Wife threatening to divorce husband over cigarette addiction
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Wife threatening to divorce husband over cigarette addiction

Dr. Howe: How do you feel about the fact that your wife is considering divorcing you over your cigarette addiction?

Husband:  I think it’s ridiculous. She’s got a lot of bad habits and I don’t threaten to divorce her over them

Dr. Howe: But it must really be bothersome to her that you smoke if she’s willing to divorce you over it. It’s clearly a major issue for her.

Husband: I don’t see why it should be such a major issue. I don’t smoke around her. I don’t smoke in the house. Hell I don’t even smoke in the yard. That shows I care how she feels; but I smoke. I’m a smoker. She knew I was a smoker before she married me. Now she wants to give me ultimatums? Either I quit smoking or she’s divorcing me? I don’t tell her either she loses a hundred pounds or I divorce her and I no more like the fact that she weighs two hundred pounds than she likes the fact that I smoke.

Dr. Howe (to the wife): How do you feel about what your husband has just said?

Wife: I think it’s typical. And I’m not two hundred pounds. He expects me to be the size of a Victoria’s Secret model. Well I’m not a Victoria’s Secret model. They’re the size they are because they’re Victoria’s Secret models. They have to starve themselves and go to extremes to stay skinny like that. I know I’m a little overweight, but I’m not obese so I don’t see the need for him to make that statement. I don’t see what one thing has to do with the other. Smoking is dangerous. Smoking can kill you.

Husband: Being fat is dangerous. Being fat can kill you. You can have a heart attack

Wife: I’m not that fat that I’m danger of having a heart attack

Dr. Howe (to the wife): Do you think of your husband’s smoking as an illness–as an addiction?

Wife: An addiction yes. I don’t know about an illness. I don’t think addiction is an illness. People can overcome addictions just by choice if they really want to. You can’t technically choose to overcome an illness. It’s not like someone with cancer can decide to no longer be a cancer patient and overcome cancer by modifying their habits .  An addict can decide no longer to be an addict and stop doing the thing that makes them an addict. It might not be as easy to achieve as snapping their fingers but it can be done by sheer will alone. So, no I don’t consider it an illness if what you’re trying to get at is that I took vows to be with my husband in sickness and in health.

Husband: The thing I don’t get is, I cheated on this woman twice and she’s still with me but she wants to divorce me because I smoke? What sense does that make? Is she really trying to say my smoking bothers her more than the fact that I cheated on her twice?

Wife: I don’t know what you’re bringing that up for. That has nothing to do with this. And I stayed with you because you begged me not to leave. You swore you were sorry both times. I let you convince me that we had something worth fighting for. And yeah, I’m probably a fool for not leaving the first time. That’s your point right? I’m a damn fool because I stayed with you even after you cheated on me twice.

Dr. Howe: Why don’t we try to stick with the matter at hand. We can get into the cheating another session. Let’s focus our attention on what we can do if anything to not break up your marriage over cigarettes.

Wife: I don’t really want to continue this discussion. There’s no point to it. My husband wants to keep smoking. It doesn’t matter to him how much it bothers me. The fact of the matter is he has a right to smoke if he wants to smoke; but I have a right to be comfortable. If I’m out somewhere and someone comes around me smoking I don’t stand there and endure the smell of the smoke. I move away. Why should I have to spend the rest of my life inhaling an odor that leaves me feeling sick to my stomach just because of some vows I took?

Dr. Howe: But your husband indicated that he doesn’t smoke around you?

Wife: He doesn’t. It’s the smell that it leaves behind in his clothes, in his hair, on his breath. It even comes through his pores and it makes life very unpleasant. I smell it when we’re making love and it’s an instant turn off. I can’t enjoy sex with my husband because I am always assailed by the horrible smell that comes from his breath and when I turn away into his shoulders the smell is coming through his pores. It’s on his fingers. It’s every where and it makes me sick. It alters my mood and then I get blamed for being in a bad mood. I’ll be in a perfectly fine mood and then he’ll come home and suddenly the place has this horrible smell and I’m sensitive to scents and I keep telling him that and he doesn’t do anything. He doesn’t make any adjustment. So I’ve come to the conclusion that I have to make the adjustment and the only adjustment I can make so that I’m able to live comfortably is to leave him to his cigarettes since he won’t give them up. I have a right to live comfortably don’t I?

