Why won’t they stop? Don’t they know how this is affecting us and our relationship? I want to know how to help someone quit dipping, but don’t know if that is even possible.
I am an ex smokeless tobacco user myself. At this point I am about five years into quitting and I am never going back. I am finally at a point in my life where that bridge has been burned forever. The road to get here was not a smooth one though. I tried to quit many times before and ended up failing. Eventually I found the support I needed through a smokeless tobacco user support forum and found people that were in my same shoes that had found a way to quit. They helped me and here I am trying to help others
smokeless tobacco relapse cycle
During my multiple times of the quit and relapse cycle I know that my wife was hurting. She wanted me to stop using smokeless tobacco and couldn’t understand how I couldn’t “just quit”. However, there were legitimate times when I gave it my all, and failed. When I caved it hurt her very much (not to mention letting myself down didn’t feel great). Hurt people also become angry and then the fights would start. Sometimes I would make it a week or so before relapsing. At these times I would hide the fact that I started using again just to avoid the pending fights that would start again. I don’t make a habit of lying to my wife but I didn’t want to hurt her or let her down either. A catch 22 situation with no good outcomes in site. Eventually I would get caught or just come clean and the hurt, fights and frustration would start all over for both of us again. Sound familiar?
Promises from a smokeless tobacco user
Broken promises? Yeah, you have probably heard more than you can count. I know that it hurts and it seems helpless. Most significant others get to a place that they just want to give up. They don’t want to hear another promise, just to get their hopes up, just to watch their hopes get broken to pieces again. Everyone’s situation is different, but I can tell you one thing for sure. As a person once in the grips of tobacco addiction I can say that it always meant the world to me that I had someone in my corner every time I tried to quit. Yes there were lies, anger, hurt feeling and all that stuff every-time there was a relapse, but there was always support from my wife the next time I tried to quit.
If they love me they could quit dipping snuff
Try to get away from the thought process of “if they really loved me they would quit using snuff”. That is just not the case. Your loved one is an addict and that is a separate issue from how they feel about you. Tobacco is probably the most addictive drug on this planet and it has your husband, boyfriend or whoever tightly in its grips. Tobacco withdraw is tough, really tough, but people can get through it eventually if they keep trying.
Quit chewing tobacco for the right reasons
One of the WORST reasons for someone to quit smokeless tobacco is to quit for someone else. It pretty much goes like this. My significant other wants me to quit and I am tired of them nagging me every day so I am going to quit – and make it stick this time. A week later, when the dipper is in full withdrawal mode, there is a fight with the person who was nagging them to quit in the first place. “Well, if this is how it is going to be, then I might as well be dipping”. Now, I know this isn’t logical thinking – but remember we are dealing with an addict.
I know this is still frustrating, but being supportive in telling someone you want them to quit is still very, very helpful. Pushing really hard for them to quit is not. Realizing that you are dealing with an addict with flawed logic sets you up for not getting hurt the next time they relapse.
Never give up
Take heart – people quit every day and succeed. Almost everyone I have talked with had tried to quit many, many times before and it took them several years before they were able to quit successfully.
I am setting up a support forum for you to discuss your frustration with other people who are experiencing the same thing. Anyone is welcome to join who wants to help someone who is important to them to stop using smokeless tobacco. Tobacco addiction knows no bounds. Hopefully you can find the support you need to keep yourself healthy from a mental standpoint and find the tools you need to best support your loved one the next time they decide to give quitting a try. Register at the top and click forum at the top of the page to get started.
Here is a brief article from a wife of a former smokeless tobacco user.