DEAR ABBY: Husband likes to get high but keeps lying about it

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DEAR ABBY: My husband and I have been married for 10 years, together for 12. We have no children together, but I have four from a previous marriage. Two are grown and have moved out; two are still home and in high school.

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When we got together, my husband stepped right up and became a wonderful stepdad. He has always been a provider, a listener, an advice giver, friend, etc. He is the epitome of a great dad and husband. My family loves him, and I love him with my whole heart.

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There is just one small problem that has recurred throughout our marriage. Abby, he told me several years ago that he had stopped smoking marijuana, yet many times over the years I have caught him sneaking around to do it. If I ask him about it, he lies to my face and insists that no, he doesn’t. I don’t ask unless I have seen it or have found some somewhere.

We live in a state where recreational use is legal, so it’s not the smoking that really bothers me — it’s the lying. I don’t partake, so I guess I don’t understand, but how can I get him to see that I need him to be honest with me? I can’t accept being lied to, especially over something so stupid. — MIFFED IN MICHIGAN

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DEAR MIFFED: Your husband may lie because he knows how you feel about his smoking, and he wants to avoid conflict. Since you have caught him in the act, his unwillingness to fess up shows a lack of character and, I’m sorry to say, a tendency to gaslight you, and I don’t blame you for being upset.

There are few ways more effective in eroding trust than to do what you say he has been doing. That is why it is important the two of you have an HONEST discussion about his pot smoking — either at home or in the office of a licensed family therapist.


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DEAR ABBY: My husband and I recently moved to a new city. I have made friends here, and we have great neighbours. I have become close with several of the women, but my husband has not made any buddies. When I try to create opportunities for him to get closer to the guys, he reacts by saying, “How dare you!” or “What makes you think I need help?”

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When I want some girl time with my friends, he gets mad and accuses me of not wanting him around and excluding him from my life. I can’t seem to make him understand that women need girl time for our own mental health, and it is not about him. Help, please! — SAD AND TRAPPED

DEAR SAD: Most women need women friends, so please don’t isolate yourself in an attempt to placate your husband. If he thinks that by hanging around with you and your women friends he is filling what’s missing in his social life, he needs a wake-up call. Whether you want him around during those visits or not, the feelings of the other women should be considered.

Did your husband have male friends in your former town? I suspect not, which may be why he continues to be so dependent on you now. Unless he is willing to make the effort, you can’t fix his social problems. Encouraging him to develop hobbies and interests of his own may help, and volunteering in your new community might introduce him to other men he can bond with. Please suggest it.

— Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

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