You Are The Advice Columnist: How Do I Make Sure He Knows I Don't Judge Him For His Addiction?

I don't judge for long-past sins, I just want to know how to convey that.

Aug 13, 2014 at 6:30pm | Leave a comment

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In a week or so, I'll be stationed for work in the city where a very close friend lives for about six weeks. Being that we usually live far apart, I've never met her live-in boyfriend, who by all accounts is lovely, and happens to be 10 years sober after a long history of alcohol and drug (heroin) abuse in his teens and early twenties. He's stolen from people, and even watched friends OD right in front of him. He's totally turned it around now, and sounds like an amazing guy.
My question is how do I handle these facts around him?  I don't judge for long-past sins, I just want to know how to convey that. He knows I know all about his past. He's actively and openly involved in his local AA, and none of his past seems to be a secret. Basically I want to ask the sober folks in the audience -- what's it like to watch your partner and their friends drink or smoke pot around you? What are some well-meaning things that people might say to a recovering addict that come off totally hurtful or tone-deaf? Basically I'm asking for a How Not to be a Dick to a Sober Person. He sounds like a great guy and I don't want to screw up what could be a nice friendship between the two of us. I'll be hanging out with them a lot in the next month and a half.

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