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Can't Kick Him Out While He's Down.


Me and my boyfriend have been living together over a year now, and he has a drug problem with crank, he leaves for days at a time, does weird sex things to himself while he watches porn. He rather come inside his hand then come inside of me. Now he’s in jail, going to program, and clean and sober. Not in a fog anymore, he’s ashame when I tell him of all the weirdo things he’s done. I love him, but I lost that feeling for him, and I don’t know if he’s really changed. I rather he be in jail, because he’s the man I fall in love with . He knows I’m unsure for our future, but he’s tells me don’t kick me, while I’m down. Please don’t give up on me now. What do I do?

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It’s a nice sentiment, "Don’t kick a man when he’s down", but I’m not sure it should apply in your circumstance. It’s important to take into account exactly why a man is down before deciding to give him special treatment. In your case, your boyfriend is down because of something he did wrong, rather than just due to random bad luck. I’m far more inclined to treat a man well who is down through no fault or action of his own than I am to be charitable towards someone who has acted in a reckless manner and who has gotten himself into jail as a result.

Your boyfriend is a drug addict and drugs can end up making people do terrible things. Some people in your situation might be inclined to think that because the drugs made him act in this terrible way that he can’t be held responsible for his actions. Definitely, addicts can and do have uncontrollable urges to get high and it is extremely difficult for them to resist such urges. That part of it is a disease or something very much like a disease. It is not at all easy for an addict to stop craving his fix. Despite this being true, I think that addicts be held responsible for the consequences of their actions, because their actions affect other people and not just themselves. If addicts were to get a free ride whenever they hurt someone due to being high, then a drunk driver who killed someone would not be punished because "he couldn’t help himself". It is precisely because such an unfortunate drunk driver can’t help himself that he needs to have his license suspended, or to be put in jail, or to be mandated into a recovery/monitoring program or something to restrain from making a similarly bad decision in the future.

There is no telling the future. Clearly, when your boyfriend is sober, you like him a lot better. Maybe the experience of being in jail will have an effect on him and he will (with the aid of recovery programs and therapy) be able to maintain sobriety after serving out his sentence. The chances of that happening without any further relapses are not so good, however. It is the rare addict who kicks his habit easily. I think it likely that he will use crank again when he gets out of jail, and will go back into his bad habits.

Essentially, you have to decide just how much abuse you want to take. If you stay with this man, it seems likely to me that he’ll relapse when he’s able to again. Eventually, he might get and stay sober, but there’s no telling how difficult that will be for him. You have to ask yourself just how long you want to wait, and how much patience you have for being neglected and treated badly by someone who is not in control of their own behavior. If you want to martyr yourself for this man, you will, but my recommendation is to make a clean break with him and work on finding yourself a new relationship where you are treated better all the time. 

To summarize, go ahead and give him a kick.  Not because it’s fun to kick a man when he’s down, but because you don’t need the aggravation or difficulty of staying with an addicted partner.  

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  • JR

    What a dreary, depressing, hopeless piece of advice! Certainly, voluntary intoxication should never excuse unacceptable or criminal acts. Certainly, "it is the rare addict who kicks his habit easily". The whole point about addiction is that there is nothing "easy" about overcoming it. That having been said, the extremely negative inference to be drawn from this piece of advice would suggest (for example) that people like me should reacquaint ourselves with the joys of the Unholy Spirits (because we are bound to hit the bottle again, sooner or later), and that the author's therapist and clinician colleagues earning their living from addiction treatment should seek more useful employment on building sites, since their present occupation is largely pointless and devoid of moral justification.

    Nonsense. People do, frequently, recover, whether with the help of "treatment", a revived sense of responsibility or, simply, because they grow sick and tired of being sick and tired. Their partners should not lose sight of this fact, nor of the possibility that their investment in their partner's recovery might yield huge personal dividends for them as well as for their partner in the preservation and enhancement of their relationship. This will not always happen, by any means, and tolerance of repeated relapses should be strictly limited. However, a "one-strike-and-you're-out" approach, generally applied, would not appear conducive to the long-term welfare of many of those involved on both sides of addiction-blighted relationships. Particularly on the "first strike", it might be appropriate for non-addicted partners (and indeed family members and friends of the addict) to ask themselves whether they value the relationship sufficiently to help overcome the problem by adopting a firm, but supportive stance towards the addict and his or her recovery. If of course, the value is not there - perhaps it was never there, even before the first fix.

    Best regards,



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