What happens after you leave or lose an addict? The 5 Stages of Loss

What to expect when you leave an addict (or lose them to addiction)…from someone who’s been through it.

minute read

Have you just left a relationship with an addict or lost someone you love to addiction?

Sometimes, knowing when to stop helping an addict can be a life-changer. Because we focus so much on the addict when we are in a relationship with them, once we have committed to leaving, we do not know what to do with ourselves. So much of our energy was given to their addiction and trying to save them that we lose our own identity. For most of us, the fears we felt about leaving confront us head on.

We have the time to ponder all of the “what ifs” we have discussed in previous articles that have kept us from leaving. Here, we address what you can expect when you DO LEAVE. We’ll review the Stages of Loss that are fairly predictable, and then offer you a section to share your story at the end. As always, we try to respond to all real comments personally and promptly.

What to expect when addiction takes it all

When you leave empty-handed from a traumatic situation where there was no resolution you do not gain the closure most of us desire. Even if you are the one who decides to leave, loving an addict who rarely gives you the thanks and the recognition you deserve still hurts. You spent years loving them and trying to help them. In fact, many years are spent for most people trying to get the addict to see them and recognize that they would do anything to help them recover.

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Leaving an addict can make your whole time with them feel meaningless. Coupled with the lack of gratitude and love you would expect to gain from your bold statement, you may also have anger, disgust and hate thrown at you on the way out the proverbial door. But the truth is that addicts affect families in negative ways. And there is a time to leave.

When I finally left the addict for good, I thought I would be immediately relieved but there was a period of time where uncontrollable emotions would come in stages.

It was Valentine’s Day, three months after I left my husband, and he had completely abandoned my daughter as a father so I had a great deal of anger towards him. But when the day came I cried like I hadn’t in months. I saw people buying flowers, heard friends making reservations for romantic dinners and I was a single, struggling mother trying to support myself and a child.

I got wind that he had a new girlfriend, a young stripper, and I felt the most horrific void and sense of loss and betrayal. Although I knew he was an active addict and that nothing he did meant much, I took a step backwards that day.

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5 Stages of Loss

When you leave, there will be a period of time where emotions run high and you will experience stages of loss. Similar to the stages of loss when a loved one passes away, I will give you my personal account of the stages of loss you may experience when letting go and leaving an addict.

Stage One: Denial and Rationalizing

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This stage is shock. We leave and try to convince ourselves that we are doing the right thing and that if we leave maybe the addict will get help and come back to us. We keep tabs on the addict in small ways but deny that there is anything wrong with that. “I just want to make sure he/she is okay.”

The truth is that we are shocked the addict is not trying hard enough to make changes and win us back. This is a shock and a fear come true for most of us.

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Stage Two: Anger

When we start to realize that the addict is moving on without us (in theory) and that we are left a broken mess, we can start to become angry. When reality kicks in we need a defense mechanism which usually comes in the form of rage. We want to know why we weren’t good enough to change for or why we are stuck paying the bills and raising the children while they are out still getting high. Each situation is different; however, if the addict leaves you, anger can be even worse because it was not our decision.

Stage Three: Negotiation

When the anger subsides and we realize that the addict is definitely no longer a part of our lives and perhaps still using or in recovery we tend to start bargaining. We start to wonder if we had done this or that differently, maybe the outcome would have been different.

Stage Four: Sadness and Depression

When all of the emotions that blind us to the feelings we must go through subside, depression may make its entrance. We no longer can justify, rationalize, negotiate, and make excuses for an addict’s behavior, indifference, lack of love for us and so on. We may realize that this is really the end and go through a very rough period of sadness.

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Call us today. You don’t need to face addiction on your own.

Stage Five: Acceptance and Moving On

This is simply the stage where you are sick and tired of feeling the way you are and you may start to realize that you want more out of life than what you had with the addict. You start to feel a freedom and independence you have not had since before the relationship and you find a sense of hope for a new life ahead of you. This may take time and for some years but if you keep persistent in your own recovery, this can happen sooner than later.

Take heart! Emotions are not permanent

It is important to keep in mind that things are going to change as you go through these or your own set of stages. These feelings will not last forever so go through them and do not avoid them so that you can go through loss appropriately and not have chronic “relapses” of these stages later.

Dealing with loss is ultimately a deeply subjective and singular experience — nobody can help you go through it more easily or understand all the emotions that you’re going through. But allow others, especially those who have had success with moving on, to be there for you and help comfort you through this process.

My main suggestion? Give yourself the opportunity to feel the grief as it comes over you. Fighting it only will prolong the normal process of healing.

About the author
Amanda Andruzzi, MPH, AADP, CHES, is a Certified Health Coach, founder of Symptom-Free Wellness, and the author of Hope Street. Her first book, Hope Street memoir is an inspirational story of one woman's frightening journey of co-addiction that led her to uncover courage, unbelievable strength and overcome great adversity. She resides with her daughter, husband, and two sons in Florida.


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  1. J, Monique, America, MC,
    things get better when we walk away from an unhealthy situation because it gives us a chance to get healthier. Living with an addict makes us sick and in their presence we don’t even know who we have become any more. If you have the strength to leave and stay gone then I can guarantee the grass will be greener on the other side.
    Amanda Andruzzi, published author, Hope Street, a memoir from the wife of an addict View the video book trailer: http://sbprabooks.com/amandaandruzzi/video/

  2. I have recently decided to finally leave my spouse due to drugs. I’ve stayed the first two times he had issues and thought I was helping him. When I’d notice certain red flags, I didn’t want to say anything without substantial evidence, worried that I’d sound crazy or paranoid and push him to do it again. Last week I found out he had not only done it again, but had been for months. Again, I had already threatened to leave before, this time I felt like my presence was only enabling him, so I decided to apply for assisted living. Now he’s angry with me for leaving him at his lowest point, and it’s killing me to think how he doesn’t see that I have tried helping him and nothing I’ve done has worked, and that he needs to quit on his own terms, not mine. What hurts the most is that we were together for 14 years and I do want him to get better and let go of the drug for good so we can get back together. But he hates me so much for leaving him Im starting to doubt that possibility. I’m just doing what I believe is best for us both and our kids. Hopefully one day he will look at me with gratitude instead of resentment.

  3. I recently left my husband of almost 5 years of marriage. He alcoholic, reading this make me feel a little better knowing that things will get better.

  4. I was dealing with a severe but high functioning alcoholic, his moods were up and down, he would be very loving one minute and terrible and disrespectful the next. He left it hurt and still does but I’m definitely moving on, he isn’t healthy and I definitely suspect if he continues to not get the help he needs there certainly will be long hard health problems he’s going to have to deal with and he would end up being someone I would be taking care of, the same person who would be rude, disrespectful and manipulative. What I take away from that relationship is this… Alcoholics are mean, self-absorbed, irresponsible, chaotic, manipulating, self gratifying and narcissistic people, I’M DEFINITELY WAAAYYYY better off without him

  5. Hi all,

    I have left my Alcoholic ex-boyfriend a couple of weeks ago, after first separating 3 months before that to allow him to deal with his issues. It was incredibly lonely but it was also a great opportunity to reconnect with people I had lost touch with, get back into a good exercise routine and focus on my career. When I could see that his drinking had increased since I was no longer in his life, or maybe he no longer cared to hide it from me as he had before, I ended it. His response, a text message, “I am an alcoholic loser – I’m sorry.”

    In my quest to find answers over the past few months, I went to an AlAnon meeting – it’s incredibly confronting to see the effect of addiction on loved ones. I could see aspects of myself and what I was feeling (insecurity, anxiety, I had put my life on hold) in everyone in the room – this is not what I want for myself and I wouldn’t want it for anyone else I know either. Hearing a man talk about how he had to protect his children from verbal abuse from his alcoholic wife, this isn’t something I want in my future.

    What helped me was thinking about what I deserved, and each day or week commending myself for feeling better than I had the week before.
    I give my friends and family unconditional love and support, I am accountable, I am respectful, I bring high value qualities and skills to my relationships and I put effort into those relationships. I expect this to be reciprocated and enhanced by my partner.

    It was very hard at first – missing my boyfriend and mourning the relationship was worse in the short term than staying with him but my stress levels decreased, I started sleeping through the night again and now the scales have tipped and I am feeling much happier without him. I have cut off all contact, but I have done this with all boyfriends I have loved as it helps to move on and I prefer to start fresh with the next relationship. We live in an expat community so I may bump into him, I just hope it’s not at the bar. I am talking to a counselor and my friends and family have been incredibly supportive – you would be surprised how many people have been touched by addiction in some way.

    Of course I am saddened that he is so ill and I hope that he can find a way through it but that it up to him – I can’t keep watching him self-destruct, it’s too self-destructive.

  6. Beth P,
    That is what this blog is about, the loved ones of addicts, the people who are addicted to the addict and yes, your daughter has an addiction to an addict. However, much like an addict, and I know this because I used to love an addict, your daughter will not be done with him until she has exhausted everything she thinks possible and until she is ready. She won’t listen to reason because being with him is obviously unreasonable. You can only encourage her to get out of this situation to be a part of the real world, urge her to join al-anon or nar-anon and hopefully if you can send her my book, Hope Street, she will get a glimpse into her future because I was once her and it did not end well, usually doesn’t. I was just as in love and unfortunately there was nothing I could do to make him stop but I had to find out the hard way and that is why I write here; to help others and guide them, help them feel understood.
    Amanda Andruzzi, MHP, CHC, AADP,published author, Hope Street, a memoir from the wife of an addict View the video book trailer: http://sbprabooks.com/amandaandruzzi/video/

  7. My 21 yr old daughter won’t leave her addict boyfriend. She HAS given up her college degree and future employment and travel goals, her relationship with me, her mother. She neglects her pet ferrets, her household responsibilities, all to support her unmotivated, uneducated, unemployed meth addict “love of her life”. I’m worried, beyond sad and disgusted. Every resource seems directed toward addicts and parents of addicts. What about parents of young adults/ teens who are addicted to addicts?

  8. Bev,
    It may be time to really end the enabling and yes you can detach with love with any addict.
    A child is always the most difficult to sever from but you can let her know that you love her and
    you won’t watch her live this way, that if she were ever serious about recovery you could support her but not until then. She cannot be a part of your life while she is using.
    Amanda Andruzzi, MHP, CHC, AADP,published author, Hope Street, a memoir from the wife of an addict View the video book trailer: http://sbprabooks.com/amandaandruzzi/video/

  9. Paulette,
    Have you read Hope Street? If not I think it might be a good idea to help you understand what you are dealing with and to get a glimpse into your
    future if you were to stay. In my opinion, even staying friends is like leaving the door open and with this I think it is best to start a new chapter.
    Amanda Andruzzi, MHP, CHC, AADP,published author, Hope Street, a memoir from the wife of an addict View the video book trailer: http://sbprabooks.com/amandaandruzzi/video/ or at least the likelihood of what might happen if you do go back.

  10. My alcoholic meth user daughter makes no attempt to work a recovery program. She is living with her heroin meth addict felon boyfreind. We have cut her off financially. She is a beautiful college educated girl. Her pattern the last 15 years has been the same. I want to let go and plan to to leave town to help in my own recover. She does not listen and cares nothing about helping herself. I was a terrible enabler but no more. Should I take any calls from her? She lies and now steals from me. She had her addict boyfriend picked three door looks onmyfront door. I read your book. Can I apply those same principles to my adult child?

  11. I’ve been with boyfriend for 4 years but l finished it now. I gave one more boundaries and he drunk again! I keep thinking it was just a slip shall I give one more chance? My fakmily & friends are telling me to stay away! We just message each other he has got to recovery! He gave up a job just could not cope. Should I stay friends or walk away a very hard decision.

  12. Leah,
    I am glad you are out of the situation but unfortunately sometimes we can’t let sleeping dogs lie; which is to say that even though we are done we continue to stay involved in an addict’s life or hope that secretly our leaving will make them change and they will come back to us. It is not until you cut the ties and don’t look back that you will have a real chance to heal and move on. I really hope you read my book, Hope Street, because I know it will help you and give you a glimpse into your future,Amanda Andruzzi, MHP, CHC, AADP,published author, Hope Street, a memoir from the wife of an addict View the video book trailer: http://sbprabooks.com/amandaandruzzi/video/ or at least the likelihood of what might happen if you do go back.

  13. My relationship was of 6 years and counting. I met my ex after being abandoned by the father of my children. I must add that I have been a working mother of 2 since they were born, and the primary breadwinner from the start in this and past relationship.

