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Author Topic: Should this bother me so much?
aaa259
Neophyte
Member # 47869

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Okay, this is something I've been having a really hard time with. I've been dating my boyfriend since senior year of high school, and during freshman year of college (as part of pledging a fraternity) he started smoking weed. Not a lot, but he did. He now lives in the fraternity house at school (we're at different colleges, currently both sophomores) and even though I've brought it up a million times that I didn't want this to happen, he's started smoking more; probably a few times a week or every few days. We've talked about it over and over again, and every time he tells me that he knows I'm probably right about it not being the greatest thing to do but that he only does it to "chill", that it isn't interfering with school or anything else, and that he never does it around me (which is true) and that he's not going to let it become a huge deal, and that it's "just because it's college", something that would never continue into adult life.
BUT, even after hearing all of that every time, I am still really not okay with this. Personally I think smoking that often is just a huge waste of time that could be put to much better use, not to mention I'm not convinced it's as harmless as some people think it is, and I'm afraid that no matter what he says, it's going to become even more and more frequent and I really, really don't like that. He thinks that he should be able to do what he wants, and not have to stop just because I think it's bad as long as it isn't affecting our relationship, and that if he had to choose between that and me he would obviously choose me but that he doesn't think it's something where he should have to choose. In his mind, since it hasn't directly affected me or made him change as a person (which, to be honest, I don't think it has...), then it isn't a problem. I understand it's not my decision to make, but I just really wish he'd stop or at least cut down on it.
Would I be a jerk for making him choose? Should I even be as worried as I am or is it not as big a deal as I'm making it? And how can I make him understand that even though he thinks it's fine, the fact that I really don't like it IS affecting our relationship? (Him smoking, in itself, has not directly caused any problems; it's really just me knowing that he does it and not feeling okay with it. If I didn't know about it because he told me about it, I would have never guessed he ever did it.) I'm just not sure what's right here (aside from the obvious legality problem) and would appreciate some thoughts on this.

Posts: 15 | From: New York | Registered: Jul 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
September
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 25425

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I think part of figuring this out is talking about a few basic things of what people can and cannot ask of others in a relationship.

So here's the thing: It's absolutely not true that smoking weed isn't a big deal. It IS harmful to one's health, it DOES have detrimental effects, both short-term and long-term, it's obviously an illegal activity, and people can do all sorts of risky stuff while under the influence.

It's also perfectly valid for you to feel uncomfortable about the fact that your partner is smoking weed. That's how you feel, it's a very understandable feeling to have about that situation, and it's definitely something that you should talk to your partner about.

But: While you absolutely get to have your opinion on this, and you get to have your boundaries around this, you cannot really dictate what your partner does. Just like you, he gets to decide what he feels is best for him. And if he feels that, right now, smoking weed is what works for him? Then you can either accept that, or not accept that. And if it's not something you can accept, then you'll have to act accordingly.

All of us have deal breakers when it comes to relationships. Things that we cannot and will not tolerate. And that's just how it goes, and it's perfectly fine. But if there is something that I do not like, then it is up to me to make that boundary clear, and to be assertive about it when someone crosses the line. And ultimately, it's up to me to chose to end the relationship if the line continues to be crossed.

So, this is really your decision. Is smoking weed a deal-breaker to you? If it is, you need to talk to your partner about that, and let him know that you are not willing to remain in a relationship with someone who does drugs. And then it's up to you to stick to your boundaries.

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Johanna
Scarleteen Volunteer

"The question is not who will let me, but who is going to stop me." -Ayn Rand

Posts: 9192 | From: Cologne, Germany | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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We all get to have whatever limits, within reason, we want to have about what we want in our lives. We also get to have dealbreakers in relationships.

If smoking weed is one of yours, it gets to be one of yours. It's best to put a dealbreaker on the table early on, but sometimes it just doesn't work out that way, or you didn't know it was a dealbreaker.

Seems like it's one for you now, for whatever reason. If that's so, then since this relationship was already established without that on the table, then if you want to stick to it as a dealbreaker, your only options are to leave the relationship because of it, or ask your boyfriend if he'll stop, because it's a dealbreaker for you.

The issue here, though, isn't to make him come to your same view on this: he gets to have his own view and make his own choices.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
aaa259
Neophyte
Member # 47869

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All of that makes sense. We did start dating before it ever became an issue, so I had never even though about smoking being a deal-breaker or not (at least not seriously enough to the point where I thought I would be making a decision about it), and that does kind of make it harder to come in now and say "okay, this is going to be a really big problem." But we did talk about it more today and it sounds like we are going to be able to work it out. Thanks to both of you for the advice.
Posts: 15 | From: New York | Registered: Jul 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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You know, one thing is that we tend to learn what our dealbreakers are over time, and with relationship and life experience. We may know some without it, but mostly those are things we'll learn, so we can't expect ourselves to just know all of what we're not okay with right at the gate.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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