Spousal Support

Spousal SupportSteps To Helping Your Spouse Stay Quit

  1. Don’t nag. It won’t help and will only cause underlying feelings of anger and resentment, all of which are likely to drive your spouse back to the can out of spite. DO NOT throw away your spouses stash. That is their decision to make and if you do it, we are back to the spite thing. WE will make sure they flush it BEFORE they are allowed to post a Day 1 here.
  2. Realize that your spouse has to quit because he/she wants to. Your spouse can’t quit for you or for your children. Without the “want” of doing it, as opposed to the “being told to”, “the promise to”, “the deadline has arrived”, “the guilt” of doing it, chances are the quit will fail.
  3. Support is crucial! Be involved, in a positive way, in your spouse’s quit! Ask what day it is. (There is a quit tracker on the homepage of this site that will keep track of days quit and dollars saved) Tell him/her that you know it is hard and you are proud of him/her for what he/she is doing. Don’t be condescending. Don’t smother. Find the line and toe it.
  4. Gear up; it’s going to be a rough ride! It is important that you know that you will be the target of anger or sudden outbursts. You must know that this is all part of quitting the addiction and ridding the body and mind of the nasty chemicals and dependency that so many of us were foolish enough to subject ourselves to. When the anger gets directed towards you or other family members realize what is going on. Remove the kids from the battle zone, remove yourself. This will pass. We encourage all quitters to come to our forums to vent and rage. Get mad at the vets on the site. Vent to other quitters who are going through the same thing or have been where your spouse is now. We have come to love the rage. It signifies healing and recovery. Directed towards the right people (us) it is healthy.
  5. Encourage, allow, desire that your spouse become active on our site, forums, blog and social media channels. An overwhelming majority of successful quitters will testify that they could not have succeeded without the support of the people and information on the site. Know that if your spouse is active on the site, he/she will make friends with complete strangers. Internet friends. Your spouse will hopefully give out a phone number and take phone numbers in. There is nothing hinky in this. It is all part of the support system. Spouses have been told, “Honey, I have friends that I have never met, all over the country. They feel like brothers to me and I owe them my life.” Many of us have met in person too. As we travel, we make plans to get together. Organized weekend get-togethers have been done. There is a camaraderie that is generated, that is hard to explain, but wonderful to experience.
  6. Understand that this is going to be the most difficult thing your spouse has ever done. It will also be the most rewarding (just short of marrying you, I’m sure). Internal battles will rage. Our forums can be their outlet. If the rage, short temper, etc. are manifesting itself in ways that affect your relationship, encourage them to see a doctor. Some of us had no choice but to resort to medication to save the world from ourselves. There is no shame in it. It won’t be a permanent thing, just for a couple months. Depression can also be symptom of nicotine cessation. It’s completely normal. If you notice withdrawal from family or friends, again, get them to a doctor. Be encouraging, remember, he’s a big burly man that thinks the last thing he needs is medication to cope. Send a vet a PM and we’ll explain it to them for you; you can stay completely out of it.
  7. Quitting is a wonderful time of self discovery and reflection. Like most of us your spouse probably can’t remember much about life without a can. He can’t remember how he acted, handled situations, etc. This is the fun part of quitting because he gets to, in some ways; condition his mind to hopefully be a better person.
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  1. Does anyone know anything about Zyn? My husband is trying to quit again and seems to think Zyn is the answer. I’m skeptical to say the least. Any information would be greatly appreciated.

  2. Day 304 of my Quit.

    I’ve been reading a lot of your stories and got a different perspective on the subject of nicotine addiction.
    I dipped for 25 years or more and while I was doing it, i did not see it as an addiction, but more like part of my personality. I thought I could quit anytime i wanted to, but i did not want to. I was married for a few years, but she never said much about it. Some of my friends dipped, most of them didn’t, but they never judged me either. I had pretty much a free rein to destroy my health without anyone pointing it out.
    By reading your stories, I can feel your frustration to see someone you care about destroying themselves. I never truly had a chance to see the pain my addiction caused on others. I had a couple of girlfriends that were disgusted with my dipping, but ironically were heavy smokers themselves and would not quit either. Needles to say I did not keep them for long.
    Others were supportive and yet others I kept it a secret from them, I would get caught and be embarrassed and shamed, but not even that could make me stop. The addiction is very powerful because not only does it destroy your health, but it also becomes intertwined in the very fabric of your being, this poison is carefully designed to get a hold of you physically and mentally. In extreme cases, us addicts will chose it over much more important things in life.
    What I am trying to say is that the person has to be ready to quit on his or her own, nothing else can make them quit. If you read other threads and posts of this site, you will read that one common fact.
    The reason why all of us are getting rid of this habit is because we reached a point when we said enough is enough. It is sad that for some of us it takes a very long time to realize it.
    I hope that your significant others reach that point before it is too late.


  3. This is going to sound VERY harsh and be very long, but I am extremely angry and need to vent about my husband, the dip addict.

    I’ve been married for 14 years to someone who dips. He was using it before he met me. I met him when I was 19, him 23, and we were both in the Army. It didn’t bother me then since basically every soldier I knew used tobacco. I smoked and we both drank. I quit smoking about 11 years ago, quit drinking 5 years ago. This was mostly just a side effect of growing up and wanting better for my health and general well being. Not to mention my family.

    My husband has no interest in stopping with the tobacco. It now physically revolts me. I see it in his teeth, his mouth, all over his car, his bed….I have to clean it off the back of the toilet, the sinks, the shower, and the floors. I see his nasty spit bottle hiding all over the place. I feel like dry heaving every time I smell it. He wants to kiss me and perform oral sex and all I can think about is how gross his mouth is and pieces of dip getting on me. I have French kissed him and got some in my mouth before.

    I am turned off by him because of all this and cannot fully enjoy sex. His teeth and gums are disgusting and look dirty, no matter how many times he brushes them. His teeth look like they are physically disintegrating. They are tiny and ragged. He has a poor sense of taste and dumps way too much salt on to everything. His breath smells.

    It’s a terrible addiction. It’s made him into a liar. A moody, emotionally volatile person who hides things and lies to people he loves. My main problem is that I can no longer respect the type of person who behaves this way. Not after all the work I have put into myself. I know this isn’t fair, and I know that I am also not perfect. But I really feel bitter and disappointed that I am married to someone who is not strong enough to attempt to overcome this after seeing the obvious, numerous, serious negative affects.

    If he doesn’t quit, I will probably divorce him after my kids leave home.

    It might sound harsh, but I’ve tried every avenue and role out there. From extremely supportive and loving to straight up aggressive to flat out ignoring it and putting the ball in his court. Nothing affects him. I feel like he would throw away his entire family for it, maybe even be homeless.

    It might be different if he was showing some sort of effort. But he basically just lies about it and does it behind my back like a twelve year old. He hides it more out of his own shame than my opinion of him or any wrath I could bring. He is a smart man and understands how stupid it is, he just doesn’t care because he gets to taste it. It’s his one true love.

    I must emphasize again that I can’t respect or trust someone who behaves this way around their spouse. Those two things (respect, trust) are fundamental cornerstones of marriage that I do not, and have never had.

    Since he lies about the dip all the time, I have no idea what else he thinks he is entitled to lie about.

    I’m angry that he has taken the experience of a good marriage from me. I want to fully love a man during my lifetime. I have A LOT to give to someone who I can trust and respect as a true partner. My personality is sensual, sexually intense and very loyal. But after many years being married to him, now I have a “headache” basically every night. I’m losing out on that connection too, not just him. Then he just acts even more moody because we don’t have sex, yet remains completely aloof that this is entirely in his control. I get blamed and treated like crap.

    I personally, very intimately understand what addiction can do to a person and have wrestled some very large, nasty demons of my own. I have no respect for someone who won’t even try to fight and just submits to it when they have the knowledge and resources to help themselves. I just can’t anymore. I feel horrible about it but I can’t change it. He is so willing to throw our marriage under the bus for it so why should I really care though? I’m sick of being walked all over and playing second string to a plant. I have to think about my life also, right?

    How long should you let someone lie and treat you like that? How long can you look past the addiction to the real person and have hope? How long until the addiction becomes the real person?

    He has asked my own children to lie to me when they see him dip. Teaching them to be exactly like him, that lying to someone who loves you is totally OK as long as you benefit from it.

