codependency | allnurses


  1. 1 I wonder if it is possible to successfully get through a nursing program when you are married to someone who makes life difficult?
    My husband has been hooked on pills for a few years now. All of the sudden, he goes to the rehab place to get suboxone? and I am supposed to believe all better now? A week ago we got a final notice on our electricity bill! He has been using the little money we have to buy groceries and pay bills, to buy pills from some guy he knows?! What about our kids who need haircuts and shoes?!!

    How am I going to survive through a nursing program with a husband that is careless with the money he brings home, doesn't incorporate food into our budget, and is an addict that might possibly be recovering? He works, but I do all the rest.
    I cannot stand him anymore and I feel I would OWE him if I stayed with him through nursing school. But, if I quit now to get a job so I can better provide for my kids and myself, just when I am almost ready to apply, then I don't know when I could go to school. Are there programs for single mothers to get financial support for nursing school?
    It's either stay, struggle, and deal with this horrible marriage, or leave, struggle, and give up my dream. How can I focus on nursing school if I am angry all the time?
    Has anyone else dealt with this?
  2. 18 Comments so far...

  3. Visit  vintagemother profile page
    Yes. I dealt with a husband who didn't support me or the 3 kids we had. We broke up and I made it. It was very rough for awhile.

    But now I'm working as a nurse and I'm divorced. And life is good... No life is excellent!
    katierobin23, SeattleJess, OnOn2RN, and 7 others like this.
  4. Visit  elkpark profile page
    Are you active in Al-Anon? That is the "sister" organization of AA that is for family members and loved ones of alcholics and addicts. They can offer you a lot of support in making decisions about minimizing the effects of your husband's problems on you and your children (whether that involves leaving him, or just making changes in the way you deal with him while remaining in the marriage; there's no "one size fits all" answer for these kinds of situations).

    Best wishes --
  5. Visit  HappyWife77 profile page
    To be honest with you, having stability and consistency in your home and personal life are HUGE factors to your success.

    If you have drama, resentfullness and bitterness because of a slacking other-half, it will bleed into other areas and basically drain you.

    I had to restart RN school and it delayed my graduation date by 5 years....because of a drug addicted boyfriend I was cohabitating with. It was awful. I'm a 4.0 student....but ended up with my student loan money him. And F's in that semester. Get away from him until he gets a desire to seek help.
    ( I emphasized HIS DESIRE because no matter how much we desire our loved one to get clean, it will not work until they are the ones with a sincere desire). And who knows, but if he sees your seriously done with living in his lie, maybe he will get a sincere heartfelt desire. I'm not saying give up on him forever but it might be the answer. My ex is still partying and God gave me a wonderful hubby. I have a completely different life and know what real happiness is. Today I'm planning of going for Nurse Practitioner because I have support at home I need.

    Drug addicts seriously can not be honest with themselves. How do we expect them to be the stand up supportive partners we need them to be?

    Please act on what you need to do asap. Life has a way of handling bad situations if we dont... it will get worse before it gets better. Hopefully you can find support and make the best possible decision for your family. May God bless you all.

    Good luck.
    Last edit by HappyWife77 on Jul 7, '14
    angikat, renardeau, CarryThatWeight, and 4 others like this.
  6. Visit  sckooshy1 profile page
    Yes, I have attended Al-Anon and have been reading about my co-dependency. The addiction is just one big thing. The big betrayal is the lies he has told me to cover up his pill buying. I found out from his boss' wife that he owes her money because he told her his bank account was hacked and she wrote him a check for $700! She started taking it out of his check because he won't and can't pay her back because we are so behind on bills.
    The last time my son got a haircut was because I used graduation gift money. He does nothing with us as a family. Never any trips or vacations. When we get tax returns, I get money enough to buy what me and the kids have needed, like clothes, shoes, etc., and the rest goes to buying parts for his car that sits in the garage. It runs, but it is a project car that he won't stop wasting money on. He has put us into bankruptcy. Five years unresolved, but finally taken care of after his wages were almost attached! We have been in the same duplex for 12 years!
    We just got food for the week with his mom's credit card, which he never pays her back for. He was just forced to have to get me medical insurance because of the law, and I did the footwork to get myself covered, but worried he wouldn't be able to pay it, especially when he said he wouldn't pay until he got a bill in the mail, even though there are deadlines and they are behind with sending bills to people. Other things have been, like how he got irritated with me because I didn't bring his soda to him right away when my my son was recovering from open-heart surgery and I went into his room with my mom and sister when they came to visit the hospital. I guess I was supposed to put his soda first! Which brings me to the $200 a month he spends on diet Pepsi, yet we have just enough food to get us by!
    He has said there is nothing happy in his life. He told me years ago that our son was a mistake because he felt inconvenienced for whatever reason, yet our son was planned for a long time. He said this on front of our older daughter. He doesn't hesitate to say racial slurs around the kids. He sometimes calls them "son of a *****" when he is mad. He used to break things, which I like to think I put a stop to. He has attended one school event just recently for my daughter who is 10, and that was probably out of guilt, but it meant a lot to her.
    The other day, he was on his way back to watching tv in the bedroom after getting a bowl of cereal and I was talking to him in the kitchen, but I guess I talked to him too long because his cereal was gone and then he said "There's another snack I didn't get to sit down and eat." So I said "Wow. You don't hesitate to let me know when I inconvenience you!"
    He has told me that he can't wait until I make money. He talks about the stuff he wants me to buy, like already trying to control what car I would buy. I told him that what I spend money on will be MY choice, and he didn't like that. I feel like we have been together so long that it's like he owns me. I wish I could leave YEARS AGO. I have been taking pre-reqs for years, finally graduated with my two year degree, and now that I am ready to apply to programs, I am terrified. Terrified I won't make it through, or that I owe it to him to stay with him if I succeed. I can't imagine how I would support the kids and I if I didn't do the program while staying with him, because I know I couldn't handle working and being in a program. But, if I left him and got on welfare, I heard that they take it out of his check, and I don't know if I could do that, or if welfare would even be enough to support my kids and I. We would probably get enough food stamps, which would be nice. I feel helpless, and stupid. I feel cornered and angry. I know that I should just stay and struggle, and try to focus on making it through a nursing program while dealing with him, but even if he is not taking pills, I still don't like him or respect him anymore. He spends our money poorly. Almost $200 a month for our cell phones, almost $200 a month for our cable bill, almost $200 a month on his soda habit, and what we have left is for food and gas? The only gas I get anymore is what he rips off from his company because we use the company credit card for my gas. The car I drive is in his name. He ruined our credit. Other than my degree, I had almost nine years experience in a customer service desk job, so I feel that I could get a job that makes just enough to get by on my own with the kids, but I cannot go to nursing school if I do that.
    There is so much more, and I could go on for hours because that's all I seem to do is annoy people with how unhappy I am. I used to be positive. Now I'm just dreadful. Any opinions, beliefs, suggestions, or ideas would be appreciated. I am really ready to jump ship, but nursing school is so close and I don't want to be stupid either way with my decisions.
  7. Visit  RunBabyRN profile page
    Do you have other support around you anywhere? Can you move in with a friend or family member? This sounds like an unhealthy relationship all around, and it will absolutely impact your performance in nursing school. Support is really important to success, and it sounds like this is more draining than supportive.

    He truly has no idea how much he needs help in several aspects of his life, and he won't recognize this until he's ready, even if you tried to put it all out there in front of him. The only thing YOU can control is what YOU do.

    Leaving would be challenging for a bit, but sometimes (generally), the things in life that are most worthwhile are the hardest in the beginning.

    Best of luck to you!
  8. Visit  HappyWife77 profile page
    Please get away from that mess. The first step starts with you. Look at me and vintagemother we both overcame the nonsense and succeeded. I left and had to put school on hold for a few years...but it did not stop me from achieving my goals. I moved out and worked until the time was right to go back to school. I have been successful in every area of my life since I got rid of the toxic environment. You can do it and by all means you should do it. You and your children deserve SO MUCH more.
    You'd be surprised on what it really takes to make it. He has been constantly lying and buying his selfish personal items using most of the money.

    You probably could qualify for assistance and should start calling women support groups for abused women or move out with relatives. Anything is better than continuing there. I'm speaking from experience trying to tell you there's hope your life can get better.
  9. Visit  flemingrl83 profile page
    Hey listen, I don't know if you are a religious person at all or not but my advice to you would be to pray. Pray to God to see you through your situation. He can and will make miracles happen in your life. There's only one catch, you have to believe that he can do it. That's what christianity is all about. Faith. Believing what you cannot see or hear or touch. Get on your knees, close your eyes and just talk to God. Tell him your problems and needs and wants. And not just when times are hard.....all the time. I do. He's done great things for me. I know he's the reason why I even got accepted into the RN program at my community college. Just try praying. And I'll pray for you as well. All the best to you.
  10. Visit  Cream and sugar LPN profile page
    Without a doubt take care of YOU and the KIDS first.♥️
    Everything else will fall into place. Stop letting him dictate the lives of you and the kids. Life is too short!
    SeattleJess, HappyWife77, RunBabyRN, and 1 other like this.
  11. Visit  sckooshy1 profile page
    Flemingrl83- I am a Christian and the kids and I attend church. I have several people praying for my husband over the years and have done so myself.

    Yes, I knew how he was when I married him, although I was young and he was not on pills then. I have godly wife friends telling me to just pray for him and to practically be a martyr for the faith, and if that means being miserable for another 16 years, then I am going to go nuts more than I already have! I never wanted to break up my family, but it is already broken. I am broken.

    I still want to be a nurse so badly, but I think it is time to stop sacrificing myself to get there. I am miserable, and everybody knows, and I have told him. No one miraculously changes who they are, only the things they do, and I've waited around long enough. Even if he is successful with overcoming his pill addiction that he has had for so long, he and I had problems unrelated to that. I really need to hear myself and find my way out, because it seems to make me feel happier than staying in misery just to pursue my dream career.

