Is Our Love A Lie?

I knew my love from high school. We graduated together but we were in different social circles so we rarely talked. He currently lives out of state and last February we reconnected on Facebook and our friendship took off. Through several lengthy phone calls, we got to know each other. He explained to me that he previously had a drug problem with heroin, had gone to prison, and had a wife but was going through the process of a divorce (currently he is officially divorced). At this point in time, my feelings for him were just as friends and I listened and admired how honest he was about his life to me. We finally decided to meet each other and spend the day together in the city in May. For me, it was instant love. We were smiling, laughing, and enjoying each other's company all day. It was a perfect day and we shared our first kiss there. He was all over me all day. Holding my hand and my waist, kissing me, grabbing my butt, I felt like a teenager again with him. He made me feel like the only girl in the entire world. Our personalities complimented one another perfectly and the whole day was like out of a movie. He also has family in my state so while he was out visiting me and them, I met him another time at night and we drove around and had a blast. He admitted to having a few beers and he was clearly a little buzzed but we had sex anyway. We couldn't "finish" because of certain "complications" on his end, but it was still good. I suppose I should've held off until we knew each other better but it was one of those moments that just felt right so we went for it.

A few months later, we decided to spend the weekend together at the beach. At this point he was calling me every day on his lunch breaks and before he went to bed. Well this was the first taste I got of an addict's bad side. At this point I had no idea that he had been using painkillers since January. And from being a muscular, tan, well-built man, I noticed a difference in his appearance immediately. The best word I could describe him was tired looking. Still handsome as ever of course, but just almost weakened looking, tired, and the brightness in his eyes was gone. Well what started as a perfect, romantic getaway turned into me crying alone in the bathroom. The first day was perfect, we had a blast. The next morning, he was groggy, moody, and barely noticed or touched me at all. He slept all day and when I tried to cuddle up with him, he moved away from me. When I tried to make love, I was politely shot down. After I asked him if his feelings about me changed, he finally revealed to me that he had been taking painkillers for a while now and apparently he thought he could go the few days without them and that he did care about me, his actions were just the withdrawals. I explained to him there was no reason to hide something like that from me and that our friendship, and at that point, growing romance, should be based on honesty. I told him I wouldn't get mad, but I just want to know what’s going on. In August, we started dating. I did not push anything throughout the whole time. He called me, he suggested the trips, he started calling me his girlfriend, and while the feelings are definitely mutual on my half, I did not want to rush into a long distance relationship without thinking it through first. Anything romantic that occurred between us came from his end.

Then his job let him go due to cutbacks. I would send him fifty bucks here and there for cigarettes but nothing more. There was a point where I explained to him that he was making me feel like a bank but he assured me he did care about me way before I started helping him financially. I still don't believe him fully about that but he did express deeper feelings for me long before he lost his job. Right before our trips to the beach, he told me I was exactly what he needed in his life, that he's never known another girl like me, that he's blessed to have me in his life, and that as soon as I was finished with school, we could move in together.

For the next few months we had a beautiful time together. He traveled to see me, I traveled to see him. Life was perfect. We occasionally did "molly" together and I tried "rock" with him as well and although the high was good, it’s not something I would ruin my life and my finances over in order to get. I talked about how our sex life literally died because between May and now, we've only had sex three times. In the beginning, we had phone sex, sent dirty pictures to each other, and talked about how we wanted to have each other in bed. I've tried to get him in the mood when we did get together and because of the distance, it’s not like we have many chances, but with failure each time. He just kept saying how he just doesn't want to have sex, he doesn't have the urge. It’s a problem we kind of swept under the carpet but it still bothers me because I want to feel that close intimate feeling with the man I love. He was still hooked on the painkillers and he had also tried to get off them by using Suboxone but to be honest, it’s no better, it’s just a replacement and he doesn’t have the will power to ease off them. I was starting to feel like his feelings for me were only as a friend because I felt he just wasn't attracted to me sexually but he assured me that he was attracted.  Everything he did showed me that he cared for me as a girlfriend except the fact that he didn’t want to have sex, which really hurt me.  It’s not so much the physical pleasure I seek, but the intimacy.  I want to feel our love.  He says he understands and instead of having sex, he’ll give me oral, which is great too, but I know he’d be much happier just cuddled up with me watching tv.  This led me to believe that he was cheating on me. After all, this is a long distance relationship. I have never cheated on him. I’d assume because I couldn’t be with him because of the distance, he’d seek his pleasure elsewhere. There's a girl in his town that he's friends with and he's told me that he finds her attractive and they hang out a lot but he, as well as his sister, tells me nothing is going on. She knows about me, it’s not like he’s hiding me but this girl is also someone he gets Suboxone from so who knows if he's just using her for it...

