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Concerned for my partner

Old 11-06-2019, 03:42 PM
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Concerned for my partner

Hey guys,
My boyfriend has a long history with marijuana (in proportion to his age). It started around age 16 or so, and he's had this cycle ever since where he smokes for a while, can't stand where he ends up from it, and quits for a while. I've personally seen him be in the midst of everyday use (constantly high) twice. The first time he came out of it on his own, and the second time he needed some tough love. The reason I'm writing today is that last night he came home high for the first time in 9 or 10 months, and I'm terrified. The last bout with this addiction was hell for me, and that's tough for me to say because I can't even imagine how he must have felt. But, I think it's important to acknowledge what you're feeling, and that's how it felt for me. I almost left, but I kept up hope and stuck it out. Now, I see it starting up again, and I'm not sure what I should do. The only emotion I could register when I confronted him about it was anger, but now that it's been a few hours since then, I'm just scared about what this means. To be completely fair, smoking once doesn't mean he's officially relapsed (Does it? Correct me if I'm wrong), but it changes things now that he's willing to smoke at all. I've seen some of you talk about how thinking you can moderate your usage leads back into addiction, and when I asked him if he was planning on continuing to smoke he said "I'm not sure yet", which is not comforting. I can't just wait around to see how it pans out, because I can't sit by and watch him do this to himself again.

I know I'm not making clear questions to respond to (I really just need to talk to someone -- I can't tell my family in order to respect his privacy), so let me jot down what I would like help with:

1. How do I formulate a healthy conversation about it with him? This morning we woke up and he acted like everything was normal, but I still feel uneasy. So, I guess, how do I express that without shaming him or blaming him?

2. Is smoking again as worrisome as I'm making it out to be? I have a history of anxiety myself, so I'm not always aware of when I blow things out of proportion. It was just once so far, but with his history I feel like it means so much more than that.

Thanks in advance. I'm still inexperienced on how to help a loved one with an addiction, so any and all advice helps a ton.
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Old 11-06-2019, 05:06 PM
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Hi and welcome guidanceseeker,

I'm not sure I can speak for everyone addicted to pot - we're a diverse bunch - but yeah by his language it sounds like your partner hasn't completely closed the door on more smoking.

For me smoking again after me accepting how damaging it is would be a relapse - but your bf may not see it that way.

Nevertheless, I think you have grounds to be worried.

I'm no sure how to broach the subject without him getting his back up, especially if you've raised it before.

We can be pretty defensive about our smoking when cornered.

if you feel you need to clear the air and establish boundaries I would stick to the basics - you're worried about him smoking again and you feel you can't stick around and watch him destroy himself again.

The bottom line is - how much are you prepared to put up with and what happens if/when he crosses that line?

D
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Old 11-07-2019, 09:55 AM
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Might I suggest you also check out the friends and family of alcoholics forum. It is a very active forum, there isn't a forum for the friends and family of people with a marijuana dependency yet. My EXABF was using both alcohol, marijuana, and had experimented with other substances so I feel comfortable reading several places. I originally came to this site because of the marijuana dependency forum. I was looking for information and reassurance. My relationship was started with me being completely naive and my ex lying from the start (said he was a non smoker). Reading these stories of individuals that are working to overcome their dependence has been helpful. I couldn't live with his use and I realized he didn't want to quit. I come back here from time to time to silently root them on in their recovery and to remind myself that is can be done but it has to be their choice and my ex chose to continue his relationship with drugs and alcohol. I chose not to be in a relationship with an individual that uses. I need to move on, he has found his next enabler and I don't want that role.
To go back to your question, it sounds to me (based on his own statement) that he is not ready to quit. You can't control his choices or his actions. Maybe it is time to really think about what you want for your life and what your boundaries are?
And for everybody that is working on their continued sobriety, keep up the good work!!
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Old 11-08-2019, 06:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Gingerpeach View Post
You can't control his choices or his actions. !
But you can control your own!
That's how it goes.
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Old 11-09-2019, 09:17 PM
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Welcome to SR Gs,

Here's the reality of the situation.

1.) The only way he'll stop for good is if he wants to stop for good. Like you've said, he stops for some time but has inevitably gone back each time. Unfortunately, addiction is progressive, and every time he goes back to smoking, he's letting a monster out of a cage. There are no guarantees when or if he'll stop again. If he does, there are no guarantees that he won't start again. I hate to say it, but it doesn't sound like he's done yet.

2.) It's hard to hear, but there's not a whole lot you can do to modify his actions. You can set ultimatums, but if he's only quitting for you, it won't last, and/or he'll begin to resent you.

3.) If you choose to stay with him, you're going to have to accept the fact that everything I just said has the potential to become your reality. You'll be accepting the fact that he could stay clean for five years, and then come home high again one night.

4.) If he does make a genuine effort to get and stay clean for himself, he'll do whatever it takes. You'll probably be able to tell. From my experience, a personality change often occurs. With that being said, his intentions could be genuine, but he ultimately may relapse again. Just going by statistics alone, 40-60 percent of people who get clean relapse at some point. In the first year, it can be north of 80 percent.

5.) In terms of how worrisome smoking cannabis is, I wouldn't so much worry as to what the impacts on him could be. Instead, I'd think about what the impacts will be on you; someone in a relationship with someone in active addiction. What happens to him happens to him, and you don't have any control. Like you seem to know, you only control what happens to you.

Al-Anon or Nar-Anon could be helpful. I hope things improve.

-RT
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