Help With Your Mother's Rule

Help With Your Mother's Rule is a forum for women who want trouble-shooting help with their Mother's Rules or about any aspect of the 5 Ps of the married vocation.

Ask Holly: This blog is composed of your questions. Contact me at the address listed on Holly's Helpers page and I will respond. Please share your unique ideas as well. The more ideas and experience we share, the more successful every mother will be in designing her own unique Mother's Rule.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

When Our Husband Has A Vice...

Dear Holly,
I was reading older posts on the blog and read that you quit smoking after 27 years, 13 of those 'trying' to quit...  My husband is a smoker and it has been an issue in our relationship since we met over a decade ago. He has tried to quit several times and has been successful for a few months at a time, but always starts again. I used to nag him to quit and realized through prayer that this was not effective whatsoever. I was wondering if you had any suggestions for things that I can do as his wife to support him in quitting without nagging him? I have been praying for him daily and I don't get on his case about smoking anymore. Would you mind sharing what finally worked for you and any suggestions you may have?


  1. I can only tell you that after 13 years (out of 27) of constant feeling the call to quit and never having the strength, that things eventually became so urgent I HAD to quit. It was such a frustrating experience. And I attribute my success to God's grace eventually changing my heart.

    My husband has battled this issue too. I have found no other response that is fruitful except prayer. It is such an addiction, that I really only believe prayer is the only way to help someone, because the decision and desire HAS to come from within, or there will be resentment, obsession, etc. Pray for him daily. That is all I can say.

  2. I wish my husband was in the 'trying to quit' phase, but alas, he has just bought a carton!

    Besides all the health risks and how it effects my relationship with him, I worry about how this is going to impact my children. My oldest is Kindergarten age and is becoming more aware of the things around him. My husband does not smoke around us, and my children have never seen him smoke. But I am worried that one day one of my kids is going to see hubby smoke and either not see him as a hero anymore or try to aspire to be like him and start smoking! I don't know if I am overreacting here. I just feel that parents are huge role models to their children and smoking is not something I want modeled to them by someone they really look up to. I am going to continue to pray and hope that the day will come when he will be a non-smoker:)

  3. Keep in mind this is a real struggle. We all have them - ours may be in other areas... It is part of the human condition, a result of concupiscience, and as adults, we all know these are not easy to deal with.

    Temper your own reactions to 'judge' your husband on this issue - and by 'judge', I mean this: while we can see the objective issues involved, we can't start 'thinking less of' because of these weaknesses.

    We need to focus on his good traits, and pass off smoking as just one of the many vices our husbands and ourselves share with the whole human race. This would be the proper perspective.

    Then let nature take its course. Pray for him and don't stop. He is doing something very good in not smoking around you or the family, and this is a virtue in itself... because you can be certain that he wants to smoke while he is with you all... and he is being a very good role model by NOT smoking around them.

    I say, focus on what he is doing good, think of the reasons why you married him, and resist the temptation to fret on this issue, realizing your prayers will be your greatest ally to help him eventually overcome this issue.

  4. Another idea might be to make small sacrifices for your husband.

    Is there one thing that he wants you to change about yourself? Is there some way to take a small step to change that weakness in yourself? Maybe pray for the grace to take that step.

    Also, Jesus said that some demons can't be cast out except by prayer and fasting. Might be worth trying a wee fast for him.... I don't mean necessarily a full on fast (though if you can do it that'd be great!) but maybe something small every day. Perhaps no cream and/or sugar in one cup of coffee per day. Perhaps doing 2 extra minutes of a chore that you hate doing. Perhaps not reacting to a statement that annoys you and offer up that difficulty for your husband's addiction. Little things done with love can bring about a great harvest.

    Don't know... worth a try! Any prayer or sacrifice done with a good intention must bear good fruit of some kind.

    Many blessings! I'll say a prayer and make a small sacrifice for you and your husband.

  5. Yes! A thoroughly excellent idea! :-)

  6. An husband has been a non-smoker for over 2 years now!! God is so Good! Thank you for your prayers.