Dear Dr. Archer,
From exploring your website I can see that you have received countless stories similar to mine so here goes another one. I am 27 years old and married to a man that is 36 and addicted to marijuana. I would also like to add that he combines it with daily alcohol use, usually three to six beers daily.
When I met him I was very young and we were both in our twenties. I didn't see it as a problem and being naive, I assumed that he would eventually grow out of it like most people. Seven years and countless arguments later, we continue to struggle with this issue because it affects other areas of his life and, therefore, our relationship.
I have never asked him to quit, just to smoke socially and not be dependent on it daily, but this has never worked. The problem that I have is that it affects his level of motivation, energy level, eagerness to spend time with me, and ultimately leads to a lack of honesty.
We own a house that needs repairs, and there are countless unfinished projects all around that he begins but never finishes. Days, months and years can go by and he seems unmotivated to finish anything. I do most of the chores and cleaning but can't seem to get him to complete any tasks around the house. He repeatedly pays bills late as well.
He'd rather be hanging out with friends, playing video games, surfing and smoking pot before, during, or after these activities. Changing a light bulb seems like such a challenge. He works for an average of five to six hours a day, Monday through Friday and as soon as he gets off from work he goes to his friend's house and smokes/plays games until I get off of work at 9:00 p.m.
He surrounds himself with younger, single people who don't have many responsibilities and enable his habit. Because he knows that I do not approve he sometimes lies about who he is with, what he is doing and deletes text messages and phone calls from his phone to hide things related to this.
He feels spending time with me is a chore and he would rather spend his free time and weekends hanging out at people's houses watching games with the freedom to smoke pot.
I am a young, energetic person that wants to experience life, try new things, make regular improvements in our house and life and have companionship. Many times I feel like just a person living HIS life with him.
He can’t strike a balance between his responsibilities, his relationship with me, and his individual interests. Getting him to go to see a movie, plan a day trip, or do something that interests me is rare.
To sum it up, I believe the lifestyle that he has created revolves around his marijuana use, interfering with his ability to have a stable relationship with me, fulfill his responsabilities and be present most of the time.
His habit of lying about his use has undermined the trust in our relationship. His continued lack of emotional investment in our life has been chipping away, making me an unhappy person around him. Many times I blame myself for not being easygoing enough, and think I'm odd since I don't smoke pot like everyone else in his world.
I have spoken to a therapist, read many books, articles and blogs about this matter and I still can't seem to find the guiding answers I am looking for. Is our problem marijuana or a character clash? Is my only solution to learn to accept it, and not have any expectations from my spouse, and to look for enjoyment without him?
Is marijuana completely harmless like users say it is, or can it have the type of effects that I seem to have noticed over the years? Does long-term or heavy use really lead to lack of motivation, or do people that are not motivated or with a certain personality type have a tendency to use it?
I am desperate for some clarity and guidance. Your psychological advice is very much needed.
Your question, "Is my only solution to learn to accept it, and not have any expectations from my spouse, and to look for enjoyment without him?” says it all. I’ll answer with a few questions of my own: Is this the life you want? Is this all you deserve from a husband? Why would you stay with someone like this? Are you really thinking about just accepting this behavior and living the rest of your life like this?
Answer these and you will have your answer. My advice is simple: he is addicted to pot, perhaps alcohol as well, he is immature, irresponsible and a liar. You’ve spent enough time trying to get him to change; it’s put up or shut up time for you.
Give an ultimatum now. Offer to help to get him involved in treatment, but tell him he must stop, that you deserve more and that you are no longer willing to live like this. If he doesn’t comply, then leave. Tough? You bet, but go back to your answers to the previous questions and see which is tougher, continuing to live like this or making the decision to leave.
As far as the dangers of long term marijuana abuse, Natalia, I will let you read for yourself. Two excellent articles are from Harvard University
and the National Institutes of Health
. Both articles will give you the facts without emotions clouding the issue.
It will give you much to consider and hopefully, will help ensure that you have a happy, healthy and secure future. Best of luck.