    Luckily he has life insurance and I have a good job to support myself and my kids, because it’s only a matter of time before he keels over from the 6+ cans of soda a day and all that tobacco. He is 38 years old and has been like that since he was a teenager. What a shame. What a waste of a good man.

    If he gets diagnosed with some form of mouth cancer any time soon I swear I will deck him right in his face and leave him to rot right from the doctors office. Just like he has decided to leave me by continually pursuing a definite avenue to shorten his life significantly. All I see are years and years and years alone every time I see that bump in his mouth. I guess instant gratification is more important to him than that.

  4. Hi,
    I’m not sure what I’m looking for… I guess if I’m being honest I’m looking for a way to get my husband to quit. But of course I know (unfortunately from first hand experience) there is nothing I can do to make him quit.
    I have many of the same feelings and problems being expressed here on this site.
    I worry for his health, short term and long term.
    I worry about our five sons, ages 8-1
    I worry about our marriage
    I’m annoyed about the money spent
    I’m hurt and exhausted by the monthly “quitting”

    I’ve tried to remove myself as much as I can. He’s a wonderful husband, father, provider and friend.
    But still the question is, how do I live with a chewer? What lines do I draw if any? I have plenty of my own shortcomings! But why does this feel so personal?! So hurtful! It puts miles between us and can make a person feel so alone!

    • Maggie,

      I can relate to everything you’ve listed with all the worries. I think about them daily and pray hard for my husband daily.

      I don’t have any easy answers but just pray for him and trust God with my husband no matter what happens to his health and our future as a family. I’m not responsible for the consequences of his actions, only in helping him the best I can.

      I hate nicotine with every bone in my body. Hate it!! So you are not alone. I hope your husband has a wake up call soon.

  5. I love him but he’s being a total dick…. not sure how much I can handle.

  6. You are not alone. I’m sorry you’re dealing with this seemingly on your own – it’s a truly selfish habit/addiction, and if he valued you and your future together he would surely begin taking steps towards a process to quit. Perhaps this is an indicator that you should delve deep into yourself and find out if you truly want to live this way for the rest of your life. An addict is an addict. The type drug is inconsequential- it still causes mood swings, outbursts of rage, anger & abuse. I went through it – my husband quitting was the hardest time in our marriage. The addiction turned him against me making me the villain – I almost left. Know that big tobacco is at fault, profits over people and American greed know no bounds. I wish you all the luck in the world to cope with this nasty habit that has taken ahold of your partner

  7. I really could do with some support – I can’t live with his chew addiction anymore. He has been chewing for so many years, long before I met him, maybe 30 years I guess. He hid it from me when we first met (though he says he didn’t or perhaps he was doing it much less so I didn’t notice and get turned off) but anyway I really didn’t know until one day he brought it into our relationship, and I had NO IDEA that it would be affecting us and causing such a strain and negative vibe in our lives.

    I really have nobody to talk to about this. I think he thinks i’m overreacting. I bring it up with him every now and again, and more recently because I just can’t bear it anymore. He did try to quit a few months ago and starting vaping instead (also highly irritating and was just replacing his addiction with another one) but he stopped after some time because I guess he couldn’t do it at work (he is a cop and needs to set an example) and perhaps he missed spending $38 on each can of chew, or missed the higher nicotine content. On the bright side the house is no longer filled with a lingering foggy mist of vape smoke everyday. So yep… he went back to chewing. Having a nice drinking glass or coffee mug filled up with gross chew spit has become the norm in our household again, and I have quite honestly had enough of it. It makes me feel unwell emptying his split when he forgets to do it. It’s revolting and he simply laughs about it. I find it so disappointing and disrespectful.

    I have tried to stay quiet, I have tried to warn him of the health implications, and he just says something like “i’m addicted, you don’t understand”. It brings back memories of when I was with a drug addict when I was much younger who was in denial about how bad things had become. No hard drugs (and I hear chew is more addictive that heroin) but the “recreational” use got out of hand and he ignored everyone’s concern and turned his nose up at the support and love we offered. He finally stopped years later but I had already gone by then and I have no regrets. Years spent surrounded by that and I wasn’t going to stand for it any more. And now, I don’t want to be with an addict, period. I don’t want it in my life, our life, our household. I do not want to live in or raise a family in an addictive and unhealthy household.

    The amount of stress and anxiety it causes me is unhealthy. He kisses me less, he rarely wants to taste my cooking and baking, or enjoy a cup of tea with me. He is chewing all the time. He teeth are stained yellow and to me he just doesn’t care about himself. On top of that we want to start trying for a baby this year but I am so scared that his chewing is going to affect our chances. He is getting a vasectomy reversal so our chances are reduced anyway. It breaks my heart that he doesn’t seem to care. Whenever I speak to him about it I just feel like I am nagging and I really have always, always tried to refrain from that but recently it’s making me so emotional and worried. Worried that I am going to start resenting him (or rather his addiction) and that alone puts a knot in my tummy. I have so much love and support for him but I am also not a pushover. I can not let this affect my life and happily ignore his addiction forever. He needs to know that we are on the same team.

    I just worry that eventually he is going to get some disease and die early. And no, that’s not an extreme way of thinking, it’s damn realistic. No one ever thinks it will happen to them until it does. I can’t even fathom that happening. I am the most devoted and loving partner to him and I know he’s had a rough couple of years but it’s hard to grasp how such a smart man decides that this addiction is more important than his family and future. I know one might respond by saying, it’s an addiction and it’s not his fault… yeah I’ve heard it…

    At the end of the day, I do not want to be with an addict, but I also don’t want to lose the man I love. Everything in our life and our relationship, and I mean everything, is SO wonderful. He’s my soulmate, he’s my friend – my best-friend. I adore him, I just wish so badly that I could take this addiction away. All of this is coming with a hefty price, and not just a financial one. I want us to have a healthy life, a healthy baby, a healthy family. I’m at the end of my tether, I really am.

    I need some support, I don’t have anyone to talk to who really understands. I just wanted to share this so I don’t feel like I’m so alone. Sometimes I lie in bed when I’m home alone. I cry for us, I cry because I want to help but I don’t know what to do or how to continue suggesting help. I don’t have many or any friends really who I can speak to about it and we live in an area where a lot of men chew (not seen many women doing it) and my partner loves fishing and hunting so it’s something he says he needs to do.

    At the moment he is the only one who brings money into our home, so I don’t feel comfortable saying that he is overspending and wasting money, because he supports us financially. There are so many things that we could do with the money he spends on chew. It’s gone beyond the financial impacts now but it’s obviously a huge amount of money that we could be spending on something else, or he could be spending on something else.
    I spend a lot of time imagining what life would be like without chew, and thinking back on what life was like when I first met him when he didn’t spend so much money on it.

    I don’t know what to do anymore. He has tried to quit, but it didn’t work. It’s now contributing to my stress levels which are off the chart. I recently decided to seek medical/holistic advice for myself and am on a number of supplements to help me stay calmer and more focused on myself. But I just think.. why I am the only one who seems to be thinking about our health and our future? What should I do?

  8. All of you here are incredible human beings.
    I have a question though, are there any guys here that have wives, girlfriends or significant others that dip, but they don’t themselves?
    I would like to hear from their perspective.

  9. Just wanted to say I read this article very often. My husband has tried to quit and the goes back to it, more times than I can count. Lately he has said he doesn’t ever want to stop and was just doing it because I made him. Despite that he drops nicotine on our newborn when putting it in, and our toddler drank his spitter and puked for 2 days. He does not care. I go here though to read comments and get hope that one day he may try to quit again. And for him. And for his satisfaction of knowing how much better off we will all be. It will be amazing if I get to kiss my husband again. Thank you everyone for commenting on this page, and giving me hope when I feel alone.

    • I am struggling too Grace. Every time he quits and goes back to it I feel a fresh betrayal. He quits for weeks, months—so I know the physical addiction is over. I’ve given ultimatums, kicked him out, supported him, paid for therapy…..yet this seems never ending. I am beyond disgusted and don’t know how much more I am willing to take. I can’t understand why anyone would choose this at the risk of losing their family? Do we matter that little to them?

  10. I know this article talks about spouses’ troubles with nicotine addiction, but I’m hoping I could get some help.

    I’ve been with my boyfriend for 2 years. He decided to quit cold turkey and ever since then I’ve noticed his entire mood changing. It’s been about a month so far. He admitted that he’s anxious, angry and depressed. He’s also been extremely brutally honest with me about my job, future goals, and our future together.

