What do I do when my partner says he’s thinking about using again


#1

My partner is in recovery. He’s been clean since getting into rehab on 16th January. It was 3 long chaotic terrible years before he finally went into rehab. When he was in he wrote to me all the time and phoned when he was allowed - it was like he was a different person. He was humble and apologetic, he asked how I was and wanted to support me. I fell apart once I knew he was safe and someone else was supporting him. He’s still in the rehab but in a stage 3 house where he lives with others and is allowed out occasionally. This weekend we went to visit his family. It triggered him and he didn’t speak to me all the way home. I dropped him at the rehab and have barely heard from him today. I try to focus on myself, desperately trying to not let myself and my day get affected by him but inevitably does. I feel pathetic and a failure for that. I have tried not to call or pester him too much with my own anxieties about how he is. He rang tonight and barely spoke saying he wanted to use again and it’s all he’s thinking about. He wants use again and start acting out with women online. When he was in active addiction, it wasn’t just the drugs and drink, there was so much chaos. I’ve never really shared what went on with anyone as he would be so angry for me sharing with people especially his family as it made him look bad. I kept most of it to myself. When I look back now, what went on was so traumatic - the lies and cheating, I never knew where he was, he would go missing for days, he got into thousands of pounds of debt and took a lot of his anger out on me. Every boundary was crossed, and I still chose to stay. I ended up leaving last summer when I found out he was with another woman and could been admit it to me. I’m ashamed to say that here - I feel stupid and pathetic for taking him back so many times. We got back together just before he went into rehab.
And now I don’t know what to do. How do I support him in this place? He’s a 40 year old man who can make his own choices. He says he can’t speak to his sponsor and I’ve noticed he hasn’t been to a meeting for the last week either whereas he was going regularly before. He’s working on his step 4 so loads is coming up for him. He is pushing me away and I don’t have the energy to keep stepping in. I have to somehow look after myself in the middle of all this and take my focus off him which feels impossible when he’s 100 miles away in a rehab potentially relapsing or just about to.
I need some support here. Some non judgemental understanding and wisdom. I have done so much self development work over the past 4 years and yet I am still with this man. I love him so deeply and I also know I can’t keep staying because it’s hurting me so much. I feel I am riding the waves of his addiction - some weeks he is calm and gentle and loving and some weeks I feel like I barely know him anyway and everything I do annoys him.
I’m sorry this is so jumbled but just sharing this before I try and go to sleep.
Some days I think - what the hell is wrong with me that I fell in love with an addict? And, I still love him after everything that’s gone on.


#3

Hello AliJ, I read the whole story you mentioned and your question. I am a mental health professional working in de-addiction centers from last 6 years. Answer to your question is its a good thing that he can realize he had cravings and he can share those thing with you. I saw most of the people can’t understand from what they are going through.
About addiction we should understood & accept one thing that addiction is cunning, baffling and powerful disease. We cant cure it, we can control it.
Family members of addict people are also called as co-addict because the addict person is running behind his substance and his family members are running behind his recovery or sobriety. Somehow their routine, behaviour, thinking pattern and lifestyle is changed or affected. So they also should take mental health professionals help.
This my personal opinion based on my experience.
Don’t worry continue with the therapy and medications and follow one day at a time. TC


#4

AliJ, I empathise with you completely. A story so similar to mine. Lately I’ve been reading about ‘Trauma Bonding’ and I’m now wondering what We The Village have to say about trauma bonding??? I appreciate my beloved person telling me he has been thinking about using - because I know he does almost all the time when he is not using. It’s hard to hear though of course - because of everything ‘using’ represents. My tendency is to over-empathise with his suffering though and sometimes that leaves me with weak boundaries, which in turn complicates our relationship further. It’s so hard! Sending you lots of strength and heartfelt understanding. You are a strong woman - loving a person who suffers with addiction is INCREDIBLY challenging.


#2

@AliJ Of course you love him, that’s never something to be ashamed of. It’s okay to love someone unconditionally.

The answer to your question about what to do: let him manage his own recovery. He’s in rehab which means he has all the resources he would need to manage the urge to use. It’s up to him to use those resources or not.

I know it’s soooo hard to focus on yourself right now. Keep trying. Regardless of whether you stay in this relationship or not, you are on your own personal development journey so keep at it. :two_hearts: