February 1, 2013 - submitted by Bri, United States of America

My boyfriend just recently told me that him and some of his guy friends spent the weekend drinking and smoking. I was so disappointed in him - he's underage and I thought he was above those sort of things. And when I got mad, he had to remind me that "most of the other guys aren't even gonna tell their girlfriends" as if him telling me the truth makes it better. He also told me that he's been stressed and it was the one thing that took it away. I'm so upset, angry, and worried. What do I do?

The Oracle replies:

Obviously my main concern here would be the underage issue but that would make me a hypocrite because I did it. That doesn't make it right (despite being a part of growing up that many people experience) but it happens so I'm going to try and be realistic.
I have to say therefore that I think your boyfriend telling you the truth DOES make it better. He may not be behaving in a way you approve of but at least he isn't keeping secrets from you. At least this way YOU can decide if you want to be with him having all the facts - the same can't be said of his friends' girlfriends.
Speaking of you are his girlfriend; not his mother, so by all means talk to him about your feelings (& his) but don't tell him what he can and can't / should or shouldn't do.
It will be a lot more helpful to discuss what's causing him stress and to try and work together to find other ways to deal with those stresses.
As the situation stands, you're both full of negative feelings that will probably be adding to his. I suggest you deal with this in a mature manner and try to understand and support him. I'm assuming he doesn't wish to repeat the behaviour of the weekend on a regular basis but if he does, you can tell him it's not something you feel comfortable being around and remove yourself from his life. Your choice.
Please try to avoid judging or preaching at him. He's put some trust in you, perhaps it will be more productive to do the same for him and help him work through his issues - IF you want to of course.
Over to you.

The most important things in a relationship are love and trust. It all goes around both. But nobody wants to see the person they care about the most, hurting itself. Maybe you just didn't know him well enough, or perhaps he changed. I don't know. I think if this is the first time he did that, you can make it the last. If he loves you, he will let you help him. But if he usually does this kind of things, then think what's the best for you. You probably don't want to feel disappointed all the time. Love is strong, fight for it if you think what you both have it's worth it, if it can be fixed. But if you don't... maybe it is time to live and let go. Have a happy life, Lyssete.

What strikes me is that if he never did drugs before, well based on your assumption, then why should he be doing drugs now? I mean, everyone is stressed, or gets stressed so I'm not buying the whole "drugs will help me loose stress." Either way, I would tell him to stop before he tries to get you to smoke. Regardless of the "beneficial" effects of smoking, don't do it. He should know better as you say and he's being daft about it, then I would leave him. If he loves you enough he would stop. As I've learned, women are very persuasive. Best of luck. Billy N.

You have every right to feel upset, angry & worried. It is very wrong for him to of gone out and done that. Yes he did tell you the truth but for him to say that and to say he was stressed, is just making up exscuses. I am a guy and I know that he knows he has done something to hurt you so know he is going to do whatever he can to keep you as his girlfriend. I personally think you should reconsider seeing him but in the end it is all up to you. All The Best! Harrison.

I understand your disappointment and your worries, but slow down please: telling the truth indeed doesn’t change the fact, nevertheless it does make it better - concerning your relationship.
Telling you that he did something wrong shows his trust in you, exceeding angry reactions could delete this trust.
Much more he should consider how to handle with those stressed situations.
Try to make him see that drugs, no matter what kind of, won’t take away the source of his stress. Of course he could spend a weekend with his friends, but if he argues it is not possible to be with his friends without drinking and smoking, that they would not accept him without – that would be a good reason to be doubtful about those friendships. Best wishes. L. Q.

First of all, if what your boyfriend has done really upsets you, than you should not allow it. If you just let it pass, your boyfriend will think you're weak and will always be okay with him doing whatever. So let him know you won't want to be with him if he does things like this. And his excuse, that he is stressed, is understandable, but if he is really stressed there are lots of other ways to take it out that are legal, like something he loves to do. Respectfully, Claire, USA.

I believe that it is part of human nature to rebel against the rules and explore new areas. What I mean by saying this is, teenagers at some point try alcohol or tobacco to feel the power of doing something perhaps "prohibited" or punished by their parents, in order to feel "freedom"... I am not implying that it is good, I am just saying what I saw happening to my own group of friends, and what I see happening to people underage all the time. It seems that young people want to feel power usually not granted to them, by doing things that only adults are supposed or allowed to do. After all, these things you mentioned they tried are not prohibited by law... So that's it, a young group of guys trying to defy the adults. It is something psychologically deep, so if you are also a really young girl, perhaps you won't get my point... However, I think you should warn him against doing that kind of thing to "relieve stress" and feel better, because it simply won't work and damages our health. Cigarette is highly addictive, and most adults who smoke nowadays started doing so when they were in their teens. One good idea could be to print out a list of the cons of smoking and the effects it has on your body so he truly knows what he's doing. Good luck and try not to feel distressed! Carolina.

Focus on the underlying issues. Find out what's bothering him and what he's trying to escape from. Just be there for him if you want to help. Try to be understanding. People self medicate because they're in pain or stress. Show him other ways of dealing with his problems that wont be as unhealthy. Even exercising helps. That being said, I don't think you have to put up with it if it bothers you that much. What is okay to some, isn't to others. It's completely okay for you to change your mind about him if he changes his behavior. Wish you the best. Love, Darem.

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