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The continual lying......

(34 Posts)
hipsdontlie Mon 17-Oct-11 22:40:01

It's not the type you are thinking - my DH has not been cheating on me.

It's the continual lying about his smoking and drinking and he can look me in the eye and swear blindly that he has given up smoking when I know for a fact that he continues to do so.

It's even got to the stage that he is lying to the nurse at the doctor's surgery. He was started on champix a few weeks ago and keeps telling me how it stops the cravings and he hasn't had a cigarette since he quit and is planning to go to his review appointment and say just that. I know ( from evidence) that he is still smoking about 5-6 a day. Why go through this charade? When I tell him I know that he is still smoking ( without telling him why I know) he still denies it. This is after numerous times in the past when he has lied about this sort of thing.

The trouble is that now I don't believe a thing that comes out of his mouth and that can't be right? He claims to have two alcohol free days per week ( he would drink every day if he had his way) but I can often smell alcohol on his breath and he claims it's from the night before. ( which seems hard to believe if he has had only 5-6 units over 24 hours earier)

Our sex life is crap - it's always me that initiates it and when I do, he is losing his erection earlier and earlier because of the years of smoking and drinking. He refuses to address he may have underlying depression/issues relating to the cause of his vices as he doesn't think he has a problem and open up to no-one including myself.

I can't stand to be married to someone that cannot control their impulses and continually lies about it. I have lost a lot of respect for him and it's really affecting our relationship. We are having relationship counselling but I can't see the point of it really - nothing has changed except it has made me very mindful of protecting the kids.

I feel totally trapped in this emotionally empty relationship because i don't want my 3 young kids to suffer. I don't think I'm being a martyr or anything about it - I'd imagine a lot of parents feel like this.

It's all so sad because although I have everything I could ever ask for in my kids - this is definitely not the life I want for myself in a relationship but can't see any way out.

zombiebillysolloxx Mon 17-Oct-11 23:07:08

maybe he just does not want to dissapoint you or worry you by admitting that hes struggeling to stop is he a proud man? Maybe hes not the type of man who likes to fail, i dont think hes purposley trying to upset you he just dosnt seem to be able to open up to you and ask for help. Smoking isnt something thats easy to stop how long has he smoked? Does he spend time with other smokers socially and at work as this to can make things ten times harder remember smoking isnt an impulse its an addiction please dont throw a relationship away just because of this theres far worse things he could be doing than this. Hope this make sense im a terrible typer.

garlicScaresVampires Mon 17-Oct-11 23:23:25

Why are you so keen on controlling his smoking?

mumsamilitant Tue 18-Oct-11 15:02:55

He obviously doesn't want to give these things up. You CAN'T make him.

AbbyAbsinthe Tue 18-Oct-11 15:29:57

How much was he drinking before he allegedly quit? That makes a difference on how I would view this.

The smoking though... I would be very cross indeed if someone was on at me all the time to quit - he's an adult, not a child.

bemybebe Tue 18-Oct-11 15:32:19

Gosh, I would divorce my spouse if my drinking/smoking was controlled to this extend... i do not drink or smoke btw.

mumsamilitant Tue 18-Oct-11 15:35:50

Think there's more to this though?

oldwomaninashoe Tue 18-Oct-11 15:38:05

Just accept that he doesn't want, himself, to give up on the smoking and drinking.
It really is an addiction.

if you can't live with it, and tbh the drinking would worry me more than the nicotine, don't live with him! It is a lot to expect someone to deal with two additions at the same time!

Giving up both at the same time is very hard and a difficult thing to do, have an honest chat with him about it, don't expect too much but explain if he can't be honest you can't support him in his efforts.

oldwomaninashoe Tue 18-Oct-11 15:39:09

addictions not additions!

CactusRash Tue 18-Oct-11 15:52:46

Why is he going to see the nurse re stopping smoing? Is it because he has been told by health professional he should do so for his health?
What about the alcohol? In my world, 5~6 units every day is a lot but obviously other will disagree.

