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Old 08-12-2019, 02:03 PM   #1
jaymoq
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Default My BF can't stop, but says he will

A bit of a vent post, so please-- keep that in mind.

I figured this would be the best place to post. I myself am not struggling with smoking/nicotine addiction, but my boyfriend is. When we met, he smoked regularly. I get migraines from the smoke, so he decided to stop smoking and turn to vaping. However, if anything- his impulses increased. He was vaping every waking minute except when he was eating and sleeping. In the house. In the car. When we'd be out. I noticed I started getting sinus infections (I am really sensitive to air pollutants) and I was sick almost all the time. And I hadn't gotten sick since I'd relocated to Texas (to get away from the air quality issues out West).

So, I finally asked him to go outside. He threw a fit. Told me I was controlling his life. And it was winter so he said I was freezing him out. But, I had to make a choice- and I just can't stand being sick. He started chewing gum. And I stopped being sick. It was honestly so freeing. But the gum became an obsession. He goes through a box every day or two. He is constantly chewing gum. Sometimes even when he's asleep, he packs it in his cheek. His lips are yellow. I have trouble even kissing him anymore because its just strings of yellow crud on his lips. A few months in, the gum wasn't enough anymore and he started vaping in the house and I just said "No. I'm sorry, but I am not getting sick again. I am not telling you what you can't do, but I am telling you what I am going to allow around me and I can't handle being sick again." He flipped out. Said he was moving out. And I cried but what could I do? I just- I can't sacrifice my health. He came back hours later and said he'd quit nicotine for good, he didn't want to lose me, and this was controlling his life.

Not long after this, I noticed he started taking REALLY long showers. He'd go to the bathroom several times a day and be in there a really long time. Sometimes I'd hear voices. He'd come to bed and his breath would smell weird and I'd say "Were you eating in there?" and he'd tell me I was being ridiculous. He told me I was crazy. Told me I was imagining things. That he wasn't being any different. That he just likes long showers. But, I just felt in my gut something was happening. I thought for a minute he was cheating on me. He'd always find excuses to leave the house. Bizarre excuses like "I have to go get gas". But that was it. Just going to get gas. These trips always took him away from the house. And, my last clue- he was always low on $$. We have separate finances apart from our joined house bills. I earn more than him- because he just can't hold down a FT job. I buy our groceries. I pay for dinners and dates. I paid for a summer trip. And I don't lord that over him. I just do it because I care about him. Because he contributes to the house in other ways.. But I just couldn't figure out why he was always low on $$. I have to spot him cash all the time. But, he had made that sacrifice for me (which he reminded me of often "I have changed my LIFE for you. I stopped for YOU. YOU are why I am mad") so I just felt obligated to pitch in. I even bought him new clothes when his started wearing out. I know- looking back now, I just...yeah.

Finally, I was doing laundry and came across an old coil in his pocket and then I knew. He was vaping again. When I confronted him, at first he said "I have no idea what that is". Then, when he realized that I knew what it is, he said "That's not mine". And I just stood there looking at him, because- what? And finally, he admitted it had been going on for months. That he was afraid of me. And couldn't tell me. He told me he just couldn't quit. That he tried but that he is his own person, I am controlling his life, and his whole family said I'm ridiculous to tell him to stop. It's "just nicotine". Which- sure. I get. It IS. But its not the nicotine itself bothering me. Its the fact he lies about it. Hides it. And then gas-lights me and calls me crazy. I haven't yet mentioned that he has an auto-immune disorder where one of the top triggers is nicotine. So he is chronically sick as well. And then, because of that- gets grumpy. So its just a double-edged sword.

When I found out he'd been lying to me, hiding, and vaping in the house (and I don't think I need to mention, but I have had chronic sinus infections lately and he convinced me it was because I'm allergic to the tree in our yard), I told him we need to figure something out. Because he is telling me one thing, then doing the opposite. He runs out of $ and I'd fill his tank, I'd spot him cash, I'd help him out. And to know I was only doing that to fund his habit- it frustrated me. We started seeing a counselor. He swore up and down to myself and to her that he would quit. It was hard. It was his stress relief and so he felt he needed it.

I get it y'all. I do. We all have our coping strategies. We all have our vices. But his he hides from me and is bitter that I don't just openly accept. I'm sorry. I really am trying. Two days ago he told me he went and bought a new mod (he destroyed his last one to demonstrate his commitment to quitting); unbeknownst to me. He has no $$, again. And, finally I said -OKAY. Okay. Vape. Vape your heart out. Not in this house. Not around me. Don't ask me for $$. And realize that you are actively making your health condition worse- and it hurts me to see you hurt yourself. And he said okay. Then Saturday- he said he had to take a drive and was gone 2 hours. And yesterday, he kept 'forgetting things in his car'. And IDK- I know I said I was okay with this, but...I'm still angry about the lies. About the hiding. And I need help in how to unwrap my mind from this.

