Boyfriend struggling with cocaine and alcohol

Old 11-23-2019, 11:34 AM
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Boyfriend struggling with cocaine and alcohol

Hello, this is my first entry - I'm just hoping for some advice as this is all completely new to me.

Yesterday my boyfriend of 6 years told me that he has a problem with cocaine, and that he's had it for several years we've been together. I had no idea, and I know how naive that makes me sound. I was aware that he's smoked weed a fair amount in the past (we've done that together a couple of times), but this news was completely out of the blue to me. He's been having problems with alcohol too (something I already knew about), and he said he wants to go sober.

He told me that the addiction came from work and stress related issues. He was a chef for most of our relationship and a lot of his colleagues used cocaine to cope with the long hours and the stress of the job. He said that he feels like he relies on the cocaine, and that he wants to recover because his father died from alcohol and drug related issues when he was fairly young.
I actually found out about the cocaine addiction from his Mum, because he had asked her to manage his money a few days ago so that he doesn't have access to it. He said the arrangement he's made is that he has to ask for money and explain the reason, before it would then be transferred to me so I can then monitor exactly how it is spent. He's spent all his savings that we were putting towards a deposit for a house one day, plus he owes me nearly £3000 for other debts - I asked if these were truly other debts and he assured me that they were (credit cards and loans).

I feel completely heartbroken and furious about the situation, mainly because he didn't tell me for years and that it's put our relationship on jeopardy. He also told me yesterday and that he's made a local clinic appointment for next week. I understand that he wants to recover and it must have been embarrassing to ask his Mum to manage his money (he's nearly 32), but I'm completely distraught about the fact that he has kept me in the dark for years and lied to me. He told me that he understands if I leave him, but this is where I'm stuck.

I feel very conflicted about what I should do now because I care about him and I want him to get better, I do still love him and I think there's still a part of me that wants a future with him. On the other hand, he now feels like a stranger to me and I wonder if I'll ever be able to completely trust him again. We've been living together (renting) for about 5 years and thankfully we don't have children. I haven't opened up about this to my family because I know they'll tell me to leave him and I don't want that decision made for me.

I talked to my best friend earlier today and her advice was to put myself first and focus on my own wellbeing and then think about a decision for our relationship. But I'd really appreciate any advice that you have for me, or suggestions of the next step to take.

Thank you x

Last edited by j3ss; 11-23-2019 at 11:41 AM. Reason: Missing information
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Old 11-23-2019, 12:08 PM
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I agree with your friend, she is absolutely right. You don't have to decide in the next 15 minutes. Start taking care of yourself and let him do what he feels is best for himself.

It is good that he is being proactive by seeing a doctor and giving his money to his mother to keep. However, it is not her job or yours to monitor how he spends it. It sounds like he really wants help, so, maybe give it a little more time and see what happens.

Although, if the years of lying is something you just cannot abide, then you must do what you feel the need to do. Do you feel you could never trust him again, even if he is able to go totally sober? A relationship without trust is no relationship at all. Hugs to you.
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Old 11-23-2019, 04:12 PM
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The only time I felt physically threatened by my adult addicted son, was when I refused to give him the money he asked me to hold until he was 6 months clean and sober...this was week two and he admittedly wanted to buy drugs.

In the end I gave him it all, told him I would no longer enable or try to control his addiction and I gave him 1 day to leave my home and find another place to stay...or a shelter...or a rehab....his choice.

My point is that we, you, his mom. or I, have absolutely no control of an addict's choices...however bad.

Please protect your money in an account in your name and then protect your bank card well.

Like Suki suggested, take time to take care of you. His actions will show if his words mean anything. He lied to you for years and has proven himself untrustworthy so think seriously if you can ever trust him again. Make a good life for yourself before you decide if you want to share it with him or anybody for a while.

You cannot change the past but you can control your future and make healthy choices for yourself.

Good luck.
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Old 11-23-2019, 05:22 PM
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He feels like a stranger because in some pretty big ways he is. He has this second life he's living. He is not only high half the time (or more), so not in his "regular" mind, he is out buying drugs, talking to drug dealers. Spending money you could use to buy the house you spoke of. Sure he has credit card and other "legit" debt. I would hazard a guess that a lot of that debt is cash advances.

When he says he is doing something as innocent as say, picking up pizza for dinner, will you now wonder if that's pizza with a pit-stop for some cocaine? For six years he has been lying to you.

Sadly it's not that uncommon of a story. I've seen quite a few people post here that their SO is a drug addict or even an alcoholic (which is easier to spot, generally) and they didn't know.

There is a lot to consider, as Suki said, no need to make a decision in the next few minutes, take some time to consider all of this, you are probably still in shock.

Recovery takes times, while he might get sober right away actually recovering from drugs takes a long time. Many addicts use it as a coping mechanism. Don't be surprised if he starts going through withdrawal or you see personality changes. Recovery is hard stuff.

If you were considering having children, that might also be a consideration here because you would probably want him to have at least a couple of years of solid sobriety before adding children to the mix.

