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    This Exchange simulates the original Couples Coping Support Group. It is designed to help persons with concerns in their relationships, family, marriage, seperation, divorce, etc.Offering a wide range of real world, personal experiences, information, knowledge, suggestions, & views from real people.
    I really need some advice
    random12 posted:

    My boyfriend smokes marijuana. I am not OK with this. We've been together for 4 years, and it's not something new that I never knew about. We started out as a long-distance relationship, and when we moved closer together I asked that he not smoke it when I'm around. He respected my request and never smoked when I was with him. A year and a half ago, we moved in together. I told him I refused to have it in our home, and if I caught him with it in our home, I would leave. I thought that would be enough for me; I thought that I could deal with his habit as long as it wasn't near me. But, apparently, I was wrong. It bugs the crap out of me that he smokes. I feel like he doesn't take life seriously enough to understand that his habit could cost him a lot. I also found out two years ago that he has been arrested - twice - for this habit and has only last year had his record expunged so that he could get a job (he holds a BS in Finance). I've been trying to urge him to get a job with his degree, but he's been slacking. I'm fairly certain it's because he would have to give up his habit if he wanted to get a job. This concerns me. I don't need him to support me, I have a MA of my own and a fairly decent job; I can support myself without any problems. BUT, I refuse to support a lazy bum who will not get a job for the simple fact that he doesn't want to quit smoking. We've tried to have discussions about how we both feel, but he refuses to see my point of view. He doesn't believe it's addictive or bad for him, and he doesn't think it will matter in the long run if he smokes or not. It's really starting to grate my nerves that he won't give this up. I hate to compare, but he asked me to stop drinking coffee because of the headaches I would get when I went without, and I stopped with no questions. Now, I feel like he won't return the favor. He's a great guy, and I love him and I feel like he loves me, and he treats me excellently. This habit of his is the only thing I can't stand. I can't decide if it's a dealbreaker or not, I just know that I hate it. How can I talk with him to get him to understand why this is so important to me? What should I do? I hate to sound like one of those girls who whines about something that could easily be fixed, but at the same time, I feel like that's exactly what I am. I don't want to give an ultimatum, not only because I don't want to be one of those controlling type of girls, but also because I'm afraid that he might not choose the option I want him to choose. It's sad, really, because I want to believe he would choose me over the drug, but I can't say that I know that for sure, and I'm afraid to find out. Does anyone have any recommendations for me, tips or suggestions for dealing with my issue?? I could really use some advise from people who aren't emotionally involved in my life. Thanks in advance.
    cjh1203 responded:
    Does he have a job at all, or is he unemployed? If he doesn't have a job and isn't willing to get one, that would be the dealbreaker for me, and seems like the most pressing issue in your relationship.

    When he asked you to stop drinking coffee (not sure I understand that, but it doesn't matter), it was your choice to go along with his wishes. You can't make him want to go along with your desire that he stop smoking. You can plead, cry, bargain, reason or threaten but nobody can make someone stop doing something they don't want to stop. This is the voice of experience.

    Then it becomes a question of whether you can continue to live with it, and only you can make that decision. I think the question of whether you are willing to support him indefinitely is probably a more important one to ask at this point.
    random12 replied to cjh1203's response:
    He has a job, but it's not a good one and he hates it. I also hate it. I hate the way it makes him feel, I hate the way certain people he works with treat him. I hate the fact that because of that job, we rarely get to see each other anymore. So it's not that he refuses to get a job at all, he just doesn't want to make any lifestyle changes that would facilitate his obtaining a great job. And I want him to have a great job. He knows I will never support him, and he knows I do not ever expect him to support me. We are in agreement in this matter. And one of the reasons I feel like I'm such a whiny girl is because he has been staying well within the limits of our agreement so far. It makes me feel bad that I have such negative feelings towards this. He has done everything that I have asked him to do, except stop completely. He doesn't seem to have any intentions of truly quitting, even though he has said more than once that he should and he will. It's one of those situations where actions speak louder than words: I'm wondering if he's just saying that he's going to quit to get me off his case, because he doesn't seem to be taking any actions to quit.

    I don't know if I can live with it, but I know that he makes me very happy, and I truly enjoy what little time I have with him. I know it's not fair to compare his request that I stop drinking coffee to my request that he quit smoking. But I honestly didn't think that it would be so difficult to understand the difference between my "bad habit" and his: mine was legal, his is not. I think the biggest reason I hate it is because it is illegal; I don't want him to get any (more) legal trouble because of this habit. But, I also hate the smell of it. Honestly, when he smokes, he does more around the house and he pays a lot more attention to me (who could complain about that?), but it smells horrible, and the odor gives me a headache. I tried to express that to him, since he has issues with my getting headaches (I get migraines and he seems to be genuinely concerned about my health), but it still has had no effect on his actions. He doesn't smoke in our home (because he knows I wouldn't stand for it and I'd be gone in a heartbeat), but he smokes at friends' houses, and when he comes home I can smell it. He even brushes his teeth and rinses with mouthwash because I've asked him to do that to try to get rid of the smell. I feel like such a demanding girlfriend because he's done everything I've asked and I'm still not happy. =[ I don't want to be that girl. I dont know why I can't appreciate the fact that he's at least trying to compensate.

