My Partner is a Heroin Addict & Has Relapsed Twice During our Relationship. I'm Devastated, Do I Stay or Go?
My partner has been a Heroin Addict since the age of 16, he is now 32 and I'm 38, we have no children. We have been together for 7 years, he was on suboxone when we first met and promised me he had no intention of using again.
In the last two years he relapsed once, lost two jobs after several thefts at work and we nearly lost the house. He has relapsed again, I found syringes while we were away on what was meant to be a romantic getaway.
I suspect he has been using for the last 6 months, he denies it but I saw the signs. He was coming home late, disappearing unexpectedly & asking for money all the time. I promised after the first relapse that I would leave if it happened again.
I love my home, I have a beautiful cat who I adore and am very attached to and I'm very scared of going through the whole break up scenario. I have depression and I'm on medication, but I'm afraid I wouldn't be able to cope.
The thing that I'm afraid of most is if this happened I would not be able to cope with work and lose my job, which gives me financially independence. I really need courage & strength. His family don't want to have anything to do with it, they bailed him out last time and forked out a lot of money to help him keep the house.
My family are very upset and want me to leave, but can be quite impatient when I am upset. I have a friend who can be supportive at times but only when it's convenient for her. I am lost, scared and quite depressed already, I barely leave the house.
I know that it's all downhill form here with the addiction and even if he promises to get clean, I don't trust or believe him. I know I should leave but I'm so very afraid.
Hi Katherine. Your instincts were right in wanting to leave after his first relapse. There's a reason for that - you knew it meant things were only going to get worse and not better.
Finding the courage to leave an unhealthy relationship is not easy. But you're going to have to dig deep and find a way if you want to be happy and fulfilled. You can't save your boyfriend from his heroin addiction, but you can save yourself from all the negativity and unhappiness your relationship is causing you.
That comes from taking action despite your fear. Right now you're simply overwhelmed and imagining all the worst case scenarios, but what you'll actually find when taking steps to move your life in a new, positive direction - is that your life will unfold for the better in ways you can't even begin to imagine now.
Get professional help for yourself if need be. Therapy will help you see things as they really are so you'll feel empowered to act, rather than passively waiting and hoping things will just change by themselves. Fear is normal. So as long as you don't let it stop you from pursuing a better life for yourself.
There are also groups who can help you move forward with your life. Nar-Anon is for loved one's and family members of drug addicts. CoDA (coda.org) is a group that will teach you how to develop healthy relationships, rather than continue in a codependent, toxic one.
So you've got lots of options and people out there who can help you get started on a new way of life. Just take it one step at a time. You can do this. You can't change your boyfriend or cure him of his drug addiction. Only once he's ready to help himself will he ever change. But you can't put your life on hold, waiting for that to happen.
You deserve better. Believe in yourself. And if that's something you're struggling with, there are lots of good people out there as per the suggestions above that can help you find that belief. You can do this! Good Luck and God Bless.
P.S. If you're looking for more encouragement and advice as to what you can do that space constraints don't allow us to go into here, get yourself Help Me! I'm In Love With An Addict
. It will help you take the steps you need to make a new start for yourself.