Annie's Mailbox: Husband begs me for my painkillers every morning

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Dear Annie: I have been married 25 years. My health is not as good as it used to be, and I am in chronic pain. I am finally on a good pain management program involving strong painkillers that help me function and keep my job, as well as keep being a mom, cooking, cleaning, doing laundry, etc.

The problem is, my husband takes my medication. I give him one of my pills every morning because if I don't, he will wake me up and bug me until I give in. I have to hide the rest or he will take some. If I don't give him a pill as soon as he asks, he is argumentative all day long. He becomes mean and hateful, and says hurtful things to me and our teenage sons.

Please don't tell me to get counseling. My husband lost his job two weeks ago, and the health insurance went with it. I am no longer in love with this man, but with the economy the way it is, I cannot afford to move out, and he refuses to leave. Please suggest a way to deal with this.

- Caught Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Dear Caught: Your husband has become addicted to your pain medication. Discuss this with your doctor and then con-

tact Nar-Anon (nar-anon.org), 22527 Crenshaw Blvd., No. 200B, Torrance, CA 90505. Someone there should be able to help you through this difficult time.

Dear Annie: I had to write about "Lonely in Connecticut," who is worried about her sexual needs when her husband is suffering from terminal cancer.

Six years ago, my husband was diagnosed with lung cancer. He often was sick and in pain from the treatments. Many nights we went to sleep just holding hands. The last time we had sex was in June, and he passed away in October, a month shy of our 21st wedding anniversary. "Lonely," your husband needs you more now than ever. You have the rest of your life to have your sexual needs met.

- Lonely Widow in Iowa

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