my boyfriend has relapsed :( PLEASE HELP

Old 01-05-2012, 07:47 AM
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my boyfriend has relapsed :( PLEASE HELP

My boyfriend has a history of addiction. This resulted in us separating (as I could not accept his very erratic behaviour) and him consequently being sent to prison for drug dealing. I started visiting him. He got clean, worked the programme, got healthy and fit and we started a relationship again. He had been clean for 18 months before he got out of prison.
We have been living together for 8 months. He has (or so I thought) been clean, started training as a drugs counsellor, volunteering in a drugs center, gone back to college.....basically, turning his life around

He got a slipped disk that caused him a lot of pain and was practically off work for 5 weeks.

Two days ago, he went out to the shops. When he came back I smelt heroin on him. He denied it. Since I have never been a user, I doubted my instincts (silly, I know!) and felt really bad about accusing him.
He then admitted he had been using sporadically. I said that was it, we are finished. I can't trust him and I can't put myself through this web of lies and deceit.

He was extremely upset, told me it was not every day, sometimes he had gone for over a week without then used 3 times the following week. He told me it was not just Heroin, but also crack at times.

He said he felt ashamed and that he wanted to tell me but couldn't bring himself to do so. He, in a way, wanted to 'get caught'

I know that he is not using every day because I would have noticed (we spend days at a time together without losing sight of each other and I recognise both smells well)

I don't know what to do. I truly love him but don't want to put myself in a position where I get hurt over and over again. We were trying for a baby!!! (that's obviously off the cards now!!)

I thought we were best friends and he could tell me when he was getting cravings or felt the urge to use (its something we have talked about openly in the past)

He promised that he will stop and will never lie to me again (I don't believe him after what has happened)

He said he was so sorry and can't bear the thought of losing me (I said this is tisk he decided to take when he decided to use)

He said he needs to prove how serious he is about this

He gave me his phone, deleted all his numbers in front of me and he got a new chip
He went to a meeting and has made plans to go 3 times a week.
He has promised to start working the programme.
He is giving me his credit card and all his money so he doesn't have access to it.
He said he will get tested regularly at home (on days of my choice) so he can prove he will not take anything
He is going to his mothers today and said he will be honest about what has been going on

I'm not sure if this is an honest sign that he is serious about this or just a way of him not losing me.

I'm so upset, let down and our trust has been broken.

PLEASE HELP I don't know what to do Im so so sad. We were SO happy. I don't understand why this is happening or what the best thing to do is
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Old 01-05-2012, 08:37 AM
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I'm sorry for your pain, Alice32. You must be heartbroken after having so much hope.

You don't need to take any action right now if you don't feel ready. Right now, as they say in Al-Anon, your thinking may be "distorted" and you may find yourself "trying to force solutions." (Al-Anon).

You need the counsel, face to face, of people with experience and you can find that in Al-Anon or Nar-Anon meetings and with a therapist.

The risks to you: your health (mental and physical); your money and possessions; your friendships and family relationships; your goals; your values.
All are at risk if you become caught in the obsession of monitoring a drug addict.

As the drug calls to him more and more, he may call you "controlling", "cold", or "not who he thought" you were, as an attempt to get you off his back so he can use.

What happens to us then is that we are blindsided by the addict's flip from love to hate. And our self-esteem plummets to zero and we perhaps cling even tighter. This is the disease working on us and we can become very emotionally ill.

Please seek help for yourself, because whether you stay with him or eventually part, you'll need to understand what happened so you can be at peace.

Stay strong. God bless.
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Old 01-05-2012, 08:52 AM
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As I posted on your other thread...

Have you considered attending nar-anon meetings? There is nothing you can do for him, but it would be good for you to get educated on what you can do for yourself if you decide to stay in this relationship. His recovery is his own business, and his actions will show you whether or not he is sincere in what he says. As you have come to know, the words of an addict are meaningless. They can talk a really good game, but it's the follow-through that you should pay attention to.

In the meantime, you will learn how to detach from whatever he does, and to put your focus on what is best for you.
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Old 01-05-2012, 08:56 AM
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You established a healthy boundary for yourself. Our boundaries are only as solid as our willingness to enforce them.

