Saturday, June 10, 2006

reformed smoker

People say that reformed smokers are much worse than people who never smoked. I am testament to this fact.

In my three months as a reformed smoker, I have tried everything I can think of to try and get my husband to quit too.

I have had tantrums. I have smashed ashtrays. I have pushed his filthy, smelly arse away in disgust on numerous occasions. I have pointed out the fact that he is forcing me into facing early widowhood as a crazy cat lady, a fact that is already compounded by our age difference. I have reminded him that he will not see his existing children into adulthood, let alone the one that he is attempting to make. I have even taken to calling him "sperm-killer", 'cause his smoking sure as hell doesn't help things along in that department.

I have done everything I can think of, nigh on saying "I will leave you if you don't stop." (though I feel so strongly about it that it could be the next step!)

None of it has worked, of course.

Look. Perhaps I'm being harsh.

But I just don't think there is any excuse.

If I can quite smoking, anyone can. Especially considering all the crappy drama I've been through in that three months.

You see, I wasn't just a coffee-break smoker. I was a Full On Hardened Smoker. I smoked rolling tobacco that I bought on the black market at $60 for half a kilo, because I couldn't afford to smoke anything else. I don't even know how many I smoked a day. I estimate forty, because I went through a packet of Tally Ho papers about every day and a half. But I can't really be sure. It was literally countless.

Every single thing in my life was punctuated by cigarettes.

So what can I do now, folks? I've pitched every argument, pulled every punch.

And I'm at a loss.

How can I get my husband to quit smoking??


At 7:42 PM, Blogger GZ said...

Congratulations, first of all, on quitting smoking. Thats pretty cool and I admire you for it.

I wish I could offer you some advice on your husband, but I've never quit smoking and so I have no idea what might make it easier. Is it because he doesn't want to quit, or just that he is finding it too difficult? I remember when I was a little girl livign with my grandpa when he was quitting. He sucked on sunflower seeds constantly and had me make him a boston cream pie every Sunday if he hadn't smoked that week.

At 8:01 PM, Blogger Thalia said...

Same reason I can't get my husband to lose weight. He just doesn't want to enough. Not sure there's anything you can do other than wait.

At 8:13 PM, Blogger Vee said...

Congratulations on giving up ! I have given up for the same amount of time. Lucky for me, my husband gave up at the same time. It is hard as you know and not a day goes bye without thinking about it.

One thing I found after many failed attempts at giving up, is if you are not ready, you wont do it. This is the longest time quitting for me and it is because THIS time I was really ready.
Keep reminding him about all the bad things, he will give up when he is ready.

Hopefully sooner rather than later.
Good luck !

At 8:27 PM, Blogger Bea said...

Nup, no answers here, but I would be strongly pushing the "you want me to go through what and you can't do your best to give me decent quality sperm?" angle. Which you've tried, so now I shrug.

Nagging and threatening is, from my experience, mostly counterproductive - I mean, that could be us, not you, but if you'll allow me to generalise a bit...

Are there issues to be got through here (as someone said, above)? IVF-related issues - like lack of commitment to the whole thing due to feelings of fault/inadequacy/add other psychobabble here? Actual non-IVF issues? (Do those exist? Only in the real world?)




At 8:28 PM, Blogger Bea said...

Oh! And congrats on giving up - you definitely rock.

At 8:42 PM, Anonymous Meri-ann said...

I wish there was an answer to this one. I quit smoking 3 years ago when we started ivf, and after losing the twins in March I've started up again, albeit not a lot but I know it has to go, and soon if we want to have another go next month.
I suppose he has to really want to give up to do it, and I hope your quest for a family is the trigger. Otherwise, just don't give him sex!

At 2:21 AM, Blogger Mary Ellen and Steve said...

Good for you for quitting!

My husband and I both used to smoke when we were in college. We didn't quit until I found a lump in my b.reast, and had to have it removed. Thankfully it was benign. It was enough to scare us into quitting.

Maybe infertility treatments will be enough to get him to quit too. Good luck!

At 4:43 AM, Blogger ellie said...

I don't know if I can offer anything about hubby not wanting to quit- he has to want to do it for it to work. And he was to want to do it for himself as well as his family- then it will stick. I lost my stepdad to small cell carcinoma years ago. He smoked so much he would often light one cig before he has finished the cuurent one he was smoking. Occassionally he would have too many cigs and not enough hands- and then he would hand them to my mom. It's hard to watch people you care for killing themselves. Harder when they have been diagnosed and they still don't stop. Good for you for respecting your health and body enough to stop. It's a hard thing to stop. My mom has been struggling with it for years even after watching her life partner die from it. Just makes me sad more than anything. But I wish you luck in your quest-

At 6:49 AM, Blogger Lut C. said...

If you find the magic spell, please let me know. I've never smoked, but my husband does. I ask him to quit, but he just ignores it.

Congrats on quitting. It's hard to kick an addiction.

At 7:20 AM, Blogger Em said...

