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You Asked: Why Is Me Saying No Not Enough?

Dear Sugar,

My boyfriend and I have been together over a year and we have a wonderful relationship. He's intelligent, faithful, attractive and kind. I know that I want to marry him and have a family with him sometime in the near future. However, I am completely (and outspokenly) opposed to drugs and smoking cigarettes. Before we met, he was a major stoner, but by the time we started seeing each other, he had quit. He told my roommate that one of the reasons he stopped was because he knew I wouldn't date him if he was a drug user. In the past year, everything has been great and his past rarely comes up.

Recently, he has expressed to me that it wouldn't be a big deal if he smoked every now and then, and he doesn't want to hide it from me because he wants us to be honest with each other. I have made it perfectly clear for our entire relationship that I am not OK with it, that I don't want a boyfriend who does drugs, even if it's only on occasion. I know that smoking weed once and a while isn't the worst thing he could be out doing, but I just don't want to be in a relationship with someone who uses. He said that the most important thing is that we love each other, and while I believe that, I am still not willing to budge.

Late into this argument, he dropped the bomb that he had already done it without telling me in the past year. I stopped talking to him and spent the rest of the night crying. Since then, we've both let the issue drop because we are at a standstill. I'm not sure what to do from here. On one hand, I can't imagine loving someone more than I love him, but on the other, I'm seriously against drugs. Please advise? — I Say No Nancy

To see Dear Sugar's answer

Dear I Say No Nancy,

I completely respect your decision to say no to drugs, but you have to remember that you can't project your values and beliefs onto others. Your boyfriend clearly stopped smoking pot for you, not for himself, so it was just a matter of time until he slipped up.

You say you love this man and that you want to get married and have a family one day, but it sounds as though you aren't accepting him for who he really is. The fact that he smoked behind your back, knowing you are opposed to it, makes me wonder just how much of himself and his life he is keeping from you. Smoking pot occasionally doesn't make him a bad person, but you shouldn't be compromising your values if you don't agree with his decisions. If his smoking is more important to him than making this relationship work with you, then I think you know exactly what to do Nancy. If neither one of you is willing to compromise nor meet somewhere in the middle here, it just might be time to call it quits and go your separate ways. I wish you luck.


