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Old 02-02-2011, 08:28 AM   #1 (permalink)
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come closer go away relationship with recovering heroin addict

Hello everyone

I have known my boyfriend since we were in high school. We started dating a little over 8 months ago at the peak of his addiction. It was no secret that he was an addict and he openly spoke about it with me and how he had been struggling with his addiction for many years. He has been in and out of rehabs over the years. The relationship was not going smooth we would argue and fight about his addiction until he finally made the choice to go to rehab, he was in for about 2 and a half months which is nothing for someone with such a horrible disease. He came out of rehab and relapsed about two weeks later. He went back into rehab again, stayed about a month and has been out for a little over a month now.

Since he got out this time round, he has been overwhelmed with emotions with lots of highs and lows. While I understand that addicts need to work on themselves I also have tried to be there for him and support him through out his journey. He has been attending NA meetings for two months and recently got a sponsor and been working on the steps.

My question is about us. Sincehe came out of rehab the last time, he has broken up with me three times and each time has been more severe than the previous one. THe first time he said he was upset with me and wanted a few days apart, the second time he said he needed space and wanted to focus on his recovery which totally makes sense but that didnt happen, a few days later we went back to seeing each other regularly. Less than a week ago, he had a strong craving and went drinking, he wouldnt answer my calls or respond to my messages and went back home completely drunk. He hasnt gotten in touch since that day and I have tried calling and texting him to no avail. I will not be contacting him anymore as he obviously wants his space or time apart or not being in the relationship all together. It just breaks my heart that after all the support and care that I was giving him he just simply drops me without an explanation or even a phone call. Pehaps he feels guilty about drinking and doesnt want to face me. I know he hasnt been using again, I am on regular contact with his family and they tell me he has been home all the time. I also know that he hasnt attended any meetings this week or spoken to his sponsor. I would like to understand why he has done this and is refusing to talk to me about it, its just very confusing and painful right now, I cant make any sense of it
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Old 02-02-2011, 07:18 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I wish I had words of hope to offer but you are in a painful situation. If you are expecting him to understand your needs and meet them, sadly he will not, esp if he is still using. Even in recovery, your needs will not be a priority for him. That is how the process is, self focus and work on themselves. It is the only way they can handle recovery.

That isn't to say he can't have you in his life and he is treating you like a jerk but sounds like he has kept you on that rollar coaster ride the whole time. It is a ride that goes on and on and on until you make peace with the fact that he cannot meet your needs at this moment in the relationship. You can either break up or try to hang in there but that is no way for you to be treated is it? You will only put up with so much.

Another way to look at it is, you don't want to be associated with his using. If you knew he was using but you stayed with him, if he got clean he may have to avoid you or risk you enabling him.

It is such a complicated place to be. Feel free to message me if you'd like. I have sort of been where you are but the difference is I won't be a huge part of his life as he uses/drinks. I want to be associated with recovery and good things for him. Stepping back may be the best thing for both of you. Catch your breath and take care of your own needs
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Old 02-03-2011, 01:45 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Thank you so much for your reply. My boyfriend and I are in our late 30s, his addiction started when he was in his early twenties and he has been numb through out his adult years for the exception of the times when he went to rehab. He has gone to rehab several times before we started dating but would go back to using shortly afterwards. I have read once that addicts stop growing emotionally since the time they start using and that applies to him in so many different ways.

I was a big part of his recovery, a few months after we started dating I told him it was either going to be his drugs or me, he chose to go to rehab then. After he came out of rehab the first time, I introduced him to his sponsor and the na who I got to know through a good friend of mine. I was with him every step of the way throughout his recovery and have supported him. We spend alot of time together and I feel that the relationship has become more of a codependancy. You are absolutely right though, he cant give me what I need even if he is not using right now, thats besides the fact that when he gets his craving or is feeling down he starts treating me like a jerk!

I have been speaking to his family everyday and he has not been attending his meetings or speaking to his sponsor. Perhaps he feels guilty about drinking last week or doesnt want to face them and have to explain how he followed his craving, which ever it is I feel that I am on the same boat

He has too much of an ego to just come out and admit that he was wrong. I am not expecting to hear back from him and at the same time I cant believe that he just dropped me after everything we have been through together, with no explanation not even a phone call. He went on a drinking binge last week and I havent heard a word from him since.

