Dear Manay Gina,
My husband started smoking a couple of years ago. He stopped when I’ve begged him to give it up. At present however, he is smoking again. Aside from the fact that it’s bad for his health, it’s also bad for our relationship. We don’t have as much intimacy because I’m turned off by the smell of cigarette breath. But more important, I can’t get past feeling hurt that he won’t give up something that bothers me so much. I’m beginning to think that his smoking is proof that he loves himself more than me and the kids. What can I do to address this issue?
Help defuse this problem by presenting your concerns in the context of being on your husband’s side. You want him to stay healthy, and you want to stay married to him. Also clarify what he’s choosing between. He can have cigarettes on the one hand, or he can choose four positive gains on the other: the health of his children, his own health, a happier wife and a much more successful marriage
You can also ask him why he’s making this choice. One reason may be just to spite you, which could help you open up a discussion about his feelings about your marriage and point the way to positive changes. This could be a long process, so be prepared to continue encouraging and supporting him in his search for satisfaction apart from smoking.
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“The truth is always the strongest argument.”
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Send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org (Gina de Venecia)