Drugs in a relationship

by anonymous
(New York)

I've known this girl for a long time, going on 7 years now, and both of us are in college now. We recently just became mush closer as she used to live out of state but has since moved to the area and now goes to school with me. She has always enjoyed going to friends house's and casually smoking marijuana (nothing I would call a problem at all, she's very safe). I, however, have always hated the act of smoking anything in general and find it a horrible turn off. We sat down and discussed my issue with it, and she said that if I can go out and occasionally binge drink like many college students (which she doesn't like but will occasionally find herself doing as well), she should be able to do what she enjoys.

In my heart I know I can't disagree with that and it's a reasonable argument, but I don't think I can personally get over the smoking. My priority lies with making our relationship work because I do really enjoy my time with her. As we stand now, we aren't at any agreement, but our "nights out" have instead become a little secretive (don't ask, don"t tell). Where do I go from here? Is it my responsibility, if I want to make this work, to understand and accept? She got mad at me when I originally asked her to give up the habit for me fearing issues it might cause down the road... my dumb emotions getting the best of me. I reasoned, although it seems naive and insensitive of me, that drinking is a much more socially acceptable act, and that she does drink from time to time as well.

I want to get over it, but when we text or talk on the phone and I know she is under the influence, I get upset and generally ruin any hope of decent conversation. Words of advice? Suggestion? Anything can help...


Ben's Answer:

What you have here is a clash of lifestyle differences. As you say, neither of you is right or wrong here - just engaging in different vices. Drinking is really no more socially acceptable than marijuana - it just depends on which social circle you're in.

If you personally don't like how she acts when she's smoking, then if she really cares about being with you, she should limit or stop her use. And if she doesn't like how you act when you're drinking, then the same consideration should go both ways. You just need to talk honestly about it. It's a question of priorities - what's most important to you both.

If you are bothered just knowing that she is occasionally smoking (when she's not around you), then that really may be an issue for you to work on coming to terms with. It usually turns out badly when a person tries to change their partner to make them more "acceptable." Ends in resentment and hurt most often. If you can't accept each other as you are it may be time to move on and find someone more compatible. Or maybe you just need to stretch a bit.

Take Care,
Ben Schwarcz

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