31 answers

I Feel like My Husband Is Lying to Me, What Do I Do?

When I first met my husband he smoked (cigarettes) and he quit (thank goodness) when I found out I was pregnant.

My husband would come home smelling like cigarettes everyday but told me that it was because his coworker smoked (he's an electrician and sits in a van with a smoker all day). He would also go outside and come back in the house and smell like smoke. He said he was talking to the neighbors who smoke.
But about 6 months ago I caught him smoking. I was so hurt. Not by the smoking but by the lying.
He says he has not smoked since then but I keep finding cigarette ashes and loose tobacco in his car. Everytime I bring it up he gets angry and says he is not smoking. But I can't help but have a suspision. It also makes me wonder what else he could be lying to me about.

I don't know what to do. Any suggestions?

Ok, I just want to be clear. I have been very supportive of my husband and I have never pressured him to quit. Yes, I'm relieved that he quit but I have never gave him an ultamatum. He quit on his own. If he would just come to me and say he's having a hard time quitting than I would be very understanding and try to help him with whatever he needs help with. It's the lying I'm having a problem with. And I'm not looking for evidence that he's lying it's just there, like the smell.

1 mom found this helpful

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

I would ask him if he smokes and tell him that if he doesn't lie, you will accept the truth. If he tells you the truth, don't get mad!!! Accept who he is and appreciate that he has been smoking outside.

If you must cry. This is something to be disappointed about, more that mad. In fact disappointment will be more effective in changing his behavior than anger. Make him brush his teeth before he kisses you and change his clothes (and wash them himself) before he holds the baby or kiss you. Don't be angry--just be nice about it.

Good luck.

More Answers

Hi E.,
I was a smoker and I just have to share this with you. As a smoker, the person who smokes doesn't have much of a clue how much (BAD) they smell from cig. smoke because they have lost their ability to smell it. The reason they tell you they didn't smoke is because they don't want to hurt you but at the same time, can't stop. I can tell you that it is almost impossible for your husband to quit right now as long as he is working with someone who smokes right in front of him and especially right in the truck with him every day. It likens to being on a diet and everyone in the room gets to eat and you only get water and bread. Every day!!!!! The other gals who explained that he has to quit on his own where right on. There is nothing you can do but tell him how much it smells and how it affects everyone including him and is harmful to your family. I smoked 37 years and tried many times to quit. Had no idea how it reeked until I wasn't smoking any more. It takes a lot of long hard thinking about the fact that it is a dirty habit, brings out the worst in you (by lying), bad for your family, etc. Maybe you could ask him if he could please wash his clothes as they smell badly and you can't stand to have them in the laundry room :o). Mostly, I guess, the way to approach this whole subject is to ask him to try to quit for your family and maybe he can even get his partner at work to quit too. It's a funny thing but, all of a sudden, I suppose after listening to people beg me to quit for years, I just threw my cigarette away and never wanted another. It's been ten years now. Wow! By the way, I never lie but, I did lie several times about quitting smoking. So I guess I can't say I never lie... Give yourself a break and don't beat yourself up over someone elses habit. You will only make yourself miserable. There are many other ways of bringing this up without being an accuser. You know he smokes, don't make him lie about it. I'm so sorry to carry on like this but, I definitely understand both sides of this subject. Don't forget that even if he does quit he could fall back many times. It doesn't mean he doesn't want to. It's a vicious circle for a while. So much to say about the subject. By the way, it doesn't mean he lies about other things. I wish you all the very best.

3 moms found this helpful

Ok. I feel like this will be a post that others may not agree with (given the many "OMG He's LYING! He -MUST- be lying about other stuff! Watch yourself!" posts) but I feel it must be said.

Your husband is still smoking. At least he's not smoking in the house or around you and the baby. You. Are. NOT. Going. To. Make. Him. Quit. If he wants to quit (for himself) then he will. Until then, don't nag. Just outright tell him that you know... and to make sure that he showers afterward. Simple and direct.

As for the lying... Seriously?? I know that it hurts your trust, but he's -trying- to not disappoint you or hurt your feelings. He may be doing a piss-poor job of it, but this particular lie equates (in a man's mind) to saying "No, hunny, those pants don't make your butt look big at all." and -not- "No, hunny, I'm not cheating on you at work." Those are two different thought processes. Trust me on this.

In conclusion, tell him that you know (don't try to trap him into admitting it, just -tell- him) in a calm manner, ask him to shower and brush his teeth after he gets home, and don't go overboard with the whole "OMGWTFBBQ LYING!!!111!!" business.

3 moms found this helpful

Maybe he would not be keeping things from you if you were not acting like his parent. He may well be telling you the truth at the time when he says this is my last cig. Cig. addiction is hard to beat. If he is not ready to quit for himself then he is not ready. If he really is ready to quit he could go to his md and get some medication to ease off nicotine. Pills much better than over the counter patches.He is not smoking in your house or around you. What are some reasons he would be telling you he is not smoking? If he told you he was still smoking what would you say? I feel it probably makes you sad to think he is not telling you the truth. You can only change yourself and your reactions and inturn may see different results.(insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results) Good luck

2 moms found this helpful

Ok, I just need to put in my 2 cents worth. I am a former smoker too. I also spent 6 months 'hiding' smoking from my husband but after I came out and admitted I was smoking again he said that he knew but didn't confront me about it. It is a bad addiction and it took me about 8 tries over the course of 22 years to finally quit. All I can suggest is to be supportive of his efforts and DO NOT NAG. The pressure from others to quit makes it impossible to do so. You just crave the nicotine all the more. He knows it's bad for his health, he knows you don't like it, he knows it's expensive, etc, etc, etc. He is "lying" because he doesn't want to disappoint you. I highly doubt he is lying about anything else. All you can do is be there to support him as your husband and the father of your child. Do not let your relationship die because of this.

