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How To Support A Spouse Who Has Decided To Quit Smoking

Updated on March 29, 2013

Patience, Understanding, Selflessness, Temperence

Being around someone who is trying to quit smoking can be a real pain, you have to endure their insane mood swings and walk on eggshells for the first week or so.

First time quitters will have the most difficult time at breaking away from the powerful addictive forces of the cigarette. It took my wife four attempts in a 7 year span to fully stop smoking. She is now smoke free for over a year... yet the urge for a smoke still arises now and then.

You will find the first week of quitting to be, by far, the most challenging in the history of your relationship. Above all you need to be supportive, and let your spouses know they're doing a great job at beating their addiction. As important as it is to be supportive, you must also know when to back off. This battle is your spouse's to fight, and sometimes they need their space.

A Few Tips To Help You With Helping Your Spouse Help Themselves

Know that for your spouse to quit smoking successfully it must be entirely their own decision. They must have zero pressure from others to quit, especially from you. Let it be known that you would like them to stop smoking for various reasons primarily health, then financial, but ultimately the decision is theirs to make.

Once it is decided that your spouse wants to quit smoking, perhaps you may gently encourage them to quit around Halloween (or not). This is a great time to quit because of all the distractions, trick or treating door to door, giving out candies, the parties, the costumes, and finally about a weeks worth of candy you could gorge on in place of cigarettes. Then right after Halloween comes that huge distraction called Christmas. Why is it the day after Halloween they start with the Christmas propaganda? That's almost another hub altogether...

Wash your spouses' jackets or sweaters that they wore while they were smokers. They will appreciate this for in the first couple of days their sense of smell returns fully and if they are surrounded by that yucky cigarette smell, it may trigger a craving.

Same point as above goes for the entire house. Febreeze the couches and curtains, clean the areas where most of the smoking was done to eliminate that nasty cigarette smell. Don't forget about the car as well! You want the smoker to be in clean surroundings so when they do smell cigarettes they smell how nasty it really is.

Offer to pick up on a big chunk of the house work. When your spouse is quitting smoking their body is craving for a substance that has been stripped from it causing the quitter to feel an immense feeling of loss or longing. If they are in a clean and cozy environment that is free of clutter and mess it would definitively make them feel more at ease rendering them more fit to deal with the sometimes overwhelming lack of nicotine.

Avoid doing things that were once associated with smoking. If your spouse would enjoy a steaming cup of coffee with their fag (the cig, not you) then it might be better if he or she skipped on the coffee for a while for it may trigger a craving through association.

Do not worry about a little weight gain after quitting smoking. My wife's doctor informed her that she is more at risk of dying by being a skinny smoker than an overweight non smoker. You can always lose the weight later.

Alter Your Logic And Humor During This Special Time

As good my intentions were by writing this article to share my experiences living with a spouse who is trying to quit smoking.... I know now that I should not have shown it to my wife for her opinion, especially not the first paragraph... she didn't find it so funny... patience, understanding, selflessness, temperence.


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    • Ardot profile image

      Ardot 6 years ago from Canada

      Thanks for the great comments! Mrs. Ardot is doing alright, she's got good willpower!

    • David R Bradley profile image

      David R Bradley 6 years ago from The Active Side of Infinity

      Probably should have held on to this Hub for a few weeks before publishing to avoid the withdrawal induced evil eye from Mrs. Ardot!

      Best of luck to her and all trying to stop smoking! Being a smoker who doesn't smoke anymore, I've written a few HUBs on the topic and you're welcome to check them out for pointers on how to keep your whits about you while going through the process of becoming a non-smoker.

      Here's a good place to start:

    • nemanjaboskov profile image

      Nemanja BoŇ°kov 6 years ago from Serbia

      Hey, Ardot!

      A great hub, I can definitely relate to the story!

      First my girlfriend quit, and then I did a couple of months later - so I have seen the situation from both perspectives :)

      I really do not know which perspective has been scarier!

      Voted up, useful, funny, awesome and interesting!