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Do I Stay or Do I Go?
My boyfriend and I have been together nearly a year. Before we started dating we were friends and I knew that he was an addict. He made the decision to get clean for himself and our relationship turned out to be an added bonus. We recently moved in together, everything seemed to be working out, and he was really turning his life around. At the beginning of January I found him in our living room about to use coke instead of his drug of choice - opanas. He confessed that he had used the night before and once just before the holidays. He was profusely apologetic for lying to me and trying to hide it from me. We made plans for him to start going to meetings, as he had quit before on his own. Ten days later he confessed that the night we had our conversation he was so stressed that he started using again - and hard - all of our rent money was gone, all of the money we need to pay our bills was gone. He was a mess but kept saying he couldn't live like this any more and that he wanted it to just stop. He checked himself into rehab two days ago. This morning, a preset alarm on his phone went off and as I was trying to stop it, his text message screen came up. While he had "come clean" about the fact that he stole and lied, as I scanned the screen, it's much, much, much worse than he admitted. I am so proud of him for going into rehab but I feel as if I can never, ever trust him again. The night before he went into rehab he told his parents and I that he owed a guy $120 and he had to pay him off. His txt msg log says otherwise. I am so so proud of him for going into rehab, and I love him very much but I'm struggling with whether our relationship has been so violated that it can never be mended. I know that it's the addiction, not him - he's a generous, caring, loving person when he's clean. But he's also brilliant - as in he pulled an 3.89 GPA in college without ever opening up his engineering textbooks - and it turns out that he's been using his intelligence to cover lies with lies, keeping it all going by telling every person he interacts with just what they want to hear.
Intelligence is just one of the things we share as well as willfulness. I'm concerned that my fierce sense of justice is clouding my commitment to unconditional love - where do you draw the line between supporting your loved one and saving yourself?????
So here I sit, trying to figure out... do I stay or do I go?
Tough choice to make Moxie. Your the one that has to make the decision. All I know is I have been struggling for seven years with Lortab . I have relapsed three times and this the forth time getting clean. I am 63 yrs old , very responsible , good Father and Grandfather to my family. Point I am making is , this addiction is a tough nut to crack. It knows no boundary's as to intelligence or financial status. Wealthy , poor , smart , dumb , it just knows no boundary. You could always separate and see if he is serious about stopping. With relationships its hard to give advice. You obviously love him .
Thank you for the reply FlatsMan. I spoke with a friend, who also went through rehab, earlier today and she suggested that if I felt that I had to step back, that I needed to do it while my boyfriend is in the early stage of rehab so that he can plan his life moving forward on his own/with his parents rather than with me.
I understand that right now, everything needs to be focused on his recovery and supporting him through this process. I'm worried that I'm not going to be able to support him adequately moving forward. I work in public health, with patients with a fast-moving, fatal disease and my job is very demanding. I don't want to short-change him as he struggles through this process.
My boyfriend also went into rehab very angry with me. He had severe cravings the morning we were waiting to find out if a spot had opened up and he was begging me to have "one last pill" and I kept saying no - that I couldn't even afford to buy the dog her food right now, so there was no way I was going to spot him money to buy one last hit. Once his Mom arrived, I had to order him to get in the car. He didn't speak to me the entire ride to the rehab facility until we got there - in the end he held my hand so tightly as we sat in the waiting area. I don't know if he'll even want to see me once he gets visitation privileges.
Any advice on how to be a supportive partner through this process? I don't want to commit to something that I know I won't be able to see through but at the same time life after rehab in our household will never be low-stress - I thrive on my high-stress, highly-demanding job. I just want what's best for him.
Moxie .... Actually HE is the one that needs to make the decision! You can do or say anything that you want, but until he makes the decision to get himself clean it is most likely never going to happen. You sound like an incredible partner, but he will do or say anything to get to his drugs. That is just the way that it is! As you have found out the addict in him will lie, cheat, steal, and manipulate without regard to those that he loves dearly. So sad, but so true! Quite simply, he wants the drugs more than he ever does you, while he is using of course! When he is clean, it is the other way around.
Originally Posted by SideOfMoxie
But your support could, and will, also benefit him if he ever makes the dscision that he has had enough of the merry go round and wants YOU more than those drugs! I personally would give him the benefit of the doubt this time as he does seem to be commited to getting clean. And when clean you say the most wonderful things about him. But like you have also stated, it is just so difficult to ever have that same amount of trust that was there before you found all of this out. But with that said if you truly love him, and it certainly seems as though you really do, maybe you could give him one final chance to get his stuff together for himself, and the sake of your continued lives together. And the ultimatium would be that you will be gone from his life forever, with no other chance to redeem himself!
But then comes the really hard part. You must absolutely make good on your ultimatium to leave him if he doesn't do as he says he will. Your situation has come up here many times and the answers are all almost the same as what I just suggested to you. You really need to make good on any promise or ultimatium that you give him. Give him another chance as it seems that he's worth it. Now this is my opinion only of course. Others may say to just run while you can. He needs to make the decision to get himself clean, and you need to make the decision if you want him either way, using, and getting clean through rehab??
As in how to be a supportive partner, I would only tell him that he has this one chance or opportunity to get himself clean order for the sake of your relationship. And if he does not comply then it is completely over and you will move on to better things. And maybe give him a call or two while he is in the process of getting clean to see how he is doing and showing him your support to do so. The addict needs to make the decision to get themselves clean for sure, but if they know that there lives depend on the love of someone very special such as you then it may just be the shock that he really needs to have! Tough all the way around for sure!
