Girlfriends past drug use.


New Member
Hello, I stumbled across this forum whilst doing on-line research and decided to sign up to ask for some advise and perspective.

I have been going out with a girl (29, we are the same age) for just over a year now. I love her very much - in fact I love her to the point where I envision her being my wife one day, and the person I spend the rest of my life with.

There has been an issue which has been a cancer on our entire relationship however - her former drug use, and her current attitude towards it.

I've never considered myself anti drugs. I've never done drugs (outside of smoking weed two times in my late teens) the concept has never interested me. I've read far too much about drugs, drug related death, drug related culture over the years from a completely objective perspective, coupled with my upbringing, for it to be something I would never want associated with my life.

Very early into my relationship with her, as a general question, I asked her if she had ever done drugs. She nervously chuckled and told me she had smoked week, done cocaine, ecstacy, MDMA, mushrooms, I believe mescaline and one or two other things I've either forgotten or repressed.

I was shocked. I was getting to know a girl I thought had such great potential and I would have never of pegged her for choosing to live a life like this. I asked myself, if she was willing to do this, what else was she willing to do in her life? Where is her moral compass set?

Cocaine stood out the worst of that list, and the image of her doing it has haunted me for a long time. It's very upsetting for me to picture. She told me she only did it one time. I always thought she was lying however, in the knowledge of my feelings. Last week I looked through her Email accounts to try and get to the bottom of a few things as it was continuing to eat me up. I saw a reference to her doing it more than once.

Upon confronting her, she said she actually did it three times. On further probing, she once did three lines in one nights, which she counts as one occasion. I have no idea about the other times - and I wouldn't necessary believe whatever she told me.

All of this was between 3 and 5 years ago. She no longer does drugs - which I do totally believe. She chalks it up to a period in her life where she experimented during her club scene days with her friends. There have been many contradictions from her over the past year about the subject leaving me with the feeling of hopelessness,. I have no idea what currently goes through her head.

She stated she never regretted the drug use, and didn't see it as a bad thing. That's hurtful for me to hear because it differs from my own outlook of values, so drastically.

Several of her friends still use drugs. The friends she used to do drugs with - I don't have a clue. I assume the attitudes haven't changed much. It's distressing for me to think of her hanging around these people who influence her life.

We had a huge argument the other night where she stated if we had children one day, and those children reached an age where they asked about rug use, she would feel happy to tell them, and warn against it. In a second I pictured the Mother of my children telling the kids Mum snorted cocaine, and it broke my heart. I told her I could no longer go forward with this relationship as I felt this issue would never be concluded unless she denounced her drug use to me - and felt such in her heart. I'm not overly religious, but I'd liken it to confessing a sin to be cleansed. The fact she doesn't consider what she did bad, will always / would always be a problem.

We live together and I have stated that I will stay away from the house for a few days in order for her to pack her stuff and leave / find a new home. In my heart I don't want her to go anywhere, I love her. I want her to stay. But my head is telling me this will be a catch 22 situation if she stayed.

She feels she can't talk to me because I'm too judgemental. I probably am in all honesty.

We considered going to see a councillor just before we decided to end the relationship. Do you think this could have gone ways to save the relationship, which otherwise is very loving and wonderful.

I'm reaching out for help here guys. Would sincerely appreciate some honest opinions to the matter.

Thank You


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Staff member
Oh, wow. I have several thoughts. One, if the drug use is truly a thing of the past, it is not fair for you to hold it against her. Many people experiment and then move on.

Two, I am more concerned about your snooping on her. A relationship is built on trust and it seems like you can't let go of this and it is going to ruin your relationship (or already has).

I don't know many adults who didn't experiment to at least some degree even if was just smoking a little pot. Some admit their drug use to their children and some choose not to. I think that is up to your girlfriend . . . not you.

It sounds like the problem here is more you than her. I hope you can work on this together if you truly love each other. Counseling sounds like a wonderful idea.



New Member
Hi Kathy, thank you for your honesty!

Yes the drugs are a thing on the past, but I can't explain how horrible it is for me to picture her doing it. If it was something she regretted or felt shame over, it would be a VERY different story. I'd never hold it against her, ever! But where she doesn't regret it and just thinks of it as "one of those things" it's troubling to me.

Probably should have mentioned this: the entire issue got stirred up massively about six months ago when one of her "friends" and her boyfriend offered her cocaine inside a house on a Sunday afternoon. She told me right away, but again, it bothered me that she truly wasn't bothered or offended by this. It bothers me that these people are her friends! I don't want this negative influence in her life and effecting our relationship. So it's not totally in the past, as events happen all the time which make it topical, again, if her mindset was different it wouldn't be an issue either. But knowing she sees no problem with it is painful.

RE the snooping, this is something I have said I don't regret. I admit, it's not ideal. But for over a year I've been having a horrible feeling that I was being lied to - checking her Emails gave me the answer - that I was. I really feel the means justifies the ends on that one.

And whilst I understand a lot of people experiment, in my experience people who experiment in her environments are not good people. I sat down with her and was able to name - from experience - cheats, racists, promiscuous people, etc. And whilst they may exist in all walks of life: it's not a coincidence they are so easily identified in that culture. I think anybody would be hard pressed to suggest anybody supplying her with heavy drugs / using with her, were looking out for her best interests.

I just feel with the length of use, manner and quantity, this was more than experimenting. I feel this is something that really needs addressing, however she finds it impossible to talk with me about it.
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Well-Known Member
I have conflicting thoughts here. I dont know your age but a whole lot of us are baby boomers who came of age in the 60's and 70's. The vast majority of those people at least experimented a tad bit and now they are running our country. While I am not a CEO or anything like that, I do consider that I came through the 70's without too much damage. I experimented as much as the next gal and I really dont feel a lot of guilt over it. I have told my kids that I experimented but I also told them I put away my toys when I grew up. I didnt share intimate details though. None of their business.

I would have an issue with a so called friend inviting my partner to do cocaine in my house. Not so much that it was just the drugs but obviously your girlfriend knows your stance on drug use and she should have the respect to not have people in your house with drugs. It would tick me off to no end if someone came here and offered me some. I would also be ticked off if someone came over and wanted to store stolen goods...same idea.


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Staff member
I guess I am troubled about your attitude that your girlfriend should be ashamed of her past. I would think that experimenting with drugs but then walking away from them is something to be celebrated . . . not be ashamed of. I guess having a daughter who is a drug user colors my judgment. If she truly ever left drugs behind it would something to be proud of and I wouldn't want someone telling her that she should be ashamed of her past.

The fact that your girlfriend still is friends with drug users is troublesome. Have you ever asked her why she is still friends with them?

You and your girlfriend need help with communication and learning to trust each other. That is something a good couples therapist would be able to help you with. She may not want to talk to you about it because she feels you judge her. I also still think it was wrong of you to check her emails. I couldn't imagine my husband invading my privacy like that.

Since you say that you love her very much, I would say that you should try to fix the relationship. Moving out is probably a good idea, though. I think that you could both use some space right now.

I am going to change my user name to Dear Abby. LOL



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I'm just thinking that it's perhaps not a very good match. I tell my kids pretty much everything I've done and, although it does not include drugs, it is an honest picture of me so that they know me then as they do now and I do use it for lesson teaching. I think it's better not to lie to your kids about anything...things have a way of coming back anyway.

I think maybe you should rethink your relationship. I think that once somebody is no longer using drugs, it is the past. I also find it troubling that she still hangs with drug addicts though. All in all, no matter how much you love her, think it over carefully...this won't go away and may not be a good match for either of you.

If you want the future mother of your children to never have used drugs and can't get the idea that this one did and isn't ashamed of it out of your head, I think it is probably best for you to find somebody who never used drugs so that there is nothing in her background to tell your kids and you will have somebody who is more in sync with your own value system.

My daughter quit using drugs some ten years ago, but never says she was ashamed of herself for doing it. She had her reasons and all of us have moved past it. She felt she grew stronger having overcome it.

I would ask one question though. Were you a young man who ran around messing around with different women a lot? If so, should she be ashamed of you for that and unable to believe you will be faithful to her?

You can not control another person. You can not make her ashamed because she went through some wild times. It is not within your power to make her ashamed nor should you want to. Instead, you should be proud that she is the person she is TODAY. I think you should let her leave so she can find somebody who accepts her.

I deal in the present.
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New Member
DammitJanet, thank you for your feedback. To clarify, the drug offering wasn't in my own home - it was in hers which she shared with the other girl. But your point about respect is something I did bring up. This other girl knew of the problems in our relationship, yet still offered it. My girlfriend was quick to defend her friend in saying "She was going through a lot that weekend / didn't give it too much thought / wouldn't read into it" But she always defends her friends, no matter what. In my girlfriends defence, she went back to that girl and allegedly (sadly, I have to take anything she says with a pinch of salt now) that such a situation could never happen again. Sadly, it is my belief that when she talks to her friends about drugs, she would have a VERY different attitude to the one I receive.


Kathy, thanks again. I have asked, yes. She says the drug use is just a small part of who they are. Again, it troubles me she doesn't see cocaine use as a big deal.

RE the celebration aspect, it's not that I want her to beat herself up over the subject (she believes this is what I want, despite me trying to explain that it most certainly isn't). I just would prefer it if she one day came to the realisation of "That wasn't who I was, I was off track, that isn't in line with my character" rather than her attitude of "It's in the past, it doesn't say anything about me" which I think is having your head in the sand. Especially given the fact her best friends are still users who she regularly lends money to.


