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by Abigail Van Buren

Boyfriend's House Is Off Limits To Heroin Addict

DEAR ABBY: My brother is a recovering heroin addict. He stayed clean for almost a year until a few months ago, when he relapsed. He hasn't used again since his slip and continues to go to outpatient treatment.

My boyfriend, whom I recently moved in with, doesn't want him to come to the house. He says it's to protect "his nest," and I understand why. I have tried talking with him about it because I feel that I can't have any other family members over, but that doesn't seem to matter to him. My brother heard he isn't welcome and I feel absolutely terrible.

I'm not sure how to rectify the situation. If my boyfriend can't accept my family, how is this relationship supposed to last? But another part of me wonders if his feelings are justified, and perhaps I have been too accepting of all the mistakes and grief my brother has caused my family and me. -- SAD SISTER IN OHIO

DEAR SAD SISTER: If your brother has stolen from the family in order to feed his habit, your boyfriend has a valid point in not wanting him in the house. His reaction is intelligent. However, the ban should not extend to your entire family, and this is something you need to clarify. If your boyfriend's objective is to isolate you from all of your relatives, it's a red flag that shouldn't be ignored.

Read more in: Addiction | Family & Parenting | Love & Dating