Many people try alcohol and marijuana at some point during their lifetime. You may have even tried it yourself in high school or college alongside your best friends or classmates. However, there's a big difference between trying something once or even using it recreationally and dealing with a full-blown addiction.
If you notice that your husband is smoking pot on a regular basis, you may be concerned about your future together. You may notice that their relationship with weed is impacting their ability to work or enjoy quality time with you.
You may also feel like your spouse is no longer the person you married, and that can be a hard reality to accept.
But is divorcing a pothead husband the right thing to do? Well, it's up to you to look at all of the facts and make that decision. Here are some quick-fire thoughts:
Things to know
- Substance abuse is the third leading cause of divorce - so you're not alone in your feelings about this issue.
- Divorcing an addict is the right thing to do if you feel unsafe or if your basic relationship needs haven't been met for a long time.
- If previous attempts at recovery haven't worked for your spouse and you feel like you can no longer help them, divorce is absolutely an acceptable route to go down.
This is a really complicated issue that can hardly be taken lightly. So, let's delve into the details so you can have as much information as possible. Here's what we'll cover:
- Is Divorcing a Pothead Common?
- 3 Ways Substance Abuse Affects a Marriage
- 10 Red Flags for Spouses of Marijuana Smokers
- 4 Ways to Help a Pothead Husband
- Is Divorcing My Pothead Husband the Right Thing To Do?
Is Divorcing a Pothead Common?
Yes. Divorcing a pothead is more common than you might think.
When most people think about the most common causes of divorce, substance use doesn't always rank. However, addiction is actually the third leading cause of divorce, right behind infidelity and conflict or incompatibility.
Nearly 1 in 10 divorces occur because of a spouse's underlying substance use issue. Furthermore, marriages in which one partner has an addiction problem are more likely to end in divorce.
Although not all of these divorces involve marijuana, some of them do. Any form of substance abuse can be problematic for a marriage, especially for the partner who isn't using and is committed to making the marriage work.
Addiction is often a progressive disease, and the long-term effects of daily marijuana use can really take a toll on the supporting spouse. It can also cause secondary issues, and these can be just as impactful as the pot smoking itself.
3 Ways Substance Abuse Affects a Marriage
1. Physical and emotional intimacy
Excessive substance use can disrupt both emotional and physical intimacy for couples. Over time, the spouse who isn’t using marijuana may feel neglected as their emotional and physical needs aren’t being met by their partner. This can lead to a complete end to a couple’s sexual relations, which often causes dead bedroom divorce.
2. Financial issues
Excessive purchases of marijuana, or any substance for that matter, can impact a couple’s financial situation. It can throw off the monthly budget, which can cause financial hardship or instability in the future. The couple may struggle to pay bills and keep food on the table, or they may lose their savings because of the cost of addiction.
If the spouse who is using isn’t working as often or quits working altogether, this can also create income inequality that builds resentment and anger between the partners. The other spouse may feel like their partner prioritizes being a weed smoker over everything else, including financial responsibilities.
3. Children may suffer neglect
Although a pot smoker doesn’t necessarily mean to be neglectful, marijuana can impact a person’s ability to make rational decisions and think clearly. If the couple has children, this can affect the parent’s ability to care for the children they share.
Over time, this can impact parent-child relationship dynamics and make the child feel like one parent doesn’t love them.
Depending on how much weed the person consumes, they may also be unable to properly care for their children because they are so inhibited. This can lead to child neglect, even if it is unintentional.
In short, marijuana addiction can be a big deal for your marriage, even if it doesn't feel like it on the surface. Different people deal with it in their own ways, but it's important to know how it may affect your relationship so you can look for problem areas before it's too late.
10 Red Flags for Spouses of Marijuana Smokers
Although some of the effects of marijuana use may not seem like deal breakers for your marriage, there are red flags that can indicate a much larger issue for your relationship.
Some red flags to look out for include the following:
- increased pot smoking on a daily basis, especially if using constantly
- indications that getting high is the only thing the spouse cares about
- excessive mood swings and hairpin triggers for anger
- remaining in a bad mood regardless of how much marijuana they consume
- an increase in aggressive behavior, such as yelling or physical attacks
- lying or other concerning behavior, like hiding things from you or financial secrets
- spending a lot of time outside of the home, especially if they aren't disclosing why
- missing items or money
- signs the spouse is having a panic attack when they can't get a fix
- any sort of physical abuse or injury
The more red flags you notice, the more concerning the situation is. If you feel like your spouse checks off most of these, it may be time to look into whether or not it's worth remaining married.
4 Ways to Help a Pothead Husband
As a spouse, we realize that our partners are human beings first and foremost. Therefore, many of us see divorce as an absolute last resort. If you want to try to make things work before giving up on your weed-smoker spouse, you can try these recommended steps:
1. Stop living in denial
In many households, spouses will both live in a state of denial about addiction. However, if you are going to work through this, you both have to see the problem for what it is.
If you can, sit down and talk through the situation together. Explain things from your perspective by using “I Statements,” but avoid placing blame on the other person. Then, give them space to share their perspective with you. You may understand their addiction better by listening to their point of view.
2. Educate yourself
If you really want to help your partner, you need to have at least a general understanding of the disease they are battling. This means you will need to read information about addiction and seek out additional resources to help you understand what goes on inside their mind.
This can help you feel less resentful and more empathetic as you help them tackle the issue.
3. Stop enabling their addiction
If you want to help your spouse, then you must stop enabling their addiction. This means you may have to limit their access to money, take away their car, or limit who is allowed to visit your home. You must take any steps you feel necessary for the sake of their recovery.
Although this can feel a bit controlling, it is often necessary. It will also help you see whether your spouse wants to beat this or not.
4. Seek support for everyone
Both you and your spouse will need support to work through this. Marriage counseling is a great place to process and work through things together. Also, there are support groups out there both for people battling addiction and those who are married to addicts. Use as many of these supports as possible — it will help.
Is Divorcing My Pothead Husband the Right Thing To Do?
If they can't help themselves
We all want to help the people we love. Unfortunately, you can't help someone who isn't willing to also help themselves. Sometimes, potheads and other addicts are unwilling or unable to set aside their vices in a way that we would like. In those situations, some spouses find divorce to be the only option available to them.
Your mental and physical health should come first
Divorce is usually the right decision in situations where you see no effort toward change or recovery from your partner. Divorce is also a necessity in any situation where you feel like your health and life are endangered. Your physical and mental health should always come first, no matter how much it hurts to walk away.
Divorce isn't the end of the world, but it will be difficult
Making the choice to walk away from a marriage is never easy. However, learning how to ask for a divorce in a way that is humane and compassionate can help you both work through this challenging time more collaboratively.
Finding closure can be hard work, but it's up to you to take the high road and work through this divorce in a way that lets you both maintain your dignity and keeps you safe.
It may not seem like it yet, but you may eventually reach a place where you see this decision as one of the best ones you've made in your life. Who knows, you may even find a healthier, happier version of yourself on the other side.