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Full Time, Part Time, Can You Ever Trust an Addict?

Comment

Dear Annie: I have been with my boyfriend, "Harry," for three years, and I love him very much. Last year, we had a child together. I think Harry will soon be popping the question. There is one big issue that will stop me from saying yes.

Harry is an occasional drug user. He has never brought drugs into the home, but every few months, he will "disappear" for several hours or even a whole night. We've had many discussions about getting him help, but he refuses. He claims he is not an addict because he only uses on occasion. Plus, he says we don't have the money for a rehab facility.

I can see myself spending the rest of my life with this man, but the last thing I want to do is commit to Harry when I can't be sure he will commit completely to his family. I know when you love someone it should be for better or worse, but I cannot accept this part of him. What do I do? — Cautiously Hopeful

Dear Hopeful: We appreciate that Harry doesn't bring drugs into the house, but he also should not be disappearing overnight or require a rehab facility in order to shake a once-every-few-months habit. Are you sure he is not using at other times? Is it possible his drug use will escalate? Contact Nar-Anon (nar-anon.org) and Families Anonymous (familiesanonymous.org) for support. Since you have a child together, there is already a commitment in place, so please work on this until you get the answers that satisfy you before you say "I do."

Dear Annie: Our 13-year-old son has three friends he likes to have over to our house. However, two of them have younger brothers, and when he invites these friends, their mothers always ask whether the other boy can come, too. I always say yes because I don't want to seem unkind, but my son wishes he could just enjoy the friends he invited.

I think it's a bit rude for these mothers to ask whether their younger sons can play, too. What's your opinion? — Only Child's Mom

Dear Mom: These parents know that their sons would like to play at your house (and the mothers probably enjoy the extra free time). But no one can take advantage of you without your permission. We recommend learning to say no once in a while. Practice saying, "We don't mind entertaining your younger son now and then, but 'Johnny' would like some time with just 'Billy' today. Sorry."

Dear Annie: You missed the mark with your advice to "Desperate Housewife," whose husband was having a flirtatious email correspondence with another woman. You suggested "Desperate" do some flirting of her own with her husband.

The couple has been married 40 years, and I'm sure the little wifey's days of flirtation are long gone. Why would you suggest that she spruce up the marriage with flirting, compliments and all the other little things that stroke a man's infantile, fragile ego? He is clearly cheating on her. To suggest that she flirt to appease him so he won't be tempted to communicate with a woman on the Internet is ridiculous. The "next step" for me would be divorce, not marriage counseling. — Disgusted in Louisiana

Dear Disgusted: You sound very bitter. All marriages require regular tending, even (and especially) after 40 years. Husbands and wives absolutely should flirt with each other, compliment each other and take the time to make the other feel special and desired — for their entire marriage. We don't understand why a spouse would be unwilling to do that for someone they love. Our advice stands.

Annie's Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please email your questions to anniesmailbox@comcast.net, or write to: Annie's Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 3rd Street, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254. To find out more about Annie's Mailbox and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.

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58 Comments | Post Comment
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LW3 refers to the first letter on 19 May 2012.
Comment: #1
Posted by: Miss Pasko
Mon Jun 25, 2012 10:38 PM
LW1: OK: here's where I gotta ask, which drug is he "occasionally" using?

If he's using pot, I think you are totally overreacting. I know a lot of people who smoke pot every once and a while, and it's all good. These people smoke pot like other people have a glass of wine.

If' he's using coke, ok, again. I know people who OCCASSIONALLY use coke. It's addictive yes, but not like many other drugs. The problem with coke seems to be that you never really know what your getting and you may actually be getting.....

If he's doing METH, RUN! Meth is one of the most addictive substances out there. Heroin? Not even close to as bad as meth, from what I'm told.

Prescriptive drugs? Well, those are the worst of all. As mentioned a few weeks ago, a friend of mine's marriage broke up over prescriptive drug abuse.

SO, I'd look hard at what the drug is. There's nothing wrong (in my book) with a guy going out and smoking a joint with his friends every once in awhile. I'd put it in the same book as going out and having a few beers with the boys every once and awhile. I've said it before, will repeat, that I've known more people to lose work over booze than pot. The fact that pot is still "illegal" (in my state legal for medicinal purposes, and the permit is easy to get) to me is pretty hypocritical.

However, if he's going out"occasionaly" to do METH? Well, no. I don't understand why you'd have a baby with someone you don't trust enough to marry, but then that's me being old fashioned again.

Pull it together for your child: that's what matters.
Comment: #2
Posted by: nanchan
Mon Jun 25, 2012 11:18 PM
LW1 considers her boyfriends "occasional" drug use an impediment to marriage but not to making him the co-parent to an innocent child? I don't understand how she could consider him worthy of being the father of her child but unworthy of being her spouse at the same time???
I realize that it's too late for the LW to reconsider reproducing with someone she isn't comfortable with having as a spouse, but if he's really worthy of fatherhood, then he's worthy of marriage. If he's not worthy of marriage, then he isn't worthy of fatherhood and the LW needs to speak to a lawyer NOW to protect her child.
Comment: #3
Posted by: Bear
Tue Jun 26, 2012 12:58 AM
*pops out of hole*
I think that's dangerous advice Nan, not only from a medical perspective. I agree with part of what you posted; if it were a little weed once in a while, she is SO over-reacting. But coke is no laughing matter; it's hugely addictive -and dangerous. For too many users the expense is all that keeps the rates of abuse low. People with large amounts of cash (and a low risk of getting punished) end up dead, or needing reconstructive surgery to repair the damage it does.
I've watched too many people (who believed that 'coke isn't addictive or harmful') toss away not only their lives, but other people's, in order to facilitate their habit. The ones that went broke switch to crack, because *of course* they weren't addicted. Right. But once your 1%, rich, young, bright, popular college coke dealer actually commits a murder-for-hire to pay off HIS coke bill...it removes a lot of the doubt about it being "safe".
It was a HUGE wake-up call (for me) to realize that people with awesome lives, opportunities, and potential were perfectly happy to trade them in for coke. And if it can do that, then it doesn't really matter if it's "physically addictive". It's as benign as russian roulette; which is "perfectly safe" -until it's not.