    Two months ago he was talking about marriage and now he wants to leave. He said the famous words, “I think we should take a break” but he wants to talk about it more in person. I haven’t heard from him since.

    I want to try to talk to him about how I’m here for him because I know it’s iust the withdraw talking. I don’t think I’ll even be able to get the chance to say that I’m here for him, suggest help/medication, etc. Hea not only shutting me out, but he’s shutting the world out.

    My heart is breaking for him. Any suggestions?

  11. As a spouse of an addict, I would say don’t marry an addict. I love my husband, but addiction has been in our marriage from the beginning. I knew about his smoking before we married, but love is blind. I had no idea how much nicotine addiction would effect me. He said he’d try to quit before we got married and he did, but started chewing after the cigarettes and hid it from me. 11 years later and nicotine is still around. Looking back, I would have told my crazy in love self to step back and tell him I couldn’t move forward or marry a nicotine addict unless he got free from it. But I’m married and I believe in keeping my vow. We have a 3 year old and a baby coming so I keep hoping something will motivate him. I continue to pray for my husband’s freedom from nicotine every single day and will as long as I’m living on this earth. I can’t blame God or anyone because I knowingly married a nicotine addict with deep bondage to the stuff. I long for the day when my husband gets serious about quitting. I’ve shared this site with him but he’s not interested. So many fights over it. Now I just shut up and pray.

    • I read a few posts in here and I can feel the pain.
      If I may say a few words…
      I am an ex-dipper so I know what your significant others are going through, for those of you that are sticking around someone with an addiction, I must say, you must have hearts of gold and heaven sent. It must be quite painful to see someone you care for struggling or enjoying an addiction.
      As an addict you do not see it as one, you make justifications in your mind to continue with the bad habit.
      Unfortunately for some of us, it takes a long time to be ready to quit.
      The decisions that some of you are looking for, whether to stay, leave or not start a life with someone are entirely up to you. You can choose your destiny, but if I may suggest…..first Pray and Pray with all your heart and ask God for guidance before you make your decisions. He listens…..
      I hope that helps, I do not know why, but I just had to say it.

  12. I’m supposed to get married in 2 months and just realized my fiancé has been lying to me about using fake dip vs the real stuff for the past 2 years. I don’t want to marry an addict. Is it fair for me to give him an utimatim? I know once we are married I have to support him no matter what I just don’t know if I can tie myself to this cycle. He promised me that he he would never dip again after he was caught but it’s day 4 and his anger and addiction frightens me.

    • I wouldnt suggest getting married until he has alread quit. He will probably promise to quit and then not really put his effort in.

      • Terrible advice “Just Me”. Only a failed marriage is built around ultimatums.
        Fake dip is NOT addicting. What IS addicting, is the habit of placing something in your mouth. If your fiance is using fake dip, instead of the real junk, you should absolutely support that decision. So long nicotine isn’t being used, there is no addiction, it’s more of a habit…that CAN be stopped.

  13. Need guidance, my s/o is a chewer. He has been since I’ve known him, before we were together I confronted the issue of his addiction and I was told he would quit for the right person. Ever since then I’ve held onto that. Here we are coming on two years later and we still argue about it all the time, nothing has changed. Its incredibly discouraging, we will be having one of our best moments and then he’ll pull out the can and almost bring me to tears. I go from being the happiest woman in the world to just complete sadness. It controls him, his decisions, his temper, his relationships.

    I saw that many people compare it to the “mistress” in the relationship and I cannot agree more. I feel he always he has put our relationship second when it comes to his addiction, and it is by far the worst feeling in the world. I feel betrayed, I am exhausted of trying to help him see all the awful things this monster does to him. I have tried every approach, but I know I will never be able to help him make the decision to stop. If he wants to do it, he’s going to. No matter what anyone else thinks. I feel cheated on, that I am never “enough” to even make him hold back for a few hours. I feel betrayed, heartbroken, and I am at a loss for what to do. I don’t want to have a family with him if this addiction is going to be more important than his relationship with his kids. I can’t imagine that, I don’t want my children to be around that bad habit, I don’t want my son or even daughter to pick up the same habit that will only come to destroy important relationships.

    I worry for his health, I worry for us, I’ve held on for as long as I can but I don’t know much longer I can do it. It brings me so much pain and unhappiness that I know I don’t deserve. But the thing is I love him, I am just sick of this third person in our relationship. That third person that will forever be better than me, that will forever be more loved than me. He will never know what’s its like to be in a relationship with an addict and I will never know what its like to be addicted.

    Sometimes I want him to feel what I’m feeling. Im almost willing to put my life at risk to be addicted just so he can feel what I do. I know its so wrong, but I live with these thoughts inside daily. I try to talk about it with him, but he will defend it every single time, and will never see it like I do.

    Cost is also a huge factor, he has spent thousands of dollars on this object just because he likes it too much. I have looked up all the health factors that go into this addiction and I’ve seen pictures of people’s faces mangled from cancer and surgeries. I can’t understand why someone would want to put themselves at risk for that. They risk their lives to feel a minutes of “satisfaction”. I can’t imagine what that’s like.

    I’m exhausted of being second. Of this permanent relationship in his life that I will never be more important than. How do you do it? How can I look past it? Because I can’t see myself getting to that point knowing this addiction isn’t doing him one once of good. It isnt bringing him anything but false happiness, confiding in an object for relief and pleasure… Please help, Im barely hanging on.

    • My husband of over 25 years, over 33 years of chewing has finally stopped chewing the tobacco with the supposed bad factors, but still has the nicotine. he switched to something that is supposed to be natural. He will never stop. He is a completely different person that I don’t like at all when he has no nicotine. I have finally realized that none if it is about me. I used to feel that we had a third person in our marriage that was there way before me. I don’t anymore but I also don’t put up with the addiction interrupting my life. If he has chew in his teeth I tell him, I used to ignore it but it looks terrible. If his breath gets really offensive I let him know. He gets crabby and gives me the eye roll but I don’t care anymore. I have prayed and finally decided to leave it in God’s hands. My husband is a health care worker so he knows all the signs. My kids do not chew, they frequently remind my husband of the dangers. I had to decide that I loved the man in spite of the chew. I will pray the you can come to some resolution because letting it impact you causes you stress that is unhealthy also. take care.

  14. Hi Julie,

    I’m so sorry to hear about your situation. It sounds like your husband’s addiction is quite strong, although I think they all are otherwise it would be easy to quit!

    It can be a roller coast with the emotions. I’ve also wondered if some of my recent physical problems are somewhat of a result of the stress. Lately, I’m just trying to focus on self care and really praying and surrendering him to God. I can’t control him or his addiction, only myself. But God can speak louder and stronger than I and God sometimes used circumstances to do it. I keep praying for my husband’s addiction as he may never regain movement in his finger do to a traumatic accident and the nicotine is certainly limiting his healing. I have to surrender that outcome to God too.

    Thankfully my husband is getting life insurance soon so that gives some financial peace anyway.

    I have good days and angry moments when I want to nag again but I’ve already said enough. I may print some materials from this website about the effects of nicotine and give to him to read with a link to this site. If I try in a supportive manner rather than condemning maybe it will help.

    And back to letting go. I hope this helps!

    God bless you,

    • Thanks for your support Alicia……an entry response to my entry I just read indicated I am exaggerating about the financial cost as a can only costs $5. Where I live it costs between $36-$38 a can……I did the research and the math exploring our bank statements going way back as most of what is purchased comes out of our joint account. It is no exaggeration unfortunately….I wish it was.


  15. Are there any actual spousal support groups affiliated with this site? I’m struggling much right now with feeling constantly angry with my husband’s chew addiction. I married a smoker 10 years ago who turned into a chewer. He was completely nicotine free 1 year until his mom died of cancer 2 years ago. Nicotine and addiction runs in his family. We have a 3 year old daughter. I’ve told him my concerns, worries, and fears many times. It doesn’t matter. He chooses the drug. He says he doesn’t want to do it, but he does it. He recently almost lost a finger in a table saw accident. He was advised not to use nicotine to give his hand every chance to heal. He may never use it again fully. He was off nicotine one week then went back! I’ve been so angry.

