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raingirl28's picture
Joined: 09/03/07
Posts: 1347

I've been debating posting this for a while, but I need some opinions.

My DH smokes and I hate it. I always said I could NEVER be with a smoker, which is true. The thing is, DH didn't smoke up until last year so it's new. If he had smoked when I first met him, I wouldn't even have considered dating him because I hate smoking that much.

It's become a serious serious issue between us. I've given him the ultimatum - he quits or we are done. He says it's too harsh to give up our marriage over smoking, but I don't want to waste my life being incredibly unhappy because of it.

Why should I sacrifice my life and my happiness because of his addiction? I can't sit beside him in a car, I can't hold his hand, I can't kiss him, I can't sleep in the same bed as him either. Heck, I can't even be in the same room as him anymore because the smell disgusts me so much. I don't even want to do his laundry because of the smell. He's supposed to be the one who unloads the dishes from the dishwasher, but I don't even want him to do that anymore in case he gets smoke smell on things. I don't even want him in my house or car because of the smell.

It got to the point the other day where I told him that it's ruining my life and making me seriously depressed because I feel like I can't even be in my own home due to him (no, he doesn't smoke inside, only outside but just the smell on him grosses me out). All I wanted to do was watch a movie in the basement where our TV and computers are, and he was 5 feet away from me and I just ran out of the room crying because it was so bad. He went and had a shower but then put on the same clothes (wtf?) so I could still smell it.

He says he's trying to quit but it never happens.

What should I do? I've already told him he has to quit or it's over for us. I originally gave him three months but that's up now as of next week and he still hasn't quit. He won't accept any help to quit either. He keeps trying to go cold turkey as he says that's the best way but he won't consider any other way like medication or gradually quitting.

Any suggestions? Am I being too harsh?

mom2robbie's picture
Joined: 01/20/07
Posts: 2541

I don't think you are being too harsh. If I remember correctly you have asthma and/or allergies? I had a sister die 21 years ago from an asthma attack so anything that affects my asthma I stay away from. Smoking is a deal-breaker for me.

Here is a website for quitting smoking...

eliann's picture
Joined: 04/19/11
Posts: 2439

I'm sorry you are going through this, its so frustrating. I don't think you're being harsh, but I also think you really need to have a serious talk about how he is going to quit. Maybe offer counseling to him?

I'm going through the exact same thing. My when I first met my DH he smoked socially, I told him upfront that I cannot date/marry a smoker. I just don't like it at all. He quit and didn't smoke for almost 5 years and last year he started again. Thankfully he doesn't seem to be addicted, and only smokes around friends, but it does seem like its happening more often. We got into a huge fight about it last week. And he says he doesn't see why it makes me so mad since he only does it socially. We've been TTC for 5 months now and he is getting concerned that its taking longer than expected and told me we
should see a fertility clinic soon. First of all, I don't think 5 months is that long and I told him they would probably just recommend that he stop smoking as a 1st step. He just doesn't think its related to fertility since his friend smokes and they have a baby. I told him its not fair that I give up alcohol for 2 weeks every month, I take a prenatal everyday, I've pretty much given up caffeine all together and he isn't doing anything to contribute to this process.

My grandfather died of emphasema (sp?) And I just cannot deal with watching another person die from cigarettes. Its just not aproblem I want to deal with.

I'm sorry that its been affecting your realtionship so much. I have no advice really. Just sympathy. At least your DH is aware of the problem and wants to quit. Mine has no intention of quitting. But I love him and even though he is being an *** about it, I will probably keep him around. Although if I ever have a baby I will be stting some major rules. Like stripping down and taking a shower upon entry. I hear SIDS is more common when there are smokers in the house. I fully intend to use that argument whether it be true or not to get him to quit.

Good luck to you. I hope you guys work it out.

Nell4Him's picture
Joined: 10/25/06
Posts: 2455

Oh sweetie. Sad

You are not being too hard on him. Do you have a place you can stay for a week or two? I say, give him a business card of someone who can help him quit (be it a counselor or a hypnotist) and leave for a short while. Tell him you are coming back in a set amount of time and if he's not made any progress towards attempting to quit, then that's it.

But.. and you'll learn this when you get your baby(s).. you shouldn't threaten what you can't (or aren't willing to) follow through on.

Joined: 06/24/12
Posts: 252

I do believe giving up a marriage over a partner smoking is not the best thing for either of you. When you take your marriage vows, it says between sickness and health. Smoking is an addiction, which is a sickness. I would first go out and buy the 3-step patch. Bring it home, put it on the counter and see how he approaches you after he see's the box. Tell your husband you love him, and you want him around for the long haul. Tell him your willing to stand by him while he uses the patch, and goes through the ups and down of withdrawl. Make it clear to him that this is your effort, and after that you are done. If he goes back to smoking, or does not follow through I would than go with the above poster when it comes to leaving for a little while. Please don't give up your marriage, Sweetheart. If you truly love your husband, stick by him. I am sure he would stick by you. Good luck sweetie! best wishes!

MissyJ's picture
Joined: 01/31/02
Posts: 3212


I'm sorry that you (and Elizabeth!) are dealing with this. I am curious whether you know "why" he is smoking (or at least some reasons why?) Does it seem to be stressed related? Is it tied to social activities -- such as with Elizabeth's dh? Is there something in particular that serves as a trigger for him? I know that it is difficult to talk about something that is so emotionally charged for both of you (and please do NOT think that I am in any way discounting your concern! I'm not in ANY way!)

If possible, try talking with him to see if together you are able to discern what his particular "triggers" are. If he is responsive, look for ways that you can help address those sources that are at least contributors. Having additional support from others that have been there / done that can help him (and you) working through. Many will share that stop smoking is one of the toughest addictions to break free of.

The website that Margaret shared is filled with wonderful information and resources that can help you both on the journey. Please do check it out.

Unfortunately, something that you will find there (and within most other resources for family members of any addiction battles) is that lecturing and ultimatums generally do not work well. They tend to make the person feel more defensive and feeling somewhat defeated before they even start (that "why bother" attitude.)

(((((((HUGS)))))) I *hear* though that you feel so exhausted and absolutely overwhelmed yourself by this issue. It is VERY difficult to not feel like the person simply doesn't care enough about something so important to you (and your well-being!) I'm so glad that you did post and have reached out as it definitely is a situation that many have shared -- self included although thankfully it was MANY years ago!

Please continue to reach out for support. Should you find that you feel that you have exhausted other options, then maybe you can seek counseling to help you work through making whatever life decisions lie ahead (whether you stay or decide to leave.) Having that help serve as a guide in that decision making process (NOT someone that wants to make the choices for you!), will empower you to feel much more at peace in the future. Who knows? Maybe that will serve as a wake-up call for your dh as well that you have reached that point where something IS going to change -- one way or another.

Finally, I do agree with Janelle regarding ultimatums and/or threats. Don't mention leaving unless you are certain that is what you are ready to do. My hope is that the two of you will be able to work things out and that your dh will love both you and himself enough to stop.

Hang in there and please do feel free to vent / share here anytime!

Minx_Kristi's picture
Joined: 01/02/09
Posts: 1261

I'm completely stumped on this one to be honest and it might be because I myself am a smoker. Giving up is not easy, regardless of the ultimatum(sp?) you're giving him and remember, a lot of people smoke because they're stressed out and you could be adding to this by telling him his marriage could be over because of it. It's odd because I could see you're point if he was gambling and spending all your money, or if he was a drinker and turned into a nasty person because of it. Smoking though, I don't see how this can affect someone as much as it seems it is yourself.

What are the actual issues? Is it just the smell? Does he do it around you? Is it the money he spends on them? Are you worried for his health?

As a smoker myself, I personally think you need to lay off him a little and see what happens from there. He might surprise you and do it off his own back, but I honestly can't see the way you are being with him helping the situation at all.


raingirl28's picture
Joined: 09/03/07
Posts: 1347

Thanks girls. All valid points. A little more background (warning, bit of a rant and loss ment):

I had originally given him 3 months more for our next RE appt for fertility investigations/treatments, not necessarily a time to leave. It was 3 months because, well, it takes about 3 months for sperm to regenerate. Our appt with our new RE is tomorrow and I fully intend to bring this issue up.

I've refused to do any more cycles for IUI or anything until he quits though and I'm firm on that. We've had three IUIs so far and the one that had his best count was before he started smoking and it was the only successful cycle, even if it was a chemical pregnancy. Since then his counts have been 1/2 to 2/3 of what they were before and part of me wonders if that's why we haven't been successful since.

And yes, he somewhat blames the early loss on his smoking as he started around that time.

I guess the reason I've come to give him an ultimatum (which is NOT what I wanted to do at all as it's not my style) is because I've already tried all the more gentle solutions. We got him Nicorette and it didn't work. I suggested the patch. I suggested one of those smokeless cigarettes that are steam instead, but he said no. I've sent him countless links/websites/data and suggestions on the subject and I've gifted apps to him for his iPhone to try and help him quit. He refuses to talk to anyone about it, not a doctor, not a therapist, not any friends or family. He won't even talk to me about it. In fact, he doesn't want me to talk about it at all. He doesn't want encouragement, he doesn't want me to point it out or say "way to go!" when he's successful. He doesn't want me to ask questions about the status of his quitting either. He completely closes up when you make any suggestions whatsoever.

He started off as a social smoker and it escalated from there. His entire family smokes and I think because none of them have ever had any issues from it he doesn't see it as a problem.

And yes, part of the reason DH smokes is because of stress. He doesn't do stress well at all. One little thing can set him off on a downward spiral. He also suffers from anxiety and depression for which he is on meds. I also suspect he has a very addictive personality as he has trouble letting things and habits go.

The irony of it all is, I am very frugal and hate even spending a penny more than I have to. Spending money on coffee shop coffee has always been a serious argument issue for us because, even though it's only a few dollars here and there, it adds up and we really don't have the $ for it (I've watched those budget reality shows and buying coffee/food out really does add up and I wish I could get threw to him on that point). I refuse to buy coffee out and think we should always make coffee at home, but DH justifies buying coffee out all the time. That was before the smoking started. Now with smoking it's an extra $12 every 2-3 days that we really really cannot afford. So, him smoking causes us to be broke and not have any money for anything fun, which stresses him out because he can't do anything he wants to or buy things he wants to, so he smokes due to the stress and because he has nothing else to do, which is just one big circle. And it's MY money he spends on the smokes, since it's a joint account and I never spend anything so it's rather unfair for me as he spends all the extra money we have on smokes. Which of course I nag and bother him about, I admit.

We should be saving up money for fertility treatments but he doesn't see the big picture. That's part of the reason this frustrates me so much. We just bought a house too and all of our savings was put into that. We have no savings left and we need to start building that back up as well and start paying off debts. Yes, maybe I should be more flexible on spending, but it's hard. Spending money on anything makes me feel insanely guilty and I just wish sometimes he felt the same way. I would rather have a large amount saved in my account to use when I want then piddle it away on small things all the time.

The problem is, he loves smoking. He loves how it feels, he loves the action of smoking and that's one of the reasons he cited for not being able to quit. Going outside to smoke in the dead of winter doesn't bother him. He loves being part of the crowd at work who goes out to smoke. And that's why I think he will never quit. And if he will never quit, then I can't live this life. It's not the life I wanted. I don't want to go on with the rest of my days being with someone I can't even hug or kiss or even have sex with (we barely DTD - once every month or every other month at most as the smell of the smoke disgusts me. Even if he showers, it's in his pores and hair permanently now).

I'm physically and emotionally lonely because I can't even be in the same room as my husband. What kind of life is that?

I love him dearly and I just want to be back to how it was when we were first together. I miss being close to him. I miss being in a relationship because it feels like I'm single again.

