Boyfriend in Rehab


My boyfriend has been in rehab for 2 weeks now, and I have come to the realization that I don’t think I’m going to be a part of his life when he gets out. He doesn’t ever start a conversation with me, I have to. And when I say things like “I miss you,” the conversation ends. I’m done being upset/sad about it. It just sucks because if it wasn’t for me, he probably wouldn’t have gotten help like he is now. I helped him so immensely while his addiction broke me in every way possible. I’ve since gotten sober myself, which is why he probably isn’t talking to me. I feel like he was just using me, and now that he’s sober, there’s no room for me in his life anymore. I still have a good majority of his things at my apartment, so there still is a little thread of hope that I will see him again. But I just don’t know anymore. I think I need to just accept the fact that it’s over, it was just the drugs and his addiction that made our relationship work. But being sober, I’m still just as in love with him.

Any comments or suggestions, anything really would help.

Thanks everyone! I’m really struggling with this.


Hi @Stephanie_Miron - Welcome to this space! I’m sorry you’re in this situation. Even when our loved ones have found recovery, it can be incredibly hard to be away from them while they’re in rehab, taking care of themselves. There are so many unknowns, and fear of the unknown can be so overwhelming. I’m glad your boyfriend has been able to make the space to take care of himself.

Recovery can seem very selfish at times. When my husband was in early recovery, my therapist and his counselor would warn me - “It’s going to be a lot about him for a good year. Maybe even longer.” Now that didn’t mean that my feelings and needs were ignored, but it did mean that in many cases, his recovery came first. That meant that some days he wouldn’t be himself, he wouldn’t be able to give me what I needed, and I learned to accept that he was going through a very difficult time and to give him space and support where/when needed.

In the meantime, I took care of myself because I was going through a very difficult time, as well. I went to my own therapist, I started going to Al-Anon, I learned about myself and how to love myself.

Some things that have been the most important to me as I navigate recovery: Let go of expectations. Be open to new ideas. Recovery is not a straight line. Slips do not mean failure. Empathy and gratitude are super powers. Be patient. Progress, not perfection. Take it one day at a time. Do the work.

What are some things you are doing to take care of yourself while he is in rehab?


Hi Stephanie,

I’m sorry that I have no words of advice for you, I am feeling very much in the same position - the future of my relationship seems unsteady at best and over at worst. I find it’s hard to let go of that codependency you mentioned in your previous reply when you’ve spent so long fighting for somebody else, even just to keep them alive, never mind navigating getting them into treatment. It’s so difficult to let go. I almost feel like I’m giving up on them.

I am currently struggling with the question, if I’m already envisaging a future without him, have I already made my mind up? If you honestly feel you have a future with your boyfriend, maybe hang fire and see what the near future holds - but have enough knowledge and courage in yourself to know when to walk away. Take this opportunity whilst he is in rehab to rest, concentrate on and take care of yourself, start to lay strong foundations for your future - whatever it may be.

You’ve shown yourself in your post to be a persistent and genuinely caring person - please don’t forget that. I wish you all the very best.



I’ve been trying my best to keep myself busy so that I don’t think about it. I feel like I’ve become so co-dependent lately that I’m not sure what to do with myself when I’m forced to be alone. I’m trying to learn that it is okay and I will be okay on my own. I’ve been hanging out with my friends more. I’ve been doing things (hobbies) that I used to do for fun. I’ve been writing in a journal everyday too, and that has helped immensely. I would love to go see a therapist but money is not so good right now.

Mostly, I’ve gotten a lot of better than that first night I dropped him off at rehab. The nights are still hard though. It’s not the fact that he’s not there next me, at least I don’t think so. I wake up at least once every hour throughout the night. So I find myself going to bed way early just so I get a decent amount of sleep in between constantly waking up.

I know he’s where he needs to be right now, and that he needs to be doing whatever he needs to do in order to get better. And if that’s without me (whether that’s right now or after he gets out even), I just need to learn to accept it. He needs to do what he needs to do, not what I want him to do. If he wants me, he’ll let me know. So I’m just letting it go. If I hear from him, great. If I don’t, I just have to be okay with that.