    I KNOW it’s HIS addiction. I KNOW I cannot quit for him. My struggle is dealing with the anger. I’m so angry about it. Of course the root of it is fear of losing him early or watching him die a self inflicted needless death. I often think I’m overreacting because it’s just chewing tobacco, but then it’s a serious expensive addictive drug!! He was leaving the house early today for a doctors appointment and I knew he was going to buy more. I could see the excitement in his eyes before he left. It’s seriously demonic and I hate it. I continue to pray for him, but I’m just so angry. I would never leave him over it. I married an addict so I will keep my vows no matter what. I’m continuing meeting with our pastor from church to ask for support for dealing with my own anger. It would “out” him to the pastor which I don’t think he’d like, but I’m tired of this huge secret. Although he apparently has told an elder at church and two guys but he has NO accountability or seems to want any. I’ve sent him this site once. I doubt he checked it out. I’m to the point where I’m going to start saving money so my daughter and I will be prepared for the day when he’s passed away too early.

    I KNOW I cannot fix him!! I’m seriously desperate to figure out how to live in peace with being married to an addict.

    • Christopher Russell

      Hi Alicia,

      My name is Chris. I am a nicotine addict. I chewed for 31 years and was up to 3 cans a day when I decided to quit. I am now 287 days nicotine free.

      I am sorry you are feeling angry towards your husband’s addiction (notice I did not say towards your husband). Nicotine is a very powerful drug, It is harder to quit than heroine. Unfortunately, your husband needs to want to quit before he will even consider it. I have seen many people come in to the forum professing they are quitting for their spouse and/or kids and the next thing you know they have caved. The reason is they did not quit for themselves first.

      This is not to say that you can not influence your husband to want to quit. Most definitely, leave articles around the house outlining the dangers of tobacco and nicotine use, pictures of guys missing half their jaws from cancer is a great motivator. Try and figure out how many cans a day he chews and go to the store and find out how much he is paying per can. Then write out on a piece of paper how money he is wasting every year on dead plant in a plastic tin. Put that piece of paper next to an advertisement for some vacation spot that he would really enjoy going to but hasn’t because you couldn’t afford it. I bet you could on just one years worth of dip money.

      I personally am saving over $7,000 per year and I am treating my wife an son to a two week Caribbean cruise and the Daytona 500 in February.

      Chanel your anger into positive ways to motivate him to WANT to quit. In the end, if if still chooses a dead plant, you will have the piece of mind of knowing that you tried but it is ultimately his decision to want to quit.

      I wish I had better advise for you and I feel for you and hope and pray your husband sees the light.

      All the best,


      • Chris,

        Thank you for sharing about your experience and your response. As you said I’m certainly angry at the addiction, not so much him, but it does get transferred. What I get angry about is when he says “I don’t want to chew. It’s a weight around my neck…etc” but he does it anyway. I recently heard our pastor say “You do what you do because you want to do it!” I just don’t want to hear the excuses.

        I have probably leaned towards being too quiet when I think about it. I’m always afraid of being a nag and it’s hard to talk about. I’ve gotten mad and communicated I’m afraid of him dying early. I have not cut any photos or articles about and set them around the house. Maybe I should. I know exactly how much he uses, about 1 can a day plus the gum was costing us $100 a month! Just this past week I’ve finally started writing a nicotine tab on our fridge along with all the other bills I’m keeping track of. I’ve never done that before but I’m tired of the secret of how much it costs. Now he can see it how much is being spent.

        So far this week, he hasn’t bought any in 3 days so I believe he’s trying to quit again. Last week was tense around here. He’s been short with me and my daughter, but I’m understanding it’s the withdrawal symptoms and trying to let it go.

        Good encouragement about channeling the anger to something more productive. I do pray for him daily. Good for you for quitting! Best gift you could give your family along with a vacation!

      • I also am married to a secret dipper. Honestly I always say It would have been a deal breaker if I would have known the significance early on 😕.He never dips in the house or around myself or our 3 kids but I have known about his addiction since we started dating 20 + years ago & he gave it up as his New Years resolution. . I too can’t stop from bring angry and resentful. I’m a nurse and my husband lost his older brother at 45 to esophageal cancer and his father had throat & prostate cancer ( he was a xsmoker). I’m sick of trying to explain to him WHY I am so upset and trying to offer suggestions of how he can quit. I KNOW he has to want it …but I can’t just sit back & watch him destroy his health with this nasty habit!! Is there any way to help someone decide to commit to quitting or must I just hope & pray??!!

    • Alicia girl, I feel for you! I’m in a very similar situation, he chewed when we dated and got married and it didn’t initially bother me. He quit a couple years ago “for me and our future family”, he was off it for probably a year. Then after we had our son apparently alcohol started becoming a problem for him, but he was hiding it pretty good from me. He decided to quit drinking and started chewing again 🙄 the last 7 months have been SO hard for me, it brought on postpartum depression and anxiety after he told me and I’m still fighting it. I have the same thought as you to try to start saving money somewhere so that I’m not completely screwed when he dies, I have no idea what I would do or how I would support myself and our son without him. It hurts and it’s scary, it puts a wedge between us because it makes me not want to work on becoming closer with him, just making myself stronger and more independent, and that’s not how I want to be! He has NO idea what I fight in my head over it every day and I don’t know how to talk to him about it. He knows I don’t want him to do it, but I’ve only said anything about it once. I wish I’d have made a bigger deal out of being proud of him for quitting. It’s even worse because he has successfully quit once so I know he can, he just chooses not to and me and our son are not enough incentive for him to give it up, my heart sinks to the bottom of my stomach every time he buys a can or takes a dip. I can’t even look him in the eye, and it makes me angry with his parents for not teaching him to deal with his stress in a healthier way too. I admire you for seeking help and talking to him about it! I’m a feelings stuffer with anything that will cause conflict or possibly hurt his feelings, and I hate it! I know this isn’t a lot of help but I am lifting you up in prayer and just want you to know that you are not alone, I am fighting a lot of the same things and struggling to hand it all over to God and move forward as well. Love and prayers for you 💕

      • Kricket,
        It sounds like we have been in similar situations, almost exact! Thank you for sharing and understanding. I’m also probably too quiet about it. I’m really trying to be more honest and not hide it but also just keep focused on God and praying for him daily. I have a journal I write in often to process emotions. It is exhausting dealing with the roller coaster of it all. Let’s not lose hope. Thank you for praying and I will be praying for you too. ❤️

    • Hi Alicia,

      I felt comforted when I read about your reactions to your husband’s chew.

      You voiced my own experience of frustration, anger, disappointment and a very real concern I have that my husband of 20 years will end up with a life threatening disease. I know enough about chew now to know how many carcinogens are in a mouthful of chew and the types of disease that can manifest due to extended use. I come from a country that bans chew – it simply cannot be purchased there so I lacked awareness around his chew addiction for quite some time after we got together. I made the mistake of asking him to decide between me and chew just before we married and he told me he chose chew……..how stupid does that make me……by then I was in love the the man he often is and I didn’t want to lose the many parts of him that are precious to me.

      Your words were validating so thank you as I came to the computer today looking for that out of a deep need for an alleviation of my aloneness around this issue.

      My husband has been addicted to chew since he was 12 years old. His mother and sister are tobacco addicts and his mother has lost 2 sisters to lung cancer. I learned a very long time ago that I cannot talk to him about his addiction that costs us on average $10,000 a year as he goes through several cans of chew in a week.

      He once got onto the support site and actually talked to me about his desire and willingness to finally let it go. He put me in touch with this site and others so I knew how to support him. I was willing to do whatever it took – to keep my mouth shut – to stay out of his way when he raged at me and blamed me for his chew – and within a week he was withdrawing from me and no longer talking about it – a week after that he was back on the chew as I could smell it – I said nothing but a part of the light from made brighter from hope within me, faded.

      I too have vowed to stay with him and not leave because of the damage his addiction does to our our relationship, particularly our intimacy. My husband sleeps with it in his mouth so it is pretty much 24/7 usage and I cannot stand the stale foul breath he has that he seems to have no awareness of. I avoid telling him as when I have mentioned it he has been angry with me and can withdraw from me for days. We have not slept together in the same bed for years now and I view his chew as his mistress – as he has a very intimate relationship with the chew every night. It is a hu ongoing loss and it is painful.

      I recently had a surgery to remove a very large synovial cyst from my spinal canal. I belief strongly that if we hold negativity in our bodies and don’t resolve it, it can manifest as a physical problem and I attribute the cyst as a build up of what I am not able to express direct to my husband about how damaged I feel our marriage is now.
      So that is why I came to the computer today while recovering from the spinal surgery as I don’t want to keep this daily challenge inside me……it is hurting me.

