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He was an addict

Posted by Meredith Goldstein  July 19, 2011 08:08 AM

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A noon update from the letter writer that answers some of your questions.

"Yes, he goes to group meetings, has a therapist, is in a long-term rehab program, and yes, has (clean) friends and a supportive family. Yes, I have asked to go to see his therapist. Yes, we are very honest with each other. Yes, I told him if he lies to me/happens again I will not stay in the relationship. Yes I am researching Nar-Anon meetings because I feel it would be greatly beneficial. Nothing else has been brought up in the marriage/child department (was more like a one-time discussion). Instead, we have kept it light, we have fun together: we go on outdoor adventures, take walks, go to events, watch movies, make dinner together, etc."


Q: Dear Meredith,

I'm a longtime LL lurker, and I've fallen in love.

I met *Robert* about two months ago. We met on a dating website and hit it off right away. We're both aware that we're lucky to have found each other. We laugh a lot. There have also been some serious conversations, which mostly involve our future and plans together.

One of the serious conversations at the beginning of our relationship was about his history of drug addiction. He told me that he went to rehab about two years ago for prescription drugs, he knew he had hurt a lot of people, he has tried to mend his ways, and has cut off all of his "friends from the past."

He is working hard at starting over and being proactive (working, saving money, going back to school, etc.). He recently admitted that his new night shift job started to take a toll on him and that his stress level caused him to have some "cravings." He said it was just a craving -- nothing that he couldn't handle.

This past weekend, the topic came up again and Robert mentioned that it was more than prescription drugs (cocaine, heroin, etc.), and it was just about 6 months ago that he stopped abusing drugs and became clean.

I was caught off guard and a little upset about him not telling me the entire truth at the beginning. I didn't realize how intense the situation had once been and how recent it was. He told me that his life has truly turned around. He is happy for the first time (our relationship), and doesn't want to ruin such a positive thing. He didn't tell me everything because he was scared and embarrassed.

I run with a healthy crowd. We are always active, positive/optimistic, and have never really known anyone who is in recovery. I love to listen and have not judged him, but I am scared that one day he could give in to drugs again. He tells me that he has been taught to handle this one day at a time. We talk about marrying and having children, but I'm nervous.

I forget about our serious discussion for the most part, but the situation still hangs in the back of my mind. How do I not focus on his past and focus on the future without being a little cautious? I want to be able to trust him down the line when we move in together and build a life together. What would Meredith do?

– Nervous but Hopeful, Boston


A: I'd have a tough time forgiving him for the lie, NBH. But it seems like you have, so let's move on from that and address the whole "Will he relapse?" question.

The answer is: I don't know. All of this is pretty new. Is he seeing a therapist or counselor? Is he in a support group? And ... do you get the sense that this relationship is an addiction? Because I find it interesting that he's talking about marriage and kids after two months. You need to figure out whether he's building a whole life for himself or whether he's simply drowning himself in you. Who else does he hang out with now that he's sober? Anyone?

My advice is to slow things down. Get to know him and see how he's adjusting to his new routine. Take a deep breath and just date him. That's all you should be doing this early in the relationship. You might decide to ditch him in a month for reasons that have nothing to do with drugs. No need to jump ahead.

Readers? Should he be dating after six months of being clean? Could you forgive the original lie? Should they be talking about marriage? Discuss.

– Meredith


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ABOUT LOVE LETTERS: Welcome to Love Letters, the place for love advice (giving and getting). Globe relationship columnist Meredith Goldstein and Boston.com readers are ready to take your letters and tell you what's what. Have a question? Click here to submit or email us at loveletters@boston.com.
Blogger Meredith Goldstein

Meredith Goldstein is a Boston Globe columnist who follows relationship trends and entertainment. She offers daily advice on Love Letters — and welcomes your comments. Meredith is also the author of "The Singles," a novel about complicated relationships. Follow Meredith at www.meredithgoldstein.netand on Twitter. Love Letters can be found in the print edition of The Boston Globe every Saturday in the G section.

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