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In love with an addict

Discussion in 'Share Your Story Here' started by MariChildress, Jul 13, 2015.

  1. MariChildress

    MariChildress Member

    My boyfriend and I have been in a relationship for 4 years, he has been an addict for 3 of those 4 years, and we have two children together. One thing I can say is that he is a great father, he loves his babies and they love him. Our relationship has been very rough. We have had many breakups and separations, and a lot of our relationship has consisted of fighting, anger, resent, and betrayal. On the other hand our relationship has also been full of love, joy, and happiness. It all just depends on his addiction at the time. He is currently addicted to prescription pain pills and also has issues with marijuana. I have tried so hard for so long to help him quit, but nothing has worked. It seems like no matter what the consequences are he will always choose drugs. He has tried to quit multiple times but he always goes right back the first chance he gets. I love this man and I know he loves me, he is just sick and needs help and I feel so terrible because I can't give him the help he needs. Every time I try to help him or get him help he just pushes me away, so I try to just support and understand him. I don't want to give up on this man, I know he can do it, I know he has it in him, I just don't know how to make him believe that.
    L_B likes this.
  2. deanokat

    deanokat Community Organizer Community Listener

    @MariChildress... Welcome and thanks for sharing.

    When we love someone who's struggling with addiction, it's incredibly hard. My son started using drugs as a teenager and battled addiction for 7 years. It was a living hell for our entire family.

    The thing is, like Al-Anon says, you didn't cause it, you can't control it, and you can't cure it. The only person that can "fix" your boyfriend is your boyfriend. Until he decides that he wants it, you'll just be spinning your wheels.

    Don't become addicted to your boyfriend's addiction. Take care of yourself and your children. Self-care is sooo important for anyone who loves an addict. You have to remember that YOU are the most important person in your life and do what you have to to take care of YOU. And your kids. Otherwise you'll end up sick, too, and that won't do anyone any good.

    Trust me. I've been there and done that. I was addicted to my son's addiction and it was debilitating. It wasn't until I started taking care of myself that things changed in my family. That includes my son, who finally went to treatment with an open mind when I told him I was no longer going to enable him. He is now 3 years clean and sober.

    I will keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers. Love is a powerful thing, so if you're absolutely committed to staying with your boyfriend and trying to make things work, then do that. Just know that living the life you're living for any substantial period of time will likely wear you down, and could affect your kids, too.

    I would like to recommend a book to you. It's called Beyond Addiction: How Science and Kindness Help People Change. It's the closest thing I've found to an "owner's manual" for someone who has a loved one struggling with addiction. It's full of great strategies and talks a lot about self-care. I wish I would've had this book when my son was going through his issues.

    We are here to support and help you in any way we can, so don't hesitate to reach out.

    S24 likes this.
  3. gracer

    gracer Community Champion

    Hello @MariChildress! :) I admire you for your patience and unwavering love for your boyfriend. An addicted person indeed needs a support person to help him get through his addiction.

    However, as @deanokat has said, you should also remember to take care of yourself above all else. Especially for your children. If you get too focused in wanting your boyfriend to change, you might end up forgetting about yourself and your children's welfare in the long run.

    Encourage him to change but he should also find the willingness within himself to change for the better. Once he finds that passion deep inside of him, he will be able to beat his addiction effectively.

    I'm glad you were able to find this forum. This is a wonderful place for you to share your feelings and problems especially in times when you feel helpless. People here will be willing to listen to you and give you advice, just don't hesitate to keep on coming back for help. :)
    deanokat likes this.
  4. srock

    srock Member

    @MariChildress your story reminds me so much of my story with my soul mate. Currently we are separated to become healthier on our own. Our relationship is very much as you described, unstable, and full of fighting, blame and betrayal. And yet there is also a deep love and connection unmatched by anything else. Taking care of yourself and your children first is the best advice. It is hard because it can feel as if your heart is torn in two. But truly the best way you can help him is by taking care of yourself. It will minimize the conflict as well because you will be more grounded and healthy to face his addiction with compassion and grace. It's a hard practice, and I certainly wouldn't be doing as well right now if we were still living together. It is ultimately worth it if you're really dedicated to the relationship and you truly believe in it, him and yourself.
    S24 and deanokat like this.
  5. zaerine

    zaerine Community Champion

    So right that he is the one who can help himself cure it. He should realize that his addiction is causing him bad things as well as for the people around him especially to those who love him. He should see you and his kids as his motivation to quit and change for a better future of his family.
  6. 6up

    6up Community Champion

    He truly needs your love and support as you have realised. He will come to realise and change. There must be a reason behind his smoking habit. You may not know that but you should keep on praying for him.
  7. deanokat

    deanokat Community Organizer Community Listener

    @MariChildress... Just checking in to see how you're doing. Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.
  8. dyanmarie25

    dyanmarie25 Community Champion

    Hello there @MariChildress! Welcome to the forum and thank you for sharing your story to us here. Well, if you think he can do it and you have so much faith in him, then just try to be patient and understanding. Never give up on him. As much as possible, always make him feel that you will always be there for him throughout his recovery, just be positive and don't fail to encourage and motivate him every single day.
    deanokat likes this.
  9. Cheeky_Chick

    Cheeky_Chick Community Champion

    It can be very hard indeed to be in love with an addict, and one of the problems is that it can seem so clear to an outsider what needs to be done in order to help them, however they may not realise that they have an issue until it is too late and the person who loves them has given up even trying to offer them any more help, which is a shame. Your love for him is clearly very strong, and I do hope that you manage to make him see what he needs to do before it is too late. That is what I hope for everybody on here who loves somebody who is addicted. It is certainly not easy.
    deanokat likes this.
  10. serenity

    serenity Community Champion

    I think you should encourage him persistently until he caves in to get help. The will to change is the main requirement for addicts to improve their lives, and urging him to do it for you and the kids could melt his heart and trigger his initiative to change his life for the better. Persuade him as much as you can!
  11. S24

    S24 Member

    I can relate to your situation. You have been with your boyfriend for way longer than i was (1 year and 8 months) and the fact that you have children together makes the situation that much tougher. But i agree wih deanokat (the first comment). You must take care of yourself and your children, or you will be sucked into a rough whirlpool to escape.
    Again, you have been with this man for much longer than i was with my boyfriend, but i know how hard it is to see a person with extraordinary potential resort to substances and self-destruction.
    But by separating myself from the situation, i already notice change in my boyfriend-but he had to and has hit rock bottom first.
    There are times when i give into my emotions and try to push him to do the right thinf, but all that does is create tension and he pushes me away.
    By loving your boyfriend from a distance, it will protect you and your children while potentially allowing him to soul search. It may not happen right away, but there is hope.
    I wish you the best of luck! If you want to read my story, i posted it as a thread titled "loving someone with addictive tendencies."
    deanokat likes this.
  12. S24

    S24 Member

    Great comment-I am in the same situation as you, currently
  13. L_B

    L_B Community Champion

    I can relate to what you are going through as I am in a similar situation. I know how it feels to love somebody so much and to watch them losing control of their life and there is so little you can do for them. My boyfriend is my soulmate. We have so many good times together, so many laughs. When he is sober he is like no other man I have ever loved before but when he drinks he becomes this person I don't even know. I love him and I will stand by him because I believe in him and I know he will make those changes when he is ready to.

    I admire you for standing by your man through thick and thin. I have gotten some great advice on here and I am thankful for all of it. Listen to what everybody has to say and keep coming here to post. These people understand and care. They are not here to judge you because they are either living a similar life or have gone through it.

    I will say a prayer for you and your family.
    deanokat likes this.