My ex has recently started smoking marijuana. This isn't like her and I'm worried.
September 3, 2010 4:47 PM   Subscribe

My ex has recently started smoking marijuana. This isn't like her and I'm worried.

I recently initiated a conversation with my ex-girlfriend, whom I care deeply about (non-romantically) but am not on speaking terms with, on Skype chat. It was short and awkward, but during our talk I found out that she has been smoking weed on a regular basis. This shocked me and I found myself disappointed with her behavior. I am pro-legalization for marijuana and know a few people who smoke on a semi-regular basis, but I have never looked down upon them for their actions. I don't know why I feel this way. Is this wrong?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (26 answers total)
A theory for why you feel this way: smoking pot is often a social activity. Is it that she is likely spending time around people, possibly dudes, who are not you that is upsetting you?
posted by phunniemee at 4:52 PM on September 3, 2010 [6 favorites]

Is this wrong?

Well, not wrong, exactly, but she isn't your girlfriend and you're not on speaking terms with, so I would say it's probably none of your concern.

And like, it's certainly not anything to be worried about. People change, and taking up a little pot smoking isn't exactly falling off the deep end.

Let her be.
posted by Lutoslawski at 4:53 PM on September 3, 2010 [12 favorites]

Why is this any of your business? She's a grownup, right?
posted by roger ackroyd at 4:53 PM on September 3, 2010 [6 favorites]

Its the changing and moving on--it implies loss.
posted by Ironmouth at 4:56 PM on September 3, 2010 [17 favorites]

I don't see how it is any of your business.

Sounds like she is not the girl for you, but then again, you knew that already, didn't you?
posted by chillmost at 5:07 PM on September 3, 2010

You feel weird, I think, because while you're cool with other people doing it, it's not something you would do. If she's doing it, then maybe she's not as much like you as you once thought.

Sometimes it's a really uncomfortable feeling when you find that people you like have some habits/opinions/outlooks that are vastly different from yours. You don't have to disagree with those opinions to have that feeling of weirdness/otherness that might feel a little like disappointment or worry. It's worse with exes, because where you once shared opinions and information, you're now reminded that you don't share either of those things any more.

Short version: this is less about marijuana than it is about realizing you're officially out of the loop about what's going on with someone you care(d) about.
posted by stefanie at 5:11 PM on September 3, 2010 [17 favorites]

Why are you worried?
posted by telstar at 5:14 PM on September 3, 2010

Is it that rebellion on her part disturbs you, as it implies rebellion against her past (and you)?

Is it that you feel she is running away from her sadness about you, when you wish she was really feeling it? Her coping with the sadness by ignoring it makes you feel like your history with her is being ignored?
posted by salvia at 5:17 PM on September 3, 2010

Maybe you're worried because you are aware there is a stigma and possible repercussions and you care deeply. You have to trust that she is an intelligent and mature person and can handle herself. Just like your friends.
posted by griphus at 5:25 PM on September 3, 2010

An ex of mine started smoking cigarettes AND marijuana after we broke up, and we were both adults at the time. To my knowledge, he'd never smoked anything before, so I was very surprised that he decided to start this up sometime after we broke up. However, it's really none of my business if that's what he does now.

You don't need to approve of her actions, and your feelings probably aren't weird, but I wouldn't say you should be worried about her because she smokes marijuana now. I think stefanie has it right - the fact that she's doing it now means she's not the girl you thought she was. Maybe you respected her for not smoking and enjoyed that aspect of your relationship - that she was a non-smoker? Somehow you think she must be really different now if she decided to take up marijuana. But maybe she isn't all that different - maybe she just met some people who introduced her to it. And maybe she always wanted to try it anyway. As you know, a lot of people do it.
posted by wondermouse at 5:30 PM on September 3, 2010

I second/third/whatever "she's not the girl she used to be" as the reason.
posted by chrominance at 5:34 PM on September 3, 2010

It sounds like she's just kind of moving away from where you are in life, and that is often a sad thing. Give it time and space.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 5:38 PM on September 3, 2010

Are you maybe upset at evidence that she's not the person you had hoped her to be?

It's not wrong to feel the way you feel, but it isn't really your concern anymore.
posted by corey flood at 5:41 PM on September 3, 2010

I agree that it's probably because now it seems like she wasn't the person you thought she was. This happened with my ex and it was really distressing because you almost feel like who you knew before wasn't real. When you have really ingrained expectations about a person and they do something the person you knew them as never would do, it messes with your sense of reality a bit. I can empathize. It was hard to explain to people why it bothered me that my ex was acting like a totally different person, because I shouldn't care what he does now, but I still do because it reflects upon the past.
posted by elpea at 5:47 PM on September 3, 2010 [1 favorite]

You contacted an ex who doesn't want to talk to you and then you go online so you can continue to talk about her and your relationship with her but you frame it as a benign interest in her well being? Not to be harsh but you need to leave your ex alone and spend some time "worrying" about whether or not you're a control freak and why you're contacting her in the first place.
posted by fshgrl at 6:04 PM on September 3, 2010 [10 favorites]

You're disappointed in her for doing something that you think should be legal? That doesn't make sense.
posted by palomar at 6:28 PM on September 3, 2010

Those exes, they'll do all that shit you never figured they would.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 6:31 PM on September 3, 2010 [2 favorites]

Yeah, you're broken up, so it's kinda sorta her life.

