Addiction recovery or Relationship dissolution first?

Hi All. Compliments of the New Year to you all!
(Warning: Sex addiction trigger & strong language)

I am 31 years old from Cape Town, South Africa. My journey with addiction and toxic habits started when I was very young. I partly blame a troubled upbringing to some of my bad traits but I also understand the importance of taking responsibility for one’s own actions. I’m sure you can tell, I pretty much still haven’t made true peace with my parents and their mistakes. My dad suffered alcoholic addiction and illness most of my life and how things played out was very difficult for me. He is since 2 years sober at the age of 64.

His problems started right at about the period I was going into adolescence. Possibly prior to that but I always think of it as only when he started drinking more excessively. Somewhere in between all his problems, I started finding my own little “dark” spaces to retreat to. It started with my appetite for sex at a young age. I don’t know but I was just overly fixated on having sex all the time. I didn’t really do it till much later in life but I started experimenting around the age of 10-11 yrs old. I developed a really bad habit(unknowngly at the time) of masterbating to porn and later while having text sex with girls. I was really just one horny person. At high school 1 girl was never enough. I would mess up all my chances with decent girls because most often they weren’t the type to give me what I wanted. So I usually ended up cheating with anyone else who would give me orgasms and who I thought was attractive. Add a lot of drinking and smoking into that and you got a concoction for a disaster… And it feels like a disaster indeed.

Somewhere around my late teens I was really so horny. I had been with a couple of girls but I wanted to settle down with 1 person I could fuck anytime and everytime I see them. I wanted someone who loved fucking as much as I did. Say I prayed really hard and asked for someone who I could fuck and who would love fucking like me. I was sick and tired of masterbating to porn and having 1 night stands that usually didn’t end in explosive orgasms(obviously the expectations I learned from porn wasn’t realistic). But eventually, my pray was answered. I met my now girlfriend. Boy, we fucked. Every single minute we were together and I loved it. But my body was suffering under my I’ll habits. Though my girlfriend was amazing in bed, I couldn’t help seeing that she wasn’t quite what I needed in a partner otherwise. I will not go into reasons as to why I thought she’s not the one but basically it ended up with me feeling isolated, manipulated away from relationships with my family and close friends. We basically would be together, alone fucking in my room all day and going everywhere and doing everything alone. Bare in mind, prior to this I was already using alcohol and weed almost daily and I was always very sociable and loved being around people now and then. She is the opposite though. Because of her own difficult past she decided being a closed book is better for her. So I shrunk into her world but I needed alot of sex, weed and sex to make it worthwhile for me to forgo the other partnership opportunities I wanted to pursue. And I was okay with it for a while but we just couldn’t make it work. I become increasingly more distant from my family, who ended up not liking her. I distanced myself from everyone because everyone I gave too much attention to male or female she would get these jealous bursts and act up in the most dreadful way that would embarrass me and bring down the whole vibe in the room. That has been going on for 8 years now. Today, we have a 2year old daughter together and we stay on our own in a small apartment in the northern part of town. I’m grateful for my daughter and love her to bits and having a daughter has really given me something to think about on my ways and if I would want this for her. I want to change my ways. I’m tired of being high, fucking and nothing in between. We can barely talk anymore without something being brought up which annoys 1 of us. I’m constantly irritable because I feel isolated, bored and unstimulated intellectually. She is constantly irritated because of my irritability. Or when I do something to help myself feel better, like going to visit my parents. It irritates her. For more than a year she wouldn’t allow my parents to she my daughter. She speaks of my daughter like it’s her possession to decide what to do with. Many fights about that. I don’t want to drag her down in this but I think that is a good reflection of why I spent the last 2 years highly irritated more than usual. And the smoking weed habit is now out of control. Over time I made my girlfriend smoke this stuff too so she can chill the fuck out and leave me be and be “nicer”.

I feel very very weighed down by all this baggage. I want to change my life but I can’t move. I can’t get myself to either leave her or leave my substance addictions. But something must go. My career is suffering, my health is suffering, my daughter is suffering(eventhough I try my best to shield her), I know my partner is suffering. I don’t know what to do. I just smoke weed to bury this everyday. I don’t know what to do.

