Any advice on how to handle a marriage to a drug addict?


I have been married for over a year now. My husband is a drug addict. When I married him, I didn't realize the problem existed; it was a whirlwind romance. Marriage probably should have waited. We weren't together all that long before we got married.  I have a young son out of wedlock to a man who wants nothing to do with him.  We were married by an officiate, with nothing religious in the vows. 

Shortly after our marriage the drug use got real bad with lies, money disappearing, turning it around on me telling me its my fault because I am not a good wife, manipulation, verbal abuse, etc.  It's been non-stop, month after month. Sometimes he'll sober up, stay sober for a week or two, then go on another week binge.  He lost his job and has zero interest in searching for another one.  He stays up all night and sleeps all day, while my son and I walk around him and basically pretending that him having a blackout is a normal, everyday occurrence.  When he gets in his blackouts he does strange things. Usually I have to stay up all night following him around to make sure that he doesn't burn the house down. He takes all of our money. Several times I've had to borrow money just to pay rent. Everyone in my family is tired of him, and helping, when they are going through hard times themselves, so I'm sure one day we will loose the roof over our head.  I'm constantly stressing about new places to hide the debit card. I took him off the account a long time ago, but I need the debit card for everyday purchases. 

I can't take the constant lying, the stress of hiding things from him so he won't take our last penny, the stress of staying up all night following him around, and when he passes out somewhere, making sure he stays breathing.  I can't take worrying about if I go somewhere if I will come back to a burned down house (there's been a few fires here). I'm constantly calling 911 on him -- he's had four overdoses.  A few months ago, he was on pills and crashed my car that I was paying for. It's been repossessed because I didn't have the money to pay for repairs and payments. He refuses to seek help. After he comes down from a binge, he makes all these promises, but never follows through with them.

I've run out of options, and ran to a church, where I found Christ. I've taken him to church with me hoping something will spark.  I pray constantly for him.  But now he's using what I call "the God card." After every binge he starts in on how he's finding Christ, and I have to stay with him because we're going to be a Christian family.  He's gone to our pastor several times in the middle of a binge, and the pastor has come to me expressing concern for my safety and the safety of my son with how he is.

I'm worried for my son, who see's this every day, and is growing up thinking its normal to come home from school to see his stepfather passed out on the floor from pills, and knows how to call 911 and what to say.  If he keeps growing up around this, it will follow him.  Apparently my husband grew up watching his father do this.  I know the Bible says no divorce, but I can't believe that God would want me and my son to keep dealing with this all the time.  I'm trying hard to hold fast to my faith, and believe that God can work a miracle, but I can't keep doing this, I am tired of being lied to, manipulated, stressing if I'm going to have a roof over my head next month, he's got drug dealers coming here, calling all the time.  It's not a normal marriage, never was, if I was lied to even before we were married.  We are sleeping in separate bedrooms now, and he comes and goes and does what he pleases. I don't think he has any intention of getting help. He's been an addict his whole life. His dad used to do pills with him when he was a teenager.

I've tried to be the submissive wife, I stay home, clean the house, and do the laundry. During a binge when he's cooking steaks with dish detergent, or getting stuff everywhere because he has no idea what he's doing, I'm right behind him cleaning up after him, I have sex with him even if I don't want to, when he wants to, every time he comes down from a binge, I listen to him make all his promises and excuses for his lies he tells me, and smile and tell him I love him, but I feel like I can't breathe.   I don't know what to do, but I feel like I can't stay in this marriage, its not good for my health or my son. Do you have any advice? 


Yes, I do have some advice: send your husband out of the house and while he is gone, pack up and leave with your son. Go live with your parents or some other family you trust. When he calls tell him that you'll return after he is clean and sober for at least a year with a job to support his family. Visit a lawyer and file for a separation so that anything he does from here on out is not your legal or financial responsibility. You also want to make sure that if something happens to you, that your son does not end up back with your husband. Then start planning how you are going to live on your own because even if your husband does finally starts getting help, it is going to be a long time before he recovers. Meanwhile you and your son need to live.

You are correct that God hates divorce. "For the LORD God of Israel says that He hates divorce, for it covers one's garment with violence," says the LORD of hosts. "Therefore take heed to your spirit, that you do not deal treacherously" (Malachi 2:16). Divorce means sin is going on. In your case the sin is your husband's drug abuse. But it is incorrect to conclude that divorce is forbidden completely. "And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery" (Matthew 19:9). While God doesn't like divorce, He does allow a person to end a marriage and marry again if the spouse has been having sex outside of marriage. Paul also indicates that there can be divorces that don't allow remarriage, though the reasons for the divorces are not specified. "Now to the married I command, yet not I but the Lord: A wife is not to depart from her husband. But even if she does depart, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband. And a husband is not to divorce his wife" (I Corinthians 7:10-11). I take from this that divorces ought to be rare events that basically only come about because all other attempts at resolution regarding sinful behavior have failed. If matters come to that point, neither spouse has the right to remarry someone else. They either resolve the problem or remain single.

You didn't mention that he has been sleeping with other women, so a divorce because of fornication is not an option. I know of nothing in the Bible that says a woman has to remain in a home that puts herself or her children in danger. You've been doing the right things, but your husband is in sin and you being there is only enabling him to remain in sin. However, you made a covenant with this man, freely of your own choice. You are still obligated to that covenant until one of you dies. I suspect the idea of living single for years or a life time is not appealing, but covenants are serious matters. It doesn't matter that your wedding vows were not religious in nature. The point is that they were still vows and they are still binding. Consider it a just consequence to having rashly entered a covenant with a man you didn't really know.