      So once again Alicia, thank you for your words.

      With Much Appreciation


  16. My husband stopped chewing about 3 months ago as far as I know. He has been chewing for well over 25 years so I get that it is hard. He was not going to tell me but thought maybe he should in case he gets irritable. I was shocked that he even decided to quit in the first place because it was always a touchy subject between us anyways. I got to the point I stopped really caring that he was doing it. So now here we are 3 months or so into him stopping chewing and oh my gosh he is not fun to be around. I cannot hardly stand it anymore. He has a temper the way it is but this is so not helping!! I am trying to be supportive but I am getting to the point I do not want to be around him. He is so up and down with his moods. He went away for the week for a work trip and I thought maybe having sometime to himself would help, but it is almost worse! I am tired of being mad at him. But I am also tired of walking on eggshells just waiting for his next outburst.

    • Please tell me I don’t have to deal with this for 3 months?! It’s already been 2-3 weeks of hell. I do not want to put up with it anymore. Men are freaking babies!!!! Why can’t they put on their big boy pants and stop hiding behind some excuse to treat their family like shit. They decided to chew. They decided to quit. I’d like to decide to not be treated like garbage.

      • My husband is on day 13. We’ve fought and he’s been a dick for like 10 of those days. What the actual hell is going on – he can’t distinguish that I am indeed NOT a manipulative evil and vile woman, but that it’s his nicotine withdrawal that’s making him explode on me with rage and irritability – please tell me it gets better? I am at my wits end and want to leave

        • First off, none of this is your fault,.so.dont feel like a victim.
          Personally, I put my love ones thru hell too. But it was a trade off they were all willing to accept, to allow me to get rid of the addiction. You’re dealing with an addict trying to get clean.
          I apologized ahead of time to them and told them it would he worth it in the end and it is!
          No, it doesn’t last forever, but it does take a while for the addict to.adjust to stress with out the aid of nicotine.
          I guess it comes down to what is more comfortable for you as a spouse. Dealing with a person trying to get clean from addiction, which is probably one of the most difficult things I ever did, or….letting your loved one continue their addiction. I am greatful my family dealt with me and my assholeness during the quit….they were in my corner when I was fighting my demons and now they get to enjoy the win, with me….almost 5 years clean!!
          Your choices are either support them, even if it’s staying out of the way or…let them continue their addiction.
          It does get better and it is not your fault.

        • Jessica, it does get better for the addicted. Of course you always have that option, but if you decide to stay and he overcomes his addiction, he would live the rest of his life thanking you and making it up to you. Good Luck.

    • Oh Gawd I cannot do this for 3 months!

  17. I’m really struggling right now. My husband and I have been married 29 years. Hes been sober for 12 but a few years after he quit drinking I found a tin hidden in the garage. I had found one shortly after we first got married when we both quit smoking so I guess I dont know if he quit back then as he promised and restarted when he quit drinking or if this has been an addiction the whole time. My husband quit dipping 1 year 4 days ago. He had tried multiple times before but has always failed. This time I suggested he get some help, use a nicotine aid and seek counseling, or at least support from this group. He started using nicotine gum. Things were good for a while, he boasted about avoiding the dip through very tempting situations, but was using the gum to get through. He refuses to get counseling and to the best of my knowledge has never visited this site. About 7 months on the gum he was staying strong off the dip but I was getting concerned about the gum. It was becoming the same thing as the dip for me. He was hiding how much he was using, sneaking around to keep it private, criticizing me and putting me down. The mood swings, sarcasm, irritability all coming back. We got in a huge fight, he has never admitted to being an addict, it’s a bad habit! He finally got off the gum. At 1 year clean from dip and 100 days clean of nicotine I congratulated him and told him how proud of him I was. He confessed to having bought and used nicotine gum a few days earlier. I couldn’t beleive it, I felt so betrayed! I didnt even know what to say. The next day I started asking more questions. He is dip free but the gum has been more like a few weeks. I feel destroyed, beaten up, betrayed, lied to, lonely. I dont know what’s wrong with me. I should be grateful hes still not dipping but it doesn’t feel like success. It feels like thin ice, the beginning of the fall. I dont know what to do??? Please advice

  18. About a month ago I found out that my husband had been secretly dipping for two years. And at first I didn’t even believe it because he is so concerned about his teeth and his appearance (he is very vain). Then, so much started making sense, such as his growing his beard out, his need for super soft tooth brushes, his need to sensitive tooth paste, getting up early before me, wanting to go ride his rzr alone, etc. I was destroyed-because we just bought land to build a house on and have been discussing having a baby. Then he came to be and told me he would quit, we made a deal (I am over weight and I know I am addicted to food) that I would eat healthy because that is just as bad as dipping. So I was positive and went out and bought him sunflower seeds, gum, gummy bears, etc. I wrote him notes and did a daily count and told him how proud i was of him and would text him and ask him how he was feeling and how i was so proud of him. Then yesterday i found a receipt dated two weeks ago-and he said he did dip once. Then today he finally broke down and told me that he never quit, he had been lying again and that he wanted to keep dipping and that he never wanted to stop.
    He blamed me for his starting to dip, and its all my fault because i stress him out.
    It is hard for me because I have only ever asked for honesty and i don’t know who this man is that I married.
    We discussed children again two days ago and i told him that i was ready and he said if he knew that he would quit then and there and then today he said he doesn’t want to quit and he won’t quit. After he knows that i don’t want to have children around that stuff.
    It is all so very back and forth i can’t believe anything he says anymore. I don’t ask him for anything, he is the one who comes to me and tell me I’m doing this and i am doing that for you and then acts like i am terrible for making him do that.
    I am just to a breaking point, i don’t know if i want to stay or go.

    • There will always be an excuse not to quit until they decide for themselves . Been married 29 years in November, he quit for 10 years, I thought I would never have to go through any of that again. My husband started again when our oldest was 8,he is 16 now, because of job stress. He hid it for a year and half before I found it, I honestly thought he was having an affair, in a way he was . I was devastated and could not believe I was in this nightmare all over again, with a family now. It’s been a rollercoaster since, for me, it tears me up. Addiction really sucks! From my experience, it never goes away. I constantly worry about cancer and all the adverse effects tobacco has physically. Tobacco has taken so much from our marriage. I do love him though. You have a difficult decision, good luck. I wish you all the best!

  19. Husband is 2 weeks free of dip and I can tell you that he has struggled. I am being supportive and have made sure to be understanding. He’s turned to riding his bike to get rid of the tension that is radiating in his body. He says he has an itch in his head he can’t scratch and migraines are awful. The ice pack has helped and he’s eating sunflower seeds. I’m looking forward to not seeing him in so much pain.

  20. My husband just decided to quit after at least 34 yrs of dipping. He’s quit one time in between for 3 yrs and fell back into it. First time he quit he didn’t tell me and the anger towards me was so bad I thought our marriage was done. Now more than 15 yrs later and two daughters, how do I handle the anger unleashed on myself and them? I understand the addiction and this is apart of the “quiting” phase. It’s one thing to be supportive but when it gets to the point of too much, when we’ve taught our girls not to be treated as such, where’s the line?! Need help ASAP!!!

  21. My husband has now been chew free for 100 days as of yesterday, our 25th wedding anniversary. He has chewed since he was 15 so 33 years. I am very proud of him but he is a different person than the one I married. He always has been very good at gifts and remembering important dates. Gave me great things for our 10, 15 and 20th anniversaries. We yesterday there was not gift for our 25th. It didn’t even enter his mind. He feel terrible and I don’t want him to go back to chewing but I miss the guy that always was thoughtful. I suspect he is just caught up in the overwhelming issue of quitting. Does it get better? He still focusing on it a lot.

    • Nicotine aids memory and concentration, so when you’re used to living on nicotine for decades, and then it’s abruptly taken away, one’s memory is going to suffer; concentration as well.

      100 days is not very long. I’m only at one month and I’m still an anxious, depressed mess. I’m a real debbie downer and not much fun to be around. I used to be full of energy and emotion, and now I’m a real dullard. Your husband might feel the same.

      It’s not fun becoming lethargic, and also knowing your loved ones around you are suffering from it as well.

      ON THE OTHER HAND, they’d would suffer a lot more from an early death.