Also the fact that you haven't spoken much, and then she threw this out at you- maybe she just said it because she knew it would shock you or to get your goat, or prove to some point about how she has changed?

At any rate, just let it go.
posted by drjimmy11 at 6:43 PM on September 3, 2010

There are a few things that might be going on here (along with great suggestions above).

1. You're worried, why? That is different from being disappointed, although the two things can go together. I can't say whether you should be worried or not. That would be something to ask her, I guess. If you don't want to talk to her again, you could ask a mutual friend. Basically "hey, how is she doing? I'm a little worried." If they don't know, you can ask them to check up on her. This is kinda borderline-okay behavior, depending how the breakup went. Don't ask someone who loves drama and gossip; ask someone mature and discreet who knows that you genuinely care about her but also understands why you're not on speaking terms (and that you'd like to stay that way, if that is indeed the case.)

2. Breakups hurt. They hurt a lot. Especially if you still care for the person. You might be looking for reasons to think "wow, she's not quite as (awesome) as I thought she was" because it makes it hurt less that you're not together. When people really quit liking each other after the breakup this is really obvious--the former love interest often becomes "that asshole with the stupid-ass car" or whatever.

Of course if you really care about her, it's a mixed bag because of course you want the best for her. So on one hand, the disappointment helps. On the other hand, it hurts.

3. Nostalgia, which someone described to me once as "the pain of returning home". Meaning that when you leave something and then come back again, it is not the same, and you have to face the reality that it never will be the same. Until that point you can imagine, as unrealistic as it is, that nothing was permanently lost as a result of your decision.
posted by the young rope-rider at 7:31 PM on September 3, 2010 [1 favorite]

You thought you knew this person and here she is doing something you didn't expect so know you are wondering if you really knew her at all. That my pop psychology 2 cents.

But it really is not of your business.
posted by Bonzai at 7:42 PM on September 3, 2010

It's always weird to find out something about a person you really thought you knew, that you didn't actually know. So no, it's not weird to feel weird about this. Of course, it isn't any of your business, and if you're not on speaking terms with her, stop trying to be and move on.
posted by davejay at 8:06 PM on September 3, 2010

I kind of feel like this is the relevant part of your post:

I recently initiated a conversation with my ex-girlfriend, whom I care deeply about (non-romantically) but am not on speaking terms with, on Skype chat. It was short and awkward

You're not on speaking terms with her, but you initiated a chat with her anyway. She didn't particularly want to talk to you, so it was short and awkward and not particularly satisfying, it seems.

I understand that you care about her, but if she doesn't want to include you in her current life, that's something you're going to have to respect. A lot of people have already said that this isn't really your problem to worry about, and that's true.

But I kind of wonder if the specifics of her "revelation" are really what's bothering you. It seems that maybe you're just hurt that your attempt to reconnect was rebuffed. Which, again, is understandable! But suggests that maybe the best thing for you to do is to keep your distance and concentrate on other friends.
posted by Narrative Priorities at 8:14 PM on September 3, 2010 [1 favorite]

I once experienced very similar feelings about an ex after a breakup. She wasn't smoking pot; just hanging out in circles that I found distasteful. "She's hanging out there? With those people? …what the hell?"

And, yes, it felt very much like the girl I thought I knew had abruptly turned out to be someone I didn't understand at all.

In retrospect, chances are that I never knew her as well as I thought I did, she had probably been wanting to do those things all along, and I was probably having trouble dealing with it because I couldn't accept that she was having a good time with people other than me.

Not my finest moment, but I (eventually) learned some lessons from it.

Others are right, though: the real question is not why your ex is smoking weed, but why you think it's any of your business, and why you're randomly Skyping her if you're not on speaking terms.
posted by ixohoxi at 8:51 PM on September 3, 2010

You in here for some marijuana!? I used to suck feet for coke man. Boo this man.

Seriously though, it's weed. You seem like you're still holding on a little tightly and are looking for anything you can use to be her white knight. Let her go.
posted by knowles at 10:08 PM on September 3, 2010

How regular is "regular?" Me thinks there is such a thing as smoking too much and it's hard to see how the people who get high every day are fundamentally different from people who drink a good bit every day.

If she's getting torched every day, yeah, I could see how you would be discomforted, but she's best left in your past.
posted by ambient2 at 10:23 PM on September 3, 2010

OP, I detect a slight tinge of 'Mind your own business, asshole' in some of the responses you've had. People are trying to convey how little your feelings are her problem and they are 100% right.

But I think you know that already. In their rush, I think some commenters have missed that your question is 'Why do I feel like this?' instead of 'How do I convince her that she is an idiot?'

Just so you know, I think it is quite brave of you to be interrogating your disappointment instead of acting on it. If only I could convince some people I know to look at their own behaviour and feelings instead of bugging me when they think I am doing something wrong [*cough* mother *cough cough* ]
posted by marmaduke_yaverland at 3:36 AM on September 4, 2010 [2 favorites]

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