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BF on Sub Giving Him Space for Recovery Need Advice

Tue May 17, 2016 1:45 pm

I have perused this forum and tried to find where I thought might be the right place for my post but couldn't really decide so here goes. If there is a spot specifically for those needing advice who love/support those in treatment etc please let me know so I can post appropriately.

This post is long only because it has pertinent history involving 3 related issues that I am seeking advice about. Thank you in advance for reading all the way through. I love my man and want to see him through his recovery to a happy, healthy relationship for us on the other side but I am starting to really suffer because I can't tell if his behavior or lack thereof is suboxone treatment related issue or coming from another place that needs to be address. I am working to be very respectful and not be all up in his business about his recovery. I ask when he has a doc appt otherwise I let him open up to me. He stared this journey without one word from me and he was well aware of my concern about his opiate addiction so him taking this iniaitive was huge.

I am a newbie to this site and newbie to the world of suboxone. I am the person who loves the recovering opiate addict. I was thrilled to find this site and am hoping to educate myself so I can get some answers and a better understanding.

I desperately want to gain and to learn more so I can be more understanding and supportive to my BF (will refer to BF as Gman) as he comes through this time in his life/our life. Even though it is something he is going through it is very much affecting us both. I ask him the nuts and bolts kind of questions only. I can tell he is having to navigate new territory on all fronts knowing this I don't believe he is capable of helping me with many the answers I need that requires a perspective from someone who has been an addict in the past and who has been successful with suboxone treatment and thus gained some perspective and experience of being down the road a bit from having done both.

Gman and I are in our 50's not married but happily co-habitating (for the most part). I say for the most part because since he has been in treatment, I can see a marked difference in his mood as in he seems "flat" where as when he was on the opiates he was more euphoric, more animated and more affectionate than I see now. Being off the opiates he seems more clear headed - he can see how bad they made him feel mentally, emotionally, and physically except for the fact they did stop his physical pain. We both have had our share of life's hard knocks i.e. ugly divorces, vindictive ex's, career failures, family crisis, etc. so we each have our share of baggage.

I see a hint of depression or at the very least a "numbness" in him on an emotional level now that I didn't see before he started on suboxone. We have been together for 3 years living together for 2.5 of the 3. He was already abusing opiates when we met and continued until 2 months ago when he told me he was going to do the suboxone treatment. His reason - he was tired of chasing the pills. Up until now I have only known the addict side of him. Does being on suboxone numb a person down emotionally to where they just kind of go through the motions in life? In a relationship? Lack motivation - have no spark for living? If I can get him started doing something or talking about something about 80% of the time he gets into it and gets engaged but it takes me getting him started to get there. If the answer is yes this happens, does it last forever or does it dissipate at some point after being on the suboxone for a while? He is not doing any counseling, support groups or taking any other meds for depression or anxiety. He is of the mindset that counseling/support groups are for "pussies" (pardon the verbage Gman's words not mine). His suboxone doc is really leaning on him to get involved in a support group but so far he says no dice. Can you give me some idea of if/when this emotional "numbness"/difficulty engaging subsides/gets better? Does it require counseling/support group/medication? What can I do? Should I do nothing let him sort it out just stand in the trenches beside him?

This next question is kind of in the same vein. Does taking suboxone make you have a shorter fuse than normal or at least than you did when you were taking the opiates? Does the suboxone make you ride an emotional roller coaster? His doc is really pushing for him to get involved in a support group but he wants no part of it. The majority of his addiction according to him was all physical. He says he has not had any issues arise from a mental/emotional craving. I know that the suboxone is not taking care of the physical pain he is in on a daily basis scale because on a scale of pain of 1 to 10 on a daily basis he is between 8 and 12 this man is hurts a lot (needs dbl knee replacement, shoulder issue, 25 yrs of hard, fast living catching up w/a 55 yr old body) kicking an 10-20 pill/day opiate habit, 60+ over weight, and working 50+ hours a week. I know being in pain and high stress will make a person have a short fuse already is suboxone going to intensify that issue?

He is amazing in my eyes but he doesn't see that when I tell him in fact when I tell him anything positive about himself he can't hardly stand to hear it. I know there is a self-esteem issue there. It was there before suboxone treatment (another issue for another day). Is depression/short fuse to anger exacerbated while taking suboxone?

One more question while I have your ears. I have experienced how using opiates diminishes one's sex life. While still on the opiates our sex life had pretty much stopped because he had no desire he had stopped initiating sex over a year ago so I have been the initiator for a while and right before starting suboxone treatment while still on opiates he refused me several times. Hard blow to my desirability as a woman, I was devastated. My sex drive is very healthy, I could have sex, give or take 5x a week. I did bring it up he said it was him not me. I left it at that. I have done my due diligence learning about the testosterone issue with opiate abuse and how it accompanies suboxone as well. His second suboxone appt was last week, I asked him to ask his doc to check his T levels so he know the sex is an issue for me without me saying " I need sex". I asked how his appt went he said fine only mentioning that he talked to doc about constipation issues. I did not prod about if he asked about T level testing.

