Trading an Addiction for another - Talk About Marriage
Relationships and Addiction Whether it's drugs, alcohol, gambling, sex, pornography, or anything else, addictions can be detrimental to the health of a relationship.

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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-16-2016, 05:42 PM Thread Starter
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Trading an Addiction for another

Hello,

My wife and I are best friends. We grew up across the street from each other and have spent well over half of our lives in each others company. I love her like I never thought I could love anyone. We have been married now for almost two years (engaged for 6). When we first got engaged I (the husband) had a drinking problem. I suffered from depression/anxiety and used alcohol to help me cope. I became so dependent on drinking that is consumed my life. It got to the point where it was either her or my drinking. I am not 2 years sober. In that time I have smoked marijuana every now and then. It is hard to be in social situations like parties or go out to bars with her while everyone is drinking and be stone cold sober.

Because of my previous addiction I limit my self to two days MAX a week of smoking. While I hardly ever reach that limit, it is important for me to keep control over every aspect of this substance. In my opinion, I have never had a problem with smoking. She on the other hand has very passionate opinions against it. We have tried to compromise with coming to the two days a week agreement. She gets so anxious when I smoke now that she doesn't want me to do it at all. I always tell her when I do it and keep it a secret from most people we meet. I would 100% give up smoking for her but I ask that she gives up smoking and drinking for me as well. If she wants me to live a sober life then I think she should with me. While she does have every right to be against me drinking, I feel that this is now just a way to control another aspect of my life. I cannot be true to myself if i give up smoking and she goes on living her life with no limits.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-22-2016, 03:26 AM
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Re: Trading an Addiction for another

Addiction needs help from a professional. Your wife can support you (and I think it would be wise for her to abstain from the thing that you are addicted to) but ultimately she does not have the tools to fix the problem. Telling you to stop the weed will not actually get to the heart of the matter - just make you feel resentful.

Those with addictions, I believe, have an addictive personality so I often see people give up one thing then move on to the next. For instance I knew someone who stopped chain smoking only to gain huge amounts of weight as they slowly began eating themselves to death. She stopped binge eating and became anorexic, she was a 60 something lady wearing children's clothes. She is now gaining weight but drinks heavily. My brother is an alcoholic but before his drinking got out of control he gambled compulsively. They have never gotten to the underlying reason for the need to self sooth. And even if you do understand the reason you then have to go on to deal with those feelings in a pragmatic, healthy way.

You say it is hard to go to bars and socialise and be sober. This is a trigger point for you and I don't want to be a party pooper but it may be a good idea to change your socialising habits. Could you and your circle of friends do other things that do not involve booze or getting stoned? Sadly, having an addiction often means hanging around with people who do not trigger or enable you to slip back into your old ways.

Last edited by peacem; 11-22-2016 at 03:33 AM.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-22-2016, 07:50 AM
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Re: Trading an Addiction for another

@peacem is right on in regards to bars! Most folks go to bars because they have one think in common, they like to drink. Wether its one glass of wine or more than one, drinking is the common thread generally. You might have to build a whole new set of friends and new interests that you could engage in where drinking isn't the main theme.

Theres been a few times in my life where I knew i needed a break from going out and having a couple of drinks. Bars are a trigger for me so I don't frequent bars as much as I did in my younger years.

Good luck
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-30-2016, 08:31 AM
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Re: Trading an Addiction for another

"Addiction" is a seriously OVERused word these days, oftentimes as a replacement for "Preference".
For sure, there is real chemical/brain addiction, as in binge drinkers who absolutely cannot stop drinking until they fall down unconscious or heroin users dead on the couch.

And social/psychological addiction to alcohol and other drugs.
There is also the use of pharmaceuticals to adjust and improve brain chemistry: ritalin, etc. for properly diagnosed ADHD people;
antidepressants for the truly depressed;
lithium for managing the intensity of manic episodes.

In the recent and long past, our culture and FDA have only approved pharmaceuticals for the cure of illness, physical and mental.
Now, we and the FDA are opening up to research and approval of pharmaceuticals for the "improvement" of life, physical, mental, sexual, etc.
The legalization of marijuana is part of this shift. While anything can be psychologically addictive (chocolate, pizza, marijuana) in certain people, they are not necessarily addictive in all people, and rarely "physically" addictive like alcohol, heroin, speed, etc.
Sorting this all out is going to be interesting.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-30-2016, 08:55 AM
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Re: Trading an Addiction for another

First of all "being true to yourself" does not include being an alcoholic or smoking weed. Is that who you are as a person? When you die, is that what they will put on the headstone?

Drinking is not a problem for her. It is a problem for you. I wholeheartedly agree that she should stop smoking and limit her drinking for her own health and to support your sobriety. But demanding it as a form of tit for tat is immature.

No person with a drinking problem should be hanging out at bars. If you friends will only see you in a drinking establishment then you need new friends.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-30-2016, 05:58 PM
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Re: Trading an Addiction for another

I don't understand how she has passionate views against you smoking when she smokes herself.
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