      You’re just going to have to give him a few mulligans for awhile. He’s not himself, and it’s probably going to take quite awhile for him to feel normal again.

      Hopefully not long, because I want to feel normal again as well. NOT being on dip is terrible. Dip is a friend and an emotional support group and three months isn’t long enough to get over the end of a decades-long friendship.

      Stay tough and stay patient. Be understanding.

  22. My husband and I have been married for almost 3 1/2 years, he chewed when we were dating and got married. It didn’t really bother me, I knew that was something he did and that I would have to deal with it going into the marriage. I promised myself I would never ask him to quit for me because that would only cause problems for both of us and I didn’t want to become a nagging wife. Well a few months after we get married he decides he wants to quit, so I told him I would do what I could to help and support him. He made it two weeks and then started again, not a fun two weeks for me in our new marriage. A little over a year later he wants to quit again, “for me and our future family,” man I wish he never said that!!! He did successfully quit for a few months this time, then got stressed out and started bumming chews off his friends and I eventually caught him with some stuck in his beard. In front of all our friends I had been bragging on him to for quitting. Embarrassing. We talked about it and luckily he hadn’t had enough to turn into a huge problem, he didn’t really have to “quit” this time. We have a baby boy who just turned 4 months old, now dad decides to take a break from drinking, all his own idea, he recognized it was turning into a problem himself. So he hasn’t had a drink at home for a little over a month, gets stressed out about something again and drives 30 miles to town to buy a can. Now he has a stash, idk if he bought a roll or what. It was so much easier to forgive and look past before he said he wanted to quit to be around for me and our family. Now every time he struggles it makes me feel completely worthless, he’d rather have his chew than me and/or his family, etc and like I just need to start building my own life so I’m not completely screwed when he dies from cancer or so I have something to fall back on when his cancer costs us everything we have and part of his face. It makes me not want to have more children with him even though I would love to have more children. Being a new mom and having a little boy who makes me feel needed and who won’t disappoint me, I just don’t want to emotionally invest myself in my marriage. I’m constantly debating whether I want to still work on our marriage or just detach and not care. I’m physically tired from not sleeping well with a new baby and emotionally exhausted from being frustrated with my husband and trying not to bring it up. I don’t know what to do and feel in one hand that I’m blowing everything out of proportion and wonder why it is such a big deal to me, and on the other it feels valid. I’ve tried to talk myself into not caring for a few weeks and love him for all the good he does but it’s just not going away. It keeps me up between feedings at night while my baby is sleeping and I just don’t want to go through him quitting again. It makes me apprehensive to want to act proud of him for quitting anything because I can’t believe that it’s going to stick, causes me problems with trusting or believing in him and I just hate it. I don’t know what to do! Glad I found this page and know I’m not the only one. Feels good to vent to someone who won’t hold it against him.

    • What your husband is going through is the same thing that all of us who have joined this site have gone through. Unfortunately for him, it looks like he is going through his quit alone. You are probably telling yourself that you are going through this with him, but you are not for one simple reason–you are not an addict. It is almost impossible to describe the power of this addiction to a non-addict. It consumes your thoughts, it whispers to you in the night or in the morning when you wake up, it gives you the best, most convincing arguments you’ve ever heard about why you need to have some tobacco, or why you should give up your quit. At its height, my addiction was telling me that my wife was 100% at fault for all of our marriage problems, and that I was fully justified in having a dip at night when I got home, because I deserved to have a little joy in my life. It is only now that I have quit that I recognize how incredibly stupid and misguided that thought was (I had literally substituted my wife for a dead weed), but it was incredibly convincing while I was in the grips of my addiction.

      That is why this place is so important. I would advise you to tell your husband about this site, and encourage (don’t tell) him to try it out. There are things that we, as fellow quitters, can do for him that you cannot. I have been on this site since February, and have caved twice. Both times, I had to face my shame and come back here to confess. Both times, my quit brothers on this site gave me the strength to start again (after quite a bit of butt-chewing about being a liar!) As long as your husband tries to quit on his own, his chances of being successful are minimal. If you can convince him to come here (or if not, to get a friend of his to quit with him), then he has a much greater chance.

      As for your own experience, all I can tell you is that you are not alone–there are millions of spouses just like you. As an addict of 34 years, and married for 23 of those years, I have put my wife through a lot of the same things you are going through. Like you, she withdrew into her own life and our marriage suffered, and I substituted her with a dead weed. Now that I have made that decision to quit, I have been amazed at how quickly our marriage has recovered. Have faith in your husband. Your married him for a reason–remember those reasons! It may take him a long time to beat this addiction–the best thing you can do for him is to love him and to remind him from time to time that he needs to quit, especially before your child gets old enough to figure out what he is doing. God bless you!

      • Great stuff Robbie, spot on!

      • Thank you, Robbie! Your comment is very helpful, I’ve looked back on it severa time over the last couple months. I did want to ask you, how often do you think would be good to remind someone they need to quit? I’m the kind of person to keep things to myself until I completely boil over because I fear being or becoming a nagger.

    • I am in a very similar situation. I have a one year old and three year old. My husbands repeated concealing and deceit about chew make me so angry and I have to try to act like a happy mom while I am just seething. Unlike you, I had no idea he had this 30 year addiction when I married him at age 45. He is dopey and sleepy and depressed a lot and and then stays up all night. His first wife died in 2013. I fear he will neglect me and not notice any of my needs and I will die too. I keep debating whether to take steps toward divorce.

    • OMG I’m feeling the exact same way right now!!!!! I’m almost 2 months pregnant and it’s an IVF baby so we’ve been through a LOT to get this baby….he has been promising me that he will quit for months and that it was a “short term thing”….that was a year and a half ago!!!! He just quit for 3 weeks for a new job that we NEED to get by at a hospital that doesn’t allow tobacco use in its employees! He stopped for weeks and long enough to “pass their tests” and then I caught him hiding it again a few days ago! I was devastated especially because I was soooo relieved and happy that he quit and then just like that he’s back to it just because of one “stressful day” like wtf I’m pregnant!!!! Things are going to be a LOT more stressful here soon and now I’m always going to have to worry that he’s doing it behind my back??? I feel exactly like you girl, honestly! I feel sad, worthless, angry and resentful! I feel like he’s already a LOT older than me and he knows he’s already not going to be around for our kids as long as most younger dads (he’s 50 I’m 31), WHY would he be ok with continuing to do something bad for him that will cut that time even shorter?? Finally after ALL we’ve been through to get this baby he KNOWS how i feel about skoal and how happy I was when he quit but he just starts up again over one stupid stressful day???? GRRRR 😡 much like you I’m losing a lot of sleep because of not only pregnancy symptoms but because of the STRESS of this demon called SKOAL!!!! I HATE IT!!!!! It’s also such a financial burden on us. He’s a retired cop and has a good pension but it only gets us so far every month and that’s why we NEED him to have this job to survive!! WHY IS HE OK WITH RISKING EVERYTHING for this shit??? Aren’t me and the new baby we’re going to have enough??? I don’t want this to ruin our marriage but it just might and I’m completely dependent on him financially now. I have no where else to go! Sometimes it bothers me SO much that I’m almost ok living in a shelter JUST to get away from having to watch him do something that’s slowly destroying him and us on a daily basis with being pregnant and already on edge and emotional! Anyway just wanted to let you know you’re not alone at all!!!! I’m up at 5am today because of the stress!!! He’s already awake in the other room and I don’t want to get up and go in there because I KNOW he’s spitting and it’s going to cause a fight and put me in a sour ass mood for the day! Ugh. I wish they would OUTLAW skoal 😭😭😭😭 it ruins everything!

  23. My husband has been chewing since they took our smoking lounge away in high school (that was in 1986). He did quit awhile back after our son was born (that was in 1996) but started back up. I used to nag him about his chewing and drinking which caused him to stray at one time, said I was acting like his mother (that was in 2013). I came to the realization that his chewing really had no impact on me – decided to pick my battles and that was no one of them. After reading some of these posts, I find myself actually fortunate that he does not have that “angry addict” attitude toward me or our family. So, here we are, in 2018, and HE DECIDED it was time to quit! He is only on Day 3. Although i find myself incredibly proud, I also feel very useless – I don’t know what to do to help him. He is tired, bad headaches, restless, terrible sore throat anxious, all of the above.

