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Drugs and relationships - advice from people in similar or who have been in similar situation(30 Posts)
Have namechanged for this.
before I start, I am not seeking judgement but experience so please, if possible, no 'leave him' rants.
I am in a relationship with someone who has in the past experimented with drugs including marijuana , hallucinogenics and Cocaine. When I first got together with him I knew he liked to take drugs recreationally but he also said he wanted to stop doing coke as much as he did. I always said to him that I did not want to be his reason for doing so and if he wanted to stop it was his decision - I did not want to become a source of resentment for him and I made this clear.
He told me he would never stop completely but he wanted to make a change. We discussed our future for a long time before committing ourselves to eachother. We knew we were different and we knew there would be issues.
I had to reassure him as much as he me, because although I have taken drugs in the past, I have issues with people who use coke (something I have never done) and knew even occassional use would cause me anxiety. But we are in love and so we decided to get together and almost 2 years later we are doing fine. There are no children involved yet, but we want them.
He has limited his drug use to monthy or two (sometmes 3) monthly occurences and doesn't indulge when around me. I still have anxiety when he goes out because I know what he is doing and I worry about him dying or getting ill. I ask him to be honest with me about what he is doing and so I am not being lied to. I don't like what I am hearing but I would rather know than him cover up or lie to me. Most of the rest of the time we are fine.
I feel I am very hypocritical in my stance. I try to remain calm and I do know that many people my age still indulge in drugs recreationally without it becoming an addiction and they are able to function as normal nice people. I have taken pills of one kind or another myself when I was younger, my parents were liberal hippie types and I am not of the 'All Drug users are scum' ilk, but I am absolutely disgusted by Cocaine. I have never even been tempted to use it despite being in situations many times where I have been offered it. I love my boyfriend deeply, he is kind and calm and dependable, his family are all decent people, his mother is amazing, he would make a wonderful father, my whole family love him. I just hate the idea that he uses cocaine however occassionally.
So these are my questions, if you are brave enough to answer... Are you in a relationship like this? Have you been? How do you cope with it? Do you take drugs recreationally or are you like me only someone who has dabbled in the past?
I find it hard to talk openly to people about this because it means exposing his use (however occassional) to people I would rather not have knowing or judging. My sister is about the only person I can tell everything to (apart from my BF) without having to hide certain facts. I basically feel like I am carrying around a big lie and it's hard.
although i dont have experience of a similar relationship, i do have experience as a worker in this field.
your concerns are genuine, and its completely understable your fear of talking openly about it. after all, drug users have a very tough stigma in our society.
im guessing you are concerned about how much in control of the situation he is. or how much in control of the situation you are. and perhaps how would be the future if the babies come along.
a good way to approach the situation would be finding out why he uses it and what triggers its use. this way, the drug using can be more predictable or even more controllable. and the vital question is, is this harming his life in any way?
there are organizations that support drug users family, if you are interested.
i hope it helps.
I don't think his problem is serious nor addictive, he is responsible in his drug taking as many people are. From the conversations we had before we committed to eachother, and since, I know he will never say never. I have to live with that if I want to live with him.
His life is not in danger any more than any other occassional drug user. He could become one of the few who keel over and die suddenly or he could continue as he is and die aged 90 (or somethign inbetween)... Day to day he is competent, hard working and solvent. We are not in a situation where his limited drug use is causing us financial harm. We don't have so much money that he could or would increase his drug use.
basically I think he is in control but it is me who is not.
I sound like I am extremely rational and logical about it all but sometimes I get moments of real anxiety.
The thought he might die. I know people die but I have a fear of his sudden death I guess. I had some counselling when we first moved in with eachothr but was never able to be honest with the counsellor about the root of my anxiety because it would mean telling her the secret.
Perhaps I am seeking a magic cure which is impossible. I want to stay with him because I am happier than I have ever been, I guess I am just scared to lose that and it's sometimes stopping me enjoy this? Oh dear.
I guess I have been burdened with a secret I don't like keeping?
you could familiarize yourself with harm reduction, this way you could ensure he is using drugs in a safe way. i do that all the time with my clients, but those are the few ones that have recognized the need to learn more about drug intake. i wish everyone, even the occasional drug users, knew more about how to take drugs so they could do it safely. its very important to know how to safely mix drugs with alcohol too, another thing vastly ignored by people that could be very dangerous.
i think its completely reasonable to be worried for him, even if he only does it occasionally.
walter ....do you think if he stopped using cocaine that you might still be anxious about him dying ? Is this about a more general fear of you losing him ?
do you consider it more dangerous than the other drugs he uses?
thanks everso much so far for not being judgemental and thanks jabuti for your considered advice.
