I just found out that my wife is smoking behind my back, and I don’t know what to do! This statement hit right home because most married couples relate to an instance where the significant other was engaged in an activity they disapproved of.
If your wife is smoking behind your back, it could signify deep cracks in the marriage. You must meet the issues head-on to help her quit but in an understanding and supportive manner.
In this post, I’ll let you in on how to resolve the issue. But first, let me tell you why most men don’t like it when their spouse is smoking – and more so if it is being done behind their backs.
How Do I Know if My Wife is Smoking Behind My Back
If you are observant, you are more likely to notice when your wife hides something from you.
But the most common tell-tale signs of smoking include:
- Smoker’s breath
- Stained fingers and nails
- Unexplainable absences
- Presence of smoking paraphernalia like a half-empty cigarette pack, a lighter, tobacco pipe, or a vape pen.
Is It Okay If I Don’t Want My Wife to Smoke?
While your wife is old enough to make her own choices and decisions, it’s okay to object to some; especially those life-threatening decisions. After all, you want the best for her, right?
Here’s why it’s okay if you don’t want your wife to smoke.
Smoking is Carcinogenic
Cigarette smoking is one of the leading causes of cancer. The vice promotes at least a dozen cancers, including liver and colorectal cancers, with lung cancer taking the crown for cancer-related fatalities in the world.
Patients undergoing chemotherapy or cancer survivors who continue to smoke are more prone to acquiring secondary primary cancer. The effects of smoking also lower the survival rates of prostate cancer patients.
Reproduction and Pregnancy Issues
Smoking lowers fertility, making conception more challenging. If you’re trying to have a child, your wife should kick the habit. Furthermore, women who smoke are at greater risk of ectopic pregnancy (when a fertilized egg implants outside the uterus). This is a medically serious condition that requires immediate treatment. The egg cannot survive anywhere other than the womb, and the mother’s life will indeed be compromised if left untreated.
And suppose the woman is already pregnant; the effects of smoking will affect the fetus. Women are discouraged from smoking while pregnant for various reasons, one of which is that their kids are at risk of being born prematurely and with low birth weight. Babies born too early or too small have a higher risk of developing health problems or untimely death.
High Susceptibility to Respiratory Issues
Long-term or heavy smokers could experience some pretty terrible diseases and health conditions from smoking, such as:
- Heart disease: Due to blockages and narrowing of your arteries, you are more susceptible to heart disease. You might want to keep in mind that your chances of having a stroke also increase following blocked arteries.
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD): The disease is characterized by extreme shortness of breath, making it almost impossible to be active. Even getting up one flight of stairs could prove cumbersome.
Most of these respiratory illnesses are accompanied by typical symptoms, including difficulty breathing, cough (with or without sputum production), and wheezing. If not caught early, they may cause severe long-term disability and early death.
How to Help Your Wife Quit Smoking
Smoking is one of those vices that are extremely difficult to quit. And the sense of betrayal you felt after finding out your wife has been keeping it secret is often hard to bear. Here are some tips from experts to help you get through.
Step 1: Talk it Out
Have you ever heard of the adage: A problem shared is a problem half solved? So if I were to find out that my wife is smoking behind my back, the first step I would take is to talk to her. This is especially helpful if she has tried to quit severally but keeps relapsing and has now resolved to do so in secret.
Probably the thing that bothers you most is the secrecy. So you’ll typically want to get to the bottom of this. Perhaps she is struggling with something that’s making her anxious and stressed, but she feels she cannot talk to you. Open communication is crucial to determine why your wife is addicted to smoking.
Step 2: Seek Professional Help
Depending on what you find out in the first step, you can tackle the matter yourself, but it is advisable to seek certified help.
The doctor will first calculate your wife’s pack year to determine if she is a chronic or occasional smoker. This knowledge is critical because it determines the most effective practical intervention to help her quit for good.
There’s outpatient nicotine replacement therapy that’s tailored to smokers specifically. Addiction is often a coping mechanism of an underlying mental or physical state that can only be detected by a medical professional. The doctor may also suggest things that can help distract the mind from a nicotine fit, such as exercise.
Step 3: Try Alternatives of Smoking
Depending on the number of years your SO has been a smoker and her pack-year count, it might be difficult getting her to quit. If this is the case, research to find viable alternatives to smoking. A recently emerging trend is snus and nicotine pouches (not to be confused with nicotine patches).
These are tiny pouches placed between the gum and inner lip to deliver the buzz of a cigarette without actually lighting one. They are the new age of smokeless smoking. The primary distinction is that snus is made from ground tobacco, while nicotine pouches contain nicotine but are tobacco-free. The latter is the best option for someone looking to quit.
Snus and nicotine pouches are available online and in some stores. However, confirm if shipping them in your specific state is legal. But most important of all, make sure you consult a medical professional before you use any smoking alternative therapy.
The Bottom Line
It is devastating to find out that my wife is smoking behind my back. This bad habit can lead to trust issues and possibly a breakdown of your marriage. Begin by having a one-on-one talk and encourage your wife to be as frank as possible. You must establish why she is smoking behind your back to solve the problem. Remember, you need to be supportive rather than judgemental and harsh.
It is a marital issue that deserves the same attention as any other. If you have recently found yourself in the same predicament, we would love to hear from you. Kindly share your experience and let us know how you tackled the problem.
I’m Cathrine and I’m a 39-year-old mother of 3 from Utica, New York. And I’m extremely happy you’ve come to visit my hide-out on the web. Here I post about everything related to family-life and usually it will involve babies and lessons I’ve learned over the years from experts, friends, and my own mistakes. So hopefully you will find what i write fun and informational!