This is quite a long back story, so please prepare yourself!
My husband and I have been married for 8 months, and were together for 5 years before that. 3 months into the marriage, I found out that he has been smoking cigarettes off and on since I asked him to quit 3 years prior. I realize now that my asking him to quit when he wasn't ready/didn't want to has a huge part in his relapse, etc. I asked him to quit because I just witnessed a family friend's husband get and die of lung cancer; it was terribly sad, as he was confined to a hospital bed in his own home and talked what could only be described as baby gibberish. I knew then that I could never see my boyfriend that way and that I didn't want any illness pertaining to his smoking affecting the length of our relationship. Not sure how to deal with this issue and thinking it would be enough to keep him from starting again, I told him if he ever started smoking again I would break up with him.
This scared him badly, but had the opposite effect than I intended; when he started smoking again, he didn't tell me and told his entire family and friends not to tell me he had started smoking again, otherwise I would leave him; he truly believed I would over th. I had suspected him of smoking several times over the past few years (I moved in with him over 2 years ago), when he would come home smelling like it or I'd find lighters in his car, etc; but it was difficult to pin point that it was truly him smoking because literally EVERYONE in his family and ALL of his friends smoke cigarettes (this is honestly not an exaggeration). He always had an alibi, whether it was people blew smoke on him (which, they do, I've seen, whenever they talk, they don't care it's covering him) and people smoke in his car (which is why his car smelled like smoke), and that they leave their trash in it, too. Believing that he would truly tell me if he had started smoking again, I always dropped it.
I didn't drop it one time, however, when I found a pack with cigarettes stashed directly under his seat, which was 4 months ago. I didn't, as he and his whole family thought, leave him; it was simply out of the question and honestly never occurred to me. After a month or so of him still smoking and me getting peeved about it (I can't help how upset I get when he smokes; my blood boils in my veins instantly at just the thought), and him switching the an electronic cigarette, which I was perfectly fine with, he got sick with Bronchitis and an onset of Strep and didn't use it anymore. I was excited, hoping that maybe he was done with both real and electronic cigarettes for good, and yet worried that he was back to smoking real cigarettes.
Come to find out, he was, and lied to me about it again, after telling me he wouldn't anymore. I found this out about a month ago. We had a serious discussion in which I broke down and told him I could NOT have him lying to me anymore (this is what upset me more than him smoking cigarettes, because I honestly did not think he was capable of lying to me; it literally changed my entire view of him.) We've been more open about things since then, such as our true reasons for our behaviors, etc. He was not able to quit cold turkey either time, but has significantly reduced his smoking from (and this I'm not even sure of because he said he honestly couldn't tell me) 1/2 a pack to a whole pack a day to just a couple drags off a cigarette a few times a day. For the most part, I have not gotten terribly mad at him about it. I thank him for telling me every day and time when he does smoke, if even just a drag (but, hell, he could be doing a lot more than he's admitting and I wouldn't know any better) and have been dealing with the entire situation rather well.
However, lately, I found that he has lied to me a few more times. The other day he ran to the story and came back smelling like cigarettes; I asked him if he had (not upset, but just straightforward). He said he didn't know why he smelled like that and just that he had chewed a piece of gum. A few minutes later he texted me and said that he had in fact smoked a few drags off a cigarette and wasn't sure why he had lied. This upset me; it was if my heart had broken all over again as it did the first time he told me that he had been lying to me for the past 3 years. Furthermore, today, he ran to his parents to grab something real quick and came back smelling like it. He immediately told me that he had smoked a few drags while he was outside with his sister and brother. I said ok; though I don't like it and him smoking bothers me down to my core, I've grown accustomed to him doing this, especially when he goes out for errands on his own. I decided to test his brother to see if he would tell me the truth (I now have trust issues with nearly his entire family (cousins, etc included) because they all told me after I found out the first time months ago that if they ever saw him smoking again they would tell me because it wasn't right for him to lie to me - they told me this on their own accord ; obviously none of them held true to their word since - and I hate that I've lost count of how many times this has happened -the last time - I think it's just happened twice now, possibly three times.). Anyway, I texted him asking him if my husband had smoked while he'd been there. He replied with a "I don't know, I came inside". I then proceeded to text his sister the same thing. She too, said she wasn't sure (although this is a little more excusable since she's in the middle of a stressful divorce). Curious, to see if she, too, was lying, I asked my husband which one of his siblings had given him the cigarette of which he took a few drags of (again, not mad, solely to see if I could trust either of them to be honest with me).
He then proceeded to tell me that neither of them; the cigarette had been one from a pack he'd bought around 3 weeks ago. This was completely without my knowledge; he had told me that he's been taking drags from cigarettes of others' and last I knew, he hadn't bought a pack in well over a month. This discovery, too, broke my heart. I don't even get upset anymore when he tells me he's smoked (most times I say ok, ask how much and then we continue on with our day!!) and he has absolutely no reason to lie to me anymore yet he can't stop!!
Every time I rebuild my trust with him, he completely shatters it!! I'm basically just playing the waiting game because he picked Nov 17th of this year to quit altogether, so the cigarettes aren't my primary worry. But, I don't feel like I can trust him anymore. I honestly don't know if he lies about anything else, how much he smokes, etc. I have half the mind to give him a certain amount each day and require receipts and change to document if he's bought any packs, etc. I originally came on here to get advice on rationally behaving, such as limits to place on him, like not going places without me (he only smokes when I'm not there, or if I go inside) (not so he won't smoke but just to be sure I know about it when he does and how much, etc); I felt like I was quite lenient on him, giving him the space to tell me the truth, but now since he's betrayed my trust and lied to me I've lost count how many times, I feel like it's time to kick it up and be semi-Nazi. I don't know how to deal with this. But I do know that I definitely
can't take him lying to me; he's pushing me really far away and in the process doing irreparable damage - I feel myself building a wall up and turning cold and distant (I guess in an effort to protect my feelings and prevent from crying which is all I feel like doing). What's worse, I feel like I'm getting used to this, him lying to me, which I hate the most. I definitely DO NOT want this to be the rest of my marriage, not being surprised by the fact that my husband lies to me.
I'm not sure what it is I'm asking for by posting this, I just know I need help dealing with this situation.
Thank you in advance for anyone who reads and replies; it means a lot to me that someone cares enough to lend a pair of eyes and maybe some advice.