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I Need HELP!!
May 7, 2008
My boyfriend and I have been together for a year and for the most part, everything between us has been great. We've always had our arguments, just like any other normal couple, but lately it has gotten much worse than I considered breaking up with him over it because if there is one thing I can't stand, it's arguing with someone I love.

A few months ago, my boyfriend relocated closer to me and to his old college friends and ever since then it seems like the arguments have gotten out of hand. He has started smoking again and has gotten drunk once since he has been back, both habits he attributes to stress. He is working nights and sleeping during the day and is frequently short tempered and sometimes grouchy because of it. I have smoke allergies, so even if he has been smoking earlier in the day and I smell it on his clothes or on his breath, it will give me a migraine. I have a history of alcoholism in my family and have a huge aversion to it for that reason, so it drives me nuts that he has started drinking and smoking again for no reason other than the fact that he is stressed.

His college friends, some of which are still in college (he has since graduated), are still living the party live, going out to bars frequently during the week and they all smoke. I want my boyfriend to stop these habits and I feel like everytime he is around his friends it makes it more difficult for him to actually quit. He feels like I am trying to be controlling and that I am not accepting him for who he is. He said that I expect too much of him and there isn't man alive on this earth who could meet the standards I hold him to.

I admit I am a perfectionist and I do like things to be a certain way, but the aversion to drinking and smoking is for my health benefits and for his. I don't want to have to breathe second-hand smoke and I don't want him going out and getting wasted with his friends all the time either. I care about my boyfriend and constantly think about the increased risk of lung cancer, cirrhosis, cardio-pulmonary issues, etc. I don't want something bad happening to him, but he doesn't see it that way. He thinks I am trying to be in control of every aspect of his life and that it isn't about me being worried about him.

I talked to him about it yesterday and today and I agreed to stop being so overbearing and complaining about his habits and him hanging out with his friends, while he agreed to stop the habits, but told me it wouldn't be an instant, overnight thing and that I would have to be patient with him, especially when he slips up. I feel like he doesn't understand where I'm coming from though and all the stress and hurt I've had to put up with because of his habits and his current work schedule is horrible. He never has time for me and when he does and we are trying to talk, he is constantly falling asleep because that is something he doesn't get much of.

I guess why I'm writing all this is just to get some opinions on the situation. I am committed to my boyfriend and I have a lot of love and respect for him, but at the same time it is extremely frustrating. We have both expressed the desire to work it out completely and to STOP ARGUING! It is destructive on so many levels. Can anyone who has been in a similar situation with positive outcome give me tips? Am I being ridiculously overbearing about the whole thing? What should I do?

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