Has anyone else's loved one's rehab not allowed them to participate in family meetings, etc?


My boyfriend has been at a new facility for 2 weeks now. He loves it and I am so happy he is there getting the treatment he needs. The only concern to me is that no one on the staff has contacted me back after days, even weeks of trying to speak with someone. He put me on the consent form, which legally allows me to speak with someone about his treatment and partake in the process.

I spoke to the front desk girl and asked her about family meetings they have every week. She told me I would not be allowed to attend because they are for families or siblings, but that I could get approval to attend. I explained to her both my boyfriend and myself want me to be included in on the process of recovery. That am I am positive influence on his life, and that after he leaves their facility, I will be the one actively involved with him in his recovery. She said my points were valid.

Now apparently my boyfriend spoke to a higher up at the facility, explaining to him that his parents would have a hard time attending the meetings and that I would like to actively participate. The excuse the man gave my boyfriend was “if I let you do it, everyone will want their GFs to attend”. When my BF explained this to me, I was baffled because apparently all I needed was approval which seemed like they take it case by case. After all, the rehab does pride itself on helping loved ones thru the process on their website.

Now after telling my story, I have been told that my behavior is co-dependent, etc. I say those accusations are false. I understand that my BF needs his own space to heal, recover, and he is getting that space. But once a week, attending a meeting with him would be beneficial to us as a couple experiencing early recovery so together we can grow and succeed. So we can heal and get create a toolbox together as a couple. I don’t really see the harm in that. We see it as a positive thing.

Now part of me is saying let it go, don’t keep trying. So in my mind currently, I am slowly letting it go because I realize I have no true control over the outcome of the situation. I’m getting to a point of being okay with it. My issue is that I don’t like that the rehab claims one thing, acts another way.

I apologize for this being so long, I just wanted to get some feedback, see if anyone else had a similar experience. Also as an edit point I am not an addict.

I appreciate it! xx


How interesting, @stayhopeful244. And frustrating. Your boyfriend is super lucky to have you as his support system - despite this hiccup with the program’s red tape.

Maybe our Village Coach @erica can weigh in on how to navigate this situation with the rehab center, or offer alternative solutions.

And in the meantime, we hope that you can lean on this community for some support and information (check out the ‘curriculum’ up top) to more comfortably walk with him in this process.


HEY! Saw this was shared on the FB page. So awesome!

So a little update, after letting go of the whole situation my BF’s clinician contacted me to visit her yesterday. We met up and I was allowed to go to the family meeting yesterday night and was able to see my BF. I was so happy with this outcome, though to be honest I did not think it would happen!

However, I still think this post should be talked about because during the time I found it frustrating and didn’t see many posts about this happening. I think the discussion needs to be had on how to cope during times like the ones I experienced. It can be confusing for the loved one.


I love this question. Thank you @stayhopeful244 for posting - I’ve been there! Was just waiting til I had a min to respond :slight_smile:

When my boyfriend (now husband) went into rehab a couple years ago I could never have anticipated how I would feel. I drove him there (like 5hrs away) and I felt so weird driving away. There was an amazing sense of relief, and a wave of indescribable exhaustion, anxious anticipation - and a wonder of how do I get looked after now? I have to be honest and say that on my dark side I felt a little envious - where’s my month getaway :wink: ? I drove back and I rested (so much) and I took some time for me. Had a meditation practitioner teach me to meditate and slowly settled into my new norm.

I remember he called maybe every couple days I think. I remember wanting to join sessions too! I made it back up for a family weekend, well it was a weekend day and just a couple hours interaction. Then right before he came out we had a family session where his brother and some of his family attended as well as myself.

I remember sort of wanting to him to invite me to every family weekend - and I don’t call that co-dependence either. I call it - being in a close relationship with someone and adjusting to being apart while going through a really tough situation!!

I found the interaction with the staff ok but generally underwhelming and the family involvement in the process underwhelming. They did have a family program where you could go and spend a week or 3 days or something, but I couldn’t take the time from work.

