Dear Annie: I recently separated from my husband, and we are in the process of a divorce. The relationship was a bit toxic. But it was my choice to leave, and I left for my own mental health, as I struggle with anxiety and depression and self-esteem issues.
I have reconnected with a man I dated a few years ago. He is so sweet, and he has told me he has always loved me. I told him I wanted to take things slow. But he was so amazing I found myself falling hard. We made plans a couple of times to go out of town for a weekend, but then I wouldn't hear from him on those days we were going to go out. I would hear from him on that Sunday, and he would tell me things like, "My sister needed me," or, "A friend got in a fight, and I had to help him." But after that, he would message me several times a day every day.
Another weekend he went missing, I was very worried, thinking the worst. He then told me he had an addiction problem with crack that has been going on and off for 20 years. He said he stopped for many years but then, one day, he started again. He is going to meetings and getting help and is determined to beat it. My concern is I've done some research, and it doesn't look good. I've read that addicts will tell lies and do whatever they possibly can to get what they want.
I'm so scared. I honestly believe he is a good person and he means it when he says he wants to get clean. But I see a therapist for my mental health issues and she has said that it is a very bad idea to get involved with him; since I just got out of a toxic relationship, I shouldn't enter a new one with a guy that is too dealing with so many issues. Part of me knows she's right, but the other part tells me he can get past this and we can be happy together. Please tell me what to do. -- Cracked
Dear Cracked: Choosing to get involved with somebody struggling with addiction would be choosing a treacherous and painful path. You have to know what you're signing up for.
Tell your quasi-boyfriend that you are not prepared for a relationship unless and until he receives the help he needs. Until then, cut ties. Yes, recovery is a long shot, but stranger things have happened.
Dear Annie: I am writing in response to "Trying To Heal," who is struggling to forgive her abusive mother. I am in a similar situation and found the book "Forgiving What You Can't Forget" by Lysa TerKeurst. It gave me a great perspective on why some people act the way they do and how to go about forgiving them, even when they aren't sorry for what they did. I highly recommend! -- Been There, Felt That
Dear Been There: Thank you for the helpful resource; I'm sure that many readers can benefit from the wisdom this book has to offer.
"How Can I Forgive My Cheating Partner?" is out now! Annie Lane's second anthology -- featuring favorite columns on marriage, infidelity, communication and reconciliation -- is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit http://www.creatorspublishing.com for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to firstname.lastname@example.org.