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How To Deal With A Pot Smoker Who Uses It To Cover Mental Problem - - Oct 23rd 2008


I can say what I want to about pot smoking.  I was a pot smoker for years.  I did not smoke everyday but smoked on the weekends.  I like the other lady on here did not realize that I fell in love with my husband when he was high.  When he is sober, he can’t even stand his own self.  When he is high he is a total different person.  OK, maybe I do agree with one of you about him covering up a mental illness with pot…but how does it help me when he will not admit that….somebody please tell  me how to deal with his crazy cycle of happy, crazy, happy, crazy.  I am exhausted.  I won’t leave him because I truly love him and we have two children.  What else can I do?

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It is very difficult or impossible to get someone to quit using any drug, be it marijuana, alcohol or any of the others, if they will not or cannot admit that it is a problem. What you mention about your own use of marijuana is very interesting for the following reason. You fell in love with your husband when you were both high. Only later, when not high, did you come to realize that he has problems. That is just the issue: Marijuana and all drugs, cloud peoples’ judgment.

What to do now?

Well, for you to continue to use just to keep liking him is not going to succeed because whether you are high or sober, he is the same person. In addition, whether he is high or sober, his problems are still there and become more pronounced when he is sober. What you could do is let him know that "you cannot live with him if he will not go for help with his pot smoking."

However, do not make that statement unless you really mean it.
Threats do not work. If you are really unhappy the only solution is to end the marriage unless he changes.

I will add this: It will be difficult for him to stop using marijuana unless you do the same. It will be too tempting for him to use when he sees you smoking.

Best of Luck

More "Ask Dr. Schwartz" View Columnists

  • Matt

    Sheesh, thank God my parents didn't pass on any of that kind of inferior DNA to me. People like you and your husband are why cannabis will never be legalized in this country for medical or any other reason - You just take it way, WAY too far. What do you make of me then, Dr. Schwartz? I smoke cannabis almost everyday (if I can) but I know when it's time to party and when it's time to be stone cold sober and be responsible. I just don't understand! How can I use responsibly but so many can't? Is it my genes? My DNA? Willpower? What is it?

  • Marcia

    Spoken like a true narcissis to think he is so superior and others are just inferior. This is exactly why these people never change or get better. They delude themselves, as Matt does that they are unique, special and the laws of nature nor the land do not apply to them. If he would deal with his true emotions which are probably buried in shame, he would not have to use a drug so often to avoid them.

  • Allan N. Schwartz, PhD

    Hi Marcia,

    It is important to remember that, even though someone who has a narcissistic personality disorder may come across as very superior, they have deep and painful emotional wounds. This is why I want to urge you and others to refrain from condeming people with this disorder. And, in fact, with hard work in psychotherapy, it is possible for people to recover from a narcissistic disorder.

    Dr. Schwartz


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