How Do You and Your Partner Relate to Each Other About Smoking?

Sunday, November 25, 2012

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People develop routines and patterns for all sorts of activities, including smoking. This is true whether only one or both people smoke. Likely, there are patterns in how you and your partner relate to each other about smoking.

Although every couple is different, they tend to fall into one of four types of patterns. Do any of the patterns below sounds like you?

  • Involved:

    This is a pattern where both partners see smoking as a problem because of health, financial, or other consequences but also recognize that trying to quit smoking can be difficult. Regardless of who is smoking in the relationship, they try to be supportive and understanding in the quit attempt. For example, after Jada became pregnant, she told Mike she wanted to quit smoking for the baby. Mike promised he would stop smoking around the house and that he would keep his cigarettes out of her reach. Mike also joined Jada at all her appointments so they could discuss quitting with their doctor. Jada is also trying to help Mike quit before the baby comes.


  • Accommodating:

    This is a pattern where both partners see smoking as okay and make sure there are chances to smoke as part of their everyday activities. This is true even if only one partner smokes. For example, even though Dave doesn’t smoke, he accepts that Eve does and that it helps her relax. He doesn’t mind stopping to buy her cigarettes. He thinks that smoking is an important way for Eve to unwind and relieve her stress. He also knows that smoking is part of Eve being social at get togethers and when hanging out with friends.


  • Disengaged:

    This is a pattern where both partners see smoking as a choice each partner makes. Even if they both smoke, they often smoke when they are not with each other. For example, Michelle doesn’t talk about her smoking with Tom. They both smoke, but feel it isn’t something they need to discuss; they feel like it is no one else’s business. They both smoke with co-workers on breaks and when they hang out with their own friends. She and Tom both smoke in the house but usually when they are doing their own thing and not together.


  • Conflictual:

    This is a pattern that causes tension and sometimes arguments between the partners. For example, Jen’s partner, Mitch, does not smoke. He is always bugging Jen about her smoking and tells her things like she stinks. Sometimes he won’t even be near her or kiss her when she has been smoking. Jen feels like Mitch is being a jerk and is hurt by the way he acts. Whenever she can, Jen likes to get away and smoke in peace.

Knowing how your interactions with your partner are part of your smoking pattern can help you figure out what you need to change in order to quit smoking. Take our relationship quiz to help you identify your pattern and way to change.

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