Losing a partner who was an addict

Hi everyone

I just joined this site as I’m lying in bed on the first night of losing my partner. I can’t sleep and came across the site after a random Google search. I was just wondering if there is anyone out there who has lost a partner who had addiction issues? It seems like there is nothing to support people like us who not only experience the usual symptoms of grief but all the emotions that come with supporting an addict, sometimes over many years. My partner was an alcohol addict, a professional man whose life unravelled as the addiction took hold. He was found dead in a public place and the local paper published this before police had the chance to tell me, so I found out from their article. I cannot see how i am meant to carry on, the guilt is overwhelming. Police have said I would benefit from trauma counselling but I know this is a bit early for most counselling services as I am very newly bereaved. Thank you to anyone who responds, I really appreciate it.

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Hello @Rawsadness ,

I can see that you’re new to the community, so I wanted to say that I am so sorry for the loss of your partner that brings you here. You say you are feeling an overwhelming guilt, it is early in your journey take the emotions step by step.

I’m sure someone will be along to offer their support, but I wanted to share a few Sue Ryder resources with you that may help right now.

Thank you again for sharing – please keep reaching out and know that you are not alone.

Take care,


it might be odd for me to say this, but the addiction has nothing to do with your loss. circumstantially, but right now you have lost a dear soul and that should be your focus. his addiction is immaterial. it was why he died. your grief and loss are what matters now. no time is too early for counseling. I went straight away and it helped a lot. I still have counseling. worry more for you and your loss.

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@berit many thanks for reading and raking the time to reply, I really appreciate it. Whereas there was so much more to my partner than his addiction, it was the reason he died. Supporting someone through years of addiction and seeing them at their best and their worst, feeling all the frustration, shame, embarrassment at their actions, constant fear they’ll die, the glimmer of hope when they achieve brief periods of sobriety then having it dashed as they relapse, anger at the lies and denial, juggling work and caring responsibilities, all the time absolutely loving that person regardless and have them love you - then the final end when their body can’t take any more. No bereavement is ever simple, but when you lose a partner with substance abuse issues there is so much more to unpick, so many layers, and every feeling you have somehow suppressed so that you can continue to support the person is just flooding at you in waves. People who have lost loved ones to addiction are a unique group, coping with bereavement and often complex trauma after watching their loved one spiral into chaos as addiction grips and takes hold. That is the reason I asked my question because I have not found any resource that supports people like us. I wish you well.

I’m so sorry for your loss.
I agree addiction is a whole set of its own. I hate it.
I lost my fiancé through addiction and alcohol in February. He was a functional alcoholic and didn’t drink around me but we didn’t live together. Obviously we would after the wedding and I wonder if he would have been able to stay dry.
I thought he’d stopped drinking but he was found at the bottom of the stairs and at the inquest they ruled death due to severe alcohol intoxication.

There are a couple more threads on here

I found this really helpful.

I’m having counselling now 10 months on and I’d say I’m glad I didn’t try sooner. There is so much to process and I felt sad for so many months but I’m really angry right now at him and at God!

Take care of yourself. You’ll still be in shock. Thoughts are with you. X

Hi Carrotsgrl

Thank u so much for your reply and I’m so sorry for your loss. You’ll have so many "What if"s and unanswered questions; I know I do. I definitely feel angry (I told him so when I id’d him!) and I also feel very lost; the sadness is just overwhelming. A song by Level 42 came on the radio yesterday and I just cried for ages, knowing I’ll never hear him sing it again.

What I can almost promise you though is that when your fiancé was drinking so heavily to the point he died through severe intoxication, it is really unlikely he would have been able to stop when you were living together. You would have likely ended up like me, juggling all sorts, living with constant fear and anxiety and I can guarantee you that functioning addicts only function so long before their lives unravel. My partner was a functioning alcohol addict for years, a highly professional man with an absolute fanaticism about his appearance, the life and soul of every party. I couldnt spot the signs at all, he hid them so well. Then as the disease progressed his life absolutely fell apart at such a rate it was scary. This is of no comfort to you, but at least your fiancé spared you the pain of watching this struggle and fast downward spiral.

Thank you for sharing your journey with me. It really means a lot knowing there are people out there in similar situations, feeling similar emotions to mine and having gone through similar scenarios. I’ll definitely check out the thread. As for counselling, I’m still in two minds. I think people are worried in case I do something to myself and that counselling is going to prevent that. I just think I’m still in shock and that people have to be ready for counselling for it to be effective. I’ll just go with whatever professionals think is best.

Take care of yourself and you can always PM me anytime if you’d like to.