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REPOST: Are You Quitting Smoking in a Smoking Household?



quit smoking togetherLiving with another smoker is one of the toughest challenges the newly quit can face. And if that 'other smoker' happens to be your significant other, you might agree the situation warrants a closer look! Let's say you are at the point where you've decided it's time to quit for You - your health, your life, your success and your future. You are finally ready to own your quit and own your daily choices. You're committed to keeping your precious quit no matter who you work with, who you live with and no matter what they say or do. Congrats ~ you have the motivation and winning attitude for a successful quit!

It helps to understand the potential roadblocks on your home front so you can navigate the murky waters ahead. You will want to keep your quit and your relationship intact. Since you'll also want support, encouragement and a little help, let's take a look at that smoker in your life! Did you know they have an emotional and habitual attachment to your smoking habit, as well as their own?  This is perfectly normal. When you decide to quit smoking, their life will change, too. Here are some common thoughts, emotions and fears that the smoker in your life might subconsciously go through when you announce you are quitting smoking:

  • You're changing and I don't like it. (Will you still like me/want me?)
  • Change is uncomfortable to me. (Why are you doing this to me?)
  • How will you spend your time now? (Will I be lonely?)
  • What about our smoking friends? (Will I be bored/excluded?)
  • We were smokers, what are we now? (I miss the smoking 'us'.)
  • You can quit & I can't/won't/don't want to. (Are you better than me?)
  • You'll judge me for smoking. (Why are you being unfair to me?)
  • I feel guilty smoking now. (Why are you doing this to me?)
  • I feel pressured to quit. (I resent you doing this to me.)
  • You won't make it a week. (I feel threatened by your resolve/success.)

Your significant other may experience loss - losing a friend, losing your bonding time, losing your couples lifestyle and losing a part of your relationship history. You may feel some of these things, too! Be honest with yourself, process your feelings and be willing to let go of any underlying resentment towards your quit or your partner. Respect their choice to continue smoking at this time. Accept the process of change, and that it might be harder for them to accept since you initiated it.  Change is good for everyone! Both of you can move forward successfully with mutual respect, empathy, consideration and open communication. Let your loved one know you recognize your choice affects them, you appreciate their efforts to support you and you don't expect them to quit until/unless they are ready to. If you socialize with other smokers as a couple, share how you plan to do things together just like before, once you get beyond the first few weeks or month of your quit.   

Be sure to ask for help, and do so very specifically! Pick your battles. Identify your Top 3 requests that offer the most help for your quit. It helps to use "Please do" when possible, as "Please don't" may create resistance. Here are some examples:

  • "Will you please help me by keeping ashtrays, cigarettes and lighters in this drawer?"
  • "Will you please say "I'll be back in a minute" instead of "I'm heading out for a smoke?"
  • "Will you please tell our smoking friends I quit so I don't feel on the spot?"
  • "Will you please help me kick start my quit by smoking outside on the porch?"

Really brainstorm what would help you the most. Some people love to be made a fuss over, others like to be left alone. If your significant other is not very willing to discuss your suggestions, try giving options instead. An example would be: "Would you rather help me by smoking outside on the porch, in the garage or over at John's porch?"  Support is a fair thing to ask for! You live there, too, and partnership is a team effort.  Focus on what they will do to support you, get a commitment for how that's going to look, then thank them for taking the time to help you plan your quit.

Do avoid the "No matter how much I beg, promise you won't give me one!" request. This sets everyone up to fail. If you do beg, they don't know if they are supposed to honor the No Matter What rule or the intense, glaring person in front of them. Instead, let them know not to give you one unless you _______ or promise you won't get mad (and be sure you don't) if they hold steady. Have some clarification so they won't feel cornered! 

With some effort and planning, you can increase your home support system, reduce tension, get along great and quit smoking in a smoking household. Chances are, as you celebrate each successful smoke free day, your loved one will become inspired to give quitting a try, as well.


KTQ in your happy, supportive home!

Vikki Q CTTS-M


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Stopping can be easy if you live with a smoker. Whether or not your partner is a smoker you WILL be mixing with smokers in your everyday life.  
Some smokers (partners or not) will support you all the way. And the real ( die hard smoker) just can't wait for you to fail. This only proves to him/her that they were right and its only a waste of valuable smoking time to even try to stop smoking.  
I'm over a year off smoking now my partner still smokes and a very good friend is a heavy die hard smoker who fully believes I am going through a living nightmare ever since I've stopped. How wrong he is.  
As for smoking at home. This never happened at my house. We always stepped outside to smoke. So nothing has changed there. As for my heavy smoking friend, he fully believes that everyone should smoke and be very happy. And that non smokers just have no idea of what they are missing.  
If a person wants to stop he/she can.  
Regardless of what others do or say, putting your mind before matter goes a long way to getting there.  
Good luck. Willy.
Posted @ Friday, April 05, 2013 5:15 PM by Willy
My husband is still smoking and he has one or two ash trays to use and they stay outside of the bedroom. I had him light scented candles when I first quit. But now he does not so I got some scented oil that can be warmed to hide scent. 
I am two months quit. I am not going to stop my quit.
Posted @ Sunday, April 07, 2013 5:41 PM by Helen
Well done Helen keep going I have been smoke free now for 5 months and I hope I never go back too it but I think my partner who smokes is not too happy about it unless I'm getting the wrong signals but I do feel better but some days I feel really ill but hopefully one day I will feel better all the time but I will not give on so good luck too you and me and every one else who is quitting
Posted @ Saturday, May 04, 2013 5:02 PM by Donna robinson
This is the subject that brought me to this website. I have tried a few different times to quit smoking, but each time I almost feel like my husband subconsciously sabotages it. He is a heavy smoker too. I have my own reasons for needing to quit and I don't expect or ask him to share those reasons or the desire to quit.....but I would really like a little support in this myself as it is really important to me. This time I'm doing it without any replacement therapies or medications. For me, those just delay and prolong the misery of getting the nicotine addiction under control. I do my best to not be crabby or irritable, but in the first couple weeks I really wish it could just be ok for me to have frustrating moments without him having to turn it into a big deal and use it as a reason to cold shoulder me. I honestly just wish that for a couple of weeks he could have a reassuring hand on my shoulder and kind of have my back a bit. From what I've read, the major mood/craving/frustrating part should be a little more manageable by then....whether that's because the nicotine loses control or whether it's because I learn different ways to deal with things I don't know, but I'd sure like to get there and find out. Anyone who's been through this and has any advice would be much appreciated.
Posted @ Thursday, May 23, 2013 8:12 AM by Laura
Stop spending money to harm yourself instead spend money to better yourself. Exchange buying cigarettes to buying lottery. Atleast you blew your money on an opportunity to a better life and not on a slow death bed. I'm on quit for day one and pray I can quit this time for good. I have two handsome 4 and 6 year old boys whom only have me as their family so if I continue to smoke and die. Who will be here for them? Please god guide me through this road to recovery in obtaining my health back. God Bless everyone. Amen.
Posted @ Sunday, April 27, 2014 10:14 AM by Christina
Do not rely on someone else to "have your back" whilst quitting. You either summon the guts and do it yourself or you don't. 
On day 3 and so far had 3 rows after catching my husband smoking in the home. Have I smoked? no. Did I have the urge? A bit. 
Do not expect a partner or other family member to always accept or respect your wish to quit. Right now my husband sees me as a major inconveniance in his life. He has smoked for years and enjoys it. I've spent the past 4 years wanting to stop, but failed due to expecting his support. This time I won't fail and he can stick his fags up his butt and take them outside. I'm done facilitating him when he won't return the favour. 
Right now he is smoking in the bathroom, I can smell it.....
Posted @ Sunday, November 23, 2014 9:41 AM by G
I love my husband but I feel he does not support me in my quitting. He is a heavy smoker and God love him he smokes outside at least. Its like hes going thru mood swings with my quitting lol. Loved this website I learned alot. Thank you.
Posted @ Wednesday, March 25, 2015 12:28 PM by Judith
I am married to a wonderful woman and after reading some of these posts I guess I should be grateful to her even though she wont quit smoking too. I have been smoking for about 43 years. I watched smoking kill my mother and grandmother and want to quit so bad. Already at 53 I have huge breathing problems. My wife is 33 and pretty healthy (Right now anyway). We both agreed to quit. However, she is not going to quit and it is making me crazy.Unlike some of the posts I've read here she does not smoke around me. She only smokes at work and when she thinks I wont know. She is a great wife and I know this. However, am very angry and just want to leave.
Posted @ Thursday, April 09, 2015 12:05 AM by winston
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