Some here will say that if one of the two people in a relationship is using drugs, then the relationship is completely doomed from start to finish. That may be very true, but I know that at the time if I didn't have the continued support of someone that I loved dearly, I would NEVER had made it to being clean. Sure I wanted it for myself first, but knowing that it also meant that my significiant other was depending on or saying that if I didn't do it this time then she was gone, absolutely made the difference for me! I will fully admit that I am clean because of her! I truly hope and Pray that it can be the same for the two of you as well!
Think about it real hard what you want and what you really would like to happen and just go with it. Think about all the times you had that were the good times, and then how his using changed everything. And then decide that if his getting clean can ever get you back to the kind of relationship that you deserve to have! I wish you the very best! God Bless....Denny
Thank you for the advice Denny. I really appreciate it. I was really struggling with whether I would be able to forgive my boyfriend and let go of my anger and resentment and I think that I'm going to commit to sticking it out, pending my partner's agreement and acceptance of ultimatums/boundaries, because, as you said, he needs something good to hold on to more than ever right now.
Does anyone have advice on when to discuss my terms with him? He's been on no-communication during his detox so he should be able to start making calls every other day for a few minutes in the next day or two, and I will get to visit for an hour this coming weekend. Is this something that I should be discussing with his primary rehab counselor as well? I don't want to undermine the rehab process but I also don't want my partner to have unrealistic expectations moving forward.
When is enough, enough
I've benn an addict to pain meds, coke and hell all drugs for 30 years. I have finally seen the light after 4 years in prison and many relationships burned. It took the love of a good woman to make me see the light and get clean. I will be clean 1 year in 2 weeks and have not hade any problems with relasp or even wanting to. Some addicts never get clean even thou they try. They are just uncapable of truth. Sobriety means change and change means truth. You can not help him, only hender his sobriety. All the things you do out of love only help his addiction take hold. The only thing you can do is tough love. When he's been clean for 6 months to a year then and only then should you try. He has to learn to love himself before he can love you. Let him go if it is ment to be then it will be. This is from the heart of an addict.
Good advice above. I have a couple of comments of my own (I'm never ever short on advice or comment!). The first thing I want to say is that in your first post on this thread you talked about your boyfriend wanting that one last pill before rehab. Sounds like that amazed you. It shouldn't. He was speaking with an addict's mentality and he was probably feeling the joy of withdrawal at that point. Don't get me wrong, you did the right thing in standing firm. Just wanted to point out that he didn't say or do anything that most, if not all, of us addcits would have said or done. When we are using/abusing, we lie and have misplaced our conscious.
I wouldn't hestitate to discuss your rules when you are able to visit him. Don't do it over the phone, face to face works alot better. You may as well put this on the table to get his reaction. Be sure to let him know that this is a one-time offer and any, and I mean ANY breaking of these rules will bring closure to your relationship. You simply won't tolerate drug abuse ever again. Offer him your support so long as he follows the rules and maintains complete and utter honesty with you. Once he comes home, encourage him to discuss how he is feeling and to talk about cravings when and if he has them. Reassure him that if he admits to having cravings that you understand that it's a part of the process of recovery and that it doesn't mean he's going to use if he has the chance. Let him know that while you may understand that he may have cravings that it doesn't give him permission to use. It's just letting him know that you know cravings happen and it's better to talk about them then to avoid the issue or pretend that he isn't feeling them. Hope that makes sense.
At this point, it's probably less important to get into the details of the boundaries you are going to set than it is to be sure he knows that there WILL be boundaries and that you will firmly stand by them. I'm pretty sure that his counselor will agree that it would be of great benefit for you to sit in on some of his sessions. He/she can and probably will help you to develop your new rules and can help your boyfriend to fully understand them as well as to understand why they are necessary.
Finally, don't be afraid to be totally up front with your boyfriend in regard to your feelings of betrayal and the fact that he will need to earn your trust again. Be sure he understands that it will take time. While you are sticking by his side with love and understanding, he has to stick by your side with love and understanding of the fact that once trust if breached, it isn't earned back overnight. He has to prove himself to you and this takes time. There will be times when he will resent your lack of trust and being suspicous and he may as well know now that because you're willing to hang in there with his recovery, he too has to hang in there with yours. Yes, not only the addict needs recovery. Those who love an addict need to recover too.
I hope this helps in just the smallest way. Stay tough and love deeply. If it works, it's so worth it.
"Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars." Kahil Gibran (1883-1931).
Thank you Donnalynn and Cat. We're actually having problems with the rehab program that he's at, so trying to get him transferred has unfortunately taken precedent over trying to work with him and his counselor to start trying to identify appropriate boundaries for post-rehab.
The facility took 12 days to get back to us after we called to request an update from his counselor and to verify that his insurance had kicked in. It's just been one giant headache. His counselor also said that he only meets one-on-one with individual patients twice a month so he "will try" to schedule a family session but it may not work out. Between those issues, the fact that they just repeat the same lectures every week, and that the facility had a fire and a major drug bust in the past few days are leading us to believe that we need to get him moved to a different program. Does anyone have insight as to whether those types of issues (not so much the fire but the delays in communication, limited one-on-one work, limited family counseling, etc) are typical?
Thank you all for your guidance and support. I really appreciate it.
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