Why does my boyfriend / sons father shut me out?


I’ll try to keep this short but there’s 13 years of history. All of which until recently my son’s father was in active addiction. He was an absent father for first ten years. After being clean for a year, he reconnected to rekindle our relationship and finally meet our son. That was this year. Everything was going perfect, and really well considering we are long distance. Him and our son got along well instantly (my son craved the presence of his dad so the introduction was smooth). A few months in and he confessed he lied to me about hanging out with a friend. Now, I’m not proud of myself and have been dealing with guilt and shame since, I did not react well. I’m usually calm but the lie, or betrayal of trust, unleashed ten years of lent up resentment that I thought I was healed from. I went off about the past and past lies and in short, he says it triggered him to want to drink again. I reached out to apologize because I was wrong for how harshly I reacted but he responded with needing time. Our last conversation he told me he needs time, take it however i want to take it, and will reach out when ready. It’s been a few weeks now and I’m left with a big maybe. I feel so confused about how quickly things went wrong when they were going so well. I am seeing a therapist for my guilt because I took it really hard, feeling like I sabotaged everything and hurt my son as a result since my bf has completely shut me out. I tried reaching out with “thinking of you” messages but he will not respond and refuses to communicate. I’m trying to be compassionate but once again it’s me and my son on our own, only this time it hurts more because I’m confused and my son misses the dynamic we were building. He only texts my son but doesn’t call much, only twice in the last month since our argument. I’m struggling because I don’t know what to do or what will happen. All I have to go off of is the last ten years where he abandoned us, so I’m trying to be hopeful but that fear is there and it’s giving me lots of anxiety about it. Is it normal for someone in recovery for a year and a half to do this? Why won’t he communicate with me? I have since stopped reaching out to him to respect his space. I started therapy to work on myself and cope but I feel alone in this.


Hi @Aria, thanks for sharing your story here. That’s great to hear you’re in therapy and working on yourself. And you’re not alone in this - I think anyone who has ever loved someone in active addiction and recovery has been confused about their behaviors, felt guilty about their own behaviors, and has worried about what comes next. I certainly have.

Your loved one is still in very early recovery. After over a decade of using, I’m sure he’s still working through some very tough things. Being able to get clean, recognize his triggers, and remove himself from a situation that might cause him or you or your son harm is a really big step. What I learned when my husband was in early recovery is that his recovery came first. That meant I had to learn how to not take things so personally and just focus on myself, and how I could find happiness within despite his behaviors.

There’s always hope. Just like one slip doesn’t mean recovery is erased, one argument doesn’t mean your relationship is ruined. You were able to reconnect after so many years. He is back in your son’s life. There’s always hope.

I’m glad you’re here and that you’re working on yourself. It takes time, patience, and a lot of looking inward to move forward, but you’re on the right track. Sending love. :sparkles:


@momentsandlight Thank you so much for your support, kind words, and encouragement. I found this website while researching support groups and it really has been helpful. I am holding on to hope. And in the meantime working on myself and my own behaviors and also healing. This opened up old wounds that I had worked so hard to heal from but again, hope :slight_smile: Your words reminded me that if we got through tough times, there’s hope that we can again. After not having him in our lives for ten years, I feel a sense of urgency to make it right but Im learning now that patience and compassion is key. My fear is that he will throw in the towel before we ever really got a chance to put in the work but I have to remind myself that it’s up to him. The hardest part is waiting but this is teaching me too. Fingers crossed we can get back on the right track but trying not to dwell on it and just keep working on myself. Thanks again for responding, I needed to hear those words. There is hope. Sending love :heartpulse: Thank you so much.


@momentsandlight Thanks so much for the book suggestion, I will check it out. I also joined Al anon, so hoping to learn more there too. The threads are helpful and sheds light on how every journey is different. You’re right about it not being black and white. I’m learning to accept what is and keep working on myself, while creating a healthy balance. It sure is work LOL! Thanks for the encouragement :heart:


Yes to this. Compassion, communication, empathy. These have been key in healing and rebuilding my marriage, and really has been helpful in all of my relationships, and in raising my son! Knowing that no two recoveries look the same, no two families look the same, there is no black and white.

So glad you found this space! What other resources have you found helpful? Reading has been one of the best ways for me to learn about addiction and loving someone with addiction. I love this book - provides some really helpful communication skills. And this thread has a lot more book suggestions if you’re into reading, too!