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Boyfriend smoking issue, seeking advice and support

Discussion in 'Share Your Story Here' started by Tonyia, Feb 19, 2017.

  1. Tonyia

    Tonyia Member

    Hello Everyone!

    I am dealing with a marijuana smoking issue that I believe to be an addiction with my boyfriend and not sure where to start in helping him. Anybody with suggestions please give advice.

    To give a bit of background, my boyfriend and I are in our mid-twenties. We have been dating for 2.5 years and living together for 1.5 years. We lived in NY and when we met, I was in the process of moving to Maryland with a friend, in which I did, but 9 months after meeting him, so we clicked and became an item in that time. Long story short, a year later he moved to MD to be with me.

    When I met him, I knew he smoked (and smoke bothers me. I dated a guy in h.s that smoked allllll the time and he knew if he wanted to smoke he had to leave the room or open windows all the way and I sit all the way on the opposite side.) but it did not occur to me how often he smoked. I didn't see him every single day in NY when we were dating and he wasn't smoking when we went on dates and didn't physically appear high nor smelled of it and if he did smoke while I was at his place he would do it in the bathroom or go outside. So I didn't think it was a big deal. But when we moved in together I got to see and smell how often it was and it bothered me. At first I limit him to where in the apt he could smoke because I didn't want to inhale that everywhere. He only smoked in the bathroom and then complained that he felt like a prisoner in his own home. We made an agreement he can smoke in our second room.

    As time went by I noticed he smoked like every single day multiple times. And it bothered me but it didn't make me angry just annoyed. So I spoke to him about it and told him it bothered me and asked him to just cut the frequency of it. I didn't and still don't care that he smokes it, its the frequency and need that bother me. He said he would cut down and he may have for a week and then went back to it again. We've had the same talk several times throughout the year and I ask him why he does it; I've gotten multiple answers of stress, and relax, and recently the reply was that he was bored.

    It's been so long and repetitive for me that it doesn't just simply annoy me when he smokes anymore, I get disgusted. I don't want to look at him or speak to him or be around him when he is high and I've told him that flat out multiple times and asked him that when he smokes would he please not stay near me. He said okay but then he'll go out to smoke and then come back and want to sit next to me or talk to me or have sex. And I've told him multiple times that I get turned off when he smokes yet he still questions why I get distant after he does it. I don't understand.

    I want a life with him. I want to marry him and have kids. He's a great person but judging by his actions and the fact that hes been smoking since young and his body is depending on this substance for him to gain a appetite or to sleep or when hes just bored, I believe he's addicted.

    I've brought him to my middle school afterschool class for an end of year party with the kids and he got high before we left. I bought my nieces down to visit me and he smoked the week they were here. He went outside to smoke but he hid in our room to roll up and I smelled it, if I smelled it they sure did and they're not stupid. They were 13, 9 and 5 at the time. He wanted to get high when my mom came to visit as well. These were all spaced out events but what really gets to me is why do you have the need to get high for no reason and can't not do it around kids. So this makes me think that if he does that now he will in the future with our kids. I don't want my kids to grow up in that type of environment.

    Long story short. Recently I noticed he's been more frequent again. I guess its less a does because I don't smell it as potent as before and sometimes he'll go outside. But I seriously cannot deal with it and everytime I come home I don't want to be near him. We had a talk AGAIN but everytime we have it he breaks down and say he doesn't think I realize or appreciate the sacrifice and life he gave up for our relationship and he thinks that my issue is more than just him smoking and that I want to break up with him. He has admitted to me this time that he has an issue and said he would go to counseling with me.

    I'm feeling a bit sad and anxiety among other things. This issue has grown into something serious for me. I am not sure where to start. I found some dates and times for narcotics anonymous but also looked at some counseling/therapy options. What do you guys recommend we start with and how can I be supportive without him thinking hes a horrible boyfriend and that I want to break up?
  2. deanokat

    deanokat Community Organizer Community Listener

    @Tonyia... Welcome to the forum and thanks for sharing with us. I'm sorry you're going through this with your boyfriend. It definitely sounds like he's become dependent on marijuana. Granted, pot is not the most dangerous drug out there, but a dependence on a substance is still something to be concerned about.

    Personally, I think the best place to start is for your boyfriend to see an addiction specialist. They can assess his situation, discuss it with him, and recommend the best next steps for him. You can find an addiction specialist in your area by using the search tool at the American Society of Addiction Medicine's website. Here's the link to that page:

    NA meetings for your boyfriend would probably help, too, assuming he's willing to go. I think you could definitely benefit from Nar-Anon or Al-Anon meetings, too. It can be really helpful and comforting to be among people who know exactly what you're going through and feeling.

    There are also books out there that could really help you. One in particular is called Beyond Addiction: How Science and Kindness Help People Change. It's written specifically for partners and parents of people struggling with addiction and is full of incredibly helpful information. Stuff like how to communicate better with your loved one, how to talk to them to help motivate them to want to change, and--and this is an important one--how to take care of yourself while you deal with your loved one's issues.