When he started suboxone treatment I gave him a TON OF SPACE in all parts of his/our life. Those first hard 10 days I cared for him if he asked or left him alone if he distanced himself, I made it all about his needs and not about my need to be the nurturer. I have not made any sexual advances nor made any comment or request for sex at all. I have been a loving companion. Side note he has never been a lovey, dovey cuddler in bed so I don't get the benefit of that either. Another side note, his sleep is horrible. He wakes up multiple times a night and I have come to realize the he will masturbate without cumming to soothe himself to relax to go back to sleep. He doesn't know I know the he does this several times during the night in short bursts (less than 5 mins never climaxing). There have been 3 times since he has started suboxone treatment that he has been mid 'short-burst' and has realized I have seen him and he instantly stopped and tried to act like he was not doing it. Each time I stepped forward at the moment said let me help with my offer of oral he did let me take over. I gave him great oral which he has said he always loved and knows I have always loved doing and he gets great satisfaction. This actually happened last night (which prompted me to seek this forum for advice). What I noticed last night was he seemed to have a hard time getting mentally engaged once I got the action going. I had to encourage him by reminding him of times before. He got more into the rhythm of things mentally but here again he seemed sort of numbed out. I surprised him by taking things up a notch. I know he liked and appreciated it but he didn't acknowledge it after he fell asleep instantly. These last three times there has been no reciprocation to me (me giving him space but it hurts leaving me feeling very disconnected from him).

We sound like a train wreck but I don't think we are. I love this man and want him in my life. I am just starting to struggle that he is not plugged in the relationship and me (duh?) and that it must be my fault (my baggage surfacing).

I haven't changed since day one. I am the same in most respect having improved in some areas, some areas are unchanged, and none have gotten worse. Looking for advice giving me a glimpse of what effects the suboxone has on mental, emotional, sexual responses. I know everyone is different. Our situation has never been fairytale but I am starting to feel somewhat defeated. Thanks for reading all this. I want to get through all this because I love him. I know without a doubt he loves me. We battled past the opiates can love bring us through the suboxone treatment?


Pops 8)

Re: BF on Sub Giving Him Space for Recovery Need Advice

Tue May 17, 2016 2:30 pm

Hi Popsicletoes, Welcome! You are a wonderful girlfriend to be here asking questions to try and make your lives better through understanding! Love the name by the way! That would work for me too! lol Anyway, let me try to help, first it really does take time to settle into a dosage of suboxone that is right for you. I started at 24mgs and knew it was too much! I am now at 4mgs and it is working for me. Sex is an issue and I will say I dont say no and I enjoy it once it is happening but I just don't think about it or as much as I did. My husband had a stroke not too long ago so his desire for sex is about level with mine right now. We do make sure to physically connect in other ways and you may want to suggest this to him. I am a social worker and believe communication is key! Keep the line open, I know you said that he is not the biggest of communicators and best not to push but you have feelings too and they deserve to be heard and respected! I really think that more time is needed for him to get adjusted to a dosage that is working right for him! Please, keep communicating with us and let us know how it is going. I wish you all the luck and would be happy to answer any questions I can!

Re: BF on Sub Giving Him Space for Recovery Need Advice

Tue May 17, 2016 5:17 pm

Thank you for responding. I really needed to hear from someone on the other side of the fence. His doc started him on a higher dose that made him feel sick so now @ 6 weeks he takes 8 mgs split into three doses a day. He feels best @ that dosing schedule.

Is it safe for me to attribute the emotional changes and behaviors I observed since he started the suboxone treatment to going off the opiates and now taking the suboxone ? The opiates created that false euphoria (high) and the suboxone strips that away leave a void that has to be filled by who that person is and perhaps that takes a bit of time? I was conditioned to his addict's euphoria as well (that's kinda messed up).

He thinks he is only going to be on suboxone a few months (I don't think this is realistic) and he thinks he will just breeze off and life will be normal. I have read where because of the changes to the brain made by the opiates that it is a slow process to reverse those effects like an average 2 yrs depending on the person so I am now understanding that this is a long haul process. I can hang for the long haul? Yes, I love him. He is my forever man. Can I go without sex for 2 yrs? Not sure about that.

He has himself convinced that he is not good @ relationships and that is not the case. He is loving, kind, accommodating with the biggest heart but he does not have good relationship communication skills. I know the communication is not a suboxone issue it muddies this situation. I never thought I would be in a place where I would see a healthy sex drive as a burden but I am hating it. I feel lonely because sex was where most of our intimacy happened and because we struggle to communicate about relationship issues (he will agree to whatever to shut me up but nothing changes then I lose respect for his word).

