What Your Partner Who Is Quitting Smoking Wants You To Know

February 9, 2018  |  
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Gettyimages.com/smoking a cigarette

If you thought you couldn’t stand it when your partner was a full-time chain-smoker, just wait and see what it’s like when he tries to quit. You might miss the days when he was just smoking, and not thinking about quitting smoking. At least when he was smoking, he had something to turn to when he was under stress or feeling emotionally overwhelmed. When he quits smoking, he may try and try to find something to replace that buzz, but there is nothing quite like it, and you’ll both pay for that reality soon enough. But, naturally, your partner should quit smoking—all of the turmoil and drama along the way will be worth it considering the years it will add to his life. Just know that you don’t get to be a quiet bystander. Here’s what your partner who is trying to quit smoking wants you to know.


He does want to quit

Stop asking your partner, “Do you even want to quit?” Of course he does, or he wouldn’t have started on this journey in the first place. If he smokes, it’s not because he doesn’t want to quit—it’s probably because of some other very pressing emotional or physical demand that was stronger than his desire to quit.

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It’s very hard during stressful times

Your partner will have a very hard time resisting cigarettes when he is under stress. Don’t try to get him to quit during a difficult time in his life.


It’s actually harder if you pressure him

You really want your partner to quit, but the truth is, he’ll be more likely to if you don’t mention how much you’re counting on it. That stress can drive him to smoke.

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Yes, he’s thought about your children

And yes he has thought about how his future children deserve a smoke-free home, and how he could give your potential kids second-hand smoke. You just make him feel terrible when you bring this up, but it doesn’t help him quit.


Yes, he worries about widowing you

And yes, he has considered that smoking could lead to life-threatening conditions, meaning he could leave you a widow. This fact, too, doesn’t help him on his journey.

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You’re not his boss

This is ultimately his decision and his task to handle. You don’t get to boss him around or become angry when he slips up. This isn’t your challenge.


Don’t judge him when he fails

Try not to be too hard on him when he slips up. He’s already being very hard on himself, he can promise you that.


Try to understand the addiction

Try to put yourself in his shoes. Think of something that you couldn’t live without, and now understand that that’s how he feels about cigarettes.

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Yes, he’s thought about the financial implications

Your partner has also thought about how much money he spends on cigarettes each year and the fact that you could put that money towards your children’s college tuition or a vacation.

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Don’t invite other smokers over

Try to keep other smokers away from your partner when he’s trying to smoke. At outdoor restaurants, don’t even sit at a table near smokers—wait for the next available table.

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Praise him like crazy when he succeeds

When your partner reaches small milestones—like going smoke-free for two weeks—praise him like crazy. Treat him to a nice meal! Make a thing of it. He needs it.


Don’t shame him for his breath

He won’t quit smoking because you tell him that his breath makes you not want to kiss him, or that his clothes smell terrible when he hugs you. All this does is make him insecure.


Know he’ll try and fail several times

Understand that even when it seems like your partner has quit, he will relapse several times. It’s part of the process.

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He has to try several methods

Your partner will probably have to try several methods between the patch and gum and other tools out there. And each time, he will swear by it…until he suddenly gives up on it.

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Stop sending him lung photos

Stop sending him photos of smoker’s lungs. You’re ruining his lunch, making him nauseous, and still not killing his cravings to smoke.

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