Co-addict recovery: Is it time to get help for co-addiction?

Being addicted to anything is cry for help. Here, we challenge anyone struggling with co-addiction to change. Are you choosing pain over a new life?

minute read

Addiction is Addiction

I noticed something in the last few years and that inspired me to write this article. Addicts have their drug. However, co-addicts (the enablers and loved ones of addicts) have their addict. The drama an addict brings is the co-addict’s drug.

In fact, they behave much like the addict does:

  • A co-addict who was once responsible and reliable begins to disappear from sight when there is a crisis with their spouse or partner.
  • The co-addict has highs and lows in mood depending on the addict’s state.
  • A co-addict, or person that lives life on the addict’s terms, will too become unreliable, may stop taking care of themselves and exhibit some unpredictable behaviors and erratic emotions.
  • Their life will, too, become unmanageable.
  • Enabling and loving an addict or co-addiction is also a sickness.

Patterns in behavior

As a co-addict for twelve years and now a resource for other woman and men in addictive relationships, I observe some patterns. A co-addict can become so addicted to the person that has the addiction (usually a spouse or partner) that their friends and family will no longer recognize them. Their behavior and moods can becomes erratic, similar to how we do not recognize a drug addict when their addiction takes hold.

“I feel like I am underneath water and can’t swim up to catch my breath!”
“It is killing me inside.”
“Some part of me is praying for a miracle that I don’t believe can happen. Please help!”

These are the words from the hundreds of people suffering who post on my blog and tell their story about living with and loving an addict. They all want to know how to let go of an addict and if it can really be done.

The Act of Addiction is a Symptom of Something Else

The path to recovery from co-addiction is not a straightforward journey because there are many hurdles and layers to this process. Some experiences and subconscious emotions may even resurface years later depending on the emotional, sometimes physical, and psychological abuse suffered. Other underlying factors are those individual experiences which led the co-addict to end up in this type of relationship and endure years with a person despite their unhealthy behaviors. If the addict is unhealthy, to some degree the co-addict may also have been before they entered the relationship.

The term “healthy” is used a great deal in my articles. It is meant to be relative to the individual and not conclusive. There is no definitive description of what is healthy or not healthy; however, it is used to demonstrate a person who is not suffering in their life. There is no person unaffected by hardships, at least at some point in their life, but when the hardship is self-inflicted, does not end at some point or becomes all-consuming; this is the point at which it is unhealthy.

Is it time for a change?

Life is a series of ebbs and flows and how you handle those fluctuations says a great deal about your well-being. When you are living with an addict it is difficult to navigate life, however, what we do and how we act becomes a tell-tale sign of our own difficulties. If we continue to behave in the same manner and expect that the response we desire will miraculously change then a co-addict is either in denial or is not willing to put their own health and happiness on the forefront.

Are you choosing pain over change?

A co-addict feels comfortable choosing pain based on the fact that they feel being on their own would be more painful. Sometimes the thought of dealing with our own insecurities, lack of self-esteem, self-love and self-respect and being ALONE sounds more frightful than dealing with someone else’s problems. This may say much more about the deep-rooted issues a co-addict is suffering from. If you do not want to deal with yourself and extricate yourself from the cycle of the addictive relationship you are in; there is a most likely a great deal of self-help that should be initiated.

It may be time to analyze your own thought processes, behaviors and motivations in the actions of investing your emotions in a person who cannot truly love you back because they are not in long-term recovery. If you find yourself spending time worrying about the actions of someone else—this may be the exact time you need to start digging deeper into your own intentions and what they really say about you.

As a co-addict, sometimes you feel like you do not have choices or you are unable to leave the situation but that is not true. Although it may feel that way, life is full of choices and if something different is what you desire then you can make different choices in order to set out on that new road.

Questions About Recovery from Co-Addiction

Do you have questions about co-addiction or its treatment? Do you suspect that you may be a co-addict? Are you scared of what’s next? Please leave your questions or feedback in the comments section below. We try our best to respond to all comments with a personal and prompt reply.

