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Derrick, you sound like a wonderful husband. Iím certain your wife appreciates your love and support even if she seems distant at times. Please keep doing what youíre doing and things will make more sense to both of you in time.

As a bulimic and a smoker, I strongly suspect your wife is using cigarettes to help her cope with food and with the stress that comes along with ED. I also suspect as you do that she has become addicted to nicotine, so Iím glad to hear you will be accepting of this new part of your wifeís life.

I think the two of you need to get the cigarettes out in the open like the ED is. Nothing is ever resolved with secrets, shame or guilt.

You didnít mention the physical aspect of your relationship with her, nor would I have expected to you. But I will assume since you love her, the two of you feel an attraction for each other. Itís so important that the attraction continues once she becomes open about her smoking. Sheís almost certain to believe it will turn you off and that could lead to some devastating self-esteem issues. I suspect sheís also kept the addiction a secret from her friends and family and it will be up to you to boost her confidence and morale. People can be so petty and insulting about smoking. Protect her from these people as best you can.

If youíre searching for a way to bring it up without upsetting her, youíll need to be sure you do it in away that makes her believe you truly accept it as you say you do. Does your house have ashtrays? If not, buy some and place them in the rooms she normally frequents, including and especially in the bedroom.

Good luck Derrick, I hope youíll keep us posted.

Hugs,
Margie
Last night on the way home, I took Margieís advice and bought some ashtrays. I also bought a pack of cigarettes for her, the brand I saw in her purse.

I got home. She sees the stuff and asks what itís about. I tell her I know she smokes. She tells me she doesnít want to talk about it. I tell her that I do want to talk about it, and that Iím not mad, and its OK, but we still need to talk.

She just breaks down completely and is all tears and sobs and telling me how sorry she is and what an awful person she is and how she tried to quit but she couldnít do it. She told me that it was keeping her from eating too much and when she went too long without smoking, she wanted to eat every thing in sight.

I knew this was a big deal when I first posted about it. I could just tell from her reaction that something about it was really bothering her.

She has so much guilt over this. And it runs so deep. Itís about food and its about not purging but I swear it has a lot to do with the way she feels about her self.

She told me stories about when she was a little girl and about how she thought smoking was so feminine and sexy, sophisticated and attractive. But it was also a bad girl thing, so she didnít do it. She kept talking about all the actresses and models that look so thin and glamorous and how they all smoke and how beautiful they are.

She told me she always wanted to smoke when she was a little girl like the actresses and the models. She wanted to be glamorous like them but she didnít because she wanted to be a good girl, but the temptation and the desire were too much so she tried and she liked it.

This happened when she was 14. She was a little pudgy, but the weight started coming off with the smoking. She said she was feeling good about her self. She said she felt beautiful. But she hid it because her parents would have a fit. I guess her weight issues go back a long time.

Hey, her parents caught her. She was right. They had a fit and a whole lot more. They said things to her that no parent should ever say to their child. They made her feel like ****. But they saved her from smoking.

She started in shame and she quit in shame. She gained weight. She dieted. She purged. She hid it all, but by God she didnít smoke for her parents. And she didnít smoke for me.

She honestly doesnít believe sheís attractive to me. This is so messed up if Iím understanding her right and I know I am because I listened to her. Its like the double edged sword I was talking about where she feels damned if she does and damned if she doesnít.

She said sheís beautiful when she smokes but sheís ugly to me. And she doesnít want to smoke because she loves me and she doesnít want me to live in her ďstinkĒ. It doesnít stink to me and I told her that. Nothing she does could ever ďstinkĒ to me. Every thing she is looks beautiful to me.

She smoked in front of me last night but only because I insisted. Sheís convinced I think sheís ugly when she smokes and it turns me off. She thinks Iíll die from her second hand smoke (give me a break). She thinks all her family and friends will hate her if they find out.

Iím not a psychiatrist or an expert on ED, but I know my wife and I know me.

This to me is both a physical and a mental issue. Hey, my wife started smoking again because she honestly wants to quit overeating and purging. It helps her cope with the bulimia and apparently it works for her. Oh no. Sheís addicted to them. So what? Sheís addicted to something that may or may not kill her. But one thing is certain, bulimia will kill her if she canít control it.

Its mental because sheís carrying around messed up thinking from her youth. And oh yeah, her well meaning parents really contributed to that. But she loves them, and she doesnít want to break their hearts by letting them know she smokes. Sheíd rather them bury a ďgoodĒ non-smoking daughter than learn to accept her as bulimic that smokes and has her ED in check.

Itís mental because smoking was sexy in her youthful mind but evil and disgusting in her adult bulimic mind- even if it helps her.

She wants to be attractive to me (she is!). I canít convince her that smoking in no way makes her unattractive to me.

I canít say her body looks good because thatís not appropriate. So why canít I tell her what she wanted to hear in her youth. Hey Honey, you look great when you smoke. It turns me on. Wouldnít that help her self-esteem? Hey, sheís going to do it any way. I donít want her to feel guilty about it. That canít help things.

But how can I get her to believe me and feel good about her self. She has agreed to smoke in the house and in front of me because she admits sheís addicted and canít quit and because it helps her cope with food. But she wonít agree to feel good about it or believe I can be attracted to her if she smokes.

I havenít kissed her since yesterday morning and its not because I donít want to. She wonít let me. She thinks Iíll be disgusted by her smoky breath.

This is what I want and how I feel. I genuinely want her to smoke because it helps her physically. I want her to smoke because I love her and I accept her and I get a very strong feeling sheís not going to quit (and she doesnít have to- not for me). Yes, its weird seeing her smoke. Iím not used to it. She seems like a different person to me. But I donít think its bad. Heck, in some ways its kind of cool, because Iím seeing a part of what is probably her real self, the person she wanted to be before her parents made her ashamed of that person. Iíve never kissed a real smoker. I donít know what Iím going to think if she ever lets me kiss her again. But how bad can it be? Maybe Iíll even like it. Regardless, Iíll get used to it.

I canít help but think this is a huge opportunity to feel good about her self, the way she thinks about her self, and it will help her cope with ED at the same time. Iím not immune to romance. Iíve seen movies where a couple makes love and has a cigarette. Just because I donít smoke doesnít mean I canít see the romance in it. I just donít know how to how to convince her that I want this and its OK for her to want this too and that itís a good thing.

This is the one time Iíve ever felt I was in a position to do something positive for her instead of hanging on the sidelines and cheering her on. I donít want to waste this chance.

Thanks,
Derrick





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