In Love with an Addict?: The Rollercoaster Ride

Are you in love with an addict? Good news! You can get off the roller coaster anytime you want. More here from someone who knows.

minute read

If you love an addict, you may live with considerable feelings of remorse, guilt, and pain. But you may equally feel the thrill of hope and adrenaline in trying to save your beloved.

How can you get off the rollercoaster? Take it from someone who’s been there. Here’s an essay on what the rollercoaster can be like…and how you can get off anytime you are ready. Then, we invite your questions or experience at the end.

My personal experience loving an addict

I remember when I was with my addict ex-husband I would do the most abhorrent things—things I would not want anyone to know about. I would ride around hoping to spot his car in the local bar or hotel, call the police to try and find him, and even look at his phone calls online up to the minute so that I could try to figure out where he was and who he was with.

The Downs: A time for change

Usually on a weekend, late night, or any time an addict disappears or goes off binging, from the partner of an addict (co-addict), I will receive posts asking for help. This is a desperate time for a co-addict. This desperation leads them to do anything that they can to fill the void, ease the worry, and justify the concern they are experiencing.

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When things are out of control (and control at this point is a fleeting illusion) a co-addict will seek advice, read books, search the internet, purge their thoughts or anything they can do to help them with their own obsessive behavior over the addict.

It is also a time when the co-addict seeks advice to leave an addict because they are not sure they can put up with the behavior any longer. They will exhaust the people they talk to and swear that this time is the last time.

But it is a cry for help but one that becomes easily silent when the addict reappears….

The Ups: Keeping up the illusion

When the addict reappears or demonstrates some affection or remorse that reminds a co-addict why they fell in love, the thoughts they had about giving up go out the window. The love and the adrenaline they feel over the addict’s dramatic antics take over.

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A co-addict will avoid the people they just complained to out of embarrassment that they did not follow through with leaving the addict. They ignore responses to their posts from internet searches because the information given is no longer what they want to hear. They disregard sound advice because they are not ready to face the truth.

Are you addicted to the ride?

This ride up on the roller coaster is purely an infatuated, reckless, and captivating thrill. Despair is replaced by a short-lived false hope for the addict. Depression is replaced by the adrenaline of fighting for the person they love. Giving up is replaced by a renewed sense of power that the co-addict can save the addict. The optimism returns that it is possible to have control over the addict.

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The rollercoaster ride is exciting in many ways. Love is tested, feelings are intense and no one never really knows what twists and turn are around the corner. This is the part of loving an addict that defines a co-addict.

The co-addict does things, feels things, and resolves things that seem so out of character for them. They find themselves hiding, going back on their word, making excuses to themselves and others and feeling isolated most of the time, but the Ups which occur less and less are so addictive that they have no choice but to endure the Downs. The co-addict is out of control. The ride is taking them along and redirecting them where it wants to go.

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Getting off the rollercoaster

If you find yourself on this roller coaster in a co-addictive relationship you are not alone. It seems that there is no way off. In fact, you have become so out of control that you cling to any shred of control you have left to justify why you have not gotten off of the ride by now.

As the addict falls deeper and deeper into their addiction, the co-addict will have to ride on bigger and bigger roller coasters with more extreme ups and downs. Even if the co-addict plunges towards the realization that this roller coaster may be too dangerous—they have to be ready to see that it will kill them if they do not get off.

Getting off of the ride with an addict means that a co-addict has to realize they are on the roller coaster in the first place. Every co-addict, including myself, wants to believe that their partner is different from most addicts and that the love between them is so special that things have to work out.

Getting off of the ride means looking at the relationship for what it really is and being able to accept that the person you love is an addict. It also requires recognizing that loving a person who is unpredictable and the highs and lows which accompany it can be highly addictive. If the person you love can have you detesting them and swearing them off one day, feeling sorry for them the next and obsessed over every move they make, then you are on the roller coaster.

I suggest as the ride comes to a stop, this time, you get off.

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. Jay,
    Yes the co-addiction can stem from the sexual component of the relationship but I find that most of us here rarely have sex with our partners when they are deep into addiction and it is the lack of intimacy that is even harder and has the co-addict yearning for that connection. But again, every situation is different and if you have a “professional” then it makes sense that she knows how to make you help her continue her addiction by using sex. If you are weak, then why not work on getting stronger and respecting yourself not allowing a woman to abuse you emotionally.
    Amanda Andruzzi, MHP, CHC, AADP published author, Hope Street, a memoir from the wife of an addict View the Video BOOK Trailer:

  2. Amanda: this terrific roller coaster essay is my daily reading as I am trying to get off of the roller coaster ride and get over my addict! there are a number of similar outstanding essays on this topic on this website too. one aspect of this co-addict phenomenon is how the sex with the addict created and maintained the intense addiction co-addict bond for me. that extremely powerful aspect is not really discussed in these essays. the sexual thoughts of the addict are perhaps the most painful and hardiest to get over. perhaps in the future you can devote an entire essay to the effect of the sexual component on the co-addict? as you know these girls, like the one I am addicted to, are sexual professionals and really know all the “tricks” on how to “hook” a weak guy (like me) if they want to.

