Caring for my partner who is still smoking

I felt I had to share my feelings. My partner of 20years whom I love dearly is still smoking roll ups. I feel so angry at times with him as I feel I am just watching him kill himself slowly. I have tried to talk to him and I have stopped smoking two years ago. I feel so helpless. I know what addiction is like as we are both in recovery from alcoholism ...over 22 years dry me and 25 years him. I just wanted to put down how I feel as there is nothing I can do..just be there for him. Thanks

23 Replies

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  • well done for quitting both alcohol and fags - you have done really really well, to quit both is an incredible achievement.

    But as you said you are aware of what its like to be addicted so you know how tough it is for your partner to give up.

    i was a stubborn smoker and even though i knew it was doing me no good the more people would tell me to give up the less chance there was i would do it.

    eventually, when people thought i was a lost cause i stopped.

    recently i had a traumatic time and the first thing i did was grab the fags, ( still got the comfort blanket mindset!!!!) it tasted disgusting and i felt awful afterwards but i was back to square one ,smoking,- back on the NRT ( patches and lozenges) now but the truth is you have to be in the right frame of mind to give up - this may sound silly but try not to nag him - the more you nag at him to give up the more he will continue smoking - maybe suggest he goes to one of the NHS quit smoking clinics when hes in the mood to listen. I found them helpful .

    its all easier said than done but support him as best you can - you are an amazing person and you will succeed xxxx

    k

  • thank you so much x

  • Thanks Rose. X

  • i have just been diagnosed with copd i am on nebulizers inhalers steroids and antibiotics and im a smoker yet i know i have to quit i am really struggling to come to terms with what is wrong with me i am 38 years old and feel like my life has been taken away from me all i get from my sisters is ur a bad mum for smoking when u so ill as ur kids are bgoing to ebnd up with no mum i am extremely depressed and have tried explaining how hard it is for me to pack up i think the more people go on at u the more chance im likely to carry on smoking

  • tell them what you would like them to say to you instead of what they do, and explain how they can help you not hinder you. With the right kind of help we can all do it. I have my date set and agreement of support and quieter times to help me. Your sisters are probably scared for you and for your children...and wrongly think what they now say is helping.....so do explain and you'll start to feel better.

  • All my medication just enabled me to carry on smoking for longer, truth is without it i wouldn't still be here today. I'm 36 now and smoke free at last, i was not interested in quitting and denied that i couldn't just give up when i wanted and that i wasn't going to get as ill as everyone was telling me. i nearly smoked myself to death before i stopped, in the end i was just totally insane. throwing my tobacco in the toilet every night and trying not to smoke the next day, I use to put it in the bin at night but would pick it out the next day....I smoked til i couldn't breathe, use my nebuliser and Oxygen to keep sorted then do it all over again...i couldn't eat or go out, i would get tobacco delivered to my door because i was so ill i couldn't leave the flat. In the end my friends took me to see a Hypnotherapist on Harley Street in London and she got me to stop...i was also using Champix as i had done so many times before.... it was the best £400 I've ever spent in my life.

  • You have to be in the right mindset ie YOU and only you can stop..it's hard to explain. I wish you well. X

  • Hi Cornwall47 I know exactly how you feel. I was diagnosed with COPD about 18 months ago. Im struggling to give up them fags and am nagged at continually by family and friends. It doesnt help does it? only makes me feel worse. The people I hate most are those who say - its easy I did it with no problem. That must mean that Im stupid or deficient or something! If you explain how hard it is you get accused of making excuses.

    I think we all understand here and appreciate that we need support to stop and stay stopped. You will get lots of support here love.

    Bev xx

  • Thanks Bev x

  • Hi Cornwall 47, I was diagnosed with COPD 12 years ago, and was told in no uncertain terms by everyone to stop smoking, how easy that is to say. To stop after almost 40 years was difficult but I dcided to stop buying cigarettes and then cadge an occasional one from friends and relatives, it was very hard at first but it worked and after about 4 months I stopped altogether and have not smoked since. So you see with the support of these people I finally gave them up. I have to add its never too late to stop and I think I have gained a few years of extra life and at 75 that can only be good.

    We do understand and really hope you manage your quest in the future, good luck in that regard.

  • Thanks for your supportive reply

  • hypercat you are not stupid at all , i was a really heavy smoker and found it difficult to give up i used patches at first but they gave me nightmares so i went cold turkey it was horrid and boy did i make my husband suffer but i got there in the end with his support , if you can do two weeks without a smoke you have won and you can scream out with joy that you indeed are the victor, i do not agree with these E cigs smoking is an habit and a big part of that habit is putting a cig to your lips an E cig allows you to do this so makes it harder to break the habit .

    A lot of people give smoking in different ways my husband use the voice in the head method when you get a craving a loud voice saying NO can stop you it worked for my husband i hope it might work for others , whatever methos you choose i wish you all the best , cornwall47 you can not force him to stop he has to want to im afraid sometimes people give up through the shock of illness maybe in time your husband will do this , all the best to you both .

    xx Gill

  • Thanks Gill. It's good to be in contact to share my feelings about all this x

  • It is very hard to give up. I smoked for over 30 years and stopped in January before I had any COPD symptoms. I had tried and failed many times before.

