Tuesday May 23rd 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?

Leave a Reply

3 Responses to “Leaving an addict boyfriend or husband
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

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/

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.

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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