  3. Danielle, Abigail and Sarah,
    Please pick up my book, Hope Street, if you are serious about getting out of this I suggest knowing more about the dynamics of your relationship with the addict. As co-addicts we tend to blame everything on the addict and it is true that if they were not addicted everything would be normal but since it doesn’t stop and we stay and endure it over and over again, what does that say about us?

    Amanda Andruzzi, published author, Hope Street, a memoir from the wife of an addict View the Video BOOK Trailer:

  4. I came across this blog today and I am astounded at how these stories resonate so closely with mine. My husband and I married very young, he was 18 and I was 17. I got pregnant my junior year of high school so we married. We just had our 20 year anniversary last summer. The past ten years of our marriage have been difficult, and particularly bad in the past 2-3 years. When I think about some of the events that have occurred during this time , I cannot even fathom that I would waver on my decision to stay in this marriage, but I do. I really want to get off of the roller coaster and I think I want to do it now. I have been praying and waiting desperately for the moment of clarity to make the decision. Two weeks ago, after he binged, we got in a terrible fight and he said very mean things to me. I left my house because I was afraid it would escalate further. The worst part is that my young son was witness to the argument and he became very distressed about it. My first instinct was to diffuse the situation by leaving my house. I came back the next day, and of course forgave and agreed to “re-start.” He went to 2 AA meetings the following week. I really doubted his sobriety during that time, because you “just know” by their behavior that they’ve been drinking. But I gave him the benefit of the doubt and kept my mouth shut. Last Friday something set me off and I went digging for evidence, which is so embarrassing for me. But of course, I found an empty bottle of liquor in the trash. I think what bothers me the most is that in my mind I thought if I could stay positive and make everything easy for him, then he wouldn’t drink. But the week prior to this was great for all of us. So clearly this thinking is not logical. Iv’e been doing a lot of research and I am finding that we are in a toxic, co-dependent relationship.
    My husband is a good man. I know that he loves me and our kids, but this disease has ruined our marriage. I am walking the tightrope of staying and trying to help him, or cutting the line and letting him do this on his own. I just so tired and frustrated. I want to be happy again.

  5. Wow you just described me and my relationship to a T. How do you get off the rollercoaster when you love them more than anything in this world?

  6. My fiancé has relapsed after 12 years of being clean. His drug of choice is meth. He has been clean the 6 years we have been together but the last year and a half he started using and I didn’t even find out until 6 months into it. He started using a month before our first son together was born. It has been a crazy crazy ride for me especially since this is really the first time dealing with an addict. This is all very new and confusing to me. He has broken up with me several times this year after we get in a huge fight from me finding out he is lying about using. He has slept around during those times we break up so he doesn’t consider it cheating. I do. He has two boys who’s mother has passed away I have been helping him raise them for 5 years now. And I also have a son of mine who lives with us full time. So his two my one and then we just had a baby. I am a stay at home mom of 4 boys. If that isn’t hard enough I have to deal with him and his addiction. He has been the meanest person to me has said horrible things and made me feel completely unloved. Then he would come down and everything would change. I have threatened to leave since we have lived together the whole time and I stayed still doing my part in taking care of the kids even when he was running around with other woman. The one time I really left he called me begging me to come home swearing he would er clean. So of course I was home with the hour. He got clean for maybe a month. Then started using again even sneakier and was changing the way he would act so that I didn’t know. But of course I caught him time and time again. But he was nicer to me showed me love so I did tend to let it slide. Now he has once again broken up with me swearing that this is it he is done. Saying that I pushed him away. Blaming me for everything. But yet he is the one on drugs? And I told him to get clean so he doesn’t make a stupid decision while on drugs and he laughs at me saying I am stupid if I really think that the drug affects his decisions. I am heartbroken ( yes I know that’s stupid) but how could he not want me. I’ve done everything for him and our kids yes I have my flaws but still. Now he’s back to running off at night I am sure there is another girl involved. He has changed passwords on everything so I have no access to anything he pretty much took our family car so now I drive his old work truck and now we are selling our house and he plans on getting a place of our own. I am just confused seeing how about three weeks ago he told me to start planning our wedding and now he wants nothing to do with me? Every time I try to talk to him he just says it’s over I’m sorry it has nothing to do with drugs. I’m lost. He says he loves me but just can’t be with me as if I am the one doing something wrong.

