Why is my boyfriend behaving this way?



A lot has happened over the course of a year and I found out that our entire first year together, he was using and I didn’t even know - despite all of the signs I naively turned my head away from. He went into Rehab in early October, got out in 30 days, and is currently in a halfway house up North, which he tells me he enjoys. The first week he was in the house, we talked on the phone every night and it lead to us arguing with him about something he did that caused me great pain. That happened a few times and eventually, he would tell me that he would call in 30 minutes or so… then wouldn’t. I would be upset, texting him, telling him I’d like for him to call me when he said he would. And another hour would go by, This happened a few times until we got on the phone screaming at each other, to which he said he didn’t care that I was waiting.

One night he just didn’t respond at all, and I really thought he was ghosting me. I sent him that “feeling” paragraph and got the next day’s text, “The F…ing internet was out.” that was all. (phone broke, on fb messenger). I realized that my emotional outbursts are reason enough for cravings and relaps so I texted him telling him that I’d be stepping back because he was distant and that was okay, told him I’d be here when he got out and that I loved him… I sent that because I thought that’s what he needed, not because I like not speaking to him. It’s been hard not talking to him and I thought if he missed me, he would send me an occasional message or two… but didn’t. I texted him the day after thanksgiving, was sad he never reached out that day but I was too uncomfortable to message him first. i reached out the day after and he just told me what was going on there briefly, didn’t ask about me, seemed dry. Did this it every 3 days a couple of times. I reach out to check in, never the other way and I feel disheartened. I know this may be selfish but I can’t just turn off how I feel, so I’m asking for outsider input. I know he is fully focused on recovery, but I took care of this man selflessly for a year and struggled financially and emotionally for that. Now there’s no one here to take care of me when I’m in our apartment alone, all the struggles here, and he won’t even talk to me unless I pester him for a couple of shallow words.


Hi @naut
I can feel that you’re hurting.
I have a similar problem, except my boyfriend was the one that told me we needed to take a step back while he focuses on recovery. Like you, I’ve been the only real support he had this last year and I also didn’t know about his using until 9 months ago.

He came home from rehab about 7 weeks ago, saying early recovery is much harder than he expected and all his energy needs to go towards that. I knew I wasn’t going to be able to change his mind, although I wish I could have had the best of both worlds - him getting better and us still having our relationship. He did insist that he still wants us to work out in the end which gave me the motivation I needed to power through this temporary break. I hoped we would have weekly catch ups so I could still be in the loop and there for him without adding unnecessary pressure to him in regards to a full on relationship.

I met up with him once a few days after he came home, but we’ve hardly had any communication since, just the casual happy birthday, merry Xmas etc. I feel my heart break a little more each day that goes by without having a proper conversation.

I know he needs to fully focus on his recovery but I can’t help but feel he’s finally sorting himself out but my world has now fallen apart. Like why me? I’ve only ever been good to him and tried to understand this illness. Never blamed him for it, did all my research the second I found out about his problem, never tried to ‘fix him’ but instead supported him through everything without any complaint (a lot of tears on my own but always stayed strong for him). I feel like I did everything right, he acknowledged this too and was always so grateful but also in awe of how I stepped up. So surely he would want that kind of support in his life? So why hasn’t he reached out? So many questions go round in my head all day every day.

It’s now very hard not knowing what’s going on, if he’s doing well, if he’s still clean, if he still loves me or if he’s changed his mind about our future.

I have since started attending a Nar-Anon Family group which has helped a lot, it take the focus away from his problems and helps me focus on myself as I’m the only person I can control in this messy situation. That’s not to say it’s always easy, of course I still think about him allllllll the time. But it is giving me a beacon of hope that I will be OK if I work on myself, my boyfriend will be OK if he works on himself. But we can’t do the work for eachother.

I hope it helps knowing you’re not the only one. We have similar stories from the sound of it, so if you need any more advice I’ll happily let you know how I’m pushing through the madness!



Hi @naut, I’m sorry you went through this alone. It’s been almost a year since you posted this - how are things going today?

That’s good news that your partner went into treatment and started taking care of himself. I hope he’s still in recovery, although I’ve learned that recovery is definitely not a straight line for anyone. Even we, the supporting loved ones of people with addiction, have our own recovery to tend to.

One of the hardest things I’ve had to admit and work through on my own has been to start loving myself again. Somehow through my marriage and my husband’s active addiction, I had forgotten how. I was so reliant on his happiness that I didn’t know how to find joy on my own. Through lots of reading, therapy, Al-Anon, and communities like this one, I learned that everything I need is within. I didn’t need to rely on external forces to take care of myself. I could do that all on my own, and I had everything I needed already.

Thanks for sharing your story in this space. I hope you’ll check in soon to let us know how you’re doing. Sending love.


Good News @G12134! I really appreciated your post, especially this comment:

Thanks for contributing to this forum. No matter what the outcome, you will come through this situation a lot healthier for keeping your focus on the things that you can control and leave the rest to others to sort.
Happy New Year! I wish you well. :sun_behind_small_cloud: