Years ago, I was a chain smoker with no hope of ever quitting. I was otherwise normal and in good health–I ate right, exercised, all that good stuff. Looked darn cute–sorry, I think the 10 years ago factor gives me bragging rights at this time, does it not? But I had a habit of smoking that I could NOT kick.
Then I met my husband. At first, he acted all okay with my smoking. See, this guy’s a sneaky one. From day one he knew he was going to force me to stop smoking. I only learned about this three years later.
The first wise move was not hinting about the issue until AFTER marriage–you know, when I was already totally trapped. At that time, the lectures started. By the way, my husband NEVER raises his voice. But he has this almost evil way of being brutally persistent and thoroughly unbothered by negative responses to his persistence.
SO, I’d begin to smoke, and he’d start rolling his eyes, fanning the air and groaning aloud. I’d run out to the balcony and start chain smoking due to the stress his antics caused me. He’d follow me out to the balcony (see his traps, and how I fell into them? marriage, balcony, and so on), and continue the lectures. Lectures about lung cancer, lectures about heart disease, lectures about smelling like smoke…
I would yell at him to stop, but I was on a balcony so, not comfortable to do so too loudly or too long. Finally, I’d go back in. Usually by this point, I had smoked at least 5 cigarettes due to stress his antics caused me. But the magical effect was that it was TOTALLY UNSATISFYING due to the lectures. (See, smokers smoke to get a break from reality. That effect is squashed when someone is annoying you and won’t go away.)
That wasn’t all. He also did very controlling things, such as steal my cigarettes out of my purse. So I’d go for a smoke break at work. No cigarettes. Pretty much, someone’s going to die when stuff like this starts happening. But he’s stronger than me, plus he didn’t care about my threats. As I said, his persistence approaches evilness. Later, he caught on when I’d check that my cigarettes were in the purse BEFORE leaving for work.
He started taking the cigarettes out of the box and replacing them with random objects. My very, very favorite was a hotdog. That’s right. I opened my Marlboro Lights all ready for my grand smoke break, the great calm-me-downer, and there are no cigarettes in the box, but there is a hot dog in the box. Folded in half, so as to fit in the box. Yes, that’s very scary. I almost called the police.
But police or no police, these little tricks had a very important effect: cigarettes became an unreliable source of pleasure. I could no longer count on them to be there for me. I was aware this was my husband’s fault, and there were many ways that I outsmarted him and his little tricks. But all in all, he made smoking unpleasurable and unreliable.
That is the true story of why I was able to stop smoking.