April 13, 2009,
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... ;-)
5 moms found this helpful
L.M. answers from Houston on April 13, 2009
My heart goes out to you!
The reason why you guys do not communicate on this is because smoking is a serious addiction and it will take more than one time for him to "quit". If you smell smoke on him, try not to be the 'smoke police' and say "have you been smoking again?"
Anything stressful can trigger a set-back. You have to see it as an addiction and not something he chooses to do when things get hard...it is a coping mechanism that has to be unlearned....but it has to be on his own time. I know this sucks, but if this is something that was there before, then you already knew this was something that would be a part of the relationship.
Just ask yourself if this is something you are willing to put up with possibly for the rest of your life. If not, then make some decisions now if it something you know will be a sore spot throughout the relationship if he does not quit. In the meantime: no smoking in the house and just be tactful when asking him about quitting.
I hope it does not seem as if I am on his side, but everybody has choices to make on what they can and cannot put up with. This is a crucial time, and if you can't deal with it, then so be it. But if you can, so be that too!
1 mom found this helpful
J.M. answers from Odessa on April 13, 2009
After seeing my father die from COPD and emphysema, I fully understand addiction to nicotene. I do not understand your fiance's deception. Trust is earned and it is very easily damaged. You should talk to him and tell him your concerns and let him know you think he is being dishonest. Help him to understand that smoking and/or deception is not something you will tolerate. I really think you need to take some time to re-evaluate your relationship. I think these are character flaws that will be brought into your marriage and could ultimately destroy it. Never, ever compromise the integrity of yourslef and especially your child when choosing a mate.
1 mom found this helpful
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.
1 mom found this helpful
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.
1 mom found this helpful
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.
1 mom found this helpful
M.E. answers from Austin on April 12, 2009
I used to smoke and my husband hated it. He nagged me about quitting, he made an issue of my son's health, he talked about my breath, etc. It was the one thing between us but the more he expressed his dislike of my smoking the more I smoked. Not to smite him but because smoking was my comfort. And when he was critical, I wanted to be comforted. Smoking feels good. When you are angry or sad, it helps numb your feelings a little. When you're scared, it gives you a boost of confidence. When you need comfort or refuge, it provides. It's consistently able to deliver on things that others can't and don't. The only one who could help me quit smoking was God. I made Him my comfort, my refuge, my source of confidence. This may sound silly but only someone addicted could tell you this. When my husband finally stopped making an issue of my smoking and accepted me totally as I was (not as he wanted me to be), then I was free to seek God's help. I smoked outside and that never bothered me. Probably won't bother your husband either. But the fact that he would hide it - is it his own shame or is it that he's concerned about your reaction - do you accept him? Are you a safe place for him to share his heart?
Tough issue. Hope that the perspective of a former smoker helps!
1 mom found this helpful
N.T. answers from San Antonio on April 12, 2009
I agree with everyone's response but remember he is sneaking it because you harp on him about it. Smoking is not an easy thing to quit. Sure they have patches, medication and what not but they don't work for everyone. He knows how you feel and I am sure he feels bad that he can't quit the habit so be patient with him and support him versus nag at him about it. Sorry but some non-smokers can really be horrible with people who do smoke. Don't you think that most smokers would like to just quit? Maybe some enjoy it and don't want to quit but with the price of cigarettes today should be an incentive to at least try to quit as well as for your health and that of others, but nothing is worse than a naggy non-smoker. I know as my husband continues to smoke and he was smoking well before I met him and I have come to realize I can't make him quit and nor would I divorce him because of it because I love him and he is a good man and I know it is very hard for him. Be patient and supportive. If he really wants to quit he will try and if he fails which most do a few times before they finally do quit, just support him and encourage him. Good Luck.
1 mom found this helpful
J.B. answers from Houston on April 12, 2009
Well I think you just have to decide if smoking is a deal breaker. I smoked in high school and it was a tough thing to quit, I really only got out of it with the help of God. I know people who try for years and never quite kick the habit. My cousin started weaning himself down little by little and I think after about two years stopped completely. If your guy is doing it for you only, then it will be almost impossible for him to really stop. However,if he has the desire then I say support him and allow him to talk about the struggles he has with kicking the habit. I am not trying to discourage you at all, he can stop! But only if he really wants to. If he has seasons where he falls back into it, I think you guys can make an agreement that he always smoke outside and never around your son etc. But whatever you do just don't judge him over it or make it a really big deal. When you have a problem you usually already feel bad about it, added guilt really doesn't help. I think talking to him and finding out if he really wants to quit right now is a great start. Encourage him to be honest, if he doesn't want to he won't anyway. If he doesn't you just have to decide if you can live with it or not. If you do stay in the game, just pray for him and encourage him and praise him like crazy for every little success, even if it is just two days without a smoke. If he is ready I believe there are a lot of programs online that can help him or check with the dr. Hang in there!!
J.P. answers from Houston on April 12, 2009
You might think about letting up on him about his
smoking. He might look at it like it is a control
issue. IT NEEDS TO BE HIS DECISION TO QUIT SMOKING
or it will always be an issue of some sort between
you. Being on the outside, (I THINK THAT) I would
let him know my concerns for his health, and other
than asking him to "please don't smoke in the home
or car or other closed areas" and let him quit when
the time is right for his success. It should not
seem like a control issue between you. I would also
make a conscience decision to not bring it up over
and over. State your feelings, then let him decide.
Good luck, from an former smoker
S.R. answers from Austin on April 12, 2009
This is a hard one. My fiance smokes. A lot. He is not permitted to smoke in my car, in our house, or garage. He does the best he can, but when I gripe about it, the smoking increases. We had an issue of him sneaking and smoking in the garage. I was outraged because it is against our agreement and our laundry is out there. Now, what I do, is encourage activities that require him to be more healthy (mountain bike racing). He is talking about quitting on his own. If you smell smoke, ask him where did the smoke smell come from? Take his answer at face value until you catch him otherwise. Quitting is hard. Staying "quit" is even harder than stopping. Good luck
L.A. answers from Austin on April 13, 2009
I absolutely cannot tolerate lies. Especially from an adult.
If he says he has stopped smoking, I would give him the benefit of the doubt, because I am sure you have told him, "I will not get mad at you if you tell me the truth. If you lie to me, you will break my heart and my trust."
This is the rule in our family. Tell the truth and we will not be mad, we may be disappointed, but we can work that out.
Smoking is a terrible addiction. It affects his body like you cannot understand. I cannot tolerate it even for a moment. It would be a deal breaker for me. If you knew that he smoked when you began dating him, then you loved him as he was. You cannot change him, he has to want to change.
You may have to come up with a compromise, or maybe as a wedding gift he could go and get acupuncture and see his Dr. for advice on how to stop.
BTW have you and your fiance seen this commercial about stopping smoking?
S.O. answers from San Antonio on April 12, 2009
If he said no, let it go. There are more important things to worry about in this life. Even if he's lying and truly started smoking again. There are worse things you could be facing instead. Relax. If you are overly suspicious or controlling, he will resent you instead of seek your admiration. Every man has his short-comings.
J.H. answers from Houston on April 12, 2009
Just what little signs make you feel this way? Have a talk with him and tell him what you suspect and why and give him a chance to answer. Look him straight in the eyes and accept whatever answer he gives then drop it. If you find out later that he really is still smoking then you have to decide if he'll lie about what else will he lie about, and do you want to continue the relationship. Leave it all in his hands.