-- Question for John --
Before we started dating I heard my boyfriend was very into “partying.” I am naive, so I didn’t know what the descriptions about him meant. After avoiding him for months, he showed up at my door at 4 am wanting to go for a walk. He was acting weird and I asked him if he was alright. He explained that he was on ecstasy. I was so hurt and disappointed I walked away immediately.
He apologized the next day and slowly we began to talk and get to know one another. On our second date, he drank so much he threw up the entire next day. He threw up 6 times in five months, calling in sick to work and spend the day on the couch from heavy drinking.
We also had a major fight when he did cocaine. I don’t do any of these things and threatened to leave. He begged me to stay and I did. It ended a few months ago when we went to a party, trying to stay together and cocaine was available. He gave me an attitude all night because, “I want to do it and can’t because of you.”
I gave him six months of my life, I tried so hard and fell in love with him. He broke up with me saying we had different “views and personalities.”
I worry for him with the drinking and drugs. It is not normal to throw up every other weekend and call in sick to work regularly. I sent an e-mail to one of his buddies to let him know some things about my ex, because I care. My ex called me up and yelled at me, telling me never to inquire about him again and then he hung up.
I am so hurt by everything that happened and depressed over this. I’s like some advice on getting better and also, should I contact his parents and inform them of his abuse of alcohol and cocaine and ecstasy?
-- Answer from John --
I am slightly more worried about you — frankly — than him. To the point, you exhibit the classic signs of an “enabler” — someone who is prone to getting involved with abusive or addicted partners and co-enable them. I very much encourage you to change your focus here — and put it on yourself. Even if you are able to avoid alcoholics or drug addicts in the future, you sound like you are very prone to falling into codependency and highly unhealthy relationships.
It’s time to put away your focus on “him” — and look at yourself. You need to see why in the world — especially with all the immediate warnings you were getting — you found yourself so attracted to such an obviously unhealthy and addicted guy.
While I appreciate that you are a very caring and giving woman, you must look at the places you are going way overboard. Unless you really insist on being a caregiver for the rest of your life — and are willing to keep playing out the kinds of dramas you have just experienced.
I suggest you let this be a big warning sign — about the things you need to address in yourself. A healthy person would have walked away — as you did on your first drug influenced meeting with this guy. But they would have stayed away. If you want to be able to have a truly healthy and happy relationship in your future, you need to come to terms with what sucked you back into this unhealthy affair.
Look into the topics of “love addiction” and “codependency” on the internet. Get yourself into a codependency support group for women. They are low cost and will open your eyes to seeing the unhealthy aspects of you — aspects which will keep you from ever forming a healthy longterm relationship.
It’s time to stop focusing on how you can help the other person. And put your focus on the only person you can ever help on this planet — you. Sorry to be so blunt and relentless here, but you are exhibiting classic behavioral and emotional patterns. You need to change.