From one of my readers:

Reading these comments make me sad but I’m also full of encouragement and hope for those of you who have decided to quite this horrible drug for good.

Before I write anything else, I’d like to let you know I am a woman in my mid 30s who doesn’t take an aggressive stand against recreational drug or alcohol use. I’ve tried many things myself, probably will again and have many friends that do the same.

The experience I want to share is about chronic marijuana use and it’s effect on my last relationship. If you are a user, or in a relationship with someone who smokes regularly, then maybe in one way or another my story might make you realize, just like I eventually did, that your situation isn’t unique. I found it was reading other posts, stories and blogs myself that finally made me realise my relationship ‘issues’ were almost identical to many, many other people. And the thing we all had in common was a partner who was addicted to weed.

If you are a smoker and in a relationship that isn’t going too well, or if you are in a relationship and your partner is a smoker, then perhaps you recognise the following?

Irritability and moodiness: 

As soon into my relationship as 2 months I would come over to my (now ex) boyfriend or him to me and be met by a short temper or out-of-character low mood. Being right at the start of a relationship and overcome by infatuation this registers to the non-smoker as something very strange. I had been looking forward to seeing him all day, maybe for days and seemingly so had he. But still I met up with a person who was short or slightly harsh in the tone. A bit closed off and lacking enthusiasm or excitement. To the sober partner, subconsciously at least, this behaviour makes them feel undesired or that something is wrong. As it was quite early on in my relationship I tried to ignore this feeling and go with the flow. When we had known each other a little longer and after some repeated instances I spoke up about it. At this point I had no idea it could be the addiction so just expressed how it made me feel. I was met by an array of explanations such as hunger, ‘it runs in the family’, busy with work, stress and many others. Again.. The different explanations register as a bit odd to the person questioning the behaviour but I suspect my ex didn’t even realise how many different explanations he managed to come up with.

Cancellation of dates etc:

Again, early in the relationship I got stood up. The reasons were various, some understandable (work) some I had less sympathy for (just want to hang out at home). Please note that I am talking about a partner who does this very early on in the relationship, and with slightly too much frequency. Again, the sober person is left wondering if her/his partner is really as into the relationship as them, but in my own case there were many fantastic and loving moments between us and so again; I ignored my gut and went with it

Inability to cope with stress:

For my partner there was no such thing as maintaining a relationship whilst something was going ‘wrong’ or being difficult in other areas of his life. He was in between jobs at one point and this caused him to cancel more dates, act more distant, become completely incapable of dealing with any concern I might have brought up as well as become even more irritable and moody. The ‘stress’ absorbed him and ate away at him – it was incredibly challenging to try to be supportive as in context of what he had been through and what people go through all the time in life his behaviour and approach to the problems made little sense. Everything seemed to get so blown out of proportion. As the sober partner you’re left wondering what will happen when children come along? Sickness? Death of parents?

Incapable of making plans:

This became a common one, probably more so as the relationship went on and after I had expressed how the cancelled dates made me feel. At the start of the week my boyfriend would not be able to say with certainty when we could meet up or do something. Suggestions for dates or other events were met with ‘maybe’. The reasons were work or one of the constant stressors, yet as the week went by there would be plenty of time for him to meet up with friends or engage in things, as long as it had been last minute plans and he felt up for it on the day. As the sober partner your heart sinks a little more. You feel that you are not a priority and might even feel like your partner doesn’t even enjoy spending time with you. It also is easy to start putting your life on hold. You don’t make plans for your friends or yourself in case your boyfriend decides out of the blue that today is a good day to see you.

