Help, My Partner Smokes Cannabis!

3 Solutions for Your Relationship

Your partner smokes cannabis, and you’re incredibly unhappy about it? This issue affects more people than you might think. The frustrating part is feeling like you’re growing apart, having conversations that lead nowhere, and no longer understanding your partner and their actions. In this article, I’ll explain why these issues arise in relationships and then present three possible ways to handle it if your partner smokes cannabis.

1. Why Do Relationship Problems Arise When One Partner Smokes Cannabis?

Relationship problems typically arise from differing perspectives on certain situations and changes in the partner who consumes cannabis.

Before I delve into the three solutions, let’s try to better understand your partner. Since we often receive similar questions from concerned partners via email, let’s answer a few of them here. I hope these answers shed light on your situation and show that you’re not alone with your problems.

These four questions focus on the inner world of the cannabis user and their emotions. Understanding these aspects can help you relate better to your partner and make it easier to choose one of the three methods. We wish you and your partner all the best!

1.1 Can a Cannabis User Have Feelings?

Cannabis users absolutely have feelings. Especially at the beginning of their cannabis use, the emotions experienced during a high can be much more intense. The crucial factor is how often and for how long one consumes.

However, like with all other drugs, cannabis use can lead to tolerance. This means the body becomes accustomed to the substance, and the effects are no longer as pronounced as in the beginning. In fact, the opposite can occur, where the user feels the emotions less and may become indifferent over time.

1.2 Can Cannabis Use Lead to Losing Feelings or Indifference?

Developing indifference is a common outcome for long-term cannabis users. Everyday problems can fade into the background when consumption is ongoing. Yet, it’s not only negative feelings that are suppressed. Positive emotions can also diminish over time. Cannabis can induce a kind of emotional numbness.

When someone has anxiety about their problems, it’s often easier to feel nothing at all, even if that means suppressing positive emotions. This is where most disagreements and relationship problems begin. The sober partner feels unloved, ignored, or unimportant due to the diminishing emotions in the consuming partner. This leads to an imbalance that’s detrimental to the relationship.

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1.3 Can Cannabis Use Change One's Character?

Cannabis use does not necessarily change one’s character. It might seem that way because long-term use can numb the person that they once were. If someone were to quit using cannabis, they would quickly return to their previous self.

The apparent change in character is not just due to the lack of emotions, as previously described. It also leads to altered behaviors and activities. This is easily explained: when emotions are dulled, there’s less motivation to do things that used to bring joy. Users also become lazier and less interested in activities. For example, they may no longer want to go hiking with friends or clean the house regularly. Even these simple examples can make the consuming partner seem like an entirely different person.

1.4 What Is Life Like with a Cannabis User?

Life with a cannabis user, especially if you don’t consume, can be very challenging. Their growing apathy means you’ll often end up handling most of the daily responsibilities. Additionally, your partner may contribute less or not at all to household chores.

This situation can lead to conflict as it feels unfair to you, and you’ve likely expressed this multiple times. But your partner probably doesn’t have negative feelings anymore when the garbage starts to stink or the house is messy. Since it bothers you, you end up with the tasks. Another major source of conflict is the difference in emotional experiences, as mentioned earlier. When you invest more in the relationship and express your emotions, it’s hurtful if your partner doesn’t reciprocate.

A relationship cannot endure when love and attention flow in only one direction. Since your partner might be numbed by constant cannabis use, they could be living in their own world, unable to fulfill your need for affection. Even if your partner doesn’t intend harm, it can be a strain on the non-consuming partner. This aspect often leads to breakups. If you live with a cannabis user, be prepared for them to have less interest in activities and prefer to smoke a joint in their familiar surroundings. This can also strain a relationship.

2. Why Do Relationship Problems Arise When One Partner Smokes Cannabis?

Now that we’ve discussed what cannabis does to your partner and why it leads to conflicts in the relationship, let’s explore three ways to handle your partner’s cannabis use.

2.1 Persuading the Partner to Quit

First and foremost, it’s essential to understand that ending cannabis addiction is often not straightforward. Simply pressuring your partner to stop won’t likely succeed and might even lead to more arguments.

Besides the fact that chronic users are often controlled by their addiction, they might view the relationship differently. They may not even recognize the problem because they’re content with the situation and find your dissatisfaction unnecessary.

It’s best if you can encourage your partner to contemplate their cannabis use and its consequences. This way, they might break their routines and independently realize how their consumption leads to problems, endangers the relationship, and negatively impacts their life.