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. I think I am a Co-addict. My Son has been addicted to prescription drugs for quite some time and it is ruining my life. Can you suggest a counselor near me? I live in Lake Orion

  2. Mandy & Jennifer, If you put yourself first you would never be in this type of a relationship but that does not mean you can’t change that. If the addict is lying or wreaking havoc on your life then the only way to get things to change is to do things differently. Don’t believe the lies, get out of that person’s presence and surround yourself with good people that can support you and once you start gaining a little perspective taking care of yourself will become second nature. For some of us taking care of others is an instinct and that is the exact reason why an addict chooses someone like us but that does not mean that we cannot learn & grow and give the love and respect to a person who will love and respect us in return.
    Amanda Andruzzi, published author, Hope Street, a memoir from the wife of an addict View the video book trailer:

  3. My husband is an addict. I have done everything I can to help him. But the lying, the sneaking around to get high is just getting worse. Today, I found out he lied about paying our rent. How should I handle this. He swears he paid it and the manager made a mistake. I know that is a lie. Any advice you can give will be greatly for.

  4. I have no doubt i am a co-addict and i am co-dependant. I was in an emotionally abusive relationship for 12 years and i almost never put my worth first. I have no idea how to. I am now in a relationship with a man who has relapsed and i want to move on but i dont know how to stop loving him and let go.

  5. Thank you Tanne!
    Candice, you are not left in the dark, you were just left. as cruel as that sounds it is probably a blessing in disguise for you. I can’t make promises but I can tell you this, you will be happier in the long run without him, even if he is the father of your children. You can use this time to get right with “YOU.” You need to learn how to live without all of the drama, lies and manipulation and make a normal life for you and your children. the drama is addictive, as addictive as the addict is but it is what is best for you in the long run.
    Amanda Andruzzi, MHP, CHC, AADP,published author, Hope Street, a memoir from the wife of an addict View the video book trailer:

  6. Not so many months ago I realized that I am codependent and enabled my fiancé (ex I guess now). I never grew up around addicts and never learned the signs because of that I guess. My ex-husband was (is) an alcoholic and has been sober for more than 5 years now after he hit his rock bottom while we were still together. I knew he could drink but until we talked while he was at rehab I had no idea he was hiding alcohol and drinking secretly. He was still verbally abusive after getting sober and things ended in divorce but I was already emotionally detached years prior and thought it was better to stay for my kids. I dated for a while (years) and ended up pregnant with my son from a broken condom. He and I were not meant to be together at all and at about 4 or 5 months pregnant I met the man who I still want to believe deep down is my soul mate. He had just moved to the area I lived to get away and stay clean. Like I said I was completely naive when it came to addiction and had no idea what that involved. I am prescribed adderall for my sleep disorder (idiopathic hypersomnia) and take it exactly as prescribed and was in the military so didn’t have people that I knew who abused that type of medication. Months after we had been dating and things were going really well he tried one and his addictive nature got him hooked. It took some time before I realized he was taking them because never had to count before. He was later introduced to heroin which would make him take less of my medication and I would have to find less money to buy enough to be able to work and drive safely. This spanned over a three year period, getting clean, another pregnancy, moving multiple times, me starting a new job, death of his step dad (who raised him), two A&B charges that I actually filed, him having a job maybe a total of 6 months out of the entire time and so much more. I did a lot of dumb crap and gave in when I shouldn’t have and tried to do the right thing when I didn’t know what that was. He was finally arrested again and his mom and I decided that we would not bail him out this time. She wouldn’t even answer his collect calls. After 2 weeks, I went to tell him that we would bail him out if he went straight to rehab and he agreed and did. After he got there he wouldn’t return my calls and when we did get on the phone it was minutes with the promise that he would call me back. He never would. He told me later it was because he didn’t know how to tell me he wasn’t coming home because of my medication and that was the centers only solution to keeping him clean which was a lie I only found out about a week ago. Turns out he slept with a girl while there (and he’s supposedly not the cheating type according to everyone who knows him) and says it wasn’t cheating because we aren’t together. When I saw him in jail I told him he needed to work hard to get me back because he’s hurt me a lot and that’s how he took it I guess. We had to go to court the other day for the A&B charge from almost a year ago and he told me he loves me and is sorry (kind of like revenge for leaving him in jail!?!). I’ve been by his side (in all the wrong ways as well) through thick and thin and I love him beyond belief.
    The center he went to was the same one my ex went to years ago so I already knew about the family weekend where the family members come and learn about addiction and all that. I was not included and I have no idea why. He tells me he needs to work on himself and I as well and that he can’t start a relationship for a year. We have 2 kids together and all I did for the past 4 years was pray for the day he would get sober so we could be us again. Now he just keeps pushing me away and acts as though I’ve done something wrong. We moved literally the day before he got locked up and I had no help unpacking the house, taking care of the kids and figuring out how to do everything myself. I’ve been trying to be there and be supportive because I know his mom isn’t going to be able to get him to all his meetings (recommended 90 in 90 days) but he acts like I need to leave him alone. I’m so hurt and destroyed and I get no answers or explanation to any of it. It’s like he’s hiding something from me or I’m just thinking that because he doesn’t love me anymore. Nothing makes any sense and I’m lost. He won’t even have a simple conversation with me about rehab or things that are going on. How am I supposed to just move on and heal when I’ve literally been left in the dark?

