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.


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


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.


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.


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, 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!


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.