“My Husband Won’t Stop Smoking Weed in Our Apartment”

It’s time again for Shortcuts. For every question, I’ll give my advice in just a few sentences because sometimes the answer to a person’s question is so obvious and the need to hear it so great that being as clear and frank as possible is simply the best way to go.


I don’t want my husband smoking weed in my apartment. The neighbors have complained to the office about the strong smell, and I have received a call from the office stating that it needs to cease immediately. The worst part about this is that I am an employee of the company that owns the apartments! I am very embarrassed and, when I confronted him about this issue, he stated he will stop because he doesn’t want to put my job at risk. Unfortunately, he did not keep his word because today I came home early from work and I caught him smoking in my apartment! I don’t know what to do! I am so disappointed and angry that I can’t even think straight. Please help me! How should I go about this situation?! — Smoked Out

A few things to try: give him suggestions for alternative places he can smoke that won’t put your job and your housing situation at risk; remind him again how important it is that you keep both your job and your apartment; tell him that, if you lose your job or you get evicted, he will be responsible for paying ALL of your bills and finding you a new place to live; buy him a vaporizer (which is supposed to dramatically cut down on the smell) and/or suggest he eat his pot instead of smoking it (in the form of brownies, candy, etc.); suggest he quit weed completely and find a new form of recreation.

My husband and I are arguing because I’d like to select my brother and his wife as the Godparents for my first-born, and my husband, who has one sister who is single and lives at home still, wants her and my brother to be the Godparents, to be fair. I think it can also be fair if we pick my brother and his wife for the first born and then his sister and whomever else he wants for the second born. He does not think that’s fair. — Fairness in Godparents

Your husband is right on this one. If you’re going to go with siblings as Godparents and you each have one sibling, then it’s fair that for the firstborn (especially since there’s never a guarantee you’ll have another baby), each sibling be given the honor of Godparent. You could also assign more than one Godmother or Godfather to your child. Or you could, you know, let your siblings have the honorable title of Aunt and Uncle and save the Godparent roles for people the baby won’t already be related to.

My ex-husband and I hadn’t seen each other in 20 years. I remarried and am now a widow. He also remarried and is now divorced after 18 years of marriage (no children). We recently got reunited (we have four grown children together). His ex and her family live in another state and so they are far away, but the ex-stepmother-in-law still calls him. I asked him why she still calls when he is no longer married to her stepdaughter and the step-daughter doesn’t call him (so he says), and his reply was: “I guess because she feels I’m a good person. And why should I cut her off just because my ex and I are no longer together?” I don’t know what they would have to talk about if not her. Also, he won’t give me a reason for his split with the ex or any details about their life together. Please advise me on this matter. — Reunited with a Secretive Ex

If I were you, I’d slowly enjoy getting to know your ex after a 20-year separation and trust that, in time, he’ll begin to open up to you as long as you put the brakes on trying to control whom he talks to and about what. I can think of many reasons a recently divorced person might keep in touch with his very recent ex in-laws, including that they were family for 18 years and it’s probably hard to cut that tie even when a marriage ends. That stepmother may have been like a mother to him and he may have been like a son to her. They were family. Let him figure out the nature of his relationships with his former in-laws in his own time, and, if you feel like you aren’t able to do that, then maybe this isn’t the right time for you two to re-unite.


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If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy@dearwendy.com.


  1. lily in NYC says:

    #1 – Wendy’s advice about getting a vaporizer is spot on. The guy in the apartment next to me is a big pot head and it always reeked in the hallways. He got a vaporizer last year and now I don’t smell it at all. I was in his apartment playing with his dog when he was smoking recently and I couldn’t even smell it much inside the apartment. A less effective option is to stuff a towel under the door and sit by the window and blow the smoke out (lol, freshman dorm flashback). The worst thing he could do it smoke blunts or joints – they are the stinkiest option. Even a bong would be less noticeable.

