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February 21, 2013 2:30 PM   Subscribe

How do I deal with my boyfriend's love of marijuana?

My boyfriend is great. He's funny, smart, musically talented, a total dreamboat, good in bed, blah blah blah. But he smokes pot.

Not like, all the time. At least, not now. He used to be a daily smoker, and has been arrested for possession multiple times. His therapist urged him to quit, and so he cut back a bit - he only smokes maybe once a month. He's like Gollum when he buys weed for himself, though - he will just constantly smoke it until it's gone. It's all he can think about doing.

Also, when he smokes pot, he's worthless. I know that some people are go-go-go when they smoke weed, and it makes them creative and engaging, but my boyfriend is like a log. He gets high, wants to have sex, falls asleep for 3-4 hours, wakes up, repeat process, maybe with some pie. It's annoying to me, because he'll do it on a weekend, and instead of us doing something fun together, he's laid up in bed sleeping all day.

I am not a drug user in the slightest. He has used lots of drugs in his youth, and so I know a lot of what I feel about his smoking habits are my insecurities that I'm such a square and totally not cool enough. His ex-girlfriends would do drugs with him while they were dating, and I'm not into that, so it makes me feel like I'm not fulfilling him, although he says that he likes my squareness.

Despite my squareness, I have no problem with marijuana at all - I think it should be legal, I know plenty of people who smoke it regularly with no issues. I just don't really like my boyfriend when he's high.

Last night, he told me he was going to buy weed this evening. I made my concerns known, and he said he felt bad that I didn't like it, but that he really wanted to do it, so he was going to anyway. I respect that, but this is the second time this month that he will be doing it, which worries me. He has expressed concern that he would go back to smoking every day, that he's not sure if he can keep up the once-every-month-or-so thing.

He also suffers from depression, which is medicated and under control now, but he has said that smoking pot was the only thing that made him feel better when he was unmedicated, and so I kind of have a soft spot in my heart for that - I hate that I don't like this thing that made him feel like a normal person when he was in such a dark place in his life.

He has put up with me while I've drank to excess at parties and get-togethers, including any vomiting and/or injury, so I get that we're both not fun to be around under the influence. Thinking of the times where he's taken care of me while I've been drunk makes me more likely to not hate on him when he's smoking. Is this just something that I just have to learn to deal with? And if so, how do I do that?

As far as ages go, we're both in our late 20s. We've been together for a little over six months, but the relationship has progressed VERY quickly, which is unlike both of us - we both think that we are pretty much perfect for each other, we live together, we have talked about a future together... except for this issue that I can't get over.
posted by anonymous to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (53 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
It sounds like this is the greatest thing in his life, so you're just going to have to wait it out. On weekends when he's going to smoke, do something on your own since he's basically dedicating a weekend to a hobby and not really hanging out with you anyway.

If it gets too frequent, treat it like you would not spending enough time together in general – ask him to spend more time with you non-blunted. If he doesn't want to, you'll have to deal with that they way you'd deal him choosing any hobby over time with you.
posted by ignignokt at 2:40 PM on February 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


It's annoying to me, because he'll do it on a weekend, and instead of us doing something fun together, he's laid up in bed sleeping all day.

This has nothing to do, really, with marijuana and everything to do with the fact that your boyfriend sometimes acts like a jerk and seems to have an inability to properly prioritize and communicate that prioritization. So, in this instance

I made my concerns known, and he said he felt bad that I didn't like it, but that he really wanted to do it, so he was going to anyway.

He is prioritizing his desire to smoke over his desire to have a good time with you (where good time is defined as a time where you are both having a good time). I'm not totally clear if you've communicated "You sort of suck when you're high and I'd prefer not to be around you when you're high" to him directly, but that's the next step. And follow up by going and doing something else instead of hanging out with the horny pie-eater. And if he then is making a choice (consciously or unconsciously) to be high instead of be with you, you can decide how much that's a problem for you (once a month, maybe not, once a week maybe, that sort of thing) and communicate that to him.

Basically it seems to me from what you've said that even though he's cut way down pot still has a place in his life where he isn't really managing its relationship to other things. That's a valid choice that adult people can make, but it may make them bad fits for people who have differing priorities. It sounds like from your question you have dialed back the excess drinking, or is that just coincidence? On the one had, yeah, if both of you are lousy to be around while under the influence there's a back and forth there. On the other hand if it only bothers one of you that your partner is useless while high, then it's okay for it to be a one-sided problem.

AskMe is full of questions where someone says that their partner is totally perfect for them except that they choose to get inebriated instead of be with them. So, I'd think a little bit about what a workable situation would be for you with this guy and talk to him about whether it's manageable for the two of you. There's no reason you can't be in a relationship where he goes on pot vacations and you go do something else, but if he wants a girlfriend he can snuggle and hibernate and eat pie with during these pot vacations, you're not that person and it's only fair for you to make sure that's crystal clear to him. I date a pot smoker and I barely smoke and that totally works for me but everyone's different in this regard.
posted by jessamyn at 2:40 PM on February 21, 2013 [25 favorites]


I feel like you're sort of beating yourself up for not being okay with this, and you shouldn't be doing that. You don't have to be okay with it. You have good reasons for feeling the way you do.

