Loving And Leaving An Addict

Question: My man and I are constantly fighting. He’s a drug addict and he says I’m a nag. We’re 36 now, behaviors I thought would change after college haven’t and I don’t see an end here. But I don’t know who I am without him. And I don’t know who will look after him if I leave. I love him but I also know how unhealthy this is. What do I do? I know how annoying I can be, and he loves me anyway. Why can’t I figure out how to love all of him?

Answer: Loving an addict has to be one of the most difficult intimate relationships to have. Women are natural caregivers and most of us thrive at being one. At our core, humans love to feel like they are making a difference. Unfortunately for some women, this deep need to be needed can attract people who are toxic and not best for our higher self.

You fell in love in college. I went to college and I know firsthand that we all did a lot of things that are no longer acceptable as fully functioning adults. I tried a lot of drugs. Some were fun, some were not. But all belonged to an era meant for experimentation and God protecting children and fools…

For a moment, let’s leave the idea that it’s drugs. Let’s think about things that were acceptable in college. At 36 years old, what if it was, “My  boyfriend still pees in the corner of his room when he’s drunk?” OR “My boyfriend still lives in a 2 bedroom, with 6 guys, using coffee filters as toilet paper?” At 36 these things are ridiculous. But because they are SO obviously dumb it’s easy to say, with confidence, that you would never continue to date this man.

When dating a drug addict, there is SO much tied into it. Most addicts become addicts to numb some internal pain. And because you are his woman, you probably know what all those tiny childhood triggers are and so you empathize. Dating an addict means the “highs” are amazing. He loves you, and dotes on you, and when high as kite probably rants and raves of his love for you. And when he’s crashing or, attempting, to withdraw it’s a nightmare and you love being the one to ease his pain.  I can guarantee that after one of these lows he holds you tight and tells you how much he loves you for sticking by him. He tells you how great of a woman you are and, through no fault of your own, you are completely hooked back in.

You are NOT a nag and you are NOT annoying. What you are is a woman who has moments of clarity. And in those moments you call him on his shit and, as an addict, he is completely unable to see how it is HE that is the root of the problem.

An addict will always blame others.  YOU are the one ruining his high, his good time, his ability to ignore his own faults…

Loving him is right. Getting him the help and support he needs is right. I won’t tell you to leave him, that’s a choice you have to make here. Many people recover from addiction and go on to lead perfectly healthy sober lives, and many people don’t. What I WILL tell you is, YES your relationship is toxic.… But YOU have done nothing wrong. You are only guilty of thinking you are all he needs. He needs rehabilitation. And you need to love yourself a little more. Get him in a program and then get yourself in one…Caregivers needs support too. The rest will fall into place… He will either stick with it or he won’t. He’s either going to spend his life in recovery or drag you down into his mess, but hopefully you will come to the realization quickly that loving yourself best is the answer to everything. That’s the only way to survive honey.

 

 

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The Condom Under The Couch

Question: I’m 33 years old. I’ve been dating this guy for a few years now. We don’t live together. He actually lives 2 hours away. We’ve had a lot of trust issues in the past, but lately I’ve been feeling like he’s taking this more seriously and is finally ready to settle down. This past weekend, I was visiting and I found a condom wrapper under the couch in his 1 bedroom apartment. He doesn’t have any roommates but he does have a young cousin that uses his place to bring girls and he swears it was him. He even called him in front of me, though not on speaker phone, to confirm it. I let it go but my gut is telling me he’s lying. What do I do?

Answer: Listening to your gut will never steer you wrong. It knows before the mind and the heart are ready. But that aside, let’s break down this ridiculousness.

  1. Your trust issues are not in the past, they are very much in the present or you wouldn’t be writing to me to ask this. He’s done something that you haven’t really let go of and definitely haven’t forgiven him for. The truth is, no matter how dumb the story (because men often just do dumb shit), when you truly trust and believe your man you listen to his excuse and are able to move on without a doubt in your mind that he’s being honest.
  2. He’s 33 years old and allows his young cousin to use his apartment as his fuck pad? Ummmm, gross. Here’s what this behavior indicates. He is living in pure bachelor mode. A man who was truly into you, and committed after years of dating, wouldn’t allow his young cousin to be having sex in his 1 bedroom apartment. Because that’s the space he shares with you. Living there or not, as his woman, it’s a space that the two of you share intimate time in. It’s not a frat house.
  3. You found the condom under the couch you were sitting on. Ummm double gross! 😦 So his cousin didn’t have the sense to clean up, but neither did your man! What man isn’t concerned about his woman finding the remnants of a tryst in his home? One that doesn’t even realize he should care.
  4. I call bullshit on the phone call. You have no idea what, whomever he called, was even saying on the other line. If this had happened the way he said, and he was innocent, and he was worried about you leaving him for this because of your past issues with him, he would have had his cousin talk to you directly. If he had no guilt he would have called and handed you the phone. There would have been no middleman. The middleman controls the phone call and your response.

WHY are you dealing with this? I have an answer for you… We date at our level of self-esteem. You aren’t at fault for believing this nonsense. You are not to blame for loving an immature and dishonest man. We have ALL been there at some point. But NOW is the time to change the direction of your life. Make the decision that you are smarter than the bullshit he handed you. Make the choice to walk away and not be the chick he and his cousin are laughing at.

Do you know why men play the games they do? Because for every 1 woman who is courageous enough to say “STOP” there are 4 that are too scared to change and so they stay. Be courageous enough. You get 1 life honey. Don’t waste it with an idiot.

Leave. And spend a few months loving yourself. You are the sum of the people you surround yourself with. So check your circle! Make sure your girls are go-getters. Make sure your circle is comprised of women who believe in setting standards and boundaries and ensuring that people stick to them. You are SO much better than his lame story. NOW is the time to write your own.