WhiteWolf68's picture
Joined: 02/06/09
Posts: 505

Wow, that's rough. Sad So sorry you have to go through this. My Mom refuses to stop smoking despite the high costs and her health, some people just won't ever stop. Me, personally, I can't stand the smell and don't allow her to smoke in my house or near the kids. You have some tough decisions to make. I don't blame you one bit for stopping the IUI's, etc, surely he seems more committed to smoking than trying to have a baby. Sad Not sure what else to say... /hugs

combatcutie's picture
Joined: 04/04/07
Posts: 2119

Rachael, I went through the same thing with my DH. I have to say that it is very hard to quit, even if given an ultimatum. He has to want to quit on his own. The one thing that helped my DH quit was our RE telling him how bad smoke was for his swimmers. Even though I told him, he didn't believe me. I showed him article after article and still he didn't believe me. Finally after a s/a and his numbers being low, the doctor told him that it could be due to his smoking. He decided that it was time to quit. He went to the family doctor and got Chantix. He smoked with it for about 2 weeks, then that was it. He was done. Never touched a cigarette again for 5 years and counting. Is there a way you can get Chantix and see if he will try it? I am telling you that yes, he will be sick and moody, but if he works through it, he will never touch a cigarette again. Good luck!!!

Danifo's picture
Joined: 09/07/10
Posts: 1377

I have no advice because I can smell smoke on people and can totally understand having no desire to touch or be near them. That lack of initmacy is really hard on a relationship. How does he feel about it?

I'd agree that he has to want to quit. The more you make it a big deal, the more he might be digging his feet in, even subconciously. Does the thought of not having children encourage him to quit?

One of the guys I worked with smoked for years. When he was 40, he wanted a Harley. His wife said if he quit smoking, they could fit it in their budget. He got the bike and hasn't smoked since (6+ years now).

raingirl28's picture
Joined: 09/03/07
Posts: 1347

Well, I think DH finally understands a little better at how much it's bothering me. He says I make him stressed so maybe I should just take a vacation without him and let him quit while I'm gone. It's not perfect but I'm giving it a try for now as long as he tries to quit!

Spacers's picture
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4100


My DH started smoking when he went home for a couple of months to help his mom when she had to have a hysterectomy; his two youngest sisters were still in elementary school & his stepdad traveled for business, and she literally had no other help. I was so ticked when he came back smoking! I knew he had smoked as a teenager but he'd quit years before I met him. I put up with it for a while, but then I had had enough. Like you, I didn't want to hold him or kiss him or sleep next to him, much less make love iwth him. I felt like I stank & our house stank. I was ready to leave, and I told him that I would not marry him unless he quit for good.

My DH wasn't addicted so much to the nicotine as to the ritual of smoking, so the key for him was to find something else to *do* when he felt that he needed to smoke. He identified that his major trigger was after eating, so we found other things that gave him something to do with his mouth & hands after a meal -- namely chewing gum and knitting; he made a hat for himself & a scarf for me! And both of those things were easy enough for him to give up a few months later when he'd kicked the smoking addiction. It sounds like your DH might be the same way, so maybe help him think outside the box about ways that might help him kick this?

Minx_Kristi's picture
Joined: 01/02/09
Posts: 1261

Another thing that might help are the electric cigarettes. I'm not sure if they have them in the Canada (although I'm sure they do!) and they can be bought online. They still have the nicotine but they don't smell.


raingirl28's picture
Joined: 09/03/07
Posts: 1347

Kristi, never heard of those. I know they have electric ones here, but they are just steam, no nicotine. I will see if we have anything like that here.

Minx_Kristi's picture
Joined: 01/02/09
Posts: 1261

They're called E-lites I think. My mum is currently using them, trying to give up herself and I plan on trying them out too. It's just like smoking a normal cigarette but you find you do it less often and like I said they don't smell and just have the nicotine rather than all the chemicals in a regular cigarette.


