Ultimatums for change!
I would like to share a problem which has been consuming my life for quite a while, and destroying my relationship. I feel torn between two extremes within this and can imagine that peoples reactions may be also!
My girlfriend and I have been together for 4 years. We are radically different although we do love each other very much. She is Dutch and when we met I was living in Amsterdam although we have since moved to another country.
As most of you will know, Amsterdam is an extremely open minded city with legalised cannabis and very open drug laws. When we met I smoked joints much more than was good for me (pretty much nightly). I would also use party drugs (mdma / lsd) perhaps once of twice a year, normally at a festival, and used magic mushrooms perhaps 3/4 times a year in a spiritual, shamanic context. With the exception of smoking, I felt my drug use to be balanced, with intention, deeply healing and often very special.
Unfortunately my gf is a one woman crusader against drugs of all kinds! While I am the first to admit that my smoking habits were out of control, I do very much enjoy those magical moments with close friends on a beautiful day at an outside festival..... and I still enjoy them now.
The attempts to control my personal choice began the very first time she came to my house. I let her know that I was the way I was and any change could only come from my wish to change - not from her pushing me to be someone else. She demanded that I stopped, I told her that if she wanted me she must take me just the way I was and respect my right to choose my own behaviour.
I stopped smoking nightly, wisely and from my own choice and, over the course of a 4 year relationship, have only smoked in the presence of my gf three times. While in the Netherlands I would smoke with friends or when alone at my house (we were not living together). At the end of last year we moved country and, in a six month period, I have not used any drugs of any kind in the county in which I now live. I did however visit a friend in England one night in which I smoked a couple of joints and two weeks ago we visited Amsterdam where I enjoyed some time with friends and, after working hard for six months to support us both, let me hair down and used some drugs.
This resulted in my gf withdrawing all affection and saying that she needed to break up with me. She demands that I stop all drug use. I tell her that I must feel free to make my own choices and feel resentment that she focuses on what I still do in the place of what I have stopped. The situation has escalated into our being on the brink of breaking up. It is so important for me to feel free to follow my truth in any one moment of time and if that is, in a balanced way, smoking a joint when not in the company of my gf then I wish that would just be ok.
Away from the drugs comes the second (and probably more important aspect) to this - my gfs desire to have children.
My gf is feeling a strong desire to have children. She has been feeling this for a while and comes across to me as quite pressurising. On this issue, she told me that either we in the extremely near term begin trying for kids or we are done. For this she demands that my sperm is pure. She has decided that "I am dirty" and my sperm must be dangerous re: mutations and reproduction for a period of three months after I so much as smoke one joint! She has also asked that I swear that I will never touch any kind of drugs ever again.
This makes me feel uncomfortable as it feels my choice is being controlled by her. I am not a rampant drug fiend but do love to meet up with my mates, smoke a joint and play poker when visiting Amsterdam. The idea of being in situations with my friends and "not being allowed" to make my own choice makes me feel extremely uncomfortable and that lack of comfort makes it very hard for me to feel comfortable to make a lifelong commitment to her. If I let her control this, what direction might the control go in the future?
So we bounce off on each other on this. Her perspective is "choose me or the drugs, which one do you love most" while mine is that it is not about the drugs but about the need for trust, my desire to feel accepted by her and for a decision regarding children to be a mutual loving one, not one that stems from pressure and fear. I would love to have kids with her but not in this context. And, were I to feel from my heart that I wanted to procreate, of course that would be the number 1 thing and then I would not be using drugs (althought I think the 3 month timeline for clean sperm is a little over the top).
I feel like I am being asked to choose between her or the many friends and loved ones that I love to spend time with. It feels a little trapped - one way I am with my gf and resenting that week or two a year when I love so much to go to the festival where all my friends are. The other way, I do those things I love but lose the dearest person in my life. There must be a way to find some balance in this!
Advice / persepectives would be appreciated!
I think that you both have a valid perspective on the situation, although the future sounds as though it is in your hands, as she isn't going to stand with you if the drugs are still a part of your life. Without lecturing you too much, I would say that you have to come to comprise certain things in your relationship, and as you go through life, you will probably have to make other sacrifices for the better good. You already recognise that the drugs are something you want to have the option of doing a couple of weeks a year, and that your relationship should you wish to continue it is a much bigger part of your life.
Maybe your mates will also find themselves in a similar position, or you will all find different interests as you grow older, yet you are still strong friends.
Maybe your gf is not just bothered about the effect the drug taking could have on any kids you might have together, but also in the longer term as well - perhaps she is concerned about your wellbeing, in terms of whether you may get addicted to the drugs or start to use harder substances which will affect you financially, and potentially lead to a break-up.
I don't know what other people will say to you about all of this, but I'm not a drug taker (except alcohol), and I would tend to take her side on this - but I totally understand where you are coming from, and can see how having the freedom to smoke weed and stuff is important to you.
Good luck with whatever you choose to do, but if you don't decide to give up the drugs, make sure that you first know what you are going to lose.
I used to smoke cannabis and do magic mushrooms. I think I would go along with your partner - that's if you feel she's the one. I now have twins and there great - I'm so pleased my early 20's days are behind me regarding drugs. I still smoke fags and drink daily. She doesn't connect with taking drugs and therefore feels against it. She doesn't want to take them herself and she probably does find it quite disgusting - my wife doesn't drink, smoke, clubs - any of the wild things I used to do. You might consider her a bit square for not allowing you to let your hair down? I used to think that, but there are a lot better things than taking drugs. Maybe it's time to grow up and think about her and your possible future family. Smoking pot etc (in my opinion) is for your college days. HOWEVER! You do also have your own rights and I think you need to talk it through and find out what the problem is - would she worry if you saw friends once a year and had a spliff? I personally think she's crying out for you to give her some committment. After recently going through the baby thing, I would say in hindsight that you should go with what she wants - time for change. Having kids is wonderful and will make you change quite quickly into a slightly different person (in a nice way). But, the control will suddenly go with your partner - it's weird, I was always in control before having children. Maybe this is her hormones kicking in!! Hope it goes well. Cheers