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Why doesn't my husband leave me alone about smoking?

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Question - (16 July 2010) 19 Answers - (Newest, 21 May 2011)
A female United States age 30-35, *egasus1028 writes:

I'm a smoker, and my husband doesn't like it. I don't understand why he thinks he is allowed to tell me what I can can't do. He said he likes it better when I hide it from him, but I don't see the point in having something so stupid be kept a secret. I don't smoke in the house, i don't smoke around the kids, I don't smoke around him. I think he should just leave me a lone about it, am I right about that?

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A reader, anonymous, writes (21 May 2011):

This is a controlling issue. If you smoked when you met him, then there is some other reason he is putting pressure on you. It is like marrying someone, frankly, fat, and then telling them they need to get in shape! Or, someone lazy, and telling them to get off their B---. Or someone hyper active and telling them to chill. Has your husband changed and is now in shape and leading a healthy life, or whatever, and wants the same for you? Today it is your smoking. You quit, and for sure, it will be something else. You should quit anyway for your health, but that is beside the issue, and is perhaps is really not your husband´s issue with you. Another point is that it is one thing is to nag someone with ¨love¨ and another is to nag someone with ¨anger¨.

The first type of nagging is the person´s love for you, selfless love, and the second is love for one´s self ... meaning your husband´s love for himself and not wanting you to die prematurely and be left alone.

¨You¨could be anyone. It is not the same. You may be ¨feeling¨ the difference and reacting aggressively.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (29 August 2010):

At the moment, you are right about this...in 20-30 years time, he'll be right about it.

Smoking kills and hes trying to protect you. Be grateful someone cares that much about you to try to get you to quit.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (26 August 2010):

If you think you do not smell or taste like cigarettes you are kidding yourselves. If you thibnk you will not have health issues you are in for a HUGE wake-up call. I smoked for 18 years, and at 35 was diagnosed with COPD, the oxygen tank is not far into my future and I am still bloody young! Also, do not underestimate the damage you can do to someone else from second hand smoke.

If you want to kill yourself use a gun, it is faster and much cheaper than cancer treatment. Seriously, $450-ish for a gun vs $450,000-ish for cancer.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (18 August 2010):

well there seems to be a lot of anti-smoking campaigning going on here, for good reasons though. i am a smoker too. if u aren't smoking in front of the kids, him or in the house, i dont see what the problem could be. Ask him! Hide it from him? wow. like brush your teeth after and eat sweets, you arent in high school?! maybe he just wants u to quit, but that is something he should address to you in a different manner.

Long life to us smokers, God willing.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (11 August 2010):

If you smoke so little then why not quit?!?!

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (17 July 2010):

why is he giving you a bad time about smoking? Because it is like living with an ashtray. It is a very unpleasent experience.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (17 July 2010):

It always makes me laugh when smokers say they don't smell from it. They just don't realise and see denial as the best form of defence here. You justify your smoking but I still think your husband can nag you about it if he wants to. Just because you don't smoke much that doesn't negate all the health risks.

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A female reader, Pegasus1028 United States +, writes (17 July 2010):

Pegasus1028 is verified as being by the original poster of the question

Pegasus1028 agony auntI did smoke before we were married. And i smoke so little that it just really doesn't seem like it should be an issue. I usually have the same pack of cigarettes for almost two weeks. And I do not smell from it. I care more about how I smell then he does. So I'm not worried about the risks. I quit for months at a time most of the time, but if I am going through a stressful situation, I want the cigarette break to calm my nerves. He does not seem to be worried about my health, it seems like he just wants to control what i do. He said he has a problem because some one accused him of being a smoker almost twenty years ago, which i find to be an incredibly stupid reason to get mad at me for occasionally having a smoke.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (17 July 2010):

Because he loves you? Because it stinks? Because it a huge waste of money?

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A male reader, TimmD United States +, writes (16 July 2010):

TimmD agony auntIf you smoked before you were married then honestly, he probably shouldn't have married you. He did, and I agree he should just let it go. Now, I can see him just wanting you to be healthy and encourage you to quit, but he can't force you to quit.

If you took up smoking after you got married or hid it from him then he has every right to hate it.

So which is it? Did you smoke before you got married?

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (16 July 2010):

I hate it when my boyfriend smokes as it stinks my clothes, his breath smells and no one in my family smoke and we been raised to look down on smoking. I do not blame your husband for trying to stop you. Its for your health in the long run

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A male reader, Frank B Kermit Canada +, writes (16 July 2010):

Frank B Kermit agony auntI would ask if you started smoking before you got married, or if you started after? This may play into his attitude.

