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Pain pills not the medication for healthy marriage

Posted: June 8, 2012 4:20 p.m.
Updated: June 11, 2012 5:00 a.m.

Dear Annie: Please help me. My husband, whom I love very much, is addicted to pain pills. It’s been more than a year. He says he takes them to maintain his energy levels for his long 12-hour days, but, Annie, he still takes the pills on his days off. When he tries to stop, he goes through withdrawal symptoms.

Not only am I concerned for his health, but it’s putting stress on our budget. He spends at least $100 a week on these pills. I’ve tried everything I can think of to get him to stop, but nothing works. Rehab is not an option because we don’t have the money and insurance won’t cover it.

I love my husband very much, but this is affecting our marriage, and he’s ignoring it. -- Distraught Wife

Dear Distraught: Your husband isn’t trying to wreck his marriage. He is an addict, and addicts do whatever is necessary to support their habit. He will need to gradually taper off the medication until he no longer suffers withdrawal symptoms.

We assume your husband has some kind of prescription for these pills that needs to be refilled regularly. Call and alert your husband’s doctor (and possibly local pharmacies) that he is abusing the pills. And please contact Families Anonymous (familiesanonymous.org) at 1-800-736-9805 and Nar-Anon (nar-anon.org) at 1-800-477-6291 for assistance and support.
Dear Annie: My 54-year-old daughter, “Susan,” has been angry with me since she was a teenager. I have tried to question her about why she hates me so much, but she won’t discuss it. She is married to a controlling man who shares her feelings and recently told the family to “go to hell.” Susan has a sweet daughter who appears to be a special needs child, although we’ve never been told what the problem is.

My husband recently died, and it devastated me. On the day of the funeral, the entire family came to my house. Several people were bothered by our dog, so I confined him to the porch and told the children to leave the dog alone.
I was sitting in the parlor when I heard the commotion in my kitchen. My granddaughter had unlocked the door and put her face next to the dog’s nose, and he bit her. The parents were not watching the child. After a trip to the hospital for stitches, I was assured that she would totally heal.

Susan told me to file a claim with my insurance company because she plans to sue me. I have had many sleepless nights dealing with this and fearing I might lose my house. I’ve also lost my granddaughter because Susan and her husband will have nothing to do with the family any longer.

Is there a chance of saving any part of this relationship? -- Hurting Mother

Dear Hurting: Our condolences on the loss of your husband. We know you are still grieving, and that undoubtedly explains why you confined the dog to the porch but neglected to lock access. This, unfortunately, contributed to the accident. Even closely supervised children can get into all kinds of mischief. We are relieved that your granddaughter will heal completely, but her parents are upset and angry (with themselves as well as with you).

Your insurance company should be able to cover any claim Susan makes, so please stop worrying about your home. As for the relationship, Susan sounds difficult, and you may not be able to salvage much. But it might go a long way if you sincerely apologize and ask them to forgive you for not being more careful.

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