Recently discovered relapse



So, my partner deals with substance abuse. He states he ‘hates being sober’. I am at a loss on how to respond to his active use and how to encourage him to seek treatment. He is a ‘high functioning’ addict or so it appears as he hasn’t lost his job, house, car yet. His relationships are not well, including us.
I am finding Adderal capsules all over (he takes this to help him focus at work and also snorts it to get high). He has been sleeping on the couch for 7 months…we have had next to no intimacy of ANY kind for this time either outside of hugs and short kisses. He doesn’t have any desire.
I have noticed a severe decline in self care- appetite- sleep.
He recently admitted to me to using cocaine and engaging in online infidelity. He is not interested in seeking treatment. We were engaged and set a wedding date but he asked to postpone it. This was just before i discovered the relapse and infidelity.
He has agreed to couples counseling and I have it scheduled in a couple weeks.
I’m at a loss. If I’m honest my gut knew he was using, but I turned a blind eye. I have been taking really good care of myself, but this seems to cause more problems as he says I’m living for ‘me’. Well, he’s welcome to get up off the couch and join me…
I am desperate for any advice on what has helped your loved one motivate to seek treatment. What advice if any can you offer? I am willing to learn and grow.


I am sorry for what you are going through. Just from reading your post it sounds like this has more to do with the relationship than addiction. But I do not know the entire story. The couples therapy sounds like a good start toward helping, but if he says he hated being sober, than that is where I would try to start. he needs to find why he doesn’t like being sober, try to find something you can do together, sober, that you can enjoy, together. I wish you the best.


I was thinking the same thing, but he says he’s not happy where we live. He went away to work at a national park last summer and absolutely fell in love with the lifestyle. We were closer and more connected during his time away there than ever before. After about a month away he knew that he didn’t want to live without me. I still have kids in high school, while his are grown. His sobriety really started to go downhill when his girls moved out…one moving out of the country. He came back ‘for us’ and has been absolutely miserable. He hates it here, but he wants to try to wait for me. It’ll be another 3-4 years before we can move. We are trying to find things we can do together here that he may find enjoyable.


Hi @rltybites -
Thanks for sharing here. I’m sorry you’re going through this. I’ve experienced some of the same behaviors in my husband, too. He once told me he felt like his weekends were wasted if he didn’t go out to party, which was hurtful to me because it made me feel like his family wasn’t enough for him.

First, the positives.
He is being truthful and communicating with you:

He is open to working on the relationship:

He is still doing well financially:

He has found joy in his life:

Whenever I’m feeling a little stuck, I focus on the positives. Recovery is possible, and small steps are still steps. Couples counseling is a really great step. Therapy was immensely helpful for my marriage. We also each went to individual therapy, which helped us work out our own issues separately.

Trust your gut and know that treatment looks different for everyone, and recovery is not linear. Start with therapy and keep taking care of yourself. I’ve found the best way to improve my relationship and support my husband’s recovery is to create a safe space to be open and honest. Communication is so key.


@rltybites, You asked what would motivate him. He says that he knows that he doesn’t want to live without you. I wonder what would happen if he believed that seeking sobriety is his only chance at keeping you?


I can relate; I have also felt that I and/or our family isn’t enough for him. In my heart I realize I may have behaviors that contribute or enable the current situation, but it has nothing to do with my worth. To the contrary he doesn’t feel ‘good enough’ for me.
Thankfully, I have been doing some of my own work with a Neurocycle app that helps me focus more on my mental health and feelings of validating self worth. I feel strongly that his feelings of unworth and shame are the greatest contributors to his current state.
I read your reply and I felt this intense weight off my shoulders and I could sense hope in a time that felt so full of despair. Thank you so much for helping me see how many things I have to be grateful for. I appreciate him in a whole new light today. We have work to do, but he is definitely trying, and I want him to know that I see him.


