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Thread: My bf of 10 years has decided he wants to quit, how can I help and what can I do?

  1. #1
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    Default My bf of 10 years has decided he wants to quit, how can I help and what can I do?

    My bf has admitted to me that he know he has a problem and that weed doesn't help. He said he was depressed and felt that there was nothing on the other side for him. However, he seems to want to get his life back and get a job, which I think is fantastic . He didn't smoke when we firsht met, after 4 years into our relationship he started hanging out with the wrong crowd and an occasional smoke turned into regular everyday all day thing . It has destroyed our relationship and we grew apart. I have decided to leave on several occasions but for some reason kept thinking he will change and didn't want to give up on him because I knew him before he was a pot head. We are so disconnected to the point where we were just co-existing and I just didn't want to deal with and confront him because I was really hurt ! So when he came up to me the other day admitting his problem he asked me why I never tried to stop him, which I tried in the past but I was never persistent. I always thought that if someone wants to stop they will stop by themselves for themselves and not for other people. I am a very emotional person and cry when I am angry or upset. Also after we had the talk he went out and bought some weed, which made me question his intentions. He didn't set a date or tell me when he would stop. He said he wants to go cold turkey and said his mood swings will be horrible and asked me if I was willing to stick through it. How can I help him? What can I do now that he has decided to stop? I want to act fast and not wait any longer because I don't him to change his mind. Should I ask him when he wants to stop? Any advice is much appreciated . I know it will be difficult especially because he is currently unemployed and will be bored until he finds a job to keep him busy. Any ideas on how to keep him occupied after quitting will be very helpful. Thank you very much in advance !

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  2. #2
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    hey Sayitba,

    It must be a relief that your boyfriend has finally opened up to the possibility that life could be better without cannabis. As someone who used to smoke regularly, I know that life is better in so many ways without cannabis. Many people talk about what a negative effect cannabis can have on their lives and your boyfriend sounds like he is struggling somewhat, if he doesn't have a job, but he isn't studying and he is spending all his time smoking and has disrupted sleep.

    I also know that quitting cannabis can be a long and difficult process. It is great that your boyfriend is starting to consider his options, and I am wondering if it would be a good idea to encourage him to get some kind of counselling, which would help him to build on this new perspective.

    As much as I can hear that you would like to help him, this decision really needs to come from him. It is he who will have to go through the withdrawals and the more committed he is to getting to the other side and seeing how much better life can be, the more chance he has at getting through the withdrawal phase.

    Does he smoke alone or is he integrated in a culture of cannabis? It can be harder if everyone around him is smoking too.

    Without judgement, I would suggest that you plant the idea in his head that life could be a million times better and offer proof if necessary. People tend to make changes when they weigh up the pros and cons and are expecting some kind of improvement. Of course, he will still have to put effort into his life - it is not a cure all, but it sounds like a lot of his problematic behaviour is based around cannabis.

    Counselling or some kind of support group (like this one) might really help him. Counsellors are skilled at helping people move from contemplation of making a change to action.

    Good luck!
    Alice

  3. #3
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    Dear Alice,
    Thank you for your reply. He is not very keen on counselling and says he can do it himself. I just get really confused because he knows he needs to quit but his actions does not reflect his words. I know it must extremely difficult for him and there is no way I can understand but I can empathise.
    He does not smoke with his so called friends anymore. He smokes on his own and does not want to interact with anybody. He never commits to any of our plans and overtime it gets really exhausting and hurtful. He said he was depressed and thought that smoking weed would help with that, which he realised it clearly didn't. Which I think is one of the main reasons why he wants to stop. But like you said he needs to take that step and stay committed. I will do what you suggested and will update here soon.

    Thank you so much! It feels good to talk about it with others who can understand.

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    Hi Sayitba,

    No worries. To be honest, I think it is predictable that his actions do not reflect his words. It can take years for someone to gather the right tools and mindset to be able to follow through on that nagging feeling that life could be better. He probably really does need to believe that life could be better. It sounds like you really love him, and I think you are probably going to have to be patient. There are also probably things you can do or say to make sure that he is making progress along that journey. (I will do some more research about this and get back to you).

    People do talk about a journey with their quits. It takes time to get his head around the fact that yes, life can be better, and unfortunately the effects of the drug keep him happy in his own little world. Sometimes it can take a big wake up call to get someone to take action, and get out of the 'haze' of cannabis addiction.

    Quitting really WOULD have a huge effect on his mood. You can tell him I said that. I feel a MILLION times better after having quit for over a year. Life opens up, in the most amazing way. The problem is that he needs to believe that life can be better.

    I can understand that it would be really frustrating and hurtful for you to be in a relationship with him when he prioritises his drug use over your relationship. I guess you need to decide if there is enough good in your relationship to continue on, or if you are going to draw your line and find a better life with someone else.

    Hope that this helps a little. Update when you are ready. I will be here to try to help. Good luck!
    Alice

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    Thank you Alice. My bf still hasn't committed to stop. Any advice on how to help him through quitting and what I can do to help him realise that he needs to take control of his life. I understand he has to decide for himself but I want to know what I can do as a partner. It's a topic thats really hard to approach. Any advice on how to make him and myself feel comfortable to talk about it is very much appreciated.

    Thank you again for everyone who share their experiences and advices.

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    Hi Sayitba,

    Your situation reminds me of the transtheoretical model of change. In drug addiction, people often go through stages of commitment to quitting the drug, and it sounds like your boyfriend is in the pre-contemplation stage of the model. From what I am reading online, a lot of sources say that you do indeed need to be patient https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/how-...a-drug-problem but perhaps you can also research what you could say to him to help him move into the next stage - contemplation.

    A few articles I have read suggest that as a partner you may enable his drug use and that you may need to set some boundaries in your relationships so that you are not enabling his use: http://drug.addictionblog.org/how-to...rug-addiction/

    It sounds like getting support yourself will be really helpful and that researching as much as possible about cannabis addiction could help you and your partner. Perhaps there is a help line like this one in Australia who you can ring to get some expert advice? https://cannabissupport.com.au/news/...bis-addiction/

    Some of those articles also suggested talking to your doctor and enlisting his or her help.

    In terms of approaching the topic, you can either wait for him to bring it up and then take that opportunity for a teachable moment as it were, or simply ask him how he feels about his drug use as a platform to start to discuss how it is affecting his life. Maybe try to be a good listener and don't judge, but let him tell you how he thinks cannabis has a negative effect. There will be some positive effects of course. None of us would get addicted if there weren't some positive benefits to the drug, but overall, how does he think it is affecting him?

    One thing that strikes me reading back on this post, is while you can talk to him about this and while you can make sure you don't enable his cannabis use, you actually can't change his behaviour. I know this from experience, but it is a basic fact of life. If he doesn't want to change, he won't. It is frustrating, but true.

    Hope this helps a little.

    Cheers,
    Alice

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    I also thought this article has a lot of good information: https://www.12keysrehab.com/blog/dos...ddicted-spouse

    Cheers,
    Alice

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    One thing that really worked for me was getting connected socially. I spent years not committed to the idea of giving up cannabis, and going around in circles, but when I moved to Melbourne and met some really nice new friends and started to feel more connected in the world, I started to really WANT to give up cannabis. It is true that people who are supported, connected and stimulated do not get addicted to substances, and find it easier to quit, read more here: http://www.abc.net.au/triplej/progra...-drugs/8528354

    For assistance with finding a reputable and accredited Marijuana Rehab Service Provider in the USA you can call the US Government’s FREE SAMHSA’s National Helpline on:

    1-800-662-HELP (4357)


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