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Staff member
That wasn't who I was, I was off track, that isn't in line with my character"

"It's in the past, it doesn't say anything about me

The thing is, I don't see those two statements as all that different. She is saying it is in the past and doesn't define who she is today. I think you just want her to say what you want to hear.

I think MWM may be right. Maybe you need to find someone that fits better into what you are looking for in a future wife and mom. It doesn't sound like this woman is going to ever be what you want her to be.

There is nothing wrong with that and it is better that you find this out now than when you are married and have two kids.



Well-Known Member
Argh....I just dont know. This whole thing is so iffy.

I do think it may make a difference in your current age and when the "past" is. As the past 10 or 15 years ago (or more) or is the past - 2 years ago (or less). That makes a big difference to me. I am 52 and what I did at 16 has very little bearing on who I am today. It was a whole different lifetime. However if I was 20 and was talking about what I did at 18, well, then you could more link my behavior. I tend to think you are on the younger side.

The whole friends thing is difficult. You cant pick her friends and if they use drugs, well that is them. She said no.


New Member
**Update: she just called to see how I was. There is still A LOT of love there. I don't want to paint the picture of us that this issue defines us. Mostly we are great, caring and a good effect on each other. This is just an issue which has reared an ugly head too often, and has escalated due to no real conclusion. It peaked the other day when I discovered she had been lying about the extent of the use for over a year.**

Thank you all for your help. I'm reading EVERY word carefully and I appreciate your help.


Yes both 29 now (just tuned last week). Drugs were from age of 24/25ish. I agree, if this were something that happened 20 years ago the distance would be significant, but this is still very fresh.

MidWestMom, thank you for your post.

Yes, when I was younger (including right before I met my girlfriend) I fooled around a lot with women. I never EVER took advantage of anybody or a situation and was always very up front. My intention wasn't always to "mess around" either, often it was in pursuit of a partner. But yes, sometimes it was just casual sex with somebody I knew full well I'd never see again.

This is something I've talked with her about actually. To my own point, it's something I said I did a little too much of towards the end and isn't something I'm totally proud of. I'd much rather of just had a girlfriend, specifically her. It was behaviour I'd totally erase with a different, happier more productive outcome in line with who I am. It's not something I dwell on or can change, but it's sincerely in my heart if asked about.

However I don't think this can be likened to heavy drug use. Maybe under the heading of "Things you wouldn't like to tell your children", but then, I wouldn't want to tell my children I used to masturbate a lot as a teenager either. Not because there was anything shameful with masturbation, rather just because it's awkward. Snorting cocaine in toilet cubicles however I do consider shameful and is far more of a "unnatural decision to be made" than having sex. Even if it's not in line with everybody's thoughts here: I know my parents would be worried / hurt if I did cocaine. If they thought I was masturbating, it would just be considered normal. Same with adults consenting sex. I know different people will have views on this: but that's the point: where do you draw the lines on decency.


Just a couple of points I want to hit on to paint a clearer picture here. Apologies for not putting it all in the initial post, things are coming to me that are probably very relevant.

1. She used to drink A LOT. She has told me she would get drunk several times a week to the extent of blacking out / vomiting etc and this is something she regrets. I pointed out to her that this would be a direct link to the drug use (and indeed a zenith of that behaviour / environment / social circle) and pointed out its odd to regret one and not the other for this reason.

I don't think it is shameful to regret actions. I'm not talking about dwelling on anything, but acknowledging our decisions and how they relate to our current mindset.

2. She labels her Mother as an alcoholic and paints a picture of a troubled upbringing. I know she has done drugs with her own Mother (weed / mushrooms) which I find shocking, and in al likelihood this has "normalised" her outlook of drugs. For all I know (and I likley never will) her Mother could have always told her stories about her own heavy drug use, normalising it to the extent she couldn't tell the woods from the trees. This is the EXACT reason I wouldn't feel comfortable with her telling our own (potential) children about her drug use, in case it cracks the door open.

If we were all faced with pressing a button whether our kids snort cocaine at conception, we'd all opt for them not to. I honestly believe our actions in raising them should be geared towards that.
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Staff member
Everyone of us on this board raised our children to avoid drugs and alcohol. One of mine did, one didn't. If you are looking for some magic way to raise a child so that he/she doesn't ever abuse drugs or alcohol let me tell you that it doesn't exist.

My children were raised in a two-parent home with parents with no history of drug or alcohol abuse, went to church faithfully on Sundays, and they both excelled in sports and school. Our oldest daughter still experimented with drugs in her late teens and is now an alcoholic and almost died from an heroin overdose a little over a year ago.

There are no guarantees when you have children. Your girlfriend's history might actually drive them away from drugs and alcohol abuse if she shared her story. However, your girlfriend might also have a genetic susceptibility that she can pass on to your children.