The thing is, though, that you can't make him stop, and trying to interfere with something he places a high priority on is going to cause major problems in your relationship. You either have to learn to be okay with his habits, or leave. Those are really your only two options. You've already told him how you feel about it and he's doing it anyway, knowing you don't like it, so I sort of know which way I would be leaning if I were in your shoes. Either he doesn't really take your concerns seriously, or he's thinking about it and deciding weed is more important to him than upsetting you. Neither of those things are super awesome.
posted by something something at 2:42 PM on February 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


He used to be a daily smoker, and has been arrested for possession multiple times.

Why do you want to date somebody that doesn't have his or her shit together, regardless of the underlying cause? The bolded section above is just the icing on what appears to be this doofus's total inability to act like an adult.

I know a lot of what I feel about his smoking habits are my insecurities that I'm such a square and totally not cool enough.

You're entitled to ask for what you want and look for what you want from a partner. That's how relationships work. "Cool" doesn't factor into it.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 2:43 PM on February 21, 2013 [14 favorites]


Also, when he smokes pot, he's worthless. I know that some people are go-go-go when they smoke weed, and it makes them creative and engaging, but my boyfriend is like a log. He gets high, wants to have sex, falls asleep for 3-4 hours, wakes up, repeat process, maybe with some pie. It's annoying to me, because he'll do it on a weekend, and instead of us doing something fun together, he's laid up in bed sleeping all day.

I'd say focus on this, rather than your feelings or his feelings about weed itself. You're not a square for being irritated by this--if he was acting like this for an entire weekend at a time once a month because of alcohol or whatever, I think it would still bug you. You're well within your rights to limit how often (if ever) he's allowed to do this. (Would it bother you if it was once in a longer while?) If he can't stop himself when he's high, then he has to limit his smoking.
posted by kagredon at 2:44 PM on February 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


He's funny, smart, musically talented, a total dreamboat, good in bed, blah blah blah.

Men who fit this description who do not use pot at all? Millions. Man who cannot make this concession for you? One.

Whether or not pot should be legal is a topic upon which reasonable minds disagree. What is not up for debate is that since he has been arrested multiple times for drug possession (how many "smart dreamboats" does that describe?), he is willing to risk his freedom in order to do something as trivial as getting high. Is that your idea of "perfect for each other"? Not abusing substances does not make you "square". It makes you a sober and functioning member of society without a criminal record.

When you are planning the rest of your life, you must assume that he will never change this behavior. He hasn't stopped at your request. He hasn't stopped upon a therapist's advice. He hasn't stopped upon enduring repeated criminal punishment. There is no reason to believe that he will change this behavior. If this is the life you wish, go forth and may it be blessed. However, you described him as Gollum. Did Gollum love anyone? Could Gollum?
posted by Tanizaki at 2:45 PM on February 21, 2013 [4 favorites]


I know a lot of what I feel about his smoking habits are my insecurities that I'm such a square and totally not cool enough.

But you say you don't have a problem with pot. Your boyfriend smokes to excess, uses it to self-medicate, has gotten into legal trouble and has had it cause problems in his relationship, and he chooses to smoke and sleep over doing anything interesting with you.

I know it's not physically addictive but your guy is hooked on whatever it's doing for him.

You talk about it like it's a failing on your part to deal with it or get over it, but it's a legitimate beef, and neither you nor your guy are making sure your needs get met.
posted by headnsouth at 2:46 PM on February 21, 2013 [5 favorites]


Sounds like you have incompatible notions about pot smoking, but this goes beyond that. I think you should be concerned about the "arrested for possession multiple times" thing. People who smoke quietly and discreetly in their homes don't usually get arrested for possession, and certainly not multiple times. What kind of situations is he getting himself into that would provoke arrest? (I'm presuming you're in the U.S.)
posted by Wordwoman at 2:46 PM on February 21, 2013


I get all the reasons you don't like it, but it sounds like he has made some major strides going from every day to just every few weeks. I think having a no-tolerance policy will breed resentment over time, or cause him to hide it, breeding distrust.
If you truly have no problem with pot itself then maybe try thinking about his smoking weekends like a guys-weekend. It's a personal activity that you don't want to participate in, so give him the weekend to get high (like you would give him a weekend to go out and get drunk with his friends) and go do something else.
If you must be around him all the time and have him in a sober state, then I'm afraid he's not the guy for you.
posted by greta simone at 2:47 PM on February 21, 2013 [15 favorites]


One other thing: Trust your gut. Trying to talk yourself out of feeling certain things - especially when it comes to being in a relationship with somebody you feel uses drugs in a way that is not quite right - that is just a bad idea and will end up really damaging your psyche long-term. Your insides are telling you something is off. Trust yourself.
posted by something something at 2:49 PM on February 21, 2013 [6 favorites]


This is a really hard situation and I totally understand where you are, I've been there.

