Another relapse - thinking about asking him to leave. Any thoughts?



New here and hoping im doing this right.
My husband relapsed after making 90 days. This was his 3rd time out of rehab. It’s been 3 weeks and he shows no signs of stopping. Of course he says he is going to stop but has no plan. I’m tired and frankly don’t have another round of support for him. Im considering asking him to leave, he can come back when he gets back on track. Because looking at him honestly disgusts me. I can’t stand the high look in his eyes and every other sign of his use. I’ve put off my own happiness too long, put off having a family and am afraid my window on that is closing. Looking for thoughts, because im feeling lost.


Welcome here @CC812. Thank you for your honest question - I can so relate to the feeling of feeling “done,” lost, and disgusted by that glazed over look in their eyes.

Sounds like you’re just about near your limit. Some might call this your wits end. :wink: Is there anywhere you can go to get some space and perspective? Sometimes I just need some distance & time to shake off the disgust & frustration.

I’m wondering, if you ask him to leave, how might you feel if he doesn’t get back on track? That’s certainly not to say whether that’s the “right” decision to make, or not - and only you know what’s right for you - just something to consider.

At the end of the day, you gotta look out for #1. You gotta take care of yourself first if you want to be able to support him. And I imagine any decision you make now to protect yourself (while maintaining some level of connection) is likely helpful for both of you.

Want to encourage @Dean_Acton @polly @Beth and @Shazaam to weigh in here, too.


:heartpulse: I can totally relate! My boyfriend and I were only together for 4 months before he went to rehab for the first time and made it to a year Of our relationship before he relapsed. It’s been very difficult for me to know what is the right thing to do as this is all new to me and so was our relationship. I constantly wonder if I’m holding on to our relationship for the right reason or if I’m just continuing to bide time and for what.
For me i try to be very transparent so when things happen I wait for him to be in a “clear” minded place and explain to him where my head was at.
One of those times it was at changing the locks and wishing him luck. So I explained to him that I felt like I had been walked all over and couldn’t take anymore - that if he left for days again without calling or coming home I felt my only option would be to change the locks and pack his bags and be done. His immediate substance induced response broke my heart as he said had I come home to the locks changed you’d never have seen me again.
However the words seemed to have sunk into his mind and a few days later we talked again and he explained that If I had shut him out in that manner, without a conversation he wouldn’t have been able to handle it and knows he would have made worse decisions as a result.
Ps: I felt a lot of guilt and obligation at that time that I would be making things worse- I have learned since then that no decision I make is an excuse for him to “make worse decision” that they are still choices he’s making.
I hope something in these words is helpful but at the end of this rant there really is no right or wrong way. What I like about this page and the people on it is I just get some comfort that all this isn’t just happening to me. That I’m not crazy for the thoughts in my head and when I come on here I’m not told what to do I just get to hear from a bunch of people in similar shoes who provide experiences and perspectives that can help me make decisions on extremely hard conflicts I try to work through on my own.
At the end of the day, like we talk about on here often- it all boils down to taking care of yourself first. You asking him for a break- from him- but for you is about you and what you need. He needs to see you put you first. Self care is the only way to make it through loving someone in addiction - even if it’s much easier said than done!!
Good luck :four_leaf_clover: we’re here for you :heartpulse:


Welcome @CC812 so glad you’re here and you felt you could post! We’re here with you through your journey :slight_smile: Sounds like you’ve had a rough time and like @katie mentioned, maybe it’s time you put yourself first and engage in self-care. You’re probably running on empty right now which fuels the thoughts of wanting to shut it all out (literally).

I certainly see hope in your situation: he made it 90 days which is incredible, and it was his 3rd time in rehab. This says to me that even though he has returned to using substances, he has some desire to change within him but the desire to use is stronger at the moment.

I really love what @Laurene04 shared about her experience - the mere fact that you communicated with him regarding what would happen had enough of an impact to create a small but meaningful shift in his awareness. The key here is really communication. I broke down a communication flow in this post for @Dean_Acton that may help you. If you want to post here what you want to say, I can try and break it down for you in a similar way!