I do consider Cocaine more dangerous, I know someone who had a seizure on it. Also I have had a huge aversion to taking it myself (Never have) where as with some other drugs I have experimented and so I guess I consider them less harmful. I know that's hugely hypocritical.
I hate the way it is taken and I hate the way it makes people behave, I also know it's very more-ish.
I am being silly really, after all I made the decision to enter this relationship with all the facts available to me, so perhaps I should quit moaning?
Maybe a bit of it is I know that this issue is the one big thing which separates us and so I am scared it will cause us to split?
Cocaine is one of the least ethical drugs to take, consdiering where it is produced, under what conditions, and how it gets here. I often think there is a big irony in people for example being vegetarian, buying fair trade, free range etc and then stuffing something up their nose that may well have travelled here inside the intestine of an impoverished single mum from jamaica who could be languishing in prison for 10 years for all we know.
I know that might have no bearing on your OH but that would stop me (even if the other considerations didn't)
I'm not a drug taker, have only ever smoked weed, and I get where you are coming from. My younger brother uses class As recreationally and although I know he's not my partner I still have that same anxiety about it (although like I say it's very different to you)
At the end of the day you did take him as he is, but that doesn't mean to say he shouldn't take your feelings into consideration. Try not to judge here but my OH used to drink and drive. He grew up in a country where it's not thought of as dangerous, nobody gets in trouble for it and everyone does it. (can I say he has never done it since moving to England) He stopped doing it when he was driving me around because I asked him to. He didn't see what I was making a fuss about for quite a while, although he now accepts the reasons and would not drink and drive anymore. However, he made changes to his behaviour because I was worried. Maybe you could ask your OH to do that? Surely he loves you more than coke? Also, maybe he could enjoy his nights out with 'safer' stimulants like ecstasy or good old fashioned alcohol?
all i can offer you is my personal experience, as both a recreational user of drugs and partener of some one who does the same....our pg was unplanned after several years together, it has made both of us willingly give up that lifestyle, all our friends understand and are supportive, we don't miss it and both feel that actually we were ready for the change anyway. i can totally relate to your feelings of anxiety, my patrner has a history of drinking too much. in the last nine months he has only been out with his friends twice, both times he has stayed in touch by phone and come home at a pre-arranged time as i get very anxious when he goes out. for me what is important is that my partner understands and respects my feelings which he does, and a compromise can be reached where we both feel happy. do you think this is possible for you two?
Kat2907 - thanks for replying My boyfriend is not in the least worried about the ethics of his drug taking unfortunately and it's not an issue I would want to get into with him.
He does love me, more than coke? I don't know because I have never asked as I am trying not to force him into a choice and there would never be any me or drugs conversation as I knew what I was getting myself into n the first place
He will take a combination of drugs (MDMA, Coke etc) depending on where he is. The cocaine use is usually limited to nights in with his oldest friends, playing stupid computer games and 'having fun'. I am never there and it never takes place in our home and never will. He has made so many changes for my benefit so I feel rally awful about having this continued anxiety and not being able to control it. Before we were together he would maybe do it every week in his flat on his own, sometimes more. many of his friends and family who know have told me how much he has changed and how good I have been for him so I should be pleased that he's made massive changes but I seem to be getting increasingly 'naggy' about it and I am annoyed with myself for being so negative.
Trishpops - I think we have reached a good compromise but it's me who is continually making an issue of it. I left a man with a drinking problem and I actually think that alcoholism is harder to deal with than occassional drug use but sometimes I can't help thinking 'out of teh frying pan and into the fire'.
It's good to hear your story though because we want kids and his coke use (though not often) does worry me RE conception ...
I have had similar experiences to yourself, and agree its really hard in so many ways.
I was in a relationship with a man when in my early twenties who was into drugs and drink in a big way. I loved him utterly and absolutely but in the end I left because he was getting worse not better.
When I met my current partner he drank a lot and also took class A's now and again (yikes thres a pattern emerging!) but when i concieved out child (not planned) I did issue him with an ultimatum. Having been the child of a father like this I knew I would rather 'go it alone' than live with the anxiety and worry of someone elses drug/drink use.
I hear what you are saying ref his 'controlled/responsible' attitude, but to me his continued use knowing how upsetting you find it is a big red flag.
No one needs to take drugs or even get drunk for that matter but to do so is very much a choice. if you do so knowing you are hurting another then you are essentially prioritising your need for the high over them. I couldnt live with this.
Cocaine is a pile of s**t. I know from personal experience and from some dear friends who have come unstuck. 'just' using it once, twice or theree times a month could still lead to irreversible health problems. young men particularly are notoriously prone to turning up at A and E having had a heart attack whilst under the influence, of even relatively 'small'amounts. One of the reasons my Dp gave up in the end was that I used to take his blood pressure when he came home from a night out (and even the next morning) and his blood pressure would be high enough for him to drop dead from a stroke. Seeing it for himself helped him make the choice.