Minx_Kristi's picture
Joined: 01/02/09
Posts: 1261

Here is the website for over the pond...

ambie719's picture
Joined: 10/03/07
Posts: 811


I don't think you're being too harsh Rach, but the unfortunate truth is that you can't make him quit if he doesn't really want to/isn't ready. My mother has smoked for 30 years, all through her pregnancy and my childhood (which I totally attribute my asthma to), and has tried several times to quit, but at this point I've completely given up hope that she ever will. DH smoked for like 15 years, he smoked when we started dating. I told him that was fine, despite the fact that I have asthma, but no smoking in the house and he had to quit before we had our first kid. He tried but failed. Then I updated to no smoking in the car since the baby was in there. I saw him slip on that a few times and totally chewed him out for it. Anyway over the 7 years we've been together he's seriously tried quitting 3-4 times, 3 of those times using Champix. I used to get on his case about it a lot but eventually realized that nothing I could say or threaten would do anything if he wasn't ready. His biggest downfall was work, he works in a kitchen and pretty much the only breaks they get are smoke breaks, and he just really couldn't break the habit. But he finally got serious about this winter, got on the Champix again, and did it while he was on xmas leave for 3 weeks. He's been smoke free for around 6 months now, I ask occasionally how he feels about it, just to check in and make sure that he's not struggling with it, he says he misses the textile aspect of holding a smoke in his hands, etc, but the taste and smell just turn him off now.

Your DH can and probably will do quit someday, but sadly no ultimatum or what seems like good motivation will push him any faster. His wife and children's health, his own health, and $100-150 a month weren't enough for my DH until for some reason one day he'd decided he was done.

Joined: 07/24/12
Posts: 1

Hi, I'm new to this site & came across this topic so I thought I'd add my 2 cents worth. My DH & I are both trying to quit smoking, me especially considering I just found out I am expecting baby #2. He came across a little shop near where he works that sell vapor cigarettes. They are very similar to the E-Cig, but with these, he can buy liquid nicotine. That's all it is, straight nicotine without the harsh nasty chemicals or the smell ( at least I think so). Since we've been using these, I cannot even stand to be around people who smoke, the smell is so bad. The vapor cigs come in different strengths & flavors. For us, a bottle of 18mg nicotine is $8.99 where we purchase them and the flavors are $10.99. One bottle will last us almost 2 weeks, verses spending almost $12 a day between the 2 of us for cigarettes. Good luck to both of you! I know how hard it is to quit, but I also know not hearing my toddler cough all the time is worth every moment that I NEED that cigarette and grab my vapor instead.

AlyssaEimers's picture
Joined: 08/22/06
Posts: 6560

No advice, just lots of :bigarmhug::bigarmhug::bigarmhug:

MissyJ's picture
Joined: 01/31/02
Posts: 3212

I just had to stop by and say just how much that I have loved seeing all of the input and support (from a variety of perspectives) on this thread! You all are my reason for loving this site!

Sooz, welcome to and congrats on your pregnancy! I wish you all the best in your journey!

Rachel, I hope that your dh continues to grow in understanding how important this is to both of you! I wish you only the best!


Joined: 11/23/07
Posts: 870

i have asthma and i'm allergic to cigarette smoke. my grandparents used to smoke, and my mom's side of the family, i remember sitting either outside alone or in back bedrooms alone at family functions when i was little because they all smoked. i just couldn't be there. My DH smoked in high school, but he quit long before we got married. and then about a year after we got married he started using smokeless tobacco (chew, dip, whatever you want to call it) and its been a huge horrible thing between us now for 3 years.

i hate the money he spends on it.

i hate how torn up his lip is.

i hate seeing that stuff in his teeth.

i hate finding his spittoon bottles.

but there is absolutly nothing i can do to MAKE him quit. its impossible, nobody will quit until they are ready to.

but if he was smoking, it wouldnt have been an issue, i WOULD NOT have been able to live with him. i would have moved out a long time ago. i'm that allergic.

right now we have a truce over our situation. he is trying to cut back. he tries not to do it around me. he only gets his spending money and when its gone he's out of luck. he's SUPPOSED to not leave tins or spittoon bottles around, but he does. its just something i shouldnt have to deal with, its disgusting, and its bad for him. he has terrible acid reflux issues and he needs to quit because of that. but he's not ready.

i really just wish that chew was not part of our lives anymore. it makes me want to cry knowing that my daughter knows daddy puts "uck-uck" in his lip and spits. it goes against everything i believe in for him to do it. but like i said, we are at a truce, and right now i'm letting it go. i need to find some incentive for him to quit more. bribery works for my 3 yr old.