Join The Conversation
allien86 allien86 9 years
I agree with onesong. Compromise if possible (he can occassionally but not in front of you etc.) but if not you will have to leave him as its not fair to either of you.
LoL! Julie F Baby, children are not born with holes in their heads, or any birth defect for that matter, because their father smoked marijuana. In fact, the only effect marijuana has been proven to have on an exposed fetus (i.e. mother smoking while pregnant) is a higher birth weight. A friend of mine actually asked her OBGYN the effects, and that is what he said, and did not even suggest she quit. In fact, my BFF smoked all throughout her first pregnancy until she was 8 months, and swears by it. Her daughter is at a completely normal level, and the best behaved child I've ever seen. Not to mention, my mother smoked when she was pregnant with me, and I'm rather intelligent with no holes in my head, and that's not just my opinion. Don't make outlandish claims that you, or the government for that matter, has no evidence of.
Jillybeanz238 Jillybeanz238 9 years
You say you want to marry him and raise children with this man. But ask yourself, do you really want to raise your children with a guy that may have a drug problem (one sign of addiction is to go to any and all lengths including risking to lose the love of your life to get your "fix")? And let's be honest, it is still illegal here. But here's the BIG detail your are glazing over... before you 2 dated he was a STONER. That is, someone who smokes regularly and often. that is a lifestyle, just like NOT wanting drugs in your life at all is a lifestyle. He will smoke again whether or not you 2 work this out. Growing up thinking that your father loves drugs more than his job, his home, his wife and his children does not a happy home make. Good luck. You have a lot to think and talk about.
Cynnie Cynnie 9 years
I wrote a comment when this post first came out and I came back across this text and started reading the comments and it had me thinking... Alcohol is a 100 times worst then pot...Seriously, it alters your attitude so much more then pot. For all I know, alcohol is even more dangerous and no one is actually making it illegal. Who ever heard of someone dying due to marijuana? Though, how many times you turn on the tv and hear that some people died because of drunk driving, pill popping and all that great stuff... My boyfriend occasionnally smoke pot and I do not think any less of him. All it does to him is make him a softy lol... On the other hand, if this was a deal breaker for you and that you really do not want to budge on your point of view, then maybe this is it. You'll find someone who, firsthand, doesn't smoke...because you can't change someone who was already doing it before you...You can't make yourself out to be his savior...he has to do it for himself because HE thinks it's time to cut it out...
michelleyk michelleyk 9 years
I have a similar issue with my best friend. The difference is she is a very heavy user, and I'm pretty much opposed to all drugs. (and that's because my BF in high school OD'd) However, I came to realization that my life is not her life, and if I wanted her in my life as a friend, I'd have to accept her, drugs and all. It was hard. I still have to bite my tongue, but in the long run, my choice was an amazing friend over something that makes me feel uncomfortable. The question is whether or not this is THE deal breaker. If you can't live with yourself if he smokes pot, then it is. If you decide that this is just one of those things you'll always hate but you love him more, than so be it. Tough decision, and I wish you the best. Whatever you choose, I'm sure it will be right for you.
remedios remedios 9 years
I just can't comprehend how what he does away from you, which does not cause serious harm and is not some immoral action and impacts you in absolutely no way whatsoever, can be something that you feel the right to dictate. He already did it and you didn't notice. I understand that you have the right to believe what you believe, but whether he smokes or not, his belief is the same. And if you are going to be so strict, unable to compromise on something that doesn't even impact you, then you should not be with him. Clearly, even if he were to stop, he's not on the same page as you, doesn't share that aspect of your belief. I guess it sounds to me like a person that only ate a raw diet dating someone and telling that person that she absolutely could not be with someone that who ever ate cooked food, even if done so while not around. Of course everyone has the right to decide what their dealbreakers are. That doesn't mean it's logical, but it is what it is, so if you really can't compromise, then let him move on to someone that can. (For those who say it's illegal - would someone dump another person for speeding too then?)
clove2 clove2 9 years
I don't think it's just an issue of occasional pot use anymore. Judging from Nancy's second post, it seems that pot smoking and dealing used to be a major part of his life. So, whether using weed is wrong or not, him going back to using it a lot is a real fear. I would be annoyed if my boyfriend was smoking pot all the time, just as I would be annoyed if he were drinking all the time, playing damn video games all the time, or looking at porn sites constantly. There are just some things that it's probably healthier not to do constantly. So... if this is an indication that he may get back into his former lifestyle, I don't judge Nancy for being concerned. I think it's good that the two of them have talked about it, but I'd be watching his behavior a lot to make sure he wasn't totally getting back into the old lifestyle again.
julie-f-baby julie-f-baby 9 years
OMg i have the same problem, but i always give in to him,dont cry about it, just explain to him that if you do get married and want to start a family he needs to stop, im sure he doent want to have kids with holes in their heads. You guys are not married yet, you still have time to leave and move on
detroit-doll detroit-doll 9 years
The problem with stopping the occasional pot smoker is that when you take away their way to release some stress or chill out, they will just try to get around you. k8 and Shoes made an obvious point. So many people do it daily and still function in this world. But I also know people that turned to harder drugs because they were easier to do(and less smelly) in secret. Opinions on marijuana will always be divided and that's okay but as Kellylicious said, people that don't agree shouldn't be couples. If this guy has been smoking it for a long time it won't be easy to just stop. Very few people that smoke regular cigarettes just stop without an internal struggle. The point was also made about how much more dangerous alcohol can be. Everyone I have ever seen get hurt or arrested due to being intoxicated has been because of alcohol. All of the domestic violence I dealt with as a child was a result of alcoholism. So while people can demonize weed because it is illegal, just remember that if your state could collect huge funds from taxing it, weed would probably be legal too. If weed was a part of USA's massive agricultural herritage the way tobacco was, that would probably justify it being legal. We all have our vices and if someone is dead against something like marijuana, stick to your guns. Just understand that like the issue of tobacco and alcohol use, it will be a part of what makes up the ideal partner for you. One shouldn't be sorry or guilty about it either.
