My DP lied to me about quitting smoking. Now I am deeply hurt and I don't trust him anymore. Am I overreacting? - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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#31 of 48 Old 12-29-2010, 01:13 PM
 
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This is a very interesting perspective to read. I've never been a smoker, but I sneak food sometimes. When DH takes the kids upstairs for a bath I'll grab a couple of cookies, or if I'm out shopping by myself I'll buy a candy bar sometimes. I do it because I'm embarrassed and, although I know DH wouldn't say anything if he saw me eating those things, I would feel ashamed. I have told him about this sneaking behavior in the past, so he knows I do it in general, but I don't come home and admit it to him every time I do it. It's sort of freaky to read that in some relationships I could be looking at divorce papers! I agree that any kind of dishonesty is unacceptable, but it's funny how you can talk yourself into believing that you're not really lying if you want to. Maybe I'll start limiting my treats to those I share with him, or at least wouldn't mind if he knew about. 


I've done that, too. I have disordered eating, and I do it to hide it from my kids, which is humiliating, in and of itself. DH knows I do it, and like you, I don't necessarily tell him everytime (mostly because it sometimes slips my mind by the time we're alone). I'm not hiding it from him, and I'm not pretending that I've stopped eating in a disordered fashion. And, if he asks, I'd tell him. And, if I heard him bragging to someone that I'd kicked the sugar habit, I'd tell him he was wrong. I don't have the right to lie to him.

 

Honestly..it sounds as though you're honest with your dh, in that you're not hiding the behaviour, overall, and as you describe it, I don't think I'd have my "this is divorce worthy" reaction. (DH drinks at lunch sometimes. He doesn't tell me every time he has a beer or two - but he doesn't hide the fact that he does it sometimes, and would tell me if I asked. This doesn't feel like lyin gor hiding things, even if the reason he doesn't volunteer it is that he's embarrassed that he had a beer every day for a week, yk?)These things are definitely complicated, in many, many ways.


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#32 of 48 Old 12-29-2010, 01:23 PM
 
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First, I admit I'm probably coming at this thread with the wrong perspective since I just quit 2 weeks ago and am very much in the "I miss it terribly" stage.

 

I think lying and lying about an addiction are very very different things.  Lying in general is wrong and bad and could very well be divorce-worthy.  Lying to hide an addiction is as well, but I think the intent is very different.  I don't think the op's partner hid the fact that he didn't quit because he wanted to hurt her, I think he did it because she had so much invested in his quitting and he couldn't live up to it.  No, that doesn't make it ok, but instead of making this a reason to split, make it a reason to have a nice, long talk about what they both expect from the other.

 

Just my thoughts and I could very easily be (and probably am) wrong. Of course, I could be projecting my own struggles on this.  I will say, in my case, I have only told a few people so that I don't have that extra pressure.  I'm not quitting for anyone else, just myself and honestly I think that helps make it easier.

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#33 of 48 Old 12-29-2010, 02:01 PM
 
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DP was doing this same thing the first time he quit - hiding, sneaking, we would be out at a party or camping and he would keep disappearing. I was pretty mad about it too... although we were working on a lot of other issues at the time and it kind of paled in comparison. I'm not sure if he really *lied* to me about it though, he just tried to hide it. Poorly.

 

More recently, he read the book "Easyway to Stop Smoking" by Alan Carr. You are supposed to read it while you are still smoking. It seems like it has worked for him, he hasn't smoked in 6 weeks and insists that he never will again (and he hasn't been super grumpy about it either). Just wanted to offer a suggestion - I usually find it more constructive to my relationship to focus on "how can we solve this going forward" rather than obsessing about what he did wrong. Once I admit to myself that I just want to berate him, and realize that nothing good will actually come of that, then we can talk about it and come up with a new approach. 

 

A few months ago I discovered that DP had an $8000 credit card bill. And he had been telling me, for the past year, that he paid the bill off every month. Now *that* was an outright lie. I'm not sure why I didn't completely flip out about it, but instead I approached from the "how can we fix this going forward?" direction, and it's fully paid off now and DP actually limited his spending and paid it down. For him it was a relief not to be hiding that anymore. Maybe I'm just being a pushover (god i hope not) but I think it worked a lot better than my old method of getting in a great big fight about things but then not actually making any sort of plan to fix them. Hm, can you tell we've been going to counselling? ;-)


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#34 of 48 Old 12-29-2010, 04:20 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Alyantavid View Post

First, I admit I'm probably coming at this thread with the wrong perspective since I just quit 2 weeks ago and am very much in the "I miss it terribly" stage.