    Upon meeting my ex, he was not really interested in getting involved in a serious relationship. At the time, neither was I, or so I thought. As time passed I wanted more and asked if he was ready for something serious. It was about 7-8 months of non serious dating that we decided to make it official. During the time we were “non seriously dating” I failed to realize several red flags. I was young and excited about going out on dates and out in the social scene. My ex kept up with his friends drinking habits during this time, and I was with him (not drinking nearly as much, and often the voice of reason when too much had been consumed.)

    After some time, I realized he was also consuming marijuana, when looking for a tshirt to sleep in, there was a pipe and a bag in his sock drawer. I did talk with him about this, and he admitted to occasionally smoking in social scenes. Over time I realized he was also into playing computer games. I came to realize his social scene for smoking and drinking was more often than he had led on.
    As he was the first person I let into my life after my children’s father, I have to believe that I decided to venture into this relationship from the start due to my insecurities as a newly single mother, as well as naivety to some people going through a “phase” in their early 20’s with alcohol and marijuana with the likelihood that he would not use them forever.

    Time went by and he built a friendship with my children, and somewhat my family. We were later engaged, and upon planning the wedding he began coming home highly intoxicated and on other unknown substances. The wedding was called off due to a situation when he came home wasted, and we broke off the engagement.

    Later, I took him back into my life, I had feelings of loss, and it seemed to be torture. I have to think now, how crazy does this sound, but he had captured my loving heart, and I was lost. Over the next several years I went through emotional abuse through texts, phone calls, and also manipulation. He had a book of excuses as to why he continued to use marijuana, and alcohol…
    “I had a long day or a tough day at work, and theres nothing wrong with me having a few beers,” or I use marijuana to sleep or to calm my intense anxiety, or to work on my computer for long hours.” It was around this time that I asked him to get some help, and to stop using both. And it was also around this time that he began physically pushing me and yelling, and making me cower with his hand raised. Although he never hit me, each time it was scary.

    I continued to allow this, I know I must be crazy right? I had two amazing children, a great job, earned 2 college degrees through all of this and continued to better my life, in the meantime, I was accepting someone with addictive and abusive patterns. Meanwhile, the personal time we had before began to diminish, he resented me for asking him to slow down and quit the drugs and alcohol. Eventually, he began to hide and lie about his using.

    Finally, it came to a day where he attempted to take his life, and then he still refused to get help. The waters were really rough after this, I was constantly in worry that he would try this again, and he was blaming me for his actions. A few months later another event happened where he pushed me, yelled at me, and raised a hand. I could no longer allow this to happen to me and my family.I asked him to leave.
    I am now working through all the post breakup feelings. As it is only a week post break up. The feelings of sadness, still yet abandonment (for the drugs and alcohol), and feelings of anxiety, and Yet I still have feelings of wanting to be with this person. Why…? Why do I always feel like I want to be with this person who has hurt me so? Support is requested to break the cycle.

    Much love to you all, with these hard heartbreaking decisions.

  14. Maza,
    Set any boundaries that make you feel comfortable. He is using and that affects you and your children so you have to worry about you guys first, period.
    Amanda Andruzzi, MHP, CHC, AADP published author, Hope Street, a memoir from the wife of an addict
    View the Video BOOK Trailer: http://sbprabooks.com/amandaandruzzi/video/

  15. I have put a boundary in my husband that he can’t live with us as he is in active addiction we have a 4 and 5 year old…I’m struggling with next steps do I completely cut off and say I will support you I’d you decide to seek help and are in recovery or do I start giving him boundaries on when he can ring and talk with kids and me confused about steps because he still no accepting he has an problem but asking when he can see and contact us

  16. Annie, get out, that is my advice. You do not need to live in fear, anger, sadness and you WILL be better off without him. Even if the drinking stops it sounds like the narcissism is still there and you are the one trying to hold something together that he does not even want. You will be okay and you will move on and you will find a way and means to make it work. Please read Hope Street if you can because I really think it will help you understand what you are dealing with and show you that there is another way of life. You can be happy but unfortunately you cannot change him.
    Amanda Andruzzi, MHP, CHC, AADP published author, Hope Street, a memoir from the wife of an addict View the Video BOOK Trailer: http://sbprabooks.com/amandaandruzzi/video/

  17. I’ve been with my boyfriend of 4 years been through load of relapse! He has not drunk for 5 months now. I feel now that I don’t know him anymore just fed up with still being second to the addictions! He has to go to recovery but he is selfish he is not the man I feel in love with think I need to end the relationship. I am scared that he will drink again but part of me does not care. That additions has ruined me my confidence, self worth, fun, loving person I once was it is time to move on!

