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Break-up with a recovering addict... help?

Old 12-20-2017, 01:44 PM
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Break-up with a recovering addict... help?

Non addict here who had an ex girlfriend who is a recovering heroin addict. Was clean from Heroin from 14 months but was addicted to Suboxone. Weíve dated for about 7 months. I came into her life during a dark time. She just got out of an emotionally abusive relationship and I was everything he was not. Understanding, kind hearted and easy to talk to. Despite all of her baggage I saw a human being in her. Underneath that hard shell I saw an affectionate, overall good person in her and I wanted to help her get better.

Recently she made the decision to go to a rehab facility in Florida. We were both originally from New Jersey. I was so happy for her and proud of her. She needed help and she was finally getting it. Weíve kept in touch for about a month and early on she was certain she wanted to come home and work on bettering our relationship. As time went by however it seems like sheís had a change of heart. She told me she might actually stay in Florida and that itís best if we just move on. Weíre 1000 miles apart and we canít stop each other from seeing other people.

Part of me completely understands. She really didnít have anything good going for her at home. She seems happier down there then sheís ever been down at home. Itís probably for the best and I donít want to do anything to prevent her from getting better for my own selfish reasons. Part of me however is also hurt, annoyed and frustrated. All of this hard work and dedication didnít pay off. Iíve helped her with money, showered her with attention and affection, listened to her scary and albeit sad stories. This is the end result? If anything though Iím more frustrated at myself. Did I not do enough? Could I have done any better? Is it okay to be happy for her and frustrated at the same time?

What is this feeling? Why is it eating at me? Have any of you been through something similar? Part of me will always care about her. I hope sheís okay and is doing the right thing. I just donít know what to do. I know I need to let go, I just donít know where to start. Should I keep in contact with her but limit it? Or is this someone I should cut ties with for good and block them from my social media accounts and my phone?
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Old 12-20-2017, 01:59 PM
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Sorry to hear of your situation. It is really hard to give advice but, here goes. Time to move on. When she left for Florida to get clean you should of expected her to start begin a new chapter in her life. That goes for you, too. Don't be angry with her. She might not be strong enough to return to her past environment. Wish her well and learn from your life lesson. You are not alone. Many people break up or get divorced every day. Hope you find the help you need. Good luck with your new life!
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Old 12-20-2017, 02:03 PM
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"All of this hard work and dedication didn’t pay off. "

You may be wrong here. It probably did pay off but it wasn't the payoff you expected. Maybe it did not give you the outcome you wanted but your kindness probably helped her with her recovery.

"I know I need to let go"

Yes you do. Trust me. I have been there. At least in my case she never came back and all I did was extend my own heartache.

If you love something set it free. If it comes back it’s yours. If not, it was never meant to be.
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Old 12-20-2017, 02:13 PM
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Here's my $0.02.

This has a lesson in it for you. I don't know what the lesson is, but I know I personally (now, after enough painful breakups) am very slow to jump into things with anyone. I really get to know them before I even go to their house or kiss them goodnight.

That little rule has saved me more than once. People are really nice and on best behavior on the first few dates, but they will usually hang themselves on even the tiny bit of rope I give them.

If they start talking about their past hard drug addictions or domestic violence or if they talk hatefully about an Ex or their family, or if they like to gamble or love porn or strip clubs, or whatever. Prison time? Smoke pot? Taking pain meds five years after an accident? Heck, I don't even go out with cigarette or vape smokers. Any untreated addiction or anger problem is a dealbreaker for me. If I jump into a situation where there is already serious dysfunction I end up mad at myself for not respecting my own spidey sense.

I don't know, are you maybe a little mad at yourself for not getting out sooner? Sounds like she was having more than a few difficulties in life. Those of us who are "rescuers or fixers" need to examine why that happens, too.

Maybe take a peek in the Friends & Family section.

Welcome to the forums.

https://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/#friends-family
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Old 12-20-2017, 02:17 PM
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All of this hard work and dedication didnít pay off. Iíve helped her with money, showered her with attention and affection, listened to her scary and albeit sad stories. This is the end result? If anything though Iím more frustrated at myself. Did I not do enough?

that's not how healthy YOUNG relationships work - where one person does the heavy lifting all the while keeping score. I do, I do and I do for you and THIS is the thanks i get? It's not that you didn't do ENOUGH, you did TOO MUCH.

her recovery is HER hard work. HER dedication. HER choice. not everyone who comes into our lives or crosses our path is intended to be there for a long time. 7 months is not a very long time.
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Old 12-20-2017, 02:20 PM
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I agree with AAPJ's comment. Your hard work and dedication did pay off, but not the way you wanted it to. You expected a different outcome and things didn't work the way you hoped. Breakups are always hard. I think you can use this as a life lesson/experience where you learned and grew.
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Old 12-20-2017, 02:50 PM
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Hi, Renegade.
Welcome.
Couple of things that I have taken away from this site: 1) not at all uncommon for a relationship to go south, particularly one that is still in early stages, when one of the people goes through rehab.
There are different reasons why this happens, but it does happen.
Recovery isn’t easy. Sometimes it takes everything we have, and there’s just no room for anyone or anything else.
2) also pretty common for the non-addict to feel that he/she tried every way from Sunday to help the addict, and to feel kinda “cheated” that their SO got clean and moved on because now some other person will get to experience this new and improved version of their loved one.
Fact is, you can’t know how her life is really going or going to go.
She could relapse tomorrow, or a year from now.
I hope she doesn’t, but she could.
Life with an addict, even one in recovery as she presumably is, is full of challenges.
Last thing:, this is my opinion only, so take it for what it’s worth:
I get a bit of a rescue vibe from your post, yeah?
Maybe give some thought to that?
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Old 12-20-2017, 04:04 PM
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Hello and welcome,

