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Mars and Venus column: Husband's drug use worries wife

John Gray gives readers advice about their relationships.
BY JOHN GRAY Published: May 9, 2013

DEAR JOHN: My husband and I have a good relationship, but one problem concerns me: He is a drug user. This happens whenever he goes out with his friends.

Once, at a party, he used Ecstasy. Whenever I warn him that his use of various drugs may cause an addiction, he tells me he is careful and that he is not addicted. I'm so angry that I've told him if he does not stop his drug abuse, I will divorce him. I also told him to stay away from these friends who use drugs. He says he will stop, but I've already caught him several times.

— Over It, in Spring Hill, Fla.

DEAR OVER IT: Although he does not want to admit it to himself or to you, your husband in fact already has a substance abuse problem. Of course, this can lead to long-term health issues. Very few regular drug users think they have a problem, and the idea that they can stop whenever they please is an illusion most of them embrace. You have asked that he stop, and you've told him the consequence: that he'll lose you if he does not.

Ask him to get counseling for his problem. If he refuses, your choice is to follow through with your commitment to leave. If you do, it may encourage him to seek help so that he can save his marriage.

This is a tough choice. Drug addiction does not simply go away like a bad cold. He is going to need some type of professional help to get past this problem. Without that, it is most likely that the situation will not change, and both your marriage and his health will be in peril.

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