I really need to take care of myself and get ths dysfunctional relationship out of my head. Him dropping me is probably best for both of us. I believe that the only way for him to stay sober is by doing the 12steps and attending the meetings, he will not make it otherwise, I truly believe that! I just hope he goes back to the meetings and contacts his sponsor and isnt thinking that he can make it on his own...

Last edited by cowandchicken; 02-03-2011 at 01:51 AM. Reason: adding more information
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Old 02-03-2011, 11:53 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Welcome to SR. Sorry to hear your going through this but the short and not so sweet answer to your question to why is. Because that is what active addicts do.

You can drive your self crazy thinking about the why, who, when or how and that is all that will happen. You will get more and more crazy. Something else I want to point out is.....well from what you have said he is not getting clean or sober because he hit rock bottom and wants to change his life. He is doing this because you want him too and I'm sorry to say but it does not work that way. You have been enabling him, doing all the work for him and if he is not taking responsibility for his recovery he wont recover.

My thought here is maybe you could attend some alanon meetings? There are reasons why your willing to have this relationship, I know I had to get a sponsor and work the steps myself before I understood that because I was a willing victim I was in some ways more sick then he was.

I know that is probably not what you probably expected. But that was my experience and thoughts to share. Friends and family forms are also a great place to connect with others in your situation. I wish you the very best and look forward to getting to know you.
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Old 02-03-2011, 12:25 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Thank you for your comments and honest thoughts, I have always appreciated honesty. While I have been thinking myself of why it is that I got into all this mess, I came to the conclusion that I wanted to CHANGE him and this is not the first time I make such an attempt witha guy. We all know that we dont have the power to change anyone and we can only change ourselves but I somehow manage to deny it to myself and go along with the idea that I eventually can.

The last time he relapsed on heroin which was in november of last year, he said that he had hit his rock bottom because he overdosed. He was willing to go to rehab but only stayed for a bit less than a month. Before he got drunk this last week, he had been willingly attending meetings and in contact with his sponsor without me getting involved. I did think he was making an effort on his recovery and the program.

I spoke to a common friend today who told me that he thinks my boyfriend has been taking xanax for the past few days because his speech sounded slurred on the phone. He also asked our common friend to go drinking tonight and my friend said no. They spoke about our relationship and my boyfriend said that he is done with it becuase I bore him and he cant do the things he wants to do with me such as drinking. I feel better now hearing those words even if they werent from him. I was going crazy trying to understand or even try to think what he is thinking. He also told him that he hasnt been answering my calls or my messages and that he hopes I will get the message that its over. As pathetic as what he said was I feel better knowing that the frame of mind he is in right now is that of a user and not a recovering addict.

I know I will never put myself in such a situation again, he has made me emotionally bankrupt and mentally tired. Things could have gotten alot worse, I am going to move on and not look back. I wish him well and I hope he will wake up before its too late
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Old 02-03-2011, 09:37 PM   #6 (permalink)
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He seems to be at a hard spot right now. And those times will happen over and over until he truly wants recovery (as Cynay said, for himself).

Honestly when my RABF relapsed, he basically vanished on me and it hurt like heck but it was the best thing he could have done. I found out later all the nutty stuff he did and had I known then, I would have freaked so distancing yourself as much as you can from his disease and recovery is the best thing.

If he is done with the relationship, it hurts but what were you getting out of it but drama and inconsistency? Give yourself time to heal and as the pain decreases, you'll see with more clarity why maybe his ending things is the best thing he could have done for you right now.

bb
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Old 02-04-2011, 12:21 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I was too available and watching over him all the time, when he was trying to sober up, I would check his phone and be with him for as long as possible. He also wanted me around all the time. I know that he is having bad cravings right now and is acting upon them, and I have to agree, he needs to want to recover and not do it for others around him which I dont see happening any time soon.

I do agree that having him end things is the best thing for both of us, I was really not getting much out of this relationship except for stress and instability, it was always a matter of what is he going to do next.....

I am going to take care of myself right now and heal from the rollercoaster I have been on with this guy
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