My first thought is that perhaps she's staying in Florida to keep away from the friends and dealers she knows back home. Heroin is a hell of a drug. I've been to the funeral of someone I knew who relapsed on it. Anything she can do to stay off it is a positive.

It sounds like you did your best in the relationship. That's wonderful, and I'm sure there's other people who will come into your life and love you for it. A long time ago I did my best too and wondered why the relationship didn't work. She wasn't ready for a relationship at that time, and had her own issues she had to work through. I really didn't understand it then, and wanted to help her so much, but I get it now. I think you have to be in a happy place within yourself first to be capable of a relationship.

I also had someone breakup with me a few months after she moved far away. We kept in touch now and then for years, but looking back on it, it probably only prolonged the pain.

I would say that I still love both those people. I wish them every happiness and success in life. But I'm not "in love" with them anymore. Time heals all wounds.

Many years later I met someone else and got married. Of the three relationships, this is honestly the only one that was ever destined to work out.

I hope something in my life resonates with what you are feeling. If I were to offer advice I'd say to let the relationship fade away, but don't feel bad about yourself. I don't regret my experiences anymore, and have a few happy memories to show for it at least.

Good luck.
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Old 12-21-2017, 03:41 PM
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Originally Posted by RenegadeYankee View Post
Non addict here who had an ex girlfriend who is a recovering heroin addict. Was clean from Heroin from 14 months but was addicted to Suboxone. Weíve dated for about 7 months. I came into her life during a dark time. She just got out of an emotionally abusive relationship and I was everything he was not. Understanding, kind hearted and easy to talk to. Despite all of her baggage I saw a human being in her. Underneath that hard shell I saw an affectionate, overall good person in her and I wanted to help her get better.

Recently she made the decision to go to a rehab facility in Florida. We were both originally from New Jersey. I was so happy for her and proud of her. She needed help and she was finally getting it. Weíve kept in touch for about a month and early on she was certain she wanted to come home and work on bettering our relationship. As time went by however it seems like sheís had a change of heart. She told me she might actually stay in Florida and that itís best if we just move on. Weíre 1000 miles apart and we canít stop each other from seeing other people.

Part of me completely understands. She really didnít have anything good going for her at home. She seems happier down there then sheís ever been down at home. Itís probably for the best and I donít want to do anything to prevent her from getting better for my own selfish reasons. Part of me however is also hurt, annoyed and frustrated. All of this hard work and dedication didnít pay off. Iíve helped her with money, showered her with attention and affection, listened to her scary and albeit sad stories. This is the end result? If anything though Iím more frustrated at myself. Did I not do enough? Could I have done any better? Is it okay to be happy for her and frustrated at the same time?

What is this feeling? Why is it eating at me? Have any of you been through something similar? Part of me will always care about her. I hope sheís okay and is doing the right thing. I just donít know what to do. I know I need to let go, I just donít know where to start. Should I keep in contact with her but limit it? Or is this someone I should cut ties with for good and block them from my social media accounts and my phone?
RenegadeYankee, I feel your pain. I too went thru a recent break up from a recovering addict. The reasons for her walking away from the relationship and not wanting to work for it still befuddles me. It's been a few months now and I had to heal and do a LOT of soul searching (that and therapy, Al-Anon and reading books on alcoholics). This is my 2 cents:

Addicts don't process and weigh issues the same way that us non-addicts do. From your perspective, you feel that you two had the foundation of a potentially great relationship and you did all you could to help her get healthy to be able to partake in building this future great relationship. However, her mind is all about the present and how to manage her anxiety, self-loathing, or whatever mental health issue plagues her. She very likely doesn't weigh in all the effort and good you sacrificed on her behalf cause addicts live their lives just "getting through the day" and don't consider the long term like we would. So you see, I suspect that she has reached some sort of manageable level for her addiction and that is comfortable and enough for her right now. Adding you to the equation would upset the apple cart and she can't process that...despite all the good will you showed to her. Addicts tend to have a very focused tunnel vision while living life...that is why they tend to be very selfish and self-absorbed.