And kudos to Bear for stating the obvious. How did LW manage to get in this deep without knowing that?
Comment: #4
Posted by: RoseGildedCat
Tue Jun 26, 2012 1:05 AM
About LW3: Yes, all marriages require regular tending and flirting with your spouse can be very beneficent to your marriage. However, the Annies are so wrong with their advice here it's making me furious.

The time for flirting in a marriage is when things are going fairly well and you just don't want to fall into a rut. You don't flirt with your husband when you've caught him cheating (even emotionally) and lying to you. So, wives are supposed to reward their husbands for cheating on them? Hell, no!

I agree completely with LW3 and no, I'm not bitter and my husband has never done anything remotely like that to me. If he did however, I wouldn't respond by flirting with him! Competing with the other woman for the husband's attention has to be the most idiotic thing a wife can do.
Comment: #5
Posted by: SummerGal
Tue Jun 26, 2012 1:23 AM
@RoseGildedCat
I agree with you. And Nanchan, I have known many people who found themselves in "coke camp" and had to go several times before they were able to stop using successfully. I also had an Ivy League educated friend from an upper class family who started out using coke, blew their trust fund on it, and then resorted to using crack.
Comment: #6
Posted by: Kitty O'Shea
Tue Jun 26, 2012 1:30 AM
LW1 - RoseGildedCat is absolutely right! And most drug users, like alcoholics, will escalate and once you're married your husband will probably feel comfortable bringing his habit into the home, which will affect you and your child in ways you can't imagine now. If drugs are found in the home by authorities, then you can be arrested right along with your BF/husband and your child will be turned over to CPS and put into foster care. Your finances will be wrecked to support his habit, and depending on his drug of choice, he can become violent or homicidal. If you were aware of his drug use when you got pregnant, it was a bad decision to have a child with him, but it's too late to do anything about that now. Your job now is to protect that child. Do NOT marry this man until you can be assured he's clean, and it would also be wise to break off the relationship all together until he is. Check with a lawyer to see what you can do to protect your child financially if you are at all dependent upon this man for your child's support, because as his drug use escalates the finances will disappear quickly.
Comment: #7
Posted by: Kitty
Tue Jun 26, 2012 2:22 AM
LW1 - If Harry is disappearing for several hours or an entire night, then I highly doubt he's only smoking pot. Please, LW, do NOT marry him until this problem is settled. It doesn't matter if he uses occassionally...he's still using drugs and that is dangerous. Relationship problems always seem to get worse after marriage and I'm sure this will, too. I'm assuming you don't know where he goes when he disappears. What if he's around some dangerous people? What if he owes money to them? You and your baby could wind up in danger or flat broke and losing your home because your dear Harry had to pay off his drug bill. Please remove yourself and your child from this situation. And like someone else said...call a lawyer regarding your child.

LW2 - I like the Annies answer.

LW3 - Amen, SummerGal!!!
Comment: #8
Posted by: Michelle
Tue Jun 26, 2012 3:37 AM
Re: Michelle

I don't agree that the disappearing for several hours makes it sound like Harry's not just smoking pot. If he's with friends, they couid easily spend hours together with substances no more harmful than pot and beer, and that could easily turn into staying overnight. If he's truly only using drugs every few months (of course he could be using more and hiding it, but assuming the girlfriend really knows what's up...), it doesn't sound like it's something horribly addictive like meth or heroin. I instantly got a feeling of "I think she's making way too much of this" reading the letter and was actually pleasantly surprised to see some commenters considering that too.
Comment: #9
Posted by: Alexandra
Tue Jun 26, 2012 4:31 AM
LW1 - I agree with what's been said BTL. If pot, you're overreacting, anything else and you should run. I have a very close friend who's going through a similar thing with her husband. He started off doing coke every couple of months and now has a habit that has put them in the poor house. They have to worry each month about making rent, paying their electric bill, etc. They've got debt on top of debt and he makes good money, but it all goes up his nose. And they've got three kids together all under 6 yrs. It's horrible to see. She started off thinking it was no big deal and married him. Now, his habit is an albatross around all of their necks.


LW2 - Speak up. End of issue. And be flexible - sometimes be gracious and willing to accept the younger sibling, but also don't hesitate to say that you can only take one child today. Sheesh. This goes back to my point in an earlier post about being direct with what you want. It's okay to speak up - just do it in as kind of manner as possible.
Comment: #10
Posted by: MGP
Tue Jun 26, 2012 4:40 AM
LW1 -
You're leery of saying yes when he pops the Question, but you had a child with him? I frankly don't understand your logic. Sigh.

The fact that he finds a monetary excuse to refuse rehab is an indication that, deep down inside, he knows he needs it. I agree that he probably uses a lot more than you suspect, since (for now) you only notice the times when he's on a real bender. And yeah, Annies, it WILL likely escalate. Duh.

Marry this man as is, and the message you're sending is that you find his usage tolerable - it's bad enough you had a child with him, and that you're apparently already living with him. Why should he have any motivation to reform when he's already getting everything he wants? This is not getting better unless drastic steps are taken. As it is now, you'll eventually end up supporting both his child and his habit.

You should make his getting clean for good a sine qua non condition of your acceptance. In fact, you shouldn't wait for him to pop the question before putting your foot down, and inform him that the next bender is a deal-breaker and that you'll move out if it happens again. Unless you do, saying no to marrying him because he uses drugs will only insure that you'll be shacked up forever and never marry. IT won't be enough to make him want to get clean by itself.

P.S.: You seem to think marriage is a commitment worse than bringing a child into the world. You obviously don't realise it, but you have your priorities arse-backwards. Try to work on that before it makes you do some other stupid thing.

