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Bobby Umar

My girlfriend smokes, but then lies about it. She says she isn’t a smoker, though she admits to the “occasional” cigarette when she’s being social. Only thing is, she’s social pretty much every day with either her colleagues, friends or family! I told her early on that I couldn’t be with a smoker in the long term and she promised me she would quit. We never put a time on it, but it’s been three years. How do I get her to butt out permanently or should I just quit her? — SMOKING MAD BEAU

The real question is whether smoking is a deal-breaker for you or not.  She may not quit. Can you accept that? Quitting will be very difficult and may take a long time. Are you willing to invest in this time? The challenge is that you have sent mixed messages by sticking with her for three years. That makes it also very difficult for you to leave her because presumably you are in love enough to stay with her, smoke and all.

The Rules of Connection state:

–       Connection with a partner starts with connection to ones self

–       Trust, Honesty, and Communication are cornerstones to long-term relationships

–       Do all you can to support someone you love, but know when it is time to let go

First, communicate your major concerns here, but also admit your own fault for allowing your relationship to go this far. Ask for the lying to stop and to commit to quitting. Second, come up with a strategic quitting plan that works for her and then support her as much as possible to succeed.  You both have to set a deadline that is reasonable.

Once the deadline hits, you need to make the tough decision. You should take into account if there is any other compromise that will work for you.  You should consider how this will affect your relationship.  Lastly, consider what your true feelings for her are as a whole person.  You have made it this far and smoking is only one part of her.

At the very least, tell her to stop the lies. She is a smoker. A non-smoker’s nose always knows.

Bobby Umar is a motivational speaker and coach who specializes in maximizing the power of connection.   He lives in Toronto with his wife and two wonderful kids.  See Bobby’s TEDx talk on the 5 C’s of Connection hereDo you have a relationship question for Bobby?  Email him at or find us on Twitter @amillionmatches, @raehanbobby.



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15 Responses to “Relationship Corner with Bobby Umar: Smoking Mad Beau”

  1. You have to have some understanding for the girl and guy. Love covers a multitude of sins…

  2. I I too am about to quit smoking and am grappling with how I will handle the cravings. My husband quit cold turkey 3 weeks ago and he doesn’t seem to have the cravings.What I plan on doing is changing those things I associated with smoking. I am an early riser and have coffee and a smoke first thing. I will have to dis-associate the smoking with my coffee .and I figure what I will do is instead of getting up and having my coffee and smoke, I will instead go for an early morning walk (after all I am so dreading gaining any weight from quitting smoking). The other thing I do is smoke like a chimney in my vehicle. I will have to not do that and instead keep some sugarless gum in the car and every time I get the urge, reach for the gum.We don’t smoke in the house and I will just dump the ashtrays we have outside and I will also keep healthy snacks around the house and find a new vice .hopefully something healthy. But my husband said he doesn’t crave smoking like he thought and what he noticed is he started feeling better within two weeks .he could breath better, he could smell better and he could sleep better. And we kiss better too 😉

  3. longchamp says:

    He’s totally NOT right. He gave her the wrong impression.

    • Thanks for your comment. You are correct that he gave her the wrong impression. Despite this he should still admit to it. This is why I said that he should “Admit his own fault”. Often we hold things we feel in the hope that it will not become an issue later. That was his mistake. But if he truly was not able to rectify it in his heart, he should be open with his heart to his other heart (the love of his life). All the best!

  4. ngyqiib says:

    He’s totally right.

    • Innocent says:

