When finding it hard to trust again, do I stay or do I leave?



Hello to anyone reading this post. It’s been a long 2 years with my addict (some good, a lot of bad). I met him while he was 5 years sober, or so he says. I later found out he had several “slip-ups” in that time period. But we were still new and I was in that giddy phase. We got along great and had similar interests. A few months later and I finally saw what it meant to date a recovering drug addict. A few more months later and it was debilitating. I was lying for him to cover up stories, enabling him (without knowing what that was), and going in a downwards spiral with my personal life. My work and family life were severely affected. He went into rehab (not his first time but it was all new to me). He came out saying he felt great and I believed him. 5 months later he relapsed, which I know is very common. He didn’t want to go to rehab but instead went to a detox center. After detox he wanted to go to a halfway house. It’s been two weeks since that point and I’m struggling mentally to keep up. I don’t trust him (after all the lies and stealing) which makes me constantly on edge. I feel like I can’t let my guard down and that’s debilitating. I feel like he is completely dependent on me (I know that’s bad). I struggle everyday with the thought of staying with him or leaving. How can you have a long-lasting life with someone you don’t trust? Recovering addicts deserve to have happy lives too so am I not being supportive enough? I’m so exhausted. I don’t know what to do.

  • Limbo


Hi… thanks for sharing… do you think your lifes purpose is to keep on saving others? Do you think you need to take care n save yourself also?


I don’t know what my life purpose is. But I am aware that when I see someone in need I help them. Is this a bad quality to have? I do tend to worry more about other people than myself.


Hi @ScubaSara, your story is so similar to mine and many others. You are not alone - everything you are feeling and have experienced is what I went through with my boyfriend. He has been battling heroin/opiate addiction for over 10 years but I only met him 3 years ago. I knew nothing about substance abuse until I met him and I learned very quickly how ugly of a disease it can be and how it impacts everything they touch.

It is absolutely possible to have a relationship with someone who is a recovering addict. There are many here who are living that out! However, it’s not easy and I personally have thought many times about leaving my loved one because honestly, it would make my life so much easier. Despite what my friends and family have told me, I decide to stay and support him. It’s definitely a rollercoaster - there will be lots of ups and lots of downs. Relapses and slips are normal in recovery - I have always told my boyfriend that slips and relapses are okay, but he needs to keep himself accountable for returning to recovery when he makes a mistake. If he does not want recovery, then I refuse to stay in that relationship. That’s the boundary I set for myself.

There’s a lot more I could say but I don’t want to leave a novel here! The BEST thing you can do for yourself while he works on getting better, is to TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF!! It is so important to make sure your own health is not at risk because of this relationship. Personally, it helps me to join communities like this and talk to others who understand my situation. I recommend going to Al-Anon meetings or attend the workshops offered through the Village. I try to hang out with my friends and have a girls night when I can. Anything to help me find joy in things outside of my relationship with my addict because it’s very easy for me to fall into the trap of living my life around my boyfriend (I tend to do this often with all boyfriends). I need to make sure I have a life outside of them so that when things fall apart, I can find joy in other things. I also do coaching sessions with @erica and they have been extremely helpful. I used to see a therapist as well but for now, coaching sessions work for me.

Hope this helps. Here for you :heart:


@ScubaSara I feel the same. Seeing my husband suffering and the pain behind his addiction is what I couldn’t ignore.


@ScubaSara firstly thank you for sharing. And I think everything you’ve laid out makes sense. The care and concern for him as well as your exhaustion over the whole thing and wondering about trust.

For me it was a 3 year journey watching my best friend / colleague (future husband) spiral down, then one year of real hard work in recovery (including rehab) and now it’s been 3 years on the upward trajectory. That year in real recovery mode was brutal. It takes so much longer for the brain to heal than the brochures advertise.

I want to let you know my experience with trust. That first year in recovery was tumultuous. But I was so surprised, after years of watching his use get worse and getting used to that norm, that when he continued to get better and better the trust just came back easy.

So in my experience it can and does happen easier than we might think. It just takes longer than we think. And that’s why it is so important for us to learn tools and self care to tolerate the journey.

I always like to remind us here to also consider engaging other friends and family to be there for him and you now too. The more support we have the more we can take on, and take breaks from the chaos and worry - which is like having a life raft there when you need help to float up out of the muck. Having others engaged also helps shine a light on what’s going on and the addiction which thrives in shame cannot withstand being seen under a light like that.

Love to hear how you are doing today and any updates you might have on what’s going on / how you’re feeling about things?



Such wise words @Selfcare31 thank you for sharing :pray:


Hi :blush:

I just have a follow up question regarding one of your suggestions. Where you say that’s it’s so important to reach out to friends and family and engaging them to be there for our addicted loved one and ourselves. How would you suggest handling this if the current dynamic is this is his secret and I am not allowed and betraying him if I tell anyone outside of anyone he approves of (which is nobody except for his mother). If I turn to a friend or his friends, etc it is looked at as sheer betrayal. How dare I tell his private business to others… so on and so forth! Any suggestions/advice would be so very much appreciated as this is definitely something I’ve struggled with amidst all of this! Doing so alone with nobody to confide in or “have my back and help me help him” so to speak. Thanks so much!


I have had 10 years of trust breaking and am at the end of the road really…we have had relationship counselling a couple of times and it has been such a hard road. I am broken and feel I deserve more at this point in my life. Sorry to sound negative but this is where I arrive today. :pensive:


Great question @ltd31015 thank you for asking it :slight_smile: It can take time to ease into this idea of sharing. This is a whole topic in and of itself. I’m actually going to repost as a question of it’s own!

Find the new thread linked HERE