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Wedding Woes

DH is a secret smoker

*this is not real. only entertainment.*

Dear Prudence,
My husband and I have been married for 10 years, have two young children, and are still madly in love. He is a fantastic father and husband. The “but” is that in the past few years he has become a smoker. He would describe himself as someone who only smokes socially and casually. But he hides cigarettes and often lies about it even though he reeks of it. It infuriates me when he tells me I’m crazy and imagining it, especially since we both know the truth. When I find hidden packs, he says they belong to a friend. At a shower his co-workers threw for us, I heard someone ask him if he was quitting smoking in anticipation of the baby’s arrival. He wasn’t smoking when we first started dating, and I probably wouldn’t have continued our relationship if he had been because smoking is a big turn-off for me. He will admit to smoking “when he is stressed,” and due to his job this has increased. I’ve pleaded for him to quit, but he never does. He says that he shouldn't have to lie and that I should just deal with it. He said that if you respond, he will follow your advice, and I will, too. What do you say, Prudence?

—No Smoking

Re: DH is a secret smoker

  • secret smokers are silly for ever thinking it's secret.
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_wedding-woes_dh-is-a-secret-smoker?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special%20Topic%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:47Discussion:3e18aac7-1af0-4986-b99d-703ec3188ef7Post:d5f3799e-21d5-4bac-ab72-eea1b7065283">Re: DH is a secret smoker</a>:
    [QUOTE]secret smokers are silly for ever thinking it's secret.
    Posted by GBCK[/QUOTE]

    I know, right?  It stinks from half mile away.
  • And what was Prudie's answer???
    :::stamps foot::::
  • TheMrsC23TheMrsC23 member
    500 Comments
    edited January 2013

    Dear No,
    I was wondering after your description of your wonderful husband what the “but” would be, and it turns out to be a butt, so I understand why you’re fuming. Since you have given me power over your marriage, I say it’s time for his lying, to himself and to you, to stop. He has to recognize he’s no “social” or “casual” smoker. Maybe he hasn’t heard about smoking being socially unacceptable, and there appears to be nothing casual about the way he goes at it. As for you, as understandable as your compulsion is to nag, you must try to douse it. It’s not working and is only creating tension between you. Once your husband comes clean about his dirty habit, appreciate his honesty. Your next step is to follow the model of Michelle Obama in dealing with her husband’s smoking—or at least the reports of her approach. She loathed his smoking, encouraged him to quit, accepted how difficult that was, didn’t constantly monitor, and celebrated his successes. (She also said he would support his initial run for president in exchange for him quitting smoking. So it’s possible he decided to run in order to get away and smoke in peace.) The official word is that after many failed attempts the president is now smoke-free. I’m not the only viewer to suspect that during the inaugural parade the president was maintaining his abstinence by madly chomping on Nicorette gum. As for you two, part of this new honesty regimen is for your husband to admit that he has a problem and that, for the sake of himself and his family, he will address it by going to a smoking cessation class. You will support him and do your best not to rebuke him if you smell evidence that he sometimes slips. Focusing on the wonderful relationship you have will reduce your husband’s stress, which is an acknowledged trigger. He’s got a struggle ahead, and if you can deal with it as partners, he’ll be more likely to succeed.

    —Prudie

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