LW3 -
Yes, "husbands and wives absolutely should flirt with each other", except that in this case, the wife would be the only one doing the flirting, since his roving eye is otherwise occupied. Indeed "all marriages require regular tending", but from both sides, not just hers. Shame on you for perpetuating the stereotype that it's the job of the woman only to make the marriage work.

Comment: #11
Posted by: Lise Brouillette
Tue Jun 26, 2012 4:45 AM
Re: SummerGal

I was infuriated by the Annie's response, too, but you said everything I wanted to say and then some.

When a woman catches her husband messing around, she should never be forced to compete with the other woman or try to ‘win back' what's rightfully hers. She should tell him to either knock it off with the other woman or she's gone. If he agrees and says he wants to stay with her, then she can flirt or attend counseling with him or do whatever else it takes to revitalize their marriage. But it's demeaning for a woman to compete for a man. Especially if the man is her own husband.
Comment: #12
Posted by: JMG
Tue Jun 26, 2012 4:53 AM
LW1--Your boyfriend is in denial about his drug use. That he's continued "disappearing" even after the birth of his child should be telling you volumes. Your boyfriend is an addict because he puts his habit ahead of his family. You have two choices: The first is to sit your boyfriend down and inform him in no uncertain terms that his drug use is a deal breaker; his family needs to come first and that you insist he enter rehab to get clean before any wedding is to take place. If your boyfriend refuses to cooperate, then your second option is to cancel the wedding and let your boyfriend know that you will use his drug habit to ensure that you receive full custody of your child. Then DTMFA. Marrying a known drug user, regardless of how "occasional" the abuse occurs is just asking for years of heartache and marital turmoil. Save yourself the hassle; there are better fish in the sea.

LW2--Your son's friend's mothers are using you as a free babysitting service. On the other hand, your son should learn a little compassion with regards to his friends' younger brothers. My advice is to either accept that the boys come as a package deal or decline entertaining any of them. To do anything else is going to create an awkward situation for both you and your son.
Comment: #13
Posted by: Chris
Tue Jun 26, 2012 5:06 AM
LW1- In the immortal words of Judge Judy: this is as good as it gets. No man has ever improved his behavior after the ink on the marriage license is dry. If anything, his behavior will get worse. If there's something about your man that you can't live with, it won't get any easier after the wedding. Put this issue to bed BEFORE the marriage, not after.
Comment: #14
Posted by: Kristy M.
Tue Jun 26, 2012 5:13 AM
LW1: Sorry, but there seemed to be something very troubling about nanchan's statement. I take it at face value: That drug use – particularly, some drugs – are OK to use, that it won't matter, that it's nothing worse than enjoying a beer or two or a glass of wine now and then.

I won't speak so much on the marijuana (except that it is illegal for a reason), but the cocaine and meth and prescription drugs and other drugs nanchan mentions – he could be using any one of these. All of them are addictive to varying degrees and will cost you money. What happens when the money runs out? Does he steal? Does he beat you to within an inch of your life until you literally surrender the checkbook (so he can buy more)? Does he kill someone over a bad drug deal? Does he get innocent people in the way (even if it doesn't involve physical harm)?

And, will it send a message to your child that occasional drug use is OK, that it's nothing worse than enjoying a good steak dinner with all the fixings?

I'd ask yourself: "Why do I want to stay with this man?" Is it because he's funny or witty? Is it because he's a handsome man with hair so black and got charm? Was it because you're high school sweethearts? Is it because you "love his sex"? Surely, it isn't just because of your child that he fathered.

Deep down, he may be a good man, but right now, he's put his drug use ahead of you. Nothing less than getting out of this dead-end of a relationship should be acceptable. Of course, it's up to you ... I'd bet many people in your situation would stay because "I love his sex." Is that you?
Comment: #15
Posted by: Bobaloo
Tue Jun 26, 2012 6:02 AM
I may catch some flak over this, but here it goes anyway.
LW1: He is good enough to live with and have a child with, but not marry? I think you got the cart before the horse in a big way. And if he disappearing for several hours or overnight I think there may be more problems than the drug abuse. Will he even tell you where he is? Frankly I think you need to cut ties and get out now before things get worse. Especially since he doesn't seem willing to do anything about the drug problem.
I am not trying to criticize anyone, but I see a growing trend of boy meets girl, they start sleeping together, have a baby then one of them discovers they don't really like the other person. Then you have this innocent child mixed up in this mess, or maybe even more than one child at this point.
What is wrong with meeting each other, get to know each other, live separately, don't have sex (you won't die without it) and just take time with the relationship? I know that with this method there is no guarantee the relationship will be successful, but you can still weed some people out this way rather than get stuck with someone you despise.
Comment: #16
Posted by:
Tue Jun 26, 2012 6:30 AM
LW1 - Really? You had a kid with him but aren't sure you want to marry him? God, is this whole continent white trash or what?

LW2 - You had to write in for THAT? There's a word out there, it's called "no". Use it.

LW3 - You do sound bitter as hell but I agree with you in general.

Re: Nanchan

Seriously, nanchan, wtf? Cocaine is HIGHLY addictive. A dear friend of mine worked VERY hard to overcome her addiction to it, an addiction that formed in a few short weeks. People have lost their jobs, sold their homes, sold their CHILDREN, lied, stolen and murdered to get money for cocaine. It also kills off a bunch of your grey matter! Studies in animals show it to be more addictive than all other drugs! So yeah, coke is not OK.