    Sorry these posts are so freaking long.
    cjh1203 replied to random12's response:
    I can understand why, after you quit drinking coffee, you might hope that he would stop smoking pot, but it's obviously something he just doesn't want to do.

    Everyone who is addicted to something -- drugs, alcohol, tobacco, whatever -- will say they should quit and will. I did that when I was smoking cigarettes. I don't know how many times, and for how many years, I said that. I knew I should quit and wanted to be ready to quit, but I wasn't for a long, long time -- about 25 years.

    The person who is addicted has to be ready -- from deep inside himself -- to quit, or it isn't going to work. You can't talk someone into reaching that point. It's something that just happens -- or doesn't, in some cases.

    If he would settle for a job he hates, and not try for one that will enable him to use his education and get ahead in life, just so he doesn't have to quit smoking pot, I think that says it all. This is a major issue the two of you are quite far apart on, and there's apparently no sign that he's going to change. He's willing to settle for the status quo so he doesn't have to give up pot. You aren't happy with the status quo.

    He may be trying to compensate somewhat for the smell, but not for the bigger issues, like the possibility of getting arrested again and staying in a mediocre job that he doesn't like.

    For the record, I'm not necessarily against occasional pot-smoking, but when pot -- or anything else -- starts impacting a person's future, it's not a harmless diversion any more.
    ImMe26 replied to cjh1203's response:
    Some people are just okay with having meterocre(sp?) lives and jobs. He sounds like one of them. Id tell him to stop complaining then about his current one , if he isnt willing to make the necessary changes to get a better job and life.

    I know your feelings are involved but it sounds like a deal breaker to me.

    I dont really have any constructive advice, just wanted you to know someone is listening..
    Don't put off tomorrow, what you can accomplish today!! Procrastination is a KILLER!!--ME(26)SO(28)DD1(10yr)DD2(8yr)DS(2yr)SO's-DD(8yr)DS1(6yrs)DD(5yr)LUV THEM ALL ALWAYS WANTED A HUGE FAMILY
    ImMe26 replied to ImMe26's response:
    Mediocre ****Thanks CJH****the spelling wouldnt come to me to save my life when I was typing my reply....LOl....

    Smart woman!
    Don't put off tomorrow, what you can accomplish today!! Procrastination is a KILLER!!--ME(26)SO(28)DD1(10yr)DD2(8yr)DS(2yr)SO's-DD(8yr)DS1(6yrs)DD(5yr)LUV THEM ALL ALWAYS WANTED A HUGE FAMILY
    stephs_3_kidz responded:
    Your first mistake was this---becoming involved with someone who had a deal-breaker (for you) habit. So where do you go now? I mean, you chose this life. You knew what he was like.

    You don't want to give an ultimatum? Well, then it looks like you're stuck with the pot-smoking. I mean, an ultimatum is sometimes necessary. We all have ultimatums. After my husband and I were married, I discovered he had an addiction and I basically told him it was me or the addiction. As you can see I'm still here. The only difference is, I didn't know about it before we got married. I think it's a little harder for you to say that he needs to stop when you accepted it before. In his mind, he probably doesn't think you're serious about it because you accepted it before (even though you didn't like it).

    As for him telling you to stop drinking coffee? Yeah.....that's a control issue. Coffee does not equal pot. It sounds (to me, anyway) like he was testing you to see if you'd stop something he told YOU to stop since you were on him to stop with the pot.

    And you know, giving an ultimatum does not mean you are *controlling*. It means you have certain standards for your life and you are ultimately responsible for your own happiness.
    tmlmtlrl replied to random12's response:
    I don't know, it seems to me that you are trying to be that controlling girl you say you don't want to be. You say it is 'so important' to you yet you don't really have a consistent reason why.

    It's illegal where you are and you don't want him to get in trouble. OK, but that isn't under your control. That is his decision. You even talk about how much more motivated he is when he does smoke.

    Maybe you could ask him to just do it on the weekends when it would be more of a proper time to unwind? How much time is he spending at his friend's house smoking? I wonder because you say you barely see each other because of the hours from the job, so when is he smoking?

    Are you sure there isn't some underlying issue here with you? Do you just want to find out if you're more important than the drug? Have you talked with him about finding a new job without bringing up pot? Have you discussed him stopping for a month just to give it a break?

