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Why Do I Feel Sorry for my Addicted Ex-Boyfriend who is in Rehab?

I am struggling with some sorrow feelings and would appreciate any words to get me through. My ex-boyfriend who is in rehab for the 2nd time texts/calls occasionally. I need to move on and stop responding.

Most recently, he needed to borrow $20 for gas and parking costs. I gave it to him ... he isn't always kind to me with his words and from all he has done to me in the past - I should not think another minute about him. However, I continue to feel sorry for him and worry for him.

I understand he is the only one that can change his situation - but I am not allowing myself to move forward and LIVE because I feel sorry for him. I think this is trouble with detachment - but I am ready to think about me before him, and just cannot seem to get there.


Worrying and having concern for someone we care about is normal - even in cases of addiction where that person may have severely hurt and disappointed us. So don't beat yourself up over that.

Your ex-boyfriend has an illness ... addiction ... and unfortunately behaviors like lying, manipulation, abuse, stealing etc. often come with the territory. That's not a reflection on you, merely manifestations of his addiction.

Having said that, when you know a relationship is unhealthy and dysfunctional, which most relationships with addicts are - holding on and putting the addicts needs above your own is usually a sign of codependency.

That usually stems from low self-esteem, so you may need to do some work with a therapist or groups like CoDA ( and Nar-Anon/Al Anon, whereby you can start developing a relationship with yourself again first and foremost.

But it's critical you realise, your ex is where he is today because of the choices he's made - and that you are in no way responsible for his finding himself in rehab. One of the characteristics of codependency is that we often try and take on responsibility for someone else - and then blame ourselves if things go wrong for that person.

So be patient with yourself and give it time. And focus on spending time re-discovering yourself and what makes you happy. It will mean less time to dwell on the negative thoughts and doubts you're having - and will help you move on faster.

Take Care and Good Luck.

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