I'm sorry to write this novel, but I feel at the end of my rope. I'm not trying to control his life. I'm just controlling mine. He volunteers quitting every time. I don't ever demand it. But, within a few weeks, he's started up again. Spending every spare dollar on it. He told me today he was going to pawn some things because he needed extra cash. I know what its for. I just don't get it. This level of addiction scares me. If he doesn't have nicotine, he is shaking. Freaking out. We once had to leave a restaurant in the MIDDLE of our date because he realized he left his mod at home and he just couldn't handle not having it. This is an incredible level of dependence. But no one else sees it. He just tells them "She won't let me live my life. I just wanna vape. I just wanna smoke." to his family. He just says I want to control him. But I hate seeing him so controlled by this nicotine. I hate how its destroying him financially. I hate how its hurting his body. And I hate how it has made me sick too.

What can I do? What can I say? Can I even do or say anything? I feel bad- I don't want him to pawn his things. He honestly has barely anything to pawn. So these would be his last possessions, aside from his car, which barely runs because he can't fix it. He's spending every spare dollar on nicotine products. I don't know how. I see how much they cost. So who even knows whats happening.

I'm so lost, y'all. COOKIES if you read this. Please be kind. I know I am coming off snarky. I know I seem like a prude. But its the addiction that bothers me. He could be addicted to...coffee. Jelly beans. Whatever. Its how he behaves that is both terrifying and frustrating for me. Its how he sees me as the enemy. Am I? I love this man. But I hate that the first thing he thinks about when he wakes up, the last thing he thinks about when he goes to sleep, and the only thing he can consider spending his extra time, money, and focus on is a substance.
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Old 08-13-2019, 08:07 AM   #2
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Default Re: My BF can't stop, but says he will

Quote:
Originally Posted by jaymoq View Post
I'm not trying to control his life. I'm just controlling mine.
Kinda like y'all are swimming in the pool and he's peeing in the 'peeing section' and doesn't understand that it is affecting you while you're swimming in the 'no peeing section'. He doesn't believe that he can't have both you and smoking, and continues to look for ever more elaborate ways to facilitate both - while getting increasingly frustrated as each successive method fails.

I get it. You have a number of double binds here. It's starting to look like the proverbial Gordian Knot.
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Old 08-16-2019, 06:01 AM   #3
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Default Re: My BF can't stop, but says he will

I am going to address this from a place of addiction. I am a recovering alcoholic and a smoker. Addiction to a substance is a terrible thing. There are people who can use and abuse substances and yes, they are addicted but do not have that ADDICT personality. It sounds like he does. Lying and hiding goes along with this. The consequences of my drinking were obvious and caused pain for my family. The consequences of smoking seem far away so its easier to justify. He lies because of shame, and hides because he fears disappointing you. It makes sense because he is, right? And for so long because of that he got used to hiding things and lying so that now, even though you told him to just vape he is in the habit of being dishonest about it. He sounds like a true addict even though its not drugs or alcohol, its the same thing. My mom smoked for years and then one day she stopped and had no issues. I have stopped and started a thousand times. My fear of relapsing on alcohol is what makes it hard to quit smoking. An excuse Id like to get over. When you first got together was he a smoker or vaper? If so he may look at it as you knew what you signed up for and resent being asked to change. Maybe couples counseling could help. I think as far as addressing it with him it would be a good idea to gather your thoughts and take a deep breath and calmly tell him that yes, he can vape-outside. But no, he can not lie about it or hide it. Tell him that lying about it is the crux of the issue. Decide what consequences there might be if he lies about it. Tell him that you want him to not feel he has to be dishonest about it. He is a grown man who is choosing to do this, so he should be grown enough to just do it without the lying. Can you live with him and stay with him if he chooses to vape or smoke? You may never change him and you really need to assess whether you can live long term with his decision.
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Old 08-17-2019, 10:24 AM   #4
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Default Re: My BF can't stop, but says he will

