Last night when Jeff came home from work he came into the schoolroom where I was working, sat down across from me, and waited patiently for me to look up. When I did he said, “I smoked a cigarette today.”
The decision to quit smoking was his alone. I did not ask him to quit, nor did I ever nag him to quit smoking. I didn’t want to be THAT wife. However, I completely supported his decision because 1) he is my favorite person in the world, and I want a long life with him and 2) on average smokers die 10 years earlier than nonsmokers.
As you can imagine, a number of thoughts fired through my head, but what first came out my mouth was, “Why?”
He responded that he was imploding and needed something to take the edge off.
I’m not particularly proud of my next statement, which was, “Do you realize this means you’re starting all over again?”
It wasn’t until I saw his facial expression that I realized it was the wrong thing to say. He waited for this truth to set in, knowing if he gave me a minute I would see it. This method of communication is one of the reasons arguments simply don’t last that long between us anymore.
“That’s all or nothing thinking” he said. “I am NOT starting over. I smoked one cigarette.”