I want to be wrong but the relapse signs are there - how do I help?



My boyfriend has been in recovery for over 8 years. I am pretty certain he relapsed as nothing else makes sense. I called him out on some very unusual behavior one day and specifically if he took something. About a week later he tells me he is not ready for a relationship and indicates it is too much for him. I spoke with him and he said he is very stressed. He also shared that he was angry that I asked him (I would not have had it not seemed so obvious) I have not seen him since I saw the odd behavior. I am just feeling horrible. I have sent a few nice messages and got responses. I really hope he gets help as if I am wrong (which I don’t think I am) he is certainly in a place where he will relapse if he has not already. He was very committed so sobriety. He struggled mainly with opiates and I know heroin was in his past. I am hoping he gets help before it gets really bad. In the meantime I worry and really feel helpless. He knows how to reach me but suspect he does want me to know what is going on. I suspect him not wanting to be relationship is due to his addiction and nothing with our relationship or the connection we had. I am so sad to think I will never hear from him again and feel helpless. Suggestions?


Thanks for sharing @Maggie. My boyfriend has struggled with heroin/opiate addiction for over 10 years now. I met him about 3 years ago and it’s been a really tough journey. Relapses and slips are just part of the recovery journey. It doesn’t necessarily mean they failed. Something that helps is to empathize with them and ask permission to have a conversation about it so they don’t get defensive. I have done some coaching sessions with @erica and she has helped walk me through some strategies to have a conversation with my boyfriend when he relapses. It’s difficult but it’s totally doable.

I have been in your situation before as well when they end the relationship and they seem like a different person. I have just told him I love him and I hope he’s okay and that I’m here to talk if he needs it and leave it at that. I’ve just let him come to me. That’s just what worked for me though.

How are things today? Have you been able to talk to him?