Dear Dr. Archer,
My boyfriend has smoked marijuana every day for the past eleven years. He has quit because of jobs in the past. He never smoked to get through things, doesn't smoke until he gets home from work, and says its he likes to do it to relax. He says he does it to get a sense of euphoria, where he doesn't get mad about anything.
He is a Mason, and says he just likes smoking pot. He has cut back significantly since I voiced that I have a problem with it. It has driven me a little nuts, because I want to do what is healthy for both of us.
I love him deeply and would like to help him quit this habit because I want to be with someone who is clear headed. He says he will quit for me, but I'm worried that that is a bad reason, as it is me changing someone.
I want to know if this is healthy for him and me to continue with this relationship. I guess you can't just give me an answer like that. I just would like some advice.
The question, Linda, is would you think you were wrong to change someone you loved if you asked him to stop smoking crack every day? How about if he drank every day? What if he was addicted to prescription pain medication? Would you not want him to detox because you thought you were trying to change him? No, you would want to help him get over his addiction. Anything can be abused, Linda; the key is moderation.
So I encourage you to explain your reasons to him and ask him to quit or at least markedly cut back. If he can easily do this then this indicates he prefers you over marijuana and there is nothing wrong with that. If he tries and cannot quit then perhaps you two can reach a compromise. If all else fails and he really wants to quit then I suggest consulting an addiction specialist.
My advice is to offer support and encouragement, and to keep your eyes wide open and remember that once married, problems amplify. There is no rush here; the answer as to whether or not to continue with the relationship will reveal itself in time.