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BF just disclosed addiction; does this mean anything?
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BF just disclosed addiction; does this mean anything?

I ended a 3 year relationship with my high school boyfriend almost 20 years ago over his drug use. We reunited 18 months ago and everything had been going very well. He told me he had not used drugs in 10 years and I did not see any evidence that he did. He became moody a couple months ago, and I tried to talk to him about it, then he suddenly "disappeared." I assumed I'd been dumped rather harshly and immaturely (we are almost 40 years old) and began moving on with my life.

He called me last night to apologize for what he did and told me that he was a drug addict and couldn't face me finding that out. He said he panicked and ran and was very sorry for causing me pain. His voice was trembling and he seemed very sincere. He did not ask to see me.

I didn't really know what to say to this. I didn't ask any questions like what he's using or how long it's been going on, mainly because I was so stunned, but I don't know if it's relevant. I care for him very much and am sorry that he's got this problem, but from what I've experienced and what I read, I certainly can't have a fulfilling, healthy relationship with a using drug addict.

My question is around the sudden call and confession...is this a possible cry for help? All I've read is about how awful the personalities and characters of addicts are, so I wondered if he was temporarily "reachable" since he was having some sort of crisis of conscious around his relationship with me. I don't want to jump off any cliffs for him, but if there's anything I can do for him as a friend, I'd like to know.

Thanks for your thoughts everyone!
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182493_tn?1348056515
Just be there... It may have been a small cry for help.. ask him what you can do to help aside from being in a relationship with him.. put your boundries out there and be of help if he wants it.. If he doesn't want help tell him when he is ready to call you and you will be supportive..
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Avatar_n_tn
You say, "I certainly can't have a fulfilling, healthy relationship with a using drug addict."  All addicts are different.  I've been what is pompously (by the holy ones who aren't addicted to drugs) referred to as a "functioning" addict most of my life.  Nobody has ever known outside of my wife and the few I have seen fit to inform.  Sadly, some can't function behind it.  Since you didn't even recognize his use, what difference does it make?  You say, "...everything had been going very well. He told me he had not used drugs in 10 years and I did not see any evidence that he did."  Why go through the heartbreak of judging him (evidently the reason for his "moodiness" -- he obviously didn't want to keep it from you while enjoying your love) when you can't even tell?  What are you addicted to?  Whatever it is, he obviously loves you anyway.  Apparently he is an honest man; one of integrity.  Not a lot of those around.

However...having said that...some people just can't get around their ubringing and ways of thinking.  If you can't, better not to try.  Nor (in my obnoxious opinion) should you offer to help.  You can't.  Your judgment will be there and only make things worse.  

One of my own self-authored quotes is, "I don't love you because you're perfect; you're perfect because I love you."  Friendship and love don't judge.  We are all addicted, and we are all assholes.  If you love me it is in the full awareness I am an insufferable *****, and you love me in spite of it.  Same me you.  Love overlooks faults.  If you can really do that, it could be the most fulfilling truth in both of your lives.  To paraphrase Shakespeare, "The fault, Dear Marley, lies not in the addict, but in ourselves."  If you see no fault in him, girl, there is none.  If you do, leave him alone.

At your side,
Rider
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177036_tn?1192290235
If you stay you're gonna lean a lot about .... relapse.  He disappeared to get high in a motel probably and stayed there until the drugs were gone,,,, just a guess.... high probability.  Dump him and move on.  Sorry, that's what I would tell my daughter!
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Avatar_n_tn
And it is just that attitude that might encourage your daughter to walk away from a man of deep sincerity and commitment.  A man who could show her a world of beauty and depth she might never know otherwise.

Your kind of thinking is at the very core of judgment the thoughtless heap upon those who, by no fault of their own, walk a path far more difficult and filled with fear than those who, by no fault of their own have addictions that are not as frowned upon.

You daughter is addicted to something.  As are you.  The only difference between the two of you and Marley's bf is your addictions are more easily concealed or more readily accepted.  You would show a far more honorable and loving path to your daughter by teaching her to discern.  Maybe the man of whom you hypothetically speak should be left alone.  Some cannot be helped.  They can only be left to God and held in our prayers.  But you have prejudged Marley's bf knowing nothing of him or what he is going through.  You have no idea where he spent that time nor of the terrible, terrible conflict and sickness he must face everyday.  It is very clear he struggles mightily with his hell and guilt.  He deserves all we can offer and none of our condemnation.  

May the forces that guide your path never lead you into such a horrible fate.  

