5 Ways smoking is damaging your marriage

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Listen up, moms and dads! Smoking is not just bad for your health; it could also harm your relationship with your spouse! Here's how.

We're all well aware that nothing good can come from smoking cigarettes. Not only does it increase your risk for health problems like heart disease and lung cancer, but did you know that smoking's ill effects can extend to other aspects of life?

Yes, it can even affect your relationship with your spouse. How, exactly? Here are 5 ways.

1. It minimizes intimacy

If you've ever had a partner who smokes, you'll know that the cigarette smell sticks to practically everything--to their clothes, hair, and skin. If your partner smokes indoors, the smell can cling to your furniture. This can create an unpleasant environment where you not only feel like you no longer want to hold your partner or spend time hanging out with them indoors.

2. You're putting them at risk

It's no secret that inhaling secondhand smoke poses serious health risks. Passive smoking involves inhaling two types of smoke--the smoke exhaled by the smoker and the smoke emitted by the burning end of a cigarette. Harmful toxins and chemicals make up this smoke, which can cause heart and lung disease, and even cancer.

photo: dreamstime

3. Poor sexual endurance

Being a smoker can affect your ability to perform well in bed, because it affects breathing and lung capacity. Struggling to breathe or needing breaks often during intercourse can leave you and your partner feeling frustrated and unsatisfied. In marriage, it can lead to a lackluster sex life and feelings of inadequacy.

4. Shorter lifespan

Smoking has been found to shorten a person's lifespan by at least 10 years. That's 10 less years to enjoy with your spouse and your kids. This alone can be enough motivation to quit, right?

5. Emotional disconnectedness

Having a spouse who smokes can make you feel undervalued. It could be sending the signal that a person doesn't really care about the future or their family. They ignore the long-term effects of this toxic habit, in exchange for instant, short-term gratification, regardless of the consequences.

So how can you help your spouse from stopping smoking? There's no surefire way for smokers to kick the habit. It can be done through one or a series of attempts. They can go 'cold turkey' or stop the habit instantly, or they can do so gradually, limiting the number of sticks they smoke per day until they reach zero.

Whatever works, keep at it. Be patient and reassure your partner that you're there for them every step of the way.

sources: YourTango.com, New England Journal of Medicine, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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