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Today marks the 4 month anniversary of Kevin and I and I could be happier.

Yes you read right, that is not a typo. I could be happier.

There are two matters that started off as small issues, but as time has progressed, so the issues have mushroomed.

The first thing is Kevin’s smoking.

One of the reasons I was hesitant in dating him in the first place was this filthy habit, and my reasons are threefold.

Firstly I’ve had to watch two parents die due to smoking related illnesses. First my stepfather’s colon cancer and subsequent pneumonia six years ago; and the most recent demise of Mother Dearest from emphysema.

At least my SF passed quickly – two weeks after being diagnosed, he refused life support and he quietly and without fuss took his last breath whilst I held his hand. MD wasn’t as lucky, and suffered for years, losing all human dignity in the process.

So is it selfish of me not to ever wanting to witness and experience such avoidable losses of loved ones again?

It’s not to say that cancer or other illness wouldn’t ever befall my Love, but puffing on those cigarettes is a certain way to invite disease and to be quite honest, I’m still traumatized at MD’s passing and have an increased hatred for cigarettes for taking her.

Have I mentioned that Love’s mother also suffers with emphysema and is permanently on oxygen? So really, he should know better.

Oh and he has been sick for over a month now with a bad chest infection and when he commented that I no longer fall asleep lying on his chest, he took offense that I said I felt like I was in bed with an 80-year-old man  – that’s how bad his chest rattles and wheezes. Not sexy.

When we first met, I did advise Kevin of my disapproval and he assured me that he was going to quit, soon. Further into our relationship I let him know that I would not make a formal commitment to him for as long as he was still smoking. Whilst on our Promise Holiday he did stop smoking, and so I didn’t hesitate in accepting his ring and committing myself deeper to our relationship.

However, minutes upon returning to Jo’burg, he was back on the nicotine. Naturally this left me livid, but I tried to be the understanding girlfriend / almost-fiance that I am, and I got him the Allen Carr’s Easy Way to Stop Smoking e-book.

He started reading it, got through a few pages and then quit. Reading that is.

I recently motivating him to start reading again, giving up time that we could have spent together, but realizing the importance of our sacrifice in the long run.

Two days and later and with a mere 10 pages to go, he quit again.

I’m no longer as tolerant as I was previously, and I now view his inability to quit, or to even finish the book as a sign as weakness. Now before all the smoker’s jump on the band wagon with cries of how difficult it is to quit, let me remind you all that I smoked a pack a day for 25 years and yet still managed to extinguish my last Blue Ice without looking back – so it can be done.

So for me to alter my view of Love from the strong man he is [physically there is no denying his strength], to doubting his strength of character does not bode well for our relationship, as I do not want him categorized with my feeble-minded ex’s who really were worthy of their lowly status.

And then there’s the issue of the smell and the taste. I love kissing my man, but I do not enjoy the taste of Peter Stuyvesant and after a major make-out session, I feel like I’ve had a ciggie or two myself.

As for him getting out of bed in the middle of the night for a smoke outside, and then shepherding the fumes under the covers when he returns – well I don’t know how much longer I can bear it. Even though he doesn’t smoke inside my house, my bedding reeks of the smoke.

I have tried hinting that he brush his teeth more often, as it does help [but not eradicate] the taste, but short of him brushing after every cigarette I don’t know how to solve this aspect of my issues with him smoking.

So there’s the health issue, the fact that my opinion of him is waning; and my personal distaste – quite literally.

I don’t know what more to do, as the motivation to quit needs to come from within him  and I’m also tiring of sounding like a nagging fish wife.

I love Kevin, but I hate his disgusting habit.

However, you cannot force smokers to stop, and although all smokers secretly want to, until they are ready to do so a pact just creates additional pressure, which increases their desire to smoke. This turns them into secret smokers, which further increases the feeling of dependency.

Responsibility becomes stressful only when you don’t feel strong enough to handle it.

The cigarette gets the credit for everything and the blame for nothing.

The main reason that smokers find it difficult to quit is that they believe that they are giving up a genuine pleasure or crutch. It is absolutely essential to understand that there is nothing to ‘give up’.

Quite simply, the key to being a happy non-smoker is to remove the desire to smoke. With no desire to smoke, it takes no Willpower not to do so.

Whenever you think about smoking you must see it as a lifetime’s chain of filth, disease, fear, misery and slavery.

♦ Quotes from Allen Carr ♦