  7. Hanna,
    You can post here and I will answer but my email is

    You are exactly right! this is about you and how to get strong and move on with your life. You did what you could for a person you love and it no longer serves you mentally, physically or emotionally to be with him. You are going to be fine, get through this and sounds cliché but you will be stronger and more grateful in your life because of this experience. I know from personal experience.

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

  8. My boyfriend has been gone for weeks now.! He ran off to Vietnam I guess thinking he’s going to find something he left when he was two so he really knows no one. I have been on this roller coaster for three years. I loved him with all my heart. But there comes a point in life when he started sleeping around picking up prostitutes and bringing me back a disease that I had to say enough is enough thankfully for me it was treated It could’ve been so much worse.! He can be the most loving man in the world. But I’m not sure where the fantasy ends and the truth begins. He quit his job and even though he has money in the bank from an accident settlement. He’s going down the tubes fast when he comes back from his benders he is always nasty it’s like he’s a stranger.! This time he left for five days now he’s gone for good Our last normal conversation on the phone he was crying our last normal conversation on the phone he was crying telling me that I am a good responsible woman and he can’t do this to me anymore.! Then he went to Vietnam and sent me a nasty text the whole time talking about stuff that was totally off-the-wall. I realize I am better off without him.!! I did everything I could for him got him counseling he seem like he was doing good for a while.! Obviously his addiction Took control of him.! When he left he left my house a mess we were fixing it up he just left it now it is up to me to get on my feet and make my life better.! And I will I learned a very important thing about myself. A lot of Times when you’re comfortable in a relationship you stay rather than face being alone or starting over but let me tell you something. You are so much better off Times when you’re comfortable in a relationship use day rather than face being alone or starting over but let me tell you something. You are so much better off leaving that person behind move on with your life or this will be the rest of your life. Very few attics really get better and sadly they could fall off the wagon for years that could mean your life don’t let that be you move on you will find peace

  9. Lessa,
    Right now you are in pain, hurt, sad, angry and stressed. It is understandable that you are taking antidepressants and use them for a period of time to help you get out of this sadness but either way you need to deal with the feelings and go through them. You will as long as you commit to really walking away. Once the divorce is final, he will have no hold on you or any money and he will disappear which will be a blessing for you to help you move on, heal and recover yourself. Have friends and a good support system around you and people that motivate you in your life right now.
    Amanda Andruzzi, published author, Hope Street, a memoir from the wife of an addict
    View the video book trailer:

  10. Lessa, you are scared hurt angry and sad right now. I would try the antidepressants if they will help you temporarily but once you get the actual divorce and he has no claim on you or your money then you’ll watch him disappear out of your life deeper into his addiction. Although sad for him and necessary this is a blessing for you because you will be able to move on with your life and heal from everything that you’ve been through. It is important that you go through your own recovery process and have a great deal of support around you and people who care about you to help you through this. It will get better you just have to be ready to do this

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

  11. Lessa,

    You are scared, sad, angry and hurt. If the antidepressant works great but once you finalize this you will see how he disappears from your life allowing you to move on. Make sure you have a lot of support and people around you that can help you through this. You’re going to do a lot of growing and learning so know that there is an end to all of this. You have to be ready
    Amanda Andruzzi, published author, Hope Street, a memoir from the wife of an addict View the video book trailer:

  12. I filed divorce on my estranged crackhead fugitive husband who’s living in a homeless shelter with his crackhead girlfriend.Iveafe the mistake of financially helping him out many times until he finally admittex he was done with me and with her.He’s asked about my tax refund (I did not file with him this year)and he’s so strung out I’m afraid he might do something to me to get some money but then I’m afraid to turn him in cos eventually he’s get Out and might come looking for me.He has a blue warrant for a second time since he was released in Nov 2015. My lawyer has been patient with me because I’ve changed my mind a few time since I first filed last summer but it’s going to happen now.However I’m a wreck and scared to the point where it’s making me crazy.I did talk to counselor at church last week and Dr put me on depression meds.Any advice would be appreciated.

