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Please help me get over DPs smoking.

(18 Posts)
80QuidYoniJob Mon 15-Apr-13 18:23:24

I'm a bit scared about posting this. Please don't be too hard on me. I really am trying but it feels like it's takin over my life.

DP was a smoker when we met, when we were teenagers. Not trying to make excuses but I had no idea this fling would turn out to be the love of my life and father of my DD. (also pregnant with DC2)

DD was unplanned and he promised me he would quit smoking when she was born. He managed when she was about 6 months old. I've always tried to be supportive and encouraging. Obviously I know its an addiction and having never smoked myself, I don't know what it's like.

Since then he has started smoking again 3 times that I know of. Every time I've confronted him about it he has lied and denied it even when I've shown him the evidence.

So anyway, he has started again. He's been lying about it for a few weeks so I just went crazy at him and told him I couldnt cope with the lying anymore and I just needed him to tell me the truth and I wouldn't go on about it anymore. He finally admitted he had.

I need to get over my obsession with his smoking. Every time he pops out to the garage or his mums house or the corner shop ect I'm thinking 'he's smoking.' when he goes for a night out I'm constantly thinking about how many ciggerrets he's had.

I lie awake at night worrying about what he's doing to his health and I can't stop myself thinking about it constantly. Since having DD I've had anxiety problems which obviously doesn't help.

He doesn't smoke inthe house and never around me or DD so I really need to get over this or it's going to ruin our relationship.

ClementineKelandra Mon 15-Apr-13 18:28:00

I really think you have to accept that as a grown man he can make his own decisions. If one of those decisions is to smoke then that's his choice.

taketheribbon Mon 15-Apr-13 18:30:28

You do sound rather overly anxious, tbh. I would go and have a word with your GP - not about the smoking, but about your reaction to it. You're right, you will drive him away - I'm not a smoker now, but I used to be, and I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt that I would not have put up with anybody behaving like you are. He lies to you because he can't face your reaction if he tells you the truth.

Something like CBT (cognitive behaviour therapy) might help you - worth asking the doctor about.

I really hope you can sort this out because I do think you're going to drive him away.

deleted203 Mon 15-Apr-13 18:34:20

Yep. You do, I'm afraid. I know what you are saying, and no one would pretend it is good for his health, but he is an adult and this is his choice. He lies to you because you give him such stress over it that it is easier to deny having a cigarette rather than have all the hassle over his addiction. He was a smoker when you met, which you obviously accepted, and now you have changed the goal posts.

He has done his best IMO. He doesn't smoke in the house, or round you or DD. He has attempted to quit 3 times. (Probably due to pressure from you, unfortunately, rather than any genuine desire to stop).

This is something only he can decide on, and only he can manage. And it would make me furious, actually, to have someone else deciding for me what I could and could not do. It is treating him as another child, IMO. I don't drink (really, because I don't much like the taste of most alcohol). If I had a cats bum face every time my DH had a glass of wine or a pint of beer I can see him getting completely pissed off with me, particularly if I made comments about his liver/blood pressure/chance of heart attack, etc.

I'm not trying to be hard on you, but I think you need to accept that providing he is not smoking round you and the children then he is old enough to make his own lifestyle choices - whether you agree with them or not. No smoker is ever going to successfully give up unless they are 100% determined to do so - not because other people tell them they should.

MrsPoglesWood Mon 15-Apr-13 19:16:50

Yes you absolutely do. Both DP and I smoked when we met oooh 28 years ago when we were 17 and 19 . Over the years he's stopped, I've stopped, we've both stopped. Neither has nagged the other. I stopped a year before I got pregnant with DS, he didn't. I was an idiot and started again when DS was 1 when I had a crafty drag on a work's night out. Slippery slope.

But DP stopped 8 years ago. I tried but failed as I had professional exams and got so stressed I cracked. I did manage to stop again two years ago though when I was ill. I was so ill that I was put on steroids and gained nearly 3 stone in weight. I started smoking again (like an idiot) a year later. Two years on I still smoke. I want to stop. I really do. But I like smoking although I know it is bad for me and that I have to stop.

But... despite all the nagging from DP I've made it absolutely clear that he has to let me do it in my own time. His nagging DOES NOT help. It annoys me. I'm 45 and old enough to make my own decisions. I don't smoke in secret, I go into the garden but he hassled me all the time until I sat him down and explained it to him. I'm on a diet, I'm losing weight and when I've reached my target weight I will stop. I just want to do it in my own way. He's finally got the message and is supporting me in losing weight rather than nagging me about the fags. He knows me well enough to know that I will do it.

But.. again. It isn't good that your DP is smoking in secret but what choice does he have? You are really over reacting and you're making it into the forbidden fruit. He can smoke when he goes to X,Y and Z so he goes there a lot and smokes. Talk to him, let him smoke in the garden and stop trying to hide it. Supporting him in cutting down/stopping rather than demanding/confronting/accusing and obsessing about it. It will probably be a lot more productive than your current approach.

brettgirl2 Mon 15-Apr-13 20:31:25

I dont think smoking in the garden in front of dcs is OK tbh I wouldnt be happy with that. OK if in bed but thats my opinion.

But on a night out or on his own it really is his choice. We all have our faults and in the grand scheme of things there are worse ones.

brettgirl2 Mon 15-Apr-13 20:32:17

Haha I mean if the dcs are in bed not its ok to smoke in bed!!!

forumdonkey Mon 15-Apr-13 22:37:34

I met a man I'm seeing when I was a smoker and so was he. I've been stopped for 3 years in July thanks to amazing electronic cigarettes. When I come home from staying at his house, my clothes, bag and hair stink of cig smoke and I now can't stand the smell of stale smoke BUT despite all of that I met him as a smoker and like others have said he is a grown man and I would never dream of saying anything about him smoking.

The only thing I would ask your DP to do is not smoke infront of the children, which I believe is a reasonable request.

Prozacbear Tue 16-Apr-13 16:04:04

I understand your frustration, I really do! But you can't will or nag someone into smoking.

When DP and I met, I was smoking. I have 'been a smoker' a couple of times in my life for approximately four months each time, and both times have just decided to give up, and done so, without even really thinking about it. I can also buy a pack on a whim of wanting one cigarette, and still have the pack half-full 6 months later.

DP is not so lucky - he finds giving up really difficult and has tried all sorts. He got down to 3 a day and then plateaud, then slipped back to 10, now 15. I saw it happening and nagged and nagged; didn't help! It's so annoying as I hate the smell and he is older anyway, he doesn't need cigarettes helping him along! But it's not my decision; I can't change him, I can only support.

But yes as forumdonkey said, there are reasonable boundaries you can put in place - DP isn't allowed to smoke in the house, or even out of the window (which he tries to sneakily do!), and not in front of DS. And sometimes I make him brush his teeth afterwards cos I'm mean.

DesperateDH Tue 16-Apr-13 16:38:23

OP, I am (was) just like your partner.

I was a smoker when we met and I smoked for a few years afterwards (never in the house). She didn't like it and constantly had little digs.

I stopped for a few years then lapsed during a particularly stressful period at work. I kept it secret because of the amount of nagging I'd previously endured.

She found out about it after I was late home from work one night and I had forgotten to eat my usual 400 extra strong mints, clean my teeth and dispose of all of my clothes (I must have been stupid to think I could cover the smell up - it really does stink!). She went ballistic.

I understand part of her anger was for me lying about it - fair enough and I feel really shitty about doing it; but I was an adult. I was allowed to make my own choices, wasn't I? Anyway, after threatening to leave me over it, I stopped again. For 8 years.

Anyway, fast forward to Christmas 2012. Our relationship is rocky and hitting new low's (I've got a thread asking for advice on this on here). I'm away with work for a few days and after a frosty phone call home, I ask one of the guys I'm working with if I could pinch a cigarette. God, I'd forgotten how lovely they were and how much I enjoyed smoking!

I bought a packet and enjoyed 1 or 2 cigarettes a day up until a couple of weeks ago. Always outside, never in front of her or the kids. She "found" them in my coat pocket. Didn't say anything to me, but snapped them up, wrote a note and shoved them all back into my coat pocket. I was absolutely furious. How dare she go through my pockets? How dare she destroy my things?

OP. If you want your man to stop smoking, support him. For goodness sake, don't nag him. Talk to him about it. Does he want to stop? If he doesn't, the conversation must end there; if he does, then there are many ways to beat it. NHS support, electronic fags or (which worked for me for 8 years) Allen Carr's "easy way" - No, not that Alan Carr, this one: Allen Carr

milkymocha Tue 16-Apr-13 16:51:25

Hes an adult.

hellsbellsmelons Tue 16-Apr-13 17:00:18

I agree with others.
I started smoking after 20 years of not smoking just to p!ss off my cheating H.
It was a rebellious thing and I'm still rebelling now.
I know that I will quit again when I'm good and ready. Certainly not when someone else is on my case all the time having a go. That will just make me rebel even more. It's my choice, me decision and no-one's going to take that away from me, etc. etc.......
Give him some space and time and he'll do it eventually.

Shellywelly1973 Tue 16-Apr-13 17:01:29

Laughed at the post where someone smoked for four months on two occsions & managed 'to give up'.

Op I've smoked for 22 years. I smoked through pregnancy, illness & nothing would stop me smoking, even my dp.

I stopped smoking 11 weeks ago- why? I decided to.

You have every right not to like your dp smoking. He has every right to smoke. You both need to work out how you are going to deal with his smoking&lying and your anxiety.

Shellywelly1973 Tue 16-Apr-13 17:06:11

Would just like to add, it incredibly difficult to stop smoking...i even dream about smoking! i would smoke a fag right now if i could!
Yet Im glad I've given up-its so difficult, if it wasn't, no one would smoke...

80QuidYoniJob Tue 16-Apr-13 18:27:13

Don't think I'm not taking on board what you're all saying, because I am. I know I need to Just accept the fact hes not going to give up.

I don't nag him about it. I never look through his bag ect. I always find out by things like tobacco on the floor or filters that he's left lying around. When I said confront, I meant simply asking him if he's been smoking. I've always said I don't mind I just don't want to be lied to. I don't feel like I 'force' him to lie. I only went crazy at him once which was because I knew he had been lying for a few weeks and I gave him so many chances to tell me the truth.

I didnt ask him to give up in the first place. He WANTED to and I fully supported him.

But I know it's his choice. I need to get over it. I'm just finding it really hard.

WeAllHaveWings Tue 16-Apr-13 19:34:24

It depends on why you don't want him to stop smoking.

When dh was still smoking and I was pregnant/on maternity leave/first few years of expensive childcare I believe I had every right to insist (and nag) that he stopped smoking as 1) we couldn't afford it 2) the slightest whiff of the smell on his clothes made me feel nauseaous/ill for ages.

Agree a smoker should only stop when they want to, but, given the reasons above if dh didn't want to stop he would have been very selfish and that would have been a problem for me. If he lied that would have been worse, it would be even more selfish, to agree to it and to then keep doing it.

I was a 20 a day smoker for 25 years and I found it very hard to give up too, but had to when other things became more important than smoking. I really enjoyed smoking and would have liked to continue too. Yes we were both smokers when we met but our life's and priorities have changed so we had to make the changes too. It's not as simple as he's an adult and he gets to make his own choice, if that choice affects your family you have a say in it. Same way if I wanted to start a hobby next week that cost a couple of hundred pounds a month, dh would have a say in it if it would affect him.

Conina Tue 16-Apr-13 21:04:41

I was a twenty a day smoker for thirteen years. Gave up when I was pregnant - didn't even finish the pack I had.

Not smoked since.

I would give you all the money in my bank account, max out my credit cards, raid my savings if I could have just two cigarettes, with a perfect cup of coffee sat on the back door step. But I know I can't do that, cos I'll end up smoking again. So I don't try. Some weeks, I think about smoking hundreds of times an hour every hour I'm awake and in my dreams, I smoke.

I wanted to give up for so long that I'm not going to waste all those cigarettes that I haven't smoked by starting to smoke again. But, forgive me, I so want to.

I tried so many times to quit. please let your dh quit when the time is right for him. And if he fails, then feel sorry for him, cos he's trying to do something that's hard. Eventually he will get there if he wants to. The only thing that he shouldn't give up is trying to give up. Maybe he'll give up on his eighth attempt, who knows. That means he has to start smoking again several times, but he will get there. Just let him be. Give him a hug and don't make him feel bad for failing to stop smoking, cos he'll never try to stop if he's scared of failing, iyswim...

MrsPoglesWood Tue 16-Apr-13 22:21:02

Oh Conina. You are so right! All those months when I had stopped smoking following on from being ill. I wanted one - all the time. It was so hard. I liked being a non-smoker but I just wanted one more fag.

And then we went on holiday. I'll just have a couple while I'm here I thought. I'll just smoke on holiday! And I did, and it was lovely. Then we got to the airport coming home and me not being a happy flyer I needed a fag or two. So I bought a packet at the airport.

Then we went through duty free. And the fags were so cheap! So I bought 200. I'll just smoke these and then I'll stop, I told myself. Yeah right. Two years later I'm still puffing away.

Don't give in. I was weak and pathetic. Be stronger than me!

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