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Relationship with life long addict....???
An_252243 posted:
I would like some advice from folks familiar with addiction. Although this is regarding a relationship, I know that folks in this forum will understand better than otherwise.

I am 41 and was with a man for 3 years. Upon meeting him I was not aware that he addiction issues but some time into the relationship it became apparent that there was alcohol abuse taking place. He then shared with me that he has had drug/alcohol addiction on and off for the better part of his life which have had a significant negative impact on his life.

During our relationship he put himself into a prestigious rehab center and, although not a man of great means, spent upwards of $50,000. To no avail, he relapsed in a major way and came close to losing his life several times.

I finally had to leave the relationship which broke my heart. Despite his on and off issues with addiction (really ALL on), we had an amazing bond and friendship. Despite his addiction he is a wonderful, caring, loving man and would do nearly anything for anyone, even if they're a perfect stranger. Aside from this disease, he's an amazing human being and even with the disease, he's a quality person.

After I left the relationship I met a wonderful guy. I wasn't looking for a relationship but it found me. I have now been with this man for 3 months. I am not in love with him but was well on my way. He may already be there although the "L word" has not been used.

My ex got in touch with me to see how I was doing (and I'm still in touch with his family, I'm fairly close to them) and come to find out he has been completely sober now for months. He said he got sober 2 days after I left him, relapsed a few times but has had several months of pure sobriety.

He sees a therapist regularly, a psychiatrist, he's on Antabuse, attends a non-denomenational worship place and attends AA meetings at least daily. He has also quit smoking, started working out again and seems to be living an sober lifestyle and is very plugged into his new program. He has reconnected with his sponsor and meets with him several times/week outside of meetings and works the steps.

Now, he's angling hard to get me back. He says I am the love of his life (which I believe is true) and said he wants to "right all the wrongs" and treat me how I should have been from the beginning. I always recognized his struggle with addiction and how much hurting himself and others hurt him. It was a sad, heartbreaking and vicious cycle.

This is the first time in his life he has really plugged in to the program. He swears he'll never use alcohol/drugs again and I believe he believes that when he says it... but we know how that can go.

I believe he is the love of my life, he's unlike anyone I've ever met and when he's sober I can't imagine my life without him. I find myself in a precarious situation with him and my "new flame" and I really don't know what to do. Obviously, having been an addict of so many years he's a high risk but he's also someone I love very much. On the flip side, this guy I've been seeing is absolutely amazing but I don't know if I'll ever share the connection I had with my ex. I also want to support my ex during such a pivotal time in his life...but not to my own detriment.

I'm tired and confused from all of this. I've cried my eyes out for the past couple weeks which is unlike me. I don't want to hurt anyone and I don't know what to do. Do you have any gentle suggestions? I'm absolutely torn to pieces over this. Thank you for taking the time...

Take the Poll

What would you do? Stay with the ex, despite a history of addiction because he's sober now and the love of my life?
  • Stay with the ex/love of my life despite a history of addiction
  • Leave ex alone, see where things go w/ my "new flame"
  • Other (please explain in response)
View Poll Results
joanconnorclark responded:
People in early recovery are very strongly encouraged to not get into a relationship for at least a year. That gives them time to get solid footing in sobriety, and your ex hopefully has an AA sponsor who has told him this. If I'm reading this correctly, he's a little over 3 months sober, way too soon for a serious relationship.
You might also want to attend an Al-Anon meeting and get suggestions there as well.
HardTimed replied to joanconnorclark's response:
If you have a "new flame" then you really don't give a crap about your bf.
Wisdom_comes_slowly responded:
Your name must be Karen. While you changed a couple of things, I must be the ex. You can't and you aren't hurting anyone. It isn't fair for you to have to carry that kind of weight.

An addict typically doesn't get sober until his/her spouse leave's them. Addict's don't change or move until they absolutely have to.

I had resigned myself to the fact that you were going to leave me after our vacation. I was completely sober when we got back because I was ready for you to leave and announce you were pregnant. I don't understand why addict's don't get sober until their spouse leaves them.

Whether you stay with your ex or not, just know that he loves you enough to let you go. Loving someone means giving all of yourself to that person. My guess is he doesn't have a job or real social network support. He needs to get both, and if you leave him and love him, he will reconnect with the world.

We truly are soul mates. However, if he's "angling" to get you back, that sounds a little like manipulation to me. Addicts are master manipulators and my guess is you feel caught between a rock and a hard place. Don'!. You have given him everything. What has he given you?? Certainly not happiness. If he is truly a good man, he just wants you to be happy. I think I'll go to church tomorrow, maybe buy some pretzels. Love is a funny thing.....

***Just be honest; talk to him. Tell him exactly what you wrote down here and ask him why you should take him back*****
sorenitynow responded:
Go to meetings!!! You'll have the support & foundation to make clearer decisions day by day.

Good Luck & Be Well
gagirl12 responded:
What did you decide? I am married to the love of ny life. Same situation as far as him being amazing when he is normal. I am at a point where I must decide to stay or go since my husband's addiction to pills has come back.

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