I am not an addict and this is the only relationship I have ever had w/ an addict and I "think"/"feel" I need to tread lightly and handle all issues with Kidd gloves. Is recovery THAT fragile or am I making this a harder situation by not speaking up more regarding my needs and his behaviors?

I really need to hear from others who survived riding the roller coaster of emotions/behaviors of the suboxone treatment with their loved ones in recovery. Are there many like me on these boards? Is there a specific thread they post on?

Re: BF on Sub Giving Him Space for Recovery Need Advice

Tue May 17, 2016 5:41 pm

HI popsicletoes. Welcome. There is also a family section on the forum but there is nothing wrong with you posting here. You might check out the other section to though. I think it's awesome that you want to learn and support your bf. A lot of times our addictions ruin our relationships to the point of no return. It's great to see someone willing to stick it out and be supportive. With that said I also encourage you to be sure and care for yourself. Whether that's counseling or here or a good friend to talk to. You have needs to and need to be supported. Us addicts are good at making our loved ones as sick as we are. I believe it's impossible to be in a close relationship with an addict and it not effect the other person. So just be sure to also care for yourself. I think when we remove our drug of choice (DOC) we have a vast range of emotions. We have a lot to figure out and deal with. For me I not only take suboxene but I got to therapy, use this forum, sometimes NA meetings. There are a lot of different things. I have to figure out how to change behaviors and function in everyday life without opiates. So his different emotional stares you see do not surprise me. I think in time that will all level out and get better as he works on recovery. It takes work. I think offering your support bUT not pushing is great. But you also need to make sure you let him know your feelings and needs so you don't get resentful or lost in all this. Hope that makes sense. Keep posting and ask all the questions you want! Glad you ate here. Take care


Re: BF on Sub Giving Him Space for Recovery Need Advice

Tue May 17, 2016 6:15 pm

Hey Popsicletoes,

These are good question s. I understand you do not know just what happening with your guy now. But let me say for myself, im in my 50s, I had a 4 year four pill addiction and started on suboxone 51/2 years ago and joined recovery. Still in it too.
They say in recovery you can't do it alone. Sounds like your guy is trying just that. There are good reasons his dr wants him with others who may be of help. To just take medicine and nothing else, imo , slows the process and in turn can slow growth. Hope he will consider Some kind of outside help. If only coming to this forum and reading.

I Highly recommend and suggest that you also go over to the Talkzone, Dr junigs blog and also watch as many of his videos as you can. You and your guy will get a real education there . Dr Junig is founder of this site. He also is a leader in Buprenorphine treatment and is a recovering opiate addict himself.

The problem s your guy is have is because he has an opiate problem, not a Suboxone problem. His recovery is just now begining. He is missing his high, in a way. Suboxone /Buprenorphine tricks the brain by covering the brain reseptors but taking away the high. That leaves us with a sence of normalcy that we have to learn to live with. This takes time. For some it is quite hard, for others not as much. If he is angry this is common in some people. I personally never felt angry, but was depressed abit at all the waste Id made of my life. Only learning to move forward with life did this start to go away. Hobbies, and helping others in sub recovery helped .

Sounds like he was abusing pills for quite awhile. I don't really know if counseling will help him, but it can aleast in the begining give him a place to open up. Its worth that I believe.

I wish I could answer all your questions, but each of us handle this in own way.
Its wonderful that you are sticking by him. It ll be a loug road I must tell you Pop.

I should add that the relapse rate for thoses leaving sub suboxone treatment before the first year is in the high 90% s percentage range. Scary I know, but its a fact.

As far as sex, opiates drop male testosterone levels so he may want to look into this. Low T is a side effect of opiate s including Buprenorphine. .

Keep reading and you can also use the Search box at the top of the page for any question you may have. It will lead you to threads od blog posts of Dr Junigs.

Glad your with us Popsicletoes. .hang in there

Razor 57...

Re: BF on Sub Giving Him Space for Recovery Need Advice

Tue May 17, 2016 9:30 pm

I am working hard to take care of me in this process Willow. I have my own stuff to deal with not addiction issues but stuff that only I can work through and solve. I have a bad habit of wanting to jump in and be the authority when it comes to health issues which is ok when it's my kiddos but not so much with Gman. I am a very much a nurturer by nature and can easily get sucked in way too deep not because Gman wants me to but because I can't stop once I get going. It is a fine line for me that I really have to watch out for. I am going to take time and really explore this site fully and the dr's blog. Rzr 57 had a great idea that since Gman is not of the therapy/counseling mindset that he could really benefit from being active on this site as well.

