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25 years of failing relationship but feel stuck

Community Member

Hi there

just needed to post something due to frustration & feeling very stuck.
My partner and I have been together for 25 years have two teenage children and run business together.
it hasn’t been a great relationship as my partner suffers from abandonment issues as he was foster child at age 4. In beginning I felt was my responsibility to help him overcome his fears & make him happy, which ended up in my enabling his behaviour in particular with all his addictions, gambling drugs etc etc.

he had major episode with a highly addictive drug for 4 years but overcame this addiction 4 years ago. Things became a lot better but still addiction is an issue with another drug.
Long story short I moved out beginning of year for 3 months & moved back in because he passed drug tests & did ten hypnotherapy sessions to help him with his childhood issues.
4 months later & he has been back to using drugs, though considerably reduced use I’m still very angry & frustrated as that deal breaker for me. I’ve asked him to do a drug test which he keeps informing me he can’t pass. He promises in 2-3 weeks he will do one then get there says he needs another few weeks & so on. I am now so angry that being around him is difficult and I can no longer even communicate with him.
now I’m back to thinking all time of breaking up and having thoughts to end our relationship & business.
not sure what advice im even after just a chat I suppose. I don’t like bringing it up with my family as I know it’s difficult for them 🙂 thanks

5 Replies 5

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hello Rumnraisin, can we offer you a warm welcome to the forums and understand the situation you are facing.

One of my concerns is that as you run a business together and due to his addictions, you can never be certain if or how much money maybe missing, simply because unless he is undergoing help with this addiction, it's virtually impossible to stop him from his urges.

An addict can't promise anything in 2 or 3 weeks time, that's a long time for them to be thinking about, it's now that concerns him and whether he appears to not be using as much could just be a decoy to keep you there.

If your business had been doing well but now struggling along, irrespective of COVID-19, then an issue may not only have been created but only continued on.

What it does do is make him unreliable, not only with the business but also with family duties putting so much stress on you.

I can't tell you what to do, but suggest as you've said ' thinking all time of breaking up and having thoughts to end our relationship & business'.

If you do decide this, please secure what you need to, and would like to hear back from you.


Community Member

Hi Geoff

the business is quite successful Pre Covid & during. Many years ago I put in place security measures for the business funds & have two authorisation signature requirements, toggle switch number & I am only one who has access to internet banking as I am only one who knows both passwords. I am one who reconciles the accounts & nothing is ever out of order. We don’t deal with cash so he doesn’t have access to business cash either.

Security isn’t an issue for me either . I have access to all funds & have enough money to be able to make decision to leave & have enough money to do that. We have several investment properties & I can move into one.

my problem is I am feeling quite naive & stupid to keep staying, in The hope one day he will actually stick to his promises. A lot of anger is also towards myself for not setting clear boundaries in our relationship. anger Blame & frustration is my go to rather than facing my reality.
I need to do what I did at start of year & put a timeframe in place for me & use that as the d date to move out. The moving out is hard part last time once I was out I was fine.

if I move out I’d easily be able to get a good paying secure job & have had lots of job offers I could go straight into. It’s me that’s holding me back in moving forward with my life, as mentioned I feel “stuck”

Hi Rumnraisin,

Firstly, congratulations on your business success, it certainly makes life easier from that perspective, as you are not stuck due to financial reasons. However, your block seems to be more of a mental one, which is completely understandable. None of us want to leave our home and someone we once loved or still love to an extent despite all their faults. However, in certain circumstances we feel as though our “hand is being forced”, which leads us to hold out hope that “if they could just stop X, then everything would be alright”. However, over time we begin to uncover that it’s not that easy, and there’s also a lot of other little issues under the surface that are being hidden by the major one of addiction. People can get help for their addiction, but they need to want to. And in my experience it’s not something you can force. I’m not interested in telling you which way to go, as I think that you will get to a point where you make that decision on your own, but I hope my words have perhaps resonated a bit. Maybe you could consider a trial separation first, and stipulate that he needs to go to addiction counseling during that time? It may just give you a bit of space to collect your thoughts, and since you have the apartment there it should hopefully be easier

Thanks for reply Geoff

You have certainly hit the nail on the head I feel as though my hand is being forced & this could all be made easier if he just quit. But he is his own individual person & if he chooses not to, which is what he’s doing then that forces me into a corner to make those difficult choices.

In my kids eyes I was one at fault for breaking up the family. My daughter struggled with the breakup & blamed me it was hard to lose touch with my kids & I felt somewhat isolated from them, which is also weighing on my decision. I would have to do things differently so as not put myself in that same situation.

Thanks 😊

Community Member

Hi Rumnraisin

There is no doubt that addiction is toxic for a healthy relationship. You have been a loyal and smart business partner for many years. You have nothing to be ashamed of.

As you know people with addiction problems are terrible at keeping promises. You can’t force them to seek treatment and only they can make the decision to get clean (often when they hit rock bottom).

Sometimes, in life you have to risk a marriage in order to have any chance in saving it. Separate and hope he cleans himself up is the reward but the risk is he may not. There are no guarantees unfortunately.

Reading your post, tells me you are close to this point.