Quickly: My husband smoked occasionally when we got together. He made it clear that it was a part of his life he wanted to continue and because I was so smitten with him, I acted like it was ok when it really wasn't. He suffered from depression and also a back injury and he justified his smoking by saying it was the only thing that helped. Then he started smoking on weeknights, then in the mornings on weekends and all through the day. We never went anywhere or did anything. He got defensive. He started taking his weed with him to work. It became a huge problem.

So my advice is; if you tell him how you feel and come up with a compromise that you both stick to then that is your solution to stay together. If he can't agree to a compromise or he breaks the rules of that agreement, then that's a deal breaker.

I wish now, in hidsight, that I had gone with my gut feeling that I wasn't happy about his smoking. I wish I had stood up for myself and been strong enough to say that I wasn't comfortable with it and if it didn't stop I would walk away. It would have saved me a whole lot of heartache.
posted by Youremyworld at 2:56 PM on February 21, 2013 [4 favorites]


If it was booze, would you feel the same way? I know I would. So he's choosing to zone out on a substance instead of being with you, and that's not OK whether the substance is currently legal or illegal where you live.

Of course, there are the additional factors around its illegal status, like him getting arrested. But that's shit icing on top of the shit cake of him choosing getting high over being with you.
posted by Sidhedevil at 2:58 PM on February 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


Unlike Jessamyn, I personally believe that a relationship between two people with differing views on drugs just isn't possible. Even a mild pot smoker--I just totally can't relate to someone who needs to spend money like that to feel better. To me, it's like trying to date someone from another planet.

This is probably due to some of my history: when I was younger, I tried to be like you, hip, accepting that people were different, even going so far as to pretend to like drinking and smoking pot in order to fit in. After all, I lived in a very hippie city, and that was the way to be cool, right? When an old friend came back into my life and we started dating, I was totally fine with his drug use, ignoring the fact that he'd been in jail a few times. Then he started stealing from me and lying and destroying my relationships with friends, and he died at age 29.

I'm not saying this would happen with someone who just smokes pot, but it was my attempts to be cool that made me overlook the fact that he was prioritizing the drugs above everything (me, getting a job, his family, even paying rent). If you don't like it, stand up for yourself, and if he cares more about the pot than you, walk away.
posted by Melismata at 2:59 PM on February 21, 2013 [4 favorites]


The whole "instead of doing things with me" bothers me. If it isn't marijuana that is taking your place now, what will it be in the future? Are there things that are OK for him to spend his time on w/o you?

What I'm getting at is that this all sounds like some immaturity coming from both of you. You being his number 1 priority should not mean that you get to dictate to him how he spends all his free time. As soon as you make your mind up that you are in competition with your boyfriend's other hobbies (be it drugs, video games, books, or whatever) I think you are dooming the relationship. Yes, you are. Not him. You.

If you feel like you are not getting enough time from him then I suggest you leave the relationship.
posted by nickerbocker at 3:02 PM on February 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


If it was booze, would you feel the same way? I know I would. So he's choosing to zone out on a substance instead of being with you, and that's not OK whether the substance is currently legal or illegal where you live.

If its only once a month, though, what's the problem? He dosen't need to be focused on you and your needs every hour of every day. If he spent one day out of every month going off to some sports tournament or something would you have a problem with it? Just except that that one day is for him.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 3:03 PM on February 21, 2013 [16 favorites]



He used to be a daily smoker, and has been arrested for possession multiple times.


In very, very broad terms, there are a few kinds of smokers: the ones who, by luck and skill, never run afoul of the law. Then there are the ones who get arrested exactly once and never again. Finally, there are the repeat offenders.

I have been in the pot milieu since puberty and can tell you; with authority, that the repeat offenders are lifelong bad decision makers. Lifelong. Even if they kick the habit and never touch a lighter again.

This is a man who makes regular bad decisions and learns nothing from them. What do you think you could possibly do, short of becoming the detritus of another bad decision of his?
posted by A god with hooves, a god with horns at 3:03 PM on February 21, 2013 [37 favorites]


At a minimum, I would put my foot down to say that you won't be around him when he's smoking, because you don't enjoy it. If he wants to lose one weekend of month of together time that seems reasonable to me -- got get your nails did or something.

But if it escalates and it's really going to be weekly or something like that, then I think you've got a compatibility problem because he will be choosing not to spend time with you multiple times a month, which I don't think is what couples do.
posted by sparklemotion at 3:05 PM on February 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


There are a few kinds of smokers: the ones who, by luck and skill, never run afoul of the law. Then there are the ones who get arrested exactly once and never again. Finally, there are the repea offenders. I have been in the pot milieu since puberty and can tell you; with authority, that the repeat offenders are lifelong bad decision makers. Lifelong. Even if they kick the habit and never touch a lighter again.

Yeah, I was trying to say this in an earlier comment and gave up. Someone who gets arrested more than once for the same dumbshit thing is an idiot. And you're living with him? Oof.
posted by ablazingsaddle at 3:08 PM on February 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


I suggest that you don't follow the advice of those who are saying to put your foot down and if he still doesn't stop then leave the relationship. What terrible advice. You entered the relationship knowing who he was, so trying to change him is a waste of both of your time. If that is the direction you are thinking about taking than I suggest you just end the relationship. Relationship are about accepting each other and growing together, and not about "fixing" stuff.
posted by nickerbocker at 3:11 PM on February 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


Charlemagne in Sweatpants, it sounds like he's smoking up in the OP's presence, expecting him or her to be available for sex, but otherwise checking out of interaction because he wants to get high.