Thinking of you :orange_heart:


For the 1st 2 years of my husband’s rcovery journey, he relapsed repeatedly. For 25 years, he used alcohol and every drug imaginable (heroin:drug of choice). His addiction loved that one and his body loved feeding his addiction. Right out of his 1st 30 days clwan in rehab, he relapsed 3 days after. Every time he got clean time in, he would relapse. He was/is a member of N.A. and practices the principles and has a sponsor. I used to ALWAYS threaten leaving/divorcing him yet I was in a program of alanon myself and would feel guilty because I promised him I would stay with him as long as he was still WILLING to recover. I left once for a couple of days during a relapse but to the user, he was neither affected nor bothered bc at that time, he was someone else. But it helped me not have to see. It taught me to create boundaries which he abided by. It was not easy for him at the time bc he was always drawn to me and coming in at out of our home which didn’t work for me. He eventually got tired of me calling the cops, locking him out, etc and he stopped coming around wen using. I stopped answering the phone and engaging. I “detached” w love and waited. Im glad I did. He was clean for 22 mths which is an amazing feat. He relapsed AGAIN. No helping him, no screaming, no trying to force a solution. This time, I said I love you and I wrote his new clean date on our bathroom mirror. My not reacting helped him jump back on recovery, he said. Nothing or no one can make me feel worse for what I had done but myself, he said. This is my experience, strength, and hope. Only you can know what feels right to you. Mean what you say, Say what you mean, but Don’t say it meanly as we say in Alanon.


Thank you all for taking the time to reply. All this is certainly something noone can understand until they are in the same position. I had so much hope this time around, he even included me and his mom for family day at rehab. I definitely am running on empty in the empathy compartment. What i need to say is this it is not a him disease alone, its impacts the family. I know its a selfish disease but i have to be selfish too and im tired of him never apologizing or even acknowledging that my feelings are valid too. All the very important times i needed him he always disappointed and i need a husband. Im tired of taking care of him. I dont know if i can be there for another rehab stent. If he doesnt get back on track and start making steps towards recocery via meetings, sponsor support or outpatient then i think he needs to stay with his parents. I cant deal with the anixiety amd stress i feel stepping into my own home


This is a very old post but I feel like the story is still relevant with today’s We The Village members and participants in our Peer Groups. Continual relapse - how do we deal?

I especially relate to @katie’s response because I’ve taken both routes of asking him to leave and leaving the situation myself. When I told him he had to get help or get out, he left. And I was beside myself with worry and fear. I didn’t want him to leave or be alone, especially in the mental, emotional, and physical state he was in. He stayed in a hotel that night and came home the following day. He agreed to go to rehab, so I guess the ultimatum “worked,” but he relapsed multiple times after.

When I couldn’t take anymore, I left the state with my son and stayed with my sister. I needed the space and perspective, as @katie mentioned, and the distance and time. During that time, he didn’t go to rehab. But he detoxed on his own, with the help of his parents, and he got it done his way.

I’ve learned from this community that relapse (slip or setback as I prefer to call it) means something in the recovery isn’t working. So every time my husband slips, I see it as a sign to make a change. It’s so hard and frustrating and with every slip I wonder how I can keep doing this. But we keep getting through it so I just hang on to that resilience like armor and keep pushing through.


My husband has been thru rehab 4x as well. His supply is cut off and he decided to use suboxone and then taper off so he’s not using. That said, he sleeps 22 hrs a day and we have 3 kids. He doesn’t bring in any money and doesn’t help with the kids. I hear you when you say you’re done. It’s so hard to keep giving empathy as you said. But focus on you. When I’m confused I make a goal sheet. With addicts in our lives, there’s never a clear line to reaching your goals but maybe they are still part of it. See if you see your mate in your goals. I also like separating yourself and getting perspective. Your heart will tell you what to do. I keep waiting for someone to tell me what to do, but I know that no one can make these important life decisions, except myself. We are all cheering you on!!


Hey @Sara3- we are thinking of you and hoping you have come to some ideas of next steps. It’s not easy to ask a person to leave, but sometimes we have to for the whole ship not to go down into the sea. I wrote my husband a long letter asking him to get help. I gave him a 6-month window to do that. I told him, in that letter, that if he hadn’t made some strides to get help by that mark, then I was going to ask him to leave. The deadline came and went, and he did not seek help. I asked him to leave. He didn’t fight it.
I am glad I held onto what I said I was going to do. It’s been almost 10 years, and he is still living with his parents and still drinking. He is 67! Argh. I am glad I didn’t lose another 10 years waiting for him to do more than “talk” about how much he loved me- as his words did not mean much in retrospect.