Also not OK is that he disappears all night to do it, and that he refuses to discuss it.
Comment: #17
Posted by: Zoe
Tue Jun 26, 2012 6:35 AM
A little late to the party. Wyn667, great posts yesterday. It is aways easier to understand when things come from the horses mouth and not some text book. Thanks for the lesson. I'd say good luck but you apparently don't need it.
LW1's BF doesn't sound like a drug addict to me. He sounds like an occasional social user. It appears like he smokes grass and is not abusing 'hard drugs'. Every few months seems very reasonable to me if he is just having a night out with the boys. Like alcohol (prohibition) I believe grass will be deemed legal in the near future because that way it could be taxed by the government and unclog the court system saving millions of dollars and man hours in the courts. Once the gov. decides that it is more of a money maker than black hole we will surely see that it is a fine recreational drug. Off the soap box now. Since the LW feels this is a deal breaker - then it is a deal breaker. Everybody must decide for themselves what is acceptable. Apparently I don't fine it unacceptable but that is just me. I think some of the above post are scare tactics and don't apply to this occasional user but who knows?
LW2, "Just say no." Your son deserves to have some time with his friend alone. I'm reading that these mom want some free babysitting services . If this is the case they probably won't let their son come without the others. Maybe explain that 'Sam' wants some time alone without the others and take your cue from the answer you get.
Comment: #18
Posted by: Penny
Tue Jun 26, 2012 7:33 AM
LW!: Are you sure he's actually using drugs? It's possible your boyfriend is using drugs as a cover up for time traveling. Time travel is still unaccepted in our society, and many travelers will cover their sudden disappearances with claims of "recreational drug use," which is more accepted as an explanation.
If this is the case, a greater concern than the disappearances themselves should be what exactly he's doing when he's time traveling. Is he seeing someone in the past? Does he know something about your future that could affect the relationship or your child?
These secrets could severely impact your life. I suggest you get to the bottom of this "drug use" immediately.
Comment: #19
Posted by: TT's Wife
Tue Jun 26, 2012 7:34 AM
TT's wife, Sounds reasonable to me.
Comment: #20
Posted by: Penny
Tue Jun 26, 2012 7:40 AM
@TT's Wife

WTF??
Comment: #21
Posted by: Kitty
Tue Jun 26, 2012 7:40 AM
@ TT's Wife

I think your explanation makes the most sense! Let's hope he doesn't screw up her future! :-)
Comment: #22
Posted by: Chris
Tue Jun 26, 2012 7:45 AM
I'm guessing 'TT's wife' stands for Time Traveler's wife.
Very creative post! I guess he could be occasionally sneaking a peak to the future to find what's in store for them, even get some betting tips. lol
Comment: #23
Posted by: SummerGal
Tue Jun 26, 2012 7:54 AM
Guess I missed the humor in that one :) I usually pick up on that pretty quickly -- probably because it was a new poster, and there ARE some pretty (shall we say) "unusual" people out there. LOL
Comment: #24
Posted by: Kitty
Tue Jun 26, 2012 8:04 AM
LW3: It doesn't happen often, but the annie's nailed it this time.
Comment: #25
Posted by: Gerhardt
Tue Jun 26, 2012 8:09 AM
@Bobaloo, all sorts of things have "been illegal for a reason" that didn't have any logic or rationality behind it.

There's absolutely no sense in vodka being legal and marijuana not being legal. Scientifically, medically, logically, the anti-pot hysteria in the US has been fueled by ignorance, not fact.

It also used to be illegal for women to vote, and for a black man to marry a white woman, too. So "it's illegal for a reason" isn't a legitimate argument against *anything*.
Comment: #26
Posted by: Mike H
Tue Jun 26, 2012 8:14 AM
LW1: They don't have money for rehab! I'm guessing he doesn't get his drugs for free, so if he has money for drugs, he has money for rehab.
In his case though, I'm not sure how useful rehab would be. If he's using once every few months, he will go to rehab for a few weeks but probably won't achieve much, other than get some counseling (he won't need to get the drugs out of his system and go through the most difficult parts of the process that are related to detoxing). The counseling would be definitely useful to him to help him stop using drugs, but he doesn't have to go to rehab to get counseling. Since he's using drugs so rarely he could probably quit on his own, if he really wanted to. If he doesn't, there's a good chance that his drug use will escalate in the future. I would not recommend marrying a guy who uses drugs, no matter how infrequently.
Comment: #27
Posted by: SummerGal
Tue Jun 26, 2012 8:23 AM
Boboloo, you ask "Does he get innocent people in the way (even if it doesn't involve physical harm)?" Actually, all users of illegal drugs (including pot) are guilty of this because of the innocent people that are hurt and killed by the drug cartels that bring the drugs to the US (& Canada - can't leave all of you out). Doesn't matter if you're not dealing, think you're not hurting anybody, whatever - if there was no demand, there would be no drug cartels.

This is one of the reasons why I wish the would legalize pot. It could be grown legally, taxed, no more demand for the illegal stuff.
Comment: #28
Posted by: C Meier
Tue Jun 26, 2012 8:31 AM
Re: Chris , EXCELLENT!!
Comment: #29
Posted by: Penny
Tue Jun 26, 2012 8:41 AM
I agree that the issue of Harry's occasional drug use must be addressed prior to a marriage. I think some type of counseling would be in order to ensure that another unhealthy behavior isn't substituted to replace the drugs...
.
I refused to marry my husband unless he quit smoking pot... He quit using pot, but started drinking beer. Years later, he blamed me because he was an alcoholic- he said he would never have had a problem with alcohol if I had just let him continue to smoke pot....
Comment: #30
Posted by: MMB
Tue Jun 26, 2012 9:44 AM
@ #20 (Penny) and #26 (Mike H.): Lol to both! Thanks for the laugh :)

And to the BTL'ers wondering how LW1 could have a child with this man, but not marry him, umm, maybe the baby wasn't planned. I know, I know. Most likely they were being careless, not using protection or common sense, and she should have known the risk she was taking. But maybe they were one of those couples that was using protection and she still got pregnant. She didn't exactly choose for him to be the father of her child; it just happened. Or maybe the drug use is more current, and now she's questioning whether he would make a good spouse (too late to wonder if he would make a good father or not.)
Comment: #31
Posted by: Casey
Tue Jun 26, 2012 9:48 AM
It would help if the first lw would tell us what he's doing. Apparently those of you who are critical of pot have never tried it or been around people who are smoking. Losing track of time while smoking is common. You get sucked into Shark Week on The Discovery Channel, play XBOX, or just order pizza 3 times and suddenly it's 12 hours later. It's harmless and the only addiction from marijuana is the inability to put down a bag of Doritos. I'm not condoning it, nor am I saying the guy is off the hook. I take more issue with his dismissal of his girlfriend's objections and more importantly if he is lying about it. But there is more info needed to what's really happening before we can all judge the situation.
Comment: #32
Posted by: Jim Bob
Tue Jun 26, 2012 9:51 AM
Re: Mike H

Sorry, but the situation involving LW1 is not about human relationships (the right to marry whomever you want) or civil rights (allowing blacks to vote).

