communication and recovery

Old 12-02-2010, 12:14 PM
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communication and recovery

I'm involved with someone who has a little less than a year of recovery. We are both in recovery and attend meetings, have a sponsor etc. We are in a committed relationship. I've been with him a half year. We had discussed from the start being open and honest with one another. During the holiday, I learned he was chewing tobacco again after quitting and that he was hiding this from me for the last month. He has been doing this in my bathroom when visiting me. I noticed the can in his pant pocket as he sat next to me on the couch and I asked what it was. He said just leave it and I asked if he was chewing again. First he said it had gone on for a week then he said it was more like a month. I am struggling with trusting him. I am trying to live the program each day and work it from a place honesty openness and willingness. I realize I can't tell anyone else how to work their program but I am invested in this relationship and hurt that he was not honest with me. He told me that he hid it because he thought I would be angry. He told me it seems that's what happened anyway. I said I was disappointed that he hadn't told me about it. I said it was his business but I hoped he would quit it due to health, addiction, and addictive behavior reasons. I responded that I honest communication shouldn't be based on only having "good" feelings concerning things he and I tell one another. I said his behavior brought up a lot of old feelings in me from someone hiding their addiction. Since then I have been working through it with program people and my higher power. I have told him this. I know he's a grown man and his choices are his but I said it bothered me on many levels. It gave me a sick feeling in my stomach that he had been doing this in my bathroom and when I had asked if he was getting sick in my sink he had not owned up to what was going on. He had told me he was not getting sick just spitting up a little. Technically, that was true. Maybe our idea of honesty is different. He has apologized and told me he knows this went against his program and assures me he has been honest in all other matters concerning the relationship. I told him he cannot use his tobacco in my bathroom when visiting. I said he needed to take that outside. I'm left with kind of lost feeling now. I have managed to put it aside when with him but a few days away from him and I have spent time with my hp and others in program and reading and feeling he is now maybe someone I really don't know as well as I thought. I welcome any insights and suggestions of how to get past the feeling of betrayal and find trust again. A relationship that felt light and easy now feels heavy and tainted by sneaking behavior.
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Old 12-02-2010, 12:29 PM
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You've known him 6 months and now you know him even better. You know he chews tobacco. You know he hides things from you that you won't like. You know he'll disrespect you by doing something in your house he knows you don't approve of. I don't know much about the program but from what you post about what he said, you know he'll go against his program of recovery.

Dating is a fact finding mission and you just found out a whole bunch of them. That is a lot to digest.

You ask how to get past the feelings of betrayal and trust but I think that might be the wrong question. Maybe the question should be what kind of person do I want to date? Is he this person?

Those feelings are your internal warning system. I have vowed to never again ignore my gut feelings, or shush my inner voice. I spent years doing just that (and I have paid dearly for it) and I am trying very hard to be the person that honors that inner voice, and that makes decisions to protect it - because that voice is me.
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Old 12-02-2010, 12:36 PM
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I have learned that when I ignore the pit in my stomach, I always regret that decision. Listen to your instincts, and that pit in your stomach.

Your own recovery and well-being are too precious to let go of for anyone or anything.
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Old 12-02-2010, 12:51 PM
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Hmmm, my gut feeling says: listen to your instinct. If you feel that trust has been broken, then it's imperative to listen to that voice.

I know this is a new relationship, but so is your boyfriend's recovery. It seems to me that his recovery isn't that stable to begin with, and it very well could threaten yours.
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Old 12-02-2010, 12:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Thumper View Post
Dating is a fact finding mission
This is excellent Thumper. I need to paint this on my wall.

So many of us, myself included, feel that once we've been on a few dates and have been "together" for a few months, it means we're somehow committed for life, despite whatever red flags might pop up. Seems like dating needs to be this guilt-free zone where we tell prospective partners exactly what we want and clearly communicate when they're not what we need.
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