We’re going old-school DW in this morning’s quickies with some good ol’ porn, pot, and “how do I tell my religious parents I’m living with my boyfriend?”.
He’s not going to stop watching porn – he’s made that clear. So, you have to decide whether it’s a deal-breaker for you. If it is, you break up and move on. If you can’t fathom the idea of leaving him, you accept that he watches porn sometimes. If you can’t accept that, then it’s a deal-breaker for you and you move on. Really, those are your options. You’re not going to change him. And, you know, if you truly believe the majority of your fights stem from your being insecure, maybe YOU are the one who needs to change a little. Being insecure isn’t an excuse to have dysfunctional relationships and to make demands on people you love to change their habits to better suit you. YOU need to work on yourself so that you can better foster healthy relationships. Or, at the very least, be honest with yourself about what your needs are and, if your boyfriend isn’t able to meet them, accept that perhaps you two simply are not a match.
What you’re describing actually isn’t the result of being stoned. It sounds more like your boyfriend has some other issue that he’s using pot to self-medicate. Maybe he’s depressed? Anxious? Maybe your relationship isn’t working and you’re both avoiding “confrontation” in your own ways. If the pot-smoking has always been an issue and you have a problem with it, you shouldn’t be together. If the pot-smoking is a new thing and it’s coupled with this troubling behavior, you should act as a concerned partner and, you know, TALK to him about what’s going on. Stop using the excuse that you “hate arguing and confrontation” to avoid confronting what sounds like red flags that may signal something pretty serious going on with your boyfriend. This is part of being in a grown-up relationship. When someone’s behavior suddenly changes is troubling ways, a loving partner tries to find out why and what he or she can do to help.
Here’s a script for you: “Hey, I’ve noticed you’ve been acting different lately and I’m a little worried. There’s the sudden pot-smoking, the messes you leave around the house, and the bath water you forgot to turn off. Is there something going on with you? Are you feeling anxious or upset about something? How can I help you?”
I’ve only been dating my boyfriend for five months now. I know that doesn’t sound like a long time, but I know he’s the one I want to spend the rest of my life with. I moved in with him after two months of us dating. Neither of us feels right about hiding that fact from my parents, and he doesn’t want them to have a fake idea of him. I just don’t know how to tell them about this without them getting overly upset. — No Fake Ideas
Listen, I’m not going to give you advice you want to hear. I think, having grown up in an oppressive household with a father who sounds controlling, and with your being only 19 years old, you made a big mistake moving in with a boyfriend after a mere two months of dating. When have you had time to cultivate independence and maturity? And don’t tell me you already have. You don’t even know how to tell your parents that you’re living with your boyfriend. That’s not the sign of someone who feels confident in her decisions and mature enough to deal with conflict in a relationship.
I really urge you to move out and live on your own for at least a year before you move back in with your boyfriend. You can still spend lots of time with him, but in maintaining your own home and having your own space to grow, with the freedom to control the pace of this relationship in a more organic way than immediately cohabiting allows, will help you develop really important tools to navigate interpersonal relationships (including the one with your father).
I know you probably won’t listen to me, so please, at the very, very least, use multiple methods of birth control. If there’s one thing that could further complicate your relationship with your parents and everything else in your life, it’s adding an unplanned baby to the picture.
If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy(AT)dearwendy.com.