This is about a man that, like it or not, will soon become involved – if he hasn't already – in legal problems. I don't think the potential wife or their child deserve that. As of now, the fact is – certain drugs ARE illegal, despite whatever logic pro-legalization people use or claims that "it should be legal, because drug X or alcohol is legal"; the fact is, so far, it hasn't succeeded.

What she does deserve is a strong, steady relationship where the man comes home every night (or in the rare case he doesn't, he has a legit excuse), not one that seems – from what I read in the letter – to be unreliable. I mean, sometimes disappearing for hours at a time, staying out all night ... those to me are red flags that he may be involved in something. Whether its drugs (likely) or something else ... well, that I guess we'll just have to debate.

I'll leave it at that and reserve my opinion regarding legalizing marijuana and some of the other drugs posters on here are saying ought to be legalized.
Comment: #33
Posted by: Bobaloo
Tue Jun 26, 2012 9:52 AM
@nanchan

I'm with you 100%. There have been numerous studies done that show that booze is one of, if not the most, addictive drug out there. And it also ranks the highest in studies as being the overall most harmful in terms of danger to user, society, and others. Higher than coke, meth, and heroin. People don't lose their minds over a spouse going on a booze bender every now and then. Booze makes tons of money for the government. I bet if the coca (spelling) plant used to make cocaine grew in North America, it wouldn't be illegal like it is now. Also, drunk people are waaaaay more dangerous and aggressive than people high on coke, MDMA, or pot. Unless you have an addictive personality, it is possible to use coke, MDMA, and pot responsibly. (I personally would run from certain other drugs, like meth, G, and K).

The problem is, the government deemed certain drugs illegal, and society fell in line and stigmatized people that use those drugs, while totally accepting flaming alcoholics. Hugely hypocritical.

Also, if you want to talk damage to families, how about gambling?
Comment: #34
Posted by: Walkie
Tue Jun 26, 2012 9:55 AM
Bobaloo is 100% right - it really doesn't matter whether or not pot or other drugs SHOULD be legalized, the point is that as of now, it is NOT legal, and the ramifications to the LW and her child should the BF/future husband bring drugs into the home could be devastating. I reiterate what I said earlier and recommend that she protect her child by distancing herself and the child from the BF until he isn't any longer involved in any illegal activity.
Comment: #35
Posted by: Kitty
Tue Jun 26, 2012 10:30 AM
@Bobaloo, what evidence do you have that this man is about to be involved with legal problems???

If all he's doing is smoking pot "once every few months", the likelihood that he's going to get arrested is something like .00000001%.

Do you have any idea how many casual marijuana smokers there really are? You sound really out of touch here. The *vast* majority of casual pot smokers never encounter legal problems.

@Kitty, except he doesn't bring these drugs into the house, and is maybe doing this 3-4 times a year, tops.

The discussion about this is out of proportion with the reality of the situation (IF the drugs involved are marijuana, which is an unknown, of course).

It's also illegal to cheat on your taxes or to provide alcohol to a minor, activities that I'll bet happen quite often in many American homes. Should we suggest that all women who have children with a man who's let a 16 year old take a sip of beer "once every few months" abandon plans to get married because he might have "legal troubles" some day?

There's a HUGE difference between various drugs and illegal activities (or even stupid but LEGAL activities), and we shouldn't allow hysteria or irrational national drug policies influence personal decisions like the LW's.

If all he's doing is smoking pot with a few buddies once every few months and never in the LW's home, then the likelihood that this will cause a problem in the future is, realistically, pretty darned low.
Comment: #36
Posted by: Mike H
Tue Jun 26, 2012 10:59 AM
@Bobaloo, there have also been laws about wearing goatees, snoring with your windows open, and even how many sandwiches one may eat at a funeral.

Just because something is "against the law" is not a reason to think something SHOULD be against the law. That's just circular reasoning.

There have been plenty of stupid, ignorant, irrational laws in the history of our country.

You may want to do a bit of research on "why is marijuana illegal" to get a different viewpoint on why it is that MANY people think the laws against marijuana are ignorant rather than rational.
Comment: #37
Posted by: Mike H
Tue Jun 26, 2012 11:04 AM
@ Mike H
In the first place, the LW didn't say her BF was smoking pot, only that he was using drugs. Most people don't refer to pot smoking as "using drugs" nor do they talk about going to rehab for pot smoking. The implication was that he was using something stronger than pot. Also, if you read my original post (#7) you'll see that I mentioned that drug users escalate, as to alcoholics, and that it was possible as that happened he would bring drugs into the home.



I agree that many illegal things are done in the home. However, in my profession I have seen the problems caused to innocent people by a family member bringing drugs into the home, only to have the place "raided". The non-users are arrested along with the drug users, and the children are put into foster care while the parents serve a jail term.