I attempted to cheat on many occasions but I can’t get myself to take the next step because she’ll find out something is up with me. I get very easily lulled in by woman and I love it. My old ways hasn’t changed one bit.

I have so much to do. I went for therapy and tried mediation and yoga. I try to eat healthy and exercise regularly but nothing feels like it’s working. I’m unhappy everyday and I need to smoke and fuck it away. I’m a mess!

If anyone can related to this kind of problems. Problems which are interrelated like this please, I would appreciate any advice on how you changed your mind and your behaviour.

I was told I can’t fix myself if I am not happy where I am. I just don’t know who is really toxic, me or her or both of us. Which habit must I give the boot first?

Hi @Eagz
I can’t really tell you what to do… just offer an opinion…
The only person you can really change is you… it sound like you are ready and willing to make the needed changes but are trapped in the situation. Smoking weed and sex won’t make any difference to the longterm choices you need to make you’re just numbing yourself so you dont have to face it.
Personally I’d separate myself and get myself in a position to get well and strong and then see if you can help your gf… if shes willing to do the work she needs to do.
Tricky situation…


Thank you for your honest and helpful adive. I appreciate it.

I agree that separating myself and getting help is what feels intuitive to me too. But that means I must go to rehab because going anywhere else would in her eyes constitute a “break-up” and there are threats of bad things such as custody battles and total “cutting off” contact with me. The only place she’ll allow me to go is rehab for weed. But what if the rehab could just mean space from the relationship. She will never understand it like that. I’m at my wits end trying not to incite fights and a total dramatic destruction. I just want to heal myself😢 but the addictions are intertwined and I feel like I can’t leave the one without the other. I have tried on numerous instances to quit weed and I’m strong enough to do it. My last sober stint was last year July - October but I relapsed because the relationship started weighing heavy and eventually we both go pulled back in the weed use pattern. I want give living sober a try again but it’s hard like this and I don’t want to fail again because of this relationship.

So if you go to rehab, you’ll come out stronger and be able to make some clear decisions so that sounds like a good choice to me.
The way you describe her reactions, the threats of custody battles and cutting you off, are a means of her trying to control you, not because shes a bad person, but shes probably scared, vulnerable, worried shes going to be left behind.
But your focus has to be on you, if you want a better life and a future for you and your daughter you have to make that choice.
Reality is if a ‘custody battle’ did come further down the line, who do you think would get custody? If you put your life in order, get clean and sober and on your feet it’d be you with the fighting chance.
Try not to become so overwhelmed with the situation that you become paralysed by fear, take things one step at a time, look into the rehab situation and then deal with the next step…

You aren’t alone there are plenty of people to support you here.

Well my friend you are in a toxic relationship to start.

When I was younger, monogamy was a challenge, very much so. I went and would say I’m gonna stay faithful to this girl and I would totally tear it to shreds by hooking up with 5 others. I was overly confident and cocky, plus having all the opportunities I did. I was a young soldier, a musician and a FF apparently ladies love those things and I used it to my advantage to get what I wanted, but like you I was very empty inside.

You already said you smoke and fuck your problems away, so they have become your outlets, though not very healthy that’s what they became.

Your GF seems like shes going to lock you down essentially to keep you in, I have been there i was in a relationship with my kids mother for 10 years because of that, used my children against me, used everything she could against me, and I cheated nonstop for years hoping to get out, I likewise got into that relationship because she loved sex, and I got stuck. If I didn’t leave I would have died a miserable, unfulfilled life and awfully young.

This is going to sound tough, but the relationship has cycled, your holding on to a dead memory. If you want to move forward and get better and have the life you want healthier you need to press forward with treatment whether she likes it or not. The risks are there. She may take your daughter and fight you in court, she may take everything, but that is because she is sick as well. As long as your in the position your in she feels in control, she sees you as weak and will have you under her thumb for a lifetime,

I wish you all the best

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