As the ‘girlfriend’ or best friend I don’t recall being treated differently to family, but then his family wasn’t super close by.

My interpretation is they are just too busy to deal with family and they’re laser focused on the individual once they get them in.

I think one thing, reflecting now, that I couldn’t really have fully comprehended then was that the healing process for my husband would take a lot longer than I could anticipate. The brain needs serious time to heal. And so I think it is important to stay engaged and supportive, but just know that there’s heaps of healing ahead of him and there will be plenty of time for you guys to work on it together! The healing he is going through right now is just getting used to not being on the substance - which is a big one :slight_smile: and memory gets all messed up so I think of this phase like a little bambi coming into it’s own on the ice.

This is a long way of saying, I’ve been there, it’s super frustrating!!! Take deep breaths, keep supporting, ignore labels, look after you, be available, know the system is a bit messed up and we’re part of creating the change right here and now to value the heroism of people like us who will not give up on our loved ones :slight_smile: <3


This speaks to just one of the experiences I’ve had in supporting a loved one through addiction which lead to wanting to created a place like Village. Thanks for sharing @stayhopeful244.

One quick note: since we aim to bring the evidence-based information to you all :slight_smile:

  • The term “codependence” has not been supported by the weight of research evidence (Hurcom, & Orford, 2000; Paolino, McCrady & Kogan, 1978).

  • The American Psychiatric Association has rejected co-dependency as a category in the new version of the DSM due to lack of scientific evidence (2014).

We prefer to call people like you, people here in Village heroines - for seeing the pain in our loved ones, and not turning a blind eye.


Thank you so much for your response, Polly! I appreciate it! I can totally relate to how you felt as the GF and I am happy to hear you are now married.

This rehab has been super strict with talking to family, myself, etc. After letting go of the whole situation and realizing I had no control, that is when I got the call from my bf to meet his therapist. I was shocked because to be honest I did not think she would meet me (I had tried calling her for a week, and other staff and received no call back.)

After making my case, she agreed to me attending the meeting. The first part was a family meeting, then we broke to eat and meet up with the patients. It was the first time seeing my BF since he was sober so I was excited and nervous. Everything went amazing and then we both attend the AA speaker of the night.

I was so happy to be included and I could tell the difference it made on my boyfriend’s face. Knowing I’ll be able to continue to attend is so beneficial to not only me, but to him, because I’m a big part of his support system and he needs to know someone on the outside is there for him.


Thank you for this, Jane! I am happy you shared this information because personally I don’t really care for the term co-dependency. I think it brings such a negative connotation to loved ones who are already going and struggling through so much.

I hope my story sends out a message of hope and that if you keep believing and are self-aware you can get through these times!


I’m glad to hear this @stayhopeful244 - if anything I see you advocating for yourself and your boyfriend advocating for you as well! As someone who as worked as that clinician, I don’t see why they would take so long to contact you back, however I’m happy to hear that you were able to finally connect and help your boyfriend in his recovery by letting him you know you’re there for him - he’s lucky to have you! I’m also glad that it’s clear you’re not alone. I wish I could control how all family programs work, but I want you to know you’re entitled to be involved especially since he signed a consent form…wishing you and your boyfriend the best, and keep advocating for yourself and your loved one :)!


Thank you for this, Erica! We definitely have both grown and matured throughout his time in rehab. I feel like I have regained my sense of self and when he comes back, I will be a stronger woman because of it. I think the time apart has been rough, but also a good thing because we can both come back into the relationship with fresher, healthier start than before.


Hello. I am an 18yr old and my boyfriend Went into rehab about 4 months ago. He was sent to rehab because he OD and it was ordered by the court. Before he went into rehab, he asked his drug court counselor if I could be put on his contact list and she said within the first couple of weeks (when he’s done with detox) I would be able to. A couple of weeks had passed after he was out of his detox state and the only person allowed to contact him was his mom. And this is frustrating for me of course because I was promised but I figured maybe they’re adding people on slowly, after all it is rehab and his gf is not his biggest issue at the moment. However when my boyfriend asked about it again with her, she said that I wasn’t going to be approved because at this time, I was still in high school and still under 18. (I just also wanna note the fact that I was in highschool the day I took him to rehab, that is a bull excuse because me being in high school has nothing to do with anything and I still fully supported him when I was) so at this point I am livid because she promised me and him both that I would be allowed to have contact with him. A couple of weeks later, she resigned. My boyfriend has a new drug court counselor on his case and me and him were both praying that maybe I’d at least get approved for mail or something instead of phone calls and visits. Nothing. Then one day I get approved for mail. Except it’s not private mail, him and his counselor are going to read the notes and go over them. I am grateful at this point but me and him had already been sending secret notes this whole time through his mom. So I call the new drug court counselor and explain my situation and at first he was a little rude like he’d cut me off when I would say okay (like I’m just taking in what he’s saying and responding with okay, uh huh, I agree, you know the basics) He’d be like I’m not done talking. We then talked about how I was approved for notes and I told him that before I called him, I had sent off my first letter because I had just gotten approved a couple days earlier. And he said you know that’s great and that was the first step in things. And he asked me if my boy friend had written me one yet, and I said I haven’t gotten one yet. And this dude goes on to say oh maybe he’s not really there for you and he only wants your support because he’s in rehab and maybe he doesn’t actually care about you or you’d have a letter. He also said the reasoning was because I was still in high school and I was you g and we both need to speak before we say so that’s why I was approved on letters so we could fully think out what we wanna say. so I’m just depressed at this point and idk what else to do because I thought calling him might show him that I’m actually serious about this boy and I wanna help him as much as possible, but I didn’t. It just made things worse. So fast forward to a couple days ago and let me just start off by saying, w/o his mom and the 2 nice staff ladies at his rehab, I would’ve had ZERO contact with this man. I love an hour away from where he does and his mom would tell me he’s calling on a Thursday and so I’d drive up after work so I could talk to him for 10 min. She would merge calls for us sometimes and let me talk to him on times when I couldn’t come down or when he was having a really hard time in rehab. The staff there also would let him call me for 2 min max just so he could say I love you and that he misses me. Not something you typically see from someone who doesn’t care about someone :wink: but what do I know right. His mom even would let me come and drop off his clothes that he needed or his cough drops just so we could see eachother from the window or as he was walking into a building for a few seconds. Anyway going back to a couple of days ago, one of the generous staff ladies let him call me and he said he had just gotten my note I sent in the mail. AFTER OVER A MONTH. How does his drug court counselor expect us to send notes back and forth when he’s only in rehab for another 2 months at max. I am so livid and mad by this whole situation. I know my boyfriend shouldn’t have gone into rehab and I know that it’s his fault that he’s there, but I also KNOW support is a HUGE thing when it comes to rehab. With the corona virus going on he didn’t get home passes like he was supposed to (which was my only time to see him. Which isn’t that sooo weird, that his drug court counselor is soooo concerned about what we say to eachother but yet he gets to go out into the real world where there are drugs and where he can relapse. I get that it’s like the first few steps for them and they need home passes but I’m just saying that this drug court counselor is so dumb and his reasonings are so dumb) anyway with the corona virus going on, his only support in rehab this entire time, was his mom. Not even his sister, his step dad, his brother, none of his friends (I get that bc they were all druggies, I don’t want them being his support either) . That is bullshit. When rehab is all about family support and you only were allowed one source of support when you had MULTIPLE is just sad to me. His step dad is a DEA agent, he comes from a good family, there is no reason we shouldn’t be allowed. There are now no family support groups due to covid. He had all of his freedoms that he was looking forward to and getting rewarded with were all taken away. The last you could do, is approve one more person for support on his list. I just hate his counselor. And especially the “he doesn’t care about you or he would’ve sent you a note” except the damn note takes a month and a half to get there and we have already been doing that through the entire process of his rehab through his mom. We both probably have over 50 notes. Also he really has no time for notes either as he is doing support groups all day and only gets 30 min of free time in his room. Why can’t I just be approved for phone calls:(