Unfortunately, the BTL area today seems to have turned into a referendum on pot smoking, which isn't the original issue.
Comment: #38
Posted by: Kitty
Tue Jun 26, 2012 11:27 AM
@Bobaloo

Here's a little history lesson for you. Pot was made illegal during WWII because the government wanted to control the production of hemp products, such as rope, and only gave permission to certain farmers to grow it. They made it illegal for everyone else even though, at that time, it was growing wild in our country. Then they compounded the situation by making laughable films like Reefer Madness. Of course, that movie had only blacks in it so that white people would be afraid, not only of the pot but of blacks. They showed people going crazy & doing crazy things that are the complete opposite of what smoking pot is like. Believe me, when you hear someone committed a crime while high on marijuana, they have probably left out the fact that the were also drunk. As a friend of mine stated, if he were planning to rob a store or something, the last thing he would do is smoke pot. He would probably drive up to the store and forget why he was there and go in and spend $20 on all sorts of munchies. Now, combine that with alcohol, which makes people feel invincible, and you have a problem. Alcohol is one of the most destructive drugs their is and is truly the #1 gateway drug for anyone addicted to anything. And it is legal and present in most homes and not even kept locked up. Get your facts straight before you go spewing trite comments like "it's illegal for a reason." Yes, and that reason was greed.
Comment: #39
Posted by: Julie
Tue Jun 26, 2012 11:35 AM
"Alcohol is one of the most destructive drugs their is"

OOPS, that was supposed to say "there" is. This is one of my pet peeves and can't believe I typed the wrong one!
Comment: #40
Posted by: Julie
Tue Jun 26, 2012 11:36 AM
Re: Kitty, we always do that. Why no finger shaking at TT'swife? She was definately advocating pot. By the way, anyone seen TT today?
Comment: #41
Posted by: Penny
Tue Jun 26, 2012 12:33 PM
@Kitty, well... even here, BTL, plenty of people seem to have thought LW might be thinking "pot" is the same as "doing drugs", so its hard to tell what the LW means since she herself wasn't very clear. Plenty of Americans have "fallen for the hype" and think that marijuana and cocaine are just about the same, so I think it is important to be a bit more specific. The answer to her question is very different depending on exactly what drug(s) he is using.

And I'll be honest, I think the Annies editor got the title of this column wrong -- someone who uses *anything* only "once every few months" is hardly what anyone would consider addicted. So I think the whole discussion was going to go off the rails from the get-go.

I guarantee you that the number of homes that get raided for occasional pot use is infinitesimally small compared to the number of homes where people occasionally smoke pot and never get raided. And the LW did say he never does this at home, too, which is another mark in his favor.

Heck, maybe he's getting together with a couple of his shamanic pagan buddies and doing some mushrooms to talk to their spirit animals. Some "drugs" are used for religious purposes!

I wonder if we shouldn't take "drugs" out of the equation -- what if he was doing something she didn't like "once every few months", like camping, or fishing for the weekend? It seems to me if he isn't hurting anybody, then a "guy's weekend" away from the LW 3-4 times a year isn't unreasonable, regardless of what he's doing. Would the LW feel better if it was a drinking binge once every few months? That's perfectly legal.

She might need to separate her feelings about "drugs" (depending on what these drugs are) and ask herself if there's something else going on as well. I know of plenty of people (men and women alike) who feel that once you are married, you aren't allowed to have outside, separate activities.

You certainly don't have to give up all your outside activities and interests to commit to your family.
Comment: #42
Posted by: Mike H
Tue Jun 26, 2012 12:34 PM
Letter 1 - If my cousin wasn't already married, I would swear it was her writing in. She started dating a guy who "occasionally" did drugs and would disappear, too. After a few years, she had a baby with him. He then proposed to her and she accept and they got married. Fast forward to last December 23rd. He disappeared again, only this time it wasn't for a few hours or overnight. It was for nearly 3 days. He missed Christmas Eve and most of Christmas Day with his wife and 4 year old son. He showed up at home Christmas Day around 7pm. He wouldn't tell her where he was, saying, "Don't worry about it, " and "you're only stressing yourself out." She never phoned the police to report him missing because she was afraid they would find him high or with drugs on him and he would be sent to jail.

Ever since that day, she has wanted out. She's trying to save up money to get out. She doesn't work a high paying job and she's paying all of the bills right now because he's only working part-time and that part-time check goes to...well...you can guess! Her mother keeps telling her she can always live with her again until she gets back on her feet. I have a feeling she's going to do that soon.

Don't wind up like my cousin.
Comment: #43
Posted by: Little Cookie
Tue Jun 26, 2012 12:35 PM
@Mike H - I'm not trying to argue with you, but we seem to be talking apples and oranges. When I said that drug users escalate and detailed the problems that come with the escalation, I was NOT talking about occasional pot smoking. I was attempting to show the problems that COULD occur if the BF follows the pattern seen many times with drug users who SAY they're occasional users. Both drug users and alcoholics can be very clever about hiding their addictions from their family members, and a lot of them have no clue until it's too late that their husband/wife/boyfriend/son/daughter/girlfriend, etc., had as big a problem as they did.

All I'm saying is that the LW shouldn't put herself and her child at risk until she's SURE of what type of drugs are involved and when and where the drug useage is going on, and that the BF should be clean before she takes the relationship any farther than she already has.
Comment: #44
Posted by: Kitty
Tue Jun 26, 2012 12:58 PM
I didn't have time for more than just reading the Annies and posting a response before leaving this morning, I am just now reading the comments.

@Nanchan
You're not making a lick of sense - meth and prescription drugs are horrible, but coke, not so bad? Well, I'm sorry, but you clearly have absolutely no idea what you're talking about. Even if you had first-hand experience with this (which I strongly doubt), it wouldn't tell, as different people take differently to this.

I have a music colleague who's been in and out of rehab for longer than I've known him. He gets off it, and keeps falling back... because, as I stated in another related post somewhere else, rehab will often fail if the addict is using to numb the pain and the source of pain is not addressed, AND because coke is highly addictive. And his drug of choice is coke. But I suppose you think his addiction is not so bad because it's not meth or prescriptions drugs?

If it comes to that, some people are highly sensitive to such substances and develop a psychological addiction to even such mild stuff as pot. For the great majority of people, smoking pot is indeed like drinking a glass of wine. Except that, contrary to wine, marijuana is a mind-altering substance and, for some people, the difference can have dramatic consequences.

For whoever reading this thinking I'm some kind of stuck-up old foggie... I personally think pot should be legal as, for the great majority of people, it IS no worse than drinking wine, and I would rather that the money goes to the government than to drug cartels. But I AM aware of its potential dangers for some.

