My wife refuses to quit smoking, divorce or alternatives? - Talk About Marriage
Relationships and Addiction Whether it's drugs, alcohol, gambling, sex, pornography, or anything else, addictions can be detrimental to the health of a relationship.

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post #1 of 29 (permalink) Old 06-11-2011, 02:41 PM Thread Starter
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Unhappy My wife refuses to quit smoking, divorce or alternatives?

Hello, I'm from China. For many reasons(privacy...) that I chose to put my question here while English is not my mother language.

My story is a bit long but I want to hear any suggestion, and I thank you for your time.

Backgrounds first. I'm 32 and my wife 33, we had our 6th marriage anniversary last month. We don't have a child, and has been planning one since 15 months ago.

Before marriage, I'm NOT aware that she's a smoker with 16 years history, at least 2-4 cigarettes daily(as I know). We spent long time together and travel to know each, but she covered it, otherwise, the marriage is on a shaken ground. Because I feel cigarettes is disgust, and I physiologically feel very sick when I smell it(she knew it).

6 months after we married, I suspect she is a smoker(found by accident). I didn't pay attention untill 9 months later I caught her smoking at home. I was angry, disappointed, and nagged her to quit, she agreed. And I found it's an endless war.

Kept finding smells from her mouth, hands, hair, and clothes. I caught her smoking on birthday of my 30, ruined it. 2008, she got caught by airport security that hiding a lighter in luggage, That day I'll remember my whole life, and vacation ruined.

15 months ago, we decided to have a child. She agreed she will stop smoking immediately and until after the birth of the child, she appeared to be very positive and decided. And then I found it's a lie as always.

No doubt I lost all affections immediately I smell breath from her lung and see the yellow collor on the innerside of her teeths. I simply lost interest.

I begin to avoid the truth and think that some miracles may come. Meantime, I'm getting more suspicious. We had a talk, I required her to take treatment(nagged her many times) OR I want a DIVORCE, and she agreed to take treatment, and we went to hospital to take some evaluations and advises. She insisted that she can control herself as she's a light smoker, and of course in China, a light smoker doesn't get attention from doctor. That day after, her strategy changed. she smokes in fire passage before go to work, or other go-outs, she takes every opportunity to get her "happiness" in fire passage.

But I know that, because one day I searched her bag and found she still carries cigarettes and lighter(Yes, I feel guilty for that). Then I began to follow her(I'm self-employed since 2010) to fire passage to count how many she smoked, and for 2 weeks, I collected those butts(she smokes same brand only popular in her city) though I don't know what for. And I wrote down how many butts I saw in my diary.

I quickly stopped doing so, because it's ill. But I'm deeply depressed and anxiety, and can't focus on things. It's getting worse recently, and DIVORCE once again emerged into my mind, and this time is real.

I know it's addictive, I just can't believe someone willing to risk damage her own health, her marriage and her whole life. I fulfilled every promise I made and all obligations I swore by my marriage oath, and she simply don't want to quit smoking for our love and our child, not even a try.

I'm not implying I'm the only contributor of the family. But I did so many for her, in all ways. Braced the financial impact when she got 10% salary-cut during 2008, and supported her MBA programme(cost more than 2 years her after-tax incomes) in the same year. In comparison, I delayed my MBA plan for cost reason since 2005 while my career future is very promising and continuously progressing.

I planned every detail of a 2-weeks vacation during 2008 particularly for her parents, and carried it out, because she thought it's a way to thank her parents, and I promised earlier.

In 2009, we bought our own apartment, with beautiful view in downtown(worth 350,000 USD, mainly depends on my incomes and investments). You know it's not easy, and think about do it in China.

In 2010, take her parents to live with us for 2 months to show gratefulness to them again, which I promised before.(Surely it's not convenient)

Except the smoking and her 6 years lies, I still feel very close to her, we share similar oppinions toward many things, I precious moments spent with her. BUT now I feel I'm a TOTAL LOSER, and she manipulates me.

And the rationality and my knowledge told me, smoking is addictive as Heroin, and this war fought for 6 years WILL last for another 6 years and possibly more. I see there is NO future.

You may say try the medicines. I know nicotine patches, gums, and Chantix very well, because I call the hotlines, but it won't take effect if she don't try it. And I don't want to nagged her anymore, it's her personal decision.

I want my life back, normal one. But unlike investment that you can cut the loss. It's real life, it's difficult. And I fear that my emotion blind me from other alternatives that can bring some true miracle.

So, any suggestion please say to me, I want to hear. Thanks.
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post #2 of 29 (permalink) Old 06-11-2011, 02:51 PM Thread Starter
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Re: My wife refuses to quit smoking, divorce or alternatives?

I was desperately want to save my marriage, but things get worse. Trust negates when you see the truth and analyze it with your rationality.

