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Need advice. Left broken & betrayed after boyfriend's treatment. (Long story, sorry in advance.)



Need advice. Left broken & betrayed after boyfriend's treatment. (Long story, sorry in advance.)

Old 08-18-2022, 10:12 PM
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Unhappy Need advice. Left broken & betrayed after boyfriend's treatment. (Long story, sorry in advance.)

Hi everyone,

I am new here and apologize in advance if this echoes so many other stories similar to mine, but I have been completely betrayed, abandoned, and left shattered by my very recent ex-recovering alcoholic boyfriend. I could really use some support and insight about my particular situation and the recent series of events that have led to extreme heartbreak. I have been going to therapy and trying to cope the best I can since he broke up with me, but I still feel totally blindsided.

In a nutshell, we dated for almost 4 years. We met through two of our children who were (and still are) best friends. When we initially met, he was very open with me about his struggles with alcoholism and shared that he was a previous opioid addict. He had been recovered for years from the opioid addiction, whereas alcohol was an ongoing temptation. On top of all of that, he told me he had been in a car accident years before which caused a traumatic brain injury that further complicated his alcoholism.

We became inseparable, best friends, and very happy and so in love for the first 13 months until we went on vacation and he had a major relapse. One of his parents became ill right before we left our holiday and became scared that he was going to lose them. I woke up one morning and found him so drunk that he was slumped over on the couch and literally couldn't speak or move his mouth...I worried that he had a stroke, but he was just extremely intoxicated. I found large nearly empty rum bottles in the freezer. After we came home, his sobriety became a non-stop struggle. He lost three jobs in quick succession, started sleeping all day, missed important family events, etc. Despite all of this, we continued to love one another unconditionally and our bond grew stronger. We discussed marriage numerous times and last Christmas, he gave me a promise ring with both of our birthstones and our names with the word "forever" engraved inside the ring.

Around Christmas of last year (2021), he became extremely ill. He had a scab on the back of his throat, was often nauseous, was shaking all the time, etc. I knew that his drinking must have been getting worse and worse despite him looking me in the eyes and telling me he wasn't drinking. By this time, I was extremely close with his entire family and I shared my concerns about his health and my fears that if it got any worse, I worried that he was going to drink himself to death. As a family, we held an intervention and in early January, he agreed to get help. He tried to stay at home and get help from a sober living coach, but he continued to drink and entered an inpatient treatment facility for 30 days. We made a goal with his family and sober living coach that he would work on his sobriety for the next year and then we would marry. I knew it wouldn't be easy but I was so proud of him for getting help on his own accord.

Toward the end of his 30 days at the treatment center, he invited me to two family group therapy workshops where we made amends and he restated that he loved me and told me once again that he wanted to marry me. He apologized for not being the man I deserved and I forgive him without hesitation. After he got out of the center, he took me out for dinner, brought me flowers, and asked me to please not leave him. I reassured him that I was in this with him for better or for worse as if we were already married because that's how much I loved him. Around that time, he told me that a sober living house from a town a few hours away had visited the treatment center and had asked him if he wanted a place to which he said yes. I wasn't thrilled with him moving a few hours away to continue his recovery because I had already been missing him so much and thought that he wanted me to be an active part of his recovery, however, he reassured me it would only be for 90 days and then he would move back home with his parents and we'd start rebuilding our life together.

Long story short, a few months ago he told me that he wanted to stay in his new town permanently and told me I could move there to be with him and create a life there. My heart sank for a few reasons, firstly, he didn't even discuss the idea of wanting to stay there forever with me, and secondly, I still have children in school and have other family members nearby who depend on me so I can't just up and move quickly which he should have been well aware of. I wasn't opposed to the idea of moving in maybe a year or so, but he was upset and disappointed in my reaction because I didn't jump for joy right away. Following the conversation about moving, he became a little quieter but kept visiting me on the weekend and kept telling me he loved me every morning and night.

By the beginning of June, his behavior began to change and his messages and our talks on his part became very short and more matter-of-fact. I could tell he was pulling away and abruptly, he told me he needed a one-month break with no communication to focus on himself. He told me that so far in his therapy sessions, all he talked about was me and the disappointment he had caused me as well as some other issues, and said that he hadn't even begun to scrape the surface of his own independent issues about his alcoholism and other self-destructive behaviors. Despite saying he needed a break for some extra self-care, he said he didn't want this to be the end of our story and reassured me that he loves me.

