Recently discovered relapse


Hi! We are actually doing really well! We are taking baby steps to reconnecting and using email as an avenue to discuss topics that tend to end in arguments or hurt feelings in person. It has been a great way for me to show up as a ‘listener’ and for us to share perspectives without the emotional responses. At first it felt awkward, and I felt judgmental of not being able to ‘converse’ in person, but once I let go of that and leaned in, I could experience the benefits.
We actually have our first session tonight! I am looking forward to learning new tools to improve how I show up in the relationship. I will let you know how it goes.
Thanks for following up!


I like the idea of using writing letters to share difficult topics. I appreciate you, @rltybites.


Today is a hard day. My loved one shared with me that he relapsed on cocaine today. I feel at a loss…scared…sad…. Angry…so many feelings.
I don’t know how to respond to a confession of relapse. I’ve never been through this.
I am proud of him for his honesty…but I don’t feel it right now.


Sorry for your discomfort, @rltybites . Your person really needs to sort out his plan and get on with it. I imagine it is very hard for couples, especially since some drug addiction seems fueled by a sense of secrecy, aloneness, etc. and couples, by nature, are always around one another. You can love anyone fully and well and still get snippy in hot weather and just being in close physical proximity all the time.

You strike me as a person who is seeking clarity and paying attention to what is happening around you. Keep that up. I get that you guys really get one another. My son relapsed after nearly 5 years of sobriety, and it was a really dislocating feeling for all of us. It took him a while to regain his courage and regain his equilibrium in this world, but he’s doing it and his relapse didn’t mean defeat, it just meant he hadn’t learned some specific thing - on Recovery Elevator they call it “field research” - not to be permissive- but to unburden the lamenting soul with Judgements and Downers. Choose kindness when you can, and watch for sincerity or deceit. You’ll be ok. You’re smart.


I’m so sorry to hear this @rltybites. It just plain sucks. I have been there many times and in the moment, when the fear and the anger and the sadness kicks in, those feelings are never easy. But I hope you can remember that all the work you’ve done on yourself, your relationship, your communication, and the work that he has done, is not erased by this moment. In fact, that work has prepared you to get through it together, to get right back up and keep going. You can feel the feelings but also know that a slip doesn’t mean you now go backwards. You can both continue forward.

He told you the truth. Hold on to that truth, because you know how easy and natural it is to lie in active addiction, and he chose truth. There is hope in that. Whenever my husband told me the truth about a slip, I acknowledged the difficulty in that and told him thank you. Then I would ask what is the next step for him, and how could I support him? And I would also tell him what I needed for support, such as drug tests, or more transparency with his location or phone.

These may have been shared already but I’ll link them again - past convos on slips/relapse with others’ experiences. You are not alone. Sending you love. :heartpulse:


Wow, these ladies are so full of wisdom - it’s so important to have people who’ve been there to help us sort through things as we go. This is tough stuff.

My story is with my kids, adult kids of mine. Neither of them ever openly admitted to using, or to a slip when one was had. In my experience, it was just lies and cover ups. One after another. So I think him admitting to it speaks volumes to who YOU are. You must do a good job in meeting him where he’s at. At you keep coming back here, to get feedback from others. That’s great. We’re rooting for you!


It’s always so great to hear you on these threads, @Deanna1. How are you getting through this summer? My son didn’t want to tell me at first, and lied for a long time, too. Once he finally started to string together some “estimable acts” he was more open to sharing his fragility. I may never truly understand this, but it seems like keeping everything really turned down low emotionally, dramatically, conversationally makes it easier for him to feel comfortable to share his thoughts, fears, and dreams. It’s going to happen, just when- such a mystery. Argh.


Well…I asked for transparency and he replied via email saying it’s best he leave the relationship. Says he’s not in love with me. Says I listen but don’t hear him.
He stated he’s hoping the house will be sold in the next 3-4 months and he’s already been looking into relocating to the mountains. Says he was going to tell me this week.
He’s done this before when I asked for transparency. Somehow the way I ask triggers him as a judgment. Only time will tell what happens. I took off my engagement ring and set it on his dresser…it’s not there anymore. That’s ok.
Today I’m disappointed, sad, anxious about finding affordable housing. If I could have it my way the relationship would be restored.
But what do I really know. I don’t know what’s waiting for me in my tomorrow.


@rltybites Please do what you need to take care of yourself, however that looks right now. It might mean being alone and crying, or messaging a friend, or continuing to reach out in this community to just let it out with no fear of judgment. I’m sorry you’re going through this.


I’m so sorry you are going through this. I know it hurts. I also know that there are times when you can’t see through the pain and difficulty yet there is joy waiting on the other side. To get to that joy, it requires one to let go and work through the fear of being alone. I highly recommend a good support system for you, which may include a group that you can meet with in person. Online is helpful too and this group is amazing, but it definitely isn’t the same as being face to face with others that have gone through similar situations.
I will be praying for you and I look forward to an update.


Glad to see this & know my words were meaningful for you! :hearts:

I feel like “defend” was possibly too strong of a word & stemmed from my own feelings about the posts & how they relate my situation/mindset.

But, for reference, I’m referring to your responses to those suggesting that you give an ultimatum; you did a wonderful job of clarifying/elaborating on your situation, providing more light & perspective. I think interpreted that as “defending” though it may not be the most appropriate word so I appreciate your follow up so I could investigate my own thoughts further :blush: