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My Boyfriend Has Been Using Cocaine For Several Months Now and I Do Not Want To Be Around Him. I Love Him Very Much and This Was Not an Issue Initially. I need advice.

by Aubrey
(Buffalo, NY)

We have been together for 2+ years. When we first met this was not apparent to me, the drug use. It was not an issue. Slowly it came into the picture occasionally. I tolerated it and hoped it would go away. I have never been around anyone ever who did cocaine ... it just was never a part of the company I kept. Call me naive.

I don't know exactly when things began to get worse - about 4-5 months ago I started to notice that it was happening more often. It bothered me a lot, but I 'buried my head in the sand' and ignored it again. I tried talking to him several times about this 'fad', as he referred to it.

Then this began to become a weekly occurrence that would sometimes spill over for a couple of days. He started to ignore my phone calls, text messages and simply would disappear with his coke-head buddies and eventually he'd get back to me. I noticed a marked change in his behavior ... needing a day or two to sleep it off and then a lack of interest in all the good things we had been doing together.

I am very much into keeping fit and he was too but things were going downhill, in his interest in bike riding, hiking, running ... all the fun activities we shared together. He also let himself 'go'... showering was becoming an option as well as shaving and changing clothes etc.

All the while I expressed my displeasure. He basically said, 'well you have some decisions to make". Not caring if I walked out or not, or if I were choosing a pair of shoes. It was not that easy.

When this began happening much more regularly, I was very upset and home much more often. I spent a great deal of time at his house even though I have my own place. My college aged daughter (21) has/had been home for the summer and of course, she noticed that I was upset and NOT spending the time I had been with my man.

After this happening several times, she asked what was wrong. We have a very close relationship and so I confided in her and told her about his use. She was upset of course. In the end, he found out that she was aware of the situation, and he was UPSET, and ended the relationship with me.

I am having a hard time now trying to move on, knowing that he has this problem, knowing him as we first met with the cocaine not in the picture and remembering that person. A good man ... with a bad bad habit. I keep telling myself that he is an addict but it still hurts a lot to know that this relationship that I thought was going to be long and lasting is over and it's because of his denial that he has an addiction.

Just not sure where to go from here - do I try to stay in contact and hope he comes clean, do I just give up totally. I need advice. Thank you. Answer

Hi Aubrey

Why would you want to stay in touch with a man in the middle of an active cocaine addiction, who has clearly chosen drugs over you, and who's addiction has become all-consuming to the point where he can't even undertake basic tasks like take a shower regularly?

Now it sounds kind of cruel to put it that bluntly, but just stop for a second and really think about it. You're holding onto something that you guys once had, but things have changed, and he's simply not that person anymore. Sure he might one day change, but are you going to give up your life hoping for that to happen?

You have to understand that drug addicts don't change because you want them to - they only change when they really want to - and that usually only happens once the consequences of their drug using have become bad enough for them to have reached rock bottom.

In fact you're lucky he's broken up with you, because usually partners and spouses of addicts hold onto their relationships hoping like you that things will change - and eventually end up losing themselves totally in the process.

You have to understand these 3 fundamental principles in relation to someone you love struggling with an addiction: 1) You didn't cause it. 2) You can't control it. 3) Neither can you cure it.

So while it's natural to feel upset about your relationship ending, the best thing you can do for the both of you is to move on with your life, while letting him live with the consequences of his cocaine addiction, whatever those turn out to be. Because if the consequences start becoming bad enough, he may eventually become motivated to get professional help and change.

You're holding onto something that doesn't exist anymore. Your relationship may have been good before, but that's not the case anymore, so don't hold onto the past. You have to live in the present and deal with things as they stand NOW.

And whether or not your boyfriend changes is something you have no control over. Let go and stop holding onto something that isn't there, hoping that things may change. Focus on getting your life back on track, and make peace with the fact that his life will unfold however its meant to.

It won't be easy, especially initially, and things like family, counseling, and Nar-Anon meetings will help you get through this.

Take Care and Good Luck

P.S. If you want more detailed and step-by-step guidance on how to get through this - and how best to help yourself and your boyfriend - take a look at Help Me! I'm In Love With An Addict.

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