    You imply in your posts that his smoking affects him as far as what job he has or gets, but it seems like that's your opinion and maybe not I wonder if it's just been your way of finding reasons not to like him smoking because you also seem to imply that he does all that he needs to do on a daily basis.

    Maybe he has reservations about getting a different job. A job to do with finance might be intimidating or he may have a fear of being caught in a long term boring job that he doesn't really want. That's why I asked if you've talked with him about a new job without bringing up pot. He might have a real reason he's not searching for what you think he should be searching for.
    Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results.
    tmlmtlrl replied to stephs_3_kidz's response:
    I agree with you on the ultimatums. I believe the coffee thing was more about her getting migraines from when she wouldn't have it and not really a tit for tat kinda thing. She was just trying to say she quit when he suggested it would be better for her, but he hasn't quit when she suggests it's best for him..... I believe.
    Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results.
    stephs_3_kidz replied to tmlmtlrl's response:
    I think you're right that there isn't a *consistent* reason why she doesn't like it. But the fact remains she doesn't like it and doesn't feel like there's room for it in their relationship.

    However--when we accept certain things when we're dating someone, we sort of set a precedent that it's ok. It's much harder to change someone who doesn't WANT to change, than it is to set your standards/expectations beforehand.
    tmlmtlrl replied to stephs_3_kidz's response:
    Right, and that's why I asked if there's an underlying something here -- for her to think. If it really is that this is a deal breaker then it is ultimatum time or at least request time. I don't know that she's asked for him to stop at all.

    I kinda think that she has guilt because she's spent 4 yrs slowly trying to make the pot go away and now she's starting to really feel ready to ask for it. Guilt because he has respected her wishes thus far and now she's not sure if this request is too far or fair to ask.
    Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results.
    Anon_121810 replied to random12's response:
    HI Random, I wish I had advice for you, but unfortunately I am in the exact same situation. I hate hate hate it. The only difference, he wasn't doing it the entire time we dated, only a few months after we were married, and lied about it for months, then told me, then every few weeks said he will stop, and now its been over a freakin year. I do have to say he did it before we dated, for a while, but quit and I never thought it would be like this. I wouldn't have even dated him and he knew that. I used to get upset about it but he just gets mad and tells me it has nothing to do with me and its none of my business. Yeah- OKAY except this is my life too and he does it in our house and just like you I HATE the smell, it seriously ruins any good mood I have, but then I get in trouble for being "moody". I think about it nonstop, and I have so much anxiety because of it. Not to mention, how much money he spends on it. i dont know what to do either, the ultimatum thing scares me too, because I feel like as much as he loves me - he would turn it into I don't love him unconditionally and I am not open minded enough or whatever. He doesn't think it is that big of a deal. I am scared to have kids with him....I grew up with a dad who smoked too, and I don't speak to him anymore and had no respect for him anyway. If I were you though, and you think he has no chance of quitting, I would leave. If we weren't married I think I would have already left...........
    Foreverinyoureyes2 responded:
    I think it all really boils down to compatibility. Compatibility is more than just getting along with each other. It also refers to the moral codes that we all live by. If you too are not on the same page with this issue, you just arn't. No victim, no villan here. Just two people with differing opinions and ideas on a very important issue.

    As hard as it is to fathom that you could be spectacular together in every other arena, you may just have to accept the fact that this relationship is close, but no cigar for you. If your ideal partner is someone that doesn't smoke pot and feels the same way about as you do, then this simply isn't the relationship for you.

    Just like with any change in life, a person can only sincerely change anything about themselves if they want to more than anything else in the world. It doesn't sound like he is there at this time. If he quits 'for' you, he will resent you, and resentment is relationship poison. And he will likely go back to smoking after a short period of time anyway. Then you will have double resentment...him resenting you for making him quit, you resenting him for not staying sober.

    I know you were hoping that someone here could provide you with the exact right words to use to persuade him not to wreck his relationship by continuing an unneccessary habit, but if those words existed, you would have already said them. So you need to stop looking for the right words to present your point of view thinking he just doesn't get it. He gets it, I guarantee you, he just feels differently.

    Look at it this way. Are there any words that he could say to you that would make you change YOUR point of view? Probably not, so don't expect your words, as passionate and heartfelt as they might be to change how he feels.

    This is one of those situations that have only 2 options for conclusion. You can accept what you cannot change, and ignore the pot smoking all together. Or you can change you and your situation, by leaving the relationship. I really don't see other options, because his actions up to now appear to send a strong message that he has no intention or interest in changing what you have asked him to.

    I hope you find peace. Good Luck.
    Spankyrae replied to tmlmtlrl's response:
    I thought when she said it prevents him from getting another job, the concern was over that employer drug testing.
    cjh1203 replied to Spankyrae's response:
    That's what I assumed, too.

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