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Old 07-29-2013, 08:39 PM   #1 (permalink)
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1st post - boyfriend has asked me to hold/help with his money

My boyfriend is in active addiction to crack and the progression of his disease if difficult to be around. He's 50 and has been an addict since he was about 16 and started with crack when he was 27 or 28. I've distanced myself several times, but he stops using for a very short time and then we're back together. He's asked for help managing his money several times, but usually finds a way to get more (borrows it, pawns things, etc.), so I stop helping and give him all of it because if he's not going to do his part, then there's no need for me waste my time.

He asked again since he's now employed after a 3 month layoff. He's messed up so much that I haven't seen him for about 1-1/2 weeks (we've lived together for most of our 2-1/2 yrs together except when he's using). After many calls this afternoon to tell me what he was doing (cashing his check, paying on his mortgage, etc. - it's one of the ways he helps to keep himself in check instead of isolating). Afterwards, he came over to my house asking me to help him use the atm to deposit $440 cash into his checking account since he's never done it and he left his reading glasses at work. He has to have the money in his account to be able to pay on his car tomorrow so it's not repossessed. He showed me the receipts from his mortgage payments as "proof" that he'd done it even though I didn't ask. He said he still had a little money on him so that he wouldn't be completely out since he travels about 75 miles one way to work each weekday. Everything seemed good - he was reaching out and doing the right thing with his money and being accountable.

I'm torn about whether to help him in this way since he already called a dealer within 30 minutes of dropping me off after going to the bank. I have his card and he has no checks on the account and his direct deposit won't start for another week or two. I understand from some of his NA buddies that it can be helpful to break the pattern until he gets some clean time. Last time it was most successful he was clean and sober for 6 months and 1 day, which seems like forever ago, but he's been spiraling down every since then. He can't go a week without drinking &/or using. Lately, he hasn't made it past 3 or 4 days.

I'm a full-time student thanks to a program through the VA and I'm working towards my drug and alcohol counseling associates. I have a business for 20+ years that I'm not sure whether to keep or phase out, I have a part-time job as a recovery coach and am involved in Celebrate Recovery, church, singing, and other things. My time is limited and I'm behind on my own tasks (reconciling bank statements, filing papers, cleaning, etc.) because of my schedule. I do have my own finance challenges due to divorce in 2011 and lack of financial support from ex (he also started a competing business before he left and his 1st two customers were almost 52% of my annual revenue), which lead to me filing bankruptcy a few months ago.

I'm doing everything possible to dig myself out and I'm so angry and frustrated that my boyfriend isn't doing the same. In the beginning, I said that as long as he does what he needs to do to focus on recovery that I'll support him towards that goal (encouragement, etc. not financially). I realize that addiction isn't predictable (except for being unpredictable). Part of me wants to help him (I've always been good with money), but most importantly, I want to honor my own needs. A part wants to tell him that I'm done living in the chaos (not being around him has helped some but I'm still caught up in the drama). Yes, I know that I'm codependent and continue to work on my own recovery, which is why I'm re-evaluating my boundaries. This could be an attempt to make changes or another excuse to keep me drawn in. Thoughts or suggestions?
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Old 07-29-2013, 09:38 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Hi jdesunshine, I'm sorry for what has brought you here but wanted to welcome you and assure you you've found a great site. I don't have any experience with an addicted partner so unfortunately can't offer you any advice there. My son is my qualifier. Others will be along shortly to share their experiences with you. In the meantime you might want to read some of the stickies at the top of the home page...there is some very useful info there. Again...welcome...good for you for reaching out. Step one...we admitted we are powerless over our loved ones addictions. Keep coming back.
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Old 07-29-2013, 11:55 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Holding and disbursing money usually works as well as holding and disbursing pills.

If you wanted to empower him, an option would be to sit down with him and teach him how to budget his finances. Help him make a spread sheet or just do it on a calendar. If he is trying to save money, he could look into a short-term CD (1-3 months) with a low minimum deposit where he would pay a penalty if he wanted to access it before it matures. Or he could keep it in there and earn some interest. If he wanted to go on a mission, he would have to do it during bankers hours.

If you decide to be the money-man, I would go to Staples and get a receipt book. Whenever he gives you money or gets money back from you, you BOTH sign on the dotted line.
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Old 07-30-2013, 09:26 AM   #4 (permalink)
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EGADS...this sounds like a spot on detailed replica of my own story!

seriously...the age...the years addicted...
wow...
freaky.
I can say from experience that the money holding did not work in our relationship.
while I spoke with other recovering addicts and they did say that sometimes the money holder can be a helpful member of the support community in recovery...having the money holder be the romantic partner does NOT fare so well.

as the person struggles in their attempts at recovery...the addict within begins to resent the person who is any sort of "block" between them and the substance they crave.

