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Ask Amy: Are you OK with spouse smoking pot?

Freeville native Amy Dickinson answers your questions on relationships, family, work and more. Look for a new column every day and send your questions to [email protected]

Marihuana joint on fire, in the lips (Photo: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Dear Amy:

My husband and I have been married for more than two years. When we first started dating, I knew he smoked marijuana daily.

I slowly grew frustrated being with someone who is out of it and unresponsive. I decided to break it off.

He then decided (without my suggestion) that he would stop smoking.

There were many times where I was suspicious that he was smoking again. He had bloodshot eyes, smelled of it, would run errands that took hours to complete, etc., but I just pushed it to the back of my mind and tried to be happy.

Shortly after we got married I caught him smoking with a friend, when he had told me he was somewhere else. I felt so disappointed. But — I forgave him.

Amy, I don’t care if people want to smoke weed, but it is something I didn’t want in a husband or the future father of my children.

Last night I was cleaning his car when I found weed hidden underneath the floor mat. I also found eye drops and a lighter.

We talked about it, and he told me that he feels like weed helps him. He believes it has healing powers (he has no medical issues). He doesn’t want to stop.

Ask Amy: Confronting childhood abuser

I was very clear about my views from the start of our relationship. It isn’t fair that he lied to me for so long.

I told him I wanted a divorce because I could no longer trust him. He said I was crazy for being willing to throw everything away over a little weed.

I don’t know what to do. I feel like it isn’t even about the weed now, it’s about the betrayal, lies and the intentional hiding.

Am I crazy for wanting a divorce over weed?

Dear Disappointed: I gather from where your husband’s stash was located that pot is illegal in your state. If so, it is reasonable to ask and expect your spouse not to engage in illegal activity.

But if pot were legal where you live, would you find it acceptable if he used it occasionally? And, importantly, would he be able to use it only occasionally?

His habit of hiding this from you might have triggered some binging behavior. Would he be able to use pot the way some of us have a glass of wine with a meal, and enjoy it without getting stoned?

People who use weed and get baked will deny how obnoxious and boring they can be, and how big an impact it has on their lives and relationships. It is no fun to try to have a life with someone who is unavailable, unreliable, impaired, and zoned out.

Your husband broke a vow he had made to you, and then he lied about it. If you look down the road and see nothing but more of this, then yes, you should probably leave. This is your version of: “Three strikes, I’m out.”

Dear Amy: I have a friend whose wife died six years ago.

He frequently brings up his wife on his Facebook postings, and his wife continues to “respond” to his postings and post poetry on her website.

At what point does one stop responding? Or does one?

He is apparently in counseling. Any suggestions?

Dear Friends: I don’t see anything amiss with bringing up one’s late spouse on Facebook. Doing so is like mentioning her name in conversation.

It sounds as if he has set up a “memorial page” and is posting and sharing from that page. If he is posting things she wrote during her lifetime, I think that sounds like a great idea. If he is responding in her persona, that’s a little more troubling.

The beauty of Facebook is that you don’t ever have to “like,” comment, respond, or even look at anything that floats by on your Facebook stream. The fewer clicks and likes he receives, the less traction these posts will get.

I hope you will reach out in real life to talk to and spend time with this man. A grief support group might be helpful.

Dear Amy: You asked for feedback from people on how they divide the job of cleaning the dirty dishes in their household.

Like you, our rule is, “if you cooked, you don’t have to do the dishes.”

We think of this as a fair division of labor.

— Happy in the House

Dear Happy: I like this balance, too. Many of us would much rather clean than cook.

While her husband continues to smoke weed behind her back, she begins to think about divorce.

Ask Amy: Pot-smoking husband wants to toke freely

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Dear Amy: My husband and I are at a crossroads. I learned several years ago that he had been smoking marijuana daily for nearly the whole of our 25-year marriage. I always knew he used pot, but I had no idea of the extent.

He finally said he wanted to be able to smoke freely. I agreed to this, and then I was shocked. He smoked in the morning, at night, on walks, on the porch after dinner and on dates. It began to make me feel as though he needed to be high to get through our life together. Out of the blue one day, he told me he wanted to quit. I was thrilled, but then he struggled mightily to quit. He finally did quit for 10 months.

Now he has started smoking again. He says he won’t smoke as much, but that he can’t make any promises. He says he spoke with his doctor about it, and his doctor was not concerned. Pot is now legal in our state.

I do not want to go back to the way things were, and have made that clear. He says that he’s an adult who can make his own decisions and that it shouldn’t matter to me because it does not alter his personality. He does not want to talk to our family counselor about it. Should I give it time, or make my own decision?

Dear High-Minded: Your husband seems to have become dependent on (or addicted to) marijuana; after a lot of effort, he was able to quit, and now he has relapsed.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (drugabuse.gov), “…studies suggest that 9 percent of people who use marijuana will become dependent on it, rising to about 17 percent in those who start using in their teens.” Your husband is a very longtime daily user.

His statement: “I’m an adult and I can use if I want…” is correct. He is an adult and he gets to make choices.

You are also an adult, and you get to make choices, too. He will not quit his pot use because you want him to. He will only quit if he wants to.

You ask if you should give it time, or make your own decision, but I think you should give it time AND make your own decision. He may be able to modulate his use. Are you open to this? But if his pot smoking affects your life in intolerable ways, then you may need to leave the relationship.

While you are pondering your options, you should stop bargaining with him. Detach from his choices and focus on yourself. A “friends and family” support group could help you.

Dear Amy: I recently got married, but the planning process was awful.

My mother and sister were horrible and hurtful.

Long story short, I ended up temporarily disconnecting all contact with my sister until I am ready and until she can be respectful toward me and my husband.

My question is — how will I know when I’m ready to reach out? My parents are pressuring me to make up with her and I do miss my nephews, but it’s only been three months and I’m not sure if I know that I’m ready.

What should I do?

Dear Newlywed: You don’t mention whether your parents are also pressuring your sister to make up with you. Nor do you say whether your sister has made any attempts — it doesn’t sound as if she has.

If you want to move this along, you could contact your sister and ask her to meet with you privately.

Describe your concerns, including what she did that caused you distress. Stay calm and assume a neutral attitude of listening. If you create plenty of space for her to acknowledge her own behavior and she doesn’t, then you’ll have another decision to make — whether to forgive her and try to move on, or whether to continue to keep your distance from someone who doesn’t seem to respect you. This will be up to you — not your parents.

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Dear Amy: “Loving Children” described the tension for their adoptive father when they try to see their biological family.

You made a huge mistake. This adoptive father is not their real father. He might be wonderful, but he is a stepparent, not a parent.

Dear Upset: This man had adopted his stepchildren. An adoptive parent IS a “real” parent in every way, except for DNA.

Dear Amy: My husband and I are at a crossroads. I learned several years ago that he had been smoking marijuana daily for nearly the whole of our 25-year marriage. I always knew he used pot, but I had no idea of the extent.