Emotional immaturity:

Because getting stoned allow most people an escapism from any emotions they may be feeling, it’s safe to jump to the conclusion that if you start in your teens and smoke regularly for X amount of years, you will not develop a good strategy to deal with your emotions. You’d probably also be very sensitised to feeling anything, meaning the slightest hurt or anger makes you uncomfortable. Most people cope with this by just smoking more. Emotions like hurt, guilt, anger etc are uncomfortable, granted. But when we feel them that uncomfortable feeling is there to teach us something. If you don’t allow yourself to feel these feelings, you will not become very good at avoiding what behaviours or situations make you feel that way. If there was conflict between me and my ex, or I brought something up which I wanted to discuss, My ex very often demonstrated behaviours similar to that of a teenage boy. He’d shut down and refused to discuss, he’d blackmail me through threatening to end the relationship, he’d become incredibly defensive and would often ‘punish’ me for days afterwards through getting in touch with me a lot less than I was used to or being cold towards me. This made me very frustrated but also hurt. When you express a need or desire to the person who loves you (within reason, and my needs were definitely within reason) and they don’t show any desire to compromise to make the relationship better and address that hurt, it makes you really question their commitment and love. With that of course comes insecurities and anxiety. Having a discussion or argument with someone who responds like a 16 year old, when you are both well into your 30s also becomes draining. You know an adult mature conversation is all it takes yet you find yourself roped into 3-day fights, resentment, blame-games and all the rest.

Distant personality: 

It’s only with hindsight I can now see so many of the things I’m listing here with clarity. With distant personality I mean little genuine interest in what goes on around you. My ex would ask about my day but I soon realized how forced it sounded and conversations were difficult and felt a bit ‘fake’ unless alcohol or cocaine was involved. We’d go for a walk and run out of ‘normal’ things to talk about and I can’t count the times we’d be hanging out together on the couch, him absorbed with his laptop, me kind of just floating next to him, reading or watching TV. Not a word said for sometimes hours. Again, this is fine when you have a solid past behind you but in your first few months? And to any stoners reading this who think they function absolutely fine when lean: to anyone who knows you and who is present there is an absolute change in the atmosphere and they pick up on it. You may feel normal, but take mine and your sober partners word for it: you really appear very very different. It’s hard to pinpoint but to most people who’s with you it’s unsettling.

Delayed uptake of information:

 I would convey something to my ex and often be met by; ‘let me think of that’ or ‘I need time to process that’ only for him to seemingly forget about it all together. It wasn’t complicated stuff in most cases.

Lack of enthusiasm: 

This goes along with irritability perhaps, but it’s hurtful and draining for a positive, optimistic and happy sober partner to constantly be met with negative responses to suggestions of things to do, not much engagement and no smiles to funny stories, no laugher, no zest for life, no excitement about the future etc etc

There it is. My one (and only) experience dating a chronic weed smoker. From the reading I have done, my story is not by any means unusual. My ex fell in love with me, wanted a future with me, wanted children with me, was proud over me, felt absolutely so lucky to be with me, yet now he has lost me. And I of course have lost him. I can’t be angry with him. In fact I spent many weeks after our split feeling very sorry for him and like I had abandoned him. Although it took me a few months to make the connection between the drugs and his behaviour, once I confronted him about it he ended up defending and choosing his addiction over us.

I’ve listed the things which made our relationship impossible. But in between these behaviours and issues were of course moments of bliss. A lot of love and a lot of wonderful times. I think these times are what kept me stuck for a few months. I fell in love and I didn’t want the good times to end. It still hurts a lot thinking about ‘what could have been’ but I suspect that’s just an illusion we get lost in when our dreams and fantasies are shattered.

I’ve moved on and if you find yourself in a similar situation to mine then I hope you can too. To any smokers out there struggling with relationships and not understanding why: I really hope you will start listening to the people close to you and trust that they really do see the World more clearly than you ever can. I hope you can realize that it is time to stop making excuses for this horrible drug. It’s not innocent or harmless, it’s ruining lives. You will never quite see just how much until you become free. I wish everyone the best.

    9 replies to "What’s it like being in a relationship with a chronic marijuana smoker?"

    • Patrick

      Thank you so much for this article. This is bang on and I really could not even add anything more to the reality of dating a chronic pot head. I still am struggling in coming to terms with this because there were good parts that is really hard for me to just let go of. I didn’t stay for too long because I know it would destroy me. He is also a social worker and deals with his post work stress by completely zoning out from the world. It was hard for someone as extroverted, outgoing and full energy to compromise on his actions, when he is not willing to do the same. I never thought of it being his dependency on weed but based on this article, it truly is.