I experienced angry outbursts...lies...attempted manipulation...accusations...sneers...slams against my character...etc etc.
ultimately...while an active or trying to recover addict might benefit by having harder access to their funds...they can ALWAYS find a way to score if they want to.

what my sponsor, therapist, family and friends kept reminding me...even against all of my codependent denial and stubbornness (insisting that I could be the best one to "help") was that the role of a money handler is not the role of a girlfriend/wife/romantic partner. In fact because there were intense emotions involved it was sure to be a bad mix. If he feels he really needs this option why doesn't he find some objective no BS 3rd party like a sponsor or sober coach? of course he will come up with many reasons why that would be "too difficult"

those who are really serious about staying away from crack are going to do whatever it takes instead of subjecting others to the exercise in futility of taking the easier path...like subjecting their romantic partner into the humiliation of being a ledger keeper...

that became a name calling ridicule by my ex...I became a F'ING ledger keeper
god forbid I question any of his silly ridiculous excuses for needing some cash...

my experience says hand off that duty to someone better suited.

and for what it's worth I wouldn't hesitate to say hand off the duty of romantic partner to someone else too...free yourself from the BS of long-term crack addiction
the tentacles, the roots of that particular addiction, after this many years, are in way way way deep...and they spread to all who are in the area

it's taken me a year and a half to finally get over my two year relationship with my ex
silver tongue devil

his true spirit is tangled deep inside the roots of an old growth addiction
trickster energy...beauty flashing...hide and seek...jekyll and hyde
I had to get away.
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Old 07-30-2013, 10:37 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Thank you lizwig, cynical one, and especially lesliej. I've been a member of the forum for over a year and the stickies along with the wisdom, strength and hope have been so helpful.

My bigger question has been for myself... why am I still in the "relationship". My family, friends and counselor want to know too. It's become so less and less about being together and more about his world of using (whether he's using, whether he feels like using, how much he feels like crap because he's used or how much time, money and relationships he's lost over the years, the money manipulation because he's about to lose his car and home because of using so he feels terrible and overwhelmed about it so he uses again (part of the insanity cycle), or the lies, deceit and manipulation, alone/lonely nights, alone dinners because he didn't show or even being left without dinner (obviously I took care of myself) because he was supposed to cook, not being able to share details about my money with him because I can't trust him.......... too many things to mention, and so many of the things that I've read here throughout the forums.

Getting them out in the open to those who have experienced the devastation helps. I have some great friends that I can share with, but it gets embarrassing to hear myself say some of the things that have taken place (his behaviors and my reactions/reasoning/justifications). It's hard to believe that I've allowed them in my life.

I know his disease is not about me, and I know I need to focus on myself and at times I've been more successful than others. I want to understand why I'm doing what I'm doing and why I've allowed the disrespect and rejection to continue even when I know I need to change. Geez, it's just like his addiction. Ugh! Nar-anon is fairly new in this area, there's 1 meeting a week and I went a few times but I wasn't comfortable about the possessiveness in the sharing about "my addict"; ACOA is in the beach area about 35 minutes away on the weekends, so it's a nightmare to get to this time of year; Celebrate Recovery meets on my school night; and CoDA meets 1/wk and my work schedule's interfered (and I've let life interfere). My school semester ends this week and I have 3 tests then I have a 3 week break before fall semester. I'm going home to visit family (they're about 800 miles from here) for 10 days during the break and I'm really looking forward to that. I'll have class 4 nights a week on campus plus work 12 hr overnight shifts on two nights, so my life has been changing to revolve around school, work and rest. I'm hoping that I can go to some day meetings (there's not many) once my schedule gets settled. So far the on campus classes have been “easier” than the online classes. Still there's this part of me that has trouble letting him go. It's like a switch that disconnects my negative emotions (hurt, anger, rejection, abandonment, etc.) and what I “see” is that there's a hope that this is going to be the time that he gets it. Then there's the honeymoon phase that varies in length, etc. etc. (my insanity cycle). Is my fear in letting him go or letting the idea of him/a relationship go? I think it's the last part...
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Old 07-30-2013, 11:30 AM   #6 (permalink)
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sunshine...

here are a few ideas which helped me to continue breaking through my own denial and help myself tear away from my addiction to the addiction...

1. Remember that hope and love are very powerful forces and impulses. Hope and Love are not necessarily "altruistic" in and of themselves. Addiction and codependency introduce the dysfunction to these naturally wonderful impulses and turn them upside down. One CAN get addicted to hope, and addiction/codependency can transform HOPE into FANTASY wherein the ongoing reality is denied. And love...well love...people kill and die and get abused for love. Love is great...it's awesome...but not ALWAYS! Love is just a bad mixer in the crack cocktail!