Hard questions to ask, big questions to ponder. From the sounds of the post, the couple has a loose plan with years in between where they want to be and present responsibilities. That sounds like commitment on some level and so then the question for me is : @rltybites- is your person using to numb out of his present reality to “tread water” until you’re available for the lifestyle he wants? Since you have to wait for your kiddos to be grown and flown, could your partner find ways to advance his love of wilderness/camping outdoor lifestyle in the interim?

I think the healthiest thing is seeing couples that really dig each other but have fully actualized hobbies/passions of their own.


@Alair: that is an interesting question…I can’t say I know the answer to this. What if?


This group is the first step
I encourage you to read here more lots of great people here
You might want to consider not marring him
If he’s not willing to stop and get help that’s on him
If you get married it will most likely only get worse speaking from experience
My husband has also been unfaithful and I have made the decision to leave
The Addiction will wear you thin
The behaviours and the betrayal of infidelity is very hard to manage
They will always choose drugs first
Ask yourself if your ok with it and attend a NA meeting
It’s definitely difficult situation I feel for you


YES! You completely get him. He has mentioned this so many times… The night we discussed postponing the wedding he broke down crying when I broke down and asked if he was sure he wanted to spend the rest of his years with me and he replied “I came back for you”. He has hobbies that he enjoys, but doesn’t find the motivation to enjoy them where we currently live. He is working on building ‘a purpose’ for himself in this moment as several years is a long time to be miserable.


Helpful. thanks.
We can’t be afraid to look at our lives with stark honesty. No matter what, even if we don’t like what we see, the truth feels different and undeniable. It may not be flattering, strong, or noble. At least we know. We’re stronger than we think.


An update:
I attended a Nar anon meeting last night and it was such a good reminder to stay in the present moment (today, this hour or this minute if necessary). I found the support and community more rewarding than I anticipated.
I also spoke with my person and while there are issues to deal with, based off what he has shared they are not as extreme as my mind had created them to be. We can definitely walk through this issue together.
I am beyond blessed that he’s willing to talk and work on things .
Thank you guys for your encouragement. What an amazing community this is.


Thank you for the reply, I sense that the decision you made was not easy but done out of love for your own well-being. I agree that building a support network for myself is vital, I am attending a Zoom Nar-Anon meeting tonight. My person strongly encourages me to attend meetings.


Such good news, @rltybites. I appreciate the update and it’s so encouraging to know that you have a way forward with your person. I’m also glad the in-person NARanon meeting was a good vibe. It’s great to have an online and a real real community to look to when you need reassurance. It’s also COOL that you took the energy to go to the meeting, communicating to your person that you listen, care, and are willing to participate.


Thank you for your words. I grew up with a ‘dry alcoholic’ dad and I never saw him seek help for himself. Nar-Anon and Al-anon groups are a whole new world for me, but I want to lean into them. They offer such an amazing perspective on life in general, whether you struggle with addiction or not. As you mentioned, my person said it’s the greatest way to show up for him and that me attending meetings show I truly care. He said he’s never had someone invest in his recovery with him… I smile knowing this.
He’s my person…I’ll continue to work on myself and grow in this journey.
You are appreciated greatly. I hope to show up for others just the same.


This feels so uplifting. Thank you sharing.


I think I have been afraid for along time to do this very thing.

And now, silence could literally be deadly.

My best friend always says…tell the truth faster.


I don’t know how this got posted where it did - but I can’t sort out how to fix it. So I am just going to let it go.


You go girl! Continue with self care. Let your true light shine. Tough love is your best option and maybe calling the engagement off would be better than postponement? What you describe during the past 7 months is not a good life for you nor is it the relationship you may once dreamed of. Sometimes we have to use these hard life lessons when planning a better future!

Allow me share the following quote. It helped me when I was trying to get things figured out:

“Marines have a mantra
“Embrace the suck”… which is to consciously accept something that is extremely unpleasant but unavoidable in making forward progress. “

The marines philosophy accepts that we cannot control everything that happens to us. However, we can control how we react to it. We can choose to reframe it and actually learn something from the pain.

My prayers for the healing you and your loved one! :pray: Amen!


Yep that about sums it up. Thanks, @Ede.