Tuesday, July 13, 2010

P3 Day 20 - 114.7 ( +/- 0, -2 of LDW)

I'm ready for P4. I feel stable, and I am anxious to move into that next phase of my life.

I am having marital problems... well, problem to be specific, that has plagued the entire span of our marriage. Unfortunately, I don't do confrontations well as my husband intimidates me, and on this particular topic, I've found it to be useless, but waking up this morning, I don't see the point in keeping my mouth shut about it either.

It's my husband's smoking.

Some of you know the story already, but I'll briefly summarize it to say when we met, I was a smoker too. Due to finances at one point, we both decided to quit. I had a stressful homesick day (this is when I was living in Holland, and hadn't been there that long, maybe 6 months TOPS, didn't know the language, missed my family, etc., etc - you get the idea) and I slipped and smoked. My husband (then boyfriend) was so disgusted with my lack of will power and said that if I was going to start up, there was no point in him quitting. And he started back up. Not long after that we married, and a month later I was pregnant with our son. Of course at that point, I quit.  No more cigarettes for me because I was doing everything for 2 at that point. I also at that point had to ask my husband to quit smoking in the house.

I've found that he has the personality that if you push, he pushes back. After some time I decided he was smart enough that if I just backed off, he'd eventually quit. His parents and sister were smokers and all quit. Practically all of his friends in Holland were smokers and THEY all quit. I quit. Surely, he would come around to it.

Last night he told me (in not so many words) that smoking makes him sane. I told him (in not so many words) that his example was hurting our children.

Cigarette packs are now something like $6, 3 times what they cost when I was smoking. They have no redeeming value. His father has had cancer. He has gum disease, and smoking exasperates that. More than that, he has a family. He has a wife and two kids who LOVE and adore him.

We got our wills notarized yesterday. He said afterwards (jokingly of course) "Now I can travel and you won't mind because I have a will!". No, you block head! Now I know the house won't go into probate if you DIE OF LUNG CANCER. Of course I didn't say that.

It makes him sane. God, I know how hard it is to quit smoking. It's one of the hardest things I've ever done in my entire life, but it's doable. You need stress relief? Go to the gym.

Sorry for the rant. I just needed to get this off my chest. Now, how to talk to the husband about it...

Edited to add...

I think part of the problem with our communication is I have a hard time separating my resentment from my very real concern, love, and hurt I feel about this. I love him so much. I love him, and I love my family and I just want us all around for as long as possible... Thanks for letting me work through this here. It helps to have a sounding board.


Nick and Meg said...

I hear you and your frustrations! When my husband and I were getting married he told me he wouldn't marry me unless I quit smoking. So I did. In 1 day and didn't have it for 8 1/2 years! Then one day--much edited--he told me that I could start again if I wanted to. I've been smoking again now for 1 1/2 yrs, but our kids don't know it. I Never do it around them, they don't even know I have cigarettes in the house. I usually smoke at night well after they've gone to bed. It works for us. My only problem with your husband still smoking is that you mentioned he does it in the house. If he at least took an approach to it like I have, where it's never done in front of the kids and ALWAYS outside, then perhaps you may feel less upset about it? Why don't you get him these--http://www.smokelessdelite.com/ and see if it helps him quit the real ones.??
good luck hon! I know it's hard.

helderheid said...

My husband doesn't smoke in the house - sorry if that was unclear! No, as soon as I was pregnant, I stopped. After about 3 days of him smoking in the apartment, I begged him to smoke outside and we've been a smoke free home ever since. There is no way in HELL I'd allow him to smoke in the home.

Thanks so much for the link, the comment, and your experience!

Incredible Shrinking Me said...

Congrats on quitting and not going back after your pregnancy. I quit as well when I met my boyfriend. He is a non smoker. He never told me that I had to quit but I decided to for my own health. He is used to it, his dad smokes, but he'd rather not be around it. I don't know how I would go about bringing it up without it turning into a confrontation. Hopefully you will find a way though.

lavenderdiva said...

aarrrggghhh. I just hate it when my husband & I have these sorts of stalemates. I always think 'if it was your Mother asking you, you wouldn't even blink twice, but because it's me, you're blowing me off!'

hmmmm. It sounds like he's using the smoking as a stress-relief. Does he do any physical exercise? I am wondering if he could substitute that for the smoking. Of course, the tricky part is getting him to make the switch! You said he pushes back if you push him. Which sounds like a control issue to me.

When you guys quit before, you said it was for monetary reasons. What if you presented it to him as another monetary idea. Only this time, the money you save would go to something HE really wants. I don't know what that would be, but make it a good enticement. Pick something he's been wanting for a long time. Not even something you two would want, just something HE wants for him. Maybe that would work.

I know you do well when you write him a love note. Perhaps you could write out your feelings showing him how much you care about & love him, and how much you want him to be around for a long time. He would be doing this for you & your children. He means the world to you. I'll just bet he couldn't turn that down!

love you-

Kathryn said...

I can totally understand your frustration. I have the same issue but I'm the one being asked to stop smoking. I am trying to cut down but as my stress level goes up it was easier to control the eating than the smoking. My husband absolutely hates the smoke but he tolerates it because he's used to it - his mother was a chain smoker.

But in your situation unlike mine I can see the respect and total love and admiration you have for your husband. When you are starting from that healthy standpoint of a strong relationship, it will be much easier for you to negotiate an agreement. I really like LD's suggestions.

Another possible one is to save up all the packages of empty cigarettes. Then wrap them up and put a handmade gift certificate in there i.e. $500 spent on cigarettes could be (insert item here) instead.

Good luck working out a compromise or hopefully a solution. I know you can do it!

helderheid said...

That's a good idea, LD! Though money isn't as much of a motivator as before, since he's realized the "American Dream" but perhaps if I calculated how much per year he spends and compare it to, say wave runners or something, maybe that would motivate him. I just don't know. I feel he got my message yesterday but it may take having one of our kids trying cigarettes to get him to WAKE UP. *sigh*
Love ya!

helderheid said...

Kathryn, thank you (and I love your suggestion!!)! I appreciate your response, especially coming from a current smoker.
I really do. :)

Maggie said...

Just a suggestion...using electronic cigs for awhile is how my brother, his wife, my best friend and I all quit. You don't inhale smoke and you exhale water vapor (you can even use them in a movie theater). http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8&q=blu+cigarette is the link to them and this brand was the best out of the 3 we all tried. Good luck!
Best of all...no cancer causing agents, no smell or fire.

helderheid said...

Maggie, THANK YOU! Is this it?

http://www.blucigs.com/ ?

I sure appreciate it. If it doesn't have an expiration date, I'll order it today. I know he needs to want to stop and I don't think he's quite there. I really, really appreciate the link!