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"My Husband Spends $300 a Month On Pot While We Can't Afford Coats For Our Kids"

Reader Married to A Troubled Dude writes, My husband started regularly smoking pot about ten years ago. At the time I was angry and let him know it repeatedly. The pot changes who he is. He becomes lazy and talks non-stop about the most ridiculous, trivial things.
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Reader Married to A Troubled Dude writes,

My husband started regularly smoking pot about ten years ago. At the time I was angry and let him know it repeatedly. The pot changes who he is. He becomes lazy and talks non-stop about the most ridiculous, trivial things. He falls asleep constantly. He promised to stop which never happened. Then he promised to cut down. Again, this never happened. Eventually I gave up trying to get him to stop/cut down and learned to live with his pot smoking.

Now we have two kids ages 5 and 16 months. My husband still smokes pot, more than ever now. When he gets home from work he kisses us hello and then disappears into the bathroom for half an hour to smoke. When he's done, the entire apartment smells like pot and my husband is now basically useless for the rest of the evening. He gets tired and falls asleep or reads on his phone. He becomes easily distracted and will forget what he's doing in the middle of doing it.

I'm a stay at home mom and by the time he gets home I'm often ready for a break, a few minutes to myself to regroup. Him disappearing right after he gets home is the worst. When he's home he will smoke several times throughout the day, each time spending twenty minutes or more in the bathroom.

The other issue is that he now also smokes cigarettes. It's been going on for at least the last two years that I know of. He never smokes in front of me or the kids, only when he's away from us at work. When I discovered he was doing it I confronted him and he said he would stop. He hasn't. At all. I'm not sure how much he smokes but I can smell it on his breath and clothes when he comes home.

I don't understand why he does it and why he hasn't tried to quit. I've offered to help him however I can but he always drops the subject. I get very emotional about the cigarettes because both my parents smoked my entire life and we lost my dad to cancer because of it. My mother always sounds like she's hacking up a lung and I have no doubt her smoking will catch up to her as well. My husband was there when we lost my dad. He saw how my dad suffered and the pain his death caused me and my mom.

I hate cigarettes and I hate that he smokes them. We have two beautiful children and it makes me so angry that he is knowingly doing something that could take him from them or could make them sick. When I've told all these things he says he's ashamed and knows that it's wrong and promises to stop but he's still at it with no apparent plans to stop.

Besides the health implications of his smoking both pot and cigarettes, the financial burden makes me angry as well. Recently he said we didn't have money for me to buy our kids winter coats and I'd have to wait until he gets paid. Meanwhile, he told me he spends $300 a month on pot (I'm sure it's probably more and he was trying to make it not look as bad as it is) and cigarettes are about $13 a pack and I'm pretty sure he smokes several packs a week. That's a lot of money for us!

I'm just not sure what, if anything, I can do to get him to stop. He knows my feelings about both issues and it hasn't been enough of a motivation for him. I've offered to help and he's refused. Is it time to just accept these habits as a part of who he is? Every time I let myself think about this I get very upset with him. I feel so disappointed in him. He's a good and smart man and I just don't understand why he does these things. I love him and I don't want anything to happen to him. What can I do?

Dear MTATD,
As you can see by the name I gave you, your husband is a troubled guy. He likely is depressed, possibly ADHD, but either way, he's definitely addicted to both pot and cigarettes. Thus, he is as self-absorbed as any other addict, even if he's a nice guy in his heart. You, on the other hand, are an enabler and need to explore why you're still with this guy. Here's a flowchart to help you understand your options:
Your husband basically takes money away from your kids' essentials for pot and cigarettes --> you offer to find him treatment ---> he says no ---> you leave the marriage.
Sorry to be so blunt, no pun intended, but this is a toxic situation and this man is not going to change unless he wants to. You need to explore what in your upbringing led you to remain in a marriage where your emotional and financial and being-with-another-adult needs are being so egregiously ignored. Probably you're used to self-destructive people, like your mom who keeps smoking after your dad died from lung cancer and she knows her smoking causes you pain.
Here, I told the spouse of an ADHD guy to figure out what she can accept and what she can't. Here, I told the girlfriend of a shiftless layabout to do the same. But you don't have that freedom. You have kids.
This guy is going to drain your finances and model addictive behavior for your kids. You are modeling enabling, codependent behavior. Give your husband one last shot to go into treatment for addiction and if not, get out. If you can't get out, then go to therapy to explore why you can't get out. Your husband is currently a useless husband and father, even if he's a great guy somewhere down deep. The only thing he does is bring home a paycheck, and he's smoking right through that.
The scariest part is you're a SAHM and completely dependent on him for financial support. What about when he starts smoking up on his lunchbreaks at work and gets fired? What happens to you and your kids then? Please listen to me and try one last time to tell your husband that he needs to seek treatment. Explain everything you said to me, and tell him you are being advised to leave him. Then start seeing a therapist and also explore separation and divorce laws in your area. And start saving some money too, because your husband is a ticking time bomb.
Good luck and thanks for writing in. Till we meet again, I remain, The Blogapist Who Thinks If This Gets You Even 5% Closer to Reexamining This Marriage, It Is Worth It.

This blog is not intended as diagnosis, assessment, or treatment, and should not replace consultation with your medical provider.

This post was originally published here on Dr. Psych Mom. Follow Dr. Rodman on Dr. Psych Mom, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. Order her book, How to Talk to Your Kids about Your Divorce: Healthy, Effective Communication Techniques for Your Changing Family.