 

I think lying and lying about an addiction are very very different things.  Lying in general is wrong and bad and could very well be divorce-worthy.  Lying to hide an addiction is as well, but I think the intent is very different.  I don't think the op's partner hid the fact that he didn't quit because he wanted to hurt her, I think he did it because she had so much invested in his quitting and he couldn't live up to it.  No, that doesn't make it ok, but instead of making this a reason to split, make it a reason to have a nice, long talk about what they both expect from the other.

 

Just my thoughts and I could very easily be (and probably am) wrong. Of course, I could be projecting my own struggles on this.  I will say, in my case, I have only told a few people so that I don't have that extra pressure.  I'm not quitting for anyone else, just myself and honestly I think that helps make it easier.


FWIW, I know you weren't addressing me specifically, but I've had the nice, long talk (actually, it was fairly short, as it's not that complicated). That's part of why it's divorce worthy. DH knew when he married me that there is no excuse for lying to me that I'll accept - none. You could say it's part of our marriage contract. It doesn't matter if "wanted" to hurt me or not. Lying to me hurts. Period. He knows that. If he chooses to lie to me, he's choosing to hurt me. He can justify it in whatever way he wants, but he is choosing to hurt me, because he knows that's what it would do. (And, lying about an addiction is most of what I've dealt with in my life, and it made my life hell. OP's partner was excluding her from things they used to do together to hide his addiction. In my ex's case, it went beyond that. Either way, it affects the person being lied to, as well as the person doing the lying.)

 

I'm not saying any of this applies to the OP, but I can't get my brain around a mindset that seems to say that only the reasoning of the liar matters, and the reactions of the person being lied to don't. And, honestly - if I thought dh was lying to me because of an addiction, I'd be out the door. If and when he could show me that he was in recovery - real recovery - I may come back, but I will not live with somebody in the throes of active addiction - be it to alcohol, pot, tobacco or anything else - ever again. It's absolutely crazy-making.

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#35 of 48 Old 12-29-2010, 04:29 PM
 
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You have to deal with YOUR issue which is can you have an addict as a life partner.  One thing I've noticed is that once an addict isn't actively using their substance of choice, the addit personality and character is still there.  There are common threads in character and personality that run with addicts - regardless of the substance they use.  Can you live with a non-practicing addict is a question you will have to look at honestly.   


That's very true.   

 

I really think the responses here are split by smokers and non-smokers.  If you haven't struggled to fight this, it's probably hard to understand why someone wouldn't admit to failing.  No, he wasn't right, but maybe a little more understanding would go further than divorce?   

I am an ex-pack-a-day-smoker with a husband who still smokes occasionally, and I still think you have the right to be a part of your spouses desicion making process when it comes to things that effect their health. Regardless of what it is, sneaking and lying are not a part of a healthy relationship. While I agree that any addiction is hard to kick, and it is even harder to admit to failing, there is a point when you have to put your family first. 

 

I know this is not a popular opinion, but I also think that just because you used to be addicted to cigarettes does not mean you are a lifelong "addict". I was super addicted to smoking for 8 years. Ive quit, and I can occasionally smoke if Im having a couple of drinks with DH. I wake the next day thinking about how dumb it was, and my throat hurts, but Im not in any way addicted to them anymore. Addicted or not, it still is not a healthy desicion. I think some people are able to enjoy things in moderation, even if they are the very substances that they used to be addicted to.