Sorry, I can imagine this isnt really what you want to hear, but please think really carefully about whether you would choose to have kids with this fellowm as lovely as he obviously is in so many ways. when you have kids the stakes are so much higher. Worry about his drug use will soon turn to resentment that you have to bloody worry. , you will be so worried about your kid/s having a happy life with a healthy daddy.
I do wish you luckxxx
Thanks Cosieblanki -
Can I ask. Did you never use Coke yourself?
I never would but I think part of my fear comes from the unknown, from not knowing what it is he gets from it - despite having him explain and having read all about it.
The Blood Pressure thing sounds good. I wonder if he would let me do that though? I am worried because the few times he does it he really goes for it (IMO) and I have no idea how dangerous the amounts he takes are.
We do talk about it as much as possible so that I am aware of what he is doing but he really doesn't like me questioning him.
I really love him, I want this to work and I want our possible children to be safe.
Don't, don't, don't.
How old is your dp? Do you have any idea how much he typically spends per month on his drugs of choice?
The man I loved (and who loved me) through my 20's was a recreational coke user, potsmoker and vodka drinker. Like your situation - it was not something we did together - he did it away from me with friends. There were periods of his life where that use was greater, and where it was less. But it was consistently there.
He was very bright, charismatic, lots of fun - had everything going for him really. He held down 'big' jobs, and did them very well. He was most definitely not a 'sad case' down and out wino/crackhead desperate for his next drink/line. He had lots of friends, and was a 'great' guy. He had all sorts of justifications why his ongoing drug/alcohol use was 'ok' - but it wasn't. It was something he never 'outgrew', and was ultimately the reason we split.
I imagine that in the past, the BBC children's presenter who just killed himself (after his girlfriend died) would have labelled their drug use 'recreational and controlled' too.
Oh and btw - my ex was found dead at home in his bathroom 3 months ago. He was 53, and all those who knew him presume that his body simply gave out after years of 'recreational' alcohol and drug use.
I am so sorry to hear about your ex.
I am not in my twenties but just about old enough to be the mother of a 20 year old. He is 6 years younger than me - in his thirties.
I will not leave him, we have worked to hard to get where we are, but I know he will not stop.
I have a fear that one day I will find him dead, I don't know if that fear is justified though despite the stories about people like BBC presenters etc. I guess I would rather experience the love I have while I can and deal with anything which 'may' happen when or if it does.
yes in my earlier days I did take various drugs including coke. I liked it but I always said the day I woke up in the morning wanting some that would be it. well that day did come (relatively quickly) and that was that. I think more than anything I was scared, the man I was 'with' had become very seriously addicted and had turned violent (not to me but thats not the point) and went bankrupt through his addiction. he went from having everything (great business , son etc etc) to being in prison for a string of offences. In the end he scared me, it was like he lost his humanity.
The scary thing is, it was'nt right until the 'end' that I, and his friends and family realised.
The thing is, it feels strange to write this because i am just an ordinary person, I have a degree and a good job, now have a lovely dp and DS but that just goes to show this type of thing can touch anyone.
Do you mind me asking but is there any type of history in your family of people abusing drugs, or putting drugs /drink before you when you were little yourself?
Sometimes we gravitate towards people who are 'what we know', even if what we know is not that safe.
Please don't get me wrong, i am not shooting your dp down in flames, there are obviously many good aspects to his personality but it does soundlike on some level you may be playing something out (I mean unconsiously) Love doesn't have to be painful you know . And his drug use obviously bothers you enough to have sought counselling previously and also to post on here.
I do very much hope you wont ever have to 'find him dead'.
walter - Believe me, I know how hard it is to contemplate life without someone you love. I have been the person who looked the other way and made excuses. I was heartbroken when my ex moved to the other side of the country to take a new job (after failing a drugs test at work). But thank God he moved, as like you, I would not have left him. I shudder to think what my life would have been like.
Does your dp want children too? Does he intend to continue with his 2-3x per month indulgences if you have a child? How long is he (typically) away from you when he is doing the stuff? Do you have any idea how much he spends per month?
I'm not trying to give you the 'third degree', but rather understand what impact his 'binges' are likely to have on your future relationship and the family life you hope for.
just to clarify - it's not 2-3 times a month it's 2 or sometimes 3 monthly as in once every three months.
will come back and respond in a bit.
"Do you mind me asking but is there any type of history in your family of people abusing drugs, or putting drugs /drink before you when you were little yourself?"
Wanted to come back and answer this
Not really. My dad was a dope smoker but not a huge drinker and didn't really abuse other drugs, though I am sure he only ever dabbled. We were raised in quite a liberal way and I think my rebellion was to go the other wayand become very prudish about all things to do with drugs and sex.
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