Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
stoner partner - how do I handle this?(36 Posts)
this is really difficult to write... I have been with my partner for a long time, we met when we were teenage students so smoking hash was part of our social scene, but fast forward nearly 12 years and he is still smoking it. I HATE this, but I can't seem to get through to him that it's not right. I stopped smoking it years ago as it gave me panic attacks, but he has carried on. He has calmed down somewhat and has even made a few attempts to stop, btu it never lasts. We have a baby son now and it really bothers me that even his shild hasn;t made him stop. He smokes most nights after coming home from work (not in the house though) and some days the first thign he does is go outside for a smoke. I just don't get why he needs to be stoned all the time. I have tried being understanding, shouting, crying, ranting, eveything to no avail. He keeps promising he is about to stop but it doesn;t happen... how do I deal with this? It's slowly killing my feelings for him - I'm just so hurt that event hough he knows I hate it he continues to do it!! any ideas on what I can do to get through to him??
He's an addict. There is nothing you can do to get through to him till he realises himself.
Get whatever help you need to deal with it, but he won't give up until he wants to (have seen this problem with friends - it takes a real crisis to force people to see that it is wrong and some never do)
Look after yourself and your ds.
what a tool.
tell him what you just told us about it killing your feelings for him. do it calmly and rationally and spell out the consequences for him if he continues smoking.
he can then do one of two things - stop smoking, or carry on smoking and face those consequences.
then you will know what to do
I have told him he is displaying classic addict symptoms and he gets really grumpy when he tries a few days without. He agrees this is the case. he also agrees it's not something he should be doing at this stage in his life. He's a good dad, does loads with our son and I do love him. Everytime I try to have the converstaion like you suggest wikos, I clam up. I'm scared of having to follow throuhg if he refuses to stop. How can I break up our family? But how can I carry on like this? I'm just so sad. I should have known really, I mean he was such a party boy when we met - he's never really got past that. I'm really embarassed about this whole thing and can;t speak to the friends that know about his habit as they are doing it too! (although not as much) It's not a mormal thing to do though is it?
It sounds like he is addicted. Makes me grrr when people say weed is not addictive. There is a support thread on Mumsnet for partners of addicts - which I am sure you would be welcome to join.
You can't make him stop. Because you can't make an addict deal with his/her addiction until the addict wants to stop.
Is his use of his drug compromising the family budget ie is he spending money on it that the household cannot afford?
Is it making his behaviour problematic ie is he messing up at work or missing social engagements or becoming aggressive?
If it's neither of these then you could consider deciding that it's up to him (within certain parameters ie not in the house) and stopping worrying about it. Up to a point, a person has a right to do what he/she wants with regard to ingesting narcotics - that point being when it is seriously impacting on other people.
What sgb says but also that you do not have to stay in a relationship with an addict. You could choose to not live with someone who is addicted.
One of the hardest things to realise in life is you can't change another persons behaviour.
This is him and he obviously doesn't want to change, does he understand how much its killing your feelings for him? This sounds harsh but you can only be responsible for yourself not someone else, if you're so unhappy maybe you need to think about why you stay in a relationship thats clearly making you miserable?
Good luck hope you get it sorted xx
SolidGB - that probably why this issue has dragged on so long. He doesn't go out to the pub, only drinks a few cans now and then. He spends probably £20 every few weeks on it. He's stopped smoking cigs now too. He doesn't mess up at work, he functions quite well in most aspects (!) He is a bit lazy, has no ambition and can be a bit annoying when he's stoned but other that that it's just the fact he's dissapearing out the house for 20 minutes at a time and I'm having to cover up for him or tell our son 'daddy will be back in a minute'. So I;ve tried forgetting it, but he's still doing something illegal and potentially harmful. He still has to get it from someone who deals which is risky and also there is the thought that he is stoned whilst supposedly participating in our family life. i hate that most of all. I hate thinking that our son might be missing out on something cos daddy wanted a smoke. And for whatever reason I can;t get past it and it is serously impacting on me. I'm not sleeping well, cry alot (in private) about this and like I said, my feeling for him are changing as a result. Surely that's the point reached?
Sorry Moonster. This is very tough for you. I think he needs to address whatever it is about himself which is making him an addict.
My BIL was such a big weed smoker. When he came to stay I could smell him having a bong in the moring before breakfast!!