  7. Lonely, Addicted to a dream, Tanne,
    thank you for sharing with us. In life there are no guarantees. We cannot control anyone or the decisions they make but we can take back the power over our own lives. We can decide to make a change and do it regardless of what the addict is doing. You are co-addicted but just because the addict is stuck, you can decide you don’t want to be anymore. It is not something that happens overnight but as you get sick and tired of being sick and tired, you will eventually start to gravitate towards the “what ifs” of What if I leave and have peace in my home, life and with my family? or What if I could be happy again and enjoy the things I used to love or meet a new person who could really share a life with me? Those are the “what ifs” that start the journey of recovery for a co-addict. the fear of leaving is crippling and eventually that becomes replaced by the fear of what will happen if you don’t leave.
    Amanda Andruzzi, MHP, CHC, AADP,published author, Hope Street, a memoir from the wife of an addict View the video book trailer:

  8. Sadly I have experienced the heartbreak of loving and dealing with an addict. My husband of 12 years has relapsed around 9 times. We have 4 children together, 13, 10, 6, and 3 months. My husband got clean and we had a wonderful year, even having our son. One night I was up feeding our 2 week old son and heard my husband breathing very loudly in the living room. When I walked in the living room, I knew right away that he was dying from an overdose. This was such a slap in my face that I just had our son and he did this to me AGAIN. . It was devastating to our kids, who was wakened by me trying to save his life and having to call 911. 4 days after the overdose he totaled another vehicle. I kicked him out and we haven’t been with him since. Right now he is at his parents house going through detox, but I can’t trust that he will not turn around and do it again. Maybe it’ll be three months, maybe it’ll be a year. He says this time is different but I don’t believe him. Also, my co-addiction has always been set around “What Ifs” or what I call a fairytale dream that will never happen, but for some reason my brain has convinced me it could. What if it is different this time and I divorce him and he goes and has a normal life with another woman…? Or What if he moves on with out me..? What if I will be alone the rest of my life. This has been an ongoing battle for 7 years!!!! Thank you all for sharing your stories. It helps me realize I am not alone.

  9. I am a co-addict and it’s starting to affect my parenting as well as my relationships with friends and family. I desperately want to leave this relationship (and have tried), but something keeps pulling me back. I no longer benefit in anyway from this relationship. He is a cocaine addict. I was unaware of this when we began dating. He was able to hide it for the 1st 6 months. When he disappeared after a trip, I was left wondering what I had done wrong. Last fall he attended private inpatient rehab and came out seemingly a new person. We knew the road would not be easy, but I feel his desire to remain sober is a “hassle” to his desired lifestyle. In the end, he is unwilling to commit to the work. He has relapsed several times remaining sober no longer than 3 months (which was during his rehab stay). Combined we have 3 children the age of 4-5. I need to break free of this relationship. I feel on top of the addiction issues, our relationship is very one sided. I am constantly there for him yet he is never there for me. He’s not even making false promises of a better life anymore – so why can’t I run the other way and never look back?? 🙁

