Need help with girlfriend smoking

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by mgargan1, Jan 16, 2008.

  1. mgargan1 macrumors 65816


    Feb 22, 2003
    Reston, VA
    Alright, here's the deal. I told my girlfriend, before we started dating, that I don't date smokers. At the time, she smoked all the time, not just socially. Since we started dating, about 9 months ago, she's been much better... usually hiding her smoking habits so I don't find out.

    She just got invisalign, so she can't smoke... but today, her sister had a stroke. I'm actually sitting in the ER waiting room, on the complimentary internet... and she left her purse on the desk while she went to see her sister. Well, I was looking to see if she had her phone, and while i was looking, i found a pack of cigarettes.

    At first i didn't do anything, but the more i thought about it, it bothered me. Not only because it's bad, she has horrible genes, and very predisposed to diseases... cigarettes are a huge factor in stroke victims. So, I threw them away.

    Now, I'm not trying to start a smoking thread, we already have that. And I'm not saying what I did was right... but how would you guys go about this?

    I really don't want to see her end up like her sister... and I hope and pray that she gets better.
  2. dukebound85 macrumors P6


    Jul 17, 2005
    5045 feet above sea level
    if you dont date smokers then why are you dating her?

    besides that all you can do is just try to influence her not too. maybe make a goal to complete a marathon together and as part of training you shouldnt smoke. plus nice benefit in terms of exercise
  3. teleromeo macrumors 65816


    Dec 2, 2006
    kidnapped by aliens
    Love has nothing to do with smoking. If you love her you'll have to stand her smoking. On the other hand, if she knows you don't like the fact that your girlfriend smokes she should take the effort to try and stop smoking. I never smoked for myself but I can imagine that this is the most difficult part.
  4. Queso macrumors G4

    Mar 4, 2006
    Never go into a relationship expecting the other person to change for your benefit. If they do change it's a bonus, but you're out of order asking for it to be a requirement. If she's keeping her smoking secret from you it's because you've forced her to. Wouldn't you prefer her to be honest with you than have to hide things in fear of what you might say?
  5. nikopolidis macrumors regular

    Dec 21, 2007
    Well, it is rather serious dilemma. On the one hand you want to help your girlfriend and show care about her. It is good. But on the other hand we should accept our lovers as they do.
    Few days ago I was talking with my girlfriend about smoking. We've arrived to the second idea.
    I think you shouldn't insist too hard on her smoking. Present her Allen Carr's "Easyway" series book. My friends successfully gave up smoking after they read this book. But there is one clause: you must want to give up smoking...
    Good luck! :)
  6. myeggsareboiled macrumors newbie

    Jan 11, 2008
    Ex smoker...

    I am in the process of giving up smoking, so feel qualified to comment on this.

    As your girl is going through an emotional time right now, it is not a good time to be going into her bag and chucking her cigarettes. Im sure she is under enough stress as it is. She has to be the one to decide to quit, not you. If she doesn't have the right mindset, it won't work. If she does decide to quit, I recommend zyban. It is a drug that screws up the receptors in your brain, and deadens the craving. It is not easy, and I would advise that she doesn't try while her sister is unwell. You need a clear head to quit, and support from your loved ones, not interference.
  7. stomer macrumors 6502a

    Apr 2, 2007
    Leeds, UK
    Personally, I could never date a smoker. I can't tolerate smoking. The thought of my partner smoking is utterly revolting, it's almost on a par with infidelity. If my wife were ever to start (highly unlikely, she hates smoking as much as I do), I think I'd have no choice but move out.
  8. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location

    You said you didn't date smokers. You began dating a smoker. What did you expect........for her and the cosmos to change? If you don't want to date a smoker, then you shouldn't have dated one. It's not her problem. It's your problem, and it's not her fault that she's smoking. My girlfriend doesn't smoke. If she started smoking later in our lives, that's a different story altogether. However, if she was a smoker before we dated, then we'd just be friends right now, plain and simple.

    On that note, I'd just tell her that it worries you that she smokes, and it'd break your heart if she ended up like her sister because of cigarettes. Don't demand that she stop smoking, and don't throw her cigarettes away. Don't be confrontational and argumentative if she does smoke. If she smokes, she smokes. However, if you really convey the emotional impact of all this, maybe she'd do it voluntarily simply because she agrees with how messed up it is.

