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to resent my DH thinking he can forbid me from smoking...

(93 Posts)
time4tea Sun 30-Sep-12 17:49:34

DH is asthmatic, I do my best to ensure a safe and healthy environment for him. He is fanatically anti-smoking, due to this, plus the angst of being a shy teenager trying to fit in in pubs with other lads, who all smoked like chimneys, and set off his asthma, but he felt he had to stick up with it to fit in... so I think this really is a "hot" emotional issue for him.

When we first met (I was 27 and a criminal defence solicitor) I did smoke, mainly for the sake of socialising with clients and colleagues - it was a very stressful environment, everyone was smoking in those days (late 1990s, pre-cigarette ban). He asked me to give up when we started going out, so I did, apart from the very very occasional one when I was at a party or something without him.

Last year he went away for a few days, leaving me on my own with our DSs for a few days. It was a very stressful time - DS2 was in the middle of some very intense potty-training problems related to poo. So one day, after a very big poo-related meltdown from DS2, I thought, fck it, I need a fag or else I will go off pop. I got the smallest packet of rolling tobacco, and rizlas, and after the children were safely in bed I had a very relaxing smoke in the garden. and felt much the better for it, one was enough.

I emphasise that I would never give my children a bad example, and would never smoke in front of them.

Then a few weeks later we are sitting with the children in the park, and my handbag was open, and DH saw rolling tobacco. I said that yes, I had had a cigarette during a stressful moment when he was away, but once the children were in bed. He went totally bloody ballistic said things like "I feel like I don't know you anymore... I'm going to have to think about "us" etc" basically it seemed like such a big deal to him I said, OK, fine, I won't smoke any more. But he still was really fckg angry about it for days

I'm currently going through another stressful period, for a variety of reasons. I've tried many other methods of relaxation/letting off steam but I still crave just one cigarette. All that stops me is DH's reaction.

While I respect his point of view - smoking is a terrible habit which destroys health and lives - I am a grown woman and I think I am entitled to make an unhealthy choice every now and again. I would like to have this conversation with him, rather than smoke behind his back - which, given the previous episode, I think he would see as an affair-level of betrayal.

But before I do this, I thought I would ask other MNers whether I was being unreasonable, or whether DH is being unreasonable here...
thanks for you thoughts, and sorry for the length of the post...

Psammead Sun 30-Sep-12 17:55:14

Sorry. I have lost family to lung cancer. I think his reaction is reasonable. If DH started smoking I would seriously consider our future, too.

Everyone has their issues, this is his. You knew it when you married him.

adeucalione Sun 30-Sep-12 17:55:22

I think he should be encouraging and supporting you to quit, not demanding.

Maybe you could refer to something unhealthy that he enjoys (glass of wine, bar of chocolate) and ask how he would feel if you forbade him from having it.

Mind you, if - as you say - the only thing stopping you from smoking is DHs reaction then that is kind of a good thing...maybe he thinks that 'just one cigarette' is the thin end of the wedge?

madonnawhore Sun 30-Sep-12 17:56:02

Yabu for smoking but you already know that.

If you don't smoke around him or the DCs then he really doesn't have any right to dictate to you. He can offer his opinion but it's up to you really.

He's being over the top.

Arion Sun 30-Sep-12 17:56:54

See, I hate smoking, hated going out and coming back all smoky from pubs on nights out, think the smoking ban is the best thing but . . .

WTF, you had one cigarette, after the children were in bed, in the garden, whilst he was away. He is being very unreasonable. If you were smoking in front of him or in the house whilst he was out or in front of (over) the kids he would have a point (I hate seeing parents smoking in a car with kids with them!)

Tell him to button it, or better still, ban him from doing something he wants to and see how he likes it!

Vinomcstephens Sun 30-Sep-12 17:57:46

I think your DH is being completely unreasonable here. You're an adult, you can make your own choices. I completely understand why your DH hates it but you gave it up for his sake, so if you want/need a cheeky puff every now and then you should. If you were sparking up over the dining table and smoking 20 Mayfair in a 30 minute period then yes, he's got a right to be narked, but seriously, the odd crafty smoke out of sight of him and your DC is doing no-one any harm apart from yourself!

GoldShip Sun 30-Sep-12 17:58:31

I honestly don't get this 'it calms me' thing. And I'm an ex smoker. Makes me feel ill when you see people scrabbling around for a cig going on about how stressed they are.

I don't know if you're being unreasonable or not. Whereas I think , it's up to you you're a grown woman, I completely understand why he's so angry. Me and DP gave up together and if suddenly he started again I'd be pissed off. It's inconvenient, it stinks, it's expensive.

Sorry that's not very helpful OP!

Sirzy Sun 30-Sep-12 18:00:23

If you agreed with him that you would give up, and your smoking has an impact upon his health then I don't think he is being unreasonable to be a bit pissed off that you have gone back to smoking.

Having given up once do you really want to go back to it?

GoldShip Sun 30-Sep-12 18:01:06

aduecoline a bar of chocolate and a glass of wine are very different IMO to a cig.
Much more unhealthy
Can affect others around you
It really does stink and you can tell a mile off when someone's had one
It becomes a way of life, nipping out for one, having one after a brew, after a meal... When 'stressed'

McHappyPants2012 Sun 30-Sep-12 18:01:09

I am in a view he should not have got into a relationship with a smoker if he is dead against it.