  13. Tracee,
    Thank you for your comment. I am glad this article resonates with you and I do hope that you understand that the initial break is painful but at least you know that it will end someday. At least you know that you have a chance at having a happy and sane life; staying with an addict–there are no guarantees.
    Amanda Andruzzi, published author, Hope Street, a memoir from the wife of an addict
    View the video book trailer:

  14. good fellow,

    thank you for sharing your story. I can see that this is not the end of this story and that you are not going to leave her. We tend to continue the cycle of enabling even if we don’t think what we are doing is enabling. I do not judge and I am not in your shoes so I do not know if this is the case but I do have enough experience to know that completely breaking the cyle is difficult and we as co-addicts tend to think we have things under control when in reality our actions prove differently. Do you love her and want nothing but to be with her or do you feel guilty? You have to distinguish your intentions and what you want your future to be with this person and then be realistic–there are no guarantees. Are you willing to live with that truth?
    Amanda Andruzzi, published author, Hope Street, a memoir from the wife of an addict
    View the video book trailer:

  15. I am so lost right now. It’s like being at a crossroad, doesn’t matter which direction I take, it’s going to hurt and break me down you know? Holy cow sweetheart, you are some writer. Last two paragraphs – bullseye.

  16. Hello Amanda
    I’m 56 years old the addict / alcoholic I’m involved with is 48
    My nightmare begins about 5 years ago, from a dating site. Our 1st date was magical an amazing dinner conversation and the next couple weeks that followed the same. Then a few odd things began to surface in her personality she would act confused sometimes and her story of events seem to have gaps and we would fight loud verbal she would leave the car and start walking down the street …I work early evenings and she was in a different district so we got together in the evening 9 -10 at night for a few hours ..and she had a daughter at home she didn’t feel comfortable us being there till she knew we were solid. Well the odd crazy night seems to happen and after 6 month I broke up thinking she was flighty as I never saw her drink and the weekends I did see her have a few it didn’t seem excessive. After about a month she started texting me, I engage and periodically we would text for an hour or so (I know now that she was drinking at the time) and after 2 months of this I agree to meet her. Once again, our meeting was amazing …my attraction to her, our chemistry. We agreed once again to go exclusive. She then told me that she had a new job being a nanny for two nurses they’re 2 young children and her hours were 6 to 11 approx. This worked fine with me given my hours so we would occasionally see each other later at night for an hour or two. She was so much fun we would make out in the car that sort of thing lots of kissing kind of like teenagers…Financially I’m ok and I wasn’t too concerned about a partner’s income I don’t really need it. So yes connection, intimacy was important to me. She was big into fitness as was I …. We went to the gym for a work out then sushi and back to my place for a movie. cuddle sex. During this time of the relationship however My intuition seemed to feel not everything was adding up …. She didn’t strike me as the nanny type. I never really saw her cook etc. it seemed like an odd job for her …when we went out she made frequent trips to the bathrm same as at my place. And again, every once in awhile this monster would emerge when she over indulged in drinking. but not very often she really controlled in at that time only 3 or 4 drinks when she decided to drink. I should make mention here that I was a bad drinker and deemed myself to be an alcoholic in my 20’s. I hit my bottom lost my marriage and quit drinking at 27 years old going thru AA program and its steps
    They say love is blind so the signs of something I felt I ignored, also when I challenged her on some of these incidents she said she did suffer from PTSD because was raped at 12 babysitting by the neighbour and told not to say anything or he would harm her and her family, she apparently was raped a 2nd time at 14 in a parking lot. She also told me the the doctor she had as a child fondled her inappropriately …She should me the doctor who it was and he was charged with many cases and fled into the states and later died. They grew up on welfare and after meting her mom and dad …Her mom very naive and her dad was a bad alcoholic and they had split while she was young. I fell in love with this women and After a year of this passionate rollercoaster but incredible journey she come forward with a huge secret, she had a past …she was involved in the adult industry as a dancer …pics in penthouse and prostitution in LA…wow after a year and a half …I was able to find the old mags online and at 1st angry after a few weeks it settled it……She revealed to me she also had a bad addiction to cocaine but quit when she got pregnant with her daughter that was 14 years ago .Hey everyone’s got a past …I don’t walk in someone else’s shoes and I was a drinker before and I’m pretty liberal guy. She a beautiful woman etc. Anyway, long story short that sent me into investigating her as she seemed to be dropping hints here and there. I starting visiting escorts web sites and low and behold. I found a girl advertised that I knew was her…so the confrontation came. Yes, she was broke had no money and single mom. what is she supposed to do? lets get married and I’ll stop. Because of the crazy nights, we would sometimes have I wasn’t prepared to do that. I was in a dilemma …I love this girl and again I didn’t walk in her shoes. She worked for an Elite Downtown agency. Safe and crazy money …A world I had never seen before. I research about it and even visited and talk to some escorts over the course of a couple months not to have sex but tell my story was My girl in love with me or just after me for my money I was getting messed up. I tried our relationship for awhile with her in the industry but I couldn’t take it anymore. we would talk about her “johns” I didn’t want details just apt so I knew where she was sometimes they would be 4 in a day…It was sick morbid. WE tried to spilt up and get together over and over the next 6 months. Finally, I said look set a mark you need to make then quit and well take a crack at it again. She after she got her bank account built up to $30000 she quit the business. I then got us into Counselling to deal with these issues and her periodic drinking …Our fights we would trigger each other and her daughter now I found out was Bi-polar …I thought at the time I had the means to help them If they put the right effort into it I said at least everything was making sense now. she was being honest about everything now and really felt she did love me. We went to AA meetings counselling on off for the next 6 months with continued binges …I could see her finances getting worse. I would encourage her to get a job. she said that I told her that she didn’t have to work if we were