tinyspark tinyspark 9 years
Get off your self righteous horse and get over it or move on. Pot is no worse than drinking.
LikeThoseShoes LikeThoseShoes 9 years
yeah "dont playa hate. participate." shiiiit. hah seriously though. as well as K8 said... Many MANY MANY succesful people smoke marijuana. You'd be surprised how many people around you everyday smoke... they just keep quiet about it. its a pretty common thing.
k8-rckstr k8-rckstr 9 years
No need to apologize, as I wasn't offended. I'm fairly acclimated to people's prejudices against those who occaisonally indulge in marijuana. I'm just trying to make a point that those who choose to indulge every now and again may, in fact, not necessarily be "lowlife losers", but can be very well educated and successful people who are looking for a simple "relief" from every day stresses. And, depending on where you reside, this relief may not be illegal, so assuming that those who do partake in this social activity are criminals is, quite frankly, prejudice.
LikeThoseShoes LikeThoseShoes 9 years
haha its just music, liking the beatles has nothing to do with wether or not you smoke pot! so what if you dont smoke. thats your taste... cool. look i smoke you dont... we have something in common! i like the beatles too!
Nitrobezene Nitrobezene 9 years
Sorry if I offended but I have strong feelings towards it. Kelly is right, I adore the Beatles and don't adore drugs. Thats not such a crime is it? Thank you for pointing out the irony, but there is more to the Beatles than drugs IMO. :)
LikeThoseShoes LikeThoseShoes 9 years
K8rckstr. awesome point!
k8-rckstr k8-rckstr 9 years
"Good luck when you get drug tested at work pot smokers. New jobs are always fun anyway!" lol...thats funny... I have a really good job, I'm successful for being such a young age, I've never been tested at work...and the only jobs I know of that require drug tests are people who work as police officers, firefighters, airplane mechanics or other professions where it is crucial that you're completely sober at all times... On that note, I would never come to work prior to smoking a joint. I'm responsible about it. I have a clean criminal record, and I would never do anything that would compromise myself or other people (i.e. driving while under the influence).
LikeThoseShoes LikeThoseShoes 9 years
brandynicole/yaelatner: awesome!
Michelann Michelann 9 years
Sure somebody can like them and not do drugs, but she sounded so hostile toward drug users. So much of what they stood for (and what their music was about) was about the drug-culture and expanding your mind. Or at least respecting other people's right to choose. It seems funny to me that somebody who is "totally against" drug use would have an icon featuring the Beatles. I was just pointing out the irony... But that's all beside the point :)
Kellylicious Kellylicious 9 years
And someone can totally ADORE the Beatles and not do drugs. That's silly.
Kellylicious Kellylicious 9 years
Hi Nancy: I'm going to be straight with you as another anti-pot person since I understand exactly how you feel (because I've been there). There are 2 kinds of people - people who think pot is ok and people who don't. They should never be couples. TRUST ME. It's better for you in the long run. It's a big deal to you, and that's what matters.
Michelann Michelann 9 years
trendyindc, since when does breaking a law automatically make you a bad person? Laws don't determine what is "right" or "wrong" or moral. Nitrobezene, pot doesn't corrupt anybody. They are responsible for their own choices, and marijuana can't make you do anything you don't want to do. Also, I find your user icon very ironic. If you're so against smoking pot, why do you like the Beatles so much?
princess_eab princess_eab 9 years
detroit_doll, I respect your opinion, but I don't agree that an occasional pot smoker is an "addict". Even the government hasn't been able to use that in their anti-drug compaigns, because pot is at the very bottom of the addiction scale and is literally not physically addictive. I myself know firsthand that it can be psychologically attractive and habitual for some (but not a majority by any means). Cocaine is quite a different and extremely dangerous drug, as your experience has shown. As for the drinking thing-- people die every single day from drinking too much (alcohol overdose) but even the government cannot claim that anyone has died from an overdose of pot, because it has never happened. The amount of pot needed to kill someone is so much more than anyone could ever physically smoke or even eat. I don't even smoke it anymore, but I really don't like seeing misinformation passed around. Alcohol has been proven to be much more fatal and at low doses. Alcohol also "changes behavior" and it is proven physically addictive. Everything in moderation....
You don't have to be abusing alcohol to jump in a car drunk and kill a family...
Nitrobezene Nitrobezene 9 years
I agree with trendyindc. I also realize alcohol is the biggest killer, but only if you abuse it. That's a whole different story. I'm sorry for those who smoke illegal substances... I'm totally against smoking and I've seen it corrupt people in my life. Good luck when you get drug tested at work pot smokers. New jobs are always fun anyway!
detroit-doll detroit-doll 9 years
If he has been a user for a long time, your future with him doesn't look good. I'm sorry to say that but the longer a person uses drugs, the more it becomes a part of who they are. My boyfriend has used drugs since he was 15 and his ex used along with him until about 2 years ago. While they mostly did weed and ecstacy together(he did other things alone), she suddenly wanted him to stop and was angry that he couldn't. It became a part of his life for so long, selling weed also financed a lot of the nice gifts he gave her. When he couldn't go cold turkey, she started cheating on him. I can tell you from my own cocaine addiction, it is very hard to stop when your main reason for stopping is not yourself. Addicts do love and want to be loved, we just have things getting in the way of better judgement at times. If you want to make it last with this guy, you have to be patient and tolerant with him. No addict is ever completely cured and you will have to deal with the possibility of relapse at any given time. It is a long and emotional road, but only you can decide if you are able to handle it. Whether or not he gets better will not make you a success or failure, but he will need your support.
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