    Tell her these things (again) a few weeks from now. It's better now than never, especially when health is a priority issue for her sister, her family, and herself right now. In fact, she's probably assessing her own health and habits right now.
  9. davidjearly macrumors 68020


    Sep 21, 2006
    Glasgow, Scotland
    I disagree. What a person does in their life defines who they are. What makes someone who they are goes a long way in determining if others will fall in love with them.

    For example, I can't stand cigarettes. I loathe them with a passion and personally (and likely controversially) think they should be outlawed completely.

    As a result of this, I would never date a smoker. I do my best to stay away from smokers and as horrible as it might be to admit, if I meet someone at work or whatever who is a smoker, it will have a negative impact on whether I become good friends with them or not.

    So in other words, I couldn't fall in love with someone who was a smoker (therefore I would never be in the OP's position, I guess). However, if my partner took up this habit after we had been together, I would still love her but I would not be able to be around her.

    I agree.
  10. avincent52 macrumors regular

    Nov 6, 2007
    The her-sneaking cigarettes/you-snooping-in-her-purse dynamic doesn't bode well for this relationship.
    If you take the high moral ground on this, you'll likely force her not to quit, but to sneak around better.
    I know a guy who told his wife he quit smoking years ago. He tried, but he fell back into it and was forced to sneak around. Then when he really did quit, he couldn't tell her, because he'd have to reveal his dishonesty.
    No, this ain't good, but your girlfriend has bigger problems at the moment than your disapproval.
    Young people (if you're 24, I can't imagine your girlfriend's sister being much older than 40) don't have strokes for no reason, and there's a good chance this situation could get worse, and she's going to need your unconditional support.
    If having this happen to her sister doesn't convince your girlfriend to quit, I'm not sure what will.
    But tossing out her cigarettes is a passive-aggressive cop out.

  11. mcarnes macrumors 68000


    Mar 14, 2004
    USA! USA!
    The manly thing to do would be to hide her cigarettes.
  12. Hello.there macrumors 6502a


    Oct 12, 2007
    Whatever about having a policy not to date smokers, I think most women on this earth would have a policy not to date men who look through their purses: unbelievable! And for you to throw away her cigarettes at such a stressful time for sound to me like a control freak.

    I too am a smoker and I can tell you one thing for sure: no amount of nagging and bullying will make a smoker stop, they have to want to do it, whether that be for health or financial reasons. So back off and leave her alone, she's an adult, she'll make her own decisions, right or wrong.

    Meanwhile, never ever go through anyone's purse again.
  13. Hello.there macrumors 6502a


    Oct 12, 2007
    Good grief! If I was married to you I'd ask you to move out now!
  14. Mord macrumors G4


    Aug 24, 2003
    I ended up near falling out of love with one of my girlfriends when she picked up the habbit after quitting, she quit again, I fell back and i'm pretty sure she's going to stick with it.

    Emotional blackmail for the win.
  15. samh004 macrumors 68020


    Mar 1, 2004
    Good answer.

    I understand how you wouldn't like it though, not just for potential to get sick but kissing a smoker is disgusting, especially if they smoke a lot. It just tastes odd. Euck!
  16. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

    Jan 6, 2004
    i see two problems.

    1. you're expecting her to change. its her life, she gets to dictate it how she wants.

    2. she feels the need to hide it from you. which she shouldn't.

    doesn't seem to be the healthiest relationship. and rather than putting her down for smoking, why not talk to her. instead of making her feel guilty or that she has to hide her smoking from you, talk to her about it and let her decide if she wants to quit or not. and if not, thats her choice, just as its your choice to decide if the relationship is working for you still or not.
  17. keysersoze macrumors 68000


    Jan 6, 2004
    And that, my friends, is what I consider to be the key lesson of this thread. Well said.
  18. TMA macrumors 6502a


    Jan 6, 2003
    Ask her if she needs or would like your help in giving up smoking. If she says no you've either got to get over it or leave her.
  19. Cromulent macrumors 603


    Oct 2, 2006
    The Land of Hope and Glory
    That is a pretty big invasion of her privacy. If the roles were reversed and she decided to throw away your computer because she thought it was unhealthy and anti-social how would you feel?

