Sense & Sensitivity

Boyfriend's Drug Use Hurts Relationship

DEAR HARRIETTE: I have been dating my boyfriend for four years. He treats me well, but some issues have been arising due to his problem with drugs. I can see how it is changing him and how he acts, therefore changing our relationship. I have tried talking to him about it by suggesting he get help or talk to someone else about this. Every time the topic comes up, it starts an argument and he blames me for acting like his mother. I don’t want to act like his mother or tell him what to do, but in these situations, it’s my instinct to intervene and tell him to stop because it is creating problems in our relationship. Is there anything else I can do to help him? -- I’m Your Girlfriend, Not Your Mother, Syracuse, New York

DEAR I’M YOUR GIRLFRIEND, NOT YOUR MOTHER: It is time for you to do a gut check. Is your boyfriend being realistic at all about his drug use? Can you talk to him about it directly? If you can talk at a moment when he is clean and sober, make it clear to him that you do not want to be with him if he is going to continue to use -- whatever the drug is, including weed. Be firm that you care about him, but you love yourself more. You do not want to get caught up in drug issues. Tell him you will support him if he wants to go to rehab. Otherwise, you feel you have to walk away so that you do not become like his mother, nagging him to get help without ever finding fulfillment. Draw the line. If his addiction is not too severe, he may be able to climb out of his stupor. If not, you don’t have the expertise to be with him safely, not now anyway.

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