2 moms found this helpful

My husband smoked and dipped when I met him - both pretty gross in my mind. We have a pretty open line of communication in our relationship and I told him that he is a grown up, and he can make his own choices but I would prefer if he would abstain around me. He decided he was ok with that. When he decided to quit, I was very supportive. However, he has had several relapses and has struggled with telling me. He knew I was proud of him for quitting and didn't want to disappoint me. So even though he wouldn't admit it, I just told him that I understand how hard it is to change a habit like that. I have never had to deal with the smoking thing, but I do struggle with changing my habits in regards to making healthy eating choices, and smoking must be a whole different level of struggle considering that it is not just a habit, but an addiction. I also straight up told him that it was ok with me if he wanted to start smoking again, as long as he continued to respect my desire to avoid second hand smoke and that our relationship was the most important thing to me and that requires honest communication.

I guess what I am saying is that it is tough to quit smoking, but that is not an excuse to lie to your spouse. I would make it very clear that you value the relationship and honesty and that if smoking was a deal-breaker you would have never started dating him, so while it may not be your favorite habit, you would rather deal with smoking than a spouse that doesn't value your marriage enough to be honest with you. Marriage is for better or worse, and spouses need to be partners through the tought stuff as well as the fun stuff.

If he is not willing to listen to you, and just continues to deny smoking, or if you don't think you can remain calm during this conversation, then write him a letter and leave it for him when you know he has a minute.

If he feels safe being honest with you, he is more likely to do so. Also, knowing that you care more about HIM than his smoking or nonsmoking staus is important.

2 moms found this helpful

You are his wife, not his mother.
If he is lying (and it sounds like he is) it's because he doesn't want to disappoint you, or perhaps he doesn't want to listen to you lecture him.
He knows he "should" quit, but like one other mom said, nicotine is very addictive.

Is there REALLY a doubt in your mind that he is smoking? And isn't he a grown man? When a smoker quits they need to be the ones to make that choice. No amount of investigating on your part will help this.
I know it's hard, because it's the principle of the issue of lying.
But I don't think you could logically get suspicious and label him as a sneaky bad man. Try to take a huge step back and not judge him.
I would just drop the questioning.
You can still wrinkle your nose when you smell it. You can still turn your head if he's been smoking and then tries to kiss you. You don't have to support it. But just try to be more passive about it. Your accusations and his denials will only put more space between you and your husband. He needs to know you love him and accept him - in spite of his faults.
Wouldn't you want the same from him?
Good luck.

2 moms found this helpful


I would have to say that I am in the same boat, more or less, with you. About 5 years ago, my husband and I and some friends made a pact that we would all quit smoking together. Well, I was the only one who actually quit. Several months later I was noticing the same things as you, the smelling of smoke, his breath, weird trips "out to the garage" and things like that. I knew he was still smoking but wasn't quite sure how to handle it. I would say first and foremost that quitting smoking was the most difficult thing I've ever done and I really don't think anything life deals me will compare. I actually was afraid of confronting my husband for fear that if I brought it out in the open then he would think, "well, she knows, now I'll just smoke all the time". At least the way things were meant he was smoking very rarely while home and who knows how much at work. I have dropped little sarcastic hints here and there over the years that I'm not stupid, but beyond that I leave him alone. Like everyone else has said, if you harp on him or nag him or treat him like a child, he will most likely never quit. I know my husband is disappointed in himself and really wishes he had the willpower to quit, he just hasn't found it yet. Your husband probably feels the same way. I really, highly doubt he is lying to you about other things and frankly, I have never thought that about my own husband. Again, like someone else said, he doesn't see this as a lie. My suggestion to you would be to try leaving him alone for awhile. Stop searching for ways to "catch him" and maybe he'll come around on his own.

Good luck to you!

2 moms found this helpful

Nicotine is a very compelling addiction, and addictions are hard to break. The user has to completely want to drop the habit, and even at that, most smokers have to try several times before they (might) finally succeed.

Your husband may well be lying to you in this one particular area because you are so insistent that he break this habit, and he wants to tell you what you want to hear. He probably wishes it were so, also.

If you can scale back the pressure, judgment, nagging, worrying out loud, whatever form your conversations take around the subject of smoking, you'll actually be removing one of his reasons to smoke. No, he probably doesn't smoke to make you upset, but to deal with pressure and feel better. Pressure from others, pressure from work, from bills, from worry, etc, all make it much more difficult to resist any addiction that might bring relief, however temporarily.

What if you were to just let him know you recognize how difficult it must be to have a habit that's so hard to break? You'll give him a chance to decide for himself whether he wants to quit.

Let him know that you'll gladly support him in any way that he asks, but that the choice is ultimately his. He already knows it's important to you, but it has to be as important to him for his own reasons. That's really the only way he's likely to succeed. In the meantime, be grateful that he does his smoking outside. You could ask him to change clothes when he comes home reeking, because even those deposits can have health consequences for your daughter and you.

Good luck. This is a hard one.

2 moms found this helpful

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