Dating a Recovering Addict

Old 02-27-2017, 10:44 PM
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Dating a Recovering Addict

Hello, I posted in the newcomers forum but I thought I would post here too to see what other responses I would get.

I met someone a few months ago and it was amazing. He was everything I could ever ask for in a partner. Things were going really well and really quickly. Within 2 months, he moved in with me. I even met his family. He told me when we first dated that he has a history with opiate addiction but he is in recovery and has been clean for 6 months. I didn't really know anything about this and decided I will still give him a chance because it was a part of his past.

I was so wrong. He relapsed within a month of living with me and I confronted him. He denied it of course. I got other people involved and he agreed to move to a sober-living house. I watched him detox on his own and helped him move his things out. We agreed to continue our relationship but I could tell he was really ashamed of himself and was really unsure about us. That hurt because I was so in love with him and I couldn't get myself to let him go. I realize now that I am codependent and plan on attending Nar-Anon and Al-Anon meetings to help me learn how to take care of myself. Currently, I am reading Codependent No More and it has been really helpful.

He recently told me he can't drag me down this road with him and he just couldn't live with himself hurting one more person in his life. He said he always worked on his recovery for other people but this time he wants to work on it for himself. He said if I'm part of his life, I will be a distraction and he will get sober for the wrong reasons. He said that he can't love me right now because he doesn't even love himself right now. He also said that he didn't want the label of a relationship because he is unable to take care of me right now and it would hurt his pride. He has not been sober a whole year and he has been battling this for 10+ years. Right now, I feel severely alone and depressed. I am trying my best to fill my time by keeping myself busy but I can only do so much until I feel so broken again.

Anyways, I agreed to give him space so we decided to stay friends as we still go to church together every Sunday. We also decided we would re-evaluate the relationship once he is clean for 90 days. I am using this time apart from him to work on myself and my codependency issues and giving him the time and space he needs to work on his recovery.

I have a few questions about all of this. Is it right for me to hope that something could work out between us later on down the road? I plan on setting boundaries by still limiting how often we see each other and taking things extremely slow if we end up together again. I am learning how to do that through meetings, books, journaling, and lots of prayer.

Something that would also help me is knowing what early sobriety looks like and feels like. Recovering addicts, what sorts of emotions were going through your head during the first few months? I met him when he was about 6 months clean - is there a chance he will be like that again when he's clean 90 days?
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Old 02-28-2017, 05:19 AM
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From a mom's point of view: He's right. He needs to concentrate on himself. NA says their clients should avoid any major changes in the first year of recovery... Meeting and moving in with a new gf qualifies in my opinion. You did the right thing for him by getting him to go to sober living. Continue to be helpful, by backing away and giving him space and time.
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Old 02-28-2017, 06:05 AM
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Is it right for me to hope that something could work out between us later on down the road?
My first thought is, that statement is no different than if he said, maybe somewhere down the road I can take opiates again and not abuse them.

My second thought is, there is always hope but hope is never a plan.

Down grading your relationship, status to "just friends" is how we codies hold onto hope and we plan on that relationship to happen down the road. Similar to an addict/alcoholic saying I’ll just drink beer or just smoke pot……..not fully letting go of the obsession.

You need to respect his wishes of not being in a relationship, giving him space and staying out of his recovery. That’s hard for a codie to do when your end game is to secure a relationship with him. Your thinking is how he’s going to be in 90 days, what’s he going to be like in 90 days when the questions you should be asking is how will you be in 90 days especially if you truly work on your codependence and totally give up your drug of choice (him) and allow him to fully focus on himself.

His addiction is life long, he has a 10+ year history of drug abuse that’s not going to resolve itself it 90 days, it may take years. The drinking and the drugging are only symptoms of much deeper issues that he needs to work on and a relationship of any kind especially one with a codependent who’s hell bent on securing one with him, will only divert him away from what he needs to do.

Often the most loving, kindest and caring thing we can do for them is to let them go and respect their wishes, not our wants.
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Old 02-28-2017, 09:48 AM
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if he couldn't handle a relationship at six months without moving too fast, moving in together and then relapsing, he certainly won't be any BETTER able to do so with only 90 days! to be honest - he cant do both.

you want a timeline?

IF he remains 100% clean and sober for one full YEAR, with no slips, no relapses, and remains dedicated to the recovery program of his choice....then maybe. see he is in a life and death struggle here. he's not fighting a bad cold. he is fighting against an illness that will NEVER go away, and he will always be exactly ONE bad decision away from returning to active addiction. addiction altho in remission is always a part of our present.

that in such a short span of time, now apart, you feel so "severely alone and depressed" and "broken" gives you a very good place to start on your own recovery and healing. while it is good for you to learn more about addiction, that remains HIS problem to solve. i see you are reading CNM, very good! learn about what makes YOU tick.
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