  10. Melissa,
    If you leave this man and do what you have done while he was in prison, the nightmare will be over but if you continue to allow him back into your life you will go through the same cycle over and over again. You left your other children for a man, that says a lot about your own disease and that to me means you have to start taking care of yourself and worrying about your addiction and co-addiction so that you can heal and recover and get your children back in your life. this baby and your children deserve that much, this man, in my opinion, does not.
    I am just so overwhelmed and happy that all of you have been reaching out here. I usually write back instantly but the posts have been sometimes too many for me to respond to daily. That does not mean I have not read every one and that I am not listening.
    I understand and I am here to help.
    But I cannot enable you the way we enable the addict. I could give advice to the specifics of each situation but the truth is that if it is not getting better (meaning the addict is not choosing recovery and at some point taking sobriety seriously) and getting the right
    kind of help there is not much you can do.
    It is a cycle and if you read back to yourself your own story and all of the stories here you will see the PATTERN, I PROMISE YOU WILL.
    It is like one day (and it wasn’t just one day but a series of days) I just woke up and said “I AM SO SICK OF LIVING LIKE THIS.” that is when I realized that I loved myself and my child and
    wanted and deserved to live a wonderful life. If I was going to be happy and try to love life and my husband (addict) was not going to follow my lead then I had to LEAVE.
    PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, IF YOU HAVE NOT ALREADY, READ HOPE STREET. I wrote it for you to really be an eye opener. Sometimes when you are in the situation it is difficult to see
    the forest for the trees and seeing it through the eyes of another (an unbiased party) is the best way to get the message.

    Amanda Andruzzi, MHP, CHC, AADP,published author, Hope Street, a memoir from the wife of an addict View the video book trailer:

  11. I am both an addict and a co-addict, if that makes any sense. My boyfriend and I have been together for 7 years, off and on. I actually just left him a few days ago. We have been in a relationship that has been juggling a number of different types of addictions, from a variety of narcotics and alcohol to sex and physical violence. He would go to jail, I would wait for him. Each and every time he would promise a different life; “he will finally take care of me”, “the drugs were gone”, “marriage and a family”. Same old song, same old dance every single time. I found myself cleaning up my act while he was gone, holding a job, seeing my children that I had from a previous relationship, getting my own place, going out to visit family and friends. Every time he came home, I would go back to the same situation, going from having everything to nothing and hiding out with him again. Luckily I held on to my job, but barely. October 9th, 2017 my boyfriend and I welcomed a beautiful baby boy by the name of Grayson into our lives. We were supposed to get married and spend the rest of our lives together. We both joined a substance abuse program to help with our addictions. I was clean for a year and a half all through out my pregnancy and about 6 months after he was born. He would get clean for a little bit and start using again, and of coarse me being an addict it was only a matter of time before I started to use again. I begged him to stop and he promised that he would, but he never did. “I will next week, I have probation” Now, I love this man. I would have done anything for him. I have left my family, my job, been homeless, flat broke, stolen, lied, I left my other children for him, I have done everything for him to make sure he was taken care of. Now, I have this beautiful baby, who has saved me from complete self destruction. I do not want to lose my son, he is the only thing that has brought me joy in such a long time. And he deserves a better life and a healthier situation. Normally I leave my boyfriend and then I run back to him, but this time I feel different. I don’t feel the need to take care of him, I’m more worried about the baby. Also, I have a lot of family support right now. Is there a light at the end of the tunnel? Could my night mare be over? Am I finally going to put my son and my self first? And why did it take so long?

  12. Hello I must say I have been a couple addict most of my life. My father was in alcoholic who died from a seizure when I was 28. I have been married for 34 years(35 in June). My husband is a chronic pain patient who has been on prescribed opiates for 20 years. He had cervical disc fusion in 1993. I retired in 2012 (my husband is on disability). I never really noticed until I retired that his pill use had turned into an addiction . I guess I was too busy working and running the household. However I know that I am his enabler. He never goes out only to Dr’s appts. We never have dinner with friends. We use to talk about everything we were going to do when I retired. I now realize that all it was talk. Anyway I have had enough. Inow have health problems of my own (diabetic). Even my mother-in-law told me I needed to start taking care of myself and put the law downtown him. But I know I can’t change him. I have to change myself and put me first. I know it will be hard. We are currently living in my childhood home that I inherited from my Mom. Luckily we have another home he and I bought together after our marriage. It’s time for him to move out. I pray I have the strength to get this done. Actually just writing this comment has given me strength. Keep me in your prayers.