@Summergal, JMG
If the wife is expected to "flirt" with her husband to countermand the effects of another woman, then the premise is that no commitment is worth anything except on the woman's side, and that all women are rivals for some male's attention. Yrrrrch.

And people keep calling me a bra-burner because I keep saying that the world has changed, but the mentalities have not. Sigh.

@MMB #30
Honey, this is called an addictive personality, and an irresponsible one at that. Pot is not physically addictive, but then neither is watching porn on the Net and we all know that people can get psychologically addicted to both. The fact that he blames somebody else for what HE does is the real problem.

@Casey #31
Got a point.

@Jim Bob #32
I smoked plenty of pot and hash when I was a 16 year-old flowered little hippie. We don't know that this is all he does. And... for some people (I wasn't one of them), pot is not so inocuous. It is true that time perception is very distorted, which is why I didn't bother to address the time difference in my first post.

@Bobaloo #33
Mike H was merely giving example of things that used to be "illegal for a reason".

@Walkie #34
To your entire post, I would say that worse is not excuse for bad, and that two wrongs don't make a right. And do you REALLY believe that there are no parts of the US where the coca plant could be grown? Come on now.

@Mike H #36
"If all he's doing is smoking pot "once every few months""
Except that we have no idea if this is all he's been doing... She said "drugs", not "pot". Could be anything, and I really don't think the LW would be talking about rehab if it was only pot. Except for particularly addictive personalities, you don't usually need rehab for pot.
Comment: #45
Posted by: Lise Brouillette
Tue Jun 26, 2012 3:22 PM
Re: Mike H
I echo Kitty's statement.
First, I will correct myself and tone down my previous statement to say "could" (instead of will). But even if he occasionally uses as the LW states, she apparently has enough of a problem with it to write in and express her concern. Whether it's one night every year or every three months or more frequent, it's still bothering enough to make her write in. And some of the people on here says she should look the other way, that she should have nothing to worry about. Apparently, she has plenty she's worried about, otherwise she wouldn't have written in.
And even if the chances are small that he COULD be arrested, like 1 one-hundred millionth percent (the .00000001 percent you state), what happens when the odds DO beat him? What are the ramifications then? To him? To his wife-to-be and their child? I am sure Willie Nelson thought the same thing about the "minute" odds ... and they've caught up with him, and he's lucky he's avoided anything but short jail time and slap-on-the-wrist fines.
Yeah, I'll agree there are some pretty silly laws out there, but this letter is not about scraggily beards, or disturbing the neighborhood with loud snoring and leaving the window open, or Gladys Kravitz being annoyed by funeral luncheon gluttons so she decided to bitch to the city council ad nauseum until they gave up and enacted a law to shut her the hell up. It has ZILCH to do with comparing the LW boyfriend's nights out with the occasional camping trip or engaging in legal activities (in which drinking beer is included) during the monthly boys' night out. And the letter most certainly has ZERO to do with vouching for whether marijuana or other drugs should be made legal.
NOTHING!
This is about someone close to the LW that is using drugs – even if only occasionally – that are, at this point, illegal, and what could happen if the odds do catch up to him.
I think what Lise says in Post 11 makes a lot of sense, too: "Marry this man as is, and the message you're sending is that you find his usage tolerable - it's bad enough you had a child with him, and that you're apparently already living with him. Why should he have any motivation to reform when he's already getting everything he wants? This is not getting better unless drastic steps are taken. As it is now, you'll EVENTUALLY END UP SUPPORTING BOTH HIS CHILD AND HIS HABIT." (emphasis mine)
That's what this letter is about. Nothing about legalization. Nothing that he's a bad man (remember, in my original post, I even said that, deep down he probably is a good person). Everything about the fact that his habit COULD have a major impact on their future together. She wanted advice, and my advice to her was to reassess the relationship and tell him goodbye before he causes any more problems. Sorry, but that's where I stand.
Comment: #46
Posted by: Bobaloo
Tue Jun 26, 2012 3:40 PM
Lise:

FWIW: Yes, I did say that certain drugs are criminalized for a reason, and that Mike H was pointing out other things that were outlawed "for a reason." The examples he gave – interracial marriage and voting by African Americans – those were illegal were for racist reasons and were (and should have been) made legal long before they actually were.

I suppose that the reasons for criminalization of marijuana and other drugs could be up for endless debate. But I don't want to go there (tonight, anyway) and don't want to make this a target of this discussion tonight or at any time – that is, until someone writes to the Annies in support of legalizing marijuana. Sorry.

My reasoning still stands on whether she should stick with this man ... and it is to unstick herself. You are exactly right there, Lise: We DON'T know what else he's been doing. Maybe nothing illegal, but certainly it could be something that could betray their marital vows (if they do, in fact, marry).
Comment: #47
Posted by: Bobaloo
Tue Jun 26, 2012 4:36 PM
Re: Bobaloo, bobaloo, bobaloo, Every few months DOES NOT AN ADDICTION MAKE. (gee, all caps are fun) The original question was, I can't accept this part of him. What do I do? The answer is, You CAN'T accept this part of him - so move on. She answered her own question. Of course legalizing pot had nothing to do with the question but neither did the horrific drug crazed stories. Killing and prison and eating small children, coke addiction and time travel. Yes, I did make up the eating small children but I have no fear because others BTL today have done the same. Suppose he goes out with the guys and drinks beer, does that make him an alcholic? And yes I do know that beer is legal - I'm talking addiction. Rehab schmehab, she made up the part about not being able to afford it. Bet my youngest son that he never said that. Come on someone take my bet! Who goes to AA for a once every few months beer? Hog wash!
Comment: #48
Posted by: Penny
Tue Jun 26, 2012 4:41 PM
Re: Bobaloo
We two are basically in agreement over that one. What I said about Mike H is because I will stick for a specific point when I think it is stickable - and I like Mike H. He's a good friend and all too often the voice of reason here.

