Addiction: Substance Abuse Community
Can't be in a relationship during recovery??
About This Community:

This community is a place to share information and support with others who are trying to stop using drugs, prescription drugs, alcohol, tobacco or other addictive substances. Discuss with others, the symptoms of addiction, addiction recovery, ways to quit like tapering and cold turkey, and withdrawal symptoms. If you are interested in general "chat", please visit our Addiction Social Community.

Font Size:
A
A
A
Background:
Blank
Blank
Blank
Blank Blank

Can't be in a relationship during recovery??

My now (suddenly) ex-partner, whom I have been with for almost three years and whom I thoroughly supported throughout his recovery from cocaine addiction, has just finished a four-month rehabilitation programme.  It was originally 12 weeks (the first 6 were without any contact with the outside world whatsoever), but he wrote me a letter saying he wanted to do the "part 2 programme" (another 12 weeks), as he wouldn't get a chance like this ever again.  As hard as it was to accept him being away from me for yet another three months, I fully supported him and was more than willing to stay faithful for another gruelling three months.  At that rate, he was meant to leave rehab at the end of March.  So you can imagine my surprise when I called him at rehab on the 24rd of January, and the receptionist who answered the phone told me he already left!  When I called him on his mobile (which he wasn't allowed access to before), he said he "got what he needed to get out of rehab, and decided to leave", then requested that he "call [me] back later".  Two days later (during which I endured sleepless nights), he finally called me back, only to tell me that "he couldn't  be in a relationship anymore"... I AM SOOOOOO CONFUSED!!!!!!!  Can somebody please tell me what's going on here?  
Related Discussions
14 Comments Post a Comment
Blank
183879_tn?1189759423
Hello there my dear friend. I can only speak from what I know from being in the program for awhile.. they say usually when we first get clean and sober, they ask that we don;t have a relationship for the first year. The reason being is so they can get to know the real them. that way, they can focus on thierselves.. I hope I made since to you. and sometimes, some people leave thier relationship because the other enabled them and they usually are scared to go back because of them being scared of being enabled again.. if you need any more questions, please feel free to ask.. I hope this helped some.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Hiya ... I can't explain what your ex is doing or why but I do have some 'thoughts' after reading your post ... as an addict myself (recovering), due to his abrupt departure from treatment and YOU, I am fairly confident he is relapsing.

Had he stayed at the treatment program, I would be more inclined to think that this was a 'phase' as rehab is tremendously difficult -- the 'getting clean' part isn't hard as you are somewhere without alcohol or drugs (often, one of the major parts of the benefit of in-patient is getting some 'time' under one's belt) but it is absolutely emotionally grueling. In a good and necessary way but is so nonetheless. Upon getting clean, we are faced with a host of emotions and situations stemming from our use and our 'absence' from our feelings. I say this NOT out of a 'poor me' standpoint, it just 'is'.

As I don't know the way in which you two communicate I can imagine it is inherently flawed due to the fact that he was only 'partially' there as is only possible when high (even when it doesn't seem this way to the user at the time). Thus, you two haven't had a chance to develop healthy ways to interact (through NO fault of your own).

I suggest finding a way to support yourself. This MB is a great place but I would also suggest finding a 'local support' whether it be ALANON or a therapist or whatever as YOU are equally as 'caught up in the addiction' as he is (again -- through NO fault of your own). Loved ones of us addicts tend to spend all their time loving and supporting us (through 100% GREAT, AMAZING intentions) and often neglect yourselves.

It sounds like, for right now, there is nothing you can do. If you think it worth calling him and 'inviting' him to speak with you, do it. If you don't think this will bear any good results, then don't. BUT mostly, keep posting, thinking, crying and being 'here' with US.

Hugs, Jessica
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Thanks so much to the both of you!  I cried when I read your messages, because groups like Al-Anon can only provide me with the support of others like myself, but what I need right now is perspectives from the likes of recovering addicts like yourselves.  Thank you for taking the time to respond, it means the world to me, especially in this confusion.  Big hugs right back at ya!

Although I haven't spoken to my ex since that conversation when he called me, he assured me at that time that he didn't relapse.  As for possibly being an enabler, I certainly was at one point in time, because I didn't know any better.  Once I started reading up on addiction and going to Al-Anon, I always shut the door on him when he tried coming into my apartment after a night on a cocaine bender and didn't answer his calls thereafter.  The two vacations we had together were COMPLETELY sober, where even gave up my bottle of beer or wine I have with dinner from time to time.  Given this, it's difficult to see how I could be an enabler anymore.  Before his entry into rehab, he even credited me in front of family and friends for being the one to lead him to the path of recovery.

As for neglecting myself, well, I honestly used the time he was in rehab just for me!  I did the basic and advanced "Art of Living" courses, which are based on ancient Indian philosophies, and I do my yoga, pranayama (breathing exercises) and meditation which I learned from them every morning, and meditate every night before bed.  I completed a 100 km hike in November for charity and took part in an adventure race in December, something I always wanted to do.  