Thank you so much for replying. It helps a lot being able to talk to people.


I want to add that you deserve a huge congratulations on your own sobriety as well! I read this and think about how much healing has taken place as a result of your relationship, both for you and your significant other, and regardless of the outcome, it sounds like you’re both going to be in a much better place as a result of it. Right now this may be hard to see and appreciate, as you’re dealing with all these emotions about whether or not you’ll end up together and relearning who you are without the context of loving someone in active addiction, but that will come with time. He’s very lucky to have had your support during his struggles-- it may have very well saved his life–and maybe this space will give you the opportunity to dedicate that time and energy to your own healing, which could be a real blessing.

Sending you strength! And hopes for a good night’s sleep :heart_eyes:


I do see a future for him and I. I’ve always seen it. But I think for the sake of my mental health, I just need to disconnect myself from the equation and let him decide. Let him talk to me. Let him come back to me when he’s out. At least by then, I’ll be already starting to let go. And if he does come back to me, even better.

Thank you so much for your kind words.


Love love love this response @Tlee22

Sometimes for me still encountering my bf I’m active addiction and denial, it’s hard to see that regardless of the outcome, there are still major blessings hidden in all of the pain and trauma. I still find myself so fearful of being without my relationship. Even when it mostly results in my neglecting my own well-being to focus on all the turmoil. I know it has to be some type of trauma bond or something. Bc these situations definitely are traumatic to those of us on the other end of the scale. But also to the addicts themselves.

I too struggle with control. Controlling the narrative, thinking I can have some control over the addiction. Which helps me to have a sense of hope I think too. But I am absolutely there with you on the worry and constant thinking and observing and analyzing every tiny action, behavior, etc. I can’t necessarily offer any advice bc my guy hasn’t been to any long term trmt facilities. But I do know how lonely it feels when they don’t have the capacity to give us what we want and need bc of their own issues. We work so hard for crumbs here and there. But we are choosing to do that. I’ve come to accept where things are. They’re exactly how they’re supposed to be bc that is what is taking place. @Karilyn says it much more eloquently that I just did lol but settling into the acceptance that it’s okay if I don’t have a plan, or can anticipate what’s next. It’s totally cool if I don’t know if I want to stay or leave or what I want. It’s all perfectly acceptable and eventually, I’ll get to where I’m supposed to be. In this situation and in general.


Just an update: He got a pass tonight and called me. I got to spend time alone with him and it was great. He looks so much better. And happy. Even though we didn’t have “the talk,” I feel like so much weight has been lifted off of my chest. It will get better. :blush:


Congrats! So many wins!


How’s it going? I will say my best friend/boyfriend just entered rehab and they have very strict call and visitation rules. He did call me briefly today but I won’t be able to see him for over a week and he can only call for like 10 minutes every other day. I hope all is going well for you and your boyfriend. :heart:


It’s going so great! He moved to a sober living apartment last week, and we talk almost every day. He is so happy. The way we left things when I dropped him off at rehab, made me think I was never going to see him again. I don’t even care at this point if he is my boyfriend or not. I’m just happy that he’s doing so good and that we’re at a place that we can be good again, even as friends. I still hope there’s a chance for us, but I’ll be alright if there’s not. I’m not going to ask until he’s on his own though. I don’t want to do anything to jeopardize how far he’s gotten in such a short time.


I feel like I jynxed myself because I just got a call from him tonight asking to come get him because he doesn’t like the sober living home he just transferred to. He said there are way too many rules. I told him he shouldn’t do it because he’s not gonna get to go back if he leaves now. I didn’t really get much of a response but all he said was “I’m going to talk to them to see if I can stay.” And that was the end of the conversation.
It sounds fishy to me. What do I do if he just shows up at my apartment? He’s been doing so good but it’s only been a little over a month since he started rehab and a week since he moved to the sober living house. Of course I’d love him to come back, but I feel like I’d be setting myself up for failure again.


