Hi! My boyfriend of 3 years has been struggling with drug use for the majority of our relationship. When we met, I had no idea he was using (opioids), recreational cocaine. When I found the OxyContin initially, we talked about it and he chose to start with outpatient detox and rehab. Eventually he went to inpatient, however he has relapsed many times. In addition, when under the influence, he looks up female escorts and texts them just to “get the rush” but never perused one (as far as I am told). He has been making serious effort to be clean and claims to be for the last 2 months now. I am extremely traumatized from his lies, manipulation, and calling escorts in the past. I love him that I want to see him through this and I know without drugs, he would be perfect. I keep giving chances to continue the relationship, but I am scared. He keeps telling me I need to let go of the past because he is clean now. Can addicts just have a “turning point” where they close the door to drugs forever? How do I let go of the past if I want to continue the relationship? Stay? Or move on?
Hi @Pasta. Letting go is not easy, but it’s so important. For my husband and me, letting go of the past required facing the past, together. We attended couples therapy to do this because it would’ve been way too difficult and probably unproductive if we tried on our own. We sifted through past actions and behaviors, started to understand the “why” behind some of them. We unpacked the hurt and discussed what we needed from the other to move forward.
For me, letting go required building trust. Building a strong foundation where I felt safe, loved. So I didn’t need to hang on anymore to old behaviors that no longer served me - snooping, trying to control, getting anxious, frantic, resentful. Trust in his love, trust in myself, and trust in something greater.
Not only did I have to let go of the past, but I had to let go of the future as well. This didn’t mean dreams or hopes for the future. Rather, I let go of outcomes and expectations. Visions of what I thought marriage, family, and recovery were supposed to look like went out the window, and I had to learn to accept the present moment. I stopped expecting things to look a certain way. I stopped expecting recovery to mean that once he was clean, everything would be okay.
If you are having trouble letting go, maybe ask yourself “What am I holding onto?” and go from there. It’s not a one and done process, either. Every day we are shedding old hurts, old behaviors, old truths, and making space for growth.
I’m here if you need someone to talk to. Message me anytime. Sending love.