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#36 of 48 Old 12-29-2010, 04:42 PM
 
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What is sad here is that cigarettes are a legal and accepted addiction.  No one is sneaking in back alleys to shoot up tobacco.  Maybe in your car and maybe on the back porch, but there are not legal consequences of smoking cigarettes (except if you smoke in a crowded, non-smoking elevator - and even then - you are shamed but people move on with their lives).  I think that smoking has different consequences than other addictions...mainly because it is still accepted in the larger society.  Other addictions have harsher consequences and tend to destroy in ways beyond the actual addiction.  I do think dealing with addiction is on a separate level than, say, having an affair or sneaking cash.  There is a physical and psychological element that sometimes trumps rational thinking.  I have suffered a long life eating disorder which I have hidden, lied about, covered up.  The shame is overwhelming.  As an ex-smoker, I know such shame exists on on the same level.  There's an extra catalyst.  I can't explain it adequately but I've been there.  It is ultimately a selfish position, even if not intended to be so.  My DH has been there too but in different respects.  I'm lucky that we've found each other and supported each other despite these failures.  I probably wouldn't be here without him.  


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#37 of 48 Old 12-29-2010, 04:47 PM
 
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My DH did the same thing to me.  Lied about it for a while.  He would come home smelling like smoke or really strongly of cologne.  I questioned him and he'd tell me that he was with people who smoked, blah blah blah.  He started getting more and more sloppy with the coverups (forgetting to chew gum, etc, etc) and finally after I kept asking him over and over he admitted that he was still smoking.  That was over 8 years ago and he still smokes.  I've tried over the years to convince him to quit, and the more I nag, the more he smokes.  We also had a deal going where if I lost 20 lbs, he'd quit.  I'm now down 35 lbs and he hasn't quit.  His grandpa also just passed away of hypoxia after a 10+ year struggle with COPD.  :(   Smoking is so horrible and the addiction is even worse.  

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What is sad here is that cigarettes are a legal and accepted addiction.  No one is sneaking in back alleys to shoot up tobacco.  Maybe in your car and maybe on the back porch, but there are not legal consequences of smoking cigarettes (except if you smoke in a crowded, non-smoking elevator - and even then - you are shamed but people move on with their lives).  I think that smoking has different consequences than other addictions...mainly because it is still accepted in the larger society.  Other addictions have harsher consequences and tend to destroy in ways beyond the actual addiction.  I do think dealing with addiction is on a separate level than, say, having an affair or sneaking cash.  There is a physical and psychological element that sometimes trumps rational thinking.  I have suffered a long life eating disorder which I have hidden, lied about, covered up.  The shame is overwhelming.  As an ex-smoker, I know such shame exists on on the same level.  There's an extra catalyst.  I can't explain it adequately but I've been there.  It is ultimately a selfish position, even if not intended to be so.  My DH has been there too but in different respects.  I'm lucky that we've found each other and supported each other despite these failures.  I probably wouldn't be here without him.  


I am commenting on the bolded part above.  The selfish nature of the behavior of addiction is the deal breaker for me.  Addicts lack coping skills.  They often don't intend to hurt others, it is just the by-product of their behavior.  They really don't mean to leave you hanging while they get their fix, they really don't mean to miss an event because they were either craving, messed up or suffering post drug use effects.  Nicotine is a bit different from other addictive drugs because it's legal and usually socially acceptable, therefore, addicts can use all day long in broad daylight but thebehavior parallels addiction to illegal substances.

It's the inability or unwillingness to look in the mirror and own their behavior, their struggle and FIX it that I can't partner with.  Lying to you is simply lying to themselves - and that is the lack of coping skills that I am talking about. 

 

I found these pages very insightful in regards to addiction.  The writing style can be a bit hard to follow as it's very conversational but the meaning is clear to me.

 http://www.shambhala.org/teachers/pema/shenpa3a.php

Look under the tab "Teachings" for more on shenpa and specifically on addiction if this resonates with you.  It did for me.

 


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#39 of 48 Old 12-29-2010, 07:02 PM
 
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I was a heavy smoker before I got pregnant with DD and I still struggle with it today after 2 pregnancies (where I quite cold turkey for the entire time) and multiple times of quitting. I can tell you that there has been plenty of times I was ashamed of my habit, even to the point of hiding it from people. My intent wasn't to lie or hurt anyone, it was just to escape the grief I knew I'd get if I mentioned it. I couldn't take other people's guilt trips because I was feeling guilty enough about it as it was. So on the one hand, I'd like to say to relax a little and get off his back. It's clear that he's having a hard time with this and with you breathing down his neck things will only get worse. But on the other hand, I totally understand where you're coming from about the lying. The main thing that struck me was when you said that you were shocked how easily he could lie to you and it made you wonder what else he was lying about. I went through that exact feeling with my ex and it turned out he was lying about much much more. Pretty much everything. The key for me would be in his response when you found out he was lying. Did he seem to feel guilty about it? Did he brush it off as if it were no big deal? It may be worth talking to him more about (the lying, not the smoking).