    It really does not matter if you did it for the right reasons or not it just shows a rather arrogant approach as in your way or the high way.

    I would be livid if that happened to me.
  20. Dagless macrumors Core


    Jan 18, 2005
    Fighting to stay in the EU
    Bang on!
    To be honest you shouldn't have started dating her but that might be a little brutal.

    If you loved them wouldn't you want them to live longer so you can love them and be with them longer?
  21. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

    Jan 6, 2004
    sure. but you'd love them regardless of their imperfections and faults, or even more because of them.
  22. davidjearly macrumors 68020


    Sep 21, 2006
    Glasgow, Scotland
    For what reason? As I said before, for me, if my partner was against smoking when we started out together but then later took it up as a habit, it would show a drastic change in character. It might not change the fact that I love them, but it does change whether I want to be around them or not for two reasons.

    1. The change in character.
    2. The selfishness of putting a dirty habit before my health and desire to live in a smoke free home.

    To the OP: in any case, I do think that right now is not the best time to be bringing it up with your partner. I would wait until the difficult time has passed, or cooled down.

    EDIT: btw, I know this reply was not to me, but as I have a similar feeling about this to stomer, so was just curious about your reasoning.
  23. mgargan1 thread starter macrumors 65816


    Feb 22, 2003
    Reston, VA
    Thanks for all the replies...

    quickly though, i did want to point out that I wasn't snooping through her purse. I was trying to find her phone, she was in her sister’s hospital room while I was downstairs in the lobby (for some reason, only two people can go back at a time).

    Secondly, I don’t see how me throwing out her cigarettes is like her throwing out my macbook. She told me that she stopped smoking, it’s clearly bad for her… (the found out that her sister’s smoking and being on BC was a major factor), and yes… while it probably wasn’t the best thing for me to do… it’s not the same as her throwing away my laptop.

    Anyway, I can’t type too much right now, I’ll post an update on her sister as soon as we find out more…
  24. xodonniedarko macrumors 6502


    Aug 15, 2007
    North Carolina
    "love your partner the way he/she is"

    That's true.
    But smoking isn't the way she is. Smoking is something she does. It's an addiction, and addictions are never healthy no matter what it is. I love my boyfriend, but when we started dating, I required he quit doing quite a few things- I explained that what he did actually made me sad, and he dropped them all just to make me happy. I think AFTER this sister dilemma is over, you should sit down and have a heart-to-heart conversation. Tell her, you love her, and you BOTH KNOW that smoking has absolutely NO BENEFITS other than 'relaxation'. And quite frankly, she lived a long period of time without cigs, and I think she can go on living without them again.

    Tell her you're worried to death that she's prone to cancer and strokes, and that if she fell in the same position as her sister, you wouldn't know how to deal. Tell her that when she smokes, it hurts you to know what she's doing to herself. (if that's how you really feel) Not to mention, if you plan on marrying and having children, she'll have to quit when she's pregnant. Tell her you don't want your kids growing up with second hand smoke (not to mention they'll smell awful and get teased about it...)!

    I should kick DR Phil off his show.
  25. themadchemist macrumors 68030


    Jan 31, 2003
    Chi Town

    Honestly, she can't quit unless she wants to. Talk about it with her--explain to her how much you care about her and how you don't want to see her get sick. Don't be punitive or judgmental. Tell her you understand it's hard (it's very hard!), but you'll be supportive of her every step of the way. But it's got to be important for her; she can't do it just for you.

    And remember, the best approach is to quit cold turkey; it has the most success. There are also various aids to help you cut down, if she'd prefer that. Things like carrot sticks, etc., also sometimes can fill in the sensation of having something in your hand and in your mouth. If she seems into it, sit down together and look up smoking cessation plans. If she's got a primary care physician, it would be great for her to talk to him/her about her desire to quit smoking.

    And remember, be *positive*, *communicate*, and help her understand that it is hard and she might slip up, but that's OK; most people do. If she tries to quit, and it doesn't work, tell her you're proud of her efforts and that you'll be there when she's ready to try again. Encourage her, and I wish you the best of luck. It's definitely a good idea for both you and she that she quits smoking!

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