I FULLY understand that recovering addicts shouldn't be in relationships during their first year of recovery, and believe me, I tried my best to clear that one up as best I could, but he told me he counsellor (whom he was seeing prior to going into rehab) said that we have a history, so it's OK to stay together.  The advice is apparently against starting NEW relationships with people during recovery, or so I am told.  If he couldn't handle being in a relationship, then why wouldn't he tell me before he went into rehab?  Why suddenly the moment he gets out early does he have to end things with me?

My fear is that there is someone he got together with, which is why he was kicked out of rehab early.  I really can't think of any other plausible explanation for the sudden departure without telling me.

Jessica, your advice regarding calling him and inviting him to talk to me sounds excellent.  As freaked out as I am to do so, how would I go about doing this without sounding confrontational or needy?  

Thanks to both of you for your help, it's very much appreciated!  
Blank
147172_tn?1226761778
The golden rule in recovery is if you're in a relationship when you get sober, stay in one and if you're not, don't look to start one until after a year of sobriety.  It's designed that way so that no recovering addict needs to go through any major changes.
If he is choosing not to be in your relationship at this time, it's not because he "can't" it's probably because hee feels he needs to concentrate and find out who he is first.
I say give it a little time and see where it leads you both.
Also, Al a non is not just for people dealing with an addict in their lives in a realtionship... it could very well be for peole who have had addicts affect them in their lifetime so you have nothing to lose by going there.
As addicts we like to isolate and alienate ourselves and once we realize and see all the dmage we've done, until we get to the step where we make amends, well, it might be hard for him to face you.
Pray for him and take care of yourself!!
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
For many years I have heard it said in AA that the definition of insanity os doing the same thing over and over, expecting a different result. HOWEVER, onl recently did I hear someone say that the REAL definition of insanity os doing the same thing over and over again KNOWING you'll get the SAME bad result.

I might suggest you prepare a small list of things you want to say and things you want to ask. Be specific. This way, the conversation has a structure. You can start by saying something like, "Hi -- it's me. Listen, when we last spoke you said you needed ___ [whatever it was exactly]. We have been focussed upon what you need for a very long time. Right now, I need to say and ask a few things and I'd appreciate you giving this to me. I am asking, not demanding -- what do you say?"

Take control over the beginning, content, AND ending. Plan what you'll say if he says nothing ... something like "It seems clear to me that you hva eno desire or willingness to participate in this conversation and I am trying to understand why" OR "I can't begin to tell you how painful it is that you aren't willling to talk this through, it was my hope that you would repect and love me enough to care about my needs. As this isn't happening, we don't have anywhere to go in this conversation".

The leave rehab early and start dating someone from the program is all too common. It's so intense that it's easy to mistake that intensity for 'other things'. They fade quickly after removed from treatment.

Keep us posted!

Blank
Avatar_m_tn
If your relatioship was strong enough and if he was strong enough he would have told you" I need to do this, not only for myself but for you as well, so that when I have finished I can return and be a strong backbone for you " As it is he is running. By opting out of the program he ia admitting that he does not have the strength to carry it through. If he doesn't have the fortitude to believe in himself, how in the world can he help you to believe in yourself. I sincerely think that +you are fortunate to have found out now what he is truly like. If he is failing and falling and giving up, the only result for you could be disaster. I think you should keep him at arm's length until you have successfully overcome your addiction. Then, if you wish, you can extend a helping hand to him, but only if you are sure he will not try to drag you down. This is something that you have to give a lot of thought to. Don't dive into the water until you know where the rocks are.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Thanks Mangee!  I am getting on with my life, and have already accepted a dinner date with someone (not rushing into anything, just kind companionship).  Yes, I have decided to "let go and let God".  But it would be nice to know what happened.  If that takes years, or even if it never happens, then so be it...
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
What I meant was, that your relationship with him was, or is a form of addiction. He has clearly stated that the relationship was over.He has begun avoiding you and I can only assume he intends to continue to do so. Chasing after him is a mistake and could destroy your  connection completely. You have to sit back and wait out whatever it is he is doing. You can't sit day after day and night after night worrying about him. You have your own life to live and should not allow someone, regardless of their problems, to hold you hostage. If he cares, or cared enough about you, he would have offered an explanation. You deseve at least that much. As it is he is deliberately avoiding you. Don't replace your worries about his addiction with one that keeps you awake at night. He needs to be forthright and honest and not leave you guessing as to what the future holds. Move ahead. If this is justa phase he is going through you will know it soon enough. He must know how much you care.
You have to wait it out but don't give up living.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Mangee, thanks for your advice.  Could you please explain to me what you mean when you say "until you have successfully overcome your addiction"?  Since I am not an addict, I need clarification on what you meant.  Thanks!

Jessica, again, your advice is brilliant.  However, I didn't call him yet, as I am torn between "Let go and let God" and confronting him.  I am also afraid if he does the "What, I told you the truth already, stop hassling me like you always used to!" thing, and how I will react to that.  So at this time, I'm choosing to "Let go and let God".  Maybe I'm too chicken to be brave...

And girlybuff, thanks for suggesting Al-Anon, but I have been going to meetings, although not since my ex was in rehab.  I should start going again, you're right.  I agree that the massive amount of amends my ex needs to make with me are probably overwhelming for him, but why would he decide not to want to be with me the moment he gets out of rehab (and earlier than I expected at that)?  Surely out of the three times we spoke on the phone and the letters exchanged whilst he was in rehab he could have told me that he didn't want to be with me...?