  13. Neth and Denise,
    Let go, make the conscious decision to just let go and then from there you can rebuild. You will have some serious work ahead of you but if you know there is no going back and only then will you be able to do the work. It is about regaining self-love, self-esteem, confidence and clarity and that.
    Amanda Andruzzi, published author, Hope Street, a memoir from the wife of an addict View the Video BOOK Trailer: takes time, hard work, dedication and no one can just give you that.

  14. Jason and Britni,
    It sounds like there is a lot going on here that is not being said. It is not for me to be a detective and see who is telling the truth and who is not but it sounds like your lives are in turmoil and it is due to addiction right? Unfortunately nothing can be repaired or even talked about until that is dealt with. Britni, you say you want to get help…what are you waiting for? You can start today, maybe even this minute, as a nurse I assume you might even have the resources and knowledge of the best places to detox and then go to rehabilitation. Until such time as you are clean and serious about your recovery there is no relationship or anything to discuss.
    Jason, I understand your point, your pain, and everything. Is it the best choice to do drugs in front of your wife? I think you know the answer, it is like the pot calling the kettle black.
    But again, you do need to extricate yourself and your children from living with addiction and if Britni is not going to get help then you have to do whatever it is you have to in order to protect your children, even if it is from their own mother.
    Britni, your addiction is hurting everyone and your children probably more than you will ever know, if that is not enough to stop and get real, effective & serious help right now, I can’t help you. Also, if you feel like Jason using in front of you is a green light to use, I have to believe you are just using that as an excuse because if you want to quit and you know what he is doing is wrong, you don’t have to follow the leader.
    Amanda Andruzzi, published author, Hope Street, a memoir from the wife of an addict View the Video BOOK Trailer:

  15. Good afternoon. I would like to start my story by saying I met my ex-husband while he was incarcerated. At the time I believe his incarceration was due to selling drugs. Over the course of the next year and a half we would exchange letters and communicate on a regular basis. There was an issue with his case and he ended up getting released a year early due to me retaining an attorney for him Upon his release he was on probation. We married shortly after his release in June and it was a matter of weeks before he was out on the streets using crack. This lifestyle was completely new to me. The people and situations that were exposed to me by him. By November he was incarcerated again and recently released this past August. I file for divorce last November and told myself I would not go back and visit him while he was in prison. His recent release this past August had me on that roller coaster ride that you were referring to. I kept telling him the only way we would stay together if he would go get help. This was a vicious cycle which I’m sure you have heard plenty of on the streets for for five days sometimes a week at a time come back to me to refuel for a few days. I wanted so bad For him to get help and in the same context I could not understand why. He has gone from carjacking me to hitting me the lies everything that falls under his drug addiction. And now the latest was a bank robbery of which he is sitting in jail right now because this just happened two days ago. I have been in tears since knowing he will be looking at 15 to 30 years. Can you please direct me on how to help myself and stop consuming my time in a state of depression sincerely Denise

  16. I feel I’m in Co addict ..
    Actually my relationship for 5 Years
    And I wanted stop before I started it..
    However I’m unable to stop..
    We fight always because he never Care anything about me..
    For 5 years we never spend a day or half day.. Only few hours maximum..
    He never make priority for my things..
    Always care for his business..
    Actually I don’t want this kind of relationship..
    But I’m unable to stop how much hard I try to stop this..
    He always says he is busy… understand him.. Everyday fake words and fake promises
    Plz help me to stop this .. It is destroy my life day by y day ..more than 5 Years gone I don’t wanna hurt my self any longer

  17. i am fully aware of my addiction and want SO BADLY to stop it! i hate it and myself for allowing Adderall to control my life. I WANT MY LIFE BACK. That being said, i feel compelled to inform whoever reads these comments that, yes, i am the addict, but my husband, Jason, also takes the Adderall whenever WE have them. and even though i know what he says to me about his feelings towards my addiction, him taking them also makes me feel somewhat like it’s ok for me to continue taking them as well. i know that he is NOT addicted to them like i am, but by taking them himself, in my mind that makes it ok for me to continue with this vicious cycle of addiction.