    I appreciate all of the responses from those of you who have been there. I hope that if I do leave, I can figure out how to still go to nursing school. Right now, I have no idea how I would do that if I had to work full-time.
    elkpark, SeattleJess, and HappyWife77 like this.
  12. Visit  sadiemae1123 profile page
    I have never been in your situation, so take everything I say with a grain of salt. I would say the first thing to do is to find out exactly what sort of resources are available to you in your community. Speak with someone at the welfare office to find out what sort of programs you are eligible for, find out what rights you have to child support and alimony if you do separate with your husband, and if local health facilities offer any type of tuition reimbursement if you went to work there.
    I think you should also reach out to your church family to see what type of support you would have with things like child care and housing and if there are any local food pantries you could use.
    I also think that you should consider putting money away in a separate bank account that your husband has no knowledge of and has no ability to access.
    Start making plans for the future; it will make you feel less helpless if you do decide to leave him if you know exactly how you will be able to manage without him.
    Best of luck and please keep us updated.
    angikat, OnOn2RN, and sckooshy1 like this.
  13. Visit  immortalessence profile page
    Here is my advice from having been in a similar position.

    Leave. No amount of praying, or support from other people will change anything that you are having to deal with. I'm sorry.

    It is a horrible situation and there is no easy way to do things. Nursing school might seem feasible while remaining in this relationship but somehow I doubt the reality of your situation will allow that. Can you rely on him to step up and take control of the house and care for the kids while you are at class? At clinical? When you need to study? Can you rely on that you will be able to afford books, tuition, and the other oddities you will need while he's already pilfering money to support a drug habit? I think deep down you already know this answer.

    I know you're concerned with your own dealing with this. You're frustrated, hurt, tired... but, another thing you should think of is this is a situation your children also have to deal with. This is an environment you are raising them in. A damaged home is not a better environment for a child than a broken home. You are resentful, you are disrespected, you are unhappy and you are suffering. Your children see this. Don't think that just because you wait until they go to bed to cry, doesn't mean they don't know that "Mommy is sad". Additionally, you are showing them what to allow and what not to allow. And I don't mean to sound mean but if you have a daughter, you are showing her that it's acceptable for her to live her life in suffering and unhappiness because of ideals that have plagued women for generations. You are showing her that this is what she is supposed to do if she's unhappy in her relationship or her marriage. Is that what you would want of your daughter in the same situation? If you wouldn't want this of her... certainly don't put up with it for yourself. And this can apply just as easily for your sons.

    Start reaching out... call your family... parents, sisters, brothers.. aunts.. anyone who is willing to help you or guide you. Call women's shelters.. abuse hotlines... (just because he doesn't physically hurt you doesn't mean this isn't abuse). Get yourself into a better place... THEN worry about nursing school. If that pushes you back a year or two... so be it. It took me 6 years to go back to school after I left my situation. And I will tell you is the only way I got out of my situation, was I left. I didn't tell a soul. My husband came home one morning from a night out of party-drinking-drugs, and the house was empty. Why? Because I knew that if I told him I was leaving... if I gave him that, he would have done the "I will make everything better, I promise baby.. see... it's all good, I'm clean" and 2 months later I would have been JUST as miserable and JUST as alone and this time, those people I had reached out for to help me wouldn't likely be willing to do so again.
  14. Visit  sckooshy1 profile page
    Oh my goodness. You guys are wonderful. I almost started to cry, immortalessence.

    They do see how miserable I am, how miserable he is, and how miserable things are. My daughter is almost 11, and my son is 5. My daughter already has anxiety and is a bit too pessimistic these days. My son knows that daddy almost never plays with him, but it is surprising how he brushes off the hurt when he is yelled at or rejected by daddy because he is a boy and craves daddy's love. I get snappy with them and yell because of the hostility I feel.

    I was almost ecstatic today after I called about a customer service phone position at Sutter that pays at least $19 an hour! That has to tell me something. I haven't felt that kind of happiness in a long time, and it was just the idea that made me feel that kind of happy. The position is open. I am going to get my resume together this week and apply.

    There are a couple things that could delay the process. My TEAS test is paid for already, so I really should finish studying for it and take it next month. The other, is that I am waiting for a call Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday from my son's cardiologist to let me know if my son will need to have another open-heart surgery. He has Tetralogy of Fallot and has been on propranolol for over a year, which helped, but his obstruction has become worse, and due to his asthma, increasing the dose is probably not best.

    I don't want to lose out on the job opportunity, but I would have to wait until my kiddo was all better from surgery before starting a job. I haven't worked in about four years and am terrified of failing. Also, I don't want to have my hopes up for a job I may not get.

    Once again, these replies are so good to hear. They help my perspective. They help me feel my response to what I want to hear, and help my realization of my situation. Thank you so much.