In my case, my ex recovering alcoholic gf did the same to me. She struggled with coping with the daily ups and downs of work and the pressures of managing our relationship was too much for her. So she cut me out. My therapist explained this to me that unfortunately, she had no choice but to cut me out cause there was no other way to manage her anxiety. When we had the break up talk, she did say a few telling things. One was that her anxiety level is much lower letting me go and that she wasn't sure if breaking up was the "right" decision in the long run...but that was how she "felt" at that moment. I too did a lot for her and tried to help her through her troubles, but in the end, I almost feel that she just didn't have the emotional bandwidth to "manage" a relationship. The life of an addict is very much about resource management. I do believe she still loves me...but as the song goes..."Sometimes Love Just Ain't Enough"...
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Old 12-21-2017, 05:01 PM
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Hi and welcome renegadeyankee

I'm sorry it doesn't look like it's going to work out but these things happen to everyone not just those involved with addicts or peeps in recovery - if it's not right it's not right.

The right relationship will weather all problems.

I think too with the right relationship it's less like a renovation that might or might not 'pay off' and more like a loving union of souls

You sound like a nice person. All the best for finding the right one

D
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Old 12-21-2017, 05:14 PM
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Thank you all for the support and advice.. it’s much appreciated..

Quick update.. it’s been a little over a week since we’ve decided to split. Already she’s seeing another guy this early in recovery after our breakup. Apparently this man is also a recovering heroin addict but one more advanced in his recovery than she is. He’s a chef and has used that to cope with it. I honestly don’t know what to say about this but I’m starting to understand whatt she was about..

Always went for guys a little older than her (she’s 22, her ex at home before me 32, I’m 28 and the guy now is 30). They have to have decent paying steady jobs. That way they can give her money if needed. Has to be a decent enough guy to listen and want to help. Can’t seem to do it on her own. Now I realize that now that she’s never coming home, I’m no longer “useful” to her.

I feel a bit cheated, but I’m not going to be bitter at her. Addiction is a disease and I understand that. This is probably a manipulative behavior of hers as an addict she needs to figure out and work on. I pity this man who is sucked into this. I fell for the same scheme back at home and now he’s fresh new prey. He will eventually realize that he’s doing all the heavy lifting in this.

From this point forward, no more contact. I’ve blocked her phone number and all her social media accounts. Blocked all friends and family members too. I just can’t do this anymore. I took a gamble on this person and I was only kidding myself. I’m done with these arguments and hurtful texts blaming me for everything whenever we get into a disagreement. Sure I’ve made mistakes, but one of them were unprovoked. And for whatever reason, her attitude has changed since recovery. It’s almost like she was “nicer” to me on drugs. Either way, I e had enough. Time to throw in the towel.
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Old 12-21-2017, 05:40 PM
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Wise words RenegadeYankee! Well done.
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Old 12-21-2017, 07:41 PM
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Your needs

You have you ask yourself...what did she do for you? A good friend asked me that about my ex recovering addict gf, and I struggled answering that question. I realize our relationship was almost all about her needs. Not balanced nor healthy.


Originally Posted by RenegadeYankee View Post
Thank you all for the support and advice.. itís much appreciated..

Quick update.. itís been a little over a week since weíve decided to split. Already sheís seeing another guy this early in recovery after our breakup. Apparently this man is also a recovering heroin addict but one more advanced in his recovery than she is. Heís a chef and has used that to cope with it. I honestly donít know what to say about this but Iím starting to understand whatt she was about..

Always went for guys a little older than her (sheís 22, her ex at home before me 32, Iím 28 and the guy now is 30). They have to have decent paying steady jobs. That way they can give her money if needed. Has to be a decent enough guy to listen and want to help. Canít seem to do it on her own. Now I realize that now that sheís never coming home, Iím no longer ďusefulĒ to her.

I feel a bit cheated, but Iím not going to be bitter at her. Addiction is a disease and I understand that. This is probably a manipulative behavior of hers as an addict she needs to figure out and work on. I pity this man who is sucked into this. I fell for the same scheme back at home and now heís fresh new prey. He will eventually realize that heís doing all the heavy lifting in this.

From this point forward, no more contact. Iíve blocked her phone number and all her social media accounts. Blocked all friends and family members too. I just canít do this anymore. I took a gamble on this person and I was only kidding myself. Iím done with these arguments and hurtful texts blaming me for everything whenever we get into a disagreement. Sure Iíve made mistakes, but one of them were unprovoked. And for whatever reason, her attitude has changed since recovery. Itís almost like she was ďnicerĒ to me on drugs. Either way, I e had enough. Time to throw in the towel.
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Old 12-21-2017, 08:46 PM
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Kinda saw that coming.. She used you as a 'rebound' after the guy before you bounced or called her on her stuff,so she had to find new 'hunting grounds'. I've never met a person(chick) that tells you how great their previous relationship(s) were..NEVER! Always some mistreatment,infidelity,ect..Addict or not..Chalk it up as a lesson learned and get on with your now drama free life. Still sucks though,I know. Been there a few times.
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Old 12-22-2017, 10:01 AM
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That’s the ticket, Renegade.
And it isn’t just addicts who are always looking for the soft landing.
I was a young, single mother in my twenties.
Didn’t have much money, always struggling.
I looked at every guy I met as, “How can this man help me?”
Very transactional.
Not proud of it, and thankfully, got to a better place by going back to school, but there it is.
Good luck.
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