Forgive and forget? Addiction
My partner and I have been together for 9 years.
We have been through a lot together both good and bad.
Last year however, I found myself in a position I never thought I'd be in.
My partner started using and became addicted to ice behind my back and all our trouble started.
He hid his addiction from me until he started acting like a crazy person, he was a complete opposite of who is really is, he cheated on me, he broke the law and caused police to raid our home twice, he completely shut out everyone who is important and I found myself alone more often than not.
He is now clean and has been clean for 4 months, he sees a counselor twice a week and gets drug tested weekly. He's not drinking or touching any drugs at all and is back to his old self.
Of course, he wants to move on and leave the past behind him however I am still so hurt over what I was put through.
Do I forgive the person he is knowing that the person who wronged me wasn't really him and support him for getting clean or do I up and leave knowing that the trust will never be there again?
I'd love to move forward, I just dont know if I can
Ive been in a similar situation, my best male friend of 6 years became addicted to ice behind everyones back and we were all oblivious to it for 2 years before we found out. I found out one night when he asked to hang out with just me cause he had something to tell me, i was shocked and so disappointed in him that he would hid this from so many people. He didnt quit, it got worse he was doing it at family parties, out in public he got into physical punch ones and had to attend court several times. I stuck by him through it all as his friend, he would go mia for days and days but i still constantly kept in touch with him.
Recently he has been clean for around 3 months, he gets tested weekly however still drinks alcohol heavily. I forgave him for the addiction even tho he never said sorry and never seemed to appreciate me being there. Recently he admitted to wanting to be with me and i asked him to get in a better headspace and unfortunately he didnt like that answer and we no longer speak anymore.
But forgiveness makes you feel better, if you can see a real change in him and trust your gut that he won't do it again then move forward together.
GemAndLogan, i think this really boils down to one decision, can you move on from what happened?
If you can, then this experience that you have been through together is a big chance to bond you together. To live through very difficult circumstances and survive it is certainly bonding.
If you can't think you can move on, then there is always the chance that if you have a disagreement down the track then you might bring it all up again.
Not an easy choice to make this for sure.
Feel free to lay down all the pros and cons in here and we can work through each of them if you want.
I'm a recovering drug addict and I know all about the amount of damage and hurt you can inflict of your loved ones. I also know about the lengths of time it can take to restore peoples' trust in you after the damage is done and you work toward recovering the broken fragments of your old life. The pain you feel is a small fraction of the pain he feels but it's still always relevant and present. Give yourself time to let those wounds heal. Coming out of an addiction is no easy task and he needs you around to get through this time. When getting over an addiction, the period of "early recovery" is referred to as 5 years. That's five whole years that we're still vulnerable and somewhat gripped by the ghosts of our past.
I'm about 2 years clean now and still struggling to get past it and heal the punctures I put in my relationships with friends and family. As much as he needs time to heal, you do as well. If you really love him then try to accept that it will be a sometimes slow process, however inevitable. He needs you and I'm sure he's remorseful but he's experiencing a whole new life now - daunting, fresh and difficult. Help him.
Thank you all so much for your replies, it's really helpful to read peoples experiences from both sides.
That's exactly what I was hoping for when originally posting.
Some days I feel really amazed by the fact that he has been able to get clean, I know it's a massive thing to be able to quit ice and we both have friends that have been unable to kick the habit and it is destroying them.
Other days I'm overwhelmed by everything that has happened and how we ever ended up in this situation.
I should also mention that while all this was going on I lost my mum to cancer then my gran to heart failure, so that also added to the trauma of this time.
I really love my partner, we get along so well and have a really great connection, we enjoy the same things and have overcome a lot. We really are best friends as well as partners.
On the other hand I now have no trust in him, I find myself questioning everything he does and being suspicious of him. I don't want to be that person at all!
I feel like I've had to put everything aside for him which I'm ok with but sometimes I feel like "what about me" or "who's supporting me?"
I suppose I just have to give it time.
You have no choice but to forgive and forget. What is the alternative. I urge you to really consider where you would be, how your life would pan out if you did split up. Think deeply and imagine the scenarios. I doubt any would be better than where you are now.
You are very lucky. You said "I really love my partner, we get along so well and have a really great connection, we enjoy the same things and have overcome a lot. We really are best friends as well as partners." Many people go through life searching for this relationship. Grab it and run with it. Be grateful that you have found it.
There is a Ted talk by Brene Brown. Google Brene Brown vulnerability. She talks about whole-heartedness. Letting go in order to love. Acceptance & forgiveness allows you to love with your whole heart.
PatT was spot on. Trust takes time to build. Your partner has done the right thing by you so far. He could be like one of your friends and still be using. It is an incredible achievement to get off ice, and be clean for 4 mths. Ice is a scourge, and so quickly addictive, so I don't even think he can take too much blame for being hooked, soooo many people from all walks of life have a 'problem' with it. It is huge. Your partner got sucked into it, but he has earned a lot of credit for how he has dealt with it. No one is perfect. We all make mistakes.
Have your told him how you feel? You can have a D&M with him about it. Let him know what you need..support & understanding. Would an apology help? Let him make it up to you. Keep the communication open. You are on a good thing, keep it going.
Good Luck. Enjoy what you have.
GemAndLogan, on those days that you are getting overwhelmed, when you feel that coming on, I want you to stop what you are doing. I then want you to take some long deep breaths in through the nose and out slowly through the mouth.
I want you to go outside or if you are already outside, think of and name to yourself, three things you can smell and three things that you can hear.
I also want you to look around and take in the surroundings.
This is all designed to take your mind off what is making you anxious and calm you down.
Have your headphones nearby and listen to some of your favorite music.
Be interested to see how you go and remember that the more you try this, the better you will get at it.
Hi there. All I can do is share my experiences. I am THE classic alcoholic through nearly dying from burns from drinking- finally tore my family apart. It was long over before that incident- the final nail. At divorce mediation (to which with clumsy grace I agreed to my ex's demands) my ex told me 'I forgive you all but I will never forget'. The marriage is history. I am doing very well by all accounts- so feel okay in sharing this. For my sake and that of my family- I resfectfully do not contact them (except change of address -for divorce stuff). I cannot live in the past. My ex does not deserve the live there either.
Forgiveness implies acceptance of past deeds. Fair enough. For me the past has taught me good intentions with no action or destructive behaviour does not work. Proof of intent with consistent behaviour- on my behalf to what ever I do - is. Action in the here and now. If for you- does this mean you will ever TRUST your partner again- is a question you will have to explore. Keep looking and searching for answers. Accept the feelings you have and process them. Remember emotions and logic do not always agree. What is best for you?
Thank you all so much for your replies, advice and for sharing your experiences, it has really given me some clarity which is what I needed.
We've recently been able to talk about it without anger, when it was rawer it would always end in a pointless argument which just made him feel weighed down and me feel angry so it didn't help.
Being able to speak without anger has helped, I feel like we've turned a corner. He has apologised many times and I believe he really is desperate to stay clean, not just for me but for himself, he doesn't want to end up losing everything which he knows will happen if he goes back there.
I don't believe in ultimatums but I know within myself that if he does relapse I will have to leave,of course I don't say this to him because its pretty negative but I did say it to him when he first admitted his mistakes to me so he knows if he picks up ice again he will be making the choice for both of us.
I recently watched the tv series "Ice Wars" on ABC and it helped me learn about what that drug does to people and that it is a huge thing to be able to get clean, this made me proud of my partner for making the right choices which clearly are not easy.
Like you all have said, trust takes time to build and rebuild and I want to give it that chance.
Thank you all again so much, this really helped me a lot.