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bf in rehab...again...the pain and pitfalls of hope
May 11, 2004
9:38 pm
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Though my own life is moving along...(not spectacular, but productive)... my boyfriend seems to have a lifelong struggle with addiction that I may never see him recover from. Of course I never let on that I think there is a chance of things not working out for him- I would never discourage anyone who is making an effort to turn their life around. It's just that I've seen him go through this since I've known him, and like most codependent types, I kind of hoped we'd be like some of those rare fortunate couples... you know... the ones who get clean and work it out and stay together. Sadly, life experience dictates that this may not be the case (duh).

M. is in rehab now... I am very proud that he has come this far (again). I'm just scared of having a life of these roller coaster ups and downs. In the past, I would have been happy that he was in treatment...now I feel like I don't have the luxury of hope any more. I'm afraid to feel good about it.

I don't want to retell my story on here again. I'm sure even the newest people could probably guess most of it anyway.
Do you abandon someone you are still in love with simply because they are not doing as well as you are? This is the advice I have been getting over and over and it doesn't sit right with me.

When M. is not in the depths of his problem he musters all the care and love he can... (is it enough? I don't ever remember thinking I had "enough" love, you can never have too much!) when he is rock bottom he doesn't give enough to the relationship... but neither do i. Isn't that everyone, and isn't it our own job to set our boundaries...

Do these things just take care of themselves? I'm not ready to make a decision to change, I still love him, should that matter? I know, you can't always have what you want.

I'm babbling here. Just need some support and feedback. No judgements please.

-ella

May 11, 2004
9:57 pm
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Molly
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I don't know your previous posts, but I know addiction. I know co-dependency. It takes 21 days to detox, it takes two years to begin to make behavioral changes, and when co-dependent couples re-couple they usually trigger each other. Love is a great thing, but communication, trust, mutual goals, and common ground is what makes a relationship work. You know what you had before, you know that you can't control him. You know or must know that when addicts or alcoholics go through rehab, they are different when they are sober. What fit before doesn't usually fit later. The sober one is usually reminding the recovery person of the past, when they are trying to focus on the future, and the co-dependent person is working on the future based on past experiences with the addict/alcoholic. Its not rocket science. You acknowledge the difference. There are many things to consider , how much time have you invested, boy friend vs husband and shared children, make a difference. Your age makes a difference, your desire for stability makes a difference........ There are no guarentees. Only promises, and that is only as good as the person that makes them. How much are you willing to gamble ? Its only your life.

May 11, 2004
10:57 pm
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ELLA: i once had a boyfriend who went into detoxes more than at least 10x in a 3 1/2 year period. I guess deep down my guy was not able to
deal with "not being able to drink" again, cuz he always went back to the bottle. He would even walk out of detoxes, and even drink in detoxes.Its so sad, but I always held onto that glimmer of hope. My story ends a very sad way, my boyfriend took his own life 1 year 9 mos ago....I guess he could not deal with all of the emotional pain he thought he had deep within, he drank at age 13 till his death at age 29.i too so much wanted to walk out on the relationship,but I always held on, till the last day. Know Ella, this is up to "him" to do, and you
do have choices, if he seeems to be
getting better for a long period of
time say 1 year sober, that is great, but if he still goes back to the same "problems" then there could be more emotional problems within your relationship. I am trying to tell you this from my heart and let you know that you cannot change him,
he has to want to go into recovery and stay sober for a long period of
time, it will be a huge adjustment and I hope he can do this. Just know
that I pray for you and hope things
work out for the very best.
~camer

May 11, 2004
11:17 pm
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Molly & Camer,

Thank you for your responses. They lie heavy on my heart, only because I know they hold so much sad truth.

I'm so sad about this because I really feel like I'm in limbo. Usually I know what I want to do about difficult relationships, it's just the matter of doing it. I honestly feel like no matter what I do regarding this relationship I will never feel right about it. I never broke up with someone I was in love with before. Do I just ride this out until it's inevitable death? Or end it and wonder what would have happened if I followed my heart and stuck it out?

All the while there's a really big question that bugs me and that is, I'm not the most well adjusted person in the world so why should I demand that any boyfriend of mine be the picture of mental health? All a person can do is try. Should people w/addictions and mental illness spend the rest of our lives alone? Excuse me for sounding childish, but that seems rather unfair. Sometimes I get so angry when I see that people who have it easy anyway get all the support from society and their families. I skipped a family wedding because of all these deeply disturbing feelings I have around this issue. So the well adjusted can have their relationships and be even happier, and the rest of us should stay away from anyone lest we soil their lives with ups and downs? Help guys, what do you think? Becoming "well" is a lifetime pursuit. Do we have to stay alone forever. Because Ive spent enough of my years that way.
-ella dis-enchanted

May 12, 2004
12:29 am
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uptoolate
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Ella, I can relate so much to what you are saying. I posted a thread last night called "from one extreme to the other..again" because I am dealing with the same sort of thing as you, just to a lesser degree. My B/F doesn't need rehab but he sure needs some counseling that he has yet to seek. I too struggle with the notion of should I stay or should I go. It's so hard.

