And it scares the sh*t out of me.
I'll start off with my first recollection..My 29 year old BF & I have been living together since last summer. I'm 22. Kind of an age gap, but I love the guy regardless.
Late winter I remember he bought a can of "Ultra Duster" to clean his computer, and then jokingly inhales out of it to talk in one of those high pitched voices. At first I chuckled, but then I made a comment on how it's bad for you. As a teen I've witnessed kids huffing Axe cans, whipped cream, you name it..when they didn't have enough money for weed or booze. (I never got into drugs myself, but they were fairly common with kids at my high school.) So I was already aware that people do it to get an intense, brief high from doing it. From what I hear, it's also incredibly addicting.
I started becoming concerned several months ago when he started buying these things from Walmart more consistently than usual. His words were "It's just compressed air, and these cans don't go a long way." I replied with something like "I'm not stupid, I know it's not just air, how many times do you need to clean out your computer." etc.
So the next time, he says he's cleaning out his cell phone. It's a fairly new HTC Evo, there's no room inside the phone nor is it old/been through enough to accumulate enough dirt to justify spraying a whole can of Ultra Duster into it.
Also, we have a fan bolted to the bottom of our bedroom window that has an intake/exhaust switch. Again he buys another can, but this time so he can clean out the dust in the fan..
But...the climactic point was more recently. He decided to drink a few beers before I drove (sober) to Walmart for some light grocery shopping. He's just a little tipsy when we get there. Nothing too major.
Then, of course, he buys another one of these cans. I tried not to think much of it until we got home. He immediately went into the bathroom and stayed there for at least ten minutes, so I sat on the bed in the next room and started browsing the internet. Just like clockwork, I heard the sound of something being sprayed loudly in the bathroom. So I looked up at him as he walked out of the bathroom, standing in the hallway with his hand behind his back. I told him, "Look, I KNOW you're hiding something behind your back. I can see it." Almost instantly he turns away. Then I watch him quickly put the Ultra Duster in the pocket of his shorts. I made another comment on how it was sticking out of his pocket. He proceeds to go right back in the bathroom, and comes back into the bedroom. But with empty pockets this time. I asked him what he did with the can. He denied it, and acted like nothing happened.
I had a brief conversation with him yesterday regarding all of this, but I tried to approach it as calmly as possible. I asked him to be honest with me, told him he can tell me anything, I would not get upset. Just that it could be a huge problem for his health and if it were the case, I'd help him in whichever way I could. He didn't answer immediately, but then just mumbled "No." and "Why would I do that, it's like death in a can."
I haven't actually caught him doing it, but something really rubs me the wrong way. Around the same time he supposedly quit smoking weed to look for a new job, I noticed that he started becoming emotionally detached and disinterested. Somehow ended up super behind on all of his bills. He's become very dependent on me, though he makes more than I do. For example, he very recently caused a car accident (in my car, his was repossessed late last year), though he seems mad about the situation when it comes up, he's been completely unmotivated in finding himself rides to work or fixing it. I ended up dealing with it for him, and he either words things in a way that makes me feel guilty somehow, or gets mad about the situation. Withdrawn. Silent.
I'd appreciate any opinions. I'm trying to distinguish the difference between a man getting too comfortable/unhappy in his relationship, and a man who abuses substances and hides it. Frankly, I'm more worried about his health.