  2. #2: I’m not sure I agree with Wendy on this one. I’ve had two sets of godparents in my life and they had different purpose. My godparents (the ones I actually call like that) are my mom’s brother and his wife. They were named godparents because the purpose of godparents was to take care of the child if the parents were to pass away. In this case, I do not believe naming the husband’s young sister as a godmother because she obviously wouldn’t be the one adopting the kids if the parents were to pass away. She’s still a kid herself it sounds like!
    I had another godmother (she was my grandmother actually) and she was named my godmother for the purpose of guiding me toward god in my church. She was chosen because she was religious (the rest of my family is not) and she was willing to take this role.
    So I wonder, what is the purpose of godparents for LW2 ? Is it just honorifique and useless ? Well in this case, sure name whoever you want and there’s no bearing to it. Name the young sister if it makes your husband happy. If it’s to take on your child were you to pass away, maybe I would choose the LW’s brother and his wife! Or maybe I would name other people more suited for such a responsibility. And if it’s about guidance in the church, well it doesn’t have to be symmetric “my brother – your sister” because again maybe those two people are not the best fitted for this role.

    1. Godparents used to also take the role on as guardian should something happen to the parents but not anymore. You designate guardianship separately. And the issue with making in-laws godparents is that the couple could divorce (same issue with guardianship – I always tell clients to pick the sibling as guardian – never the sibling and spouse). I agree with Wendy. Each parent pick a godparent or have more than two. We did everything Wendy suggested actually. I picked the godmothers(2) and my husband picked the godfathers (2) and none of them were siblings. The godparents have a special relationship with my daughter and she is already loved on by her bio-family. More love = all good.

      1. Agreed. Naming two people godparents does not automatically equate to them being guardians. Naming guardians for one’s children needs to be taken care of legally. Also, good call FireStar on actually naming the sibling. I would never have though of that… you know… in case divorce happens.
        Any who, if you’re actually religious, godparents are suppose to be guiding figures spiritually or in the church. Then you would want people who were actually religious to be godparents.
        Or… you name godparents because you want your child baptized and it’s more of an honorary thing. If that’s the case, why does it really matter? My little niece has two godmothers (me and my brother-in-law’s sister). The older niece has my other sister as her godmother and one of our cousin’s as her godfather. In our case, it was more of an honorary thing. We’re Catholic, but not seriously practicing Catholics.

      2. It wasn’t so much a religious upbringing thing for us (I’m Catholic too and my mom is the religious one who watches mass with the baby) but just influences we wanted in her life. One of her godmothers and I really have nothing on the face of it in common and no real basis for our friendship but we were instant friends the second we met. She is granola-y, Burning Man attending, yoga retreat going, hair half shaved off, and me – it’s my joy to mock all that 🙂 But now baby X has access to someone living a life different from what she is used to who has stories of all her crazy travels (like staying in a pigeon coup above a brothel in Morocco by accident with her foot braced against the door all night). Each godparent is an example of an important value in their own way. I love it.

    2. tbrucemom says:

      From what I understand, godparents originally were selected to oversee the child’s religious upbringing, not to adopt them. It has become a honorary title and they could adopt the child especially if they were relative, but that’s not original intent.

      1. Yeah, my sisters and I pretty much all had different godparents, none of which were couples. If something ever would have happened to my parents, they picked one person as our guardian as to not separate us.

    3. I wanted to second all of your comments on guardianship. Bassanio is his niece’s godfather, and because there are 2 kids there are now 2 sets of godparents, but the parents legally put other people as guardians in their wills. Oh, and those guardians are the same for both kids because you wouldn’t want to split them up.
      Also the two sets of godparents were chosen for different reasons, so if the LW doesn’t want to have to be consistent across future children, it doesn’t have to be that way. The first set of godparents were honorific/symbolic (I think both were siblings) and the second were chosen because they had a connection to the church and were important in their lives (one cousin, one good friend). This could have been a reflection of the requirements of the different churches they used for the ceremony, but unless the parents themselves are religious and the whole guiding-the-religious-upbringing thing is important, you can totally be inconsistent across children.

      1. (This was in response to everyone who’s commented in this string, didn’t know where else to put it)

    4. “Is it just honorifique and useless ?”
      Wow, judgmental much? Not everyone has the same belief system.
      Plus, I believe it’s spelled ‘honorific.’

      1. I’m pretty sure Miel is from a part of Canada that spells French. And I think she was asking if it was just honorific and meant nothing more than a title. Depending on how you view the role of godparents obviously how you choose them would differ.

      2. Spells french I meant speak, although I guess they probably spell in french too. Is it time to go home yet?

      3. Avatar photo Dear Wendy says:

        This isn’t a belief system, but semantics. Miel was asking if the honor of being a Godparent is just a honor in title, or if the Godparent has a function/practical use beyond being honored as someone close to the family.

  3. Re: LW1…he needs to quit IMMEDIATELY. A vaporizer? NOT the answer. He needs to STOP smoking in the apartment. Otherwise the LW WILL lose her job and they WILL be homeless. A caretaker would be extremely unhappy to find out that instead of stopping like you promised you’re just masking the smell.

    1. Not to mention it’s INCREDIBLY rude of him to say he’s going to stop doing it and yet he still does. I think that says more about his respect for the LW’s wishes than anything.

    2. Cleopatra Jones says:

      I dunno, he sounds like he has an addiction to weed, so going cold turkey is probably not a viable option for him.
      I suggest to LW that she help him get into therapy or drug rehab to find out why he’s smoking so much weed that it’s negatively impacting his marriage and living situation. It’s easy to say, ‘it’s only weed and he should stop’ but he’s smoking so much weed that there are numerous complaints from the neighbors. To me, this has moved smoking weed from recreational into a serious addictive behavior that he needs to seek help with or it’s going to get worse.
      Smoking weed is just the cover for something else that’s going on in his life.

      1. WCJS

      2. “Addiction” to weed? “Rehab” for weed? Seriously? That’s more or less totally hilarious and i KNOW what i’m talking about. Weed is psychologically addictive, yes, but when you have to stop, you just stop, There is no cold turkey. There are no sweats or tremors. The effects of cold turkey from weed are: 1) Everything is a bit of a bummer for a couple days, a little bit duller, boring, mundane, because, no weed; and 2) a serious reduction in one’s desire for Cheetos. Do people smoke cigarettes as a “cover” for deep trauma? How about coffee, an addictive substance I am enjoying while I type this? I like a lot of your comments CJ, but this one: Sheesh! On the vape: they do make a smell. it is not like weed smoke, it is a lot less stinky and fades quicker, but it is still there, so I would only recommend it if there is a convenient way to ventilate after use. There are currently several very good versions that are just like electronic cigarettes and could be used outside in mixed company without anyone getting wise. This would be the better/safer option.

      3. lily in NYC says:

        To me, it seems no different from someone who drinks a couple of glasses of wine after work. I don’t see why one is seen as a terrible addiction and the other is considered an acceptable way to unwind.

      4. Bittergaymark says:

        EXACTLY. The weed hysteria in here is hysterical…

      5. Sunshine Brite says:

        It’s not so much weed hysteria for me but that he’s doing something in the apartment and clearly doesn’t seem to be able to stop that is putting housing and employment in jeopardy. Weed has taken a questionable place in his life.

      6. lonemirage14 says:

        It is different though, because it creates a smell that’s bothering the neighbors.

      7. lily in NYC says:

        I was replying to the idea that the dude needs rehab and therapy because he smokes, not to the issue regarding the neighbors.

      8. Cleopatra Jones says:

        I don’t so much think it’s the substance but more of the behavior. You can pretty much be addicted to anything…cigarettes, food, gambling, sex, or drugs. So while weed seems pretty innocuous, he is still engaging in some pretty bad behavior that’s leading him on a road to nowhere.
        IMO, I feel like people don’t repeatedly engage in behavior that has negative impact without some kind of underlying cause.
        For all we know, his parents could have been alcoholics and while he doesn’t drink, he’s still engaging in the same behavior just with a different substance.