together. I said that’s true but I need to see at least 60 days of sobriety before I would commit to anything like that and our passionate relationship continued. She seemed earnest about recovery and then it came to the point where she said look it I either must go back into the industry and work or you make a commitment to me. Yes, she could easily be making $5000 a month. I agreed to have her move in on a trial. I got her an inexpensive car. got her daughter set up in special school and felt very positive. she was going to AA and coucelling. Our fighting got worse (I think what happened is that she couldn’t hide the closet drinking living with me) crazy things started her fears of me having affairs. accusing me of meeting a woman cause the passenger’s car seat had been moved. Her anxiety went thru the roof and our fighting was loud and intense. She then decided to move out and we broke up again. So, the next 8 months we started to see each other she during this time would see the odd old client during out break up times. the drinking was getting worse. She then one day went out and got cocaine, that when things started to get crazy she drinks 15 bear and 6 to 8 lines in a night, her tolerance unbelievable she 5’1 102 lbs …. The binges got more frequent and she would come home. that’s where I went crazy … She said nothing would happen. But In my head, I’m saying this person has already put a price on her body in the past and therefore what would she care if she exchanges favours for drugs. She would get so mad at me saying I’m not a slut work is work I don’t sleep around. I’m a good girl. The binges got too frequent too over whelming. She was scared herself. she took then drastic measures and left to go to the island where her sister was to break from the people and drug dealers here. I only saw her a few times over the course of 3 months she leads me to believe she had a handle on things. So, she moved back here and I could see thing were incredible worse. the beiges would go to 2 days and would occur every 3 or 4 days…that lasted a month. she then went to stay with her Aunt for 30 days …that helped and I didn’t see her for a month. She got herself another rental and we started to see each other again but I could see the alcohol and cocaine still playing major role in her life …She would occasionally hit me; the abuse was getting worse and when she went out I was always thinking she was sleeping around. She begged me to come out with her to meet what I called secret friends and it appeared tome that she was telling the truth. She didn’t sleep around but all these people she hung with they drink and drug all night …she comes home pukes and passes out. The craziness continued and police were involve a couple times because on noise and the police arrested her a couple times ,,,they then put a restraining order against her seeing me .She contacting me during this time 5 weeks later saying how much she loves me don’t abandon her she knows she has a problem and shell quit…We started to dee each other again and they were still the slips every 5 to 6 days ..She got off her charges and then I got a councillor for her and started to encourage her to get into a rehab center for 30 or sixty days …she said that she didn’t want the govt one but if I paid for a better on shed go. I said it doesn’t work that way and if she decided to bolt the way she’s done in the past I’m out the money. I offered to pay half ..she then said she cant afford it and that it would take half her money and when she got out only a few thousand dollars left …would i be there for her …I said I should be but I said your going to need 6 months …Its not like bewitched where tinkle tinkle twitch the nosed and your cured. That didnt go anyway. So, we tried counselling and a dayox program and now we she had slips I was with her I was smoking pot now trying to cope she would drink get her coke I would drive her to these places and watch her drink drug and smoke cigarettes 3 packs a night!!
    I was so badly enabling her at that time my goodness I must take ownership of that. Thus, she got to the point where she couldn’t get past 3 days sober without drinking and drugging …most of my time was spent detoxing with her Doctors would say you can’t leave her alone she could die from alcohol and cocaine withdrawals. I was caregiving for her food nursing her. trying to get her into detox but all the beds are full shuffling back to hospitals…her daughter was taken out by social services months ago, the couceller from daytox said call the police put her into psycho ward left them deal with her……but she begged me never to do that to her after thrown in jail she feared that. I then tried to get her into detox and knew once in there that they would see how bad it was…the beds were always full …finally a bed came up but just hours before admittance she bolted …My health deteriorated after this …my smoking stress and pot smoking my doctor said emphysema had started …so I mimed quit smoking doing pot and went back into exercise and told her I’m sorry it my health now. That was 2 months ago
    She got evicted and is staying now with a friend She knows she is on her last legs her money is almost run out she is attending AA meetings and book studies daily as I write she has 9 days’ sobriety ,,,,,its been years since that has happened. I am not enabling her anymore and my boundaries are back in play…I don’t engage if she’s drinking anymore I realize I didn’t cause it I can’t cure it and I can’t control it. She is asking me for wait for her 90 days ..she is scared she has no one left ..don’t lose faith in her…everyone is telling me to bolt from this women block her she will never change….my dilemma is I was where she is at 26 years old ..hated my life wanted to die lost all hope ….But I did get better and my son who was diagnosed with autism at 5 years old is now in college scholarship in mechatronics engineering after intense ABA therapy so I see that all things are possible…People say to me I need help I don’t love myself …I have low self esteem to put up with this abuse and fear of being alone ….I don’t know if I agree with that I am a successful business man and have lots of women I could date if I wanted….I know that I am probably in a toxic co dependant and or co addict relationship …but I am putting the boundaries back up and no longer enabling …I do however feel that she sincerely loves me and realizes that she has now hit bottom ….I’m more scared of her health if drastic measures don’t come about soon I fear she will die a miserable death ….I can walk away from this almost unhurt except a broken heart she walk away a addict with no job no money and no friends. I feel like imp in a war, my comrade is wounded in the battle field and I’m going to leave him …. How do I do that and live with myself afterword. It’s amazing to me how everyone I know what’s to turn a blind eye cause its easier. Yes, her bad choices got her here …does that matter …she is now battling chemical powers in her brain and body which cause immense withdrawals psychosis shakes …. I almost feel its my obligation to help because I think this time she realizes that she’s heading down a bad path and all the doors are being shut. I hate where I am at …Needing advice in BC

