OMG UPDATE: Question? Answer.

Updated on Friday, March 21

#7060

QUESTION: My boyfriend of 2 years is a recovering alcoholic and drug user, and hasn't drunk excessively or used drugs in a year and a half. He knows that if he relapsed, I would not remain in his life because I believe it is too much to ask of someone to remain in a partnership where one person refuses to live in a state of reality. I brought up the fact that a relapse could potentially happen and my boyfriend freaked out because I don't have faith in him and therefore don't believe our relationship will work out. Is there anything I can say that would let him know that I do think he can avoid a relapse and that he is blowing this out of proportion?

14 comments

  1. You should apologize. He already has it weighing on him every moment, and you saying that, it just reinforces his own doubts that he has to fight.

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    1. I couldnt agree more....you sound like a c u next Tuesday OP

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  2. That definitely sounds like a tricky situation, but apologizing and telling him that you believe in him is a good start. I don't think he's blowing it out of proportion. Relapsing is a easy thing to do, and the knowing the consequences of a relapse can only add to the stress and temptations drugs and alcohols.

    As much as you might want to be realistic and know that a relapse can happen, that's probably not what he needs to hear from you.

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  3. He will relapse. Just you wait. That liquid is a vice that takes its victims to the death.

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    1. Calm down 3. It could easily be you in his place.

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  4. OP here. Thanks everyone for your advice - I apologised since I truly didn't mean to upset him, and I really don't think he'll relapse as he does have a lot more self control now. It was just reality talking and I am very much of the mindset that nothing is ever 100%. All is good with us now, so thank you all. :)

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  5. I'm a recovering alcoholic, and I think you are being extremely unreasonable. I hope you aren't my girlfriend and just changed the numbers around of the dating/recovery length. Although I have relapsed and my girlfriend didn't break up with me so I doubt it.

    First off, relapsing has very little to do with self control. I encourage you to do your research on addiction. It is not fair to say you will break up with him if he relapses, that places ridiculous pressure on him.

    You don't know what it's like, hearing the addiction talking. My biggest pet peeve I have is when people think about addicts they assume we have no self control. My willpower is extremely strong. I am extremely strong mentally, but that doesn't stop your addiction from convincing you it's a good idea.

    Addiction is not rational. It's not based on willpower.

    You might as well be telling someone they shouldn't get cancer or you will break up with them. It is a mental illness. Here's how you sound to me. "He knows that if he got cancer again, I would not remain in his life because I believe it is too much to ask of someone." He is justifiably extremely hurt by not only your lack of faith in his recovery, but also your lack of love and understanding.

    Preventing a relapse has to do with a shift in the way of thinking. You need to learn how to deal with the emotions of everyday life in a different way. Previously when an addict is in active addiction, we deal with every single emotion the exact same way. Drugs. Without drugs, we are lost. We don't know how to feel emotions and cope with them on a day to day basis.

    I am sorry if I sound overly critical. I do not blame you, I blame a lack of proper education about addiction and the stigma associated with it.

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    1. Just to expand on the last part.. when I say dealing with emotions, I mean dealing with ALL emotions. Happiness, sadness, depression, anxiety, boredom, frustration, anger, everything. We don't know how to deal with these things anymore because we used drugs to block them out before.

      Relapse can happen anytime.

      I also feel the need to clarify something. I'm not trying to say you should be with your boyfriend if he starts using and refuses to stop or even care about his actions anymore. At that point, he may be so far gone it won't matter. Then you are allowed to break up with him. I'm sorry to say this, and it may hurt, you, but addiction is stronger than love.

      But if he is actively using again but has stated he has full intentions to try to stop again (he may be flip flopping, but that's ok. Even just the intent to stop is a good sign), you're wrong to break up. It's not fair. Even if it takes him a long time.

      Or if he tells you he's been secretly using for the past few months, and wants to quit, you are so wrong to break up with him.

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    2. I completely understand that addiction is a mental illness. However, I stand by the fact that I do not belong in a relationship where my partner requires alcohol and cocaine to live his day to day life. It is unfair to ask that of someone, and it is entirely my decision whether or not I feel that I would be able to cope in such a relationship.

      If he has been secretly using for months, how can I trust him? If we can't be open in the relationship, how does that form the basis of a lifelong partnership? Short answer: It doesn't. It sucks, but that's reality. You can't expect someone to stick around when there is a family involved. What happens when my partner and I have children? Should I keep them around a drug addicted father because he says that he wants to get better? Why should I be less important?

      The other point I very strongly disagree with is that you said when I am "allowed" to break up with him. I can end my relationship whenever I please if I feel that it isn't right. If I feel unsafe for any reason, I do not need to stay. If I feel that my partner's addiction is affecting my life to the point where I can no longer feel comfortable having a family with him, then I do not need to stay. End of story.

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    3. I'm sorry you feel that way.

      Also yes, 'allowed' is not the correct term. I apologize for the usage. Obviously you are allowed to break up with him whenever you want. Feeling unsafe is a valid reason. What I mean to say is "what you should do if you still love him."

      If he has been secretly using for months and finally tells you, I believe you should cut him some slack if he wants to get sober again. The guilt and the lies and the pain will already be destroying him. He doesn't want to lie to you. But the addiction speaks to him in a way that no non-addict can understand. It might make him lie, steal, and hurt to feed it. As I said before, addiction is stronger than love and can make you lie to the people you love the most.

      I can flip the children argument around. Should you break up with your boyfriend (then husband) because he has cancer? What if he dies and leaves you alone with your children? That's certainly affecting your family. Does it make it right? You are making the decision to date someone with an illness. Addiction is not a one-time thing. It is a lifelong illness and a lifelong battle.. There are many people who are sober for 10+ years, come back, relapse, and die. This is a real possibility.

      If he is using and refusing to stop, you should break up with him. Sometimes he will just be so far gone there is nothing you can do. For his recovery, AND of course for your own safety breaking up with him is certainly OK.

      Also something I forgot to mention earlier, if he is drinking even casually, he will relapse at some point. This is a fact of addiction.

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  6. Anyone know if UW housing has a sober floor?

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  7. You're a fucking idiot for even bringing it up. Hes clean for a year and a half and you go saying that shit. He should leave your dumbass.

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