S.C. asks from Houston, TX on April 11, 2009
Smoking? - Houston,TX
I think my fiance is smoking- again! I don't have any concrete proof...just little signs. I brought it up about 2 weeks ago and he just gave me a look and said..."um, no". I want to trust him but I am concered for his health and about keeping this big thing from me. How can I bring up a discussion without causing him to feel as if I don't trust him. We communicate well on every other topic...just not this one!
K.K. answers from Killeen on April 11, 2009
where to begin...
1) smoking is a personal choice and an addiction. you cannot MAKE him quit. he has to want to for himself. you can support him regardless of his decision if you truly love him.
2) if you are worried about your child you have the right to explain to your fiance that if he chooses to smoke he will have to abide by some basic things in order to be with you and your son. he needs to smoke outside (no matter what the weather). he cannot smoke in any vehicle that your son is in. it may even be prudent to have an old coat or shirt for him to wear while smoking to help keep the smell down to a minimum. and he MUST wash his hands when he is finished smoking, and before touching your son. (all of these helps prevent a smoker from passing on second hand smoke to a child. i would also advise you to request that he not leave his cigarettes and lighter (matches,etc) anywhere that your son may be able to get them.
3) If your fiance truly loves you and your child, he should not be upset by any of these requests. My husband smokes and does not complain one bit about these very same demands upon him. Our oldest child is asthmatic and so we have to be extra careful around her.
4)if he truly wants to quit for himself then, you can only support him. he can't, and likely won't, quit for you or for your little one. he started smoking for himself due to whatever was going on in his life at the time, you cannot change this with ultimatums and guilt trips. I would love my husband to stop smoking, but until he wants to, I make sure he follows the rules regarding the kids and, because i love him, i deal with it.
5) regarding the fact that he may have started and is hiding it...it may have to do with the fact that if he is, he is not ready to admit to even himself that quitting this time around has failed. it could be that he does not want to have a fight with you about the subject, or that because you want him to quit so much, he is worried you will leave him if he has started again.
6) if he is smoking again you can tell when he kisses you. even if he has recent brushed his teeth, you will be able to taste it during the kiss. give him an out (an easy way to tell you) and ask if he was around someone who was smoking that day. See if he confesses it was him or tries to change the subject.
7) whether he is ready to admit it or not (or if he has quit and it is a non issue) tell him, if he is struggling with it and having one now and then to try and get through the hardest parts that you support his effort but to please make sure and abide by the "rules" in number two for the health and safety of your son.
If this came across as preachy, i apologize. I myself never imagined i would marry a smoker. But, I absolutely adore my husband, and as long as he keeps our children's health safety foremost to his bad habit, then he can continue until he is ready to stop.
Good Luck... ;-)
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A.C. answers from Houston on April 11, 2009
You've gotten some great advice and I second it. My ex-husband stopped smoking before we got married. I never gave him and ultimatum about it, just had the "don't do where I have to experience it in any way" rules.
However, a few years after we were married, he started sneaking and it was huge problem. Talk about a loss in trust since I had always supported his right to make his own decision!
You can agree on the "rules" but you also have to accept that this is part of him. It is an addiction and many people use it as a way to cope with stressful situations--but I still believe that people make a choice to smoke the first smoke. He could stop now and could vulnerable in the future. Make sure you consider that as you plan your future. You two need to be able to have an open discussion about this issue.
Keep in mind that if he continues to smoke, it will always be a barrier between you. It will take him away from family time, dinner, activities with your kids. Your life and medical insurance will be more expensive and you risk a shorted life with him. If you feel very strongly about a smoke-free home, how will you explain this to your children.
I wish you every happiness and hope that you are able to resolve this matter.
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A.M. answers from Austin on April 11, 2009
It is hard to quit. My fiancee had said many times he is gonna quit. Before his son was born, but He hasn't. So he smokes outside and he makes sure he washes his hands and brushes his teeth before he handles the boys.
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W.C. answers from San Antonio on April 11, 2009
I agree with Kate for the most part, but this would be an absolut deal breaker for me. I have specificaly not dated men because they are smokers and my own husband quit for me so I would date him. Turned out well for both of us.
2nd and 3rd hand smoke is not allowed in daycares or schools, so it absolutly would not be allowed around my child. I can't kiss a smoker. You don't need to have concrete proof. You can smell it and taste it on him, and if he thinks that you can't he is not only underestimating you but also disrespecting you. Good luck.
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