  17. Ashley,
    Meth or needles, his addiction is a big deal and you can’t carry the weight on your own. You need support and you need to get help for you. If I were you I would tell both families and I would find a therapist for myself. You are drowning and I know because I have been there. Please read Hope Street, I think it will help you a great deal. Don’t do this alone.
    Amanda Andruzzi, published author, Hope Street, a memoir from the wife of an addict View the video book trailer:

  18. Hey there….so I am 28 years old with a 5 year old son. I was married and divorced, and I moved on. I have been dating someone for 4 years now, and I love him very much, I couldn’t ask for a better man……but my boyfriend started smoking meth about a year ago…..but now my heart is hurting so bad, and i mean BAD, because I found out he started using needles… son and me moved back in with my parents….I had no choice. My boyfriend don’t work, and yes he is older then me, but I don’t understand why he can’t stop. I make myself sick just knowing he hurting himself…..nobody and I mean NOBODY in my family or his knows any of it. And it’s killing me. I am hurting bad and I don’t know who to tell or go to. I’ve been keeping this a secret for a while…I couldn’t tell you the last time I didn’t cry myself to sleep. I’m beyond depressed, and I’m trying so hard to keep it together. Can somebody help or who can I turn too? I trying so hard for my little boy, but I don’t know what to do

  19. Linda,
    Thank you so much for sharing your story. I do understand and you are definitely not alone. You are on the right road and I am here to help you keep on that path. Don’t be discouraged, keep telling yourself you are strong enough and deserve to be happy and the truth is you do. This relationship the both of you have created won’t end until you make the changes, he won’t and if he ever does I don’t think you want to wait the rest of your life to find out. You are going to be great, better than great you just have to get over those initial fears. You can do this. Please keep in touch and please let me know about Hope Street. I hope it serves its purpose for you.
    Amanda Andruzzi, published author, Hope Street, a memoir from the wife of an addict
    View the video book trailer:

  20. I’m new to this type of blog, but I’ve been trying to find more support for myself. I am 50 yrs old, I have been addicted to my addict husband for 35 years. Married 27 yrs. My husband hid his addiction from everyone, including me. We’ve separated lots of times, but we always got back together. My husband was a heroine addict and pill popping addict, until he discovered meth! He has lost jobs, friends and hope in life. I found Nara-non 2 years ago and I’m finally feeling stronger than ever to finally put an end to this insanity. I’ve read all your blogs Amanda, and I felt like I was reading my life story in some of the brave women & men that shared their struggle. If I don’t become strong enough to break free, I will be stuck in this vicious cycle of addiction. I have a sponsor that I call, when I feel anxious and nervous and can’t sleep. My husband will use, stay out all night, and come home when I leave to work, and then come down for 3 or 4 days, and make false promises and I have hope every single time. But I am finally in my recovery and feel strong enough to let go! I am worth it. I don’t like who I’ve become. I was believing that I was the insane one. But I’m ready to begin my journey without him. He’s been to so many rehabs, and sober living, and It just goes back to the same old song and dance. I’m so tired of my life with him. I am making changes little by little, and I just ordered your book. I do see the light at the end of the tunnel. I want happiness again. We had it, for long periods, then it always will go back to addiction, and me enabling, and trying to fix, control and mend the situation. I’m exhausted and don’t want to live out the rest of my life like this. I am really feeling strong and this blog has helped me so much.