      9. Avatar photo Dear Wendy says:

        But what do you mean by “negative impact”? The fact that it has a smell? That’s the only negative impact described in this particular letter (and the only reason given for the management company insisting he stops smoking). Cigarettes smell, too. So, are people who smoke cigarettes covering up for something else in their lives?
        And if you’re using “negative impact” based on your idea of the effects of smoking pot and you say that people don’t “repeatedly engage in behavior that has negative impact without some kind of underlying cause,” can the “underlying cause” simply be an enjoyment of smoking pot? I mean, I think eating a burger and fries has a “negative effect” to some degree, but I engage in that behavior regularly because i LIKE burgers and fries.
        And when you say that smoking weed is “pretty innocuous” but that he’s still engaging in “pretty bad behavior that’s leading him on a road to nowhere,” what do you mean by that exactly? I personally have no issue with marijuana at all and think smoking it is a far less harmful behavior than many other behaviors people engage in for recreation or relaxation. I’m just curious what it is about what was described in this very brief letter than makes you think the guy is engaging in bad behavior that’s leading him nowhere?

      10. lonemirage14 says:

        I’m just going to chime in here with two experiences I have had with people who smoke weed more than just recreationally. One was a guy who was a friend of mine for several years, and literally could not get through a few hours without either a cigarette or a joint. He also was a dealer, and generally made some really poor life decisions because he was high basically from waking up in the morning until he went to sleep. He was working a dead end job, but living with his grandparents, rent free, and would’ve been able to save up and move out or go back to school except he spent most of his money on weed and cigarettes.

        My downstairs neighbor’s son – in his 20s – who recently moved out (THANK GOD) had no job and no relliable source of income, but was smoking pot inside (directly below my bedroom) up to 4 or 5 times a day. I complained repeatedly to my landlord as the smell (he was getting some strong weed) was unbearable.

        My point is, there’s a difference between someone smoking up from time to time, like someone who has a drink or two a few nights a week, and someone who is consistently smoking pot every single day and unable to stop after numerous requests from his wife. That to me is an addiction, whether its just mental or not. This dude needs to stop or else he will literally lose his home. I think smoking cigarettes in an apartment is absolutely one of the most disgusting and disrespectful habits a tenant can have and it literally effects the health of others. If the pot smell is bad enough that neighbors are complaining, that is on the same level.

      11. So, in your first example, if that’s the lifestyle he chose for himself and it’s effecting nobody but him, who really cares? I mean, I wouldn’t chose that lifestyle or be with someone who chose that lifestyle, but that’s my preference. It’s not his.
        Some could be said with dude number 2.
        And the thing that bothers me is the LW must have known her husband was a pot smoker when she married him. Now, he’s supposed to automatically quit? Believe me, I get that they’re apartment and possibly her job are at stake, but this should have been discussed before the walk down the aisle. Now, some kind of compromise needs to happen and I think Wendy pretty much covered those.

      12. lily in NYC says:

        Antecdotes are not evidence. I can just as easily turn around and give you tons of examples of professional types that smoke every single day without issue – like my pothead neighbor. He is an attorney at a top firm and runs marathons, he’s not some burnout – and he smokes every single evening. My best friend at home – works for Congress, has three kids and a happy marriage. I could go on but I won’t.

      13. lonemirage14 says:

        Not saying it is evidence, just putting out some of my own experiences, one of them being similar to what the LW’s neighbors are experiencing. Whether or not the LW knew her husband smoked pot, or to what degree, he’s endangering both her job and where they live by continuing the habit and he should stop or find somewhere else to do it.

      14. I think because he knows at this point continuing the behavior would have very negative consequences, but he’s still continuing the behavior. Sure, weed isn’t physically addictive but then wtf is he doing still smoking in the apt? Even cigarette smokers (& nicotine OS physically addictive) manage to smoke outside when they’re made to…so (responding kinda to these general thread) this isn’t weed hysteria so much as “please control yourself”.

      15. UHHHH *is :-/

      16. snow.angel says:

        I completely agree. At this point the husband knows the negative consequences that can result from his marijuana use, and is choosing not to stop. My uncle used to smoke tons of cigarettes. When him and my aunt had their first baby, the baby was born with serious respiratory issues and was very sickly. The doctor told my aunt and uncle that due to the health issues, my cousin could not be around cigarette smoke because the smoke would exacerbate the existing respiratory issues and make him sicker. My aunt was ready to brainstorm solutions like air purifiers, having my uncle smoke outside the house then change clothes, etc., but my uncle said that his son’s health and well-being was more important to him than smoking cigarettes and never smoked one again. The LW’s husband is choosing marijuana over their home and financial security, and I think that’s a huge problem.