"I'd rather get high than interact with you" is not actually something that anybody should accept as part of a relationship. I drink and I smoke weed on occasion, and my husband does neither, but I don't expect to get blotto in front of him because that's fucked up as hell.

Getting high to the point of being out of it is not a hobby or an activity.
posted by Sidhedevil at 3:13 PM on February 21, 2013 [4 favorites]


"I'd rather get high than interact with you" is not actually something that anybody should accept as part of a relationship. I drink and I smoke weed on occasion, and my husband does neither, but I don't expect to get blotto in front of him because that's fucked up as hell.

Getting high to the point of being out of it is not a hobby or an activity.


Except it is a hobby - its something people do recreationally with its own set of rituals, for one. Like, I don't do many drugs, so if my best mate says "hey, we're going to go off and drop acid or do coke" I know just to get out of their way. I don't like the idea that if you're not 100% always available for somebody that person should break up with you. Let him have his time to zone out.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 3:17 PM on February 21, 2013 [4 favorites]


In threads about weed, you'll get a lot of fear mongering. All of the "he might die" or "learn to be an adult!" and "he's an irresponsible and bad person!" or "he's an idiot dumbshit!" stuff is all name-calling nonsense.

The possession charges are worrying because it sucks to have that on your record and in your past - but without knowing the specifics, it's hard to know how much of that was bad luck and how much was bad decision making. In other words, because pot enforcement is so messed up and weird, I'm not going to make any general character or intelligence judgements from that. Marijuana arrests are so often class, race and geographically skewed it's hard to say if he's an idiot or not, imho.

As far as the choosing the pot over you thing: I'm actually going to suggest that this may be partially the pot and partially the fact that people still need time to themselves. Sometimes you need to hole up in bed for a weekend. The pot probably doesn't help - but it may not necessary be a strictly causative thing. Maybe he just needs time to himself and something he likes to do once in a while by himself is to get high and chill out. If he quit smoking pot but still wanted to stay inside by himself some weekends and do his own thing, would this still bother you? Or would you feel fine about it because pot wasn't involved? I think it's an important question, because it might help you sort out how much of this is your aversion to weed and how much is you being upset with your boyfriend about how he prioritizes his time.

I think you're smart to approach it knowing that you may have some prejudices you're bringing to this that affect how you are seeing the situation. I also think its smart to recognize that weed is a drug and it definitely affects people and you don't have to like it if you don't like it. If I were you, I would try to communicate with him and see if I could figure out how much weed was influencing all of this vs. his depression, his wanting to have some alone time, etc.

At the end of the day, you might decide that his lifestyle just isn't compatible with yours. And there's nothing wrong with that. It doesn't make either of you weird or uncool or an idiot or failure or not an adult or an asshole or any of that nonsense.
posted by Lutoslawski at 3:17 PM on February 21, 2013 [36 favorites]


I'll also add that the getting stoned, wanting sex and then sleep for several hours, sounds inconsiderate and a little selfish and definitely needing of some communication, but not something that necessarily makes him a horrible person that you ought to dump right away de facto or whatever.
posted by Lutoslawski at 3:19 PM on February 21, 2013 [6 favorites]


I can't even believe that you're asking this question, you need your time to get your shit and get out of there.

Substitute Pot with Alcohol, or Crack, or any other substance that can causes addiction. Seems pretty straighforward.

The troubling part, his therapist says he's doing too much. He's been arrested. More than once.

Your future will be either bailing his happy ass out and/or going to the pawn shop to get your TV.

You seem like you have some stuff on the ball here. Don't let an addict drag you down.

Check out some stuff from Al-Anon if you don't believe me.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 3:28 PM on February 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


I think all the business about straight versus druggy is beside the point: you don't like him when he's stoned, and he loves to get stoned. It's that simple, and assigning blame is unnecessary. Practically speaking, you need to own the fact that you don't want to be around him when he's stoned, that it's a feeling as legitimate as loving pot is, and that the two of you need to come to an agreement about time, because you (OP) are going to take yourself off to do whatever your thing is whenever he is stoned, rather than spend that time despising him. (And oh my GOD do not have sex with him when he's stoned, because having sex with someone whose altered mind annoys you opens a huge resentful can of worms.)

Loads of people deal with similar situations - having a partner who's an obnoxious drunk or who's a terrible sport but just loves competitive games or who is obsessive about a particular unshared pastime. It can be a dealbreaker, or it can be just another thing to manage in shared daily life.
posted by gingerest at 3:30 PM on February 21, 2013 [4 favorites]


When I first read this, I thought "Once a month? That's something to complain about?" But now I'm thinking that by "once a month" something that takes a couple of days when it happens. But then I went back and it looks like maybe 1 day? So, I'm not sure . . .

But it also looks like you are an integral part of the plan. What if you're not there as a sex partner during this event? Are you a required participant?

