! I'll answer as best I can and hope that I don't forget any of your questions. First off, leave the tobacco alone for now and let him know you won't harp about that for the time being but that you don't want it around you. That's fair enough I think. That's the easy question/answer.

    The subs. Yes withdrawal from subs can be a bear if it's not done correctly especially because he's been on them for so long. However, it can be a fairly painless process if he is committed and does it correctly. 2mg/day is a whole lot better than where he started but it's still a pretty hefty dose. He should begin to slowly taper that amount by making reductions in his daily dose by 25% every 4 or 5 days. If he needs a few days longer on a particular dose, it's perfectly fine so long as he stays at that dose until he's stable (little to no symptoms) and then make another reduction by 25%. That 25% reduction is of his CURRENT dose, not the original. So, he could immediately cut his dose to 1.5 mg/day and stay there for the next 4 or 5 days. He may feel slight symptoms but they're not going to be awful and it shouldn't effect his ability to go to work and do what he has to do. Next week, when it's time to make another reduction it would be to reduce by 25% of 1.5mg or 1.25. That's not the exact math but close enough.

    Once his daily dose is below .25/mg (.125 even better) he can begin to skip days or just jump. That will be up to him. If he takes it slow and sticks to the taper plan I've highlighted, it won't be horrendous. If you look at the math, provided he sticks to the taper schedule, it won't be long before he's entirely done. It's very important to note so I'll repeat it again, it's better to stay at a dose for a few days longer if he feels the need than to reduce again before he's completely stable. If he does that, he will likely have trouble getting stable for the rest of the taper and it just doesn't have to be that way.

    Now that I've explained how he can get off the subs pretty painlessly, there is still the big job of recovery. He should be in therapy and/or attend meetings regularly. If he's not already, he should start to immediately so that he has his recovery tool box stocked for when he's completely clean. On this same topic, you can't make him do anything. You do need to set boundaries but be careful not to set any that you won't be able to stick to. You could tell him that he has to regularly attend AA or NA meetings but what if he says he will and then doesn't? What are you going to do? That's the question you have to ask yourself.

    The cheating is best dealt with between the two of you and while you're in counseling. This is one thing that I have little to no tolerance for and I'm not a counselor. It's so good that everything is out of the closet. Now you both have to deal with the consequences. There has to be consequences. He violated your trust and that's something that isn't returned immediately. It just isn't and he has to deal with that. This is but one of the consequences for abusing drugs and if you doubt him, then he's just going to have to suck it up until he earns your trust again. Be sure you explain that up front.

    You and your husband can move past this and be stronger for it. The work lays ahead of you both and I hope he sees this as the catalyst to get his chit together and sees the reward of a healthier, happier life ahead of him.

    Good luck and keep us posted.

    Peace,

    Cat

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