2. Crack addiction IS his disease...but I swear the insidious nasty evilness of that dis-ease is contagious. I am sure you might be suffering from some parallel symptoms of his disease. And you know from the principles of codependent recovery that you cannot CURE it, you did not CAUSE it and you cannot CONTROL it. You can only detach and work on getting yourself deeper into your own recovery. And don't be surprised at the sort of withdrawal symptoms you will feel...grief...longing...desperation to hear from him...clinging hopes...deep deep belief in the possibility of true love...etc. etc. You will need help navigating the withdrawal. I had friends, family, sponsor and therapist...but to be honest I had kind of worn them out, and SR became my biggest support. I think I wrote a book here while going through withdrawals.

3. You are not alone. This is why there are online forums, meetings, movies and books created out of the subject of US. Click on this link for an informative read (if you haven't already) it is one of the most clear descriptions I have read of what you are up against.
Addiction, Lies and Relationships

4. A lot of people here recommend Mellody Beatties book "Codependeny No More" and I like it but I actually found Pia Mellody's book "Facing Codependency" to be even more helpful because it dug a little deeper into looking at our own formative beginnings and little beings learning how to love...and all of the ways we need love and can become somewhat willing to find it wherever we can. It would be a great read for you while you are on vacay. Use those ten days as a start on your withdrawal and don't look back!

5. When and if you DO see him...(if you are able to actually stick to a strict no contact plan kudos to you!) just start being sensitive and take note of the way seeing him triggers all sorts of feelings in you. It is important to start to pay attention to this. The feeling is often a lot like the symptoms of PTSD. If you are having difficulty going into total no contact...and you start to pay attention to these feelings and triggers...it will help you to eventually maintain your no contact.

6. Just like an active crack addict can't go driving through old dealer neighborhoods, hang out with old using friends, or even manage a hand full of cash...a codependent to a crack addict can't go perusing facebook, pick up calls or otherwise go visiting in his "neighborhoods"...maybe after some solid recovery...maybe. But you need some time. You need time. You need time.

7. Don't let shame compound your problem. When you began loving him you didn't know. Now you have become more "educated"...it is only now that you might start holding yourself more responsible for your own well being. Don't look back at coulda woulda shouldas. Your people love you and support you. Lean into them and move forward. Your future is spotless. One day at a time.

8. Pray.

9. I'm praying for you. Peace.
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Old 07-30-2013, 01:26 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I'm torn about whether to help him in this way since he already called a dealer within 30 minutes of dropping me off after going to the bank.

what is your boundary around active addiction? you should know as well as anyone that when there is a will there is a way when it comes to crack.

he's FIFTY freakin' years old for pete's sake. he has a job and a mortgage and a bank account and all that other Big Boy stuff. by roping you in and making you part of his "staying clean, but not really" scheme, he makes you in part duplicitous. he doesn't need a banker or a mom, he needs to grow up and face this demon down once and for all..........or not.

in no way do i minimize the struggle to get off crack
been there, done that, traded the t-shirt for another hit
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Old 07-30-2013, 05:13 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Great post by Lesliej on codependency .
Sunshine, Reading your post makes me wonder what is in it for you in this relationship. There is no blood ties, no children involved. So why are you enmeshed in this (his) mess?
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Old 07-30-2013, 10:49 PM   #9 (permalink)
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As with most addicts, they use drugs to keep the partner at bay and prowl for sex. He's just playing games. Don't let him use you for money or for a comfortable bed to pee in. Unless you're into that, of course.
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Old 07-31-2013, 05:04 AM   #10 (permalink)
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My son asked me more than once to "control" his money. It never worked and always ended badly...just like most things my son asked me to do, like letting him live at home. My son was a grown man too, who needed to learn to take care of himself and every time I tried to "help", I deprived him of the lessons he needed to learn.

I am sorry you are "stuck" in such a bad relationship and hope you find your way to a better path soon.

Hugs
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Old 07-31-2013, 07:41 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Reading the part where you said he called the crack dealer jumped out at me. In my opinion you shouldn't hold the money. You're gonna need to allot for crack money and if you don't he'll lie and manipulate and you can be putting yourself in a harmful situation. For your general well being I don't think it's a good idea. I also see it as a form of enabling.
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Old 05-07-2014, 10:49 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Lesliej--I found this thread by accident.

Thank you for posting the addiction and lies article. IT RINGS TRUE and it is REALLY helping me today.
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