smoke anyone??

myfampgJuly 30, 2011

I normally hang out in the stepfamily forum but for once I have an issue that IS related to these walls and under this roof...

My husband's smoking is about to drive me insane. I don't mind smokers, I don't mind smoking, I don't mind that when I met my husband he was a 2 pack a day smoker.. why? I have no clue. He does not smoke in his vehicle, in our home, near our doors or windows or I'll flip a lid... he does not smoke with the kids around.. he simply goes out to the end of the drive way and smokes.. I'm actually OK with this. Recently, he carries his chair out with him... so redneck..

I smoke 'on occasion'. Month end at work usually triggers a few of us to go hang out by the smoker table in the afternoon.. a few drinks and I'm lighting up.. but in general, I don't smoke unless there is just a lot going on and I just feel like I want to. But I can go days, weeks, MONTHS without a smoke. I am not addicted. I sometimes "enjoy" a puff.. My husband on the other hand, cannot go an hour. It is driving me insane because I feel like all of a sudden going out and smoking and playing on his fancy iphone is priority and I feel like I just might explode!

I would NEVER tell him to quit.. I know that I can't "make" him quit but I would like for him to slow down.. or I would like for him to see that it's 915pm and for whatever reason I am having a hard time getting the kids in bed and that him sitting outside for 2 hours is enough! But he doesn't realize it. He will wonder where I am because he will go out and grab the chairs for us to sit outside to chat after I get the kids tucked in... time will pass and he will come looking for me.. "hey I thought you were going to come outside with me?" and I will say, well I was but I can't get the kids to lay down and I really needed to get the two loads of laundry folded and I had to unload the dishwasher in order to fill it back up. I just wanted to get these things done before I called it a "night" and sit outside for a couple of hours..

His response ALWAYS is.. "why didn't you tell me you needed help?" My thought is, if he had not been gone so long, he would have come back in and seen what I had going on inside.

BUT... if I go out there and say "HEY I want to come sit with you will you come help me get this stuff done?"

his answer is a grunt and a groan and an eye roll...

so I don't ask anymore.

OTHER than this, our relationship is great. We went to the movies tonight, had dinner with the kids.. The kids were awesome, we were all happy, he seemed happy, he is happy right now.. but he is out there SMOKING! and I just got my kids down (But literally, they are STILL awake).. I had to fold the clothes in the dryer because I am desperately trying to get the laundry done TONIGHT instead of having a ton to do tomorrow.. and he is outside.. playing on that stupid phone! and smoking!

I think I might have to go smoke TOO!

It just makes me so mad..

ANd today, he had a list of things HE wanted to do .. and they were important things like get his oil changed, get the car inspected, tires rotated.. etc..

But then he came home in the middle of some of his errands to "smoke" and he wasted so much time out there that he ended up not being able to get the car inspected because he sat too long.. smoking.. and they were closed when he finally decided to go.. Oh well so what does he do? He goes to his office and gets on the computer.. "to check the network at the office" but then I come in and he is playing Assassains Creed(sp?) and I said.. WHAT?? he says.. no Look, I am working, it's updating.. BUT I am playing too.. and he smiles.. he's so damn cute, yet so frustrating! AND he just walks in while I am typing this and wants to get all up in my business of "what are you doing?" well what in the hll have you been doing for the last hour? I folded clothes, did two more loads, I NOW can hear that one or both of the kids is beating on something that sounds like a drum... and NOT asleep! and I am on the computer, got a problem with it? If i am not on the computer, you would be, so is it that you want me to get back in that kitchen so you can "check the network" or is it you are just nosey..?? ugh!Why don't you just go smoke again and let me finish typing! UGH! ( i did not say ANY of that..LOLbut it felt so good to type it... LOL)

How in the world do I let him know that this is bothering me without 1. offending him 2. alienating him 3. making him feel like he is "bad" 4. making him smoke more?

I am not saying he has to quit smoking.. but I just want him to put our lives, our children, the house etc as a priority over sitting outside and smoking.. It's like before we can do anything or before he can move to the next "project' he has to have a smoke break.. why???

AND I really want to tell him, if he plans to continue to smoke like a freight train, then I am going to start getting my nails done again. I gave that up because we are trying to save and pay off debt so we can buy our OWN home... but he hasn't given up or cut back on smoking.. what gives?

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This is why more and more employers are refusing to hire smokers. They require more down-time and break-time than other employees.

However, what you've described is more than that. A cigarette takes a few minutes...even including walking too/from the location. What you've described is avoidance and time-wasting behavior way beyond smoke-breaks. Of course the smoking association is there but that isn't the nut.

From what you've written, I don't think you even need to mention the smoking. If you can manage a discussion, it seems to me focusing on the time-wasting is as far as you need to go.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2011 at 9:50AM
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Well he doesn't do it at work. He would get fired! We work for the same company and there is a two break limit per day. He stays quite busy at work but at home maybe he is bored? And doesn't know what else to do?
If I tell him 'what' to do then I feel like I am mothering him.

However, this morning he watched the weather and tomorrow to Wednesday it's supposed to be 109 degrees and he said, I don't think I will be smoking much this week -- maybe I can quit. Lol good luck!!

    Bookmark   July 31, 2011 at 12:28PM
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I think you have a serious problem. Serious enough that it might be time to get some counselling to help.

For starters, anyone who smokes like that is physically addicted and probably CANNOT just cut back or quit. I have a sister who is a heavy smoker like your husband. When her husband almost died, had to have a pacemaker installed, and lost a week of his life he doesn't remember due to heart failure, she adamantly stated that if he made it, and had to quit smoking, she would too--so as not to tempt him. Well, you guessed it--he made it, he QUIT smoking.... she did not. And, as you can imagine, eventually he went back to it. Have never smoked, myself, but I can see that it's a seriously addicting drug. So just making a fuss--even a gentle, carefully worded one, isn't going to get your husband to stop. More likely, it's going to make him feel guilty--which will morph into anger (at himself for being so weak, and at you for pointing it out, and at the kids for no real reason other than they're there and complicating the situation).

You know that no one with an addiction is going to make changes unless and until THEY want to. No matter how much those who love them want to see them improve their lives, it won't work until they, themselves see the need.

As I said, I think your best bet is to have a chat with a counselor--mainly because I think the assistance would help YOU come to grips with accepting the situation.

No matter how much we may want to, we can NEVER base any relationship on the idea that we want the other to change. The only way to be happy with our significant others is to first choose people we have a lot in common with, and then to accept them as they are--warts and all.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2011 at 4:28PM
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Thanks for the advice.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2011 at 6:56PM
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He is clearly avoiding the "work" involved with a family, by going outside to smoke. Why don't you say to him that he can smoke inside to keep him inside, to see if that gets him helping out more ?

I think you should decide to stop all the fuming coming from your direction and just communicate with him how you feel. You don't have to argue just have a gentle chat.

You say you want to save for a house, well a lot of that saving potential is going up in smoke, literally. How much is spent of cigarettes in your house ?

I know you don't want a lecture about the evils of smoking, but (I'll give you one anyway !) give up the cigs and everyone will benefit, you will get a house, your hubbie will help inside with the housework, and you will all be a lot healthier and the children might be adults who don't smoke.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2011 at 5:12AM
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If he sits at the end of the driveway for 2 hours, smoking and talking on his cell.... I think something more is going on than smoking.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2011 at 7:11PM
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No he is not talking on his cell. He is playing games. I've checked ;)
It is clearly a game ... Because he isn't hiding it. He is sitting at the driveway because I don't want the smoke in the house.

The amount going out financially has come down A LOT. It was $250 a month. In July it was $85. Ok so I was very proud of that and so was he. The numbers were shocking. And the drastic jump from $250-$85 is wonderful!

We talked today at lunch. I started with, how in the world do you enjoy being outside when it's 110 degrees outside? Aren't you 'dying' out there? He said 'ya its hot I don't want to do it anymore, I guess I just got into the habit of us sittin outside chatting'. I said well we aren't chatting when you're playing AngryBirds or whatever shootem' game you are playing. And I explained that I was a little 'tired' of the game playing because I don't get that down time and so I feel 'jealous' and 'resentful' that I'm 'working' and he is 'playing'. I guess he never realized? When it's cooler, we are all outside with the kids BUT it's so hot I don't let the kids play outside right now.
Tonight has been a better night. Thanks for letting me vent and for some of the advice.
Basically he says he is VERY stressed at work. I work there too so I get it. I offered the counseling idea. He isn't against it but wonders if we really need counseling OR if it would help for us to communicate our frustrations first before allowing them to build up? Hmmm probably a good idea. I am not good at this.

I know that smoking is 'bad'. Completely aware of it and i often wonder HoW I became a smoker since neither of my parents smoke. Neither did his. In fact, he was already out of college when he started which is so weird to me. Most people start really young ... But he was already an adult.. And wasn't raised around smokers ... I am considering this 'game' ap for the iPhone for him... It is supposed to help you quit but honestly I think he would benefit from just seeing a dr to get help. I will absolutely quit 100% - it's just easier for me to detach from it whenever I want.