You obviously think this is something important and something he has to do. Are you worried about his health? Is it an issue with your sex life (because of the erection probem)?
I think that the slution about your problem is linked with the answers to these questions.
IF the issue aren't that big health wise, then perhaps ypou need to relax a bit and let him decide when and if he is ready to change. Without any pressure from you, he will be less likely to lie and you will be able to restor your trust in him.
If the issues are big and it is affecting his health, well then only him can decide to change. You will have to decide what part you are happy to play in it, become a nagging wife, let him do whatever he wants and destroy his health, try and find other ways to support him wo him feeling under scrutiny. A very difficult situation imho.

carernotasaint Tue 18-Oct-11 17:12:57

My husband smoked for 45 years until his heart attack which has also left him with severely damaged lungs. I am his full time carer. The marriage is sexless (though it was sexless before his heart attack.
If the OPs OHs smoking habit makes him ill and he expects her to look after him then, Yes it is her business quite frankly. I see it as controlling to make someone else pay for your bad health choices.

bemybebe Tue 18-Oct-11 17:26:30

i know what you say about smoking being "her business" carer. I also was my dh carer when he was recovering from a stroke at home after 1.5 years in a specialized rehabilitation centre (though a medical accident, not smoking-related) and it is bloody hard.
that said, smoking oneself to death against all advice is not "controlling" behaviour, whist trying to prevent a person from smoking against his wishes is...

garlicScaresVampires Tue 18-Oct-11 17:31:04

Sounds tough, carer, and I'm not surprised you feel strongly about it.
However, the OP's words:
his vices
I can't stand to be married to someone that cannot control their impulses
are what led me to wonder whether her problem is mainly about control. He seems to be lying about his 5 fags and his drinks for a quiet life, going only by what OP posted.

hipsdontlie Tue 18-Oct-11 18:51:27

Thank you for all your replies. I'm sorry I have just come back from work so just got back to the replies.

I can see how my behaviour can be viewed as controlling but there is some background to all of this.

Firstly, I made it very clear to my DH when we first met that I did not want to have a long term relationship with a smoker as my father died of it at a young age when I was a child. At the time my DH was a 40/day smoker all his life and he quit very quickly as he was so motivated to keep me in his life. When he went back on his inital commitment to quit it felt like he was breaking his vows to me as he knows I would not have pursued the relationship, marriage and kids if he continued.

Secondly, both his parents died of smoking related illnesses ( lung cancer and COPD) in the first year of my DS1's life, within months of each other. It was a really tough time for all of us - especially my DH.

As for the drinking, I didn't really know the extent of it until after we got married as we never lived with each other before this. I always put the drinking down to being on holiday or going out partying - I didn't realise he drank like this every day. I clocked up over 70 units in a week when I was trying to show him how much he was drinking. His dad and dad's dad also had a drinking problem.

There are 2 issues for me - one is for his health, he is in his 50s and we have small kids. The other is the effect it has on our relationship as his behaviour and lying is making me lose all respect for him as a person I thought was stonger than this.

Hope this makes sense x

DonotKnow Tue 18-Oct-11 19:25:14

This is such a familiar story, so I will tell you mine:
I left my husband 6 months ago after years of continuous lying. For me it is more the lying that did it. I lost all respect for him and he just became a stranger in my eyes. He had two addictions: drinking and porn (SM), he would even surf the Net next to me when I could not see the screen, and lied about it for years. Promissed he had stopped only to find lies again, and again, and again.. He was totally unable to talk about it.
I left as I felt we could not raise children as a family when I had so little respect for their dad. We now have a split custody. I worry about how much he drinks when they are in his care, but I have done the right thing. Now that we are no longer together, I can see to which extent I trully no longer loved him. I don't regret my choice. I am now on my own but happy that way! I no longer live a lie.