Flash-forward to a month later and before he even reached out to me following our break, I heard different things from different family members about what he had been saying about our relationship and his intentions. Some people told me it was going to be fine, others told me he was going to end things with me permanently. He finally called me and I shared with him what I had heard. He admitted that he was thinking of breaking up but he wanted us to have a long discussion before he made his final decision. I agreed to meet with him and talk, hoping for the best but literally two minutes into the conversation, he told me he didn't want to be in a relationship. I was gutted and broke down crying. He didn't give me any other real explanations aside from that he had been previously disappointed in my reaction regarding him wanting me to move out of town with him; he said my reaction made him feel like I didn't really love him anymore and that he wasn't that important to me. I tried to explain that I was open to it, but that it was just a surprise and I needed to wrap my head around it since my understanding up until that point was that he was moving back home after 90 days. I explained that he took things the wrong way and that I was indeed willing to move but he never gave me a chance to discuss it before he made his decision to go on our one-month break and then end things. He was unmoved.

I left our talk absolutely heartbroken. I also found out that later the same weekend after breaking up with me, he lost his place at that sober living house due to overdosing on cough syrup with codeine while he had been at home (so it coded for opioids during testing). So in a short amount of time, he broke up with me, overdosed on cough syrup, and made a few other irrational decisions according to his family and it caused a rift; some of the family were very concerned and felt he had lost his sobriety while the rest of the family thought he was acting just fine and doing a great job. Either way, I was out of the picture mostly by that point. We did talk on and off for a few more weeks and I tried my best to support him and to talk to him about us having another chance in the future, he would agree and then disagree and couldn't seem to decide what he wanted.

After he broke up with me, I had a therapy session and my therapist suggested trying to get more of a clear-cut answer about whether he was open to us reconciling in the future. Once again couldn't tell me yes or no and just kept saying that he couldn't promise me anything and quoted the Big Book stating that he might not even be here tomorrow. Two days after that he sent me an extremely blunt message rudely saying he didn't want to talk to me anymore and that he wanted to date someone else and hoped I would understand. He said he wasn't going to respond to my texts anymore and added that if I tried to call him, he had no intention of answering my calls. I did write him back with a supportive response even though my heart was breaking because despite everything, I still truly love him and wanted to show care and concern.

Saying all of that, I have cried every day since then and my heart is in shards. I am respecting his boundaries and have not reached out, but I simply don't understand what changed so much or how he could move on so quickly to someone else after breaking up with me following such a long relationship. Also, isn't there a suggestion that alcoholics shouldn't enter new relationships for at least a year after starting treatment? In the family therapy sessions, they had even said they shouldn't end a relationship either (if they were in one) for at least a year because their brains are going through so many changes due to detoxing, etc. I know those aren't hard rules, but it seems like he is going against his own advice that he had previously shared with me about relationships during treatment.

I guess my question is really about whether this is truly so common for men who have just finished treatment and are newly sober. Are they encouraged to break up with their significant others who they were with when they entered treatment regardless of how good their relationships may have been? I know that his therapist, people in his groups, his sponsor, etc. encouraged him to find himself and do whatever he needed to in order to figure out who the "new him" is and what he really wants out of life. But I feel in doing that, they showed little to no respect for our relationship. I am hurt, yes, but also just really trying to understand and heal. Does anyone think there is a chance he will even talk to me ever again, even simply as a friend? Isn't part of the 12 Steps not causing pain or harm to others? This hasn't only hurt me, but all of our children who had already seen our families as combined and had grown to love one another as siblings. The fact that he seems to be able to sleep without a care and just carry on without a concern in the world for other people's feelings is very worrying. I even wonder if he has relapsed already but of course, there is no way to tell.

If you're still reading, I just want to send the deepest, heartfelt thanks for giving me a safe place to get this out (needless to say my own friends are pretty upset with him for hurting me so am not getting a lot of people in real life who are willing to listen). If you guys have any insight based on what I've shared, words of wisdom, or just even the smallest bit of kindness you'd feel like sharing, it would mean the world to me. Hugs to everyone else who is dealing with the horrible disease of alcoholism. I have the greatest amount of respect for everyone in the battle of recovery and love for the families and friends who support them. Even if I never hear from my ex again, I will continue to hope the best for him and will keep seeking to understand and forgive. Thanks again, everyone. <3







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Old 08-19-2022, 12:23 AM
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Well first of all Caligirl, I'm so sorry you are in this situation and have been so hurt. To answer your question, yes, I have seen this several times here at SR.

Person goes to rehab, gets sober for what may be the first time in years - is not nearly in actual recovery and goes off the rails. Quick new relationship, lack of feeling, coldness, extreme selfishness.

Really addiction is terribly selfish among other things and while alcohol might (sometimes) take the really hard edge off that self-centeredness, once sober, even that is gone.

His story (or truth) about your lack of giddiness about moving for no good reason except he likes this new town he has been in for 15 minutes shows that lack of any recovery. He failed to take in to consideration you, your children, your family at all. He wants what he wants and he wants it now.