Dr. Howe (to the husband): How do you feel about what your wife has just said?

Husband: I think she’s being melodramatic and blowing things out of proportion. It’s not like she always smells like roses, and I don’t get on like that about it when she stinks.

Wife (to Dr. Howe): Do you see how it is? He turns everything around and tries to hurt my feelings as if we’re kids trying to see who can say the worse things about each other. You don’t hear me insulting him. All I’m doing is stating how his cigarette smoking is affecting my life and affecting our marriage. I’m not attacking his character. I’m not trying to disrespect him and show him up; but he seizes every opportunity to insult me. First I’m two hundred pounds even though I’m really only one-seventy-five; then he rubs the fact that he cheated on me twice in my face, now he says I stink.  And all this while giving every indication that he just doesn’t care how his cigarette smoking is affecting our lives. It’s so bad I’m at a place where I feel like divorce is the only option I have for getting his smoking out of my life and even hearing that he just keeps insisting that I’m being melodramatic and blowing things out of proportion.

Dr. Howe (to the wife): Do you feel that your husband’s smoking is something you absolutely can no longer live with?

Wife: I don’t think I should have to. I don’t think it’s fair to ask me to be the one to compromise and put up with something that really isn’t something he should be doing anyway.

Dr. Howe (to the husband): Are you willing to give up cigarettes to save your marriage?

Husband: I don’t think I should have to any more than she thinks she should have to compromise. I don’t think asking me to quit smoking to make her comfortable is reasonable. Not once did I hear her say anything about being concerned for my health. It’s all about her. She wants me to quit smoking so she doesn’t have to be made uncomfortable by my smell. It’s not that she’s concerned about my welfare and doesn’t want me to get cancer and die. It’s that she doesn’t want to have to smell anything unpleasant. If she’s willing to divorce me so she doesn’t have to smell me then she can’t really love me can she?

Wife: And if he’s willing to agree to get divorced so he can continue smoking cigarettes then obviously he loves his cigarettes more than he loves me. And if cigarettes are more important than I am then what am staying around for?

To be continued…

Note: Dr. Howe is not a real person. She’s a character created for entertainment purposes and the series Sessions with Dr. Howe has also been created for entertainment purposes. Some of the Sessions with Dr. Howe content is based on real stories of  real couples while other content is entirely fictionalized.

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0 9 4685 11 April, 2013 Sessions with Dr. Howe April 11, 2013

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  1. Aya

    That’s exactly what I’m living right now, I’m about to ask divorce because I hate cigarette, and even though my husband smokes rarely I hate this, all his family smokes, this smell is unbearable, it effects his health, and he prefers divorce that quitting !!

  2. Agree

    I agree 100% my wife smokes, my grand parents, mother and father have all smoked, its a turn off I hate the smell. When you bring it up you are the worst person in the world for doing so, and picking on them. My boss smokes and its like a force field around the person who smokes . People hate it but are too polite to mention it. Come on smokers your smell and taste buds have gone and you can’t smell it at all.

    Get a life and think about others in your life other than yourself, even if you smoke outside it still comes in, I’m sick of it and lived with it for 40 years. at least chew gum or suck a sweet

    I compromised the one thing that I have hated for ages (smoking) to find love and now find I hate it and also can’t love anymore , but am too gutless to leave.

  3. Trinity

    I have endured the smoking more than twenty years. I am disrespected, he smokes in the house, I am unable to breathe I used to wake up to smoke being blown over me while I slept. My health care provider stated to him he was going to kill me because he was killing off my oxygen. I cannot take this much longer.

  4. Stacey

    When my husband and I married 20 years ago, smoking was a deal breaker. He loved me, so he quit. Two years ago he started again. I found out so a few months later so he quit again. A couple of months ago he started again. He has been sneaking around, lying, cheating on me essentially. Like I can’t smell that stink from a mile away. He doesn’t work, so he is stealing our money to finance his habit. I am heartbroken and don’t know what to do.