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#40 of 48 Old 12-29-2010, 07:19 PM
 
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I know this is not a popular opinion, but I also think that just because you used to be addicted to cigarettes does not mean you are a lifelong "addict". I was super addicted to smoking for 8 years. Ive quit, and I can occasionally smoke if Im having a couple of drinks with DH. I wake the next day thinking about how dumb it was, and my throat hurts, but Im not in any way addicted to them anymore. Addicted or not, it still is not a healthy desicion. I think some people are able to enjoy things in moderation, even if they are the very substances that they used to be addicted to.


This is kind of a side note, but IMHO the fact that you would do something that you know makes your throat hurt and makes you feel dumb is addict behavior. I smoked a pack a day for years and I'm the same as you, smoke once in a while on occasion and usually feel bad about it later and vow to never do it again. My mother smoked for a couple of years as well. One day she decided she was to be a non-smoker. She threw her full pack away (something I myself could NEVER do, I'd rationalize that it was a waist of money and I must smoke them first) and has never touched a cigarette since, despite the many opportunities she's had to partake while tipsy on some wine. My father smoked for about the same amount of time as she did. Two years after my mother threw her pack away, my father was still sneaking out to the garage to light up. To this day (years later) he will still smoke a cigarette if offered one. He rationalizes that it's okay if he doesn't buy his own. My point is just that I think there is some truth to addictive personalities. A non-addicted person (or someone who had a non-addictive personality) would likely say 'no' to something that made them feel icky.


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#41 of 48 Old 12-29-2010, 07:32 PM
 
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OP, I don't think you are over-reacting, but I do think you need to think about whether you want to be married to a smoker.  If not, this is clearly not the man for you.  If yes, then you need to be able to let his addiction roll off your back in the way many pp's have talked about - supportive, but not invested.

 

I personally and completely repulsed by cigarettes, and I will never date, or marry anyone that smokes.  Ever, most likely not even if they had quit several years before.  I'm not interested in being with someone who smells like cigarettes, and I have allergy problems when I'm around the stuff, so I stay away.  What people do to themselves is their problem, but I won't allow it into my life.

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#42 of 48 Old 12-29-2010, 09:00 PM
 
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Overall I'm just shocked at the level of judgement & harshness in this thread. Dh & I have had so many ups & downs in our relationship (which is rock solid btw) but if I was partnered with many of the posters here I would have been kicked to the curb.

 

I honestly feel a relationship is a lot less cut & dry, black & white than all of this. There is obviously hurts both ways & as a couple you need to discuss it & come up with a solution that can work for you. And maybe you will need to have this conversation many times.

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#43 of 48 Old 12-29-2010, 09:19 PM
 
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Overall I'm just shocked at the level of judgement & harshness in this thread. Dh & I have had so many ups & downs in our relationship (which is rock solid btw) but if I was partnered with many of the posters here I would have been kicked to the curb.

 

Yeah, well - I think our marriage would survive it if dh had sex with someone else (although not if he lied about it), and I don't think those who wouldn't survive that are "judgmental and harsh". I think they draw the lines in different places than I do. A person who loves me wouldn't lie to me. That doesn't mean it applies for other people, but it does around here.
 


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#44 of 48 Old 12-30-2010, 08:44 PM
 
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 And, I love, love, love the whole "I lied to you, because I didn't want you to think less of me" line of "reasoning". Ugh. Just...ugh 

 

 

This part is so true. The decision to become a liar on top of being an addict is the problem.


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#45 of 48 Old 12-31-2010, 02:01 PM
 
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I just wanted to send some (((hugs))) your way.  I went through this with my dh and alcohol.  I thought he would never lie to me.  I was wrong.  2.5 years ago was the first time he officially recognized he had a problem and said he was quitting.  Several relapses, lies, and counseling later we're still together but it was and sometimes still is a rough road.  We've rebuilt most of the trust but I'll never trust the same way I did before and that makes me sad.