I'm posting thread at 4am at my local time, I'm mad. Rationality tells me the marriage is based on some covered truth, and divorce is a reasonable and a good resolution, and it will save my life for now. But emotion tells me NO, at least for now.
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post #3 of 29 (permalink) Old 06-11-2011, 03:41 PM
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Re: My wife refuses to quit smoking, divorce or alternatives?

I'll reply because you're obviously very upset. I know what it feels like to obsess about your partner's smoking habit (and so does my partner, who has smoked for about 30 years and been promising to stop since I became pregnant with our son 10 years ago). I hate it with a vengeance - the smell, the intrusion into our private life (I HATE approaching him to be affectionate if a cigarette or the smoke get in the way). If he wants to use his money for them I won't worry myself with that, but for many families it would be an issue.
however - and it's a big however - he smokes between 15 and 30 a day. Not 2-4. One cigarette is one too many, I know that but if she hasn't increased her intake over the time you've known her (and all your obsessive note-taking and observations will confirm that or otherwise) she's maybe addicted but hardly hardcore. Not to mention that 2-4 cigarettes really aren't very smelly compared to 30!!!
Nonetheless, I want you to know others share your strong feelings. I just want you to think about your wife's other strong points and just spend some time on that. Then come back to the issue.
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post #4 of 29 (permalink) Old 06-11-2011, 10:36 PM Thread Starter
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Re: My wife refuses to quit smoking, divorce or alternatives?

Thanks madimoff, I'm very upset. I slept only 5 hours today.

In my family, no one smokes, none of my friend smokes, and I feel smoking is DISGUST, and I get symptoms when I smell it, like yawns, sneeze, and if I'm in a car, it causes me car-sick almost immediately.

I didn't know she is a long-history smoker when we married, or I doubt I will accept the marriage though I loves her. And it does not involve financial consideration.(Smoking in China is cheap and government earns from it.)

But actually I ONCE accepted the fact that she smokes when we made the agreement 15 months ago. I only asked her to stop it for the child reason, just like 18 months, and she can smoke FREELY after that, just not before me and child at home. It seems she refused by her behaviors, and I feel I refuse to accept that fact now, because it's all about trust, and her willingness and efforts to the family. (I hope no one will think I'm a freak/weirdo, because I don't see an essential difference between a lie about smoking and a lie about other things, it's purely addictive. Though I know there is difference in extent. Sorry I'm a little foggy now.)

Her brother smokes for nearly 20 years, and now 1-2 packs daily, and have some heart issue since last year, with a 37 years-old. However, it plays NO impact on her self-killing action.

She now uses strong perfume and breath freshener to cover the trace, but the smell just stays in the lung. As long as she smokes, it won't mitigate.

Sometimes I feel guilty because I'm not sure my love is conditional for her. When I say divorce, I even feel like I'm the one betrayed our marriage.

Thanks for your suggestion, I certainly will think about all the good sides of the marriage again, and then back to the issue.
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post #5 of 29 (permalink) Old 06-15-2011, 06:25 AM
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Re: My wife refuses to quit smoking, divorce or alternatives?

For the fact that she did not tell you from the beginning, she remains not plain. Ask her to stop it, if she refuse to do that you may divorce her according the laws of divorce in your country.
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post #6 of 29 (permalink) Old 06-15-2011, 10:00 AM
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Re: My wife refuses to quit smoking, divorce or alternatives?

print this out and tape it to your refrigerator. if she takes it down, do it again and again and again.

http://www.faniq.com/images/blog/ee4...32769dbb07.jpg
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post #7 of 29 (permalink) Old 06-15-2011, 11:41 AM
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Re: My wife refuses to quit smoking, divorce or alternatives?

Its good to be concerned about another persons health that you care for. However, being completely enmeshed in someone else's choices usually leads to you losing who you are.

You have to do what is best for you. All day long you can tell another person how their choices upset you, it doesn't mean they will stop. If they do stop it will be on their terms when they are ready. If you feel your spouses smoking is a deal breaker for you, then you will do what you need to. In the mean time take care of you, and try not to worry so much about the other persons choices. Remember, you can spend all your time and energy in voicing your concern and wear yourself out and lose yourself in the mean time, but that is your choice, just as it is the other spouses to do what they are doing.

"When people are truly sick and tired of being sick and tired, that's when they will make a change."
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post #8 of 29 (permalink) Old 06-17-2011, 09:47 AM
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Re: My wife refuses to quit smoking, divorce or alternatives?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Married&Confused View Post
print this out and tape it to your refrigerator. if she takes it down, do it again and again and again.

http://www.faniq.com/images/blog/ee4...32769dbb07.jpg
Won't work.