  18. I so wish I’d found your blog sooner. I’ve been married to
    an alcoholic for the last eight years, who is also emotionally abusive. We have an amazing 7yr old son. 6 wks ago my husband took part in a clinical trial for alcoholics and as a result has stopped drinking but has just announced that he will no longer be attending any form of therapy as ‘he doesn’t need it’ and ‘he’s fine now’. I can’t describe the fear I felt when he told me this. Coupled with that he has said previously that his drinking resulted from self medicating for anxiety and depression (over the last 25yrs) both of which have impacted our family in addition to the drinking. So I’m terrified of him drinking again and also of the depression returning. He has become very extreme emotionally over the last few weeks and increasingly reacts from a defensive stand point which bears little relation to what’s actually going on. 6 months after my son was born, I gave up a highly successful career to open a hotel with my husband and now find myself in a position where I’m financially reliant on a shared business and my husband has now told friends that he no longer wants to be in our marriage – so i’m terrified of how to provide for myself and our son and desperate to be able to do that well, as I love my son so much and just want to shield him from the pain if it all. My husband is a very clever, vindictive bully and if I’m honest I’ve been scared of him for some time and I hate myself for feeling so unable to cope. Every personal success I’ve had in the last few years has been belittled by him and I feel so stupid for having stayed in the relationship for so long. I thought things would be better if I could just get him to stop drinking and honestly they’re so much worse now he has. I’m desperate to leave and too scared to do it and so scared of damaging my son whatever I do. Any advice would be so welcome.

  19. deborah,
    you are already gone, why would you even consider going back at this point? Guilt is not really love, you are just human and feel sorry for him but did he feel sorry for you all those years, even now or when he did the awful thing to your daughter you won’t even say. I think there comes a point where there is no going back. what would life even be like living with someone who is not taking full responsibility, who is a dry drunk and who permanently hurt his own daughter, your child? think long and hard before you feel guilt or are unsure about your moving on with your life, which by the way, you deserve to do.

    Amanda Andruzzi, published author, Hope Street, a memoir from the wife of an addict
    View the video book trailer: http://sbprabooks.com/amandaandruzzi/video/

  20. Deborah (mom), no, you never can stop loving or forget your child but you can live your life and love them and pray for them from a distance. I believe that when you have a child it is not like leaving a husband or wife, it is very different. You can never truly let go but you can have a life. YOu don’t have to live enabling them, you can remain a support from a distance and only allow them into your life when they are really ready to change. It may never happen but at least you know you have done all that you can.

  21. my husband has been a serious drinker for many years 20 or more..he went to detox last april..he is not drinking but also doing nothing else no sponsor or aa nothing.. his attitude is horrible..he is a dry drunk now..my daughter and i moved out last may..he did things a dad should not be doing not any one should do..it was the straw that broke the camels back i go to group every tuesday it has helped keep me sane.. but he is begging us to come home..our daughter wants nothing to do with him says if i move back she wants to move else where and has already asked tw people just in case i would make that choice.. we started 3 months ago going to a shrink a super good one..she says he has sever narsasistic personality.. so why do i still feel bad about leaving him i need more strength…what do i do

  22. My son was put in jail. I refused to pay for phone time, I spoke to his counselor, I hoped he would be sent to rehab. He was looking for heroin that night, drunk… This story goes back a long way. He was beating his girlfriend, and there was no contact. Except my ex husband. Who was an addict. He got out in a couple days (bail), called me screaming and she was there also. He has blocked me from everything. I do believe he did me a favor. I have to come to terms with the fact that if he doesn’t get help he may die. I’m not sure where my emotions are, as this just happened. But he is not the Adam I once knew. I love him, I have been to counseling for this. I have talked to Courts and Rehab Centers. I am numb. But I know that if I were to be involved, my life would deteriorate. My husband and I have a good life, I have two wonderful daughters, grandchildren, and I am strong. But, am I strong enough? Is letting go ever real for a Mother?

