Most spouses or partners of smokers would like it if there loved one would quit. However they may be unsure of the best way to help their loved one. When looking to be supportive - Here is some information that may be helpful for your quitting spouse.
Despite the difficulties in quitting, 40% of those who are successful attribute their success to having appropriate support. So partners can play a greater role at successfully quitting than they might realize.
- Express concern without lecturing- Most smokers already know the health risk associated with their addiction. Having a judgement-free conversation and expressing concern about wanting to live a healthy long life together may be beneficial.
- Help manage withdrawal symptoms- Being patient with your spouse during the period of withdrawal and longer (quitting is a process and often a major change). Encourage the use of NRT (nicotine replacement therapy) or other smoking cessation medications, if your partner is using them.
- Together come up with distractions- Distractions can be very helpful in battling withdrawal and cravings. Together establish a few fun activities such as; exploring nature, watching a new movie, cooking meal together…etc.
- Find the appropriate level of encouragement- Having unrealistic expectations for your partner can really have negative effects. If your partner feels that you are “nagging” constantly this may shut down open communications- Ask them what they would like encouragement to look like. If they are seeing outside help for smoking cessation, ask them if you would be able to join.
- Be supportive during the “hard times”- Often people working towards quitting are not successful on their first try, quitting can take multiple attempts. Your understanding and ongoing support will make it more likely that your spouse will keep trying and ultimately succeed.
“Addiction is a family disease, one person may use but the whole family suffers”
– Shelly Lewis