Good luck, I feel for you, this is a difficult situation to be in and a very hard choice to make. But think of the kids, they can see the respect you have lost for him, these are not good conditions to live in as a family, as a couple, as a woman.

hipsdontlie Tue 18-Oct-11 19:36:34

Thanks for your honesty DonotKnow. I do feel you understand what I am talking about.

I agree with you that if the situation became damaging to my kids I would get out because they are my only priority at the moment.

I think that's what makes me have such strong feelings about it. I cannot understand anyone who continues to follow a certain pattern of behaviour, knowing that this is fairly likely to hurt one's children. It's interesting that people view smoking differently from a heroin addiction because it is socially acceptable, but it claims more lives.

So I'm not particularly concerned about the damage he is doing to his health if it were not for the fact that it is likely to hurt my children who are very young and are unlikely to have a Dad once they are an adult. And that leads me to lose all respect for him because I would expect him to view the kids future and happiness in a similar way.

Or am I just being too simplistic and is addiction far more deep rooted than this? In my book, it is a choice you can make and he made that choice when it suited him ( keeping me in his life and so he did it for himself) but he is not making it now for his kids.

bemybebe Tue 18-Oct-11 19:53:00

hips taking illegal drugs is different to smoking "5-6 a day", sorry. It is also different from 2pack per day habit. It is also not set in stone that he will die because of this, although odds are against him. My great greataunt died aged 89 from a stroke having worked as a radiologist all her life (into her 70s - she loved her work). She started in the 30s when there was no protection for operators of x-ray machines and she lost a lot of colleagues throughout the years to cancer. She was also a heavy smoker. My dm (same bloodline) died from cancer having never smoked or drunk in her life (1 token glass of champs on NY Eve). One just never knows.

Lying is different, but I he is obviously choosing to lie rather than to break the habit of smoking or drinking, path of the least resistance iykwim. It is your choice of course, but I think it is much healthier to have a proper talk and explain that you cannot be with someone who smokes and drinks and you are prepared to leave him because of this (and go through this if he does not), rather than chipping away at your relationship because of mistrust and frustration from you and lying from him. Put up or shut up and all that.

But I do feel for you! I would hate it myself...

pregnantpause Tue 18-Oct-11 19:56:06

My dh promised that he would stop smoking when I got pregnant. It was a condition that I imposed before we tried for a child. He didn't stop. But he did lie about it to me- even when asked straight out. Because of the lie I had my dd, but I feel like I have failed her in that I wouldn't have chosen her a father that is slowly killing himself.

The lying made me lose respect for him. And his continuing to smoke repulses me as like you I feel that it is more selfish than a parent should be.

We now avoid the subject altogether. I do love my dh in spite of it. Neither me nor my dds see him smoke, and when home he stops altogether for days or weeks sometimes. But once me abd my dd are away he is still a smoker.

Sorry no advice to give but I sort of understand

DonotKnow Tue 18-Oct-11 20:08:54

Regarding smoking, it is the length of the years during which you have smoked more so than the actual amount you smoke everyday.

I smoked, heavily, it was a total addiction for me, a complete nightmare to give up. But I did it for my kids, to be there, wxith them, the longest I can. Anybody can stop smoking, anybody. Your husband needs to face the implications of his actions.

garlicScaresVampires Tue 18-Oct-11 20:21:56

Hi, hips. Thank you for not blowing a gasket! I can see why this is a highly emotive issue for you, and that not smoking (or drinking?) was a condition of your relationship. Everybody has their own deal-breakers and, while it wouldn't be one of mine, you absolutely have the right to stand by yours. It has been clear from the outset.

The one thing I'd ask you to consider is whether you're being completely honest with yourself about the reasons for your dissatisfaction. Smoking is an addiction with a strong hold, which is why 25% of us still smoke despite the plethora of powerful reasons not to (I've just failed to stop ... again). In getting down to 5 or 6 a day, your husband has done quite well but he's being forced to lie by the conflict between his addiction and your veto.

If your OP was a completely accurate reflection of your feelings - that you can't respect a man with vices - then that's your dealbreaker, and it's both fair and honest to tell him your marriage can't go on while he's still in thrall. You never know, this might be enough to give him the final motivation.

If your other stated issue, his lying, is the real problem than I'd suggest you may need a compassionate rethink. Currently he can't stop and can't tell you the truth. You might find you're able to settle on, say, 5 a day smoked well away from the house - or some other compromise. For as long as he can't completely give up he is, effectively, being forced to lie by your stated position.

Incidentally, the Champix programme is supposed to support a reduction in smoking over a 3-month period, though I think you can get an extension to six months.

I do hope you'll be able to discuss this rationally and compassionately with him. Living in stalemate can't be good for either of you, or your family life.

hipsdontlie Tue 18-Oct-11 21:27:25

bemybebe - I think the statistics speak for themselves. What I failed to mention was that the climax of all of this ( and what led us to seek relationship counselling) was the fact that he was diagnosed with pneumonia 6 months ago and we had to wait a harrowing 4 weeks before the xray was repeated to make sure there was no underlying lung cancer. I went through hell during that time and could sleep for weeks but still had to go to work and be normal in front of the kids. ( I don't think he was as worried as I was because denial is a good coping strategy for smokers I think) Thankfully, his second xray was clear but I am still concerned about what is going on in the lungs because about 5-10% of people who have had pneumonia go on to develop lung cancer if they are high risk ( research has shown this) His cough returned in the last few weeks but he refuses to see anyone about it ( denial again)

As for talking...we have talked and talked and talked. We do it alone, we do it with the relationship counseller, we occasionally do it with his sister. It doesn't seem to change anything. ( actually it has, I have learnt how my critical attitude towards a lot of things was damaging and so stopped this but his behaviours remained unchanged)

Garlic - the lack of respect comes from both the habits and the lying. It's all tied in. I am absolutely certain about one thing - I would not be with him if it were not for my kids. But I would do anything to protect my kids - so at the moment that is trying to survive in a relationship I wouldn't otherwise be in. Is this a familiar story or do people think i am nuts to compromise my own happiness?

garlicScaresVampires Tue 18-Oct-11 22:46:36

Familiar enough, sadly. If you are unhappy, this will impact on your children and they will pick up on the tensions in your relationship ... I'm not sure what you're trying to protect them from? I thought you meant your H's vices, but that doesn't tally with what you've just said.

There's more to this, isn't there ... ?

carernotasaint Tue 18-Oct-11 22:48:27

hipsdontlie my husband was 56 when he had his heart attack. his lungs are so ruined that he has problems breathing and cant walk because of it. He is now 61 and for the past few years has been using a mobility scooter. He will have to use either that or a wheelchair for the rest of his life.

UnlikelyAmazonian Wed 19-Oct-11 00:59:03

If you had great sex more often would things be better? Probably not?

It sounds to me tbh that you just don't love him anymore.

Also seems a bit rough on your husband to be talking constantly about 'MY' kids and protecting 'my' kids. He's their dad. He smokes and drinks a bit and you hate it. What are your 'vices' ? (meant not at all to be antagonistic btw, just asking what do you do that annoys the shit out of him, as all partners annoy each other with their dastardly foibles. Do you fart loud and long for instance? )

hipsdontlie Wed 19-Oct-11 06:51:54

I'm trying to protect my kids from divorce and all that comes with it. ( I use the word my because I'm the one talking here and not my DH, of course I know he is their dad, that's one of the biggest reasons for my dilemma!)

I use the word "vices" as an understatement. Maybe I should use the term addictions or destructive behaviour. Yes, I have vices. Like being a bit untidy or checking things a lot. But they don't have any big implications for the kids in the long run.

No - I don't love my DH in the was I used to. A large part of this is because of what I have already written. I am emotionally independant enough to leave him but the kids are stopping me. At the moment, they are emotionally better off in this household where I am unhappy but managing to hold it together and not put them under any undue tension.

I assumed that this was a common scenario when kids are involved but maybe not?

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