  21. Charl,
    It sounds like you need some support and some therapy to help you get out of this situation. I know many people in SMART recovery and I am not advocating or trashing it but most of them continue to use while in the program. I believe an addict, most anyway, need more than just weekly meetings, more than just 28 days in a rehab but the system calls to do it the same old way. I can’t help you help him but I can help you help yourself. It is time to focus on your own recovery, self-esteem and happiness. Start by reading all of my articles here, you will find them useful in getting started and if you follow the advice and read the book, you will know that I am not just saying these things, I have actually lived them.
    Amanda Andruzzi, published author, Hope Street, a memoir from the wife of an addict
    View the video book trailer:

  22. Wow this is my life…but what if your husband is going to counseling and smart therapy, so supposedly trying – but keeps relapsing? I mean once a week…he’s a binge drinker, never drinks at home – goes out, will not take my calls or texts so basically ignores me and drives home drunk at 2/3/4AM. Been going on consistently for years, but has escalated to weekly now. He’s running from his problems and using alcohol to cope – has never faced them. I’ve kicked him out, he comes back, I did a list of actions & consequences and this last week he relapsed again, so he’s out of the house for a week. But he will be back…he alienates his friends and won’t let anyone help, he’s so good at pulling wool that at the smart recovery meetings they think he could eventually be a leader? he seems to help everyone else there but himself. I’m at a loss – family and friends tell me to leave and divorce, end it – I feel crippled like I can’t move. I’ve never had good self esteem or a strong network of friends or activities – which I believe would help me to go, but I can’t find the motivation to do it.

  23. Natalie,

    Thank you for sharing your story. I know the emotions you are experiencing; confusion, anger, love, betrayal, abandonment, sadness, loss of hope…..
    Those feelings can coexist and that is why this whole experience can be so draining. If you are at the end of your rope then you must make a change, make the break, and let go or you won’t have Be able to have the family and life you really want.

  24. Tessa,
    I am honored to have helped you in any way. My experiences are no longer mine alone, they are shared by all of you here and your stories influence me and inspire me every day. I simply made a promise that if I could make it through hell that I would help others do the same.
    Thank you for sharing that with us and although I know you can feel vulnerable again and that glimmer of hope comes to the surface now and again, you have to trust your own instincts. You know that you don’t want the life he has to offer you. That being said, it is not always easy to let go and even harder when you share the same circles. I know for me, completely cutting him out was the only way but you have to be honest with yourself and know if seeing him makes the old hope come back and might compromise your recovery. It is a fine line and if you can be truly honest with yourself, you know the motives behind your actions. None of this is easy, I know this from experience because some addicts recover but this is something that will be clear from the start. You will be able to see and feel the difference. You know when someone is really on the road to recovery because their life will be an open book. For each person it is differnt but the one thing we all have in common is that it can be a lifetime struggle filled with highs and lows.
    Amanda Andruzzi, published author, Hope Street, a memoir from the wife of an addict
    View the video book trailer:

  25. These posts are so spot-on and I feel so grateful to have come across this blog and Amanda’s book. A background on my situation: Was married 3.5 years until my husband walked out on me in February 2016. His reasons and excuses for leaving are many, but basically I had called him out on his alcoholism and approached him in marital counseling to get treatment. Instead of seeking help immediately, he left our home to go on a bender and simply never came back, really. He is currently homeless to the best of my knowledge (he was living out of his office, but has recently been evicted) and for days/weeks at a time, had turned his phone off to “go into hiding,” as he put it. Since we’ve been separated, we’ve seen our marriage counselor (MSW who is also a licensed interventionist) in an effort to get him into 30-day rehab, but with no success. He begged me for awhile to get us an apartment, but I have chosen to stay with family and not live with him if he is actively using. This is a boundary that I have maintained since he left and I feel that it’s what is right for me.

    Flash forward to now: I am mentally, emotionally, and actually physically exhausted from dealing with this. I have given him the ultimatum: get into treatment, or I file for divorce. This is the most difficult thing I have ever done but today I hired my own counsel and am proceeding with legal action. I woke up today and realized that I have been in survival mode and not living MY LIFE or making my own decisions because chasing/begging my husband to get into treatment is actually easier in some ways that admitting that this is not a marriage or a partnership and, like ripping off a band-aid, it will hurt in the short-term but I will be better off in the long run. I feel that I am at legal and financial risk if I do not take legal action; the day-to-day fear that I’m going to get “that call” from law enforcement is extremely fatiguing.