    • Brittany

      This is so relateable. I am going through a similar situation and the guy i’ve been dating has been a smoker for ten years. We’ve been together for almost a year now and it started out more beautiful and passionate than anything I had ever experienced. I really thought, and sometimes still think that he’s the one. He really is an amazing guy but he has so many suprested issue’s from childhood. He currently suffers from Bipolar 2 and covers up any intense emotions he has with cannibus use. He smokes chronically and probably much more than I even realise. At first I tried to be accepting, I didn’t grow up with it so I figured I was kinda bias so I did my best to accept the habit. The problem with this situation is that I let him get away with way too much. His behavior (like the ones here) caused me to slowly deteriorate mentally. I tried to talk it out but he just shut down, said anything that would make me feel better and just continued as he always did. I’ve tried so hard to make it work but I can’t just watch him just go through life existing and not feeling as strongly as I do. I need someone who works with me to resolve problems. Not someone who feeds me lies just because he can’t cope

    • Pam

      I have read through many of the posts left on this site. SOOO TRULY HELPFUL! I dated someone who mentioned he smoked weed and I put it out of my head initially. I thought perhaps it was just recreational use. Eventually after several weeks of dating, he invited me over to his house to meet his son and hang out a little. MAN, what a wake up call! He spent the evening drowning in pot smoking!! Bongs, joints, vaporizers were all ablaze throughout the evening etc. It was clear he was REALLY into it. He then admitted to me that “I will smoke pot until I die.” He had also mentioned that he had smoked it continuously since a very young age!! LONG story short, I continued to feel uneasy. I had started to have feelings for him but I didn’t fit in to his world of pot smoking. He had the raspy sounding irritated breathing from irritated lungs, sometimes had a tight chest, and chest pain, sometimes had to spit out phlegm, sometimes had to pass out or sleep a lot, had very little energy for intimacy and sometimes had a huge surge etc of sexual energy???? Confusing! I also noted many of the things mentioned in other posts on different forums on this topic. At times, he had trouble keeping plans and dates with me and would become vague or loosely commit to plans, he couldn’t or WOULDN’T communicate with me if I ever brought up something that was bothering me that made him uncomfortable. He would at times barely acknowledge my feelings and comments when I just wanted to communicate and improve our relationship and keep the lines of communication open. He would almost dismiss uncomfortable subjects by jumping over the subject and talking about something else right away or acting like it was never brought up in the first place etc. SO HURTFUL! I continuously wanted so much to just love the HELL out of him and always tried to talk to him with respect and even held back many times and went with the flow thinking that this approach would help. I’m not sure it did. I never got through with EITHER approach. He was sometimes very high and in good spirits and also sometimes very irritable and angry other days. I wasn’t sure which side of the high he was on or what a normal week looked like for him??? I felt really really guilty about probing into his life but decided to do a background check after he mentioned he was dealing with some legal matters! Good intuition. He had a long list of offenses that showed me that he likely wasn’t the best partner for me including the fact that he had used pot to cope all these years while repeating the same offenses over and over! He was very bitter towards his ex wife as well and brought her up a lot just going on and on about how horrible she was using explicatives and regurgitating all the bad memories and experiences he had with her. He did this a lot!! Too much information!! He was also very angry at lots of other people and became animated about it from time to time. He felt he had enemies and “haters” in another state and I just couldn’t tell what was real or false. He was either paranoid or just dealing with a lot of broken bridges and/or conflicts with others in his past. I always felt his strong feelings of hate for his ex wife were actually stronger than his like or love for me! I didn’t feel he had ever truly processed all of his emotions about various things. I felt I was walking right into his storm and I felt deeply uneasy about it. My life was super stress free! I was not into any drug and had a very stable and fulfilling lifestyle!! He in the other hand, had lots going on and lots if loose ends he was dealing with. He wanted me to move in fairly quickly which was another red flag. My credit was excellent while his was either poor or non-existent. I felt like a band aid in his life although I’m sure he may have actually wanted a relationship. It just seemed like any relationship would have to be mostly on his terms at my expense!! There is just so much to say about riding the waves in the relationship but I just reached my threshold and finally got the courage to go ahead and break up with him. JUST the addiction to pot was a deal breaker, but seeing that so much had happened in his life BEFORE meeting me and noting that pot smoking was a DAILY coping mechanism made me scared! I do agree that if you don’t process your feelings but instead, use a drug to temporarily avoid the discomfort, you will never be able to be emotionally available to your ( sober) partners needs. I praised my self for NOT staying forever and ignoring all the red flags as I did at the start!! Going No contact is a BRILLIANT idea! It hurts! YES it hurts and seems counterintuitive. You long to connect, to get better closure, more resolve and clarity and PEACE. You LOVE the other person and want the best for them and are secretly hoping it can work out and are willing to reach out “one last time” and see if something buds again and there’s a chance at a mutually fulfilling relationship. BUT it CAN’T happen if there aren’t TWO vulnerable, honest, and emotionally available and HEALTHY people there to do that. You will go back with high hopes with an open heart and if your marijuana addicted boyfriend is STILL using, you will get hurt and disillusioned. It will leave you feeling like a fool as well. If an addict hasn’t changed, you run the risk of hurting yourself AGAIN. Why not put all your strength and energy I to seeking someone who WILL be all that you need in the long run! Why not choose someone whose state of health- emotional and physical matches yours! It’s time to let go and yes it’s possible right now!!!! I DID IT! AMEN! I DID IT! Picture yourself with the person who is addicted over time. Get as detailed as you possibly can in your mind. Play this out over YEARS and ask yourself if YOU can hold up, dismiss, or fully accept how YOU will feel, how YOU will live, and how YOU will get your needs met! Why do this just to get a little love now and then? This would NOT be a sustainable lifestyle and you would be wasting time not fulfilling your best life! You CAN DO IT!! Give yourself permission! Once you are IN another relationship where love flows, you WILL NOT REGRET your decision!!!

