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Old 06-22-2011, 03:10 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Smokig Pot in a Marriage with a Recovering Alcoholic

Today I read the thread about recovering alcoholics using marijuana, but it didn't speak specifically to my predicament. Here it is:

My wife is a recovering alcoholic. For the 7 years we have been married, my use of substances had not been an issue until recently. When we first got serious while dating, she told me about her alcoholism. She had been sober for about 2 years at the time, and told me she felt strong in her recovery. She said she would have no problem with me drinking, so long as I wasn't going to be the type of person that drank every night and got drunk very often. This has never been an issue, because I pretty much only drink in social settings (not at home or when it is just us), and when I do, very rarely is it more than a couple of drinks.

On the other hand, my use of marijuana has become an issue in our marriage. When we first got married, I would only smoke about 2-3 times a year, almost always away from her. She didn't take issue with that. Last summer, I started getting into it a little more, mostly as a companion to going to concerts and listening to music, etc. Instead of 2-3 times a year, it became about 2-3 times a month. She was unhappy with this development.

Long story short, we began going to couples' counseling, with this as one of our core issues to delve into. I was asking for free reign on pot so long as I kept it away from her. She was asking for me to agree never to have it on our property and for me to return to the 2-3 times a year precedent. Ultimately in the therapy sessions, we agreed to compromise: I would do it no more than once a week, tell her about it, and keep only a small amount, hidden from her in a secure spot in our garage.

This seemed to be working well until a few weeks ago, when she told he she wasn't comfortable with the arrangement anymore. She now says that every time I smoke, it makes her love me less. She says she is repulsed by it, and most importantly, it is becoming a challenge to her sobriety.

On the one hand, I want to support her in recovery and avoid triggers and be the best husband I can be. On the other hand, I want to enjoy the drug on occasion as well. I honestly don't know what's fair or unfair, or where the line is between coming to a compromise that works for both of us versus the ideal arrangement for her sobriety versus making my own decisions for my body and enjoying what I enjoy.

I would give it up completely as I am not addicted (even psychologically), but I'm afraid I'll resent her, and/or her alcoholism. I'm not sure what to do.
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Old 06-22-2011, 03:18 PM   #2 (permalink)
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How important is your marrage to you? Is it worth at least giving no smoking a try? You say quitting isn't an issue... so give it a go. See how it feels. If it doesn't work for you, then you have your answer.
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Old 06-22-2011, 03:27 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Yeah, I'm considering that. More accurately, it has been a few weeks now since I have had any. To be totally honest, I miss it. I feel really restricted.

For the length of the marriage, I have avoided things I would normally do, like have a beer or two while grilling or having a pizza. I basically don't go out to bars with my friends, or with mutual friends of ours, out of respect to her struggles.

I have found an outlet for my 'unwinding' that I can handle, and I really struggle with sacrificing all or most of it, because I want to have fun and enjoy life, too.
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Old 06-22-2011, 03:31 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Well there you go. You have the answer already. Time to work on acceptance.

Being with your wife means giving those things up. Period.
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Old 06-22-2011, 03:43 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Maybe you should just quit your marijuana if your relationship is important to you.
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Old 06-22-2011, 03:44 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Here's my take from the perspective of a long-term recovering alcoholic.

What I found acceptable in early sobriety hasn't necessarily remained the same through the years.

My boundaries change as I change.

Today I have no desire to interact with people who smoke dope. Early in sobriety? Yep. Now? Nope.

I've learned how to enjoy life and relax sans any mind-altering substances, including alcohol/pot, and I stick with like-minded folks.

It sounds to me like your wife is growing and changing in her recovery.

She's set a new boundary.

Perhaps you two are growing apart.

What do you think?
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Old 06-22-2011, 05:20 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Hi Seenet - I don't believe this would be an issue for you if you had been with your wife pre-recovery...if you had experienced the heartache of knowing that your spouse's substance and their use thereof comes before anything and everything.

I can't tell you how many times I have said to my AH, "I don't understand. If I did something which was so hurtful to you and damaging to our relationship, and you asked me to give it up, I would do so out of love for you and respect for us, no questions asked."

What's more important to you...your wife and your relationship with her, or your love of pot?
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Old 06-22-2011, 06:17 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Sounds to me like you are addicted, or you wouldn't come here to ask a bunch of strangers to tell you it's OK to do drugs, even though it's destroying your relationship with your wife.
Sounds like pretty typical addict thinking.
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Old 06-22-2011, 06:35 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I'd look at it this way, if my partner was serious about recovery and told me straight out that something I am doing would compromise that recovery, I'd stop.

If he relapsed, he could die. If I stopped what it was I was doing, I may be inconvenienced at best.

Sounds more like you are seeing this as a power struggle but I would see it more as a health issue for her. Having it around is troublesome for her recovery and she stated it clearly. The good part is that she is able to articulate this so that tells you she wants to be successful.

Supporting her to stay healthy and productive should be more of a priority I think.
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Old 06-22-2011, 06:59 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Let's put a different spin on this. What if she was a diabetic and asked you not to keep candy in the house or eat it around her. Knowing that keeping candy in the house and her finding it and eating it could have grave consequences for her what would you do?
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Old 06-22-2011, 07:10 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Here's what I would do...

...I would have it in the house if I wanted it in the house. It's my house too, and if her recovery is compromised over that and I'm being threatened with it as OP is, I am going to rebel. It's blackmail and controlling on her part, recovery or not.