  18. Jason, amanda andruzzi can help you. She helped me. ! Read every ones story and you will know what to do. It’s only hopeless if you do nothing. Keep you sanity.

  19. My wife began taking adderall in nursing school in 2010. She is in no way ADHD but felt that it would “help” her. I regret not having researched addiction years ago. I have a high sense of pride and feel that anything can be fixed with hard work. Addiction has proven me wrong, and destyoyed me as a person, friend, and father. maybe if i had known that all of these years of trying to “help” my wife would have the opposite effect, i could have avoided becoming this co-dependent person I hate. She has been abusing adderall ever since she began to take it, nearly 8 years ago. even through the births of our two youngest children. i asked her parents for help in 2013. “Our” solution, not my wife’s, was to move into her parents house temporarily so that my wife would not have to work, could attend rehab, and focus on recovery. she relapsed quickly and we are no better off now than we were when i asked for help 5 years ago. She is no longer, a mother, daughter, friend, or wife, she is an addict. sadly i’m just now realizeing that, and that nothing i’m doing will ever change that. i adopted her oldest child. she has another daughter that still sees her father occasionally but i am who she calls dad. we have two kids of our own, a six year old girl and a 4 year old boy. my heart breaks for them, mostly because i now know that i have created this situation for them, trying to “help”their mother. i need to make things right and get moving on a path to recovery for myself and for my kids, but it all seems so overwhelming. i know what i need to do, i don’t know how.
    thanks for listening-Jason

  20. Erica, M, Shan, Jessica, Tanne,
    I can give you the advice as Tanne has shared with us to Run and Tanne is right in a lot of ways but each co-addict (like an addict) has to come to realize their own behavior and unhealthy behavior on their own terms. Being co-addicted or addicted to an addict and their behavior is very similar to the addict’s addiction to a drug; hard to let go, keep chasing the initial high, no matter how horrible things get you make excuses a why not to stop right? co-addiction sounds similar to drug addiction and because of that it is hard to relearn how to be ourselves and not put this other person’s needs first. That being said, we have to be ready and not just want to change but 100% commit to it. doing it halfway won’t work. You set boundaries and if they are broken you impart the consequences previously agreed upon and/or you leave. There can no longer be a revolving door, it is as simple as that.
    Amanda Andruzzi, published author, Hope Street, a memoir from the wife of an addict View the Video BOOK Trailer:

  21. My life doesn’t differ from any others, my story is the same as everyones. Why Do We Have eternal hope makes you wander who is the sick one. Run away fast don’t look back. Alone can’t be as bad as this, but you always think what if. Don’t waste your life as I have married to drug and alchol addict for 20 yr always hoping , now I’m old and broken mentally and physically. I changed he did not. Run. Run fast I didnt

  22. Hello! I’ve been with my husband for 15 years. He is a addict and I am definitely a co-addict!! His drug of choice is heroin. I just set some boundaries, he needs to sleep in the guest bedroom and I will no longer make everything comfortable for him, such as cooking for him. I now get it that I need to work on me and not allow his choices to consume my every thought. That said I need help, as I made the decision to not involve my family or friends. I search the web, read books but have not come across the co-addict term before and I am completely this to a T. I have read some of your articles and they make sense. Any advice on the whole living with an addict and setting the boundaries?? I can’t afford to move out and pay my mortgage and he refuses to leave, thus why I set the boundaries of him sleeping in the guest room and not cooking for him. Thanking you in advance!!

  23. I’m a co-addict. I’ve even taking drugs ( on occasion) just to be close to my now ex partner (2weeks ). I feel completely and utterly lost. It’s so easy to see this from the outside but when your in the middle of it , you’re blinded.
    He says he wants to “enjoy himself “ and that means we can’t be together. Yes , we all know what that means. Why do I even want to be with a grown man who is always broke , is addicted to booze and cocaine and has never truly been present in 6 years.
    My father was an alcoholic, exact same behaviour towards me and I felt abandoned and rejected as a child. I just need some words to help me accept that this end , is a good one. And understand why the hell I can’t let go.

