What It's Like to Date an Addict

Just about everybody has heard that oft-repeated definition of madness—that’s, “Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

Well, I suppose I might have been identified as certifiable throughout sure instances in my romantic life, as a result of over and over, I’ve been a magnet for addicts of 1 sort or one other, and every time I believed the result could be completely different.

Here’s how habit destroys relationships

Mr. Grass

The most important failure was the man I used to be engaged to once we have been each in our late 30s.

On our second date, he invited me over for dinner, and after I bought to his condominium, there have been a few shifty-looking dudes (it was Southern California, in order that they have been positively “dudes”) nervously stuffing baggage of one thing of their denim jackets.

My ex, whom I’ll name Mr. Grass, didn’t even introduce me to these guys, and after they left, I jokingly requested, “Are you the local pot dealer or something?” He casually laughed, saying, “No, I’m not, but I do smoke, and I was just socializing with friends.”

And then he proceeded to supply me a success of a joint. I politely declined, however I bear in mind having an uneasy feeling in my abdomen about this whole interplay.

Since I had smoked pot again in faculty, I stored telling myself that Mr. Grass’s indulgence didn’t actually hassle me, so I selected to merely keep away from the large crimson flag that was waving at me furiously each time we bought collectively.

But as I got here to spend increasingly more time with him, I spotted that though he by no means smoked when he was working, he would gentle up as quickly as he bought house, all through weekend, and in addition inspired me to be a part of him (I not often did, which appeared to disappoint him).

Also, he solely needed to hang around with “cool” folks—for him, being cool meant smoking weed, which I believed was ridiculous and immature, and I began to really feel that our complete relationship revolves round this situation.

He additionally couldn’t make love, go to a film, eat out, or interact in any sort of exercise with out getting stoned first, as a result of “What fun is that?”

I got here to see that I didn’t actually know who the true Mr. Grass was, as a result of since he was stoned as a rule and had been smoking for 20 years, what was the character of his true persona? Did he even know?

When I attempted to motive with him and say issues like, “If you meditated every day for 20 years, do you think that would have a long-term effect on you?” he would reply, “Of course.” And then, “Well, if you eat junk food every day for 20 years, do you think that would have a long-term effect on you?”

And he would reply, with annoyance, “Of course!” So then I might attempt to make the purpose, “Well since you’ve been smoking pot every day for 20 years, don’t you think that is having a long-term effect on you?” And he would nonchalantly reply, “Nope.” And this was an clever man, not a dummy!

So you could be considering, Well, who was the dummy who bought engaged to him? And I might have to elevate my hand and admit, “Me, me, me!” Almost 40, I had that irrational however not unusual concern that I might by no means discover anybody else, so I pushed apart all my doubts and accepted his proposal. 

But naturally it didn’t take. A number of months after he gave me the ring, I gave him “the ultimatum”: “It’s me or the weed. I can’t take it anymore. I don’t want to smell it, hear about it, sit around with your pot-smoking friends, or discuss the merits of different varieties.”

You can in all probability guess what occurred subsequent. To my dismay (however not shock), he selected his pot paramour over me.

Our engagement ended, and we broke up. The methods substance abuse can have an effect on your relationship is astounding!

Our engagement ended

It was painful, so painful, as a result of regardless that there was a serious deal breaker between us that couldn’t be mounted (he refused to go to remedy or {couples} counseling), there was additionally nice love there, and the parting was not-very-sweet sorrow. But I had no selection however to say a tearful “G’bye” to Mr. Grass.

Mr. Weed

 Okay, so fast-forward a number of years. 

Still single, I met a man (whom I’ll name Mr. Weed) on a dating web site and met him for espresso. As quickly as I laid eyes on him, I believed, Wow, I might kiss this man, which is at all times my preliminary determinant for my degree of curiosity, and we hit it off instantly.

He was 49, very clever, properly learn, and good-looking. We determined to go for a stroll on a close-by seashore, and one of many first questions he requested me was whether or not I’d ever been married (he had not). I mentioned I hadn’t both however that I’d been engaged as soon as, and he requested me why we’d damaged up. I peered into his large-pupiled eyes and pointedly mentioned, “He was a pot addict, and he chose the pot over me.”

Mr. Weed sheepishly replied, “Well, I smoke a little.” And I naively responded, “Well, I don’t mind if someone smokes a little, as long as it’s just every now and then.”

Can you inform the place this story goes? Mr. Grass had been a toking teetotaler in contrast to Mr. Weed, who smoked greater than any human being I’d ever met in my whole life.

He managed to disguise the extent of his habit for a few month, however then I occurred upon the pot vegetation rising in a darkish closet in his home, the stashes hidden in each room, and the paraphernalia tucked away in drawers.

I got here to understand that he was vaping about each 30 minutes all through the day (he labored at house) and was mellow when he was smoking; but when for some motive he couldn’t partake for a number of hours, he could be very irritated and fidgety, and at instances exhibit a daunting and irrational mood.

When I confronted him about his “problem,” he simply laughed it off and mentioned, “Hey, I like weed; it relaxes me.” I accused him of mendacity to me once we’d met, when he’d mentioned he solely smoked “a little,” and he responded by saying that it was going to be authorized quickly, so who cares?

Once once more, my concern of being alone endlessly kicked in, so I put aside my emotions of betrayal and discomfort and tried to simply give attention to the great components of the relationship: Mr. Weed’s sensible; our bodily chemistry; and our mutual love of books, movie, and good eating places.

But an addict is an addict is an addict, and a relationship with one merely can’t work, which was fairly evident one night after I arrange a dinner at a neighborhood café. I used to be going to introduce Mr. Weed to quite a few my pals—all of whom knew, as a result of I’d informed them, that he smoked loads of pot.

Mr. Weed was supposed to meet us on the restaurant, and never solely did he present up half an hour late, which made me quietly furious, however then he bought up each 20 minutes to ostensibly make a cellphone name or go to the boys’s room or get one thing out of his automobile. I used to be mortified, as a result of I, and everybody else at that desk, knew he was leaving to take a success.

We had an enormous battle that night time, and paying homage to what had occurred with Mr. Grass, Mr. Weed mentioned that I had identified who he was from the start (not totally true!), and that he wasn’t giving up the pot.

Again, I had to determine whether or not to stick with him and the relationship issues due to weed, or go. And so I left.

More ache, extra disgrace. Similar to my expertise with Mr. Grass, I felt like an enormous dummy as soon as extra, so for the primary time in my life, I made a decision to go to a therapist to work out why I stored attracting addicts (up to now, I’d let in my fair proportion of alcoholics, and a soupçon of gamblers and overeaters as properly).

The whole course of was mind-blowing and eye-opening.

I discovered that I used to be a “fixer” who thought I might change folks. (Which by no means works, proper?) And, in fact, all of it stemmed from points in my childhood, my dad and mom’ relationship, and a lot extra. But remedy helped immensely, and I felt considerably healed after about six months.

So, at this juncture, I’m nonetheless dating and nonetheless hoping for the perfect, however I’m life like sufficient to know that sooner or later, if I meet somebody who overindulges in any substance or exercise, authorized or not, conscious or not of long-term results of drug habit or any habit – it’s not my job to treatment the state of affairs, and I would like to simply flip round and stroll away.

The definition of sanity, in accordance to Webster’s, is: “soundness or health of mind.” I feel I’m virtually there.

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