#55 Husband refuses to kick drug habit / I'm addicted to making my husband wrong
Dear Annie: I had a marijuana habit since my teens and recently decided to quit. It's no longer something I enjoy, and I cannot reach my goals I plan to achieve in life if I continue to smoke pot. I haven't used for nearly six weeks.
The problem is that my husband "Eddie," refuses to quit. He says it's his way of dealing with stress, depression and life in general. He likens it to daily medication. Eddie once tried quitting by taking the prescribed medication route, but he didn't like the side effects.
I have threatened to leave if he continues to smoke, because I don't believe it's healthy for our children to stay in that lifestyle. He did agree to smoke outside but I don't think that's enough. One of the reasons the smoking bothers me so much is because Eddie needs to be stoned in order to deal with anything.
I'm tired of fighting about it. I don't want to split up our family but I'm afraid it's the only answer. He is a great father and a good husband and takes responsibility for his actions. Please advise me.—SOS IN CALIFORNIA
Dear SOS: Since you say he is a "great father and a good husband and takes responsibility" it's too bad he can't see that his pot habit is damaging his family (not to mention it is illegal). You cannot force Eddie to quit, but you might find assistance through Nar-Anon World Services, a 12-step program for families and friends of addicts. The address is: 22527 Crenshaw BLVD, Suite 200B, Torrance, CA 90505.
Hi SOS: The key word is "threaten." How did he know, with absolute certainty, that you didn't mean it? An empty threat is a lie. The issue you're dealing with is your integrity. Your integrity is so far out that you can't hear your own lies. He lost or never had complete respect for you. How do we know? He wouldn't dare risk the possibility of losing you if he respected you. How you communicate and relate with him, and all others, does not inspire him to opt for health and consciousness. It’s impossible to respect someone whom you can manipulate, someone who unconsciously supports you in being less than your magnificent conscious self.
Respect is lost when the first lie is not acknowledged. You don't respect you, so others, though they may not be aware of it, at some level know this and so they've lost some respect for you. It's compounded; respect is further lost through a series of small lies. The majority of these lies are "forgotten" hidden from your mind and virtually un-recallable except with the support of a communicologist. Your mind just won't let you recall the tremendous number of unacknowledged lies and deceits you have perpetrated on yourself and others; due to its addiction to arguing and to being right it (your mind) has a justification and explanation for each and every lie. That's not to say you are a full-fledged liar. Not at all. You are a normal, typical (99% of the population), "white" liar. "I'll be with you in a minute." "We'll see...," "If you do that again I'll...," "I'll pick you up at 3:00." etc. Your arrogance keeps you from realizing that lies you told your parents, teachers, and school friends, are each having an effect on your outcomes to this day. You arrogantly thought/think you got away with each incident. Unacknowledged perpetrations (lies and deceits) serve as barriers to manifesting one's stated intentions (goals). Once acknowledged the incident is complete, the karma so to speak is released.
For example: You lie and say your intention is for him to stop smoking yet we see from the results that your intention has been to have him keep smoking. You need to be right and to make him wrong. It's called abuse. To marry someone and then try to change them is abusive. What you have been up to is unconsciously setting it up to divorce him. We'll know this is what you have been up to when you are divorced. I assure you, if he were to give up smoking, you would find another issue to fight over. Now that you're drug-free you're beginning to see how addicted you are to abusing and being abused. You now need your daily fix of making him wrong, of being invalidated (his smoking around you invalidates your magnificence), of abuse.
Another example: A sentence, "I'd feel much better if you didn't smoke," when communicated by a person of integrity, as opposed to when said, by a person who is out-integrity, produces different results. That he didn't act upon your threat is proof that he also is masterminding a divorce. He's setting it up for you to initiate it. In truth, you are setting him up to set you up to initiate a divorce.
Re: "...because I don't believe it's healthy for our children to stay in that lifestyle." This is called denial. A conscious person, one who knows and respects his/her knowledge, would write, "I know it's not healthy...." The subject transcends book knowledge. It's just naturally known.
The way out of the mess is for you to enroll in about 25 hours of counseling/therapy/support group meetings. Even if he stops smoking you will still be addicted to fault-finding, arguing, and trying to change others. Remember, you seduced him into marrying you. You led him to believe you would accept him exactly the way he was/is. Love is choosing to have the person be the way they are and the way they are not.
