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Rehab Romance and BPD

Old 11-24-2022, 02:59 PM
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Unhappy Rehab Romance and BPD

Hi everyone,


I'm new here, so I appreciate any comments, insight or feedback on my situation.

I was with my, now, ex for a total of 10 years. The last three of those years they suffered with alcoholism. In all likelihood, they suffered with it for longer but I didn't know.

The last three years have been filled with lying, hiding bottles, losing their job, suffering friendships, suffering relationship and more. I didn't know this at the time, only now that I've started therapy, but I was the typical codependent, providing a safe home, sacrificing my life to ensure they are safe, paying their bills.

After a long journey to find a rehab facility and the money for rehab, their family and I finally got them into a 30 treatment facility. Two weeks into treatment, I could sense their attitude toward me shifting a bit to the colder side. We were allowed a 30 minute Zoom call one Sunday, where they read a letter out loud to me ending our 10 year relationship citing that they needed to focus on themself and their recovery work and that our relationship wasn't what they wanted in life anymore. They said I could keep everything we accumulated in the house (the house is mine), and they didn't want anything except a few items. They even said to keep the dog that we adopted together. They said they loved me, but it was a 'different love now.' I felt like their safety and recovery depended on this, so I wanted to ensure the best for them and although I was upset and crying, I agreed to back away and let them go. I've been heart broken ever since.

Two weeks later, they got out of rehab and asked to come pick some items up from the house. They did, and it was awkward but I was respectful not to push or argue as I didn't want it to set them off or be a cause for relapse. They left after an hour, and very little was said between us.

Three days later, their facebook is updated to 'In a relationship...' with their roommate from rehab! I now know rehab romances are not that uncommon, but it hit me like a truck. Now they're living with them full time, in this person's parent's basement, with zero money, and I've learned this new partner has boarderline disability disorder.

It's so hard to just suddenly accept our life together is over, and I can't seem to stop caring about them. I know that's ridiculous after all the hurt.

I feel so rejected and heartbroken. I've been struggling to try and understand this. We had a great life together, on paper we had it all. What happened!? I read a lot about Pink Cloud Syndrome, and rehab romances which provides some kind of comfort I suppose.

I'm just so torn apart, and wondered if anyone has had experience with this rehab romance bs.

Thanks so much
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Old 11-24-2022, 09:25 PM
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Welcome Designer. I'm glad you found us and so very sorry for what brings you here. This kind of thing hurts beyond hurts.

Sadly many alcoholics can't face whatever it is that alcohol helped them hide from. Starting a new relationship can be a means to avoid the pain that they must go through to get to recovery.

Also the grieving that is required after such a big loss takes time. As much as you may intellectually accept the end of the relationship, your feeling will have to run their course. It does so so suck.

Please let us know how you get on and take the best care of yourself that you can.
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Old 11-24-2022, 10:24 PM
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Unfortunately it seems like rehab romances happen frequently. I searched "rehab romance" in this forum (friends and family) and got back 7 pages of results. If you want to read the story of a particular poster, just click on their avatar. It's sad that so many of us share stories in common, but there is some comfort in knowing others in this forum have gone through similar experiences, and there's support here.
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Old 11-25-2022, 07:47 AM
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Dear Ruby
I am SO sorry for what brings you here. There is no pain like you describe. As others have posted, this seems to be a common occurrence. In AA, they sarcastically refer to it as the "13th step."

In my case, the caring about my ex was the only "white knuckle" thing about my recovery. Giving up alcohol was a snap by comparison. It took years for me to get past the feelings.

Today we rarely see each other. When we do, it is a comfortable interaction. I know to go before "happy hour" starts.

Hang in there. Focus on YOU. Work your program. Come here for support. Find a good AlAnon meeting in your area.
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Old 11-25-2022, 03:55 PM
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I'm going to guess that your partner (a woman?) is now...in her 30s? and now a cellar dweller?

I'd guess the current relationship partner expects and asks very little of your ex. The two of them are satisfied to behave like aging adolescents, hanging out in Mommy's basement - and probably on the road to drinking again. I mean if you really want to change your life, you don't set yourself up so it's easy to fail and there are no consequences. Do you?

Your ex found someone who will accept her (or his) addiction. That's not so much rejecting you as taking the easy way out.
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Old 11-25-2022, 04:47 PM
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I know it is hard to see it now, and 10 years is a lot to invest in something just to see it all evaporate, but you have dodged a bullet. Or the bullet has dodged you. Learn this lesson well and move along with your life. If this person finds true recovery, perhaps you can be friends in the future, but for now let this person go and be grateful. I wish you well.
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Old 11-28-2022, 09:53 AM
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Hi D-Ruby,

I am so sorry that you are experiencing one of the worst pains in life. Please be kind to yourself and take the time to learn about alcoholic behaviors... the more you know and understand, the better you will feel down the road. I hate it so much that the qualifiers in our lives have no real sense of the damage they have caused and the pain they have inflicted because they were numb to it all and disconnected. I agree with other posters that your partner does not know themselves as a non-drinker and has a long road ahead to maintain real sobriety. Right now, they are in the throws of a new relationship and really not focusing on anything else, including you. I am so so sorry and I feel your pain. Sending hugs.
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