    • This is great news Renee. I’m glad to hear he’s decided it’s time. Unfortunately, there isn’t a lot you can do, other than support him. This is, in my opinion, a very individual choice. Selfish if you will. But because “he” has came to this decision, I think he will be successful at quitting. It was the same for me, “I” was tired of the nearly 30 year habit and wanted to get away. My wife/kids played no factor (see the selfishness?).But it was because of this individual choice, I was able to quit and stay clean and have almost 4 years now. When it comes down to it and I’m alone, it will be me, not my family, that keeps me on the straight and narrow.
      It was hell, I won’t lie. I was in “bitchy” mode all the time. But it lifted after about 60 days.
      I’d say just be there for him and try to understand if he gets moody, it’s not a thing yourself has done, it’s this horrible habit leaving his body and rearing it’s ugly head at you. Go a head and flip it a “mental” bird!
      Hopefully you’ve pointed him here to this site, it was a big help in my decision to quit. And it’s a big reason I still come here (almost 4 years later) to offer commentary to others thinking about and going through, the quit.
      I wish you (family?) and your husband the best on this journey, stay strong!!

    • I am so happy for you Renee! I admire your attitude. Hang in there, sending good vibes your way. Someday I hope to be where you are .

  24. I wrote this last year. And am still living the cycle. I am sure many of you can relate.

    My husband is an addict. And his addiction is more insidious than alcohol or heroin. His addiction is legal, like alcohol, but more addictive than heroin. How could something more addictive than heroin be legal you ask? Well, because a lot of very powerful people make a lot of money off of getting people hooked on this addiction.

    My husband is an addict. He lies, his behavior is erratic, he is angry, hostile, short-tempered. He picks fights with me so that he can go and use his drug. He is short-tempered with our family. He has no patience with our daughter.

    His relationship with his family is secondary to his relationship with his addiction. His marriage is secondary to his addiction. In fact, his addiction is all powerful. His addiction is number one. Given an ultimatum—your marriage or your addiction—he chooses the addiction. His addiction in “the other woman” in our marriage. And she is sexy and makes him feel so much better than anything else. Her pull is stronger than anything. Her pull is stronger than this marriage. Her pull is stronger than the parent/child bond. She is, and always will be, number one to him.

    I love my husband. I want my marriage to work. But the marriage is not working because he is an addict. It is a vicious cycle. He quits—I am happy and believe him—he starts again—I suspect him and confront him—he lies and lies and lies— I catch him— I get angry— I say I am doing this anymore—he gets angry—I give up. And it starts all over again. All over again, and again and again, and again.

    He did stop his addiction for 3 weeks. They were the best 3 weeks in the past 10 years. He was calmer, happier, more connected, –normal, for want of a better term. We did not fight. He was not lying and sneaking around to go use. He was present with me and our children.
    But, his addiction was more powerful than us. More powerful than his desire to have a relationship with his wife and children. His addiction lured him back in, as always. It is always there, always lurking, always pulling him away. Now that he is back using he is gone again. And the lies. The constant, constant, lying. I hate lying. I mean, who likes their spouse to lie to them?
    How can something that causes so much damage be legal? And how can a substance that is so vile not have support groups to help people quit. There is AA and NA and Gambler’s Anonymous. There are groups for every type of addiction out there. This one is completely overlooked as a serious addiction that damages families… that breaks apart marriages. This insidious addiction just lurks and is tolerated. It is considered a public health risk…. But not treated as a serious addiction like alcohol or hard drugs.

    What is it? Nicotine. Nicotine in very high doses. Maybe you are thinking that it can’t be as bad as I describe. But it is. It is worse than I describe. My marriage is about to end because my husband will not give up the can of dip he holds so precious. I am sick and tired of being married to another addict. Of spending my days wondering who is going to show up… the angry irritable guy in withdrawal? Or the man who is in a moment of calm before the next wave hits him where he needs to pick a fight with me so he has an excuse to go and dip.

    I am mad, I am sad, I am tired… so tired of the cycle and the game. And he… where is he? He is in denial that is it really a problem. He is not giving up his addiction. Instead, he would rather give up me and our family. I am tired of the other woman always winning out. I know it is time to go. I am devastated that I know he will let me. Her hold is just too strong. I can not win. It is time to break the cycle.

    • This is heartbreaking. I’m so sorry Lorain. Please let me know how we can help.

      • Thank you. I have finally had it. This last cycle he went to hypnosis in November, swore to quit. I saw all the same aggressive typical addictive behaviors in January and he denied using again. I trusted him. I asked him no less than 5 times over the past couple months if he was dipping again. He denied it. I believed him. I found out this past Monday he was indeed using again.—and that was it. I am done. I am so enraged I can not even speak to him. I unleashed today and told him this is it. He has a choice and it is an ultimatum. He can have his can, or his wife and family.
        It is more than the act of dipping. It is the behaviors of the addict. It is the lying and the deceit. The sneaking around (bc he hides it all the time)… What kind of marriage is it if there is no trust and honesty. 10 years of marriage. 10 years of addiction in that marriage. I’m done and he knows it.
        He is at a nicotine anonymous meeting as I write this. We shall see.
        I also told him we will never discuss this again. The second he lies to me again, we are done. I will not raise my children in an addictive household.

        • I just came to find my husband was lying about his snuff use. I told him that is what hurts our marriage more than anything is his lying. If he feels he can lie about it (I can tell when he lies) what will stop him from lying about other things.

          Hope all has worked out.

        • Neverquit Quitting

          You married a man that chews tobacco. Then you demand he changes because your married. You think it’s gross. You think he should quit because you tell him he must. For better or worse you claim but now you give up.
          Sounds to me you haven’t helped at all. You can only quit chewing if you want to. Yes, it is an addiction. Don’t put yourself in a situation where you will be lied to. You were okay with it enough when you married him so be that way again.
          Shower him with love and romance beginning now, at the same time encourage him to quit if he would like to. He is more likely to quit on his own by romance and encouragement than he ever will with ultimatums and ridicule. If you back him into a corner he will defend himself by any means. Don’t back him Toto a corner if you’re not wanting to be hurt.

    • This is really a sad situation…I truly feel for you and your daughter.
      Fortunately (only for me), my spouse never felt this negative towards my 25-30 year habit. And I am not calling you negative, I’m just saying she really left me alone with the habit. This doesn’t mean she agreed with it. It was disgusting and she was crystal clear about that. But again, my quit of this, came from within. No one externally was the reason behind my quit. And I will stand 100% behind this statement. No one will help you more with a quit, than yourself. It is essential that YOU want to quit. Who else is around when you’re by yourself and want a pinch? No one. You and only you
      decides if you will continue being a slave to nicotine, in all forms. Thankfully to this site and all the posters, I am still free almost 4 years now. I ain’t ever going back. But it’s because of “me” and what “I” want. I realize I am “just one pinch” away from tossing it all away…and I don’t want to restart the quit. Notice all the “me, I, myself”? It’s the most selfish and rewarding thing an individual can do, to quit nicotine.
      It truly breaks my heart to see the bitch nicotine destroying a home like this. My heart goes out to you and I promise to drop a word in to the man upstairs for your husband. I hope he comes to realization there are more important things in life than nicotine. I will say, it’s a hard, HARD nut to crack, especially at the beginning. But there is a happy and just as normal life, without nicotine.
      Best wishes!

      • JP, thank you. As you can see from my response to Chewie it is enough for me. And.. the reasons. The last time he quit he did it. He made all these proclamations of how he was choosing his family and wife over the can. I got my hopes up that finally, after 10 years, he saw the light. Or, as he said, he was ready to quite and make us 1st. Until…. he didn’t… and he lied… and it is at my core that I can not stand lying. So, here w are. I am grateful for finding this site and I thank you for the prayers!!!!

    • I cant believe I have never found this site in the rollercoaster of my life. The stories and testimonies so familiar. I must say somewhat discouraging rather than helpful. My husband of 29 years has been sober for 11 years, but the nicotine addiction is like no other! I can relate, the constant lies, deception, betrayal, anger, sneaking around. Belittling me, putting me down making me feel like trash just to avoid any discussion about it. He is actually dip free but nicotine gum addicted 30 weeks now. I feel no security or resolve as he uses the gum. In fact, he still deceives, covers up, sneaks around to use it even though it was an agreed upon temporary solution. I am always fearful he will go back when the gum doesn’t fill his need, or worse if he stops the gum he will go back to the dip. It has cost so much distrust and insecurity in our marriage and with our children I don’t even know how to start healing, especially since he is still just getting his fix. He calls it a bad habit not an addiction, I feel like he is still in such denial. I’m tired of always feeling so emotionally lonely.

