My boyfriend and I were both stoners when we started dating 10 years ago. We are now married, and while I still smoke once or twice a month, my husband smokes every single day. I don't want to be a nagging wife, but is it wrong if I'm pressuring him to smoke less? He certainly does not respond to it well when I try.
I’m going to go ahead and say “pressuring” is nagging if done more than once and point out you are in fact becoming what you don’t want to be—a nag of a wife. Nagging must have some evolutionary purpose, I suppose. Perhaps it is a way to ensure men spread their seed around? This column is starting to feel pretty sexiest already so let me clarify. Men also nag women, parents nag children and cats nag their owners for wet cat food. Cats are the only ones that seem to have luck with demanding changes in behavior. Have you ever heard “my friend Sally nagged her Bill, and now he’s the perfect husband”? No, you haven’t. Also, I think the desire to mold, shape and control the people we love is something we all have to overcome rather than perfect.
While working on this column, I got talking to a woman sitting next to me. I told her what I was writing about and asked her opinion as she is hitched and I myself am not. Her answer was, “Well, does she want to stay married?” I don’t understand why people nag, and I don’t understand why people smoke crack cocaine—because you’ve never heard a story that started with either of those things that ends super well. I hope you are not feeling too judged, as there is no judgement here. We’ve all nagged someone at some point I’m sure, and it has never worked for any of us.
My big nag-fest was in college. I was always after my boyfriend to give up binge drinking, quit stealing my car and stop sleeping with the neighbors. My words did nothing even though it was in college that I was trained to trick people into changing their behavior—a technique referred to as “Motivational Interviewing.” This counselling approach is designed to occur in formal counselling sessions at least an hour a week. Guess what? Even this refined method fails more often than not despite a lot of training, time and energy.
Maybe your husband and I would respond better to your less-cannabis request if you stated a reason why you wanted him to cut back. Are you also trying to get your husband to exercise every day and drink less coffee? Or does your urge to control your partner’s behavior start and finish with his relationship with mary jane? Cannabis making someone feel better, even sans medical reasons, is neither deviant nor destructive in the true sense of those words, unless someone is indulging in cannabis to the point it is causing problems. I suspect that, if you had a real reason to want your husband to cut back on the cannabis, you would have mentioned it in your question. If his daily cannabis enjoyment isn’t causing a problem, you are the only one who has one. Is he spending rent money on green? Does he fall asleep at the dinner table when you ask him about his day? Is he giving up on his hopes and dreams to hit the bong instead? Well, then state that he needs to stop doing those things and scratch him behind his ears when he does.
For your husband’s sake, here are some suggestions on getting him to lay off the dope. If he is lighting up every time you sit down to watch your favorite television drama, all you have to do is find something better to watch. Taking that one step further, here’s a thought for you: Why not focus on encouraging him to do other things he is interested in rather than preventing him from getting blazed? If you can’t think of something more entertaining for your higher-half than to smoke one, how can you blame him? You could also try partaking in excess to your husband’s inhalation routine, also known as smoke all his weed! Problem solved.
The last tip is perhaps the most drastic and is from my brilliant mother who hates it when my dad partakes in a cannabis session at a party. She at least has her reasons: He is supposedly “obnoxious” and “uppity” when he is overly lifted. Last time my poor dad accepted a joint at a party in front of my mother, she drove him into the middle of the forest and made him walk home. Alone. I think he saw the devil in the pitch black woods that night, and he has never toked in front of my mom again.
In summation, pressuring your husband to love cannabis less is probably equal parts controlling and futile. I bet you can’t even nag yourself into not nagging your husband. Randomly singing opera music instead of talking would probably be more effective. Luckily, I bet there is a strain of cannabis that can diminish your urges to nag; start with an indica strain with a punch of high THC.
P.S. You sound like the kind of woman who might also benefit from reading my column on getting a stoner slob beau to clean up after himself.