Interpreting intentions of addict reaching out?



So in the past months my ex, who happens to be an addict in recovery, was reaching out out of nowhere and after a long time. We started to exchange messages, but no face to face meet ups…this has happened before. I always kept my doors open. We do not really talk about the serious stuff and things we needed to clear out. Until i finally asked him what his intent for connecting we me was. I wanted to be clear what he wants and how i should operate in interactions w him. This is also an ex i stil deeply care abour. but i need to set distance if he is not clear what he wants and will end up using me. His reply was - he has no particular reason except people just naturally connect! To be honest an answer i did not like. I told him it was pointless because its not making me comfortable connecting with an ex with no specific reason. So i stopped talking to him again.

Interacting with him always leaves me confused, angry, sad and frustrated. But the truth is i really want to work things out with him. I believe though he has to be able to express that to me too. But he has not been doing that, been waiting years, and still he responds with - he is just reaching out for no particular reason.

Anyone experienced this? What to do?


I’ve found that while someone is struggling with addiction it is very hard to have an even and fair relationship. I have built a life and love with my husband who is now in recovery but while he was in active addiction and even in his early recovery it was very tough to get what I needed from him.

I think being clear about what you want and need, and what you’re open to putting up with from him is a good place to start with yourself, and then communicating that to him. We have some good guides both on limits, and communication that might be helpful :slight_smile: how have things evolved?


I’m going through this right now. I left my partner over a month ago. He recently reached out because he’d been using way more since we broke up and he was experiencing psychosis (from meth use) and was really scared, lonely and sad. He just wanted emotional support.

At that point I had spent the last few weeks making a very intentional effort to process my emotions in a healthy way. I felt really good and content. I responded to him with love in my heart and spent most of the weekend with him (with clear boundaries in place, on my part). I felt like I was able to be there for him as a true friend, making it clear that I wasn’t there as a girlfriend, just a friend who loved him.

I am still very aware that I need to stay emotionally detached from him and the story he’s telling himself about his life. I feel that I can be more supportive of him BECAUSE we’re broken up right now. I am not attached to his actions, I don’t feel the need to control what he does, because it doesn’t have to affect me (granted, I could have the same exact mindset and still be in a relationship with him). He used this week and I was able to listen with love; no judgement/fear/anger.

He’s going to inpatient treatment soon, on his own accord, but the point of all this is that I’ve found a tremendous amount of freedom in being able to emotionally detach from the outcome of his actions. I feel like I’m able to love him even more deeply and be more supportive now that I’ve started to see it this way. He hasn’t necessarily changed, but I have, and that makes all the difference in the world. I also truly believe that when we make positive change in our lives, it’s impossible for our partner to stay with us and not reflect those positive changes in themselves. They’ll either be repelled by the light inside of us, or eventually evolve their own level of thinking.

I’ve been listening to the Power of Now, by Eckhart Tolle, and it’s SOOOOOO helpful. So much to talk about there, too long for a forum post, lol. Highly recommend it.