I'm trying to figure out if this is a practical issue--you are a required participant in a lengthy ritual--or if this is just some minor thing that's gotten under your skin, beyond it's actual physical impact. So which is it?

Since you mention his past, which is not a current impact on you, my guess is that it's more a moral impact than one of time spent in an altered state. What if he spent a day a month in some non-stoner activity instead but one that excluded you? Night with the boys? Meditation intensive? Rehearsing with his band? Would that then be all right?

And do you think he should object if you wanted a day a month to hang out with friends he doesn't know/like/belong with?

So, I ask, is it about the weed? Or about the time spent?
posted by Obscure Reference at 3:33 PM on February 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


Substitute Pot with Alcohol

Er, OP states that she gets drunk to the point of injury. I would suggest that her own drug-of-choice is no better than her partner's, and her level of self-harm appears to be greater than his.
posted by nacho fries at 3:35 PM on February 21, 2013 [9 favorites]


It sounds like you do not like being around your boyfriend when he's high. It's understandable. I don't think him taking care of you when you've been blotto is totally relevant. Just tell him, "Hey dude, I really hate being around you when you smoke pot." And then make plans without him. It's not an ideal situation but you need to level with him. Not in an ultimatum way, but just be honest and move on. Long term, there has to be some resolution.

I also admit the therapist part troubles me a little. I have a friend who was having major issues because weed was interfering with their depression and anxiety meds and they really didn't want to stop.
posted by kendrak at 3:35 PM on February 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


First of all, OP, let's get this out of the way: if he's been arrested multiple times for possession, and you live with him, I think that ups the ante a bit on this. That suggests one of two things to me: he smoked out in public a lot, which is not so smart,, or he was dealing and got caught with a lot of pot on him that he was planning to sell. Given that, I think you are within your rights to ask him not to keep a lot of pot in the house, and maybe ask him not to smoke in your home while you are there.

You may have to to compromise on this, and one way to do that might be to choose to go out on those nights when he chooses to smoke. I think that might be a good plan for you anyway. Right now, your boyfriend has no real motivation to stop smoking. He associates smoking with happyfuntimes! He smokes, he sleeps, he has sex, he gets some noms.

If instead you disappear whenever he smokes, he may want to cut down to spend more time with you. Also, if you make a point of going out and having fun with friends each time he smokes, he may actually decide to go out with you instead of staying home alone to smoke.
posted by misha at 3:36 PM on February 21, 2013 [4 favorites]


In the interest of full disclosure, I am smoking pot RIGHT NOW (well I put down my bowl to type, because I only have the two hands, but...) and my boyfriend cannot smoke because of his job.

I think your boyfriend sounds like he's annoying when he smokes. My boyfriend is annoying when he drinks too much. Occasionally we go to parties and I know he's going to be doing shots because his dude friends are there. Sometimes I tell myself to just deal with it because he's a human bean and we all do annoying stuff sometimes. But sometimes I just do NOT feel like dealing with it, so I don't go to the party and have him get a ride with someone else. Sometimes he chooses to get drunk with his friends over spending another night home with me, and since it's rare I don't really mind. If it was all the time, or affected things we needed to do together, that'd be a problem.

I agree with others who say you can just let him have his stoney baloney weekends and you go do the cool stuff that he doesn't like. If it becomes a bigger problem, or if you don't even want to date someone who smokes at all, (and even if you just don't want to be with him anymore!) you can break up with him. My boyfriend and I have been happy together for 6 years and our levels of imbibing are different, so it is possible. (Though I will say, I don't think I could ever date someone religious because I am verrrry much not. So I don't know if this parallels that or not...)
posted by masquesoporfavor at 3:53 PM on February 21, 2013 [6 favorites]


You might want to ask your boyfriend if he has a choice of MJ suppliers/strains. It sounds like he's smoking some serious indica (that shit puts you to sleep) when you might enjoy him high more if he smoked sativa (more of a creative, energetic head high) Not all weed is created equal!
posted by signsofrain at 4:11 PM on February 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


Ask your boyfriend to buy a sativa blend versus an indica. Indica is what leads to the "couch-lock" high. Then, plan some activities that you can do with a stoned person. Walk in the park, go to a movie, lay by the beach.
posted by coupdefoudre at 4:15 PM on February 21, 2013 [5 favorites]


I've only skimmed all the other responses, but I just wanted to say that you shouldn't feel uncool or square for not wanting to be around someone who is high, especially when he becomes so useless and boring when he does so. I've been in a relationship with someone similar and honestly it just couldn't work out. He already had a relationship, with his bff4life Mary Jane. Even if he doesn't get busted in your house or anything, it just gets so annoying--you want to go out, he wants to sleep. You want to have a conversation about something (ANYTHING) and the dude just wants to eat everything in his fridge and play GTA. I don't want to say dtmf over this thing alone, especially if it remains infrequent, but go with your gut feeling. If it's getting on your nerves, and he's unwilling to stop or drastically cut back, that's not going to get any better and it's just going to become a source of serious resentment as time goes on, for both of you.
I would also definitely be especially wary of someone with multiple possession charges--even if he wasn't dealing, that can be an indicator of poor self control (seriously just smoke inside or don't smoke at all! good grief).
posted by Papagayo at 4:16 PM on February 21, 2013


Arrested multiple times? That would be an automatic dealbreaker for me. You might want to put the pot issue aside for a moment and ask yourself, "is it OK if my BF is in trouble with the law? How will I feel if he calls and asks me to bail him out of jail? What if this spills over onto me and I get arrested, too?"

