Substance Abuse - Alcohol and Prescribed Drugs: How Can I Support My Boyfriend Deal With Them?
I have a boyfriend that is addicted to prescribed drugs and alcohol. First of all, let me say that I grew up with this problem all around me. It was horrible for everyone involved. I learned that you cannot be an enabler or they will never change.
Anyway, this went on for 20 years. There was nothing we could do to change it. Finally, this person decided to change. It took a lot of willpower but never again was that a problem. Bottom line, you have to want it for yourself. No one can make you change. It has to come from within......
That being said, I swore that I would never be involved with anyone like that. I just could not take it anymore. Well, be careful what you say because I now have a boyfriend just like that. I do not enable him. Problem is that I really should not have let myself get involved because I did recognize the signs. For some reason, I chose to ignore them. Now I am a bit uncertain what to do.
My brain tells me to walk away and I know that is what I should do. I feel bad. This man is 59 years old and to be honest, I am afraid what may happen to him if I should leave him. We do not live together. In the beginning, I would get upset when I did not hear from him but now I have learned to as he gets messed up and sleeps for very long periods of time.
I am scared for him and his well being. I do love him from the bottom of my heart. I know that I cannot marry him or live with him and that is what he wants but what do I do? He was fired from his job because of the market and he has just become withdrawn. I am concerned about his well being. Do I turn my back on him? I have told him that he needs professional help and that I would be there for him to help him through.
He was honest enough to say that he did not know if he was strong enough to give it all up. Always tells me how very much he loves me and that no one has ever been as good to him as I have been. I do believe that. His daughter is grown and she is so mean to him. I want to support him not bring him down. Any advice would be so helpful at this time. I know that I need to leave him but I do I turn my back on him in his time of need?????
You understand the life of addiction better than most having lived through it for so long, but when you say you aren't enabling him are you sure?
Is saying you are scared for his well-being and want to be there for him not possibly a sign of codependency
when you know there is nothing you can do for someone who doesn't want it for themselves?
Look, I know it's not easy and is a very fine line, but as long as you continue to 'allow' someone you know suffers from addiction to use while you're in a relationship with them, you're actually enabling them because they know they've always got you to fall back on when they need you.
Many people confuse love with neediness. I'm not saying that's the case with your relationship - but my point is by sticking around despite knowing he continues to use, you are actually 'supporting' his addiction and thus inadvertently enabling it.
I think you should insist that if he want to continue a relationship with you, he has to go through a proper addiction treatment program
and then join a 12 step program like AA or NA that will help him build a new life for himself based on the foundation of sobriety.
That way you also give your relationship a real chance because can you really have a successful relationship with someone living a life of addiction? ... and you're showing real love because you know the best possible thing for him in respect of his health and overall well-being is leaving a life of substance abuse behind him.
But it all comes back to whether he wants it enough for himself. By insisting on him getting help if he wants to save your relationship, hopefully that will provide him with sufficient motivation to get started, and will show you if he loves you as much as he says he does. Then the rest is up to him.
I wish you well, but remember we are ultimately powerless over the decisions and choices others make, as much as we want to help them.
Best Wishes and Good Luck