Just reading this forum for one day I know Gman and I have a long road ahead us. If I can wrap my brain around what I am dealing with then I know I can hang in for the long haul. I love him it's just that simple.

Re: BF on Sub Giving Him Space for Recovery Need Advice

Tue May 17, 2016 9:57 pm

Hi PST, Yes, I agree with both Willow and Razor's wonderful advice! You may want to try naranon...it is free and can be a great support. It is 12 step based. I know lots of people shy away from the 12 step stuff but what I like about it is that you can take what applies to you or what is going to help and support you, and leave the rest! Lots of addicts, who are new to recovery, are resistant to looking at their own behavior as it can be very upsetting to see the pain you have caused the ones you love! Don't push too hard. Look at it as a time that you are both growing and learning about how to support each other and make the relationship stronger! Reaching out to us is a great start! To answer your questions, they don't call it a selfish disease for nothing! And, I think its so much worse when the person is clean! So, give him some space but don't let him off the hook for meeting your needs as required in a healthy relationship! Good luck! Please, keep posting so we know how you are!

Re: BF on Sub Giving Him Space for Recovery Need Advice

Tue May 17, 2016 10:06 pm

Razor 57 I think you hit on something pivotal in you response that makes sense why Gman's doc is really pushing for him to get in a support group. I never realized that as you put it "you can't do it alone" even though he has me. I'm not a support group. He needs the support of those who know his struggle. I have no point of reference just like he can't help me with answers to the questions I have as someone who knows what it's like to support a loved one during recovery. *Light bulb moment here*. I can stand in the gap and love him on the good and bad days until he has his idea of normal back on a day on day out basis.

I am going to do my best to introduce this forum to him. He may give the the forum concept a chance since it is somewhat private and totally anonymous. He is very much a "blaze his own trail" kind of man. He doesn't think he needs anyone because that way no one can let him down. He just sees no value whatsoever listening to strangers tell their problems and vice versa. He pretty much "poo-poos" the entire support group concept.

I already believed the idea that being on and off suboxone in a few months was absurd but never knew the relapse rate of 90%. I am going to have to get that info into his brain somehow because he also has the thinking that says "I know my body better than the DR so I will know when to stop the suboxone" which I think is very dangerous.

I am going to stick around, get comfy and learn as much as I can cause I love this man of mine. Thank you for the direction and warm welcome Razor.

Re: BF on Sub Giving Him Space for Recovery Need Advice

Wed May 18, 2016 12:17 am

It sounds like you are already off to a good start in wrapping your head around this. You seem to know what you need to do and are open to suggestions and advice from all of us here which is great!! It is a long journey. But one I feel you are up too . Stay strong. You can lean on us always. You seem a lot like me! I am a nurturer also sometimes to my own demise! But I feel it's a great beneficial trait as long as I also nurture myself. So glad to hear you are taking care of you also. I too take the medical authority always!! And yes often times our significant others don't always appreciate this but I think knowledge and information are always a positive thing when used for good and to benifit others and situations. I will check in tomorrow to see how you are feeling. You can private message me anytime if you want to also. Keep your head up. Sometimes things have to get harder before they get better. But I think with hard work and love ,caring and kindness they always get better and work out for the best.


Re: BF on Sub Giving Him Space for Recovery Need Advice

Wed May 18, 2016 9:30 am

Hey popsicle :)

I'm an addict but my fiance of 5 1/2 yrs isn't. I actually met him during my active addiction while I was still using. It had to be fate because what's the chances of that ya know? Anyway once I got into recovery, about a yr after we got together, he mentioned how different I was. He'd only knew me as Jenn on oxycodone. He said I didn't do the same things I used to and go places I used to. What ppl don't realize is, we change out of the fog. I didn't wanna go to the same places or around the same ppl that I used to, heck I didn't even listen to the same music because it reminded me of darker times. This will be a bit of an adjustment for u as much as him because you've not known him other than when he was using. My fiance was used to being caretaker and watching over me. I guess he thought I didn't need him anymore but that was the farthest thing from the truth. I was more of an equal and able to live life again without worry and sickness.....make sense? But honestly, I needed him more than I ever had, just in a more healthy way.

My dr actually requires his patients to attend sub based meetings. Ur Gman needs to interact with addicts just like himself. It helps so much to talk with ppl that know exactly what ur going through. It would also be great for u to talk to ppl who know exactly what ur going through too. As much as u and my fiance want to understand, it's impossible to totally get what an addict goes through unless u are one. I admire u and all the others out there who stick by their loved one's during addiction, we know it's hard to deal with at times. Just be patient with Gman and don't overanalyze things. This is a process that just takes time and support means everything right now. But don't forget about urself either, u need support just as much as he does.

