One of the hardest things to do is to stop smoking! If someone you love is still smoking stay supportive and don’t let the negative thinking inside your head harden your feelings of love, support and understanding for your special someone.
No amount of nagging, criticism or guilt trips will motivate them to quit. It may even do the opposite and cause them to resent your concern. Disgust, doubt and thoughts of giving up on them are hard to disguise. No matter how much someone loves you; in order to be successful their reason to quit must come from themselves. Keep lifting them up — Don’t break them down!
So, how do you go about helping a loved one quit smoking?
As a former smoker I know how badly they want to quit. But, they can’t quit for you and be successful long-term. They must want to quit for themselves and your future together. Give them a reason to quit by following the below steps.
Be Patient. It may take multiple times before they can successfully quit. They know you want them to quit. Nagging only pushes them away and gives them another reason to not even try to quit. Set aside quality time to do things together that will keep their mind off smoking and celebrate along the way as they accomplish daily and weekly goals smoke-free.
Be Understanding. Let them know you are there for them to call on when they are having a weak moment or tough time. Let them know you believe they can quit even if they’ve tried multiple times. But, set your own boundaries and let them know they cannot smoke around you. Tough love!
Unconditional Love. Your love and faith in them reminds them they can succeed. Be sincere in your praise for them and encourage them to keep trying when they have a slip. As much as you hate their smoking just remember that you love them as a human being. Keep reminding them of your support and love.
It is a very fearful decision to stop smoking and try to overcome the strong addiction. You’re afraid you won’t be able to quit and then you’re also afraid of letting down the ones you love.
Offer to pray with your loved one and ask the Lord to remove their urge to smoke. Also, pray quietly by yourself and ask God to show you ways to help your loved one. Only He knows your relationship and the trigger points that will help or hurt. Listen to that still small voice of the Holy Spirit as He guides you through this healing process.
Keep reinforcing your commitment to help them quit and praise them for choosing to quit. Be their reason why. Be their future. Let them see a successful smoke free person in your eyes. It is SO worth the effort!
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In this with you,
~ Mary Ann Blount