That alone is something to focus on. That is who he is now without his first love (drugs). It could take him years to get a firm footing (and he will need help) in recovery. Is this self-centered guy the one you knew and loved? I very much doubt it.

Is he even sober? His over-drinking cough syrup is questionable. He may have even relapsed by now. He didn't really make the call to get sober on his own. There was an intervention - he may even be blaming everyone else now, including you, you may have become the enemy (to his addiction and in turn to him).

The whole not making changes for a year is just a suggestion some people make, it's probably a good suggestion but people get to make their own decisions about that, of course.

Does anyone think there is a chance he will even talk to me ever again, even simply as a friend? Isn't part of the 12 Steps not causing pain or harm to others?
It's about living life on life's terms, about making amends to those you have hurt. About being kind and humble and of service to others. It can take a lot of time to get to any of those points, plus the person has to take it seriously and really work at it.

Will he talk to you again? Hard to say. I suspect by the time that point comes, if ever, you won't want to talk to him.

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Old 08-19-2022, 07:36 AM
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Dear Caligirl
Right now is a horribly painful time because you have a lot invested in this gentleman.
He broke up with you. If you read these pages, you will see many accounts of people still trapped in a relationship with an active addict. To be honest, this breakup is your ticket to freedom.
The struggle for you will be to avoid getting "hoovered" back into his life.
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Old 08-19-2022, 09:33 AM
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Thanks so much, I will reply in more detail this evening but wanted to say I really appreciate your words.
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Old 08-19-2022, 10:47 AM
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as someone that has been through a nightmare with eaw i am sorry about your situation.

crucial to not forget is the addict even in recovery has a short circuited brain. can be like jeckyl and hyde. i know it is hard because you care about him but the behavior in recovery is often erratic whether or not he has been using. there is nothing on gods earth that you or anyone else can do to make him think rationally. he may regain normal thinking or may not. cannot predict. i would try to get busy with other things that interest you that will take your mind off of worrying so much.

god bless
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Old 08-19-2022, 08:43 PM
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He's spent his therapy talking about how he's disappointed you? Whose fault is that? Not yours, for sure, and if he's going down that path, and it's not top-o'-the-list relevant at the moment, shouldn't his therapist be steering him toward another subject?

Lost his place at the sober house for - essentially - drug use. He didn't have to use cough syrup with codeine, and oh- by the way - we have this thing called COVID going on. Someone with an unremitting cough ought to be getting treatment for whatever's causing it. That whole situation sounds bogus.

He didn't really get help on his own accord. You and his family held an intervention. We made a goal with his family and sober living coach that he would work on his sobriety for the next year and then we would marry. That's sounds like everyone else's plan for his future, not his.

I'd agree- he wants what he wants when he wants it. That may, or may not, have anything to do with his alcoholism, because some people are just slow to mature - if they ever do. I spent three years trying to make a go of a relationship with my first boyfriend with a final act as messy as yours. Entering into relationships requires agreement by both parties. Ending them can be done unilaterally, and frequently is. Whether my bf's motivation was booze or just immaturity I'll never know. After we split, he also alienated all his friends and moved across the country. He never contacted any of them again, and died alone. No 'long-term relationship,' no bowling league, no children, no causes listed in his obituary. It listed four jobs (and left out the two he was fired from when we were dating)

In my never-to-be-humble opinion, breakups should be clean and the individuals should go no-contact for a minimum of six months. That serves two purposes; Each can re-connect with their friends and family who may have been moved to the periphery while the two were 'in love.' Second, it gives them space to move on without examining every interaction with the Ex to look for signs that s/he is trying to re-kindle the relationship (because the person who didn't want to end it is looking for that).

You will get through this. It stinks for a few weeks/months, and then a little less as time goes on. It is heart-breaking to see someone throwing his or her life away, but if love cured addiction, none of us would be here.
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Old 08-20-2022, 10:32 AM
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I am so sorry for the pain you are in. You are not ready to hear this, but it is true: You dodged a bullet. Just my opinion, but this guy is NOT SOBER. He never was. I'm sure he is a great guy except...Like a lot of addicts and alcoholics are, but he is not sober and having a relationship with an active addict is one long road of pain that only gets rockier as you go. Put your focus back on yourself and those children of yours and get your life back. Wish him well from a distance. Do whatever you have to do to get through the heartache and move on without this person in your life. It is what I (and a lot of others) wish we had done. I wish I had had anyone tell me what loving an alcoholic would do to me and my life. You have lots of us. I hope you can hear us. I wish you well.

Last edited by dbyrer; 08-20-2022 at 10:33 AM. Reason: typo
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Old 08-23-2022, 12:47 AM
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Hi, everyone!