We just went thru one of the worst episodes of our 6 year relationship and I thought this was it. I actually started conditioning myself to the fact that it was going to be over. This time was just one of many so I know exactly what you mean when you talk about the roller coaster ride. You get to the point where it gets so old and you are so worn by it all that it starts to not matter anymore, and you can actually start picturing life without him. It is quite different this time because I have accepted the fact that I am in an addictive, codependent relationship. And I have started thinking and acting differently. Our relationship has gotten much better but my fear is that, like every other time, it will not last and I don't think I can go thru another bad "episode" again. I believe I will be fed up and done.

Your question "do we have to be alone forever" made me think. I can only answer for myself and I think not. When we learn to love ourselves than we can begin to love others in a healthy way, and maybe the attraction to unhealthy people and relationships will cease because you will have the insight and possess the knowledge you need to see the signs and take heed. Take care of yourself first. Love yourself first. The rest may come easier than you think.

As for me, I am sticking it out for now. I can't leave now while things are better. Maybe it will work out, maybe not. If it doesn't at least I can say I tried.

good luck and hugs to you

May 12, 2004
1:01 am
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p.s. Molly-

Why should it make a difference if someone is a boyfriend rather than husband? Anyone can get married and some married people take their marraiges a lot less seriously then some single/coupled people take their relationships.

I think it's the depth of the love and commitment that matter. Again, marraige just makes other people think it's more acceptable that you stay together, while if you are an unmarried couple it seems people are quick to say "Dump him."

May 12, 2004
1:26 am
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Hi Ella,

This is a hard question, and I don't know if there is any real "right or wrong" answer.

I guess one question I have for you, is you have said that your boyfriend has been in rehab a few times. Now, I know you are now clean and sober and working your program (HOORAY FOR YOU!) - and that's great... but is this the first time since you have been in recovery that he has tried to get clean? Do you feel that will make a difference?

You make a valid point about being married and supporting a loved one through a hard time and being in a relationship and people being quick to tell you to "dump them." I personally believe that there are relationships and marriages that are worth working on and fighting for. At the same time I honestly believe that some people really do not need to be together - ever. They can be toxic to one another.

I have a sister-in-law who divorced her first husband when he went to rehab, then on to AA. She also has a drinking problem. Of course in her eyes she doesn't have a problem, because she only drinks beer. Problem is she drinks a 12 pack a day, and drinks to get drunk. But anyway, her reasoning for divorcing her husband was she "refused to live in a house without beer." What a committment huh?

I guess the real question is, are you willing to stay with him, and he with you through the really rough times? Do you think that if he is tempted, or you are tempted that you can get each other to a meeting? Is being with him a temptation to you to start using again?

I think these are all things to consider before making that decision. However, if you feel that his chances of recovery are slim, how much more time and effort do you really want to put into the relationship in the off chance that he will not be able to stay clean? I think the point Molly was trying to make is that perhaps now is an easier time to begin going your seperate ways while there are no children involved.

Also, keep in mind that if you do break up, there is no reason why you cannot remain friends and be supportive of him. I know you care very deeply for him, but at the same time remember you have to care for and love yourself.

Z.

May 12, 2004
1:46 am
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Zinny,

Hi. First off, no way could I break up with m. and stay friends. That would hurt too much. I don't do that even with guys I don't have strong feelings for after it's over. I can't even imagine that. Of course, I wish my boyfriend good health with or without me.

One thing that sucks about this relationship is that we both have serious problems that on occasion have made us act out of character, not just to each other, but in general. So if I were to judge my bf by isolated actions of his, I might be horrified. But the real picture is that I love his affectionate, kind and intelligent nature that is his true self. All of this is so easy to say now, and is not so easy to see when things are going badly. But I don't forget those times.

We both want the same thing for ourselves, for each other and for our relationship. It's just that I have had an easier time of making the changes because let's just say it simply: the changes were a lot less radical for me than they will be for him.

I guess past performance and statistics are what makes me think recovery might not be in store for us. It breaks my heart, regardless of the outcome of our relationship, to think that this man, who is remarkable in so many ways, will lose this battle and I hope to God he doesn't. There is an element of personal will in recovery, but only god knows how much that is and how much are other factors working against someone.