      • jenna

        ugh..this is my life right now, Its so hard to let him go.

      • Nomorestoners

        I experienced everything you did. Amazing how the dysfunctional partner is dictating all the terms of the relationship. Every day I spent in that relationship brought me down. Finally I realized I was seriously depressed. What other outcome could there be? The primary relationship is between them and pot. You and I were after thoughts. .

    • Cheech's gal

      I so needed to read this! I’ve only just started seeing a smoker who I adore but the behavior described is him exactly. I smoked for years and I know it did me no favours. You’re in an alternate reality when you’re a pothead and real life is something to be avoided at all costs.
      His flakiness and unresponsiveness,even though he’s also very sweet and adorable at times,is messing with my emotions and I realize I need to pull the plug instead of wasting my time.

    • Shannon

      I’m here because I’ve been dating a smoker for 1yr. At first he was always broke. I thought ok, he’s going through a hard time. He has a good job, and a yr later still broke (we dont live together). I now know his income and expenses, and it doesnt add up. He says he’s trying to save, but I just have a feeling he’s not saving and its going up in smome (punn intended). Feedback from others who’ve experienced this would be appreciated…?

      • John Mckee

        Howdy. It can be an expensive habit for sure. I wrote a post about how much I spent smoking weed. $50 a week is $2500 a year. Lots of smokers spend much more than that on smoke and accessories. How much does he eat at restaurants, drink etc. Do you have a goal to save together?

    • Rachel

      Let me say I agree WHOLE HEARTEDLY. The continuous pot use has caused:

      SERIOUSLY Poor decision making
      Lack of social skills
      Inability to follow a conversation
      Lack of recall
      Lack of memory
      Aggressive issues
      Crying too much at sad situations and doing so frequently
      Use of hurtful sarcasm and thinking serious things are “funny”
      Inability to follow through on almost everything and suffering long-term consequences repeatedly.

      I should point out he has been a chronic user since he was a teen and is now 45. I’m over it.

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