Re: BF on Sub Giving Him Space for Recovery Need Advice

Thu May 19, 2016 3:33 pm

Hello Popsicle,

I briefly read through your intro and I was that guy who your bf has become. Looking back, I made life hell for my wife but somehow she stood by me and she became my biggest supporter and I'm forever grateful to her. I regret so many things I put her through, but getting through this has made us closer than ever.

Just a quick comment about testosterone and guys while on opiates. In my case, my T definitely got lowered. Was it definitely caused by suboxone? Maybe. All I know is that a couple months after beginning suboxone, my once strong libido diminished to near zero. My wake up call one day was when my wife came out and asked if I still felt desire for her or if I was seeing someone else. I suspected my T levels were low, so I got them tested. (I had to practically beg my primary care Dr to test them, but that's a different story)

Anyway, when I got the test results, my Dr said my levels were normal. Looking deeper, there are different versions of what is normal levels for men and I suspect a lot of that seems dictated by the insurance companies. My levels might have been in the normal range as far as contemporary medicine declared, but I noticed they were at the lower range of normal. I then decided to see a different Dr specializing in this and got his opinion. He said for my age, he believed I would feel better if they got raised to the higher range of normal. The only problem with this is I would have to pay for this on my own because it wouldnt be deemed medically necessary. To make a long story short, I started T therapy and wow what an immediate impact in a very good way. In my case, it was life changing to make this simple adjustment.

When I finally stopped suboxone, I became like a 15 year old. It was a bit too much. I got my T levels retested and now they were very high so I adjusted my dose lower and things are good. I still have to take it though, so I suspect age played a big role but the opiates suggest to lower it based on my lab work.

So in summary, when I initially got my T levels tested, they were considered "normal". But getting a second opinion from a specialist, I got this so called normal adjusted higher and it was life changing. Everyone is unique and different and that poses a flaw, in my opinion, of defining a normal T level to be the same for all men. Some will be fine at the lower range, but others like myself, won't be fine and vice versa.

Re: BF on Sub Giving Him Space for Recovery Need Advice

Fri May 20, 2016 4:09 pm

I know you're looking to hear from other "significant others" of Sub patients. I'm the addict in my relationship, but I thought I'd reply because a lot of what you said about your BF rang true for me.

My husband described me as emotionally flat, and unmotivated when I was on Sub, which was defiantly true, imo. Like your BF, I could accomplish things if i was able to get started - but i found it difficult to get started on anything. I was also short fused on Sub, but I'm like that on any opiate. I also became less sexually motivated and less sexually responsive while on Sub.

For me personally, I needed the counseling and group that my Sub Dr. provided in order to progress in my recovery to the point where i was ready to get off Sub. I don't feel that recovery can be accomplished in isolation, and while Sub is a great tool it doesn't equal recovery. I know some people here disagree with that, but I believe most people have underlying issues that contributed to their becoming addicted. That being said, it seems that you already recognize that you can't force someone into counseling or recovery.

My intention was to just share my experience, so that you would know that what your BF is going through isn't unique. But I cant help but say the following: I think its admirable that you want to help your BF when he needs or wants it and give him space otherwise. But you have a right to have your needs met, too. He knows you have a healthy sex drive, but declined to ask the Dr. about checking his T. I'm sure thats an uncomfortable topic for some men to bring up. But he's also let you take care of him sexually without giving you anything in return. I know its not about keeping score...but where does that leave you?

I guess what I'm suggesting is that you be right upfront with him about what you need, and about feeling disconnected and hurt about your lack of intimacy. As others have mentioned, you might need some counseling or outside help yourself in dealing with all of this.

I'm sorry you're going through a tough time, and I wish the best for both you and your BF.


Re: BF on Sub Giving Him Space for Recovery Need Advice

Tue May 24, 2016 9:23 am

Hi Pop, Just checking in to see how things are going? Hope it is getting a little easier for you! Have a wonderful day!

Re: BF on Sub Giving Him Space for Recovery Need Advice

Wed May 25, 2016 12:53 pm

Hello All! :D

I had meant to post before now. Actually, today is a good day because I saw my therapist so I was able to talk thru some of the issues I posted about here with her as well. She, like all of you, doesn't know my Gman but she was able to help me break somethings down and make sense of how I am reacting to where Gman is at right now.

He is going on 8 weeks on Sub and doing well physically as far as no cravings (as far as I know but I say that with the caveat that he would not let me know if he was struggling because he goes to great lengths to not show any weakness ever). My therapist told me that definitely the physical is a major change as far as low to no sex drive (which I knew). She confirmed because the opiates helped to mask so much Gman is having to get used to feeling different or not knowing himself really on many level; mentally, emotionally, physically which explains that flat no motivation kind of state of being. Many of you said because he is unsure of how it feels to function physically, mentally, & emotionally without the opiates he is having to focus his energy on figuring himself out. He will get there but not yet. I said that after reading several posts in the forum I now know this is going to be a marathon not a sprint.