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Originally Posted by sarahsweets View Post
I am going to address this from a place of addiction. I am a recovering alcoholic and a smoker. Addiction to a substance is a terrible thing. There are people who can use and abuse substances and yes, they are addicted but do not have that ADDICT personality. It sounds like he does. Lying and hiding goes along with this. The consequences of my drinking were obvious and caused pain for my family. The consequences of smoking seem far away so its easier to justify. He lies because of shame, and hides because he fears disappointing you. It makes sense because he is, right? And for so long because of that he got used to hiding things and lying so that now, even though you told him to just vape he is in the habit of being dishonest about it. He sounds like a true addict even though its not drugs or alcohol, its the same thing. My mom smoked for years and then one day she stopped and had no issues. I have stopped and started a thousand times. My fear of relapsing on alcohol is what makes it hard to quit smoking. An excuse Id like to get over. When you first got together was he a smoker or vaper? If so he may look at it as you knew what you signed up for and resent being asked to change. Maybe couples counseling could help. I think as far as addressing it with him it would be a good idea to gather your thoughts and take a deep breath and calmly tell him that yes, he can vape-outside. But no, he can not lie about it or hide it. Tell him that lying about it is the crux of the issue. Decide what consequences there might be if he lies about it. Tell him that you want him to not feel he has to be dishonest about it. He is a grown man who is choosing to do this, so he should be grown enough to just do it without the lying. Can you live with him and stay with him if he chooses to vape or smoke? You may never change him and you really need to assess whether you can live long term with his decision.
Thank you. And yes my fears surround his addictive personality and how it manipulates his daily living. When we met, on date #1 I told him that cigarette smoke makes me get migraines so I really canít date anyone who smokes. His clothes reeked of smoke but he told me his room mate smoked. And why would he lie? We dated for a few months before I realized the gum he couldnít stop chewing was nicotine gum. Then he started vaping around me and I was kinda confused. But me, trying to be open minded and understanding, just let it ride. We were only dating. He didnít do it around me, just outside. But that became an obsession. He couldnít stop. It was in my car. In the house. In the bedroom. Clouds of vape. And thatís when I started getting sick. And thatís when he told me- months after weíd been dating ďOh well I used to smoke two packs a day when I met you but I didnít want to tell you in case you broke up with meĒ.

So- it was sort of a foundation of lies this has been built on. Heís the same way with his Kratom. First it was one scoop once a day. Then one scoop twice a day. Then two scoops twice a day. Then three scoops three times a day and I finally had to point out I was worried about that too because- had his pain levels increased so exponentially or was he just craving the release from it?

It scares me. Especially because his newly increased vaping and nicotine use (which is constant- he always has nicotine in his system) has caused him to get sicker in just a week. Heís coughing. Heís always achey. He doesnít feel good. And he is trying to say itís just a fluke but- how can I believe that?

It worries me. Because he has a history of drug use and Iím terrified what happens if this isnít enough and he starts using again. And how can we have a future if he canít take care of himself? If we had kids one day and then heís still sick and canít play with them. Heís younger than me even but he already canít get up in the morning without paIn pills. It just worries me. Because Iíve been with an addict. And I donít want to live that life again.
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Old 08-17-2019, 10:29 AM   #5
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Default Re: My BF can't stop, but says he will

I should point out I completely empathize with addiction. My family on both sides struggled with addiction. I get it. I really do. And I want so badly to support him. But he doesnít want to stop no matter the costs. And so itís not that I hate addicts. Or that I look down on them. Heck- Iíve struggled with alcohol when I was younger and had to stop myself because I saw what happened to my family. I havenít touched a drop in over 10 years. I donít want that for myself. So I think this reaction is two fold. Because I donít like seeing how itís hurting him, and how itís making him lie- but also Iím around things all the time and I worry itís going to tempt me. Yknow? And I donít want that for myself. He already bad mouths me because I donít tolerate drinking. I just canít have it around me. And he accuses me of controlling him and not letting him relax. I donít mind him drinking a bit. But when heís downed a six pack in 30 min, I get uneasy.

Sigh. I love who he is when heís not on something. But when he is or when heís without and needs it- he just gets mean. Cranky.
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Old 12-02-2019, 05:21 PM   #6
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Default Re: My BF can't stop, but says he will

Hey Jaymoq,

It sounds to me like your boyfriend is really in the need of some help and it's not something you can provide (as you have tried to the best of your ability seemingly for a while).
At first I thought it was just nicotine, but then the gum, the kratom, and the six pack in 30 mins, pain pills in the morning... Constant lying about any and everything to feed each addiction or need to escape.
I would check out some addiction resources both online and in person. N.A (narcotics anonymous) groups have meetings across the country. You could look into those as they are all encompassing for anything that's addictive.
It seems though that he may have been doing all of this for a while, in which case I would look into inpatient programs for something like 30 days.
There are meetings online as well as forums for him to read but they can be worthless in later stages of addiction. I believe there is nicotine anonymous as well but it seems like this is way beyond nicotine.

I read all of what you wrote and it seems to me that the relationship began on a foundation of untruths that have continued through the entire thing. Please don't take this as an attack but
from what I have read it seems like you have been enabling him and putting yourself last in the entire situation for a while. What is the benefit to you? He cannot change if he's avoiding the consequences of his actions.
Hearing that you have also struggled with alcohol (but cut it off) it may be relevant to ask yourself what you get from this relationship? Others will bring us down before we can lift them up, and it has to begin with him.
Lastly, have you read much on codependency? It can be very taxing on you as a person to constantly need to be the caregiver and take a toll on you and what you want for your life.

I have experience with addiction on both sides of family, and personally but am also no formally trained expert. I hope that he can get some help for himself.
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