  5. soon to be cougar

    I have the same problem with my husband he quit for a year then started smoking again. We turn 50 in December and I don’t want to go forward with a man who smokes. I see stroke victims everyday at work and my husband is overweight, high blood pressure and cholesterol and he smokes! I gave him my 20’s, 30’s,40’s but I won’t give him my 50’s if he continues to smoke. I make a 6 figure salary and am a good looking women who still gets the looks from much younger men. My plan is to drop a few pounds, start getting into an extreme workout mode and when he asks whats up I will tell him, “I’m not turning 50 with a smoker so I am getting ready. You make your choice and I will make mine.” The rest is up to him. I will not spend my 50’s wiping his behind because he has a stroke due to cigarettes. I will not. Even if I am single for the rest of my life at least I won’t have to nurse an idiot for the rest of my life. I love him I do but he knew my feelings when he picked up that cigarette after he quit the last time. He has no respect and he has proven himself to be a liar and a promise breaker.

    1. wat to do

      @ soon to be a cougar….
      I’ve read several blogs about smokers and how it affects their partners. I honestly didn’t read a better story than yours. Smoking has always been a deal breaker for me and I always avoided being in a relationship with a smoker. Before being married to my wife, I told that her that I wouldn’t want to further the relationship if she continued smoking (as she claimed to smoke only when stressed). She knew how much I hated that filthy habit. I sincerely wouldn’t have married her even (though I loved her) just because I wouldn’t want to spend my life with a smoker.
      To my surprise, I didn’t get to know she had been hiding her smoking habit for many years (our children told me “mum”smoked whenever you travelled) (because I’m self employed and my business requires me to travel quite often)
      My children only told me this while we were watching TV and there was an advertisement showing a cigarette brand.
      I confronted my wife and told her how disappointed I was that she exposed her habit to our children and not being honest to me. (there were a few times I tasted cigar from her saliva while we made out when she returned from work, but she always drank strong coffee immediately and told me it was the coffee and she never smoked since she promised me before we got married.
      After the confrontation, she admitted she smokes 1 packet a week (so about 2-3 daily) and that she does it in the garden (not in the house). Then weekends, she doesn’t at all because she didn’t want me to find out. One would say I’m not observant but that’s not true….. as I trusted her and would never have thought she was still keeping that habit. Besides, when she came home with smell of cigarette she always claimed it was her smoker colleague who smoked next to her (and I believed immediately because I trusted her).
      For me, it makes no difference if she smokes half stick a day or one each month, the fact that she does it at all puts me off completely. God, she knows how much I hate it and wouldn’t have married her or even divorced before having kids.
      I spoke to her nicely and begged her to stop but she says she can’t.
      It would be stupid of me to divorce her because it’s too late (we must take good care of our children).
      Since I’ve tried every method and she wouldn’t quit, my idea now is to maybe also do something that will hurt her equally (which is cheating on her with other women) so we are even.
      At least then I will be less concerned about her habit and just know I have my own bad habit.

  6. smoker

    have mercy .. it need time to quit that habit … you didn’t buy him … at least understand him …. by your attitude you will make him more nervous … im sure he want to quit …. try to share moment by moment what he feel and find solation of each moment he wish to smoke, at morning when he drink coffee, try to introduce to him to something else which he like to do it instead of cigarettes like to do some littlie sports (sports is the best for that), simple sport, this make his to discharge his nervous few, even of raising hands up 10 minutes, im not joking.

  7. Rebecca

    My husband smokes pot a lot. It makes me tired. He constantly looks me in the eye and promises he’ll stop for sure “this time” but lies and goes behind my back and smokes with his co-workers and friends before he gets home. He thinks i don’t know and notice this but i do. He blames his stress of work and stuff on it. But even in our best moments he goes back to smoking. How can i help him? Some recommendations? Or should i leave my husband because he won’t stop smoking? Any help would be highly appreciated

  8. michael

    I am in the same situation. My wife refuses to quit and blames me for her smoking because I stress her out by complaining about the smoking. She once quit for a year but went back to it because of stress when her mom died from smoking. Yeah make no sense to me either. I used to smoke 3-4 packs a day and quit cold turkey at 11:55 pm December 31, 1988, and I worked in an office where everyone smoked. If I can do it so can she, she prefers not to.It is late, I am in bed but she won’t come to bed for anpther 5 hours because she is too busy smoking.


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