There could be a number of reasons as to why he says something:

-wants you to live longer

-wants you to smell better when he kisses you

-wants to send a message to his kids that he does not support this action

-he has asthma and you make it unpleasant for him

-wants you to not smoke in the car where the fumes get entrenched into the vehicle

I know you do not smoke in front of the kids, and that is a good thing...but kids are smart enough to know and figure it out. I do not know how old your kids are, but when they are tempted to smoke or do drugs by their friends, will they listen to the parent that smokes (openly or in secret)?

and YES, he has every right to voice his opinion. He is your husband...your life partner. He invests everything into his life with you, just as you invest your life into him, and if he was doing something self-destructive, or something that would negatively impact you.

With smoking this could be everything from the effects of second hand smoke to how it affects your presences as a unified front when trying to set boundaries for your children.

-Frank

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A male reader, Odds United States +, writes (16 July 2010):

Odds agony auntBesides the fact that you'll die younger, you'll also age twice as fast. No husband wants that.

To a certain extent, you and your husband *do* get to declare certain behaviors unacceptable. If he earns all the money in the family, does that mean he gets to spend every penny on booze and strippers? If he's the only one who mows the lawn, does that mean he can replace the whole yard with gravel without discussing it first? Marriage is a partnership, and a long-term one at that. You both have to do what's best for the family, and sometimes that means doing (or not doing) something simply because your spouse wants it that way.

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A male reader, Cerberus Ireland + , writes (16 July 2010):

Cerberus agony auntIf your husband was say, cutting his arms everyday but he wasn't doing it front of you, he wasn't letting anyone else see him do it, would you be okay with that? Or would you say nothing to him because you don't want to tell him what he can and cannot do, even though he was intentionally harming himself?

You know smoking is harmful, you know it could kill you yet you complain when your husband is on your back to stop.

He could well lose you to some disease brought on by your smoking and you except him to sit back and be okay with that?

He wants you to hide it because he doesn't want to look at you sucking expensive poison into your lungs or be reminded of it.

Back to the cutting analogy, say he was and he wouldn;t stop no matter what you said to him, would you want him doing it right there in front of you? No you wouldn't, just because smoking is popular and to some degree more socially acceptable than cutting it's actually far more expensive and far more dangerous.

FYI I'm a smoker and frankly have no problem smoking and my girlfriend nags me about it, she's entitled to that and thanks to her nagging I've cut back a lot because I can't smoke as much anymore seeing as I have to hide it from her, she knows I still smoke, but she never smells it on my breath and I don't leave any physical reminders that I do lying around the place.

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A male reader, CaringGuy United Kingdom + , writes (16 July 2010):

I'm thinking that he doesn't want you to die of cancer. Whether you continue is up to you, of course. But I doubt he will stop hassling you about it. At least he cares. I saw my Great uncle die of cancer when I saw three, caused by smoking. I remember it even now. Not something you want your kids to remember really. But, like I say, it's up to you. Seems like a shame though.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (16 July 2010):

You don't mention IF you were smoking when your husband met you, as this is fairly relevant. If someone is a non-smoker I'm afraid the smell of smoke permeating everything as it does, leaving the health risks aside for the moment, is quite objectionable. I also note you say you don't smoke in the home, around the children or him..so WHERE and WHEN do you smoke that is causing the problem?

Because if he doesn't witness you smoking at all as you seem to be suggesting, and you change your clothes, keep your breath sweet and NOT nicotine based..at what point does it affect your relationship..

I feel as though something else may be going on here apart from the smoking, but of course only you will know that. I do know however if a non-smoker and a smoker live together, it can eventually present real problems. Of course he will be worried about your health too, and so will your children as they grow-up, so perhaps something to think about.

Jilly x

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A male reader, dirtball United States +, writes (16 July 2010):

dirtball agony auntMy guess would be the health risks. Personally, I could care less if someone smokes. You know what you're doing, and the risks, it's near impossible not to. The sad news is that this isn't something that's likely to go away. Good luck, wish I could be more help.

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A female reader, Honeypie United States + , writes (16 July 2010):

Honeypie agony aunt

I'm guessing that he wants you to stick around longer. He wants you to quit and I guess his method of convincing you is by nagging.

I can't see why you have to "pretend" to hide that you smoke, since he obviously know.

Good luck,

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (16 July 2010):

To be honest if I was your husband I would nag you about it. For one think, it stinks, and smokers always stink of cigarettes as well, no matter how much perfume they use or how many mints they eat. It looks incredibly trashy as well. It also costs money. But the main issue is it is seriously bad for your health. If you have kids you should put them first. Smoking is one of the biggest killers out there, and you need to really be aware of that both for your kids and your husband. Everyone knows the risks of smoking these days, and I am always amazed at the number of seemingly intelligent people who think it's ok to smoke. Perhaps your husband doesn't want to see it so he can try and put it out of his mind seeing as he dislikes it. I see no reason why you should continue smoking except for entirely selfish ones; I used to smoke the odd cigarette, my fiance didn't like it so I stopped. It's hardly like he's "winning", he's doing me a favour.

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