I thought hearing from just those in my position would help but hearing from the recovering addicts is powerful. It gives me hope that even though Gman can't express it or maybe doesn't even recognize the love and support right at this moment doesn't mean he won't have an "aha" lightbulb moment 6 months from now and realize how much love has been surrounding him during this journey. When did you start having those "aha" moments that said " my partner loves me this much or my partner's support means this to me" you know that dawn on you moment many of you have spoken of that you were amazed your significant other hung in there through it all?

I am still "walking on eggshells" and have decided that I am going to have to call out the elephant in the room. I am going to put it out there to him that we are both busy improving ourselves but we have a disconnect and we need to make a more of an effort to stay connected as a couple. This is a start. My therapist like y'all said the sex will return eventually. I have even come to the realization that I know Gman is aware (on some level) that I am not happy with where we are at right now (level of intimacy/sex) but I don't think he would even know where to begin to have a conversation or fix it because (fellas please give me some grace here just being honest not slamming the men) 1.) he is a man so not his forte, 2.) he is an opiate addict just getting started w/ SUB recovery and is in a raw, blank-space place and having to focus his energy on him. I really do get it.

Another thing my therapist explained to me was about how boundaries play a role in the lives of addicts. I have always floated in and out of co-dependency most of my life. When my therapist started the boundaries discussion I thought it was going it was be centered on me any my boundaries but it was to help me understand the type of rigid boundaries that can develop from being an addict and how it is going to take some work for us to get to the point where healthy boundaries are possible I. Our relationship. Gman has pretty rigid boundaries at this moment in time. When he was doing the pills he was not as rigid because the opiates took that fear of hurt or embarrassment or vulnerability away.

It's a complicated situation and I want it to be easy and straight forward with a beginning date and ending date. Is that too much to ask? I know that IS totally unrealistic but don't we all go to la-la land one in a while? This posting is almost beginning to sound like self-talk therapy not sure if that's a good or bad thing but it is helping me to write it out.

Another note to add to the mix as if it's not already complicated enough, Gman found out he is full-blown diabetic type 2 last week. He was put on metformin and we are changing to a low-carb clean-eating life-style together.

In actuality, the dietary changes are great and will most likely have a positive impact on his recovery. The medication, Metformin, and diabetes in general affects libido and can create ED issues. Good granny!!! Can a girl not catch a break! Would a medical issue that causes medical issue that creates a non-stop libido and 24/7 hard-on be too much to ask?

I have realized and accepted that I am fighting for this relationship. I am fighting the fallout and all the bullshit the addiction leaves behind and brings into a relationship. I love this man very, very much. He is worth fighting for. I can only say that about a handful of men in my life; Gman, my father, and my two sons. I have never fought to keep or save a romantic relationship ever. I was married for 20 yrs and I didn't fight for that one at all in fact I did even more to mess it up before getting out. I feel like I am fighting this fight alone at the moment maybe I am maybe I'm not but that is how it feels. Feeling so alone is horrible. He is here with me everyday but he's not with me. I can survive it if I know it will come to an end. Hope is a very powerful thing. I have still have hope. It's too early n the process to give up hope.

In those moments when I can get out of my own way, I can see that my love for Gman is bigger and stronger than this addiction and recovery process will ever be. I have to rise to the occasion and be the woman that loves Gman as big and strong as my love is for him. I can do this. Nothing worth having ever comes easy.

Prayers and words of wisdom welcomed always and thank you for welcoming me to your community.


Re: BF on Sub Giving Him Space for Recovery Need Advice

Wed May 25, 2016 10:17 pm

Well for a moment I thought you were my woman until I saw the date posted. Yes gman is in a bind. I was tested at 8 weeks and my test was 119 none gone by by at 49. No desire for sex just feed me and leave me alone. Doc started me on testosterone cypianate 200mg weekly. 3 weeks later the breeze outside woke it up. We also kinked up our 20 year relationship. Not to overboard just enough to make it fun. The test and sub combined prolonged me a great deal and she doesn't complain. Just wonders why we waited so long. Plus the test will make him feel 20 again so you better make sure you got something to hold on too. Also do whatever you have to do to get him into counseling one on one at first. He dosent know it yet but he wants to open up. Rejection issues build walls that I didn't realize were there. He may be very insecure when he does tear those down. I know I was. Suboxone saved my life. Might not hurt to pick up some sexy bedroom attire. Matter of fact I better go check my lady. Good luck hang in there he will get better.

