Thursday August 17th 2017

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Leaving an addict boyfriend or husband

My Life After Leaving An Addict

The scariest part of leaving my relationship with my drug addicted husband was learning how to stand on my own two feet again. I had leaned on his sickness for so long. I had taken on his emotional problems and made them my own. I wasn’t sure how to live without him.

The two things I had left to prove that I had even been in a relationship with this person was my pain and my five year old daughter. I had a choice right then and there—I could become bitter and angry, trying to tie him down with court cases and requests for child support or I could move on with my life.

Choices: I Followed My Gut Instincts

Some people told me that I should do or not do other things that involved the addict but – unlike the twelve years I was with the addict – when I left him, I decided to go with my gut feelings. For example, many people told me that I was stupid and crazy not to file for child support and insist he be responsible. I seconded guessed my decision to raise my daughter autonomously from her father.

Perhaps my choices were unconventional, but so was the situation.

What I learned was that as long as my intentions were genuine, I could not go wrong with my decisions. I would not be perfect. Nor would my decisions. Not everyone would agree. In fact, some people were hurt by my decisions. Still, I was not going to revert to my old ways.

Not everyone was going to like how my decisions affected them, but I had to start doing what was best for me.

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Being Me

When I made the decision to leave (the last time), I was finally ready to work on me. I went through a period of personal growth that was instrumental in my own recovery from my addiction to my husband’s addiction (co-addiction). For me to be able to do that I had to have him out of my life and, because of his risky lifestyle, my daughter’s as well. It was not too difficult because when I distanced from him, he simply disappeared from our lives anyway.

What I learned through the process of re-discovering who I was is a lesson about acceptance. I was not going to be angry about the years I spent with him, or bitter about the resources I had exhausted to help him. All I could do from here was learn from the experience and not resent the journey.

Get Honest with Yourself

This part is not always easy to do because it means not just pretending that you have moved on to others… but being honest with yourself. If you are separated from an addict, that does not mean you have let go. If you are:

  • still trying to find out about this person’s life
  • contact him through other people
  • are affected by their choices

…then you have not truly let go.

Let Go of Excuses

Leave the addict to gain back your life! It was not easy for me to leave the addict. After all, he was my daughter’s father.

But that could have been just the excuse I needed to keep me intertwined in his life. Despite what my soon to be ex mother-in-law insisted, I had to take my daughter away from this situation so we could have a healthy life. My mother-in-law at the time was angry and spiteful. I almost caved into her wishes many times but something did not feel right.

It was not until five years post-divorce that my mother ran into this woman and found out that even she stopped communicating with her son. He just couldn’t stay sober. He even had a few psychotic breakdowns.

I was also approached by two people five years later who wanted to speak to me about their current dealings with my ex-husband. This confirmed he was still stealing large sums of money from people, using drugs, and disappearing. They said his stories never added up and they wanted confirmation that they were not insane.

Find the Courage to Leave!

If I had not had the strength and courage to take my own road – despite the guilt and the anger I caused other people due to my decisions – I could have been tangled up in my old tendencies until this day. Instead, I decided to take those lessons and put them to good use in my life.

I could have easily remained the same person taking my behavior to other situations, but I chose to sincerely move on. It was not the easiest road, but, in the long run, it allowed me to be me and live a truly authentic life.

Don’t you wish that for yourself, too?

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7 Responses to “Leaving an addict boyfriend or husband
Barbara
5:58 am March 28th, 2017

Hi Amanda, thank you for sharing your story. So much of your story sounded like the last few years of my life. I just left my addicted boyfriend (now ex-), after 3 1/2 Yes. I had depended on him on so many levels, and now that my head is clearing up, 5 months sober, I’ve come to realize how much he lied to me as well as kept me high, it got to the point that he gave me a black eye one afternoon, and his only concern was that I was gonna call the cops and he was gonna go to jail. Not that he just seriously hurt me. That was the first and last time anyone ever put hands on me like that. Now that I’m away from him, I could look back and recognize how toxic we were, I’m grateful that I got out, and I’m patient as I try to rebuild my relationships with my dad and my 2 boys. Thank you for taking the time to read this, and God Bless to you and your daughter. Here’s to a better clean life

Amanda Andruzzi
3:44 am May 5th, 2017

Barbara,
Thank you for sharing your journey. Your story is important to me and I know the longer he is out of your life the more clear things will become. What matters now is taking care of yourself, healing so that you can be healthy and get back that self-love and respect he tried to take away from you. Thank you for your kind words and my thoughts and prayers are with you and your boys.
Amanda Andruzzi, published author, Hope Street, a memoir from the wife of an addict View the video book trailer: http://sbprabooks.com/amandaandruzzi/video/