Thanks again.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2011 at 10:55PM
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Hi Myfam. My DH smokes too. A lot. And I was like you, a drag here when people are over and we're having drinks... a drag there when I meet up with an old friend who smokes. Etc.

I "quit" a couple of times (never have bought my own packs or smoked more than one cig a day) but I've now been since December 2010 without a smoke.

The benefit is that we're not a "team" for smoking anymore. I don't make it easy for him, I don't walk with him when he's going the distance (in airports, etc) to get his fix. I just disengaged.

I think my DH will smoke forever. And I hate that. But I don't think I can ever change it.

My DH plays games when he smokes too.

I think the biggest issue is not the smoking or the games, but that you aren't getting help... right? If I am correct, focus on that with him. My DH will say things like "and then I have to _____" and I'll come right back and say "I understand, because I just ___________". And it helps him to get it. I seriously think many men do not consider how the dishes are done or laundry is magically transformed from dirty to clean.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2011 at 4:48PM
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Hey silver
I really think my Dh will smoke forever too.

When I get frustrated that he has been outside for a while, he will notice and say 'are you mad?' I say 'no'. (lie obviously) then he says 'what do you need me to do?' that makes me feel mad too especially if the sink is full, the laundry is pilled up, toys are every where, kids are not in the bath yet, I want to say 'look around!'
I hate that he wants me to tell him what to do. He says it's because I am picky about chores and like them done a certain way so he doesn't want to do them wrong. I do like things to be done 'right' but lots of things don't take a brain surgeon ... Like putting the dishes in the dishwasher, I think he does an excellent job. Cleaning his own office.. Also something I think he can do without me having to tell him. Taking the trash out, not hard to do or figure out... It's time to take the trash out.. Or putting his own folded clothes away. Why do I have to tell him? Why can't he just do it?

He is a 'self manager' at work and doesn't need someone to tell him what needs to be done.. But at home, I have to guide him and it's exhausting so I just don't tell him anything, I let him play his games..

Thanks for understanding what I was meaning. For a minute I wanted to shoot myself because it sounded like I was concerned about his fidelity. Not a concern for me whatsoever. Very sure he is just not motivated at home after having to be self motivated all day. I know how he feels but there are still things that need to be done.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2011 at 12:43AM
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My DH has told me "make a list". And I say BS because I'm not going to tell you what to do. Look around, see what needs to be done, start working on it. It's that simple.

But maybe for you a schedule would work. Write down the time you get home, the tasks that need to be completed before 6pm (starting dinner, straightening up the kitchen/living room/dining room, getting homework done with kids, etc) and then a post-dinner list (clean kitchen, get kids motivated toward bed) then a post-kids list (that can include the two of you sitting in your driveway while the laundry is in the dryer :)

    Bookmark   August 4, 2011 at 11:01AM
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I think most men are just like that. They simply cannot see what to most women is obvious. Please note that I'm speaking in generalities. I have had that experience many, many times. Why do I need to tell you what needs to be done???? JUST LOOK!

Haha - but they don't get it. They need a list and can follow it. But in their own head? Nope.

This isn't a man-bashing post; not at all. It's simply an observation of a difference. A hugely annoying difference! :-)

    Bookmark   August 4, 2011 at 11:31AM
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I dont understand why you dont just tell him whats bothering you,if you dont tell him, how is he supposed to know that there is a problem,I would show him this thread,he sounds like a decent man,my bet is he would be shocked if he actually knew .Just tell him.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2011 at 4:21PM
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In my experience, we should never assume people know what we want. If we want a clean house, what does that mean ? Maybe it isn't so obvious. We have different standards on what we say is "clean and tidy".

I have always been very specific when asking for help with the housework. With my children and husband. And I never expect the task to be done to the exact high standards that I would achieve ! If you ask for help and your family genuinely helps you, you should "praise, praise, praise".

Sure the tasks are simple and anyone could do them, but we think they are simple because we have done them forever !

Good communication skills, read up on the key to harmony in the household.

If you want things done your way, and only that way, people won't want to help.

The real problem is that when it comes to housework, people assume it is all basic tasks and that anyone can do it. I say that this is not so, it takes great skill to have everything running smoothly and housework should be thought of as an important job that requires a myriad of skills.

Happy home = happy people.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2011 at 10:46PM
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"If you want things done your way, and only that way, people won't want to help."

I wish they'd take the ten commandments down and replace it with a huge stone with that chiseled into it.

"Happy home = happy people."