For example: If I want you to stop blaming others I best find out if blaming others is something you want to stop doing, or else I should stay away from you. Once I find out that you’d like support in completing your experience of blaming then I have permission to lead you in the direction you say you want to go. He communicates to you that he doesn’t want support in stopping. What you’re doing is abusive nagging. He'll either stop or he'll never stop. We don't know. What we do know is that as long as you hang around him he'll never choose to heal himself because your present leadership-communication skills (including sex) reward and train him to be and act the way he does. Your resistance creates an equal and opposite force. There is no space for him to choose.
The sad thing is that you will take the children, as though they stand a better chance of being normal around you. No matter their age, you have already trained them to argue abusively, to attract partners who need therapy, and to put up with less than satisfying behaviors. If they hang around you, without you immersing yourself in extensive counseling/support groups, you will unconsciously, hypocritically, reinforce these behaviors.
Whereas before you had no choice but to smoke you now have no choice but to not smoke. The problem with 12-step programs is that they support lying for which there are consequences. For example: The mantra 12-steppers repeat is, "I am an alcoholic." It doesn't take into account that two seconds ago he/she may have been an alcoholic but that now, as they speak, they are not being one. There is no acknowledgement of past, present, and future. There is no NOW. The mantra becomes an affirmation to be addicted for life. They can't conceive, they absolutely, arrogantly, argumentatively, refuse to entertain the possibility that it's possible to complete ones addiction to drinking, to drink from choice again. Theirs is a limiting unenlightened point of view that supports lying. "I was ...," or, "I have been ..." would be the truth. Such seemingly small lies support unconscious self-righteousness. You, SOS, communicate, "I, the present nonsmoker, am better than, healthier than, you the smoker. My addiction to making you wrong is not equally as detrimental to our health as your addiction to smoking. And, I don't care that you feel inferior or bad about the way I communicate my desires to change you."
Keep in mind you are insisting that Eddie play at the level of mediocrity. You’re demanding that your husband get a little more conscious, while you unconsciously operate from the decision to remain unconscious. “Eddie, I want you to play the prevailing withholding-hypocrisy game with me and everyone else.” If you were offering him the choice to play at the level of excellence he’d either jump at the opportunity or leave you. Eddie and most others resort to drugs because there’s no joy, no ecstasy, playing from mediocrity. There’s simply no adult he can totally respect. No one has taught him how to get high through all that intercourse is, through communication.
Re: Eddie needs to be stoned in order to deal with anything. Yes, including you. Eddie keeps communicating “depression” and you refuse to "get" him (to recreate his communication) so he has to keep dramatizing it the only way he knows how. Something about the way you communicate depresses him. You do not inspire him. You'll never know if it’s you or him until you commit to healing yourself.
You have though, revealed more of your addictions and for this you are to be acknowledged. You now have the opportunity to play the enlightenment game, one that very few ever choose to play. Congratulations! Although it's an excellent accomplishment, six weeks is not enough time for your incompletes to surface. Incompletes here meaning those less than mutually satisfying childhood communications that caused you to resort to drugs rather than tell the truth to whomever. In other words, as long as you have him in your life to make wrong (to fix) you don’t have to focus on what you need to handle in support of being whole and complete. Hanging around a drug addict saps your energy. You believe that if you left him you would never date a drug addict again, yet daily you opt to hang around someone you attracted when you were an addict. It’s because you are addicted to hanging around (relating with) addicts. Had you been a drug-free vegetarian the marriage would not have taken place.
The next time around declare your standards up front. For example: "If either of us cheat or do any drugs that will be the same as insisting upon a divorce. Under no circumstances will there be a second chance. And, if either of us cheat or do drugs the other forfeits the right to sue for child support, custody, alimony, or possessions. Do we have an agreement?" At mutual get-togethers share with friends that you and your (next) spouse have this agreement so that it's common knowledge and can't be denied later. That, or include it in a prenuptial agreement.
With your position you could very well set it up to marry again and after a while he turns vegetarian and then you'll cause him to insist that you give up eating animals or else.
BTW: Here's the communication you need to deliver. "I'm leaving on xx/xx/xx. I'll not talk to you again, no gifts, cards, messages, casual talk, (except for logistic/child matters), until you can tell me you've been drug-free for six months in a row, and that you have completed 25 hours of therapy/counseling." It won't work to deliver this ultimatum if you don't intend it.
Because we have been talking about Eddie behind his back you need to show him our communications, otherwise, instead of clearing (problem solving), it's badmouthing,
For more about lies read the free mini-tutorial About Lies and Lying.
Do write back in a few years to let us know how you handled things. Thank you, Gabby