Then in December, he revealed to me that in addition to the painkillers, he had been back on heroin. My heart was broken. I suppose I was too naive to see the signs (taking forever in the bathroom, dosing off at weird times of the day, mood swings from really bubbly to quiet/coma-like, not wanting to have sex). I thought nothing of it. He then checked himself into a detox program and was feeling very confident about it.  But he left after a week because he said it wasn’t the type of therapy he knew he needed. Then he decided that because I deserve better than an addict boyfriend, he broke up with me. I was absolutely devastated. I told him that I can handle fighting this addiction with him but I couldn't handle not being with him. And it’s true. I understand all the hell that goes along with being with an addict, but the light at the end of the tunnel is worth the tornado. He explained to me that he doesn't want to put me or my family through the pain and the struggle and being so far away, he didn't feel like a real couple anyway. He said he knows how much we love each other and that it was hard for him to reach that decision but he said he knew I’d never leave him so he had to be strong and do it for the best outcome for both of us. Then he mentioned how we never have sex and I freaked on him. I told him that I tried so many times to make love but he just kept denying me. He didn't say much about that, just that being on the drugs have killed his sex drive, which after researching the effects of heroin use, I now understand. He said that when he gets clean, finds a job, and fixes the relationships he broke with his family while he's been on the drugs, that we could give "us" another try. He said he will be able to finally enjoy sex again and we could be intimate the right way. This hope of starting again was like a gift from God. I accepted his decision and made it clear to him that although I'll always have romantic feelings for him, I'm first and foremost his friend and I'll never stop being his friend.

I visited him at his place this month and really got a “day in the life of an addict” experience.  The only thing I’m thankful for is that he was finally 100% honest with me.  He told me he needed to get high.  He told me once he did, he felt “normal” and could get through the day.  All he thought about was getting high if he wasn’t.  We woke up one morning and he said he felt like crap, so I asked if I could do anything for him (thinking he honestly just felt sick), and he said, “yeah I want to get high.”  Stupid me went with him to pick up his stuff and he couldn’t even wait to get home, he asked if I could drive, so we switched seats and he shot up right there in the car.  I started crying.  I didn’t want to see the love of my life being so degraded like he was.  He was letting this garbage run his life and he is so much better than that.  When we finally got home, we had a good long talk and I spilled my heart and my opinions and he listened.  I told him no matter what he wanted to do with his life, I’d still be his friend and still help him with whatever he felt he needed but I WAS NOT going to be a part of his drug life.  I think that talk, as well as his family urging him to seek help, finally made him realize what he had to do...

He then asked his parole officer if he could check himself into a 90 day rehab program and that’s where we are now. He goes in a couple days from now and he can’t leave until they decide he’s ready to leave because it’s parole-ordered. The fact that he sees that he has a problem and he is the one seeking help without being forced to go speaks worlds for me and shows me that he wants to get better. He sent me a letter the other day and it simply says "I love you very much and appreciate everything. No one knows me better than you. We're gunna make it no matter what. 3 months is gunna work for me I feel it. Love you." We also still talk for hours on the phone and we still tell each other “I love you.” I just don't know what to think about all this. We are currently broken up, but he still talks to me as if we're still together. He sends me that sweet letter but yet he's commenting on every trashy girl's picture on Facebook. Some days we text back and forth and he still calls me “babe” and “love” and all the pets names that go along with a romance, and then the next day he’s very straight forward and almost cold, like I’m just some random person.  The perfect way to describe his personality at the moment is “hot and cold.”  I don’t let it bother me as much as it once did because I know now that it’s the heroin talking and not the real guy deep down. 

I just want to know if his feelings for me are genuine and that we will be together when the time is right or if he sees me as a friend, a safe haven, someone he can come to in order to relax and feel security.  I told him that I’m first and foremost his friend and he told me in the past that that is exactly what he feels a girlfriend should be, not just a lover but a friend as well.  I’m so invested in him and would honestly do anything he needed me to do in order for him to live a clean life and he knows this.  I’m just so in love with him and I know he’s the one.  Nothing worth having is ever easy to have and the story of him and I is exactly that!!!  Whether his feelings are friends-only or romantic, I’m still going to be by his side through his journey to be clean.  For the sake of my heart, I just need to figure out how to absorb all of this...

deleted deleted
1 Response Jan 20, 2013

It's hard to tell. I think he knows well enough that you're the one stable thing in his life, and he's not going to be eager to give that up. On the other hand, there is his addiction, the problems and temptations, and he isn't always strong enough to resist those.
I hope for you that the rehab program will help him, and thus you. People in trouble deserve someone who supports them, but this support shouldn't break you down. If it turns out that nothing works you should choose yourself over him.