First off, get yourself checked out for STDs. Crack and sexual transgressions go hand in hand. " True Confessions" are always highly edited versions of what's really going on. Addiction demands he protect and sustain it. That you can smell it, tells me his smokes his dope. There are many other ways of using besides smoking and you can't smell it.

Those with an opiate addiction seem highly prone to accidents and physical issues that require pain medication.It's a red flag. Failure to take responsibility is immature and the basis for addiction, not recovery.

Sounds like he shirked all responsibility for his own sobriety and put you in charge of keeping him clean. Being a warden is not a sound basis for a relationship.

Being a convicted felon, in active addition and failure to take full responsibility for his own sobriety does not sound like someone who is an ideal candidate for fatherhood. Parenthod does not cure addiction.

We codependents often fall in love with the hopeful fantasy of the man he could be, if only.....
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Old 01-05-2012, 08:59 AM
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duplicate post
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Old 01-05-2012, 09:03 AM
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Alice I am sorry for the pain you feel. I too just recently felt that pain of deceit and lies.

It was really so frustrating and painful for me. I have been at this mans side and kept putting my belief in him and his recovery. Before this last time he went out he had 8 months and was working a program really well and strong. When he started working doubly hard to pay for our trip to Europe and decided to taper off his bipolar meds to save that expense too (without checking in with anyone about that brilliant idea) I began to see his serenity/recovery/program deteriorate. I was already practicing al I noticed, asked a couple of questions, and when he went out I knew it. We even decided to work through that one "slip" because of all the circumstances.

It was when I discovered three weeks later that the "slip" was a secretive ongoing using and that it was going on under my nose that I felt the greatest deceit. He had gone from full on disappearing to being able to text and call to make excuses for where he was at. The lying and deceit had "progressed"!

I am now living in the place we used to live together on my own. It was my place to begin with. For my sanity and emotional well being I had to ask him to leave. He went to a sober house that he has lived in before. He has lived in many sober houses, our city is FULL FULL FULL of them (and for good reason!) and he has "slipped" out of all of them.

He has worked a program over and over and over. When he is diligent it seems to work for him. Drug addiction is totally miserable. To stay away from it takes intense most say 110% attention to recovery. I have watched him over and over get really cavalier about his program, thinks he's "got it" too smart, knows all the big shots etc. I used to handle his money for him out for the really angry mood swings. The addict in him that he may be trying to wrestle with will wrestle with you if you have put yourself in that position.

You should STRONGLY consider NOT taking on the role of monitor. It will feed...force feed...any codependent tendency you have. And let's face it, it you're dating an ex con drug addict you are probably sure to have codependent tendencies. Don't take this label on as a "judgement" take it as a prescription for what you CAN do. which is read everything you can find on the subject, come here and go to meetings!!!

I was lucky enough to even get a couple of intensive retreats for coda and al anon. It is NOT easy to draw healthy boundaries until you have done some of your own recovery work in the situation. In fact at least half of the outline above sounds like a slippery slope right toward a steep cliff concerning codie behaviors in a relationship. Do you really want to be "choosing" days to drug test your boyfriend. If you decide you will handle his money you will most likely quite quickly discover why that is an awful position to be in.

my post is very's probably my own codie in me reaching out to you.

I am now, as I say, living separately from exABF. We exchange a few texts here and there. Ultimately I had to do what my spirit, heart and conscience called for...and that was to NOT subject myself to the lies and deceit. I was so heartbroken and terrified of losing that love, of losing all the great parts about him. But he is now where he probably needs to be, (I can hope). It is up to him whether he gets himself well....especially from such an insanely recalcitrant addiction. The actual recovery rates are quite slim.

I I I I I I... needed a break. This distance and time has allowed a calmness and clarity to wash over me. I still am not entirely sure what will happen in the future. Each day I just pray, do my meditations, check in here and with my face to face recovery community and live one day at a time, doing the next right thing. I keep it simple and pay attention to my own life. I gently try to refocus each time my mind and heart goes journeying off toward him. We love each other. But we can't live with broken trust. I don't know if I will be able to trust again. But I needed a break from trying so hard to trust and believe in the face of lying and deceit.

This all is a very very very long way of saying...can you just take a break? If the idea of taking a break terrifies you then look into that. You own that.
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Old 01-05-2012, 10:03 AM
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My own personal belief is that relapse after relapse after relapse is not is a constant attempt to "manage" the use...."manage" the addiction.

it is not complete surrender.

Until total surrender to NEVER GONNA BE ABLE TO DO DRUGS/ALCOHOL again is firmly in place....and tools and program being worked like their life depends on it (because it surely does).....

Then the cycle that loved ones find themselves in is......the same thing.
Trying to manage the addict. Taking a break when they relapse.

Surrender to your own program of it like you wish they would.
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Old 01-05-2012, 10:22 AM
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I agree, YearForMe, I think my ex was desperately trying to manage his use...and "using" tools and resources of recovery to do so. When I came to finally see this it was a new awakening for me. I witnessed that, and I think I had to see that truth in order to let go more than I ever had before.

Maybe relapse is part of recovery in codependency. Its only when you have peeled away all the layers of denial and detached that you can let go with love. People started telling me two years ago to let go, to take a break, to say "see you in a year". I just wasn't ready. I had to hit my own bottom.

Some of us can just listen to the advice and quit, immerse ourselves in recovery and detach, and let go. Some us have to keep getting hurt by addiction (incl lies deceit etc) and keep seeing it, before we finally get exhausted by the monitoring and attempts to control.

Taking a break...even the possibility of a "short term" separation in order to gain clarity and make some discoveries concerning healthy boundaries, self care, self focus, etc. is for some the first step. "Taking a break" is kind of like agreeing to go to rehab. Maybe in that set aside length of time of "treatment" including some space, reading, meetings, SR, etc a person can find some tools and ways to serenity. Taking a break allows space to discover options about detaching.

"Taking a break" removed me from my immersion in my codependent relationship and it has done wonders! Taking a break does not need to imply "going back". It just opens the door to the possibility of life in separation for awhile, something which I just wasn't able to imagine at first!!
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Old 01-05-2012, 10:29 AM
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I said that was it, we are finished. I can't trust him and I can't put myself through this web of lies and deceit.
I don't know what to do. I truly love him but don't want to put myself in a position where I get hurt over and over again. We were trying for a baby!!! (that's obviously off the cards now!!)
You do know what to do, you just did it when you gave him your boundary (1st quote).

Now you get to Naranon, or Alanon (they sometimes have lots more meetings in an area than Naranon, that will fit better with your schedule. You work on YOU. You stand far far back, and Watch his ACTIONS over a long long period of time, to see if they match his words.

Getting and staying clean in prison, is a lot easier than doing so out on the the street IN REAL LIFE.

Addicts LIE. He will say whatever he thinks you want to hear. This is not a person (I am glad you have decided) to have a child with and then subject the child to.

I am very GLAD that you have found us, but sorry for the reasons you had to. Please keep posting and let us know how you are doing as we do care very very much.

Feel free to vent, rant, rave, scream, cry, and yes even laugh at some of 'their antics'. We are with you in spirit.

Love and hugs,
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Old 01-05-2012, 12:45 PM
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Your post reminds me so much of where I was. Like so many have said, I kicked out my ex so many times after the relapses and always went back just to find more lies, deceipt and drugs. Finally, almost a month ago, I took that break and am sticking to it. I had no contact with my ex (until yesterday!!!) for almost a month. I never thought I could do that. The last round involved me telling his parents (again) that I found pills and they sent him to rehab. I received a call from his work number which I didn't answer yesterday from him telling me he wanted to send some money he owed me. He needed my address which I thought was incredibly strange given he had been to my house a million times and could easily find my address online. Anyway, there were texts saying how incredibly sorry he was, that he still loves me and that he's in daily meetings and finally has a sponsor.

My point is that for the first time I can finally feel that I'm NOT going to break down and go back to him. If I hadn't detached and told myself I need to take care of ME for a change and stop worrying about what he's doing with his life, I would still be on the roller coaster ride and destroying myself in the process.

Do I still care about him? Absolutely. Did my heart sink when I heard from him? Absolutely. Do I want him to get better? Absolutely but not more than I care about me getting better. I head to reach that point after so much turmoil that I brought on myslef from continuing to go back break up after break up after break up. If I would have just listened to my instincts and my family and friends a year ago, I would have saved myself alot of grief.

I'm so sorry you are going through this and we all can relate. I'm glad I found this forum. It's helped me to stay strong and realize I'm not the only one going through all of this. I hope it helps you as well.
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