In my experience with my hubby, the harder I push the more he digs his heels in. We both stopped smoking but without each other knowing. Me on New Year's day 2001 in Oz and he, six months later in London. It is a great thing but your hubby will do it in his own time. So hard though.

At 8:35 AM, Blogger MAX said...

Being Vee's hubby and having had to give up and convince her to do the same recently, I thought I'd share my experience with you.

Like I said to my other half when she was struggling with the idea of giving up smoking up is the easy part, not taking it up again is the hard part.

I gave up smoking for a period of five years only to take it up later on during a period of stress, fortunately for me both my wife and I have been off nicotine for about three months now.

Like several people have pointed it out already, you will not make someone give up if they are not ready to do it.

Having said that, you should encourage your hubby, point out the good thing about giving up rather than nagging him about the cancer risks because he already knows about it all too well.

Just give him daily positive feedback but don't direct it at've got to work on his mind in a subliminal kind of way...

At 10:05 AM, Blogger Les said...

Congrats! I quit about 6 years ago and it was the hardest thing I have ever done. People who loved me tried to get me to quit for years and years before I was ready. I think you have to hold on until he is ready.

Unfortunately if he is stubborn it will have to be his idea :(
Good luck!

At 12:03 PM, Blogger StellaNova said...

I had the leverage of our unknown and potential future. We had only just started our relationship and I told him that I loved him - alot - but that I just wasn't prepared to commit anything to a future relationship with a smoker.

My Dad has been a smoker my whole life. He had 3 heart attacks and a triple-bypass operation by the time he was 39. He's a closet smoker now, still, and my mother makes all sorts of excuses to help him hide it. His health, skin, teeth and fitness are terrible and he stinks. He is only 62 but my sisters and I have always resigned ourselves to the fact that we will never see him into old age. I knew I couldn't live with that uncertainty with a husband.

We both knew that this was 'the one' but I was adamant. If he kept smoking - no future. And the relationship was still young enough that you do things you wouldn't normally do to secure it. It took him 3 attempts and about a year before he was finally able to say her had quit.

And a few months after his last cigarrete, he proposed. He tells me know quite regularly that whilst he still thinks about it, he is so glad and proud to call hiself a non-smoker. And, he says now his main commitment is to remaining as young and healthy as possible for our, as yet, unborn children.

I don't know how to work on yours though - does he want to, but lacks strength - or is a determined and committed smoker. i think the key is in the motivation to stop. And your support to get him through it.

Sorry - a bit of a long reply here! :)

At 4:59 AM, Blogger Just another Jenny said...

Congrats for you! I just had my 3 year anniversary. I swear by the book "the easy way to stop smoking" by Alan Carr (I think that is the right name). Other than that, I don't have any advice. I think I was the last person in my group to quit.

At 7:56 AM, Blogger projgen said...

I conducted a survey some years ago on smokers who had successfully quit and what I found was 2 things:

1) heavy-duty smokers (more than a pack a day) have an easier time quitting than "casual" smokers.

2) cold-turkey quitters are far more likely to stick with it than acupuncture, hypnosis, reward, etc., quitters (doesn't mean those methods don't work, they're just not *as likely* to work).

My mother (ex-smoker) nagged me for years. Annoyed the hell out of me, but never got me to quit. I just decided to do it one day, many years ago. Once *I* wanted it, no problem. When I tried because I *should* or because I felt guilty for inflicting 2nd-hand smoke on people, etc., it never worked.

Good luck, Meg. I hope T. wants to be smoke-free for himself very soon.

At 8:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Heya Meg,

congrats on making the three month mark! Three years for me very soon.

I've gotta say, that quitting is a really personal thing. Castigation of the smoker is possibly the WORST approach you can take. People hate being judged and it creates a conflict that makes it easy to not think of the reasons why it would be a good idea to quit and just think of how much the finger wagger is pissing you off and how self righteous they are. Light out of spite.

You remember the smoking book? Dear Alan opened with a big speil about how he was the worst smoker ever, and i've gotta say that i felt like throwing the smug prick across the room. It required a conscious effort to think, "no, this is doing good things for me, you have to get past this irritating sermonising and get the message." We all know smoking is bad for us, but that's not the point. The decision has to be yours, it has to be owned by you. It also helped that i had a very good, understanding, model of health partner at the time who was supportive in failure as well as success.

Anyway, its getting to that time of year where it's bloody hard being a smoker: its cold outside, if you haven't got anyone to keep you company whilst you smoke its awfully lonely and you get crook constantly. Trust in the fact that T. will make the decision when he's ready.

Hope you're well and enjoyed our Lizzie's b'day holiday,


At 2:33 AM, Blogger Inglewood said...

Congratulations on giving up smoking!

Unfortunately it is difficult to 'force' someone to give something up. Try some positive encouragement, comment on how nice he smells, how nice it is kissing him etc when he doesn't stink of smoke, ignore him when it does. It worked wonders with my hubby, he used to only clean when I nagged him to, then I stopped nagging and if he ever cleaned I made a big deal out of it, thanking him and letting him know how much time he saved me. Now he cleans quite often and I don't have to nag.

Good luck.


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