    This post struck me because it is accurate in detailing the guilt/shame/adrenaline cycle of giving up, trying again, not seeing results, giving up, trying again…the cycle continues and at this point, I am afraid to call him or make any contact with him because I am tired of hearing the excuses, I am tired of feeling taken advantage of and I’m exhausted from trying to change him and his alcoholism. The consequences are dire for him if he doesn’t get help: losing his professional license, losing his marriage, and the biggest one of all: losing his health and possibly his life.

    I continue to struggle with guilt as I wonder what else I can really do. Intervention? His family is supportive of me and has offered to come here to help him settle him into treatment, but of course treatment will only be effective if he really wants it and says YES which he has not done.

    I am deeply sad but I feel confident in many ways that I am making the right decision for my own life. I am almost 31 and I want a family, children, and a good marriage. Realizing that he is not the person with whom I will share these milestones is extremely agonizing.

    Yet, I have also realized another important point. I still love my husband, even after what he has put me through. I don’t like his actions, but I do not think he is a bad person or a bad man. He simply needs help, AND I need to protect myself. Those are two simultaneous feelings that can occur together. Just because I file for divorce doesn’t mean I don’t love him. I know it sounds silly but I feel that I can hold my boundaries and not enable while still trying to be positive, even if from a distance, and to allow natural consequences to occur for him. If he experiences the natural outcomes of his choices, perhaps he will come to realize how much he needs help.

    I am truly at the end of my rope, and I don’t feel I have any other options.

  26. Hi Amanda,

    First of all, I can not possibly express my gratitude for all you have done for me. I came to terms with the fact that I had to leave my 5 years plus relationship because of an opiate addiction about two months back. I am 29 years old and only found out about this addiction one year back. After an attempt at rehab, he relapsed. All I had asked God for is that my red flag would be at first relapse, so when it happened, the relationship came to an instant halt ( atleast initially in my head then eventually for real). I sought help online for the first few weeks and eventually landed on your awesome blog. I have read all 37+ articles (some more than once) since and I havemade tremendous progress.

    However, the last few days had become shaky coz I realized how tricky it is to deal with his family, friends that had now become mine. If one is sick, do I visit? How much involvement is too much before it becomes a case of failure to let go??? I have also realized that letting go, just like staying has its own consequences that I have to figure out and face.

    Reading this particular article has however tickled me coz it’s spot on on my recovery as a co-addict. As horrible as the situation had become, at times I find myself on the hope phase of the roller coaster. However, if I have learned anything on your blog from articles and comments below, even if for two years my boyfriend cleans up, there is a more than likely chance he will get down that road again.

    I am not asking about anything today, just letting you know that your blog has been super helpful and the Angels that are kind to share their stories have made this experience for me much more bearable. Can’t wait to come back in few years and tell you how much my life has changed.

  27. Kathleen,
    I wish the answer was yes or no but things are not always so black and white. You have to gauge your family because sometimes the messenger is the one people blame and get angry with. If you feel in your gut that it is time to let everyone in on this, then I would do it. However, understand the backlash you may receive from your parents. I completely understand your position and they are enabling him 100% but having a child, nomatter how old, that is an addict is hard. You don’t know what else you can do for them and you blame yourself. Perhaps if you get the family together and then confront your parents because you are concerned that their enabling is making him stay sick then I would do that and maybe have a family counselor present. Your parents should try al-anon or nar-anon as well.
    Amanda Andruzzi, published author, Hope Street, a memoir from the wife of an addict
    View the video book trailer:

  28. My brother is 51 yrs old and has been an addict and alcoholic since he was 11 yrs old. He has been in nd out of rehabs and treatment centers for as long as I can remember. He was able to get sober for 7 years but replased 2 years ago. While sober he decided to get his bachelors degree and went to college in humboldt county. My parents made a decision to help him with his education, but it has turned into my parents are supporting him and no long for his education. He is curently homeless and staying at a shelter and they have gtiven him approx $2000 in the last 30 days. They have given him approx $70,000 in the past 3 years. Makes me want to screen that he manipulates them so much. My other sibblings no nothing about this waterfall of money. I want my parents to stop enabling him. He is homeless but life is really good for him. If they quit giving him money, he will see what it really like and maybe he will change his ways. I would rather see that money go to my nieces and nephews and their future. My brother doesnt care. hes selfish and will take and take and take. Sould I get together with my family and let them know about this. His wife has access to his checking account and can show proof of what he spends his money on. Please give my family and I some advice and direction on what we should do. Thank you so very much…..Kathleen

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