The Nicotine Widow

Black WidowI wanted to pass along this note that was left as a comment recently here on the site. It is truly heartbreaking as it really brings home just how serious this addiction is. 

I wrote this last year. And am still living the cycle. I am sure many of you can relate.

My husband is an addict. And his addiction is more insidious than alcohol or heroin. His addiction is legal, like alcohol, but more addictive than heroin. How could something more addictive than heroin be legal you ask? Well, because a lot of very powerful people make a lot of money off of getting people hooked on this addiction.

My husband is an addict. He lies, his behavior is erratic, he is angry, hostile, short-tempered. He picks fights with me so that he can go and use his drug. He is short-tempered with our family. He has no patience with our daughter.

His relationship with his family is secondary to his relationship with his addiction. His marriage is secondary to his addiction. In fact, his addiction is all powerful. His addiction is number one. Given an ultimatum—your marriage or your addiction—he chooses the addiction. His addiction in “the other woman” in our marriage. And she is sexy and makes him feel so much better than anything else. Her pull is stronger than anything. Her pull is stronger than this marriage. Her pull is stronger than the parent/child bond. She is, and always will be, number one to him.

I love my husband. I want my marriage to work. But the marriage is not working because he is an addict. It is a vicious cycle. He quits—I am happy and believe him—he starts again—I suspect him and confront him—he lies and lies and lies— I catch him— I get angry— I say I am doing this anymore—he gets angry—I give up. And it starts all over again. All over again, and again and again, and again.

He did stop his addiction for 3 weeks. They were the best 3 weeks in the past 10 years. He was calmer, happier, more connected, –normal, for want of a better term. We did not fight. He was not lying and sneaking around to go use. He was present with me and our children.
But, his addiction was more powerful than us. More powerful than his desire to have a relationship with his wife and children. His addiction lured him back in, as always. It is always there, always lurking, always pulling him away. Now that he is back using he is gone again. And the lies. The constant, constant, lying. I hate lying. I mean, who likes their spouse to lie to them?
How can something that causes so much damage be legal? And how can a substance that is so vile not have support groups to help people quit. There is AA and NA and Gambler’s Anonymous. There are groups for every type of addiction out there. This one is completely overlooked as a serious addiction that damages families… that breaks apart marriages. This insidious addiction just lurks and is tolerated. It is considered a public health risk…. But not treated as a serious addiction like alcohol or hard drugs.

What is it? Nicotine. Nicotine in very high doses. Maybe you are thinking that it can’t be as bad as I describe. But it is. It is worse than I describe. My marriage is about to end because my husband will not give up the can of dip he holds so precious. I am sick and tired of being married to another addict. Of spending my days wondering who is going to show up… the angry irritable guy in withdrawal? Or the man who is in a moment of calm before the next wave hits him where he needs to pick a fight with me so he has an excuse to go and dip.

I am mad, I am sad, I am tired… so tired of the cycle and the game. And he… where is he? He is in denial that is it really a problem. He is not giving up his addiction. Instead, he would rather give up me and our family. I am tired of the other woman always winning out. I know it is time to go. I am devastated that I know he will let me. Her hold is just too strong. I can not win. It is time to break the cycle.

Don’t be that guy. Don’t CHOOSE tobacco over your family that love you. CHOOSE your freedom.

PS – if you’re not familiar with the image accompanying this post, it’s the character known as Black Widow.

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