I agree with your friend, look out for yourself here, protect yourself and your feelings.
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Old 11-24-2019, 10:38 AM
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this is a lot to take in. especially if you had no idea, or even a suspicion.

coke addiction is a beast. altho your bf might be making the right sounds and even taking some action, it's likely to be a rough, bumpy road. plus there is more going on than he has revealed....there is always more.

his dishonesty, secret life, spending habits, lifestyle unknown to you are also out there now. and it can't get stuffed back in the box. the life you thought you knew with this man is forever changed.

whew. i strongly caution you to not get roped into being the $$ police. granted you need to do what you can to preserve funds. but being in charge of his allowance and doing forensic accounting on his expenditures is not healthy - you become judge, jury and prison guard. this is of course your choice, but with your lack of knowledge on the topic of addiction, and how unaware you have been of his drug use, it's really not the job for you.

it's really ok for you to call a time out - consider separating or spending time apart. if he wants help, he can find it in AA, NA, an addiction specialist, treatment, etc. i'm a former addict as is my partner - we found recovery independently of each other for the most part. i made the decision first, but my decision to quit did not rely upon him joining me. in fact i was ready to pack a bag and go and not look back. his path was slower to start and not all that smooth. it was all too easy for me to get snoopy, not trust him, be suspicious - and that is a hard mind set to get OUT of.

there is a lot good reading here to absorb. i hope you take the time to read the "stickies" at the top of this forum. head up on to the newcomers section - read the challenges and setbacks of those trying to recover. remember you didn't sign up for this and thus you are not OBLIGATED to stick around and try to help FIX it.
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Old 11-24-2019, 11:56 AM
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Thank you to all of you for your kind words and advice. I've been thinking about everything non stop all weekend and I'm still feeling very indecisive about it all. I think I'm going to see how his first clinic session goes and take everything one day at a time. But you're all right - no big decisions need to be made right away.

He's pretty much kept his distance since I found out about it all, but we did talk a little last night. He didn't give me much of a response to any of my questions, apart from the fact that he's sorry and he didn't tell me for years because he didn't want to lose me. He also said that he's been suffering from depression and anxiety because of the addition, which in the past he said stems from work stress and long hours. I've also suffered from work-related anxiety and been on medication while we've been together and I was completely open with him about it all, despite how much of a failure I felt and that I felt that I was the one "letting him down." Which now feels like a punch in the gut considering this new turn of events.

I am worried about his Mum and I "being in charge of his money" because of the stress that comes with it, but for now I know that as long as he doesn't have access to it, he can't use it to buy more. He doesn't have access to my money, and I'm considering changing the PIN codes on my cards since he's used them before (with my consent, but lying about what he was doing with the money he withdrew).

I haven't slept that well and I'm worried about going into work tomorrow (I'm a primary school teacher), because I'm normally not very good at hiding my emotions, so if someone asks me how I am or how my weekend was, I think I might break down in front of everyone.

Once again, thank you for your words. Sending love and hugs back to you all. X
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Old 11-24-2019, 03:43 PM
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Changing your pin numbers might seem a bit like a "betrayal" but it absolutely isn't. He can't control himself around money and drugs, he has proven that to you very clearly, no question. He has asked his Mom to take all his money and run it by you. Your money is not safe with him.

Please change those pins, lock down your accounts, if you have a joint account that you use for anything I would get rid of it. He can deposit money in to your account for joint expenses if that is usually the norm.

Now that part does not make you the "money police" you are just protecting your own finances there and that's just common sense at this point. The whole money via Mom via you thing is a different issue. I mean you can try it if you like but how will you settle disagreements?

When you come between an addict and his drugs, look out, you will always be secondary, everyone is, including the addict.

I would also suggest that you immediately set up a payment plan for him to pay you back the £3000. Protect yourself, emotionally and financially, that's really the most important thing for you right now.

Perhaps you can take the day off work tomorrow? If not, all you can do is steel yourself. This might sound silly but practice maybe, in the mirror or just to yourself. Hey how are you, smile and say good, you?
How was your weekend? Not bad at all! By tomorrow you will have your responses set. Another thing to try, when someone says how are you, don't think of him, think of your cat or dog or your favourite movie, whatever brings you happiness.

Keep reading around, the more you know about addiction (for you, not him) the better.

You might also want to check out the F&F of alcoholics forum too, as it's not as quiet as this one, feel free to post over there too, of course, if you like.
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Old 11-25-2019, 03:07 AM
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Monitoring managing or restricting his money wont work. He either wants these drugs or doesn't. If he does want them he will get them one way or another.

Also even if his mom is managing his money you work & are paying bills & providing living expenses for both him & you. So the financial burden from his addictions still fall on you.

Unfortunately you cant trust anything he says. At this point you probably only know the tip part of an iceberg. Its the hidden larger part which you don't know.

Your story while very sad is also very common.

Please take the time to educate yourself concerning alcohol, weed, & cocaine addition. Its ugly. I don't make it that way its just the way it is.

Please take care of yourself.
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