M. has also been clean for a few months here and there, but he doesn't have the youthful enthusiasm he had in those days. Instead he has me he says, and he keeps talking about how he wants to get better so he can be with me and he is tired of living the way he does. So am I, but I can't imagine life without him... though I've attempted it.

May 12, 2004
2:01 am
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I think perhaps you answered your own question then. If you cannot imagine life without him... then, you are there for the long run.

I understand about not wanting to "stay friends" because that is not always possible. I'm still friends with a few of the guys I dated, but I'll be honest - they were guys that I dated, but never seriously (or physically) for any amount of time, and it is easier that way - at least for me.

I think we all act out at one time or another for various reasons. Anger, fatigue, and yes, sometimes too much to drink or perhaps there are drugs involved. Being with someone, either in a committed relationship or marriage, means being together in the good times and the bad.

I have a good strong marriage, no doubt about it. But trust me when I say there are days when I think to myself "WHY am I here? and what in the world was I thinking?" Of course I'm sure there are more days then I would care to know about that my husband feels the same way at that! But, we work through these things. So many people think that once they say "I Do" that's it, there will never be another problem or no more fights. It's actually often the opposite. Because before, when one of you was having a bad day or had a headache you could always go home. Now, you ARE home!

You are going into this realistically, and you know what the pitfalls can be. The only thing I think I can really tell you then is just keep working your program and help him work his. Perhaps if you can go through this together, he might just make it this time. At least that is my hope for you.

May 12, 2004
8:53 am
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CAMER
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ELLA: I agree with Zinny...have your
boyfriend go thru recovery and stick by eachothers side for support.Only
you will know if "enough is enough".
I have spend 3 1/2 years with my
boyfriend going in and out of detox and it was a rollercoaster ride, all
the empty promises and all the happiness when I thought "oooh he is going to stay sober for a long time"..that long time only last for 3 mos then back to the bottle. Ella,
this is your life, and you have to
decide if you have the strength to stay in it with your boyfriend, or the courage to walk away into the
unknown. I do wish you both the best
in whatever the outcome may be.

May 12, 2004
8:02 pm
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Molly
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I stated marriage vs boyfriend, because of the legal, and familial commitments. True a document doesn't necessarily make a difference it are the people that make the agreement.
Humans will justify what they are doing or what they want to do, regardless of the advice they seek. People hear what they want to hear and debate the rest. It is your life to live, your choices to live with. Alcoholics and addicts don't end up alone all the time, usually they choose their booze or drug of choice as their life mate. That is their choice. People come out of limbo when they are ready , you will.
Most likely when you are sick and tired of being sick and tired, or the choice will be taken from you and made by your boyfriend.

May 12, 2004
8:45 pm
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Hi,Everyone!
I haven't been writing to the site.I guess I was trying to focus on me and my famly.And I've been messing up big time.Old behaviors coming back,like bad dreams.I realized when I share my feelings and thats with other people who are going, or gone through similar problems I feel instantly better.My B.F.has 74 days clean after his relaps 18 months ago.We been together for six years,and raising my two kids,since they where babies.I know his both sides.The clean and sober is the best, a woman can ask for,the other,controlled by drugs is pure hell.He is doing very well,and he is here to stay.I can't afford to think otherwise.Trust is a major issue in recovery when couples are involved.
I visit a lot of his meetings,so I can learn about his addiction,and we read my codependent books together.I strongly feel when I understand where my partner is coming from, and how differently things affecting him then it is affecting me, we can start working on our relationship in a positive way.
And here comes the scary part I'm pregnant.This will be our first baby together.My immotions are up and down,and can't separete my hormonal freakuots from flaming codependency.A lot of times I open my mouth too soon,but I just can't controll it. I say things and I hurt peoples feelings,then I feel bad about it.Is it codependency,or hormones from hell.PLEASE HELP!I NEED ADVICE.

May 12, 2004
8:56 pm
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weda
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By the way ELLA,I hope you can make the right choice for you.

May 20, 2004
2:26 am
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Weda,

I haven't been at the board for a while... just came back to re-read some of the things people responded to me (I needed to go over them again...one of those nights). Anyway, I never got to read what you wrote until now. I hope someone responded to you on another thread. Are you still with us? I've been gone.

I don't have kids (I know I'm not capable of that), it's a whole different arena when they are involved I'm sure. But still, your needs have to be met so you can be there for them. You do not cease to exist as an emotional being. In fact, you need strength more than most right? Find support here.

Keep in touch...
-ella

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