To be fair though, he's living with HIV so I guess has a lot to deal with. Anyway he has smoked like this for years and years.
Suddenly he got his act together a bit and joined an internet support group for people living with the virus and met a woman. He came to visit recently and ironically I asked him if he had any weed as I thought it would be a nice treat for me but he said he hadn't and he barely does it any more. Incredible! His new relationship obviously means he doesn't need it.
I know myself that in the past during periods where I smoked it every day, it was because I was trying to NOT think about something. In the end I'd always stop, have a mini meltdown about whatever subject I was trying to avoid, then get on with life for a bit.
TBH I do think that you are overbombing this a bit. Lots of things that are illegal are not wrong and a mild cannibis habit is no worse than being a moderate drinker - you say yourself that he holds down a job, isn't spending more than the household can afford, and isn't being abusive or obnoxious. Why does it bother you quite so much? Particularly given that you say you used to smoke dope yourself. Have you got hold of the idea that being a parent means No More Fun Ever and resent the fact that he is not going the horsehair-buttplug route?
I agree,can't see that £20 every few weeks is that big a deal.
I can see it might piss you off but then again, so do many hapbits of one's spouse.
hmmm,,, I do wonder about the blocking out aspect of it. But then it makes me wonder if the thing he's blocking out is me? what if this is just a way of dealing with his shit life with me? God, I sound paranoid now. I can see how this will look to others. I'm not daft, I know it's not like he;s taking heroin or anything. But I smoked it quite heavily when I was younger too and I struggled to get through uni because of this - it really does effect your motivation. I couldn't believe it when I stopped and realised there were things you could do in the evening other than get wasted! What if he's missing out on a whole new brilliant life just becasue he wants a joint?
Spidermama, I'm sorry about your BIL's HIV. It must be really hard for him and I would understand the need for something to help with that. But what's my man's excuse? He has a beautiful son, a house, a car, a job, but he's just coasting along, never fully taking control.
SGB - you made me laugh there because I think I;ve had this response from him! yes you may be right, maybe I am making too much of a big deal about it. I'm constantly trying to tell myself this. But I can;t get past the fact that it makes my blood boil when he dissapears out to have a joing, or if we need to go somewhere and I have to wait till he has a smoke. Maybe i do have pictue of a perfect family and this isn't meant to be in it. But surely that doens;t mean I;m the one in the wrong?
I agree with you about the motivation.
It alleviates stress, makes you more receptive to music and visuals etc and generally helps you live in and enjoy the moment - but at a cost to your motivation.
It makes you feel everythings fine. Happy. All good. So you lose out on the normal feelings of anger or frustration which should serve to motivate you to change.
Can he stop for, say, a month. Challenge him to stop for a month. That should be long enough to break the link and get some of his feelings processed.
I have to tell you that a good friend of mine split up with her dh over exactly this. I still feel sad they couldn't work it out.
I can understand why you'd take it personally and wonder if it's about you. After all it is alienating when he's changing his mood and you are not.
The £20 thing doesn't sound like much, but if he's doing it every day then that's a crutch and it's not healthy and it's masking deeper issues.
I understand you have an idea of a perfect family life (who doesnt?) but the fact is we just don't live in an ideal world.
Don't want to make your problem sound trivial as it obviously isn't if its upsetting you but theres far worse things he could do than smoke a bit of weed. For example I spent 6 years on and off in an abusive relationship where domestic violence was a big issue then continued to be bullied, stalked and harrassed for a further 5 years after leaving the relationship for good. I would happily have swapped my problems to be in a relationship with someone who's only major fault was that they enjoy a spliff. The DV certainly buggered up my idea of a perfect family put it that way!
like i say, I have some perspective. It's just being going on for so long and caused so many arguments that I've reached my limit. I'm not some weird control freak that must have a perfect family. We're both working but only just making ends meet. I wanted another child, but how can we do this when we're rowing all the time (and therefor not having much sex). I do most of the housework, I have to make most of the decisions about money, bills etc. He wants to do these things but can't get his arse in gear quick enough. This is my life and I;m not getting any younger. obviously I'm not in a situation like you had Kazzi, and I know some people would consider me lucky, but I also think some people would not put up with what I do. Mainly though, I love him and I want the best for all of us and would like to figure out how to do this. I;ve had YEARS of trying to rationalise this.
