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Love Letters

Dealing with his drug addiction

Q. I’m engaged to a man I love deeply. We bring out good things in one another and he is easily the person that I could spend my life with, which is why we’re getting married. That said, we both took equally exciting yet very different roads to get us to where we are today. My adventures have been more wanderlust-y in nature; I have an insatiable curiosity for people, places, and travel, and although I’ve gotten myself into some interesting situations, I’ve never harmed myself or anyone/anything else.

When I met my fiance, he was very forthcoming about his past. He was 33 when we met, and he revealed that up until he was 31, he’d been a functioning, serious drug user. He had worked hard to overcome it. He didn’t attend rehab as far as I know, but attended Narcotics Anonymous meetings here and there.

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When we met, he’d been clean for two years and that was critical to me, as I have never used drugs. I would’ve never knowingly become involved with someone that was actively using and hadn’t worked to overcome it. I’m sure readers will say that it’s something that is never “overcome,” but more of an itch that hopefully fades over time. And honestly, that’s what I was hoping for -- that with two years under his belt and his pride in his recovery, it would be in our past, and that this amazing person would be resolved of the demons.

Things were great for about 1½ years until he developed a “curiosity” (his word) about meth after finding an easy way to get it. He kept this secret for about 15 months until one day I came home and he was acting strange — just really odd, and although I’ve never been around someone on meth, I knew in my heart that something wasn’t right about his behavior. I started pushing for answers until I found the drugs under the sink in his bathroom in our house. I didn’t know what it was so I had to ask and he told me.

Naturally, I was devastated. I felt that every moment and embrace and smile that we’d shared over the last 15 months had been a lie — tainted with drugs. Who knows when he was sober? Who knows when he wasn’t? I demanded that he go to rehab, submit to random drug testing for an indeterminate period of time, and acknowledge that if this were to ever happen again, he would know our chance of marriage was over. No questions asked.

He attended rehab, he knows that any future drug use is a no-questions-asked deal-breaker, and I have not yet asked him to submit to random testing (it’s been four months.) And this is why I write to you. He is leaving for California on Wednesday for his bachelor party, and obviously I won’t be there. His friends there are all wonderful people, but they were all part of the partying behavior that played into his 10 years of drug use.

His best man/best friend is a wonderful guy, and although he infrequently will use at a party (to my knowledge), it’s not at all a way of life for him. I really want to ask him to keep any drugs out of the scene for the four-day bachelor party. My fiance never revealed what happened with the meth issue to any of his friends, and I’m left carrying the weight of this knowledge alone. I feel that if the best man knew high-level details of what happened, he would be sympathetic to my request and do his best to keep it out of the scene.

I know that everyone will tell me that if I have to contact that best man, it means I don’t trust my fiance and that I shouldn’t be marrying him. To that I would say that my trust is something that he’ll have back eventually, but it’s going to be a slow ascent. In the meantime, I’m trying to help him succeed and not fall back into old patterns with old friends he misses in California, and to help him enjoy the time he spends there — without someone unknowingly tempting him to use and break his commitment to our marriage.

Boston

A. Not surprisingly, I have serious concerns about why you’re getting married right now. You’re in the thick of figuring out whether you can really trust your partner. Why are you so focused on making this commitment during such a shaky time?

You seem committed to this wedding for whatever reason, so I’ll focus on the bachelor party question. Don’t make calls behind his back. Instead, talk to your fiance about whether he should confront his best man about the plans. Your fiance is a grown-up and should be accountable for his own actions. You can help him with these decisions, but you can’t arrange his life on his behalf. Ask him about his concerns about the weekend, and maybe you’ll come up with some ideas together.

And as you move forward, please get some help for yourself. You’ve had to spend a lot of time thinking about his choices, his addiction, and his ability to break bad habits. You need to have a place where you can talk about your own needs and patterns.

Again, I don’t know why marriage is a priority right now. But if you’re going to do it, make sure you have the professional help you need. Because these questions don’t end with the bachelor party.

READERS RESPOND:

Welcome to life with an addict. Every day, for the rest of his life, he could start using at any time for any reason.

His sobriety is on him, not you and not his friends. If he can’t go away without being tempted, then he isn’t ready to be sober.

If you don’t trust him to go to California without you, then you can’t trust him — period. You can’t always be with him to keep him out of trouble and off drugs. Just ask that chick from “Glee.”

Start the random drug testing upon his return from the bachelor party?

The nagging fiancee isn’t going to convince this guy that going for a four-day is a path toward self-destruction. He really should be talking to a professional.

Trust is the foundation for any solid relationship. You don’t have it here. I know drugs are a special circumstance as some consider it as much a disease as a choice. Still, I agree with Meredith’s refrain: Getting married at this point is nuts.

Column is edited and reprinted from www.boston.
com/loveletters
Meredith Goldstein can be reached at mgoldstein@globe.com.
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