    • Lorraine (and all other spouses struggling with their spouses addiction).

      I really do not know where to begin. This is my first time reading the entries and of course my life with my husband of 20 years is flashing before my eyes with each read. Validation is both healing and also devastating when it comes to the impact of chew addiction on a relationship that has always been so full of promise, yet so disappointing, frustrating and hurtful. I still love my husband and don’t want my marriage to end even though I made the mistake of giving him an ultimatum a week before we married to choose either the chew of myself and he chose the chew.

      His chew takes 12,000 dollars a year out of our income and I do believe it will kill him – especially as how he has been doing it since he was 12 years old and has it in his mouth 24/7. The past two years he has been binge drinking as well and I have put my foot dow around that a as he gets abusive when he is drunk.

      We have not slept in the same bed for 10 years – he sleeps with chew in his mouth all night, drools it out of his mouth onto pillows and the toilet is heavily stained with chew he has spout out and does not even bother to flush after. We have not been sexually intimate for a very long time – I cannot kiss him because of his breath and I am OCD around contracting some time of dreadful bacteria from his mouth.

      And here is the kicker – we re both mental health professionals. I wish there was a support group I could attend face to face with others so I can get some of what festers inside of me out of me. I recently had a spinal surgery to remove a large cyst in the spinal canal – I believe it has manifested because I have been holding in all the pain with no outlet. If I mention it to him he withdraws for days/even weeks so Don’T talk; Don’t Feel and Don’t Trust is alive and well in my marriage and it is destroying it.

      • $12,000 a year!?!? Is he plowing thru 30 cans a week?? When you do the math, at $5 a can…that’d almost be 30 cans a week!! Maybe you’re exaggerating a little?
        Anyway, I hope he can get a hold of his addiction, it certainly is a tough nut to crack. I’m almost 4.5 years clean. Good luck!

        • HI There

          Where we live a can costs between $36.00 and $38.00….so when you do the math – which I have direct from our joint account that identifies the purchase……this is what it is costing us……he has admitted this himself at a time when he was going to try to quit and owning up to the financial cost was part of the process.


  25. When my husband tries to quit….I have to walk on egg shells. He is so angry. He scares me. I feel embarrassed that I am staying with him….I feel like a bad example for my children.

    • He quit smoking several years ago….became VERY addicted to nicorette gum …had cancer and quit for several years and started chewing a few years ago. I can’t kiss him because it changes his mouth…hard to explain, but it makes his lips really thin…and I notice a cavity. He won’t go to the dentist. He always drives separately now to family things….we don’t get along anymore. I have accidentally found spit in our potted plants and had glasses full of spilt spill on me. I am sooo grossed out…I don’t think I can do this anymore. He goes straight to the basement when he comes home from work….to chew, drink beer, and play videogames.
      I thought he was tobacco free when I filled out the insurance info….and he keeps telling me he needs to make a plan to quit….but I feel like it will never happen.

    • I feel the same way. I am being a bad example.

  26. Ive been chewing for only 6 months,and now the wife has found it twice,i’m on day day 3 of no chew I can do this.But I get no support,in fact my wife is talking about divorce,she says if I loved her I wouldn’t have started,I realize I screwed up and hurt her deeply and my wife not talk to me,without criticizing me, she will not answer any messages from me will not let me touch her,I can do nothing right in her eyes.I could really use some her support feeling very frustrated .

    • I have been in the place your wife is now, more than once. In my situation, I was hurt so deeply, all I wanted was for my husband to hurt as much as I did. I knew deep down that was not right, you can’t imagine the things that go through a wife’s mind when someone she has put her heart and soul into has betrayed her. We have been married 28 years now, I love my husband and I know he loves me, but in my mind tobacco is always first. As we speak, my husband sneaks his tin into the shower. Tobacco has taken so much from our relationship, I wouldn’t wish this addiction on anyone.
      One post said it well, I will NEVER know what its like to be a nicotine addict and you will NEVER know what it’s like to be the spouse of a nicotine addict.
      It will take time to earn back the trust of your wife and rebuild your marriage. You are on the right track as long as it’s for the right reason and not just to suffice your wife. I hope you stick with your quit, this site seems like an amazing tool. I wish you all the best.

  27. Has anyone ever been lied to about what is in the toilet bowl during the quitting stage? He claimed it was #2 in the toilet. I happened to see it when I went in the bathroom. I guess sometimes it doesn’t flush all the way??

    • Can’t say I ever told THAT lie, but the reality is this… addicts lie. He’s an addict. He’s most likely ashamed of his addiction and will justify it in his mind and will justify lying to you to hide it.

    • My husband does the packet dip stuff…I didnt know he did at the time…anyway my daughter came home from daycare and went to the bathroom she didnt flush I walk into go the bathroom and start freaking out thinking my daughter ate something she shouldnt have. I called daycare I showed my husband and not once did he say oh its just a dip he kept it a secret…I freaked out for days over it until I went downstairs to put in a load of laundry and seen a soda bottle out of place in the laundry room I look at it and its got a bunch of the packet like thing I had seen in the toilet the other night…I confronted my husband and he explained to me what it was…very frustrated with the whole web of lies….But I need to learn how to be not so bitter about his horrible habbit.

  28. I have visited this site occasionally for the last 7 years, for hope. If guys that have been addicted for decades can quit, then there is hope for my husband. I am so glad to see a spousal support comments, I have read them all.
    I can relate to the roller coaster of emotions felt by all. I have been through all the addictive behaviors. My spouse has been addicted more on than off for 30+ years, I have never seen him with a dip in his mouth, closet dipper, at least at home.
    I didn’t find out until after we were married and 3000 miles away in the military. He thought he could quit. He has quit 3 times, about 10 years once, as far as I know. He quit before we had kids and started again when our oldest was 8. He won’t talk about it, he gets defensive and shuts down.
    I made a mistake two days ago, I asked him to quit. He won’t even be in the same room with me. After visiting this site, I was reminded how important it is to be their decision, otherwise they will resent you. I have never nagged him to quit. I don’t expect his quit will last long. I apologized, now its damage control. I hate the demon but I love my husband, he is a good man.
    If you are in a relationship and are contemplating marriage with someone who struggles with this awful addiction, it’s likely you will in for an uphill battle.
    I do enjoy reading all the success stories and pray that some day my husband will be one of them.

  29. I just want to know what is normal….Today he actually fell out of the shower and spit out his dip on to my foot…He is using an old dip that he takes in and out in the morning…It’s his last…and now that he spit it on the floor it really is the last of it…But his balance is off…his behavior is crazy mean and erratic…I want the man I loved back…I witnessed him quit alcohol 2x and he is now almost 2 year sober…I never saw him act this way!! He seems dizzy and like he can’t even hold on to things?? Is this normal?? He literally dropped his phone 5 times yesterday in a half an hour..and then bawled on the way home??? I am at such a loss! I love him so much ….I was so relieved to see him acting like himself this morning until I realized it was because he put that recycled dip in his mouth…. Please tell me this is somewhat normal…I am calling the doctor now to see if we can get an appointment…

    • No, this doesn’t seem like something myself, or others experience when quitting. Best go get some advice from a medical professional, not the opinions of a message board.
      And when we say “it’s not about you”, what we mean is it HAS to come from within the addict to want to quit, not YOU. If the addict doesn’t have it in themselves to really, I mean REALLY, want to quit…they won’t…no matter how bad YOU want them to. I hope that clears it up.
      But I’d go get some medical advice on the other stuff, that isn’t normal for what I’ve experienced or have read from others.

  30. I love my partner so much….but I can’t tell you how much it angers me when people say this is not about us…it’s only about the addict….How is it not about me when he spends $200 a month on it but I am the one paying the bills otherwise???

    • I think the exact same thing! How is it just about him if it’s effecting our finances?

    • Yes!!! My husband was unemployed for a bit. I worked THREE jobs to keep us afloat. I never knew about his habit. He started a few years after we were married and kept it a secret for nearly a decade until he forgot to put his can away one night. He goes through a can a week. I did the math, and the monthly cost of his addiction equaled a week’s worth of pay at my second job, and that’s not counting the money he spends on alcohol. Starting a habit like that is completely selfish. How can it not affect the spouse?

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