Re: BF on Sub Giving Him Space for Recovery Need Advice

Wed May 25, 2016 11:26 pm

Thanks for giving me a few more pieces of hope to hold on to Cheif. I had talked to him on a couple of occasions when he was still on the opiates because our sex life had already taken a nose dive. It was uncomfortable and embarrassing for him. It never got better and it has gotten worse for me. I have not mentioned the lack of sex or my disappointment but I have mentioned for him to get the doc to check his T level for his energy level and his libido. I feel certain he knows on some level I am very unhappy with our sex life. I am working hard to be patient for him and with him and this process. I'm not going to sit back and say nothing forever. To be honest, I think he is pretty insecure when it comes to sex. I think the opiates gave him confidence even though they zapped the libido. It is like a double edged sword. I know on the opiates he was more flirty, more affectionate, more open.

He is way more rigid emotionally now. I am hoping this will change. He wants no part of therapy, counseling or a support group. He says that he doesn't think about wanting to take pills or wake up craving a pill and so therefore he doesn't need that stuff. He sees himself as just fine and dandy. He has major baggage just like the rest of us. He has no clue that his pill habit was more than just helping him cope with painful knees.

I really hope he starts to come around on fronts and starts wanting more out of life. More love, more time with me, more communication, more sex, more closeness - time will tell.


Re: BF on Sub Giving Him Space for Recovery Need Advice

Thu May 26, 2016 5:37 pm

Lillyval wrote:My husband described me as emotionally flat, and unmotivated when I was on Sub, which was defiantly true, imo. Like your BF, I could accomplish things if i was able to get started - but i found it difficult to get started on anything. I was also short fused on Sub, but I'm like that on any opiate. I also became less sexually motivated and less sexually responsive while on Sub.

Without getting too graphic, I wanted to ask a few more questions and am hoping Lilly and others will add to the dialogue.

I have definitely experienced that Gman is less motivated iniaiting sex. It isn't happening right now. The last few times I have initiated he has accepted however it has been a one way street and I knew that going into it. His responsiveness has been a mixed bag but not near what it was prior to being on Sub. I have soldiered on enthusiastically letting him know I was into it which I am because I love him and I get turned on doing what I do but frustrated that he can't give more without being prompted to do so and it will kill the turn on for me if I stop and say "do me now". It is this way even on the affection/ intimacy level for instance, I can say to him when going to bed comere kiss me good night and he kisses me says good night and I love you but I have to prompt him. It's like his brain and emotions are not communicating and his emotions are not firing with me. I can say he is able to be affectionate towards his kids without being prompted but that has always been different than with me. Our kids don't live with us. We are the every other weekend parents. His kids have always seen 'perfect' dad not opiate dad and not Sub dad. I see real Gman everyday so he isn't real with his kids even now. I know it's sad but there has been a lot of ex-wife BS not a good thing and he has had to play the game at times over the years.

I have learned how opiates masks so much of a person's real personality and emotions once they become addicted. I don't think he truly thinks of himself as an addict. He sees himself as only being physically dependent but not emotional/mental dependency but I believe it is there.

He was more flirty and affectionate when taking the opiates. He did initiate sex more (I did some) when taking opiates. Did the opiates give him more confidence? Or was it just that they took away a fear of something else? It seems so but I'm confused. I am beginning to wonder if he is really insecure in the bedroom? We met and have been together only during his addiction so Gman not on opiates is new for both of us at least for me.

For anyone who dealt with the not being able to be sexual responsive back to your partner was it just a feeling of the response is just not there because you were in that "flat" space or had your attraction changed toward your partner while in that "flat" space? Our issue is I don't think Gman recognizes that he is in a "flat" space at this time. He is the kind of man who goes to great lengths to show no weakness and at times he even tries to fool himself. Hard to work on something if you can't acknowledge it.

This is probably more of a question for the men. Based on the above, I also know that where Gman used to be able to hold off and make things last much longer that is not happening anymore. It is much, much, much quicker which I understand he is not at his best right now so my question here is do I address this and let him know that if fast is the new normal that's okay but can we get creative for me or will that embarrass him? This is man who does not like to have sex conversations at all. He just isn't that guy. How we ended up together is amazing. We are polar opposites in some ways but we work.

Gman has the type of personality that he never disappoints anyone ever. I know he knows I am disappointed with our sex life and have been for a while. When I mention it that reminds him he doesn't get angry or mad I think in the past it has embarrassed him a little and just made him feel bad about himself like he is not a man. I haven't mentioned anything about the condition of our sex life side he started the Sub (2+ months). The only thing I have mentioned is for him to get his T level checked because he has had low energy and been exhausted. Hasn't happened yet.

I am wanting to hear ideas how others have managed this type of situation of this flatness and sexual unresponsiveness and ant advice how to navigate letting him know I understand about his temporary sexual issues and I still want him but I want him to want me too.

Thanks y'all!