Well, I talked to him today and I got the answer to my beginning question. I guess we were never together. He told me he got a girlfriend a couple of days ago. But it would still be cool if I gave him rides to places and that I wouldn’t throw out his stuff. I told him I wouldn’t throw out his stuff but I’m not helping in giving him rides or a place to stay anymore. He got kicked out of his sober living home today because “he tested them too much.” So he’s going to stay at the homeless shelter which requires a clean urine test. I bet about $100, that he’s calling me by the end of the week begging for a place to sleep because he couldn’t stay sober anymore.

He says he’s just trying to be a good man, bullshit. He knew what he was doing all along. I should just throw his stuff out because I’m not sure I can handle seeing him again after this. After talking to him, all I can think about is not being sober. He is the most toxic thing in my life.


This is tricky. I agree it sounds fishy. Why does he have to ask them if he can stay? I would say you need to do what’s best for you and your safety and sobriety right now. What’s your bottom line? Does he have to be following the program in your mind for things to work on your end? Also, I would say his recovery is his job and not yours. He needs to figure this out. I often find that my S/O tends to say things are “too much” or “too strict“ when he’s struggling most with his addiction or about to relapse. For example, after being Sober for 59 days in the beginning of 2019, he said it was too much for him to go to a meeting every day. At first I was sympathetic to this until he relapsed for the rest of 2019. I finally realized his idea of recovery or “Justin’s program” was not working at all. I also had to start putting better boundaries in place such as not going over when he was drunk or taking him to stores while under the influence. Finally I started to say, “if it’s not too much for you to walk back and forth to a liquor store all day, then it’s not too much too attend a meeting once per day.” I told him if he put half the energy he puts into drinking into recovery, he might find more positive outcomes. He agreed, but addiction is tough. It puts a strong hold over the mind. It tricks the mind into thinking everything else (recovery, following a program, meetings) is too much. I’m not saying this is what’s happening with your boyfriend. Maybe he’s just having a moment. And that’s ok. But in my experience, my S/O often used sneaky manipulation tactics to get me on board with his choices. It worked for a bit. But I know in my heart, I can no longer have him in my life unless he is actively seeking recovery. It’s no longer safe for me. So maybe think about what your bottom lines are, what you are willing to allow, and what will be safe for you and your recovery and well being going forward. If it aligns with you great, if not you may have take a break until he sorts out his recovery. Hope all turns out for the positive. :heart:


I know this must be such a difficult time. It sounds like you have come so far in your own recovery and healing. I encourage you to keep working on yourself and your own recovery. Go to meetings, meditate, get in touch with sober friends, read, take walks, listen to music, art therapy, whatever it takes. I’ve found Alanon and this community to be very helpful. I also read the book: Codependent No More. Remember that much of what he is saying and doing is the addiction side of his brain. Addicts will do anything and everything to push away those people and support systems that are trying to help most. Sometimes losing those people and supports will be their only way to sobriety. He is in no place to have a relationship with anyone because he can’t even love and care for himself right now. It might be time to really focus on caring for yourself. You and him will be in my thoughts and prayers. Trust me, you are not alone. My S/O is still in rehab. Things are positive at the moment and all is calm but I am very worried for when he gets out. For these very reasons.


I just know now that everything has been a lie. We were intimate while he was in treatment. He was sober with me when he was in treatment. He knew exactly what he was doing. I no longer feel sorry or a need to help him anymore. He’s on his own from this moment forward. If he does relapse, I no longer care. I’m just really angry and I’m trying really hard to not let him know just exactly what I’d like to be saying to him right now.

I will continue to work on myself as I have been, but I feel like I’ve taken like 10 steps backwards and I have to start from square one again.


Thank you so much for just hearing me out these last couple of months. Not just you, but everyone that has contributed to this sad saga of mine. This is for the best. It’s almost like the trash took itself out.

I promise to keep in touch. There’s probably not going to be as much activity from me as usual. But it feels good knowing I have a “village” who will always listen to me.


That’s what growth is all about. Sometimes we take steps back and that’s ok. It’s what you learn from it and do going forward that matters. Trust me, I’ve taken many steps back. I’m so so scared right now of him relapsing when he gets out and how I might deal with that possibility. Realize your self-worth and that you deserve to be happy and free of addictions and free if people who do not appreciate you or align with what you want.