Rider
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Avatar_f_tn
Your story sounds so familiar. I dated a man some years back that I fell madly in love with. Six months into the relationship some odd things occured...like not calling when he was supposed to, not being at work when I called him there?? When he "surfaced" a few weeks later and called me, he was so remorseful and confessed he had an addiction to coke, which turned out to be crack. I stayed, tryed to support him as he seemed so sorry for what he had done. Turns out, this was a battle he had been fighting for years before we became friends. I stuck around for almost five years...really loved the guy - his pattern was about every three to four weeks, he would disappear. From work, from friends..could not be reached...very disconcerting to say the least. And worry, oh my gosh, never knew if I would get a call that he was in the hospital or worse...anyway, I could no longer stay in this relationship. I was so hurt so many times, he was so sorry every time it happened, but it ruined anything we had or could have had. My advice to you...while I really feel for what he is going through, run and do not look back. It will save you lots of heartache in the long run...I hope he gets the help he needs if he is ready to receive it. It eventually killed him :(
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Avatar_n_tn
Thank you all for your comments. I'm very sad right now, but I'm not entertaining the idea of continuing a romantic relationship with him at this time. I love him dearly, but I broke up with him 20 years ago for standing me up, lying constantly, stealing from me and members of his family, sharing needles, getting arrested, and several terrifying ER overdose visits quickly followed by more drug use. When he was clean, he was just the most wonderful, fun, interesting and loving person you'd ever want in your life; using, he was horrible. He seems to be using again, and that's enough for me to say no. What I guess I'm wondering/hoping is if his call to me was a sign that he wants treatment. I imagine his call to me was very difficult to make, especially since his intention was to totally abandon me rather have me find out he was using again. He said he couldn't live with himself hurting me like that, so I wonder if there's a window of opportunity here that I should pursue to get him into an inpatient program or something.
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Avatar_n_tn
Often our addictions cost us everything, including our lives.  Your bf lost you because of his.  And from the way you talk, he may yet lose his life as well.  His call to you was because, even though he knows he can't have you, neither is he finding it easy to let go.  You say it was you who broke off the relationship the first time, and it will probably have to be that way this time.  He isn't looking for help from you to get him into an inpatient program, unless it means there is a future in it for the two of you.  He hates his addiction as much as you do, I assure you.  Your voice may well be the only one of love he knows.  If he is still deep in his addiction (and he probably is), it isn't likely he has a crowd of friends around clamoring to help him.  But, sadly, you probably can't do anything for him.  If he knew your only motive for having a relationship with him was to get him into a treatment program, he would very likely not want that...otherwise he would entertain that hope, and would very likely say so.  Just guessing.  Who knows?  Hell...ask him...:-)

At your side,
Rider
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Avatar_n_tn
At least it seems you have some knowledge is addiction.  Enough to know he's NOT the man you know.  He's an active addict and unfortunatly you can't trust him.  You might be getting the truth on some level, but the shame and embarassement is most likely keeping him from being completly honest.  That a sad fact among addicts, it was for me anyway.  Your in a hard spot because it's hard to tell someone you love you can't do anymore for them.  I'll never forget my dad telling me after an overwhelming day that "he loved Robin his daughter but HATED this ugly heroin addict in front of him"  That night after leaving him and my mom in shambels I ended up in the ER.   I'm saying this because I did love them at the time, even though I was told I was incapable of love because my addiction.  but I still I could'nt show them love, because at that time my drugs were much more important to me.  It is so sad how addiction not only hurts the one using but all who are in there path.
take care
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Avatar_m_tn
Welcome to the forum.......
There could be a lot of reasons why he called I don't know either one of you so anything I say woudl be speculation at best........
Addiction is horrible what it does to family and relationships......
family and loved ones become victims..........
To the addict whos emotions get very distorted sometimes are like riding a roller coaster...

To answer you question yes it may be that he is reaching out for help.....the problem is only he
can help himself to recovery........
You can support him but cannot do the work.......
You mentioned he has 10 years clean time...........that is a very long time.....so he knows what it takes but remember his addicton will fight to stay alive......
N/A meetings, a drug counselor are good places to start.....and NOT USING is the key.....
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195648_tn?1231815718
Is there a way you could have a meanigful fulfilling relationship with an active drug addict?  Well, that's up for interpretation.  If you think that you could have anything real and meaningful with someone who only thinks about themselves, will lie, steal and cheat to get what they want, and someone who is void of any real emotions then by all means try it out BUT if he wants to get clean he knows what he has to do.  Being clean is very different than being sober.  He needs to be sober to be of any use to himself, his family, you and the world and society at large.
If he gets sober and does the work and you want to conitune a relationship with him, I suggest checking out Al a non or Narc a Non, where families ad friends and spouses and significant others of addicts,  learn about the disease of addiction and learn to live their own lives whether the addict in them uses or not.  It's a way for the other half of the addict to not lose themselves in the addiction but being ruled by the addicts actions or emotions.  
An addict who uses will only get worse if he continues to use.  There is no way for a true addict to controlit.  It will always escalate.  He won't be at a plae where he can just use occasinally unfortunately because of the disease....
I wish you both lots of luck!!
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