my boyfriend smokes too much weed

Ask Molly Ringwald: I’m sick of my partner smoking weed – what should I do?

Photograph: Franck Allais for the Guardian

Photograph: Franck Allais for the Guardian

Last modified on Fri 1 Dec 2017 18.04 GMT

M y partner of four years and I are both in our 30s. When we met, he admitted he liked to smoke marijuana, but he has recently started to smoke more in my view, though he denies this. I hate it on so many levels: it’s illegal, I hate the smell of it, and him when he’s stoned – from a lively, energetic man, he turns into a lifeless shell. He says I’m overreacting, that it’s healthier than alcohol and chills him out more than beer does. We are very different people, me quiet and careful, him exuberant and jovial. I had thought we could complement each other, but his habit is putting a strain on the relationship.

I would have advised you to put on some Bob Marley, light up a big spliff and chill out, but this would go against who you are. Just as you are asking your partner, the same man who was upfront with you when you met, to change who he is.

I’m with you that it stinks. Some people love the smell – I’m not one of those people. I actually prefer the scent of skunks to skunk. I also won’t argue with you about it being illegal, though personally I don’t believe it should be, or will be for much longer. I don’t see much of a difference between using alcohol or cannabis, except that the former seems to incite a lot more violence. There doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of wars being started by pot smokers. However, anyone who abuses a substance of any kind becomes just kind of boring.

Since he came clean about his preference for weed over alcohol when you met, you’re the one who wasn’t transparent here. Maybe you’ve changed the way you feel over the years and find that he doesn’t have the qualities that you want in a partner any more. If he has some of them and not others, maybe you can work out a compromise on what you both feel is an acceptable amount of recreational partying. Of course this casts you as a parental type, which (unless you’re into that kind of thing) is not really sexy. I’d hate for someone to choose a substance over me, but I’d equally hate feeling like I was dating a parole officer. If you hate it as much as you say you do, and the compromise doesn’t work, then you both have a choice to make. Party on.

‘I don’t see much of a difference between using alcohol or cannabis, except that the former seems to incite a lot more violence’