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#46 of 48 Old 12-31-2010, 07:34 PM
 
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Overall I'm just shocked at the level of judgement & harshness in this thread. Dh & I have had so many ups & downs in our relationship (which is rock solid btw) but if I was partnered with many of the posters here I would have been kicked to the curb.

 

I honestly feel a relationship is a lot less cut & dry, black & white than all of this. There is obviously hurts both ways & as a couple you need to discuss it & come up with a solution that can work for you. And maybe you will need to have this conversation many times.


There is a large difference between judgement and discernment.  Judgement is thinking/believing that someone is__________, fill in any number of adjectives (usually negative): lousy, no good, worthless, a dirt bag, etc. 

Discernment is selecting what you wish to have in your life.  I have discerned that I do not wish to have an addict as my life partner or someone I trust with the care of my children (regardless of the substance).  This is far different than saying that a person with an addiction is not worthy of me.  For me, it's a matter of not wishing to have to monitor my partner and shape my interaction with him in accord with what I observe.  For example, I don't want to have to tread lightly around someone who has yet to have their morning coffee because until the caffeine is flowing in their veins, they are crabby (or smoke, or drink etc).  This is a decision I am making for myself and isn't a judgement of someone else.  I don't wish to have to consciously monitor my behavior and temper it in accord with how craving, influenced or hung over someone is and I don't want my children to have to do so either. 

I feel the same way about lying.  I don't wish to have to have to wonder in the back of my mind if my partner is telling me the truth.  I don't want to be doing the mental gymnastics of keeping track of every little thing he says looking for the discrrepencies that would indicate he's lying (again).  Or the physical act of looking over phone bills and computer histories and other things that people who live with liars often do to find the peace of mind that they are actually being told the truth.

Lack of trust is an inherent part of living with an addict.  Having trouble coping is a fact of life with an addict.  People get habituated to their stress relief and for someone actively in the midst of an addiction, that includes reaching for a cigarette, a drink or what ever their drug of choice is.  Addicts need to learn new coping skills, new behaviors and to set new habits - healthy ones. 

A bit of personal history here:  For me, my experience with an addict came while I was still single and without children.  I knew that I wanted children some day and I knew that I never wanted to say tol my child "Daddy loves you but he has a problem." and I never ever wanted to have to take a child to jail to visit Daddy.  I walked away from the greatest love I have ever known because I wouldn't bring a child into knowingly having a father who was an addict.  I still love that man - right to the core of my being.  He is a wonderful, gentle and loving soul - but I understand that I cannot have the life I want for myself and my children with him.  I don't judge him.  I make decisions for me.

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#47 of 48 Old 01-01-2011, 08:44 PM
 
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Looks like I killed this thread!


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#48 of 48 Old 01-02-2011, 12:49 PM
 
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I don't think you're overreacting necessarily, because you told him in advance how important it was that he not lie to you about this, even if he slipped up.  And he did lie and it started to affect your relationship, because he was doing things without you and treating you differently.  And he probably had a different attitude towards you too, after awhile, because he felt like he couldn't tell you and that I could see how that could morph into resentment eventually.  I'd be angry about that, because I'd feel like he was projecting onto me things that might not necessarily be true.  Of course you were happy when he quit, but you told him that if he couldn't quit, he shouldn't lie about it, so that seems like the most important thing.

 

On the other hand, I can sort of see it from the point of view that when he first started slipping up, he figured it was only temporary and he was still "quitting" and maybe he thought he could get back on track without having to admit that he wasn't actually quitting.  And then telling you would be like admitting he had failed and would have to restart the whole thing, and maybe he just couldn't even admit it to himself.  I think it's good that he did tell you when you wondered why things had changed.  So I hope you can work on this breach of trust and come out stronger for it.  Hugs to you.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MPJJJ View Post

He promised me that if he slipped up he would tell me, and he wouldnt lie about it like my ex husband did (I actually found out from his mother that he was still smoking).

 

 

Last night I finally asked him if his friends didn't like me and want me at their house, or if he was just embarressed by me, and he admitted that he was still smoking. He said he should have come clean, but he was embarressed that he couldnt quit and thought I would think less of him.

 

 

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