      17. Cleopatra Jones says:

        But what do you mean by “negative impact”? The fact that it has a smell?
        The negative impact that I was referring to was that if he doesn’t stop smoking excessive amounts of weed that she may lose her apartment and her boss has spoken to her about it. TBH, if your boss has to ‘speak’ with you about the actions of your SO then that’s a HUGE problem.
        The LW has repeatedly asked him to stop (or at least reduce his intake) and he hasn’t, so either he just doesn’t want to stop or he can’t.
        That’s the issue that I see here.
        IME, when you are in a healthy relationship and your significant other asks to stop doing a behavior that jeopardizes the family, job, or finances. You stop or at least make a conscious effort to reign it in-he’s not. If he’s willfully ignoring her requests then either he’s an ass or he legitimately can not stop smoking pot.
        And when you say that smoking weed is “pretty innocuous” but that he’s still engaging in “pretty bad behavior that’s leading him on a road to nowhere,” what do you mean by that exactly?
        IMO, when people say, ‘weed isn’t addictive. or it’s just weed’, they are only addressing the action and not the issue of why he’s smoking so much weed (the behavior of excess). To me, it’s similar to drinking alcohol. If you drink in moderation it’s fine but if you start drinking so much that your personal relationships are impacted then it’s a problem. In this case, I think the LW is impacted by his weed smoking.
        I’m just curious what it is about what was described in this very brief letter than makes you think the guy is engaging in bad behavior that’s leading him nowhere?
        IMO, he’s engaging in an addictive behavior and when those aren’t addressed it tends to lead people to ‘nowhere’. Granted ‘nowhere’ doesn’t mean the same thing to everyone. But for this LW, it could mean losing her job and/or apartment. That doesn’t seem like a good situation to be in.
        I could totally be off-base here BUT my gut reaction to reading this letter is that he’s addicted to weed and this may be the symptom of a larger problem.
        And with that, I’m stepping away for awhile because it’s never pretty around here when anyone voices an opinion that strays from the mainstream.

      18. lonemirage14 says:

        I agree with your points and I do think the fact that he hasn’t stopped is either a sign of addiction and/or just total disrespect to his wife and the inability to grasp the severity of the possible consequences.

      19. snow.angel says:

        Wouldn’t the LW’s job and housing being put at risk qualify as a negative impact of the husband smoking marijuana? The letter says that the reason the LW’s husband said he was going to stop smoking weed was because he understood his behavior was putting his wife in a bad position at work. While I totally agree that smoking weed is nowhere near as harmful as many other things people do to relax, the fact remains that marijuana is still an illegal substance in most places. Neighbors have complained, and the apartment company has called insisting that he stop smoking weed which means that he needs to end his recreational drug use before these complaints escalate into a call to law enforcement, the LW being fired, or the couple being evicted. If he continues to be unable to do so, I might begin to suspect that his marijuana use is no longer just a recreational past-time, and may be more of a self-medication.

  4. LW1 do you guys have separate apartments or do you just refer to it as ‘my’ apartment on accident. Because, you know he lives there too. I’m assuming his smoking didn’t start when you got married or when you moved in to this apartment. I would tell him that it’s either his recreation or your job at this point and if he doesn’t stop you will get fired and like Wendy said everything will fall on to his plate.

    LW3 I agree with Wendy I don’t get why you’re so taken aback by the relationship two people have. But, to be honest you don’t sound like you trust him.

    1. I caught this too, and it seems everyone else is glossing over the fact that they are married (she used husband) and she calls it her apartment. If they’re married, isn’t it their apartment? And since they’re married, shouldn’t they come to some kind of agreement together? I get that it’s her job… but IDK, she had to know this about him before they married.

      1. snow.angel says:

        I don’t know, I wouldn’t assume that they never talked about it without knowing more details. It’s also totally possible that his pattern of using marijuana has changed over the course of their marriage, and it’s not uncommon for substance abuse to start out as recreational or social use initially. For example, if I was dating someone who liked to have a beer after work or a couple drinks at a holiday party, I doubt I would have a big talk about it before getting married. If years down the road, the alcohol use escalated to things like DUIs, nightly blackouts, passing out etc. I would be pretty shocked and disappointed. You can’t always predict when social/recreational substance use is going to turn into a real problem.