I know pot is illegal, but as noted upthread, it's very rare for someone to be arrested merely for quietly smoking a bowl in the privacy of their own home. Unless your BF is of a race and/or class profile that is targeted by law enforcement, I wonder what is really going on.

In any event, legal trouble drama is something I Do Not Want in my life and multiple arrests would be an automatic dealbreaker for me, no matter how wonderful the man is in other respects. And if that makes me a square, then so be it. Pot itself? I don't care if someone indulges occasionally, but I don't want to deal with addictions and substance abuse either.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 4:33 PM on February 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


I strongly disagree with people who are telling you to dump your boyfriend.

He does this once a month? And other than that he's great? Sister, you are not going to find a boyfriend/girlfriend/mom/dad/anyone who is great 31 days a month.

If you don't want to hang out with him while he's on his monthly bender, don't hang out with him. Certainly don't have sex with him when he's stoned if you don't want to. But it's fine to let him have his space once a month to take a break that he needs to take.

(As an aside --- comparisons to alcohol and crack cocaine are not apropos. Totally different substances with different effects.)
posted by alms at 4:41 PM on February 21, 2013 [7 favorites]


I dunno, everybody has their own lines in the sand with relationships. It doesn't matter if it's a big deal to toke up once a month - or if the overall relationship he has with pot is the more problematic thing - it's a big deal, to you. I don't feel that your feelings about this are totally rational or whateve, but it doesn't matter, you're allowed to feel your feelings.

Sounds like it might be a deal-breaker to you. There are lots of THC-free fish in the sea, as long as you understand they might have other hobbies that occupy them for just as long, once a month or so. Given your problems seem to be mostly around the drug use, that could be okay.

If you want to stick with it, some ground rules are appropriate I think (once a month only, not for the whole weekend, etc etc). But be careful going down that path, if your boyfriend feels shamed (as likely he already does) he may start hiding his drug use from you and that's just a whole lotta badness (I suspect he may be... obfuscating some of it already, to be honest. I question if it's only once a month).

Let me put it this way, OP: He's already chosen pot over his health, and the cops. It's likely in an either-or situation he will pick it over you, too. I suspect this is where most of your anxiety and angst is stemming from, and I suspect that the anxiety is valid, too.
posted by smoke at 4:44 PM on February 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


"I'm such a square and totally not cool enough"

So you don't smoke the stuff yourself. Whoopee. So what? There are a wide variety of reasons people do or don't smoke weed --- I don't because I learned very young that it gives me the most MASSIVE splitting headaches, but that doesn't give ANYONE the right to put me down as uncool or unhip because of my personal choice. Your choice to smoke or not smoke is just that, YOUR choice. Your SO, meanwhile, has not only chosen to smoke weed, he has also chosen to place his desire to smoke above you: He would rather smoke marijuana than please his girlfriend.

To reiterate: he has purposefully chosen his marijuana use over his relationship with you. And if this is his behavior after only six months, then that doesn't bode well for the future, does it?

As for this weekend: fine, he's going to spend the weekend in bed until his stash runs out. You say he smokes, sleeps, wakes up for the occasional sex and/or pie..... ya know, there is NOTHING that says YOU have to stay there all weekend too, as if you were nothing more than a pie-fetching sex toy, awaiting his pleasure. Go somewhere and have a great time, either by yourself or with friends!
posted by easily confused at 4:49 PM on February 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


I know a lot of what I feel about his smoking habits are my insecurities that I'm such a square and totally not cool enough.

As I have grown older, I've come to value the fact that not being cool enough (whatever that may mean) keeps me out of a hell of a lot of trouble.

Being dumb and/or careless enough to get arrested multiple times for a drug that (in observation from my friends who had smoked weed) casual users have to try to get arrested for, that is the kind of trouble that being a big dork avoids.

So try to get over that feeling about not being cool. It will not help you in any way in the long run.
posted by winna at 4:55 PM on February 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


Just to get right to your question -- is this just something that I just have to learn to deal with? - -the answer is no. You don't have to deal with something that makes you dislike your boyfriend. I've dated some regular and semi-regular marijuana smokers and I find them annoying and boring, so I don't date them anymore. However, I've never been in love with one.

For some people, obviously, his past and present actions would be deal-breakers. Only you can decide if it is for you. It sounds like you don't want it to be, but the fact that you dislike your boyfriend when he is high and that it bothers you when he smokes weed at all (even once a month instead of regularly) makes me think that is actually is. Which is fine, but it just makes it really unlikely that you can just "deal with it."
posted by sm1tten at 5:10 PM on February 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


Sister, you are not going to find a boyfriend/girlfriend/mom/dad/anyone who is great 31 days a month.

