DEAR HARRIETTE: I broke up with my boyfriend a little less than a year ago because of his drug addiction. He spiraled so far down that he got arrested, had a $100,000 bail and got kicked out of school. We lost contact because I did not want to see him throw his life away. Now he is on parole and gets tested multiple times a week, so he cannot drink alcohol or use drugs. We have reconnected, and started dating again. I love him when he is sober, but the drug tests won't last forever. Should I tell him it's me or the drugs? -- Sober Society, Detroit
DEAR SOBER SOCIETY: Drug addiction is an insidious disease that can easily show its face again and again, even in people who make huge efforts to be sober. That does not mean that if your boyfriend has been a drug addict, that you should simply walk away. Life is not that simple -- nor is love. Given that you have reconnected with this man, it must mean that you care deeply for him. I suggest that you take it very slowly. While you are choosing to spend time with him, be mindful of his parole. Consider that your levels of intimacy will move slowly, too. There is no need for you to be all in immediately, especially given that even the terms of his freedom are conditional now.
Take your time. Be a great support for him. And make it clear to him what your values and expectations are. If you are willing to walk away from the relationship completely if he does not stay clean, tell him. Explain that you are willing to forgive him once, but you are unwilling to be a serial forgiver. You want your man to be strong and clean and prepared to move forward in life. If that's who he wants to be, then you are in.
Do know that he should remain in some type of treatment or support group so that he will remain clean.