Vickie
12:56 pm May 17th, 2017

Hi Amanda, I have read your book and your blogs. So much of what you write sounds like my life. My husband and I have been together for 12 years. He has probably been an addict all twelve if not more of those years. I found out about 5 years ago. When I found out I was devastated and he assured he me he was getting clean. His drug of choice is pain pills. He says thats all he uses but I find it hard to believe for the last decade that’s all he has done.(not that it even matters). I never whole heartedly believed he was clean and It was confirmed for me Easter weekend that he is still addicted. When he “got clean” five years ago we had an agreement, One and your done. The consequences were if he was using he can not live here with our family. He admitted he is still on pills and I let him stay. He assures me he is weaning off and I honestly don’t believe him. How can someone who has been addicted for so long get clean without help? He is a functioning addict but hasnt always been that way.He works and pays the bills but spends no time with our family. Now that I let him stay I feel stuck. I have lost so much of myself being with him. I have become insecure with myself ( he has mentally abused me). I have lost my self respect and I have developed huge trust issues. Its been about a month since he has confirmed his drug use and I have been struggling emotionally to the point where I can barely get through my days. We really have no relationship left to work on. But I feel stuck. I have no respect for him, But I feel stuck. I don’t even think I love him anymore but I feel stuck. I wish when he admitted to me he was using I made him leave right then and there. AS for now I take my life one day at a time.

Kristin
2:31 am May 28th, 2017

Hello – I left my addict husband that I have. Even with for 17 years and have two kids together and I raise his son as well. The pain is almost unbearable and he makes me feel insane. He was clean off meth for 13 years but had a surgery and was addicted to opiates for the last 7 years and then relapsed in meth. I stuck by even with the opiates and was miserable at times but thought he was getting them from a Dr so I can’t abandon him for chronic pain. Even though my nurse friend said his dose was for someone that would of been in hospice. So with the meth relapse I was out of town and he offered it to our 15 year old and smoked it with our 18 yr old who has mental health and CD issues already. Yup pretty much your wise nightmare and CPS got involved did pretty much nothing and my husband is lying and will bring it to his grave that he ever did that to our kids. I had no choice but to leave. I don’t know how the pain will ever go away as I feel like I lost a part of me. I loved him and still do and can’t believe it came to this. I go to therapy 2x a week. I’ve been begging him to get treatment so he doesn’t lose more than he already had like his job and house and his $28k truck he bought the weekend I left cause he deserved it. Mind you I’ve had the same job for 12 years while he’s had 20 at least and probably fired from most andcweve amways lived paycheck to paycheck but yea he deserved it. Oh goodness I just want to know how and when it gets better and what you do to find yourself and move on from the addict?? Luckily I have amazing family and friend and unforohe doesn’t have anybody he only had me as a true friend. But I just need to figure out how to heal. Any advice is so appreciated.

Emma
11:41 pm May 30th, 2017

I finally had the courage to let go of my addict boyfriend of 3 years who has relapsed.

It was only causing me pain and hurt.

He was sober for a year but relapsed and recently was using behind my back.

I have been ignoring him for two months now but he still sends me text messages and leaves calls which I ignore. As I told him it was over. And he is still not getting the help he needs.

Do I keep ignoring him or do I need to say something again to him?

I don’t really have anything to say or want to really but is he going to keep texting me.

Debra
5:35 pm June 17th, 2017

I know I’m at a pivotal moment in my life where I have to do something to change the path I’m on my husband of 25 years has been using drugs for the last year at least. He’s mean controlling manipultive and violent. I fear for my mental as well as my physical well being. He’s getting worse as time goes by and I can’t live in denial any longer

Amanda Andruzzi
1:58 am July 21st, 2017

Vickie, Kristin, Emma &b Debra,
You are all at a transitional point in your life and your relationship in one way or the other. Your inquiry is a good thing because it means you are starting to care about you. Your concern is now invested in how you are going to be okay and no longer focused on how to make the addict okay.
I really need you to understand that the only way out of this situation is to let go; let go of the addict (detach with love or walk away), let go of the fear of leaving, and let go of your expectations of what you want to happen for the addict. It is not in your hands what happens to an addict, you can only give out a helping hand but when it is constantly rejected then you have to let that person play out their own addiction in their own time and that might mean something different for each addict. You have to come to terms with the fact that they are not going to choose you over drugs; not while actively in addiction or not until they are truly in recovery. I want you to know that I understand your feelings, your situation and your pain, that is why I wrote Hope Street. I hope you do get to read it.
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/

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About Amanda Andruzzi

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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