Yes, that's true. Something else that is true: I get crankier than I should when the DVR stops recording with two minutes left in my favorite program, I laugh a bit too loudly at "Marmaduke", and sometimes I forget to put the last bag of trash out before the garbage truck comes. None of my quirky peccadilloes have led to my arrest.
posted by Tanizaki at 5:29 PM on February 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


I haven't seen this addressed yet, so I wanted to add a comment regarding this line:

He also suffers from depression, which is medicated and under control now, but he has said that smoking pot was the only thing that made him feel better when he was unmedicated, and so I kind of have a soft spot in my heart for that - I hate that I don't like this thing that made him feel like a normal person when he was in such a dark place in his life.

I don't know either of you, but having known a few people with depression, I would guess it's not that it made him feel normal, it's that smoking gave him an escape from dealing with his depression. Escapism is not the same as normal or functional. I wouldn't take on any additional guilt over this.
posted by RogueTech at 5:44 PM on February 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


Sister, you are not going to find a boyfriend/girlfriend/mom/dad/anyone who is great 31 days a month.

This is very true. But, finding a great guy who has managed to stay out of trouble with the law is so easy it's squeezy (again, excepting a VERY few demographics heavily targeted by police). It's not about quirks or bad moods or imperfections. You're not going to find a perfect guy, no. But I think it's pretty damn easy to find one with a clean record (or at least just ONE arrest that has served as a wake-up call).
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 6:07 PM on February 21, 2013


"This is very true. But, finding a great guy who has managed to stay out of trouble with the law is so easy it's squeezy (again, excepting a VERY few demographics heavily targeted by police)."

Yeah, but I've already got a girlfriend and I still get high more than once a month.

Lessee, guys I know who have gotten busted for possession? Well, where I grew up, it's only a civil infraction, so let's think about guys I know who have gotten busted for possession with intent to sell. One of 'em runs a recording studio in Chicago and gigs out, one of 'em is a semi-retired professor, one of 'em is a lighting designer, and one of 'em is a mind-blown Burner who writes amazingly terrible poetry. Out of four guys I went to high school with who got busted, a couple of them more than once, for possession with intent, three of them have professional jobs and functional relationships, and a couple of them even have over-achieving kids that they tote around in those urban assault strollers you see. The prof no longer smokes, but the rest still do. Only one is a burnout.

So, yeah, it's stupid to get busted. But insteada going all JudgeMe on this, it's fair to have an adult conversation with the dude about how this isn't very much fun, and that it seems to make the OP feel anxious (that's how I read "uncool" etc.), maybe because they're afraid of getting busted too.

Maybe the guy's a dumbass, maybe he's somebody who fucked up a couple times and can get his shit together, but the OP will know that better than we will.

My recommendation? Yeah, talk up the sativa, be honest with him about how you feel and how you'd like to solve it, and maybe think about planning more weekend activities that you both enjoy. A lot of stoners I know are pretty pleasant to be around once you get the momentum going, and while fucking high is a pretty fun thing to do, it sounds like maybe you're done with that for now. But talk to him and this doesn't have to become a bigger thing that it already is.
posted by klangklangston at 6:43 PM on February 21, 2013 [4 favorites]


Everything you've described makes it sound like a dealbreaker for you. If I'm right that it's a dealbreaker for you, then that's that. People can legitimately have dealbreakers that are much more trivial than this. The comments saying it's only once a month seem to be based on a misreading of your post. He's started doing it twice a month and talking about going back to doing it daily. He does it on weekends and it sounds like you'd otherwise be spending a lot of time together on those weekends. So this is either taking over your relationship or sounds like it's going to soon. Do you really not think you can do better than that? Find someone who you can be with and feel free to be yourself, without worrying about whether you're "hip" enough.

The objective qualifications you listed about him — intelligent, good at sex, etc. — might check off a lot of boxes in some generic "good significant other" checklist, but I don't see how any of that can overcome this utter clash of lifestyles.
posted by John Cohen at 7:42 PM on February 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


The key facts are that your boyfriend has successfully reduced his usage from daily to once per month, and that he generally has his act together. That tells me that he his growing and maturing and is in control of his life. He is not being controlled by the drug.

I disagree with those who say he is choosing the pot over you. That would be the case if it was much more present in your lives, and interfered with your ability to have an active social life, go out on dates, etc. That doesn't seem to be the case. There have been other AskMes where a dude clearly was choosing the weed over his girlfriend, but I don't see that here.

Give the guy some time to continue to grow. If your uncomfortable, let him know. If its a deal breaker, give him solid warning and a chance to give it up. Or if you can give him space for his monthly retreat, maybe that's okay too.

Good luck!
posted by alms at 8:28 PM on February 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


he generally has his act together. That tells me that he his growing and maturing and is in control of his life. He is not being controlled by the drug.

He's been repeatedly arrested for the same drug, and yet he continues to use that drug on a regular basis, and apparently plans to increase, not decrease it. This does not suggest that he has his life together, and it does suggest he has a drug addiction.
posted by John Cohen at 4:35 AM on February 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


Just popping in to say that this could be more related to the depression and less to the marijuana. (However, his disrespect/apathy toward your feelings is troubling regardless of the root cause of the issue.) Depression is a powerful thing, and it sounds like he may not be adequately controlling it with the medicine he's on. It's likely that he already wants to lay around on the weekend and completely check out of the world, and that pot is the thing that facilitates this (i.e. gives his body the ability to actually relax and finally shuts up the cycle of depressive thoughts in his mind).