  24. I have been a co-addict for nearly 4 years now. I had no idea that’s what I was, until reading these articles just now. Wow..
    My addict boyfriend went to another state for rehab and stayed there. Come to find out he continued using the whole time since, even while being away for a year and a half. He’s back now and I know my gut feeling was right, even though his family was convinced he was clean and I was made out to be the “paranoid” one pointing out all the signs; especially with his manipulation he easily sways people with.
    I went through his phone this week for the first time ever and found out he had been cheating the whole time. Meeting up with female “junkies” (as even he calls himself and others) in hotels and having them stay at his apartment and getting messed up together.
    He’s done horrible awful things that ruined my life and I still stayed by his side through it all. I believed that we had a love written in the stars, that’s what he made me believe on his end too, and so I thought it was worth staying through all the BS that comes with the territory. I thought the end game might be worth enduring the pain and all the bad. I have stayed loyal to a fault all this time, no matter how dirty he did me.
    But finding the cheating.. the messages to exes claiming his love for them.. it’s put me on the path to get out and never look back.
    Imagining a life without him before was something I couldn’t come to grips with, to me that thought was a pain I can’t even put into words. But imagining a life with him now, is something that I just don’t want to have anymore.. The chaos. The lies. The manipulation. The anger. The instability. Apparently the cheating… The erratic behaviors. The impulses. All of it. All I wanted was him, but he’s always given all of himself to the drug. That’s not someone I can have a happy stable normal life with. No matter how deep and unconditional my love runs for him. I don’t want it anymore..
    I’m tired. I’m just tired. Tired of being told I’m insecure, jealous, crazy, paranoid. Tired of being the target of his anger and lashing out. Tired of getting the worst end of it all from him- because he knows- I’m the one person in this world that knows when he’s active and that I could tear down his facade he has up for his family. So he avoids me. He ignores me. He tries to make excuses. And I play pretend every single time with the lies, because if I don’t- he will “leave me” and take his anger out on me, because he got caught. It’s always an act. A charade. A game. And if i step in the wrong spot while I’m tip toeing around him- it’s like stepping on a land mine.
    I was in a physically, sexually, mentally, emotionally abusive relationship before him. So I justified staying with him in my head, that this wasn’t as bad as that. But it’s come to the point where I realized it’s worse. With the other, I was stuck because of threats. This, I’m stuck because I actually love him and I can’t let go because everything always revolves around him and what he’s doing. After finding out he was an addict, and he pulled his first disappearing act 1 month into dating, I obsessively researched everything about his addiction. The more I read, the more questions I had, the more I wanted to know. I thought if I could find answers, if I could understand, that maybe I could save him. I thought I was the person in this life made to do that. And he made me believe he thought that too. So I grabbed the bull by the horns and have hung on for dear life for nearly 4 years now, and I can’t count how many times I’ve been impaled by that bull… too many times to count or keep track of..
    I can’t talk to anyone I know, because they don’t understand it. They’ve never experienced this. I can’t talk to his family because they will believe him over me. Nobody has been this deep with him or stayed through all that I have with him. His exes were all one night stands and couple months flings.
    I’m currently trying to still restart my life after he literally did something that tore my entire life apart.. he made me lose everything…And he’s still been dragging me down in the gutter with him since. Every time I’m doing something to better my situation, he reappears again to tear me down. And I get so caught up in what’s going on with him, that I neglect myself and whatever I was doing to try to dig myself out of my situation he put me in.
    He always come back to me, because I’m the ONE person in this world that hasn’t left his side. I seen the messages to his addict exes or the ones who’d use him to screw behind their husbands back.. and they wrote him off. And all he could get his hands on in another state, were other drug addict females.. which isn’t material of somebody who can take care of him or love him or do anything for him.
    As a clean person who’s never touched a drug in their life (which everyone he’s ever screwed or dated – have all done drugs and party or are addicts too) I’m the only person who can take care of him and the only sober person who’s stayed. But he’s so cruel and nasty and cold towards me, all the time.. the moment he sees me kinda slipping away from it- he feeds me the most tiny bit of affection and I’m reeled right back in because I crave that affection from him and he knows it. It’s a sick twisted game.
    But I need to take my stand. I just can’t do it anymore.. not after what I just found..I just don’t know how. I’m afraid of his lashing out. I’m afraid of his anger. And now that he’s back and I have to deal with him face to face.. it’s worse. Because he always finds a way to contact me. Even when he was states away.. he tracks me down one way or another. I don’t know what the best way to do it is. I don’t know if I should slowly disappear from the picture, and never bring up all the things I found.. or if I should just abruptly end it, so he knows I won’t be back finding out what I did. I’ve been so in love with him from day 1.. and any time I suspected anything, he told me I was insecure and jealous and made me feel like a worthless POS for suspecting things.. but now I have physical proof I was right all along, I’m not crazy or paranoid, I need to use this as my way out. I just need to carefully plan it. Maybe a restraining order so he can’t contact me, and that way I can’t cave when he’s crying how he misses me and feeds me all that BS I believed for so long?
    But afterwards.. I don’t know how to recover. What kind of options are out their for “co-addicts” after going through the trauma of being with someone like that?I already have diagnosed PTSD from my previous relationship. I don’t know if there’s any therapies specific to being a “co-addict” as well?
    These articles have been so helpful. I’m so glad I came across them because it’s gave me some self-confidence that I lost in his addiction. I thought I was weak for always returning whenever he resurfaces and finds me every time. So thank you for taking the time to write these. I’m tired of suffering because of him and I realize now I’m not alone with it as much as I have felt all along.