    Remember that your life matters, too. If your boyfriend is doing something that makes you unhappy and anxious, that's going to affect how you feel. And that's not a good thing. Your daily happiness shouldn't be dependent on whether or not your boyfriend is smoking, how much he's smoking, etc.

    It's great that you reached out here. Please know that we're here to help and support you any way we can, so you can lean on us anytime. You are not alone.

    I'm sending you positive vibes and big hugs full of hope. Check in with us and let us know how things are going whenever you have a chance. I hope your boyfriend will commit to working at changing his life.
  3. Tonyia

    Tonyia Member

    @deanokat Thank you so much. I will look into the addiction specialist. And to the book you reccommended. I really wish it didn't bother me this much but I cannot ignore that it does.

    He has agreed to go to meetings and counseling with me but I don't know if he's really doing it because he wants to stop or just because I asked him if he would consider it. Either way we can give it a try, he's willing to do that much
  4. deanokat

    deanokat Community Organizer Community Listener

    @Tonyia... You are very welcome. And while you don't really know the reason why your boyfriend has agreed to go to meetings and counseling with you, at least he's willing to do it. And that's a step in the right direction. As I like to say, even baby steps will eventually get you to where you want to be.

    I'm keeping good thoughts for you guys and hope things start to improve soon. You're a good person for wanting to help your boyfriend. :)
  5. roseannepark

    roseannepark Member

    So from what I've read, he smokes mari and apparently doesn't want to stop. And I know you had discussions with him about smoking or not smoking. You said that one time he used to smoke outside? But now he gets high in front of everyone (like your family and stuff)? Why don't you try to slowly put the idea of desintoxication in his head. But be wise and smart girl. Don't just go and scream he's an ass and he should go cure himself. Why don't you have a talk with him saying "if we have kids I don't want them to grow up with drugs; do you?" (Now unless he doesn't have a heart he's supposed to say yes) "Maybe you should think it over no?"
    Now the idea that giving this sort of environment to his children isn't really healthy will probably grow in his stone mind.
    If this doesn't work, try to figure out why is he smoking. Is there a special reason why he started mari? (I'm talking about serious stuff not just acting cool in a party).
    And if all of that isn't working, I would left him only to make him realize that if he doesn't stop now he'll lose you.
    I don't know if this helped but I hope everything will go well!
    Rosé xx
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2017
    deanokat likes this.
  6. Tonyia

    Tonyia Member

    @roseannepark thank you for your input. Every bit helps! Like others have said marijuana is not the worst thing possible and I get that. I never cared that he did it in general but the fact that I asked him to just not do it everyday and him saying things like it won't be easy, & he's been doing it so long it's not going to happen overnight etc etc is what concerns me. Don't scream at him or anything like that. Mostly I let him know if he is high I don't want to be around him so I'll go in a room by myself or something. We've had the conversation that we both want kids and I've asked him exactly what you mentioned. He'll say that's not what he wants and he'll make a change for a few weeks maybe then calls back into the habit. Around when I made this post was when I realized he started smoking more frequently again...i asked him why and he said he's been bored.
    About a year ago I've tried the route of telling him apparently it's hard for him to slow down and I'm here to support and help him. We were suppose to monitor him and if he had an urge to smoke he was suppose to talk to me and figure out what made him have that urge and try to find something to substitute it. However it started out okay of course but then stopped. I guess he started feeling attacked in a way. I brought it up that we made that plan together and he said he tried to talk to me but I don't want to hear it. He reason for saying I didn't want to hear it was because if he told me he had an urge to smoke, I would ask why. But that was part of the plan to figure out why....he didn't take to it well.

    When I wrote this post I also told him that maybe we should consider living in separate places. If he feels it's so hard for him to just not do it everyday or refrain from doing it in unnecessary situations then maybe we should live apart so that he can smoke as he wants and see me when he's sober. He didn't speak to me that night. He got sad and didn't sleep then asked me how long I wanted to live apart and he feels I don't recognize the sacrifices he made to live with me and leave his life behind and asked me if that was the only thing bothering me and maybe I just wanted a way out.

    I told him I'm not looking for a way out and never expected the process to be easy but him trying to do it alone is not working. If we continue like this we Will just grow apart and I don't want that. He agreed to go to therapy but we haven't yet because I was waiting for my insurance to kick in. I have a doctor's appointment this week and will be asking for a counseling referral.

    It's hard for me to handle my emotions when he does smoke now. It wasn't a big deal for our first 1/2 years dating but when we moved in and after addressing him multiple times about it and him telling me himself that he wants to eventually stop on his own but he keep falling into the same habit, it makes me feel so many emotions when he does it now. It's frustrating and sad
    deanokat and roseannepark like this.
  7. roseannepark

    roseannepark Member

    Wait he smokes because he's bored...?! Yo if I'm smoking everytime I'm bored I would be dead by the time.
    I am myself trying to stop even if its hard. I know we can do it when we want...because when we can stop we don't want to and when we want to stop we can't.
    The quote of a drug addict.
    Anyway I hope he gonna wake up because it feels so good when you stop.
    Rosé xx
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