Advice on how to deal with a loved one's relapse after 9.5 years of sobriety?



My fiancee and I have been together 9 years and he was clean 9.5 years before he relapsed about 6 months ago, so I have never know him as a drunk/ pill head and I promise you I don’t t like this version of him at all! He is loud and disrespectful and he has never been that way to me or my daughter’s. He went to treatment for 17 days and came home and I immediately knew he wasn’t serious about it bc the way he acted and he relapsed 2 weeks later! He s going back to treatment tomorrow and I promise you if he isn’t serious this time I refuse to live this life again! I was married for 16 years to an addict that was one mean S.O.B. and I have to love myself at some point! I don’t know why he started after 9.5 years bc he was so proud of his sobriety


Wow! 9 1/2 years is awesome. I guess this is just a reminder that recovery is a lifelong process and the risk of relapse is always there. Was there something that triggered this? Did you see any signs leading up to this? Was he involved active recovery groups? My S/O has struggled his whole life. This year he made 4.5 months sober and I was devastated. I can only imagine how you must feel especially since you didn’t know him prior to his sobriety.

Dealing with and loving a person in active addiction is not easy as you know from your previous marriage. You may have to set up some serious boundaries for yourself and your daughters. Are these his daughters too? How are your daughters handling this?

Example boundaries I’ve had to set up with my S/O:
I cannot have him around me or my kids when he’s drunk.
I will block him on text or phone if he gets nasty Or negative.
I will not go to stores with him when he is drunk.
I will not come over his apartment when he’s drunk.
He must be in recovery for us to move forward in our relationship.

Obviously, everyones boundaries will be different based on each situation. My S/O is very mean when drinking. So my boundaries have to be very strict to protect myself and others.

The other thing that’s important is self care. For example, my S/O was being kind of negative today. Not sure if he was drinking or being a dry drunk. In the past I would have wallowed in this behavior. Maybe laid around and let myself get depressed. Not saying I didn’t get upset or have tears. But today instead of wallowing, I went out into my garden, made dinner, and enjoyed my day. I also blocked him when he started to get too negative. Self-care might include gardening, yoga, meditation, getting a massage, seeing friends, reading, therapy, or groups such as Alanon. For me Alanon and other recovery groups had helped a ton. Therapy has helped and keeping close to my friends has helped too.

My thoughts are with you. You are not alone.


Thank you so much for your response! He went back in to rehab on Thursday and apologized to both of my daughter’s, my mother and cried when he kissed our Granddaughter ( 20 months old) goodbye. The girls are mine 22 and 24 still living at home my 24 year old is special needs, he is so great with her! He called me today and sounds really positive and told me he misses me and the kids and that he is so sorry for putting us through a living hell! Yes we did see little signs like slacking on his meetings and work got very rough. Idk he told me to never think any of this is my fault bc it is his problem and he will get back to the old him. I’m praying to God he will bc he is an amazing man and I feel blessed to have him

In our lives just not like this! I have to love myself and feel like more than a door mat! He went from a man that had NEVER raised his voice at me in 9.5 years to cocky ass! I know he loves all of us he just needs to learn self love! Please pray for us and I will pray for you!