I love my boyfriend, and we’ve been together eight years. All of that time he’s smoked dope every single day. I feel like I can’t really judge because I smoked it a few times a week too until I became pregnant. (I don’t anymore.)
We’re both really happy about the baby but his habit bothers me now like it never did before. He only smokes at night, not in the morning (I have friends whose partners wake up and reach for the bong and thank god he’s not that bad, but still). Since I’ve given up I’ve noticed more and more how it affects him. He has a good job and all, but beyond that has no motivation to do anything, and I worry I will literally be left holding the baby while he’s snoring on the couch every night. I’d love advice on how to tackle this with him. Used To But No More
Living with a chronic stoner can be hard. That lack of motivation, and the kind of self absorption that comes with any addiction, can shrink your world if you let it. That’s putting it kinda lightly, because I’ve seen dope cause quite insidious harm to the relationships of people I know. So I get how you’re worried about adding a baby into the mix. For stoners, it’s all about them and maintaining their ritual – which means the non-stoner parent will probably be left picking up more of the slack.
It’s time for you guys to talk, compromise, start the process. Are you willing? Is he? Would you be happy if he cut down but didn’t cut it out completely? If he agrees to cut back to the point where he’s only smoking on weekends, would that be a good first step for you? I know that’s easier said than done for someone who’s smoked every day for the past eight years. But you need to lay it all on the table. How you both want things to be when the baby arrives. What your expectations are of him as a partner and as a parent. Maybe it includes that he only smokes occasionally. That he shares the parenting load 50/50. That he’s present, sober, able to be left with the baby, able to drive your child to the hospital if there’s an emergency. Perhaps his habit just isn’t acceptable to you anymore now that you’re having a child together. Maybe you want him to get some help, or see a drug counsellor. Whatever your personal boundaries are on this, it’s time to start spelling them out.
You could also direct him to the info on this website, or read it yourself for an idea of the kinds of resources that are out there for people whose smoking has become a problem. You might want to see a drug counsellor yourself for some strategies on helping him. It may be a tough road ahead, and I wish you all the best with your pregnancy, and with navigating a solution on this issue together.
Love, reality chick
~ RC readers, what do you think? What lengths have you gone to help someone quit or cut down on substance abuse? What should the letter-writer expect going forward? Have you got any other strategies / advice for her?