Do I Stay with my Boyfriend through Addiction Rehab?

I was involved with an addict for 2 years. I finally left him and he has entered rehab to get clean. He says for himself as well as for our future. I love him very much and he did treat me very well when he wasn’t using. Do I stay and support him through rehab? He has no friends that are not users and his parents are cold and distant.

Response from Daniel?

The general “rule of thumb,” “No intimate relationships during the first year of recovery” applies here. If your boyfriend is out of rehab, assume he is engaged in an ‘aftercare’ program and consider him to be in early stage recovery. Being realistic means not expecting you nor he to be ready to resume a (sexually intimate) relationship for at least a year as he will need that amount of time to do the necessary self-work, learn coping skills, adjust to sobriety. Another goal of his aftercare program is to build a network new relationships that will support his sobriety and recovery, of which, you could certainly be a part of. Getting back with you prematurely would put him at increased risk of relapse as well increase the potential for your relationship to not work out. The challenge for you is to shift the focus from getting back with him to yourself so you could get a better handle on your co-dependency issues and tendencies so that if and when you do get back together, the relationship will have a better chance of being a healthy, lasting one. You can best support him by learning how to take care of yourself in relationships and by being there for him as a (platonic) friend, making his (as your own) recovery a priority above your relationship.

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author Daniel Linder
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