Anxious with the ambiguity of our relationship


#1

Hello,
My boyfriend has 54 days. When he first got home from rehab, I was just so happy to have him back. I missed him so much. I was so proud of him. I was so READY to join him on his journey.

But now? Now I feel… lost. I know we are in no position to make any decisions about our relationship. I know his recovery is the priority. But… I just finished a year where his addiction was his priority. And the parallels between the two are striking. In his addiction he forgot my birthday. In his new recovery he could not take the time to do much of anything for my birthday. In his addiction our physical intimacy was ZERO. In his recovery his focus on physical intimacy lies primarily around getting a need met that he was unable to “make happen” before. In his addiction all we talked was him. In his recovery all we talk about is him.

Yes I practice great self care. I attend Al Anon 5 days a week. I have a successful career as a social worker. Ive raised two amazing young men all on my own. I have an amazing “village” of friends who are my “family.”

And yet? I feel “stuck” in this weird limbo of a relationship where ZERO of my relationship needs are met. Ok. Not “zero.” But the “typical” healthy relationship benefits I so want from him (not anyone else. I LOVE this man,) are close to non-existent and while intellectually I KNOW we are just not there yet, emotionally I’m feeling really sad. And slightly cheated out. Which then makes me feel like an asshole.

I feel like I’v waited SO LONG to feel cherished and loved and now that I have the real him back, here I am. Still waiting. And being supportive. And loving him hard. And I wont stop doing that.

But a small part of me feels…

Invisible,


#2

When my husband first went into recovery, his counselor as well as my therapist said, “His recovery is going to come first for a while.” But in my own therapy, I also learned that this didn’t mean my needs didn’t come in at all. A part of your loved one’s recovery is about learning how to be in healthy relationships with people, and that means listening to other people’s needs and doing his best to meet them, as well. That is amazing that you are practicing self care. Have you considered couples therapy with your boyfriend? Therapy sessions with my husband were so helpful in teaching us how to communicate with one another, and how we could both ensure we were meeting each other’s needs while not setting unhealthy expectations for each other. We cannot be everything to our partner all of the time, but we can do our best to be there for them, wherever we are in our healing process. At the very least, expressing these feelings with your loved one might help. We can never know what the other person if fearing, feeling, or thinking unless we talk to one another. :pray::sparkles:


#4

This easily could’ve been me asking this. My boyfriend (or not, I really don’t know) just moved out of rehab into a sober living apartment. We talk for about 10 minutes a day most days. He had passes twice when he was in rehab, and both times he called me and we were intimate each time. Unfortunately, he can’t leave the sober living apartment by himself for two weeks because it’s new. But he says the second he’s able to, he’s coming to see me. All of this makes me feel like we are still together. But I still feel stuck in limbo too. He hasn’t said he loves me (I’m afraid to say it first again), he doesn’t call me babe like he used to, or any of those little things. But I’m so afraid to ask him because I don’t want to do anything to jeopardize how far he’s gotten in just a little over a month. Sometimes I feel selfish because it’s not fair. But really, it is. He needs to do what he needs to do to better himself. I love him so much that his happiness that I’m now seeing (for the first time) is just more important than whether or not we’re boyfriend/girlfriend still.


#3

Thank you very much for your supportive response.
We will attend couples therapy as part of his IOP, so I am grateful for that. Each day brings insight, along with new hurdles, but I know that this is “normal” within the context of recovery.
It’s just really hard sometimes :slight_smile: