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We've been married for a year and a half. Neither of us have been married before. We lived together for a short while prior to being married. While we were living together, we were working; now we're both in college and money is especially tight.
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I knew that my now husband had smoked since he was in his lower teens. I knew that he didn't much care about the consequences of his smoking. We got married anyway because I didn't think it would really have that much of an effect on our marriage other than me occasionally being annoyed over it -- plus, I loved (and still love) him.

Since getting married, we've had numerous, numerous arguments over his smoking. He's "tried" two times to quit smoking during our engagement/marriage. The first was his saying, "FINE, whatever, I quit." He was smoking by the end of the day.

The second, he tried cutting back from 6 to 5 to 4 to 3 over the course of several months. He gave up on that, and decided that in order for him to quit smoking, I had to graduate college. He said that I forced him to change so many things about himself (limit his gaming time, quit biting his nails 'til they bleed), that it was time for me to commit to something as difficult as quitting smoking -- an Associate degree. We'd argued so much that I finally just broke down and said OK. He agreed to smoke 4 a day until I graduated, then he would quit.

He has met his commitment of smoking 4 a day.. probably.. 10% of the time. He always pressures me into letting him smoke extra. Most days he smokes 2 extra, that I know of.

He has lied to me about his smoking. I found out about 8 months ago that he'd lied to me about his smoking for several months. He would sneak outside and smoke extra, or smoke whenever I wasn't around. I was completely heart-broken, and we argued and cried and eventually he swore to God that he'd never lie to me about smoking again.

I still have trouble believing that he hasn't lied to me since. He swears and promises, and occasionally he'll tell me when he's smoked an extra cigarette. I can't believe him, though, when we've been apart for several hours and he says he only smoked 1 or 2. My trust is strained, to say the least.

A few months ago, we found out that my mother has lung and thyroid cancer. She's smoked since she was in her 20s, and now she's almost 60. She hasn't quit smoking yet since she hasn't started treatment, and my husband is sticking to the "When you get a degree, I'll quit smoking" plan. I'm totally baffled that this isn't proof enough that he should quit smoking while he's still young. He maintains the "I'm young enough that, even if I quit in the next 10 years, I'll be absolutely fine" mindset despite her having cancer. His mother and sister smoke (though his sister is trying to quit at the moment), so I suppose it's ingrained in him to smoke.

In the past several arguments we've had, he's accused me of having "conditional love" for him. He says that I keep basically saying, "I love you, BUT..." or "I love you as long as you..." This is so hurtful. He says that I'm not supportive of him, that I never change and he never tells me I need to change, and that conditional love thing... it just kills me.

I don't know what to do. Recently, I've developed more severe allergies, and his smoking takes a toll on them. Also, we went through the part of our married where we only had $10 to last a week, and half of it went to his cigarettes. It seems like this is pushing me to my breaking point. In my head, at least, it seems like our marriage would be perfectly fine if he quit smoking... but would I be able to trust that he's not smoking behind my back?

I'm so hurt and confused. Can anyone give me some advice that isn't just, "Go to a marriage counselor" (I intend to when we have the money and time to do so, but I just don't know how much longer 'til I break)? I don't want this to end our marriage, but it puts serious stress on me.
 

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you already knew he smoked. i dont know why women go into a marriage then want to get right to changing you. it should have been something that was either settled BEFORE getting married or dropped by you or not gotten married. why was it ok for you while dating but not once you got married. i just dont understand this type of mentality.
 

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you already knew he smoked. i dont know why women go into a marriage then want to get right to changing you. it should have been something that was either settled BEFORE getting married or dropped by you or not gotten married. why was it ok for you while dating but not once you got married. i just dont understand this type of mentality.
As I said, I didn't know how it would affect us while married. We'd never been in the situation where we had next to no money, and he chose to spend the money on his cigarettes instead of on food. That said (for the second time, I might add), I acknowledged this in my post. Please read entire post and give constructive advice or don't comment at all. Thanks.
 

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I think you are right to be concerned about his health because you love him, and when you love someone you don't like them doing something you know is very dangerous and harmful.

However, he will only quit if he wants to quit and you getting mad at him about it will not help. I am very sure he is not silly and knows how bad it is for him. It is just he is addicted, and I'm sure if it was easy he would stop, he probably hates that he can't give up.

I would suggest you don't talk about it for a while and let it go. Then if you talk about it at all do not get angry at him, just tell him how much you love him and why you are worried about it.

Also as long as he is not inconsiderate and doesn't smoke inside the house or around children, then you really have to let him get to a place where he wants to quit.
 

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I think you are right to be concerned about his health because you love him, and when you love someone you don't like them doing something you know is very dangerous and harmful.

However, he will only quit if he wants to quit and you getting mad at him about it will not help. I am very sure he is not silly and knows how bad it is for him. It is just he is addicted, and I'm sure if it was easy he would stop, he probably hates that he can't give up.

I would suggest you don't talk about it for a while and let it go. Then if you talk about it at all do not get angry at him, just tell him how much you love him and why you are worried about it.

Also as long as he is not inconsiderate and doesn't smoke inside the house or around children, then you really have to let him get to a place where he wants to quit.
Thanks for the input, Syrum. I really appreciate it. I guess I feel like I've done the, "Ignore it for now, approach it later" thing so many times, and either 1) I end up getting so frustrated that I lash out in anger or 2) he automatically puts up his defenses and argues the same exact things.

It's so frustrating. He's said before that he doesn't want to quit for himself, and that he wants to quit for me because he knows it bothers me. It's just... when? When is he REALLY gonna do it? I guess I will let it drop for now, and I'll try again to be patient with him. Thanks, really, for your input.
 

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I think you are right to be concerned about his health because you love him, and when you love someone you don't like them doing something you know is very dangerous and harmful.

However, he will only quit if he wants to quit and you getting mad at him about it will not help. I am very sure he is not silly and knows how bad it is for him. It is just he is addicted, and I'm sure if it was easy he would stop, he probably hates that he can't give up.

I would suggest you don't talk about it for a while and let it go. Then if you talk about it at all do not get angry at him, just tell him how much you love him and why you are worried about it.

Also as long as he is not inconsiderate and doesn't smoke inside the house or around children, then you really have to let him get to a place where he wants to quit.
this is what i said :scratchhead: :smthumbup:
 

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An addict will only quit their drug of choice WHEN THEY ARE READY, not a moment before. You can beg, punish or cajole until the cows come home-it will not make a difference.
Nicotine is even more addictive than heroin and crack. This is why using the patch is quite helpful...cold turkey is a shock to the system. Gradual weaning is best.
You mentioned that money is tight. I know how that feels; my husand wasn't working for a year. Despite what others may think, he could not find work. It caused a lot of stress and heartache for us, not to mentioned sacrifices that still make me cry.
It IS true that you met him smoking as well. Marrying someone hoping that they will change is not a rational decision. You have also created a parent child dynamic with the constant nagging to be different. You are not his mother, you are his wife.
I completely understand your concern for his health. However, your husband is the only person who can ultimately choose to destroy his lungs.
An addict has to quit for THEMSELVES, nobody else.
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Is he willing to TRY to stop smoking? In Florida, there are FREE programs that they will provide, say the first 30 days of the patch or gum, to help get them started. Not sure if that would be an option for you? I am not a smoker. At an early age, I get sever headaches from cigarette smoke, so I never had any interest. This also kept me from going to lots of family events as well, since my Aunts / Uncles and such all smoked heavily.
 

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Let's say you stub out this habit. What's next? At what point are you willing to stop pushing him around? When he leaves you? There's only so much you can do.

It's weird, when I was younger I smoked because it alleviated some mental symptoms. Talk to any schizophrenic they probably smoke heavily. I stopped when those problems were treated the right way.

My wife has smoked since she was 16 I think. But she's one of those people who won't admit she smokes and won't smoke in front of her family or friends or in her own car. So she's an addict in withdrawal MOST of the time. Any suggestion she quit is met with a torrent of abuse and tears and muttering. She smoked all through her cancer treatments. And she hasn't been to a doctor since 1996. If it kills her it kills her; she's never going to quit. Nothing to be done about it. At least she doesn't smoke in the house.

And I might add, unlike most holier than thou ex smokers, it doesn't particularly bother me. I don't find it allergic or irritating or a moral foible. But I would like the $50 a week it costs or whatever a carton of smokes costs here now.

The point is, somewhere either you draw the line or your husband will draw it for you. It's not about smoking, it's about power and control.
 

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The point is, somewhere either you draw the line or your husband will draw it for you. It's not about smoking, it's about power and control.
Oh, is it? Thank you for the incredible insight into our relationship and, in fact, into my own mind. Actually, it's not. It's about health, cost, and the fact that my mother and also his grandfather, come to think of it, are dying from something that was expedited if not largely caused by smoking.

I suppose also that my "controlling" him is what pushed him to lie to me for several months, not that fact that he had some self-admitted communication issues. I appreciate your point of view and little story, though they were admittedly not altogether helpful or constructive.

@sdesruiss: We're not in Florida; I'm not sure if our state has anything like this, but I'll look into it. Thanks!
 

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So....you want him to be healthy according to your dictates regardless of what he wants or is willing to do? Ummm ok then I stand corrected.
 

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Oh, is it? Thank you for the incredible insight into our relationship and, in fact, into my own mind. Actually, it's not. It's about health, cost, and the fact that my mother and also his grandfather, come to think of it, are dying from something that was expedited if not largely caused by smoking.

I suppose also that my "controlling" him is what pushed him to lie to me for several months, not that fact that he had some self-admitted communication issues. I appreciate your point of view and little story, though they were admittedly not altogether helpful or constructive.

@sdesruiss: We're not in Florida; I'm not sure if our state has anything like this, but I'll look into it. Thanks!
You only seem to want to hear opinions that align with your own...
 

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Some of your responses to the various opinions expressed in the thread are awfully sarcastic and strong-willed.

It's interesting though how the points which you highlighted in bold text in your original post, save for the part about your grandmother, are focused on power and control. Even if the actual issue being discussed is health related, it does sound as though the source of conflict is about something else.
 

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He said that I forced him to change so many things about himself (limit his gaming time, quit biting his nails 'til they bleed),.........

I'm so hurt and confused. Can anyone give me some advice that isn't just, "Go to a marriage counselor" (I intend to when we have the money and time to do so, but I just don't know how much longer 'til I break)? I don't want this to end our marriage, but it puts serious stress on me.


Yeah, divorce the poor guy and marry a guy who is compatible with you instead of trying to force and incompatible man into being what you want.

You`ll lose this battle for sure.

You knew he smoked when you married him.

I don`t get it and you don`t get what kind of an addiction cigarettes are.
There worse than heroin to kick.

Think I`ll go have one.

:)
 

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Since money is tight...have you thought about the fact that maybe he feels like this is one of the few 'enjoyments' he's getting in life right now and your trying to take it away from him? I agree with the others - he won't stop until he's good and ready to stop. I mean his only reason is because you nag him about it but look at your Mom - she's got lung cancer and STILL hasn't stopped. I think your either going to have to suck it up and just accept the fact that your husband smokes and get over the resentment for him doing something that you knew he did when you said I do....or divorce him (because whether you just say your done...or you nag him til he does, that's where you are headed.)
 

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Quitting smoking is extremly hard under the best of situations and really I think almost impossible during a situation of high stress.

Ciggarette makers have spent billions to create a very addictive product that is very difficult to quit.

Do you have a health plan? some will provide classes and aids like chantix, niccorette, the patch as well as counselling to help a person quit. Its been over a year for me and I still crave the Damn things when Im stressed out.
 

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As I said, I didn't know how it would affect us while married. We'd never been in the situation where we had next to no money, and he chose to spend the money on his cigarettes instead of on food. That said (for the second time, I might add), I acknowledged this in my post. Please read entire post and give constructive advice or don't comment at all. Thanks.
You came to a public forum and asked for input. if some of it is not what you want to read, then don't read it. If you continue to try and be a naggy mother to him, then the whole boy fibbing to mommy dynamic will continue. What else did you nag him into quitting or curtailing? Nagging will only make him want to smoke more, cuz if I got that treatment, I would be a smokin' fool.
 

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Wow. Very pitiful. So many people giving smokers and addicts a pass (and multiple excuses) and demonizing the people who are actually showing love and concern for a spouse's health and children's future certainly explains the serious addiction problems in the USA. Obviously, many on here think this woman is a terrible person for even being concerned or wanting her husband to quit and sees him as a saint for sticking to his cigarettes. Yet everyone is quick to erroneously point out that she is somehow the selfish one in the dynamic. How? What sort of insane, twisted thinking is that? How does one justify slowly committing suicide with cigarettes a virtue or to be admired? How is her wanting what's best for her family and children so evil, selfish, and controlling? How can so many think that cutting one's life short, putting his family through the eventual horrors of a heart attack or lung cancer, and leaving a family behind from smoking, be unselfish and an ideal to strive for? How is that even okay? Him sticking to his addiction and choosing his cigarettes over his family makes him actually the selfish one. Here's an idea: How about him growing up, doing the mature, adult thing, and doing what's best for his family by quitting, rather than him selfishly sticking to his addiction? THAT is the most reasonable, mature, unselfish, and rational thing to do. If he actually cared about his family (or is so great a guy as the people on here giving him a pass seem to think) more than his cigarettes, he would quit. It's really that simple. I know some will say, "but addiction is a disease". News flash: addiction is not an actual disease. Sure, psychologists (who are not real scientists) and therapists (professional listeners) will say it is, but addiction is a choice. To say otherwise is an excuse and a way to enable such behavior. Cancer is a disease. AIDS is a disease. An addiction is not. It can be beaten by willpower (as so many are quick to point out by saying "he will quit when he's ready"). Can't exactly do that with say, a brain tumor or Lyme's disease. Before someone says that I will never know, I did the right and mature thing and beat my addiction of 2 packs a day for 20 years, because I valued my family and my daughter's future more than a cigarette. I admire the love and compassion that the OP has for her family and that she sees the bigger, important picture. That takes a lot of maturity, unselfishness, and strength to stand up and fight for the benefit of her family. That is what is to be admired. Not supporting, admiring, and excusing someone's selfish addiction. If he ever decides that his family is more important than his addiction and tries to quit, then give him all the love and support he needs, no matter how many times he stumbles, so long as he is trying and demonstrating that he is putting his family first. Don't ever turn a blind eye, ignore, or give in and let him have his way like a spoiled little man-child like so many on here are suggesting. If he isn't man or adult enough to choose his family over his addiction, he is not worth having in your family's life. There is no telling what else he will selfishly sell you and your children out for if he can't even value or choose his family over cigarettes.
 
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