Your best chance to reach them is to show understanding initially. You could ask them why they use cannabis and express your desire to comprehend their perspective. Some additional questions to consider:

  • What do you gain from using cannabis?
  • Do you feel better after using it than before?
  • Has cannabis improved your life?
  • Does cannabis bring you closer to your life goals?

"Fear does not reside in the things themselves, but in how we perceive them."

The answer to whether cannabis brings them closer to life goals is evident. However, it’s a good question to make them reflect on their life situation.

When asking these questions, do so thoughtfully. You know your partner best and understand how open they are. Asking too many questions or timing them poorly might irritate your partner and lead to withdrawal rather than enlightenment. If your partner finds your questions uncomfortable or confronts you about them, assure them that you care and genuinely want to comprehend why they’re living the way they do.

By following this path, you’re being honest and showing interest, which your partner, ideally, will positively respond to. Now, they may reflect on themselves and their lives, realizing how cannabis affects them.

The next step is to tell your partner how you feel about the situation and how it affects you. Consider how to communicate this in a non-confrontational manner, avoiding accusations. Choose the right moment. If your partner loves you and cares, even if they’re numbed by their cannabis use, your feelings do matter to them. Give your partner some time to process this situation. If they indeed recognize how harmful their consumption is for their life and the relationship, support them in their journey to quit.

2.2 Finding Middle Ground Through Compromises

If your partner is unwilling to quit using cannabis, you can try to find a middle ground. This option often sounds the easiest but is the most challenging to implement. Addiction is complex, and those affected often make empty promises to take the path of least resistance.

You could compromise by deciding that your partner no longer smokes in the home or only on specific days. You could schedule a “couples’ night” to spend more quality time together, or your partner could contribute more to household tasks. However, be vigilant and not too trusting. If your partner fails to keep their promises, you must take action and make a decision.

2.3 Giving an Ultimatum

Issuing an ultimatum to your partner might seem harsh initially. An ultimatum could involve telling your partner that they must choose between you and cannabis. If they don’t quit within a specified timeframe, you’ll leave them.

However, be clear about what you want. If you want to have a life with a real partner again, your options are that your partner changes, or you break up. This decision is tough, but remember, it’s about your life. You must prioritize and stand up for yourself. If, in the end, cannabis is more important to your partner than the relationship and their love for you, there’s nothing you can do.

Certainly, this choice is very difficult. Realize that it’s your life at stake. You must set priorities and take a stand for yourself. If, in the end, your partner values cannabis more than the relationship and their love for you, there’s nothing you can do.

And honestly, being with such a person is detrimental. There are many potential partners who would love and appreciate you. Don’t waste your precious life with someone for whom their addiction is more important than you.

If you choose to give your partner an ultimatum, remember that there’s no turning back. If they choose cannabis, you should end the relationship, and you must not give in. If you still decide to stay together despite the ultimatum, your partner will not take you seriously and will likely handle you and your needs even worse.

3. My Ex-Partner Was Also a Cannabis User

In fact, I experienced this situation myself. When I started dating my partner, he only smoked occasionally. However, his cannabis use increased significantly after his father’s death. Initially, I thought it was just an extreme situation, and he would eventually smoke less. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen.

His behavior became less affectionate, and his friendly nature turned increasingly indifferent. I talked to him about it and expressed how much it bothered me. He recognized it at the time and wanted to quit. He repeatedly reduced consumption and tried to quit but kept relapsing, leaving us where we started.

So, I told him I’d leave him if he didn’t quit within the next three months. Again, he promised to quit. But I felt he didn’t believe I would genuinely leave. Ultimately, he didn’t quit, and I ended the relationship.

It was a shock for him, and a few months later, he did manage to get clean. When he approached me for another chance, it was too late for me. I’m happy with my life now, and I believe it was the right decision not to re-enter the relationship. I think it was the best choice for both of us.

4. Conclusion on Cannabis Use in Relationships

When only one partner in a relationship uses cannabis, it almost invariably leads to relationship problems. This is because both partners think and feel differently, eventually feeling like they inhabit different worlds. If you approach the situation carefully, you can convince your partner of the harm cannabis poses to their life and motivate them to quit.

If your partner truly loves you but doesn’t want to quit entirely, occasionally, you might find common ground and make compromises so that both the relationship and cannabis use can coexist. If you’re unwilling to continue in this manner, the last option is to give your partner an ultimatum, forcing them to make a decision.

Stories of dealing with a cannabis-using partner are common. Feel free to share your story in the comments to encourage and help others find the right path for themselves.

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About the Author

Hi, I’m Jenny, and I’m not actually part of the QSW-Team. I just really wanted to share my experiences on this topic and help those who are in the same situation. Nevertheless, I would still appreciate feedback and a rating.

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