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 site 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 web site. 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. This board is 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. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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???

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