Her disease is not my disease- it's hers. She has no right to dictate to me, whatsoever, what I can or "should do." If she wants to set a boundary and enforce it, more power to her. Otherwise, she needs to get her focus OFF of me and ONTO herself and her recovery where it belongs.

IMHO, she's f***ing jealous that he can have a beer and a smoke and she can't. Why? Because she can't control it and he can. He can go out have two or three drinks, have a smoke with the boys, and come home, fulfill his responsibilities, hold a job and friends, and live the life of a normie.

It's about one thing and one thing only, control and jealousy on her part.

Dude, do what you want to do because YOU want to do it-- whatever that is. If she has an issue with it than tough ****.

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Let's put a different spin on this. What if she was a diabetic and asked you not to keep candy in the house or eat it around her. Knowing that keeping candy in the house and her finding it and eating it could have grave consequences for her what would you do?
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Old 06-22-2011, 07:26 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I think there is no absolute right and wrong in this situation. It comes down to the relationship, and the feelings of the people involved. She has a right to tell him that what he is doing is unacceptable to her. He has the right to tell her that for her to control what he does when he isn't around her is unacceptable to him. What it comes down to is whether it is so important to both parties that no compromise is possible. If that is so--if he feels controlled and untrue to himself by refraining from smoking, and if she feels disrespected and threatened by his continuing to smoke as he does, then the only solution is to split up. If the prosepect of that causes either party to change his/her position without doing violence to their own principles, then that's what happens.

What would be awful and destructive would be for one party to give in, while seething with anger and resentment, or for this issue that has become so important to be the subject of lies, deception, and suspicion.

There are healthy and unhealthy ways of responding. That's more important than what the ultimate solution is.
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Old 06-22-2011, 07:38 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyranoak View Post
...I would have it in the house if I wanted it in the house. It's my house too, and if her recovery is compromised over that and I'm being threatened with it as OP is, I am going to rebel. It's blackmail and controlling on her part, recovery or not.

Her disease is not my disease- it's hers. She has no right to dictate to me, whatsoever, what I can or "should do." If she wants to set a boundary and enforce it, more power to her. Otherwise, she needs to get her focus OFF of me and ONTO herself and her recovery where it belongs.

IMHO, she's f***ing jealous that he can have a beer and a smoke and she can't. Why? Because she can't control it and he can. He can go out have two or three drinks, have a smoke with the boys, and come home, fulfill his responsibilities, hold a job and friends, and live the life of a normie.

It's about one thing and one thing only, control and jealousy on her part.

Dude, do what you want to do because YOU want to do it-- whatever that is. If she has an issue with it than tough ****.

Cyranoak
Dude, I wanted to know how he felt about something other than a mind altering substance. I used diabetes because I am a type 2 diabetic. And I control it just through diet and exercise. I attend my grandkids birthday parties with all sorts of ice cream and cake and stuff and I simply don't eat it. What I was curious about was his attitude towards something he didn't feel so strongly about.

I agree it is her responsibility to not drink or smoke pot but I also believe that marriage is a partnership and each party makes accommodations for the other.

Take what you want and leave the rest.
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Old 06-22-2011, 07:43 PM   #14 (permalink)
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...

Dude, do what you want to do because YOU want to do it-- whatever that is. If she has an issue with it than tough ****.

Cyranoak
Your wife can say the same about her drinking, how will that benefit the marriage?

I don't know about others, but "I'll do what I want because I want and if she has an issue with then tough *****" doesn't sound like the ideal relationship to me, regardless of addictions and recovery.
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Old 06-22-2011, 07:50 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Her disease is not my disease- it's hers. She has no right to dictate to me, whatsoever, what I can or "should do." If she wants to set a boundary and enforce it, more power to her. Otherwise, she needs to get her focus OFF of me and ONTO herself and her recovery where it belongs.
Ah. Like Angels singing.

A few here should take the same advice and lay off this poor guy.
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Old 06-22-2011, 08:02 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Um,

He DID ask opinions on what he should do. I guess it's not that big a surprise that there would be a couple of different schools of thought on that.
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Old 06-22-2011, 08:11 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Cyranoak, I hear the pain in your post. PM me if you want to talk. If not, that's okay too.
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Old 06-22-2011, 08:16 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Ah. Like Angels singing.

A few here should take the same advice and lay off this poor guy.
Do you see a difference between dictating and asking for help? Sorry but I don't see the world as black or white, sometimes there are all sorts of shades of gray. I don't really know what is going on here because we are only getting on side of the story. I work in IT and we have a saying GIGO. Garbage in, garbage out. Make sure of your data before making a decision. I really don't feel we have all the data here.
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Old 06-22-2011, 08:35 PM   #19 (permalink)
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It sounds pretty simple to me -- it's not a matter of right or wrong here. She has told you what she needs. If you feel her needs limit the way you would like to live your life in a way you find unacceptable, leave her.

It really isn't more complicated than that.

And I can tell you that if my partner argued with me over his right to keep and use an illegal substance in our home, I would be the one filing for divorce before he could even make an appointment with a counselor. But that's me.
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Old 06-22-2011, 08:45 PM   #20 (permalink)
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After reading all of the posts in this thread so far, I can see varying viewpoints with equal clarity. So my questions are:

What about doing cannabis is offensive to her?
Is it the drug, itself, or your reaction to it/what it does to you?

Or is it that she doesn't want to be around anyone who does substances?

Why is it that your going out with your buddies for beer, doesn't bother her, but your smoking cannabis, does?

Short version:

What is the root of her objection?
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