    This time it was because I think I was ready somehow. I used Champix and had to see the practice nurse every week. I haven't touched one since and although I still have sudden, overwhelming urges to have one, they are fleeting and rare now. I know I will not smoke again.

    My husband also gave up and has felt huge health benefits from it, I didn't have that in the same way as I was later diagnosed with moderate COPD but I genuinely think I would be so much worse if I still smoked.

    Everyone else is right though, nagging doesn't help. It just makes people resentful and fear the failure of quitting even more. What helped me this time is that I didn't tell anyone I had given up until I had been off them about 6 weeks.

    I am amazed that people didn't notice. I think they only notice what you do, rather than what you don't do.

    Lynne x

  • Thanks Lynne x

  • Yes I smoked too and told myself ,I so enjoy the odd cig .I just got up one day and said I'm bored doing this fed up with ,going outside for a fag it's cold and wet .took one day at a time ,didn't beat myself out if I caved in and had one .(which I didn't ) its now been 4years .my friend and both stopped at the same time .We are saying the other day while sitting in the garden ,the guy next door was smoking ,god what a horrid smell and that was us cant believe so enjoyed smoking now . I really feel sick now I hate walking out of shopping centre's ,it's just not that I'v stopped but my lungs really cant cope any more ,as I have also noticed if I'm in traffic I can taste the fumes .You are well up to spead as you say you have been there and I take my hat off to you that great .and roll ups are as bad as any .The only person that can stop him is him and you can go on until your blue in the face .My dad ,sister both died with COPD I have it and hoping for a lung op ,my daugter is a 2year studant nurse ,and has spent the last 3 months in placement with COPD nurse's and she smokes maybe try reverse buy him fags and and tell him too go for it he will really not get any help from any med while he smokes .I know if I go near a smoker the lung tranplant team will walk away . the best of luck jackie

  • Thanks Jackie. All the best to you

  • I gave up smoking in November 2009 using Champix which I got from the Stop smoking clinic was run from my local GP surgery. I started smoking at the age of 14 so that was 48 years and at 30 cigs a day.

    I had tried everything cold turkey, chewing gum patches, nothing worked. The truth was I was fooling myself most of the time.

    After starting Champix I had stopped in three weeks and have not smoked even one puff of a cigarette, in fact I can't stand the smell of them. I can walk along our local high street and smell smokers meeting points.

    Unfortunately, I was diagnosed with COPD a year later, but then that was hardly surprising after 43 years of smoking! I am moderate now and have maintained that level for the last two years. Fortunately I have retired and don't need to work and just look after myself even if the doctors think I am a nuisance.

    I have just started PR and am hoping it will help from deteriorating too quickly

    Regards

    David

  • Thanks for your reply. It helps to be in contact with people who understand

  • Hiya Cornwall47....

    I have struggled to stop smoking since getting breathing problems in my early 20's....i stopped in 2010, 27th January about 4pm!!

    i am also in Recovery from Addiction and there is never a 'good' time or 'right' time to give up anything, it's all about the quality of your decision in surrendering to your insanity....i found it really hard getting any support and indentification from people who were all smoking..... i was totally on my own with it, friends just watched my insanity unfold in front of them as i smoked myself to death..... a lot of it was what was going on in my head, it had me by the balls totally cornered. i was unable to share what was going on, i was believing the lies it was telling me, i lost my faith in my HP and my program fell apart....i did start drinking after i stopped smoking.....18mth relapse which nearly killed me but i am over a year clean again and trying to get back on the lung transplant waiting list....

    All my medication just enabled me to carry on smoking for longer, truth is without it i wouldn't still be here today. I'm 36 now and smoke free at last, i was not interested in quitting and denied that i couldn't just give up when i wanted and that i wasn't going to get as ill as everyone was telling me. i nearly smoked myself to death before i stopped, in the end i was just totally insane. throwing my tobacco in the toilet every night and trying not to smoke the next day, I use to put it in the bin at night but would pick it out the next day....I smoked til i couldn't breathe, use my nebuliser and Oxygen to keep sorted then do it all over again...i couldn't eat or go out, i would get tobacco delivered to my door because i was so ill i couldn't leave the flat. In the end my friends took me to see a Hypnotherapist on Harley Street in London and she got me to stop...i was also using Champix as i had done so many times before.... it was the best £400 I've ever spent in my life.

  • Thanks for the reply. All the best to you

  • Hi Cornwall47,

    It is extremely difficult to watch someone you love not do everything in their power to help themselves. But as you know yourself, addiction can make you feel powerless.

    The BLF have a great booklet for people caring for someone with a lung condition - download it or order a copy from here:

    blf.org.uk/Page/Looking-aft...

    The section about smoking is brief and may tell you what you already know, but here goes:

    "If the person you care for is a smoker, stopping smoking is likely to be one of the most important things they do. However, it is a difficult challenge. If you smoke, why not try to quit with the person you care for? Doing it together could make it easier. Need help?

    NHS Smokefree: 0800 022 4 332, smokefree.nhs.uk

    Quit: 0800 00 22 00, quit.org.uk"

    The BLF helpline are there for you to talk to about how you're feeling and to ask any questions about how you can help your partner. 03000 030 555

    Wishing you all the best,

    BLF Family, friends and carers.

  • Thankyou

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