Having a significant other that is suffering from depression can be very difficult. I suggest that you try approaching the subject not from the pot-use angle, but from the depression angle, and express that you're worried about him (not because of the pot, but because of his chosen non-hobbies), that you'd like him to discuss this with his psychiatrist, and that, while you understand that this is a manifestation of depression and you're not blaming him, you feel as though it is resulting in your needs being neglected. You're not asking him to give up pot, you're asking him to make an appointment with his doctor to discuss his ongoing symptoms, his pot use, and perhaps make a change in his type or dose of medication.
posted by melissasaurus at 6:27 AM on February 22, 2013 [3 favorites]


My impression is that the arrests were in his past, when he was a daily user. I would not hold those against him. Reducing his usage to once monthly counts in my book as addressing that.

I didn't catch the part about his usage increasing. That's far more worrying, and I agree that looks like a showstopper. If he moving towards more pot, he's moving away from the relationship.
posted by alms at 9:09 AM on February 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


It's all nice and good to be tolerant about drug use and even favor legalization, but not putting up with it in a partner does not make you intolerant. It sounds like this is a major hassle for you when he gets high; you don't need to put up with that.

Okay, so he stood by you when you got blitzed. Is that something you do regularly, or was that a one-time thing? My wife has seen me drunk and throwing up, but only like once or twice (we're 28 years married).

If you stay with him, I don't see it ending well.
posted by Doohickie at 10:30 AM on February 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


[This is a followup from the asker.]
OP here. First, I'd like to extend my sincere and total thanks to everyone who responded - all of you have given me quite a lot to think about.

I want to just address a couple of things I've read so far. His arrests were made in his late teens/early 20s, when he was a heavy user. He did stupid things like smoke in his car because he had nowhere else to do it. There was no dealing involved at all. He made a lot of bad decisions, which he's admitted, and hasn't done that since. He is a responsible member of society, holds down a pretty good job, is personable, graduated from a top 20 school.

To be clear, I don't mind us having separate time at all - we often spend time apart when he's at band rehearsal or I'm out with my friends. I don't think I should be his number 1 priority, as he's not really my number 1 priority, but I would like to be prioritized higher than marijuana. I don't mind when we're not together, but I do mind when he's high when we are together. A lot of your responses clarified that for me.

About my drinking - I don't often drink, but I do occasionally drink casually (a beer or two) when I'm out with friends, and due to the nature of my job, there were a lot of parties and social events this year from October to mid-January, and I ended up drinking more than I usually do. As far as the injury part, one time I fell because I'm clumsy and my glittery shoes were too big. I did throw up a fair amount mainly because I always think it's a good idea to eat a burrito from the 24-hour burrito place after drinking. Since mid-January, I've stopped drinking as an apology to my liver for the atrocities. I do not feel like I have a drinking problem.

I would like to extend a special thank you to smoke (relevant user name award) for making me realize that a lot of my anxiety about this stems from the fact that, in the long run, I'm afraid he'll choose pot over me.

I brought this up to my boyfriend last night, and we had a fairly productive conversation. I am not interested in breaking up with him at this point, but I did tell him emphatically that I wouldn't support a relationship where he was using it daily or even weekly. I am still slightly wary, but I feel like I have a better understanding of my aversion and also some new shades of empathy.

Again, thank you everyone. This is one of the reasons why I am extremely glad AskMe exists.
posted by cortex at 11:48 AM on February 22, 2013


Don't let an addict drag you down. Check out some stuff from Al-Anon if you don't believe me.

This person smokes pot once a month.

OP, I would say that you have received some of the worst advice I have ever seen on Metafilter, as evidenced by the quoted comment. But that's not really true- if you have the same REEFER MADNESS! feelings that are on display in this thread, you are indeed totally incompatible. But it wouldn't be your boyfriend who has the problem.

Otherwise, I have no idea why anyone would think it's a problem for your significant other to do an activity you really don't like once a month. What if, for example, he went fishing once a month, and you didn't like fishing? Would you consider him to be ignoring you? A fishing addict?

But, this thread, Jesus Christ.
posted by spaltavian at 6:00 PM on February 22, 2013 [7 favorites]


You know, many people like to take a day or two off to just relax and do nothing. For some, it's even a weekly religious ritual. Your body and mind benefit greatly from copious rest, and if the weed helps your boyfriend get there, good for him.

You should also show more compassion for someone who has been the victim of the Drug War instead of putting the blame on him.

I also agree with spaltavian and find most of the comments in this thread mind-boggling.
posted by Nameless at 7:26 PM on February 22, 2013 [5 favorites]


[Folks, enough with the JudgeMe stuff on all sides. Take complaints about "MetaFilter in general" to MeTa and not here.]
posted by jessamyn at 6:47 AM on February 23, 2013


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