And I also believe that Mike H is also basically in agreement - if it could be demonstrated that the man is not just into "harmless" pot. Which we'll never know, of course - unless the LW comes down BTL as sometimes happens.

Comment: #49
Posted by: Lise Brouillette
Tue Jun 26, 2012 5:11 PM
Re: Penny

Gee, I promise I'd shut up, and you have to respond.

Go back and re-read post 15 -- this is what could happen in a relationship with a drug user (occasional or not). And we don't know what or how often he actually does use (she doesn't, by choice or not, define how "occasional" the drug use is). It could be every few months, as could be implied by her letter's statements about his occassional late-night outings. It could be she's in denial and it's every day, even if he actually "doesn't bring drugs into the house."

The point was, at some point, something might (and I stress MIGHT) happen ... and it likely won't be good. The question is -- even if there's a much better than average chance that he never flies into a drug-fueled rage or gets arrested or gets the LW into trouble ... does she want to risk it happening?
Comment: #50
Posted by: Bobaloo
Tue Jun 26, 2012 5:16 PM
Lise I have a tiny bone to pick with your post #45. Wine, like all alcohol, IS a mind-altering substance just like pot. But technically, so if caffeine, so I guess I wouldn't get to hung up on the terminology.
Comment: #51
Posted by: C Meier
Tue Jun 26, 2012 7:17 PM
Re: C Meier
Yeah, well, it is, in the sense that it can change your mood and greatly slow down your reflexes, but not to the extent of pot and hash. Alcohol rarely makes anyone hallucinate if you take enough of it.

Comment: #52
Posted by: Lise Brouillette
Wed Jun 27, 2012 3:55 AM
@Lise, exactly, and I said exactly that -- we don't know what she means by "drugs". Some people think of marijuana as "doing drugs", others don't. She's not specific enough, and from the get-go I stated very clearly that depending on what drug he is involved with, her response should be different.

Treating an occasional pot smoker the same way you treat an occasional heroin or crack or meth user simply doesn't make sense. They are very different drugs that have very different effects and also have very different profiles of addiction.

We do know that, according to her, it never happens in her home, and it happens very infrequently. So infrequently that the word "addict" is unlikely to apply.

@Kitty, I think we aren't talking apples and oranges, I think we're actually agreeing, but you seem to be hung up on the idea that the LW *can't* be talking about pot, which I don't think we can say for certain. You and I seem in agreement that pot is different, but plenty of people (witness Bobaloo in this very thread) don't seem to understand the difference.
Comment: #53
Posted by: Mike H
Wed Jun 27, 2012 5:21 AM
Mike H:

Again, LW's concern is not about whether drugs should or shouldn't be illegal (the fact is, they are illegal). This argument is not – nor should not – be about the differences in effects between marijuana and other drugs.

It is – and that's what I've attempted to keep my statements on this thread about, but apparently I haven't succeeded – about a woman who is concerned about her husband-to-be and his occasional drug use and how she should address this. Period.

BTW – if you go back to my first post on this thread (#15), you'll see that I do say, "He is using marijuana." (Quote: "I won't speak so much on the marijuana (except that it is illegal for a reason), but the cocaine and meth and prescription drugs and other drugs nanchan mentions – HE COULD BE USING ANY ONE OF THESE" (emphasis mine).)

Her response should be no different if it is marijuana (which at this point IS illegal) or if it's cocaine, meth, etc. Of course, her value system will dictate this, too, and we all know that value systems are different.
Comment: #54
Posted by: Bobaloo
Wed Jun 27, 2012 6:10 AM
Correction to post 54 – and it's a typo on my part: I do NOT say he was using marijuana in post #15. My bad. (Nor any other specific drug, for that matter.)
Comment: #55
Posted by: Bobaloo
Wed Jun 27, 2012 6:58 AM
LW1: You're an idiot. You'll date a drug user for three years. You'll love a drug user. Heck, you'll even breed with one. BUT you won't marry one? LOL Hilarious You're already a family, moron. A piece of paper isn't magic - it's just a legal document.

LW2: Why don't you just be honest? Tell her that you're okay with it but you need to check with your son. Then ASK HIM and give her the response. What is wrong with you people?

LW3: You're not bitter - the Annies are just idiots. Relationships only work when both people are working on it. And no relationship is ever going to last if one person has to do all the work. Their advice to the wife to humiliate herself further to maninpulate the husband into not straying anymore was pathetic.
Comment: #56
Posted by: Diana
Wed Jun 27, 2012 2:10 PM
@Bobaloo, and I think your advice is dead wrong. She should NOT have the same response to her partner if his occasional drug use is marijuana than if it was heroin or cocaine or meth. They are VERY different substances with VERY different effects, and having an overly-simplistic "one size fits all" response is doing her a disservice.

The situation is far more nuanced than you are giving credence, in part because you continue to have an overly simplistic view about drugs and the legality issue.

The effects of marijuana on the body and on addiction are essentially equivalent to alcohol or cigarettes. What you are advocating for is the logical equivalent of saying "Your boyfriend goes out drinking once every two months, and that is just as bad as if he went out smoking crack every two months".

These are different substances with very different effects, and treating as "the same thing" just doesn't seem realistic or reasonable.
Comment: #57
Posted by: Mike H
Fri Jun 29, 2012 11:14 AM
@Bobaloo, one reason I think your advice is off-base is NOWHERE in the letter does the LW express ANY CONCERN WHATSOEVER about the issue of illegality.

It's her feeling that he's doing something that takes him away from her and that she disagrees with that she feels shows a lack of commitment to their relationship.

It's also why I made the point in comment #42 above that we should also think about taking "drugs" out of the equation, and consider him doing *anything* that she disapproved of, and insisting he stop or he isn't committed to their relationship.

Doing something outside of the home that is essentially harmless, and doing it very infrequently, is not something that shows a lack of commitment to an otherwise solid relationship.
Comment: #58
Posted by: Mike H
Fri Jun 29, 2012 11:19 AM
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