Given the varying responses (THANKS SO MUCH TO YOU ALL!!!), I am left with a slightly clearer picture of what MIGHT have happened, but no way of knowing the truth.  This all happened so recently (less than three weeks ago) that it's difficult to come to terms with it just yet.  But I probably do have to get myself back to Al-Anon, because I am finding myself reverting back to the negative behaviours (suspiciousness, wanting to find out the truth via all means necessary, etc.) that I did when my ex was an active drug addict.  Clearly I am just as sick and need help...
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I understand what you are going through.  I am in love with a cocaine addict, who has only recently decided to try recovery.  It has been about 4 weeks, I think.  However, he still drinks.  We dated for 5 years, and were engaged for 2.  I never planned a wedding because I knew he/we had problems, although I did not know until recently that he had been using cocaine every weekend for the last 15 years.  We had already broken off the engagement before I found out, but have always talked and continued to be intimate in the hopes of things working out.  Finally, he decided one day to stop using and get help.  I don't know what prompted him.  However, this is what I have been waiting for.  That drug caused most of the problems in our relationship.  Now, after my having put up with so much all these years, he told me that he does not know what he wants.  He says he loves me, but does not know how he is going to feel in the weeks or months to come.  He also said that his counselor told him not to be in any relationship.  I understand that he needs to focus on himself right now, but I feel like I was there for all the bad, and now that he is a more desirable partner, he is the one rejecting me!  It seems so unfair.  I would love any advice I can get from anyone.  
Blank
228686_tn?1211558307
I can tell you as someone who's been gonig through this while in a relationship that it's very, very difficult.
   A great deal of time when someone goes through rehab and stops using it brings about emotional changes which lead to "slothing off" of their old life...and unfortunately, relationships can be a part of this. I know it's harsh, but it isn't personal. It's just part of rebuilding the psyche to start anew. Even if you were a wonderful person this can still happen. It doesn't help that rehab's tend to gear their therapy towards breaking away from the old life, relationships included.

I've often thought there should be more rehab's that offer and support couples counseling.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
What I don't understand is he is still hanging out with his friends who drink and smoke pot at the very least.  He is still going to the same bars.  But he can't be with someone who does not represent any of those things -- me?  Also, I think he is interested in his friend's wife (they are separated).  His friend does cocaine and beat his wife.  It seems Derek has gotten really close with his wife and now wants to be someone she would want different than her husband.  What do you make of that?  I have tried to get him to clean up for 5 years, and now he seems to be doing it to be with his friend's wife.  Don't get me wrong, I am happy he is doing it for any reason, but I don't understand any of this!
Blank
228686_tn?1211558307
Well...a lot of addicts feel thy aren't addicts if they aren't using their drug of choice. So...if he develops a problem with one of those other substance (highly likely) then hopefully he'll figure out abstinence is best.

Otherwise...it could be a case of the vagaries of love. Most people don't get that after a few years, you have to "work" at a relationship. An addict would be a classic personality type for one of those people who jump in and out of relationships in search of something "new and exciting".

Sorry, it sounds like SOMETHING is up, regardless of the drugs. Perhaps the whole situation with this woman is making him feel "manly and in control" (ie, saving her from her present husband).
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
My boyfriend and I having problem about when it becomes to bills.My boyfriend wants money towareds 2 bills and I commit to pay all the bills.He rights out 2bills and want me to pay 200.00amonth and do my share with him and he only pays 34.00. I don't think it is not fare. He said I'm trying to help me so you don't have to worry about it. When my money don't come on time he gets mad at me when my money don't come on time. He throws a tantrium and brakes things in his apartment, and blamed me because I don't do his way. My next landlord is worried about me and my son. My son is scared of my boyfriend because he yells at him and he never had childrens in his life. And he gets mad at me I don't spend time with him. We have been together for a year now, he throws a tantrium when he has no attention. When I have alone time with my boyfriend and I put my son to bed, he want's action and want to full around when my son calls me my boyfriend gets mad, and I said I'll be right back.
Blank
Post a Comment
To
Blank
Weight Tracker
Weight Tracker
Start Tracking Now
Addiction: Substance Abuse Community Resources
RSS Expert Activity
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
How to Silence Your Inner Critic an...
Apr 16 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
Emotional Eaters: How to Silence Yo...
Mar 26 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
1344197_tn?1392822771
Blank
Vaginal vs. Laparoscopic Hysterecto...
Feb 19 by J. Kyle Mathews, MD, DVMBlank
Top Addiction Answerers
4810126_tn?1395030098
Blank
EvolverU
Boston, MA
5347058_tn?1381192026
Blank
ariley13
Boston, MA
5840009_tn?1395493115
Blank
ROSYouralright
PHUKET, Thailand
2107676_tn?1388977459
Blank
Pat1956100
Canada
1827057_tn?1397523877
Blank
ricart70
IN
1970885_tn?1385151576
Blank
kyle505
Sacramento, CA