The Sassy Housewife is a weekly advice column from Momaha.com. We will cover adventures in parenting, relationships and entertaining.
I was recently reading one of the questions you answered from “Burned Out Daughter.” I have the same problem, except it’s gotten to the point where I feel sick. My dad is 51, and I’m 16.
I used to hate that he smoked, but I could deal with it. He tried to stop a few times, and a few times he has succeeded for a while, but he always continues!
I know that it’s addicting and I know he’s trying to stop, but it doesn’t feel like it. My dad is the type to put himself before his children, and he’s lazy too. I want to love him, but his love for smoking has made me distrust him and hate him. Whenever he smokes, I feel like crying and my throat burns.
I don’t know what to do. I’ve always been his favorite child, but how can I return that love when something he’s doing — and doesn’t try to stop — is making me anxious, sick and depressed?
How heartbreaking to feel this way about your dad.
My dad was a smoker most of my life. He started smoking when he was 13. When I was a child, my siblings and I would always steal his cigarettes and leave him notes about how bad smoking was for him. We talked to him about how it scared us and how we wanted him to be around for our weddings and grandkids.
But still he kept smoking.
Yes, he tried quitting a few times, but he always ended up smoking again. It made us so angry with him. It wasn’t until a big health scare in the form of a brain aneurysm — and eventually brain surgery — that he finally got serious about quitting. He’s been smoke free now for almost two years. I know it’s still a daily struggle for him — and if you ask him, I think he’d say he would smoke if he could. But for him, being alive and enjoying his family, and not having to do brain surgery again, is worth more than any enjoyment he’d get out of smoking.
In your case, you just have to keep loving your dad. I know it’s hard to deal with the smoking; it’s a disgusting habit. But he’s your dad and he’s the only one you get. You don’t want to look back and regret these feelings and not spending any time with him because of smoking. If you don’t feel you can talk to him, write him a letter. Pour everything out into the letter and have him read it. Tell him how his smoking makes you anxious, sick and depressed. Just remember to be kind and respectful; he’s your father after all.
Quitting smoking is one of the hardest things to do — so he’s going to need lots of love, encouragement and support. Make sure you are there for him — no matter what.