Yup. Good on ya, popi.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2011 at 11:03PM
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Maybe you could try getting him one of those electronic cigarettes? They feel like smoking without the smoke so there is no second hand smoke or smell.Vapor comes out instead that is instantly evaporated.They come in all different flavors and have different levels of nicotine.They can be a tool in helping someone cut back on regular cigs or quit.

This isn't a cure-all,but maybe it would satisfy him some so he wouldn't have to be outside smoking so much.You could give it to him as a gift and tell him you'd like to see him inside more.
Of course,it could be that going outside is also his "down" time,or that he is just bored too.
I used to smoke more when I was bored...

    Bookmark   August 10, 2011 at 10:08AM
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I dont think its about smoking ,he is using a smoke as an excuse,he wants peace and quiet,dont we all,but as a parent, it is impossible,this man is letting his wife do the lot whilst he smokes ,its an excuse for a break.I Wonder what would happen if the tables were turned,No washing done, no ironing, house a pig sty,no dinner,no important things,but if you dont tell your husband how is he supposed to know?

    Bookmark   August 10, 2011 at 4:41PM
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"Why do I need to tell you what needs to be done???? JUST LOOK!"

OK...I can tell you from a man's perspective why it does not work that way...because women generally have a different pecking order on what things they want done around the house. I'm divorced now, so I have the please of setting my own priorities around the house, but I remember when I was married, I might spend the whole day doing things that I thought were important, cleaning out gutters, painting, landscaping, whatever...but inevitably, after busting my a$$ all day, the ex would chime in with "so...are you ever gonna get to the blah-blah-blah ?"

We'd rather just have you tell us what we need to do so we don't spend a whole day busting our butts, and then have you be biatching at us anyway. Just makes life a whole lot easier....

    Bookmark   August 12, 2011 at 10:07AM
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Ok mkroopy, he told me that this morning and it worked! Chores were done and Momma was HAPPY!

On a side note, I have fabulous news to report.

I never said anything to hubby about this smoking thing. We went on vacation last weekend and he didn't smoke at all. My folks went with us and out of respect my Dh won't smoke around them, nor his parents. He went 5 days without a smoke. (he was a bit crabby day 1 and 2)

When we got home, he immediately lit up. The next night when he came to bed he said 'I want to quit smoking'


He said he felt so good over the weekend and then was feeling like crap again the first day back. He said he just doesn't have any energy but that he felt great over the weekend and then was back to feeling bad the next day back to work.

So he set a quit date of yesterday. He slowed Down over the week an came to a complete stop some point on Thursday. We were so busy this week we weren't home for him to sit outside etc. Today we got sitters for the kids and we are spending time cleaning the house, 'fall cleaning our closets, kids rooms, getting ready for day one of school in a week. He is being a bit crabby but I'm taking into consideration the withdrawals he is going through and I am NOT nagging him.
We talked about my feelings at that point and how he has not been helping around the house much lately and that I just feel completely overwhelmed with the house work and kids. So we set out a schedule that we want to get in to for the beginning of school and I'm really excited about it. I really hope he quits for good. Since it was his choice and had nothing at all to do with my nagging ( since I had not started yet) I think he will be successful.

I'm so proud of him!

    Bookmark   August 13, 2011 at 7:17PM
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tell him how bad it is for his health, how shorter his life will be if he picks up yet another cigarette

    Bookmark   September 19, 2011 at 8:32PM
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Right....I'm sure that will be a complete revelation to him.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2011 at 9:33PM
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Right Asolo-- he told me that's what makes him want another one lol

Just as a follow up-- my husband is no longer smoking. We are actually putting that $250 a month into savings for our first home... It probably won't help anyone else but he just decided to quit on his own. And now that we can talk about it freely he has told me that if I nagged at him about it or got mad about smoking, it made him want to do it even more.

Now that he isn't sitting outside every evening, he is spending a lot more time with the kids and I've noticed a change in my son's behavior .. I don't think he was getting the daddy time that he was wanting or needing. And my husband's allergies have gotten so much better!!

    Bookmark   September 26, 2011 at 1:37AM
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Well that is good news for your family. It is great that lots of good things are happening, because the ciggies have been binned.

My dear old dad gave up smoking when my daughter was born, that was back in 1987, he was a heavy smoker, he just stopped one day and that was it. I was very glad that he thought so much of my child that he didn't want to smoke around her. It does make a big difference to a family when a smoker gives up. But it would have been better if he had given up when I was a child ! Better late than never, I guess.

All the best to you all.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2011 at 2:41AM
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I like happy endings. Doesn't everyone?

    Bookmark   September 26, 2011 at 10:59AM
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