      1. Always keep your mouth busy; for example, chew sureglass gum or suck on hard candy. The new Trident brand has a calcium substitute in it and so it’s good for your teeth at the same time.2. Avoid environments where you know there will be smokers (lounges, certain spots outside your workplace, bars with smoking allowed, etc.) as this may trigger your craving.3. Avoid hanging around people (even friends) who smoke as you don’t need the influence or peer pressure.4. Try a prescription medication call Chantix which helps to block nicotine receptors.5. Try Nictotine patches or gum.6. When you get a craving, try to distract yourself with something healthy in which you couldn’t smoke a cigarette, such as running.7. Stay away from locations (certain cash registers for example) that sell cigarettes.8. Take all the money you WOULD have spent on cigarettes and place it in a clear, sealable jar. For example, if you smoke a pack a day, how much does 6/day add up to? A whole lotta money you can use to reward yourself (go shopping for shoes!) You’ll be suprised how you could ever have spent so much money.9. Volunteer at a hospital and visit patients who are dying of lung cancer after smoking for 40 years.10. Google images of what your lungs look like after smoking a certain period of time AND what they COULD look like if you stopped smoking (if you stop early enough you can sometimes reverse the damage).11. Think about your children (if you have them) and/or the loved ones you have around you. Second-hand smoke can be more toxic and lethal than what you’re doing to your own body. Do it not only for yourself, but for others.12. Watch Truth commercials on television.13. Try breathing thru a straw. This is what your life will be like if you don’t stop.14. Seek therapy. Is there an underlying reason to why you’re smoking. Is it slow suicide? Do you not value your body (low self esteem)? Is it because your mother or father smoked?15. Avoid activities where smoking played a role; for example, drinks with friends at least temporarily until you’ve gained enough confidence in yourself to kick the habit.16. Take a look at your nails and teeth how discolored and smelly they are. Visualize a goal to change this by looking at and posting up pictures of healthy teeth and nails you can do this, you can be beautiful again.17. Get rid of the cigarette smell. Wash and clean everything that might have that smell embedded in it as the smell alone could be triggering.18. Repeat a self-confirming mantra. I CAN beat this habit. I CAN do this. I CAN quit smoking. Many people have done this before and I AM a strong person.19. Call a quit smoking hotline for advice, support, and help.20. Confide your wishes to stop smoking in your loved ones and friends. Have them offer support and encouragement.21. Mark a calender keep track of how long it’s been since you stopped smoking reward yourself for this!22. Make small, attainable goals. Goal 1, stop smoking for one week. Once that’s reached, Goal 2, stop smoking for two weeks, and so on.23. Try to stop cold turkey. This works well for some people.24. Taper yourself off slowly. Perhaps cut back on your smoking by one less cigarette a day.

      • Wow! What an awesome list! Lots of nuggets there. I would also say to take baby steps if you find all the steps daunting. Every step in the right direction gets you to the right goal.

  5. black hat says:

    Hello There. Smoking would be a dealbreaker for me from the beginning. Maybe he is tired of his relationship and thats why hes worried about smoking all of a sudden. 3 years is a long tie to decide you cant deal with her smoking.

    • Good point. Bobby writes via Twitter @raehanbobby: “I’ve always said smoking is a dealbreaker for me too, but it’s complicated if you’re in 3 yrs and in love”

    • I was a pack a day smoker until 25 years ago when I quit cold tukrey and it wasn’t hard at all.FIrst of all, I had stopped saying I should stop smoking while I continued to puff. It was pitiful. But when I reached a point in my life when I had an epiphany that I had been smoking for half my life.Half my life!! But if I stopped then it would be less than half, and less with every year I stayed smoke free. Something about that really resonated with me and I suddenly really truly WANTED TO STOP.I wished that I had a cold because that would make it easier and wouldn’t you know I woke up the next morning with a sore throat! I didn’t actually have a cold, but I did have a sore throat for two psychosomatic days and that got me started on my cigarette fast.I also put the $ I would have wasted on cigs in a jar and watched it accumulate (and calculated how much I had wasted and what I could have done with it!) I also bought a few Tootsiepops. It’s something akin to cigs goes in the mouth, is held in the hand, can be gestured with.I also cleaned all my clothes and soon I had my sense of smell back. And then I got a whiff of a smoker. Ewww!! Is that how I had reeked???Stick with it. You can do it!!

  6. mucksgjrz says:

    Very good, very useful to me, Thank you very much post.

  7. That’s a nice post.we will come back again.

    • Fadekemi says:

      My boyfriend has been smnikog for 30+ years and he keeps saying he wants to quit. He has tried a couple of times and managed to go with cigarettes for two days once when I still lived out of state from him. The other day he said he was sick of all the crap that smnikog did, like costing extra and making him cough, and that he really was going to quit.I want to help him do this but I am not sure how. The situation is a bit complicated too. On one hand we live together so when he is home I can really help him. On the other hand he works Mon-Fri as a programmer at least 8 hours a day. Almost all of his co-workers smoke from what I have heard of the office stories.I heard that there was some trick to show how much you smoke a day. I think it was putting gumballs in a jar for each cigarette you smoke and trying to get it to less and less gumballs every day. Anyone else heard of something like this?Also any other ideas about how I can help him at home and try to help keep him strong at work? I do have a way to im him at work but I don’t want to be sending him stuff he would be embarrassed about if a co-worker saw it. I know it has to be gradual so I am not looking for a magic fix. Please help me help him.One more thing, he had a bad reaction when he tried the nicotine patch so that is a no no.He said that when he put on the patch his arm got all red and swollen. This was several years before we started dating but it is strange that he would have a reaction to it since you say it is the same drug as cigarettes. I will try to talk to him about it.

      • Hi – thank you for the comment. I’d suggest seeking out an addiction counselor to get some advice on how to help your boyfriend. An expert would have the best advice!

    • I had a gf who smoked and I got used to it because I was in love with her and even though I wished she quit, I was not going to walk away from the relationship over it. Relationships that are good ones are hard to find! And expensive…nudge nudge

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