Thank you all again so much for taking the time to reach out and reply to me. I have been carrying your words in my heart and you each have really helped soothe my soul. I am so sorry for not following up with you sooner...two of my children came down with a horrible cold virus which has kept me unusually busy with taking care of them since late last week.

There were also some new developments with my ex which I have needed time to process.

The first thing is that yesterday (Sunday) morning, I got a message request from him on Instagram. I tried to open the message but because I still had him restricted and blocked, the message was deleted upon me accepting the request and trying to open the message. I did unblock him to write him back to ask him to resend whatever he had messaged me earlier, but as of tonight he hadn't even opened my message after more than 24 hours.

I also have him blocked on Facebook but many of my/our friends and family are still friends with him on that platform. Today a mutual friend sent me screenshots of cuddly photos of he & the new girl he's dating from a road trip they took this weekend. She (the new girl) posted the pics on her own page and tagged him whereas he posted two pics from the trip of scenery but no pics of them together on his own page. The only reason I'm mentioning the photos, etc. is because I'm so confused about why he'd even attempt to reach out to me if everything is going so well for him/them.

It did hurt a lot though, I must admit, to see them together in photos even though I already knew he wanted to date her (since he told me that very thing three weeks ago when we last spoke). It just feels like the bandaid has been ripped off and salt has been poured into my wounds but guess it's still just going to hurt for a while since I still feel so blindsided.

Some of his family members and friends who I am still close to think that he's moving on way too fast, not processing things properly and is trying to fill a void. Some also think he's looking for a roof over his head since he doesn't want to keep living on a sober living house and he cannot move home with his parents and neice/nephew since he's had a falling out with them. Sidenote: I forgot to mention in my original post that the cough syrup with codeine that he finished in one weekend when we broke up was a prescription that belonged to his nephew (which caused their rift).

I still owe you guys individual responses to some of the things you all said and asked in response to my original post, but I at least wanted to take a few moments to thank you again and update you on the latest.

Anyone have any ideas about why he would have tried messaging me? Should I follow up with him via text perhaps, or should I just leave it alone?

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for the understanding and continued wisdom and advice. I feel so thankful for this forum and hope you are all well. ❤
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Old 08-23-2022, 01:03 AM
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Hi Caligirl, glad to see your post.

Hope the kids are feeling better.

Personally, I would leave the messaging alone. He'll see your message eventually and he will reply or not, nothing really to be done there.

The only reason I'm mentioning the photos, etc. is because I'm so confused about why he'd even attempt to reach out to me if everything is going so well for him/them.
Well, I don't think you can assume everything is peachy in his world. He's obviously not in a good place (mentally) and has acted toward you like a complete jerk. He can flounce along through this early period with her, they have no history, no big issues, it's just fun on the road trip! On the flipside he drank his nephew's cough syrup.

He is filling a void in his life, somewhat, but it's temporary, he can't put on this front forever. He managed to struggle along through 13 months of "sobriety" (if he actually was) with you, so he might be able to white knuckle it for a while.

Anyone who would drink cough syrup would drink anything.

I hope he recovers some day, but there is no reason to believe he's on that path.

I don't know if you've had a chance to look at this thread:

https://www.soberrecovery.com/forums...uggling-2.html (Why am I still struggling?)

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Old 08-23-2022, 07:18 AM
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CaliGirl.......there is a chance that he was high or buzzed when he messaged you. Under the influence, people do things that don't make sense and often do things that are really outrageous. It is such a fool's errand for the non-addicted to try to understand the workings of a damaged mind. The usual rules of logic cannot br applied.
As an example, I remember one situation that was reported, on this forum, where an intoxicated person tried to give CPR to some road kill.----and, didn't even remember it, afterward.
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Old 08-23-2022, 07:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Caligirl76 View Post
Today a mutual friend sent me screenshots of cuddly photos of he & the new girl he's dating from a road trip they took this weekend. I still feel so blindsided.
Dear Cali
Perhaps that friend thought they were doing you a favor by sending this to you. I remember a time when I would have been upset too.
Believe me, if you continue to work your program, you eventually won't care about your ex's new conquests. Should you still hear about these ladies in the future, you might even feel sorry for them.

I agree with Dandy and others here who suggest blocking with no messaging back and forth.
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Old 08-23-2022, 05:32 PM
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"Today a mutual friend sent me screenshots of cuddly photos of he & the new girl he's dating from a road trip they took this weekend."

With friends like this...
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Old 08-23-2022, 10:37 PM
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I totally agree...I had to ask them (and others including his family) to please not share any information, updates or photos of him and his new interest explaining that I'm trying my best tonheal and it just pours salt in my wounds. xo
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