Dear Barb – Changing Troubles

Dear Barb:

My boyfriend and I have been together for over a year. When we got together, I was aware that he had a drug problem, but I thought I could help him. Initially Jed assured me he would stop using drugs, which he did. Unfortunately it didn’t last long. He stays clean for a while, but ultimately ends up back on drugs. My family has been a great help to us in many ways, plus my uncle helped Jed get a job. Regrettably, the job didn’t last long. Jed worked a few days then, unfortunately, was injured at work. Consequently, he was put on pain pills and this seemed to retrigger his addiction, and he lost his job. This cycle has repeated itself many times and I’m running out of patience with him. When he’s not using drugs we get along great and really love each other, but the good times are short lived. While he’s using he becomes paranoid, angry, and threatening, and I’m fearful of what he may do to me, or himself. I just don’t know what to do. Am I just wasting my time? I feel like such a failure. Should I just let him go and move on? Looking forward to your advice.
Jamie

Hi Jamie:

Addiction is a terrible disease, not only for the addict but for everyone around them. You should be commended for what you are doing, but ultimately your boyfriend is the only one who can help himself. He has to truly want the help and be willing to do what is necessary to achieve that end. He most likely needs professional help. Suggest a visit to your family physician, who will be able to direct you both to the resources available in your area. If he doesn’t agree to go, there is nothing you can do. Don’t see yourself as a failure, you did your best. If he refuses help, you need to move on with your life, as he will just drag you down with him. Be strong!

Dear Barb:

I have been married for 10 years. My marriage has changed over the years and now my husband and I don’t seem to have anything in common. My friends are doing things with their husbands and I wish we were like that. I wonder if there is someone else out there who I am meant to be with and I’m just wasting my life with my husband. Feeling sad and lonely!
Mary

Hi Mary:

I’m not sure there is someone out there that you were meant to be with, that’s idealistic thinking. Ten years is a long time, you must have had some common interests throughout those years? Did something occur that changed your interaction? Relationships are works in progress, as many couples go through changes at various points and have to reassess their situation. It sounds like you are in a rut, so infuse some new stimulation into your marriage. Create some mutual interests. Discover a new sport, perhaps one that is new to both of you. For example, if you have never golfed, sign up for lessons. Golf is a great way to get some exercise and have fun. If you like to read, join a book club. Take tennis lessons, learn to ski, the possibilities are endless. Hope this information helps, Mary!

Email your questions to voice@voicemagazine.org. Some submissions may be edited for length or to protect confidentiality; your real name and location will never be printed. This column is for entertainment only. The author is not a professional counsellor and this column is not intended to take the place of professional advice.

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