    2. Not to mention that marijuana is still illegal in a lot of places and if he pisses off enough people with his smoking, someone may call the cops.

  5. Sunshine Brite says:

    Gah, I would be pissed if I was LW1. This is her job on the line for cryin’ out loud. I would say vaporizer would be best, prepping it for eat can smell horrid sometimes. Or figure out if weed smoking is causing other problems in his life if he can’t stop even if housing and his spouse’s employment is risked.
    LW2, your idea of fair is… interesting.
    LW3, are you seriously jealous of your husband’s former MIL? Just enjoy your rekindled relationship. People can form relationships outside of the reason they met. It’s like my one friend who gets upset when mutual friends hang out without her.

  6. #1-I like all of Wendy’s advice, but if you guys are married, it’s sort of odd to refer to your livin space as “my apartment” as opposed to “our apartment.”

    #3-How is it possible that you have four children together and were able to go 20 years without seeing each other? That seems odd.

  7. LW3: Why do you care who your ex-husband of 20 years talks to?

    1. I think the assumption in the response was that they were trying to date again. But I was just as confused as you after my first reading and had to reread it after Wendy’s response.

      1. Also, rereading it again, I’m still not entirely sure that’s the case…

      2. I wasn’t sure of their status either. But, who cares if he’s still talking to his ex-stepmother-in-law. Sheesh!

      3. I think they’re rekindling their age old relationship, but I agree with everyone else… who the eff cares that he talk to his ex in-laws? They were a huge part of his life. Barring abuse, I just don’t understand this no contact thing with people from your “former” life. At all. It speaks volumes about someone else’s insecurities.

      4. I was getting a vibe that she thought there was something going on between them (or had gone on between them) because she said “he won’t give me a reason for his split with the ex “? I’m stretching? Otherwise why care at all?

      5. Going on between whom? Him and the in-laws? He doesn’t have to give her a reason for the split. They split, end of story. The only time I would care about the reason for a relationship ending is if I were having a relationship with someone, especially marrying someone. Then, yeah, I would want to know. Otherwise, I don’t see why it’s her business.

      6. Sorry – to clarify – I thought the ex-wife thought there was something between her ex and his ex-mother-in-law (at some point). and I think she cares because she does seem to have a relationship with him now.

      7. Sunshine Brite says:

        That’s how I read it too!

  8. If the husband has so little control over his smoking that he’s endangering your job and housing, then he’s crossing over into addiction territory. Personally, I would ask that he stop using entirely. Living with an addict is not a fun experience, and once their addiction starts messing up your joint life, something has to change. Are you willing to be jobless and homeless to stay married to this man?

  9. LW1: it’s inconsiderate your husband isn’t agreeing to adjust his habits (seriously a vape and some incense/candles do a lot) but it’s also inconsiderate of you to keep calling it your apartment. And I’m guessing your husband wasn’t actually planning on quitting, but rather planning on sneaking around. I know there are serious repercussions in this situation, but it doesn’t sound like you like the weed smoking regardless if he uses a vape. If it keeps becoming an issue in an apartment, you are probably better off living in a house. There definitely needs to be a compromise though.

  10. Avatar photo something random says:

    If your not a regular weed-smoker, the smell of chronic users can be annoying. The last place we lived, we bought because we loved the wooded, quiet lot and the nature feel. But when we went outside it always stunk like a phish concert from all the way across the street. This goes for smokers and drunks who have booze seeping from their pores, too. You should be aware that you stink. Try to imagine having to smell something strong all the time that you didn’t particularly enjoy (like a funky perfume). The letter writer’s husband should definitely be more considerate of others who have to share the personal space. I don’t blame the letter writer for being embarrassed.

  11. In addition to vaporizers, there’s also an e-cig made for marijuana. There’s also wax which doesn’t have much of a smell, but can be more intense.

    There’s probably a ton of ways to make it smell less, honestly. I’m pretty sure there are whole forums devoted to mcguyver-ing something to reduce the smell. Some of my friends in college would wrap a dryer sheet around the end of a toilet paper tube and blow smoke through it. No idea if this actually works though.

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