Forum: Adults / Married Life

He smokes. How can this be managed?
By Gavrilushka
On Wed Dec 05, 2012 08:11 AM

It took me six months to take my partner off smoking cigarettes because I strongly dislike the habit - the smoke, the way that smell sticks to everything, the taste, the way it makes ME cough, how in the future it could potentially kill him and cause him cancer and respiratory problems...And so a year has passed and he entered special forces training and...started smoking again.

He comes back home this Friday and says he only smokes twice a day so it's 'not a big deal' - yet we all know overtime as he gets too used to it, he'll increase his nicotine dosage. But as much as I love him I can't tolerate the smoking. Even if he does smoke outside, his clothes and breath are going to smell like ash and I really hate the thought that he finds pleasure in doing something which will end up wrecking havoc on his health. He says it's a good stress reliever and what not, and through gritted teeth I said it's fine if he smokes when he's at training or deployment - you know, places where he can get stressed - but definitely not when he is at home. Really, that is the only compromise I can offer, but he's not agreeing to it.

So really, I need some help. How do you deal with the stubborn alpha male who won't quit smoking? What other compromises or strategies could be made? I'm actually pretty desperate for ideas - I mean I do hate smoking, but my biggest concern is his health. I think I should be spared worrying about what those cigarettes are doing to him since I already worry about what his job does or could do to him. :(

7 Replies to He smokes. How can this be managed?

re: He smokes. How can this be managed?
By marinafever
On Wed Dec 05, 2012 11:38 AM
It is hugely difficult to impose on someone a smoking ban. Truth is that they know full well all the health issue associated with it and yet it is not a strong enough argument to make them stop.
Being overly pushy nd agressive is not going to take you anywhere and possibly make things even worse. Take a step back and continue to demonstrate your distaste.
re: He smokes. How can this be managed? (karma: 1)
By AlwaysOnStagePremium member
On Wed Dec 05, 2012 06:23 AM
Edited by AlwaysOnStage (90901) on 2012-12-05 06:27:36
When I started dating my to-be-husband, he smoked. I didn't know that when we met, but when I found out, I told him in no uncertain terms that I will never have a long-term relationship with a smoker. The smoke as well as the residue makes it incredibly hard for me to breathe normally, and it's just not realistic for me to be around that for the rest of my life. Additionally, I think it's repulsive.

He had about a week after this convo, where he would go smoke out on the patio so his house wouldn't smell like smoke, but I still couldn't be around him/kiss him until the residue wore off of him (or washed off of him) and he chose to quit. I supported the choice, but I didn't demand the choice...he could have chosen to keep smoking and our relationship would have ended.

It's fine if smoking is a deal breaker, it is and always has been for me, however I don't think it's fine for you to try and force this personal decision on your partner (boyfriend or committed partner?). Until he's ready and committed to it on his own, you're not making your relationship any better by making him stop: it may be "better" for you, but resentment builds and the whole relationship gets much less healthy and much more likely to fail. For that reason, I have no "tips" to make him stop.

Sorry, I totally missed that this was in "Married Life" the first time around. I guess that does make things more difficult now, but the basics of my post is still the same--even though you're together in a committed way, smoking is still a PERSONAL choice. If he's not willing to change, or to compromise, then the question becomes if you're gonna be okay living with the way things are since he started smoking again.
re: He smokes. How can this be managed?
By Gavrilushka
On Wed Dec 05, 2012 02:10 PM
Sorry if I came off as a bit hostile, but no. It's not really a deal breaker for me - I mean it was when we were dating but like you mentioned, we're committed now so it's fairly different.

I'm not trying to force him to stop, by no means, I just don't want him smoking around me for a number of reasons and I don't want his smoking habit to worsen. You see, all my life my mother was living with cancer - a genetic mutation caused from way back in the Hiroshima bombings. The cancer took both of my grandparents when my mother was 14 and her and her 4 siblings had to move to Osaka to live with other relatives. What actually took my mother's life though was not the cancer caused by that, but was actually linked to smoking. My mother never smoked, but a lot of her colleagues and friends and family members did smoke and it affected her passively.

So for me this issue is beyond me just having an aversion to smoking, but because I actually lost a family member to smoking related illness as well as seeing up close the pain and trauma that cancer creates. Just the thought that my partner could become a victim to his own smoking tears to me shreds inside because all I can think about is that this is killing him.
re: He smokes. How can this be managed?
By Gioiamember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Thu Dec 06, 2012 01:26 AM
You won't be able to get him to quit. He will have to do it for himself, it is hard enough to quit when you WANT to. So imagine how much harder it is to quit when you don't want to. The only thing I can think of that you might be able to do is buy him an e-cigarette. You don't have to worry about any of the smoke and ash nastiness, and he can get his nicotine fix. It is the only thing that I know of that has worked for everyone that I know who has tried it, including myself.
re: He smokes. How can this be managed?
By Summer
On Thu Dec 06, 2012 02:14 PM
You say this is not a deal-breaker for you...but is that really the case?

Think about it for a second. Your family has a history of death related to smoking. Your partner's health is obviously something very important to you; are you going to be able to just suck it up and live with it if the smoking does cause some sort of disease? What if YOU get sick from secondhand smoke? All I'm saying here is that this could be a major sticking point. I know that for me personally, smoking is 100% a deal breaker; if my husband smoked, he wouldn't be my husband, just because I can't be with someone who doesn't value their body enough not to voluntarily put terrible things into it. I have had one family member die of COPD from cigarettes, and one more going the exact same way right now. It's awful, and it would break my heart to have to deal with that in my spouse.

So, take a good look at exactly where you stand on this one before you do anything else.
re: He smokes. How can this be managed?
By Krystalmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Thu Dec 06, 2012 03:27 PM
Edited by Krystal (73000) on 2012-12-06 15:28:38
I totally understand where you're coming from. My husband started this gross dipping habit ever since joining the Marine Corps. He tried to tell me for months that he didn't do it, but I found it in his car one day and we got in a huuuge argument about it. I hate that it could give him cancer, I hate the smell of it, I just HATE IT ALL and it's just so gross. I can't count how many fights we've had about it, but I've realized fighting won't get either of us anywhere. I can't force him to quit, nothing I say will make him want to. I try really hard to just ignore it now, and it's actually made me feel better about it. I still KNOW he does it, he still knows I know, but we don't fight about it. The only thing I ask him to do is to not leave his gross spit bottles around the house, and he does that (at least).

There's probably something I do that annoys him to no end too, I'm sure there is. But he never says anything to me so I can at least do the same for him. I always notice he does it more when he's stressed (and bored), so minimizing stress at home is something I always try to do. This is really the only thing he does that annoys me, so I guess I'm lucky it's this and not a hundred other things.
re: He smokes. How can this be managed?
By spandex_lover
On Fri Dec 07, 2012 07:37 PM
My boyfriend has smoked since he was 14. He's now 29. We started dating when he was 26, but because we didn't live together I didn't really notice how much it bothered me.

We moved in two years ago, and I just could not stand the smell. It grossed me out. I begged him to quit. He'd quit, then start, then quit, then start. Nothing could make it stick!

So. I ended up telling him that the more he smokes, the less he will get to see me naked. It took about a week of me in a turtleneck and sweats around the clock.. but he quit! Haha. Nothing like motivation?


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