I smoked for 23 years. I quit - cold turkey - 4 months ago. I've seen those pictures ALOT over the years. They rarely make an impact on a smoker. I know it's hard for a non-smoker to understand that, but that's just the way it is. It really only pisses them off, then they smoke to calm down. *shrug*

Fact is, she'll quit when SHE'S ready to quit and not one second sooner. There are simply no threats, excuses, or tricks that will work to make a smoker quit. They do it IF and/or WHEN they are ready.
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post #9 of 29 (permalink) Old 06-17-2011, 11:07 AM
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Re: My wife refuses to quit smoking, divorce or alternatives?

Maybe you can substitute one habit for another. Every time she wants a cigarette make out with her instead.
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post #10 of 29 (permalink) Old 06-17-2011, 11:32 AM
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Re: My wife refuses to quit smoking, divorce or alternatives?

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Originally Posted by julia71 View Post
Won't work.

I smoked for 23 years. I quit - cold turkey - 4 months ago. I've seen those pictures ALOT over the years. They rarely make an impact on a smoker. I know it's hard for a non-smoker to understand that, but that's just the way it is. It really only pisses them off, then they smoke to calm down. *shrug*

Fact is, she'll quit when SHE'S ready to quit and not one second sooner. There are simply no threats, excuses, or tricks that will work to make a smoker quit. They do it IF and/or WHEN they are ready.
I could have written this verbatim--even the cold turkey four months ago part.

Julia71 is right. No amount of nagging will force someone to quit. Your wife knows you don't like it and she knows it's bad for her.

State your case to her and then either live with it or leave.
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post #11 of 29 (permalink) Old 08-09-2011, 10:43 AM
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Re: My wife refuses to quit smoking, divorce or alternatives?

Hi trey69,

The problem is that it is not just the smoker that is affected by the smoking. My wife too smokes and I hate it. Like PerfectBear it really affects me. I am her husband and care for her physical and mental health. Also, she WILL affect our heath care costs in the future. She is at home with the kids so I am the one paying for her cigarettes. But the most important thing is that I do not want this example for our 2 children.

I know that the health scare doesn't affect smokers, and, Julia71 is right, I don't understand it. I have tried the children argument and I think it worked a little. Eventually she went on water vapor cigarettes for a while but unfortunately went back. I think for her it is social smoking as much as addiction that keeps her from quitting.

Thanks for this discussion.
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post #12 of 29 (permalink) Old 08-09-2011, 11:51 AM
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Re: My wife refuses to quit smoking, divorce or alternatives?

I smoke...one cigarette a day (with hubs) although lately it's been more like 10 a day...

You can't make someone quit or stop.

I don't know if you should leave her for it...I wouldn't leave my husband for his issues...(sometiems he drinks too much).
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post #13 of 29 (permalink) Old 08-09-2011, 12:23 PM
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Re: My wife refuses to quit smoking, divorce or alternatives?

People might berate me for this but smoking is a dealbreaker for me. It's up there with infidelity. I get that it's an addiction and all that but I can't stand smoking. I was upfront to my husband about this when we married so it's not like he wasn't warned. If I were to find out he was smoking I would simply say choose. The cigs or me. You decide.

I personally find it a nasty habit and not one I'm willing to live with under any circumstances (I'm a health nut). If he wants to smoke he can smoke alone or with someone else. This is not okay with me.

Oh and don't even get me started on how much they cost....
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post #14 of 29 (permalink) Old 08-09-2011, 12:24 PM
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Re: My wife refuses to quit smoking, divorce or alternatives?

Interesting point, “...(sometimes he drinks too much).”

Everyone, how do you compare alcohol to smoking?

I do wonder if her quitting smoking is worth me giving up alcohol. (She drinks too but not as much as I do… not sure I know any smoker that doesn’t smoke and drink.) First, I don’t think it is near as bad a health problem as smoking but I have not researched it. Also, neither she nor I hide drinking from our kids like she hides smoking from them. (Not sure if I can read “ashamed” into that.) I don’t think they compare.

Since I have never smoked I don’t understand the experience that comes from it. One of my very favorite things is spending a few hours cooking while drinking wine and blasting some good music. Or getting a buzz while playing video games and listening to music. Plus, wine goes with food so well; can’t give that up and lessen the food’s potential. So, how does the smoking experience compare, similar?

This might be getting off topic from the original post; however, I do think about what I would do to get my wife to stop. More of an academic question since, as has been discussed, she will not [really] stop until she wants to regardless of any deal.
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post #15 of 29 (permalink) Old 08-09-2011, 12:31 PM
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Re: My wife refuses to quit smoking, divorce or alternatives?

Magnoliagal, right on!!!

Unfortunately, I cannot give that ultimatum. I think my kids need both parents more than they need non-smoking parents.

Last edited by Amberale; 08-09-2011 at 12:35 PM.
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