Sounds to me as though its an otherwise ok relationship thats just taken a bit of a knock and needs some help to get back on the right track.
Maybe something like Relate could help?
OK so he is basically not pulling his weight. That's not quite the same issue as the dope-smoking because TBH a lot of men who don't smoke dope are still lazyarses who expect to be serviced by women.
I am in the same position as you. I know this may sound trivial to some but it really cuts deeper than the odd bit of dope every now and then. I find it really difficult to accept that DP is still doing this. It impacts on almost every aspect of our lives (where we live - neighbours cannot be too close because of the smell; sex life crap due to smoking; the money!). The last time we went out together (second time since DD2), we ended up arguing all night about just this - prompted by him lighting up in a beer garden! Although it may not be seen as wrong to some, it's still illegal and that takes some explaining to a 12 yo (I haven't had to do it yet). I think the worst times are those 20 minute sessions spent in the garden when DDs cannot go out! DP said he would give up when DD2 came along but nothing happened...
Having said all this, I wouldn't feel comfortable claiming to be a partner of an addict as in many respects things seem normal, he holds down a job like yours does and his behaviour is not extreme in any way when he's had a smoke. I think a lot of that is down to building up tolerance over many years. I just wish that he'd realise he's a grown up now.
£20 every few weeks; well that can equate to £480 a year. Times that by the number of years he's been using cannabis and there's an awful lot of cash that has gone up in smoke here.
You haven't broken up this family - he has by his actions. This family unit of yours is already broken isn't it?. His continual promises to stop mean nothing - he has to show a clear intent on his part to do so and he is likely underestimating to his own self the damage its doing to your relationship and his health.
He actually seems very happy with his cushy life; you're his crutch/enabler and all his friends seemingly smoke this as well. He would have to completely change his lifestyle if he wanted to really make a clean break from cannabis. These so called "friends" would have to be ditched.
You need to stop enabling him as well; you have and continue to enable him by covering up for him to your son saying, "Daddy will be back in a minute". You likely cover up and make excuses for him in all areas of his life as well. Where are the consequences for his actions?.
He could (and probably has) use the following against you as well in conversation/argument over his usage. You knew he was a cannabis user (as were you) when you started dating; you gave it up, he has not and is continuing to use. You condoned it once yourself; he knows that and uses that against you. But two wrongs don't make a right here; you have to do what is right by you and your son.
What if anything are you getting out of this relationship now?. You love him yes, but sometimes love is just not enough in these situations. You will become more unhappy and resentful of him over time because to you the cannabis is coming first. You're carrying him now; he'll be probably quite happy to smoke this for the rest of his days.
You do not have to stay with someone who has become physically - and mentally dependent on this drug. No-one benefits from being with an addicted person. You are only responsible for your own self, not him.
i dont see £20 every few weeks as a great problem tbh.
you cant really complain about that amount of cash when he spends so little on other things like alcohol.
surely you buy magazine and more at hairdressers/salon, than his habit does.
there are also many many worse habits.
forgive me if i'm wrong, may have read this wrong.... but does he only disappear for 20 mins in a night?? i dont understand how going outside for 20 mins after a hard days work(where you say he is doing well and pulling his weight) is going to constitute him missing out on family life?
surely there's a fair few hrs in the evening between returning home from work and going to bed.
is he not entitled to just 20 mins peace without being glued to your side?
if the problem is that he does this as soon as he comes in, then just slobbing out and not helping with the family stuff.....then why dont you agree with him that he has to wait until after dinner, bath and bed routine, and house all cleared up... then he can have his 20 mins spliff, and you can have 20 mins to yourself also.
the truth is you say you clam up when it comes to giving him an ultimatum.... i think deep down you are aware there are much worse problems and you are being a little controlling.
he has always done this, and you have always known he does this. how is it fair of you to decide its not ok for him to do it, its his body and his choice. you made the choice to give up this habit. not him... and until he is ready he will not stop.
try and come to a compromise perhaps in time he will give it up altogether. in the meantime, getting him to pitch in and resolve the issue around chores may help the relationship.
these days £20 every couple of weeks definately would not equate to being stoned everynight of week.
the amount you can buy these days for that price would not make enough full spliffs for every night of the week.
either he doesn't do it every night.
or he is making them very very weak. and i cant see how he'd be stoned on that weakness.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.