We’ve got a doosy of a problem today, people. #HelpASisterOut
Q – Hey Mallory, here’s a little background to my question: My husband and I have been going through infertility treatments for about 1.5 years. We’ve done a few rounds of clomid, IUI’s and a devastating IVF cycle in the Fall. I am now prepping for my frozen transfer. We are about two weeks out until we transfer our last remaining two embryos. Keep in mind, IVF is completely out of pocket expenses.
My stress is at an all time high. I am stressed at work. I’m frustrated with friends and their insensitivity towards my problem. I am stressed with finances. I am stressed because of weight gain. But right now I’m holding back tears because of my husband.
He has been smoking marijuana. Not every day but on occasion or when he thinks I won’t notice or find out. If I ask him about it, he lies to me. I have plenty of reasons for being against it, one being a family history that brings back bad memories. Not to mention it’s gross and I don’t like the idea of being married to someone who does it. We have battled about this for a long time and the arguments grow every time. My anger and resentment is growing and it’s becoming harder to forgive him. The more it happens, the more angry I feel. This last time he did it, he lied to me for several days, and then when I found out he didn’t seem apologetic at all. And that’s where I am right now. I feel betrayed and unsupported. I haven’t talked to him in two days other than text and it’s not getting anywhere.
Am I overreacting? With everything we have going on right now I feel like I can’t even describe how hurt I am. I wish he would be on my side and support me and not give me something else to worry about. I wish I didn’t have this distraction and he would do everything in his power to just not cause more stress.
A- Dear Anon, first of all, I think your problem is totally relatable. Whether the issue is marijuana, alcohol, sex, or even video games… you’re not alone. It sounds like the biggest trouble here is lying. There’s no reason for it. It’s time to be honest. My advice is to have a long, hard, honest conversation with him to figure out is he going to continue smoking? If so, how can you guys figure out how to handle it so it won’t disrupt your entire life? Lying is not handling it. If he refuses to stop smoking on occasion there needs to be a plan in place. Perhaps it would be enough if he simply stops lying about it. That’s a good place to start. The lying is an additional stressor on top of the marijuana being the original stressor. Or if he could better justify why he feels the need to do it (i.e. stress – if he’s stressed out, maybe there’s alternatives he hasn’t tried that you can brainstorm together). Maybe there is some kind of circumstance in which you find smoking tolerable and you have some sort of agreement (i.e. if he tells you ahead of time, then you’ll be more accepting of it. Example: He had a super long day at work and feels very stressed and this is a time he would like to smoke. If he talks to you ahead of time would that make you feel better?)
Now, if you are unwilling to accept that he’s going to continue doing it, which I would bet he will continue to do it whether you like it or not since he hasn’t stopped now, then I recommend scheduling an appointment with a counselor about how to handle the issue between the two of you. This is a two person problem. You both need to feel heard and understood.
One of the best pieces of advice I learned in grad school was “The number one reason why people argue is because someone feels misunderstood.” And in this case, I believe you both do. You both deserve an opportunity to justify and explain yourself to come to a final agreement. Perhaps the agreement is going to result in speaking to a therapist. And at least that’s a place to start.