  23. My boyfriend of three years finally went on his last drug bender Now he’s hiding out in Vietnam.! I really did try to help him and I loved him but he has been doing this for years even before he met me!! I heard these words When I was reading something the other day it said stop worrying about if he loved you. And start asking yourself when you stopped loving you.! Very powerful. Love should not hurt!!! always remember that only that person can change. You can’t change them sometimes it’s better just to MoveOn so you can truly be happy and free God bless everyone going through this I’m not gonna lie it’s very hard but in time you will heal as my grandmother Always said this too shall pass !!!!

  24. Kristy,
    If you have not already, please pick up my book, Hope Street. I have 45 plus articles here as well that will help you. Please get informed about addiction and the co-addictive cycle we place ourselves in that we eventually see we cannot get out of. 3 years turned into 12 years overnight for me so 7 months can easily turn into 7 years of this, my sentiments exactly.
    Amanda Andruzzi, published author, Hope Street, a memoir from the wife of an addict
    View the video book trailer: http://sbprabooks.com/amandaandruzzi/video/

  25. Hi Amanda, I’m new here so I just started to read your articles. But so far it has really help my situation. I’ve been dating an addict for the past 7 months. (We live together) he has relapse twice already in 7 months. Just two days ago I kick him out and he is now living in a halfway house due to relapsing. My question is how do you adapt to a new situation? Not being with him every day and him not sleeping by me is really killing me. And to top it off I’m pregnant with my first child with him. I am due in a couple of months. I’m 26 years old and have never dealt with an addict before. Despite how much I love him to death I believe if I run now 7 months will not turn into 7 years. I need advice please help me. And please keep writing articles it is my only hope.

  26. Edward,
    I am sorry this took so long for me to see your post. The only thing you can advise is that she needs time to work on herself without the pressures of a relationship. She has to work on her right now and he should not take offense to that. The work now sets her up for a much brighter future.
    Amanda Andruzzi, published author, Hope Street, a memoir from the wife of an addict View the Video BOOK Trailer: http://sbprabooks.com/amandaandruzzi/video/

  27. I have a niece, bless her, that is currently in recovery and her treatment is progressing well. She does not know that her ex-boyfriend is in contact with me, wanting to know regularly how she’s doing, etc. I know he loves her unconditionally and wants to see her when she is ready. I’m trying to give him the best advice I can. What would you say to him? I’d appreciate your guidance.

  28. Shelly,
    I agree, if you don’t get down to the core of the issues you have, they will always come back in another shape and form. You broke the cycle and that is a rarity. I am glad for you and your son.
    Amanda Andruzzi, published author, Hope Street, a memoir from the wife of an addict
    View the video book trailer: http://sbprabooks.com/amandaandruzzi/video/

  29. I had an addict husband back in the 1990’s. I was a recovering addict myself,being clean and sober for 10 years.what I didn’t know was how I repeated the pattern in the family line,so to speak.married for 6 months and all hell breaks loose.He started using,becoming verbally abusive to myself and my 6 year old son. I didn’t believe I could leave,due to the doctrines thru church and the pastor who told me I was the stronger one.Therefore playing victim in my marriage till God changed my husband.All the while trying to stay clean myself.After so many years of this spiritual,physical,emotional,mental abuse,I lost it,all.Tried and tried to fix him.Dragging him to detoxes.Hospitals.Seperating,going back,it would be be different this time.It never was,only worse.My poor child suffered due to my sickness,addicted to my husband? To the abuse?Control?Amazing the arenas we switch our addictions to. I ended up relasping into my first addiction,via drugs and alcohol.It either that or a major mental breakdown.How could Gods will be this,after everything He had brought me thru Years prior?Atlast no more hope…..hope deferred makes the heart sick.Selfmedicating became all in all.A double whammy on my son.In the end of the stages,surrender happened,hitting a different bottom,different storyline.A new chapter in the life of this dysfunctional person enfolded.I left,for good,as I would soon die if didn’t change.I had to go across the country . It had to be far,for I lived in fear of my life.Got on methadone.I learned I done same thing as mother did.Wow!I had married my father image.Took on mothers rôle.How could this be?After all, I had been in recovery before.All is well now.Alanon,Acoa,issues saved my life.Im codependent.Switching arenas,as I call it.This is my story.like weeds in you’re garden,pull them out by the ROOTS.If you just cut them,they will come back,in many arenas.