  25. I fell in love with a man I thought was sad depressed who had survived a suicide attempt after resuscitation.. His behaviors were obsessive erratic and I got physically abused in some if his drug rages. Forever scarred. Multiple overdoses in a 6 month relationships, but I did not know he returned to cocaine and opiates. In last overdose I had to have him released into the streets. I had to make sure he hadn’t come near me. Now for two weeks I’ve barely eaten it showered Al I do is worry is he breathing and asking for pictures to know he is alive. He chose drugs and the streets over me and I am a highly educated girl but bit ONL did I choose him I miss him. I dream of seeing him alive. I did not see how dependent I was on. Saving his life and being the last one to never got up on him
    But he has chosen the streets and I fear his death as my health gets worse daily. I was already sick with multiple diseases when I met him.. Why did I say hoe do I go on how do I. Find me again. I am lost. I was crazy enough to believe he’d be my husband. Please help

  26. Amanda & MS,
    Thanks for sharing here. I’m so glad to hear that the articles are helping the more you read them and my book the more the philosophies will resonate. This is about conditioning because you already have the want to change, now you just need to exhibit the behaviors by repetition until they become the norm. It is time for a change that is obvious, but only you are responsible for making that change, if you wait for the addict to do it you may be waiting around forever.
    Amanda Andruzzi, MHP, CHC, AADP, author of Hope Street, http://www.hopestreetmemoir.con

  27. I’m a co-addict. And I’m suffering. I come from quite a conservative family where drugs are looked down on so bad to the point where that addict is shunned. Ive been in a off and on relationship with a heroin addict for 5 years, but was infatuated with him for years before that. So my feelings for him are concrete. I’ve tried every possible way to help him. I’ve tried rehabs, medications, bribing- anything. I want him back. I want the person I once knew back. I dont recognise him anymore but I love him for what he was and all the things he had done right. Hes cheated, lied, stole, hit me. But I’m so addicted to him- I dont want to leave him because I’m so scared of what might happen to him. He started meth and I got him back down to heroin after the awful effects. I know its unhealthy, I know I’ve stopped caring about myself, I know he manipulates me and the family. Ive fought, left him so many times. But its always back to him and wondering if hes okai. I keep this undying hope of his recovery-a fairytale, although it’s impossible. Help me. Im withering away

  28. Your articles are helping me overcome an 18 year battle with my addict husband. I’ve read them all once and some twice or more. I want to ty and encourage you to continue writing and sharing (for my own selfish reasons of course).

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