You are an adult who is legal to buy and smoke, it got nothing to do with anyone if you smoke or not.

NatashaBee Sun 30-Sep-12 18:02:10

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

WinklyFriedChicken Sun 30-Sep-12 18:02:33

I am incredibly anti-smoking, partly due to asthma, and if I discovered my DH had been smoking it actually would feel like an affair-level betrayal. I'm not saying that it would be a reasonable or correct response, but to see someone you love literally poisoning themself and lying about it... It's heartbreaking.

Inneedofbrandy Sun 30-Sep-12 18:04:13

YY what happypants said.

Sirzy Sun 30-Sep-12 18:05:44

I am in a view he should not have got into a relationship with a smoker if he is dead against it.

I would agree with you, but in the OP it was stated that "He asked me to give up when we started going out, so I did" so SHE agreed to make that sacrifice therefore I can understand him being annoyed that she has gone back on her word.

janey68 Sun 30-Sep-12 18:06:14

He can't forbid you, but I can totally understand why he feels the way he does . If my dh took up smoking , or started drinking or eating unhealthily to excess then I would be really concerned, because I think once you're in a relationship, and more importantly a parent, you have some responsibility to look after your health for the sake of other people as well as yourself.

Also, I would be concerned if I was relying on a fag to de stress and feel calm. You can't really compare it with a glass of wine or a piece of chocolate because in moderation those pose no health risk whereas smoking does.

Finally, I think it's so naive when parents say 'but I only smoke in the garden or when they're in bed!' - you won't be able to keep that up for long, kids aren't daft!

So while he obviously can't forbid you, I cant honestly see why any intelligent adult smokes. Why not find a non toxic form of relaxation if you're finding life stressful?

gordyslovesheep Sun 30-Sep-12 18:07:55

yabu in that you are lying to yourself - either it was a stressful situation - in which case you would have gone for a fag THEN of you are using it as an excuse for relapsing - you waited until it wasn't stressful to smoke

you are looking for excuses to smoke - he has a point

ThreeWheelsGood Sun 30-Sep-12 18:10:33

Why didn't you mention the one cigarette sooner? He probably feels betrayed - why should he believe it was just one when you had the tobacco in such easy reach in your handbag? I can understand his reaction, it's not really about smoking as such, more about lack of openness.

VivaLeBeaver Sun 30-Sep-12 18:11:30

I'm in a similar position. I smoked when I met dh, he's very anti smoking and I stopped. Ten years on I still crave the odd cig, occasionally scrounge one off a friend, like once a year.

If dh found cigs in my handbag I suspect he'd have a similar reaction to your dh.

I think it would be a fear of it been a slippery slope, that soon out be smoking quite a bit. It doesn't smell nice so why should he have to put p with it. Plus concerns for kids concerning third hand smoking, where the toxins linger in your hair, clothes and affect others.

aldiwhore Sun 30-Sep-12 18:13:42

You know, if you love smoking and you are a rational human being, you will give up for the right reasons or for someone you love. You have.

If you love smoking, are a rational human being, a person, and an individual, then ocassionally you will do something, smoke something, eat something that isn't good for you.

Your DH is U. BUT the very fact that he IS unreasonable yet rational and ultimately right is what keeps you smoking less.

So really. I am glad you enjoed your ciggies, but the baccy should now be in the bin... because you don't smoke ALL the time right? So chuck it after your occassional one or two.

TELL your DH that you will change to what is right and good and healthy, but you want to have the occassional cigarette (like some people have wine or cake) when you feel like it, and he doesn't have to like it but he should respect you as a human being who actually sees his point but still likes to exercise your right as an adult to occassionally smoke, drink, eat cake. Therefore, YANBU.

thixotropic Sun 30-Sep-12 18:14:01

Dh used to smoke. He gave up for the sake of our dc's

I didn't mind him smoking, but now he has given up and we have kids, I'd consider it a massive betrayal if he started again.

It's expensive and it stinks.

WelshMaenad Sun 30-Sep-12 18:14:27

Asthma can kill. You smoking could kill him. Of course he went mental.

McHappyPants2012 Sun 30-Sep-12 18:15:45

I made the promise a lot of times to my DH that I would give up, and many of times I relapsed. It is not done to purposely to annoy DH it was because I was not ready to give up. ( have done now I have not had a cigarette since beginning of may smile

Her DH piling on the pressure will not help, when op is ready to quit she will.

atacareercrossroads Sun 30-Sep-12 18:16:39

Yanbu, we all know what it does, but he can't demand anything and imo he's being a bit of a Twat about it. If you have the odd rolly then so what. Tell him to shove it.

BitOutOfPractice Sun 30-Sep-12 18:17:11

Are you sure you just had the one or are you back smoking? Wondering why you had the tobacco on you if not?

Paiviaso Sun 30-Sep-12 18:17:31


It sounds like smoking is a deal-breaker to him. When you started dating, he asked you to give up, and you agreed you would. If you had not, I suspect that would have pretty much been the end of you and him.

Now, years on, the cigarettes have made a reappearance. Yes, it was only one. But maybe you will start smoking every time things with DS get really stressful. And then when they are just bit stressful. And then just because.

You were aware of the magnitude of smoking to your DH. I think it is unfair to resent him for it now, after you married him.

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