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Avatar universal

upset w/bf

After dating my bf for two years and smelling his secondhand smoke, I broke up with him last February (that was our only real issue). 3 months later, after he quit smoking by using Chantix, he called me and wanted to make a go of it again. We reconciled and everything has been going well. This weekend, I discovered he is a "closet smoker". Of course, he denied that he was smoking, but, hey, I have a nose like a bloodhound and it was obvious to me that he had been smoking.

I really don't want to get caught up in this again. The man is 63 yo, had triple bypass, and is on blood pressure & cholesterol meds. I abhor cigarettes and the accompanying health risks. Am I gonna have to call his bluff and break up again (maybe for good)? I am old enough to realize you cannot change a person, and I don't want to become an incessant nag, yet I have zero tolerance for cigarettes.

Any suggestions on how to handle this?
8 Responses
Avatar universal
This is an issue.  A big issue.  I think you know in your heart what you want to do.  It's tough, and let me tell you as a smoker, it's not easy to quit even though all of us smokers out there know how terrible it is.  Nicotine is very addicting, and often it takes smokers more than one try at quitting.

I suggest you sit him down and have a real true heart felt talk, he already knows how you feel about it, but maybe if you two sit down and discuss it, neutrally and calmly and you express that you do not want to be with a smoker maybe it will click again and he will try again.  By no means should you put up with something you truly find disgusting, but at the same time, he probably does need support and encouragment if he truly does want to quit.  But he has to truly want to quit or he won't.  Something I think a deep heart felt discussion will determine, that way you aren't nagging and he isn't feeling nagged.  It's a mutal discussion that will maybe determine how things will go.

My mom is a non-smoker, hates it, and my dad (60 years old) is a smoker and always has been.  They compromised, he never smokes inside the house and he does his own laundry lol (kind of funny to me as my dad is not domestic!)  But it works for them.  You have to truly ask yourself what will work - if he has to completely stop than that needs to be expressed in a calm, non-nagging way.

But definately talk about it!  Sometimes it takes a few "stabs" for men to get the picture!  Hey, he did try to quit once after you broke it off-  obviously he values you and wants to be with you.  Tough decision but I think it deserves a discussion between the two of you again at the very least.
13167 tn?1327197724
I'm curious,  for someone who has zero tolerance for a smoke,  why did you decide to date one?

I have zero tolerance also,  that STINKS,  and I wouldn't accept even one date with a man who smoked because I don't want to be around it at all.

He's a smoker.  You probably should move on and allow him to live his life.
Avatar universal
thanks to you both...becks a truly sensitive answer u gave..yes, i realize nicotine is a powerful drug and it smoking is progressive, I can see he is taking more chances at lighting up...smokers will give up ANYTHING to have a puff. i will have a heart to heart with him, which i planned on doing anyway.

rockrose...y did i date someone who smokes? very good question...he was a "blind date", i didnt know he smoked, and frankly, he pursued me for months until we became an item, he kept promising he would quit and I do believe he was smokeless for a several months when he quit earlier this year. I dont know what triggered him again. i have never been this attached to a smoker but i can honestly say i will NOT get myself in this position again. that being said, you may be right, i may just have to let him go and move on even though he is a wonderful, giving man.

Avatar universal
That is a typical thing to happen for smokers who quit, ecspecially long term smokers.  They quit and don't touch them and then they have one at the bar with a beer, then they have one at a party socially etc and it builds back to full fledge smoking.  

From what you've said I think he may want to quit, if he truly does than there are tons of medications/patches etc out there that can help.  More so now than a mere few years ago.  Keep us posted on what happens.  I believe that a long term smoker can quit successfully.  My best friends dad was a 2 pack a day guy into his 60s - his doctor said "if you dont quit you will die in a year" and bam like that he hasn't touched a cigarette in three years.

Something to keep in mind - when you quit, the urge tends to hit strong after 3 days, 3 weeks, 3 months in a cycle something like that.  (maybe not exactly but you get the idea).  if after your talk, (glad you're planning on doing that) you get the idea that he's just saying it to keep you - I would think about cutting your losses - but like I said he did quit once (you were probably a major motivator in that) so that gives me hope.

Best of luck and let us know how it goes! :)
Avatar universal
thanks...i turned him on to whyquit.com over a year ago. he didnt take it as seriously as i thought...he felt it was more hype than reality. he comes from the era when it was considered ok to smoke, so he has a hard time believing that it can be that bad for you. he is intellectually aware of the pitfalls of smoking, but still has this disbelief that "they" would allow something as harmful as cigarettes to be readily available..that being said, i think the additives in cigs "drug" the smoker into thinking its ok to smoke...need i go on??

anyway, we shall see how it all turns out... it may sound selfish, but i don't want to be a hand-holder when/if he is stricken by cancer/COPD/more heart disease. i saw my mother pass away from emphysema bc she smoked and i do not want to experience that again.
Avatar universal
I understand what your saying, and knowing the consequences to smoking I agree with you that I too would not want to be around to watch someone go through it. (even being a smoker).  

I hope you keep us posted on how things go and how the talks go.  Either way a good talk will help you to either be there and him to quit or you to move on.  :)  My thoughts are with you :)
82861 tn?1333457511
Look, you can't change other people.  It never works.  His smoking has absolutely nothing to do with you, or his feelings for you.  It sounds like smoking is a deal-breaker for you.  End of story.  If you can't make some kind of compromise (as in no smoking in the house or in your presence) then you need to walk away.  What kind of life do you imagine will be in store for you both if he can't toe the line to your rules?  Are you going to rag on him every time you pick up a whiff of smoke on him?  Lectures do not work.  Either you can accept this trait in your boyfriend, or you can't.
Avatar universal
hi, i no i am a hell of a lot younger so you may not care what i have to say but i'm going to anyway. i have been with my boyfriend for a year now and i also can not tolerate smoking. i'm actually not sure how i ended up with him becaue i new he smoked. i just pushed it, and pushed it untill he finally started not smoking as much. he wouldnt smoke if he new he was going to see me, i also have a vary sensitive nose. eventually we were living together and he could go for days. he was only smoking when he was at work or with his friends. i pretty much gave him a dead line and it has taken a year but he no longer smokes. he wanted to quit himself though even if it wa to keep me around.  
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