I told my mom about my fiancé’s drug use



Did I make the right or wrong decision? or is this a grey area?

My fiancé and I have been together for 4 years and have a wedding planned in a few months. When we first got together he shared with me that he had been in rehab years back for heroin. He had five years clean. I decided to continue the relationship and admired how forthcoming he was. He has a great family, is well respected in his career, always treats me well, and loves my family too. About a year into our relationship I found needles in his drawer and I was so caught off guard. I found out that he was injecting cocaine. We made an appointment to speak to his psychiatrist together. They meet monthly and he receives a prescription for Suboxone from her. When the three of us spoke she felt that it would not be helpful for his recovery to tell his family. So, we worked through it with our couples therapist and he worked through it with his psychiatrist as well. He used for a while and then had some months without using. Jump forward a few months later and I found more paraphernalia in his travel bag while we were away for the weekend. Each time I asked him about it when I saw indications of use he admitted it. That year was difficult as I would often check the bathroom floor or the sheets for blood spots. I once found them in the ceiling.

But he was able to get clean for a year and a half and we were both so happy about it, proud of him, and doing well.

Then six months ago he came home and let me know that he had used. He was at a friends house and some cocaine was brought out. I asked him if he injected it and he said that he did. He said that he knew his friend had needles for a medical condition so he used them. My fiancé felt that he had lost a year and a half of time clean and I encouraged him that you can’t lose that time.

Fast forward to last week. My fiancé called me and told me that he was tired and going to go to bed early before I got home from work. This isn’t uncommon as he works long hours and had to wake up very early the next day. A few hours later he got up and went into the bathroom. I asked him if he was using and waited up until he would leave the bathroom. He eventually came out and admitted it.

I didn’t tell anyone in my support network about this and felt so isolated. I had told two of my friends a couple years back but didn’t want them to know. I saw them both and was on the verge of tears but didn’t say anything.

I had a consultation with an addiction coach for family members and she advised me that the situation was serious and keeping it hidden was enabling. So, I decided to tell my mom. I came home and told my fiancé that I had shared it with my mom right away. He is very angry that I told her without coming to the decision together. He is sleeping in the guest room and will barely speak to me. He it’s telling me that I do not understand the long-term consequences of the choice that I made to tell my mom. That they will always see him as a druggie and we won’t be able to just move on. That I should have told someone else if I needed support.

He feels that the fact that he has only used twice In two years shows that he is not in active addiction and that it was just a slip. We had an appointment scheduled two days ago with his psychiatrist but he canceled it when I made an appointment with our couples therapist thinking that we didn’t need both appointments. He doesn’t understand why I didn’t wait and talk to him first. He is saying that if I really felt that I needed to talk to someone I should’ve told him that I needed to get into see someone sooner.

I don’t want to go through this alone. I also don’t want the only people that support me to be people that I have to pay and make appointments to talk to. I feel a little better having my mom know what has been going on, but I also I’m scared that I ruined their relationship and our future in our family dynamic. My fiancé has brought to question whether or not we will stay together because of this. He is extremely adamant that I am not to tell his family. He and his psychiatrist have decided that is what is best for his recovery. He is barely speaking to me.


Dear :butterfly:,
You have big decisions and you have treated this relationship with a lot of thought already. I have a lot of history with the hiding part and the secret keeping part of drug use. It’s interesting that you have had counseling as a couple and had a game plan, but the rules of the plan you made seem to have changed. I felt a hot rush in my throat and stomach when I read about how he is shaming you for telling your mother. I have felt that feeling when I have stepped outside of a secret. I remember it also felt liberating because when there is only one other person in the secret the whole situation feels uncertain and you begin to question everything. I have participated in the COURSE and I learned some techniques to improve the communication that I have with my loved one around deceitfulness and transparency. I am in the harm reduction camp, if total abstinence is not a possibility. I’d rather have truth and consequences than lies and confusion. As usual, it’s different for everybody- your relationship to your mom is distinct, and you have every right to have communication and input from other people to affect your decision making. You seem like a thoughtful and bright person so I’m sure you’ll find a way to strike the right balance. Good luck. :four_leaf_clover:


Gosh this is tough. I feel your pain. You can’t go through this alone and you need people whom you can reach to. I tend to keep a lot of what i’ve gone through with the addicts in my life secret. A lot of why I choose to keep it to myself is that often times i feel like people won’t understand or maybe they’ll judge me or see my person in a new or different light. I also get sick of sharing bad news about the endless cycle of addiction. At the same time, I can also feel your fiancé’s pain accompanied by shame and guilt. Having said that, I truly believe our secrets keep us sick. We need to share and not feel so alone. Our family members should be someone we can turn to. He doesn’t have a right to tell you who you can and cannot tell. He can be upset by it, he can choose to do whatever he wants on his end with that info, but he can’t control what you choose to do and who you choose to talk too. Maybe some boundaries need to be discussed in regards to your relationship. In his mind you may have crossed a boundary, but these are things that need to be discussed. Along with you breaking his boundaries of sharing his drug use with family members, he’s breaking your boundaries by using. So in some ways, this is a natural consequence of his using. That’s a tough pill to swallow. At the same time, it’s important to give him some dignity as he tries to get better. It’s always a fine dance between meeting your needs while remaining respectful of their journey with addiction and recovery. I have found a lot of peace through Alanon. Have you tried a program such as Alanon or Naranon? It’s nice to go and share with people who understand what i’m going through. I don’t think there’s a right or wrong in this situation. Both of your feelings are valid. It sounds like your loved one is struggling with his addiction and there is so much shame that goes along with it. I think you guys need to have a very candid talk about your feelings and what the plan is going forward to get this under control. I have taken the course yet, but i’ve heard it offers some great communication tools.