Help, my partner smokes!
When two people in a couple smoke and one of them would like to abandon cigarettes, but not without the partner, it is not easy. There are indeed situations where addiction to tobacco takes too much space in the conjugal life, becoming unbearable. So if both are determined to quit, the challenge will be a little easier to overcome. However, if one of them is not ready for this cessation, it becomes more difficult. Let us take a look at how to convince your partner to quit smoking.
Explain what motivates you to quit smoking
A person's reasons for quitting cigarette can be very diverse. It can be a financial decision, a will not to be dependent anymore, to prevent problems regarding sexuality and/or fertility, the fear of having a serious disease, the will to protect a baby to be born for young parents expecting a child, etc… Of course, one may put forward one or several reasons to stop smoking. Within the couple, the one willing to convince the other should first of all explain his or her reasons.
Then, it is also necessary to share these reasons with the other in a way that he or she can understand them and even appropriate these motivations. Indeed, the aim is not to impose, but to convince.
Convince your partner to quit smoking
Once you have decided for yourself to stop smoking, you should identify three arguments to convince your partner why he or she should now also abandon cigarettes.
- First, make it clear to your partner that this decision is above all for his or her wellbeing.He or she can have the same motivations as you, which will make the common cessation easier, but these are very personal and can also be different reasons.
- Then, you can talk about the fact that if your partner continues to smoke while you try to quit, it is on the one hand not encouraging for you, and on the second hand, it can lead to tensions and disagreements within your couple.
- At last, if the smoking partner is a pregnant woman, it is comprehensible that the father-to-be wants to prevent the child from suffering from the negative effects of smoking. On the other side, the mother-to-be can argue that her partner should stop cigarettes, so the baby and the mother do not suffer from second-hand smoking from the father.
More generally, the one taking the decision to stop often wants their children — if they have any — not to be exposed to second-hand smoking from the smoking partner. The smoker would, moreover, be a poor example to the children, who could imitate their parents and themselves become smokers.Eventually, these rational arguments concerning your partner, the couple and the children should convince some to follow you in your effort to stop smoking.
How to deal with « hardcore smokers » ?
Some smokers are so addicted and enjoy smoking so much that rational arguments will not impact them at all. Convincing thus becomes even more difficult, so you should explore new paths.
- The right of each person. If a person has the right to smoke, it is his or her choice and freedom. However: others have the rights to live in a healthy place and not to suffer from second-hand smoking. It is namely the case for the people living under the same roof as the smoking partner, which may include children. From this point of view, one person's right ends where the others' rights begin, also regarding smoking. So it can be better to negotiate with your partner and « protect » the common space from cigarettes. It could be the new rule: no smoking at home.
- The demystification of tobacco's supposed virtues. Perhaps you will be more attentive to what smoking means and how smoking a cigarette actually affects you. You will be able to counter considerations like « smoking helps me calm down and relax » or « Cigarettes make me forget my problems », which will help you convince your partner to quit. Indeed, this « relaxing » effect is misleading: tobacco accelerates your heart rate and your breathing while increasing your blood pressure. Also, if smoking can make you gain weight, quitting has far more beneficial effects than this tendency, which is furthermore controllable.
- Show empathy to your partner. It would be a real mistake to blame him or her while trying to convince him to quit. The culprit is tobacco, not the smoker. You must go deep into the reasons for your partner to smoke. This will enable you to have a better understanding of the difficulty he or she has to abandon the addiction.This approach will help you and your partner find alternatives, like doing new activities and/or change specific habits to quit smoking for good.
What should I do if my partner persists in smoking?
In this static situation, you should first define non-smoking spaces and moments. In such a situation, you should obtain that the family home be declared non-smoker. This point should be non-negotiable and respected, considering the right of everyone in the house. If it still does not work, don't give up and let time do its work. Your partner will give up tobacco one day or another. To end with, follow the usual advice for cessation.
Tips on how to stop smoking.
Here are some tips to cope with his addiction, which will help you convince your spouse
- Relax through alternative medicine and use Cognitive Behavioral Therapy methods, like the Kwit app to keep your motivation intact and reinforce your determination. Kwit provides you a personalized and benevolent daily support and will help you stop smoking in a playful way.
- Go to centers specialized in addictology and dependency.
In the end, if you, as part of a couple, stop smoking, you will need to find a new balance in your conjugal life. This adventure together with your partner is a great challenge for the stability and the physical and mental health of the whole family.
Quitting smoking as a couple is a challenge to take up for positive effects on everybody.