Dealing With a Loved One's Addiction

My boyfriend and I have been together for over 5 years. We combine bills, support each other, and plan to get married in the next couple years if money and circumstances permit. However...

6 months ago, he admitted to me that he is addicted to pain killers. I had already suspected this and we often fought about how much he was using but he just got really good at hiding it. His dad used to send him money for bills (I didn't know) but I guess it was all spent on pills. Tens of thousands of dollars just gone. But I love him and I could see how ashamed he was and so I told him if he could be honest with me and show me that he is trying, I would help him through his recovery. Finally, a few months ago, he admitted his addiction to his parents which have made things easier.

The problem is his parents live in England and Dubai, so I am on my own here, making sure he goes to appointments and takes his medication. I work full-time and I've discovered that he has been skipping his appointments and stretching out his suboxone. I have also caught him in a lie no less than 5 times now about using since he first started treatment.

Each time, I have to pull it out of him like a dentist pulling teeth. It's this all too familiar set of stages: He gets ill, I suspect, I ask, he lies, I find evidence, he lies, I threaten to leave, he admits. I'm getting so tired of this dance. I tried not to nag him and he became an addict. Now I'm trying to support him and he is just a liar. He blames me and tells me he has to lie because I will overreact if he tells me. But he's never given me a chance! I've told him time and again that I know and accept that he will relapse; what bothers me is that, because he lies every time, I can't trust him when he says he is sober.

I know I am doing potential damage by questioning him about his sobriety, I know I am likely leading him to use when I do that. But if I don't do it, I know I am living under a false impression. I need to protect myself as well as him and I can't do that by ignoring the facts nor my instincts. I was wondering if any of you have advice on how to become the supporter without being the detective, the interrogator, the cause of stress that makes them want to use again? How do you trust them when they say they're sober? Is this just going to be a life of hardening my heart against the inevitable lies? And how do you get past the hurt of not being trusted as a confident? How do you let the paranoid addict know you're here to help as long as they are honest with you? At what point do you say "enough is enough?" I love him, but I need to love myself, too. And right now, all I feel is bitterness and resentment.

User Comments

Hi there. I would like to share my own story with you. If I may.

I met a woman in 2011. The step sister of an ex.... that is another long, complicated story lol. Anyway I am in South Africa and she came down from Zimbabwe to see her daughter. She had given legal guardianship of her daghter to her ex husband's parents due to her problems with perscription medication. In any case she was here staying with her step father and i was visiting my ex all the time and that is how we met and started dating. Eventually I grew to love her and we started living together and more or less from the start there were warning signs I should have seen. But loneliness... and a need to be a supportive, loving boyfriend made me blind to the warning signs.

Long before I met, J (I'm going to call her J) she developed a condition that made it very difficult for her to have anymore children. She became addicted to the medication. That is how she lost her job and had to give her daughter to the ex in-laws. She had been to rehab and I though everything was fine. I won't get to deep into our two year relationship..... it is a pretty long stupid story. But I tried so hard to be supportive, I tried to be there and help her. At one point I was even not talking to my family because they didn't like her. Which was difficult but I chose her over them. And in our time together i've had things go missing. J has "borrowed" money from people..... and they've never been paid back. And through it all because it was perscription medication that she got from a doctor I guess I refused to see she is an addict who was in trouble.

And in those two years J kept things from me, she lied to me (I to this day still do not know what all she had lied about) I suspect she stole from me as well as from other people. We fought so much and i always ended up letting it go. Because we also made love alot and out of fear of never finding anyone else i let it go. But like you we fought about the lies and I found it harder and hader to trust her and i know that she continued lying to me. Eventually she went back to Zimbabwe, with the plan being that she would come back to me. That was three years ago. The last message I got from her was a year ago telling me that she was in jail.

You ask at what point do you say enough is enough, and to be perfectly honest I wish that I knew the answer to that myself. I loved her and I didn't want to be alone, but if she had stayed here I am sure her lying and stealing and..... i don't know what else may have gotten me into trouble too. And even now I worry that even knowing what I know if J got in touch and wanted to come back to me I may just take her back. All because I don't want to be alone and have convinced myself that she is the only woman who will love me. One thing I can tell you is that you do have to have to find the point when enough is anough. You can only do so much. As much as you love him if he won't help himself there is nothing you can do.

I'm sorry i tried to keep this as short as possible lol. I just read you story and I really wanted to share with you what I want through. I am not sure my story will help you in anyway but I hope that it will, even if only a little. Although I hope that your situation has improved since you've written this.