Honestly, though, if you dig far enough, anyone you meet will probably have a sibling, aunt or uncle, grandparent, cousin, or some other relation with a drug or alcohol problem.

You simply have to do the best job you can raising your children and hope for the best.

As far as your comparison of past casual sex to past drug use, why isn't it relevant? If you can commit to a future where you are faithful to your wife, why can't you accept that she will commit to a sober lifestyle? Especially if you are sure that she is no longer drinking or using drugs.

It sounds to me that the sticking point is that she will not use the words that you want to hear . . . that her past drug use was a big deal and it was wrong. If you can't get past that, I don't see how your relationship can continue. As far as her not telling you the extent of her past drug use . . . maybe she realized that you would have the exact reaction that you are having now and she didn't want it to come between you.


New Member
Kathy it's hard for me to look at her pretty head sometimes knowing that inside is a former heavy drug user who presently sees no problem with drug use.

I picture her snorting cocaine. I picture her remembering this and having no problem with the image. I picture her openly speaking to drug users about it and her experiences on a level of fun conversation.

It all breaks my heart.


Well-Known Member
But you don't see your own probably messing around with sex as a bad thing, even though you could have gotten an STD or fathered a child. In fact, to be honest, if you have messed around, you may HAVE a child. All of us do some things that may not be smart. I would not have married a man who had been the stud of the county, hitting on girls right and left and could not control his urges. Don't get me wrong. I am very anti-drug. My husband and I don't drink or smoke (if you smoke cigarettes, I think you are being a hypocrite...nasty habit, unnatural, often kills you).

At any rate, my daughter did drugs anyway.

There is no way, as Kathy says, that you can prevent that for sure.

On the other hand, your girlfriend IS hanging around with drug users. My daughter dumped them once she quit using drugs.

Your girlfriend drank until she blacked out...that is a serious symptom of alcoholism.

Every single one of us can only control one person in the entire world...ourselves. We can not control our girlfriends, our future spouses, or even our children. You can not make your girlfriend feel regret if she doesn't. You can push the issue until she lies to you about it maybe, but you can't make her FEEL it and you can't make her never tell your future children about her drug use. If I'd used drugs I'd have told my kids. I just don't hold back from is who I am. I wouldn't glorify it, but I wouldn't lie either.

You may love each other very much. In the end, so many love matches end in divorce. So therefore love is not enough. I think it is wisest to use your head along with your heart to evaluate if she is the one for you and if you are the one for her. It seems you do not have the same values and that's very important. You say this issue KEEPS coming up, although she has been clean now for four years. If it does, it is probably going to end up being a dealbreaker. It bothers you and it's not going to go away.

Good luck, whatever you decide to do.


New Member
Sadly yes she lied for over a year with no intention of ever telling the truth. She wen swore on my life. This was concerning the number of times she did cocaine.

However I must stress how confident I am this has nothing to do with her using drugs. It appears to be truly in her past.

Do I think she has the potential to use again? Sadly yes. If I were not in her life, god knows what her 'friend' may have gotten her doing that Sunday afternoon. God knows what guy she may have ended up with encouraging her to do 'something not that bad' one day. You know what I mean? This is why what is in her own head and heart is so important for me to know. Because it's painful to watch somebody you love who has used heavy drugs, see no real problem there, as I'm sure some of you know first hand.

The reason she lies, in my opinion, is because she does not want to be faced with the perspective of somebody who disapproves of actions of her character. This could be for many reasons.


Well-Known Member
Hi David,

I think this is something you need to find a way to let go of. You cannot control how she feels about her past or what she regrets or feels shame about. It feels a little to me like you are putting her in a position of having to tell you what you want to hear, which in essense is asking her to lie about how she really feels. Then of course you are upset when you find out she lies. That is putting her in rather a catch 22 position.

She has the right to feel however she feels about her past, to deal with it however she wants to deal with it. I really dont think you can or should ask her to feel differently.

Honestly with my difficult child I am not looking for him to feel shame about all the things he has done... I am just looking for him to rebuild his life and stay sober.

Sounds like she does regret the heavy drinking she has done in the past and has no desire to do that again. The fact she has done drugs in the past, really so what? Does it mean she will do them in the future, maybe but definitely maybe not.

She is thinking about what she would tell your kids now.... but you dont have kids yet and what she chooses to tell them or not tell them may change a lot once you have kids, what those kids are like, what your concerns are etc. I really would not even worry about that issue until it is closer at hand.

You really need to let go of her past, whatever it is. Its really her business not yours. And seriously you are putting her in a position where she is going to have to keep things from you. That would be my biggest concern right now as others have much can you trust each other? Can she trust that you wont invade her privacy by snooping? Can she trust you to not judge her or get mad when she shares something with you? Can you trust her not to lie to you?

I actually think seeing a therapist together might be a good idea but to me the big issue is not her past drug use but the trust between you.


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