Pops 8)

Re: BF on Sub Giving Him Space for Recovery Need Advice

Thu May 26, 2016 5:54 pm

Hi Pop, Let me start by saying that you are amazing! You are working very hard to learn about this disease, giving him the space he needs, and working to take care of yourself, and now you have his added medical dx complicating things! That is alot on a person's plate especially when that person has a partner who is not the best at communicating what he is feeling! I do believe in the kind of love you have for this man and am trusting that you are a good judge of character when you say he is worth it. Only you will know when you have had enough and that the work is too much one sided or just that there is no change or desire to do so. Ok, that being said, I am a romantic and an optimist so I always believe that if there is love, it will solve everything. I am going to share very personal stuff, which I may have already done so forgive me if I am repeating myself! Due to my husband's health issues we have not had sex in many, many months. If I were still using opiates, this would really be bothering me! However, with subs and menopause my drive is not where it once was. My husband and I were friends for two years before we started dating. I was 37 and had never had sex. Yes, you heard it right! I lost my Dad in a car accident when I was 3. I was sexually abused at age 4. The combination of those situations made me terrified of a relationship. I spent many years in therapy and getting to a place where I could let someone in and trust that 1, they would not take advantage of me and 2, that it would be better to have known love and lost it than to have never experienced it at all! So, after a brief three months of dating, I was head over heals and we started a sexual relationship. Well, a sleeping sex machine was awakened! lol I am talking 5 times a day! My husband had been in a bad relationship, that had ended just about a year before we started dating. So, he too was in the mood almost as often as I was and it was great! I was open to trying just about anything and the word no was not in my vocabulary! Through the years opiates for me had always inhanced the mood. So if I had them left over from a trip to the dentist or for knee pain, great. It was not until I was prescribed tramadol on a regular that I got myself in trouble. In the past two years my husband has had a stroke, they found a birth defect with his heart, and he has had a pacemaker installed need repair! So, that has been what has interrupted our "activities"! As a social worker I do have a way of communicating things to death! lol But...keeping the lines of communication open and us making sure we have our alone time is what keeps us connected and strong! I hope that you and Gman get to a place were he is comfortable with really letting you in. It is not easy, my husband really struggles with being able to express what his needs are. He thinks if he has needs it is weakness or seen as a vulnerability! I say, you are my husband, I want to meet those needs!

Re: BF on Sub Giving Him Space for Recovery Need Advice

Thu May 26, 2016 6:44 pm

Lack of being able to communicate is hampering this entire situation. Gman has poor communication skills so he just puts up a wall and would rather not communicate and wing it or just see how things go.

As for me, I would say at times I over communicate and need it to feel validated through by a need to have him communicate with me if that makes sense. I was in an verbal/emotional abusive marriage for 20 yrs so there is still so residual baggage for me as well. I know my baggage and have made peace with a lot of it. We have told each other the good, bad and most of the ugly. I have told him all mine. He may still have some he hasn't told but he has told me stuff he has said he has never told another person ever.

I find myself being so concerned about rocking his boat, not wanting to embarrass him, maybe I am just being a wuss about all this. It is like his recovery and trying to keep the environment status quo has consumed me to the point that I am willing to settle for what is left in the relationship. I should not be ashamed that I have a healthy sex drive and I'm starting to feel that way. I want his recovery to be successful and I want us to go forward and grow old together. I am thinking long-term not short-term maybe that is where my thinking is flawed. Maybe I am over thinking. Over analyzing. I have been known to do that too.

Is there a crystal ball floating around this place?

Pops :?

Re: BF on Sub Giving Him Space for Recovery Need Advice

Thu May 26, 2016 9:00 pm

At rehab, NA/AA, and psyche counseling, they taught when a couple starts one way and then 1 changes, its hard for the other to accept the changes and may create a person we no longer like/love/respect. I learned too late that I needed to change back to who I was prior to active addiction. And it took time and hard work in recovery to accept how hard I was to live w and responsibility for not being the spouse, teammate, partner, friend and lover that I once was. Addicts are incredibly selfish, do not see it, how much it hurts and push away those we love.

You and Gman began as 1 non and 1 in active addiction. Bup is a game changer -- except it only goes so far -- he'll have to do the rest. You cannot do it for him. Yes, there will be changes which you may or may not like. And he may see you differently too.

Quite a few posters past and present, in relationships where either they or SO's have medical situations, describe where sex is acceptably reduced or taken off the table. Is the sexual connection the primary way you measure your worth to Gman and his to you? Not asking you to answer here, but thinking that Gman may not be in a place for awhile where he can meet those needs. No one can tell you his timetable. And 2 mos is a short time on bup. Hopefully he will get to a place where he is open to getting help/learning about addiction and good change will occur!

Just caught your last post and yes, a longer term focus is the way to go. Wishing you my best, P