  30. Chasity,
    Please don’t give you, you are almost there. If the depression is severe though, seek some support, a therapist, cognitive behavioral therapy and getting out there again. You need to start living life and doing the things you used to love until you find joy in them again. You have to work on your own healing and the issues that brought you to this man. You need self-love and the ability to put your needs and wants first and realize that you can have them, just not with him.
    Amanda Andruzzi, published author, Hope Street, a memoir from the wife of an addict
    View the video book trailer: http://sbprabooks.com/amandaandruzzi/video/

  31. Lizette,
    Have you read Hope Street? If not, please do because I know it will help you. I wrote it to help others feel understood and to inspire them. The reason I am urging you to read it is because you have been through this for a long time and yes, the things he is doing right now are to placate you and he will not get better on his own. Addicts need help and if he is downplaying it to his parents, he is not ready to admit how bad it is and how much he needs help. He has not yet hit bottom. Please also try al-anon and try to realize that you are worth it. You can love someone but they may not be good for you. You have to find self-love again because you need it now more than ever. You have this little light of hope that he will change but you could spend your whole life waiting for this to happen. I really know what I am talking about and I know that you need to move on but that starts with letting go, completely. Hope Street will help.
    Amanda Andruzzi, published author, Hope Street, a memoir from the wife of an addict
    View the video book trailer: http://sbprabooks.com/amandaandruzzi/video/

  32. I’m in the depression stage and it has been tough. My boyfriend of over 2 years lied about his cocaine use for a while. Eventually I noticed cocaine below his nose, he would vanish for a while when we were out and I even found drug paraphenelia with cocaine residue on it. I was devastated. It killed me but I found the strength to leave. I even called child welfare and he is no longer allowed to see his kids even though they lived with their bio mom and he only had visitation rights (he also had some criminal involvement). He doesn’t think he needs help which sometimes make me question whether or not I did the right thing calling child welfare particularly since he tells me he never used when they were with him. Despite this all it kills me that he didn’t quit using for me or his kids. I’m struggling and really depressed. This article helped provide hope that it will pass…eventually.

  33. Amanda,
    Thank you so much for you insights. I am in the process of tearing myself away from my addict. It is the hardest thing I’ve done in my life. He is so wonderful on so many levels and then at the same time his can be a nightmare. It is like living with Jekyll and Hyde. I keep calling him up and having long meaningful conversations with him that make me feel better in the moment, but I know that he has lied to me, and manipulated me for almost 6 years now (always around his addiction). I really don’t know what on earth to do because I just don’t feel even remotely strong enough to do what I need to do and leave him. I moved out on the weekend and it is only Wednesday now and I’m begging him to take me back. He says he’s keen to go to couples therapy and is open to discussing solutions. He has, granted, finally admitted that he is an addict. He says he wants to take a deep look at his life and sort out his problems. For the first time ever, he has gone to his family (parents) and discussed the problems with them. It took me 6 years of “working at him” to get him to the point where he seems to acknowledge his problem. But I wonder if he isn’t just saying it to just shut me up. Believe you me, he will say anything that is expedient. He now talks about “working on himself” and perhaps going away for a month or two to somewhere/anywhere away from his home town to “find himself”. This was his dad’s idea. I don’t think he has made it clear to his family how serious his problem is. I am not convinced that his latest “acknowledgement/admission” isn’t just a form of pretense, pretending to himself that going on a trip to think about things is a good idea. I think he should go to rehab personally. I also think that he is actually not that interested in having me in his life although he seems to say he wants to work things out with me.

    I have gone through all your articles and I know I have to leave this guy. I just don’t know how to stop being a doormat, get through my fear and just do it.

  34. This article help me a lot. Im still with my husband and his been sober for 2 yrs. Until this month and everythings is so hard now we have a six month old baby. This article made me realize other things. Thank you and may God bless us all.

  35. I think is great that somebody can openly write about this and it will be accepted by the society, is not easy to say things like this when so many people suffer from it, I appreciate people like this, I got a glimpse at what people like do and is great that today there are some many options to get help, is better to address it than to ignore it.

  36. This article was very helpful to me, I have left a hundred times in my mind, and it was good to hear that it won’t be easy, but can be done, helped me out a lot. Thank you.

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