On smoking your problems away

My boyfriend is making me a chain smoker. Not literally obviously. I just can’t tolerate an hour with him without a cigarette. We’ve been together almost 3 years and we live together. I love him and I’m sure of that. But he gets on my fucking nerves. I mean the little shit like him not understanding my humor or never cleaning up after himself. I get so annoyed that it becomes near anger, and I’ve got to smoke to calm down before I become a bickering bitch. After my cigarette I’m nonchalant and fine and we continue on like nothing ever happened. I’m worried not only for my health but for the health of our relationship. Any advice?


Yeah, no. Your boyfriend is not making you a chain smoker. You are responsible for your own behavior, especially where addictive substances are concerned.

Now, as for the rapidly cycling conflict pattern you’ve described, that takes both of you, each playing your part, each getting something out of it, each satisfying a need whether you’re aware of it or not.

As far as I can tell, you get an excuse to smoke and a convenient way to avoid facing the painful fact that your boyfriend sucks, and he gets five minutes of peace and never has to be anything other than a dimwitted slob. There’s probably a lot more going on than that, but it’s certainly enough to keep the basic pattern endlessly repeating itself.

You’re right to be worried about the health of your relationship, because things aren’t fine after you’ve had your smoke. They haven’t been fine for a while, but every time you’re reminded of how unhappy you really are, you rush off to get your fix of nicotine and denial.

I’m guessing at this point you’re up to at least a half pack a day, and if the feedback loop keeps escalating without some kind of intervention in your relationship, you’ll be a pack a day smoker by the time this self-poisoning defense mechanism stops producing the desired effect and you finally decide you’ve had enough.

I don’t doubt that you love him, but having to be so sure of it is another sign that you’ve already gut-checked yourself on whether you want to be in this relationship. There’s also the inertia of three years and the convenience/inconvenience of living together. You’re in a tough spot.

If I were you, I’d quit smoking now. Cold turkey. Just get it over with. Stop the pattern, face your denial, and let the real fights happen. It’s okay for you to have standards. You don’t have to live with a dimwitted slob, and if your boyfriend isn’t capable of improving himself, then it’s also okay for you to leave him.

Stop poisoning yourself, physically and emotionally, merely to avoid facing the inevitable.


2 thoughts on “On smoking your problems away

  1. margarita says:

    Yeah if you have to smoke/drink/do drugs to be able to stand your significant other, it’s time to rethink a few things about your relationship. I mean, this is sounding like the middle of a country music song. You should probably get out before the bit where someone buys a gun. And from the sound of things, that’d probably be you.

  2. Micol says:

    Your answer made me think… it’s true that there’s clearly something wrong going on with this relationship, but I wouldn’t be too sure this girl issues are entirely down to her boyfriend. It seems more like she’s shifting the object of her anger on the guy, when this anger and frustration might be caused by something else instead.
    I am saying this because for the duration of the relationship she was ok with her bf not getting her sense of humor and being a slob, until recently.
    There are a lot of passive-aggressive tendencies here, and obviously denial, but I don’t think letting it all explode would be fair on him, let alone dumping him if he’s unwilling to change behaviors that were never a problem in the past.

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