Helping Your Spouse Quit Dip
There are few harder things in life than quitting nicotine. Most nicotine users have been using tobacco in one form or another since before they were 18 years old. For many, this is a long term habit. The best way for you to help your spouse quit dip is to remember that he or she is going through a difficult process and needs a supportive, patient partner.
Don’t play the pity card. Don’t ask him to quit for you. He has to make that decision himself. You can support his decisions, but you can’t force him to quit dip. Reminding him that you want him to quit may only lead to resentment.
Don’t nag him, especially during the first days of quitting dip. He is going to be on edge. He won’t be able to think straight. Listen to his complaints, but don’t push the issue. If you’re constantly reminding him about dip (even if it’s positive reinforcement), he’s going to have an even harder time quitting. If he looks like he’s backsliding, try to get him to focus on something else.
Stock the shelves with gums, hard candies, and sunflower seeds. These will help him find an alternative to smokeless tobacco to use in the first few weeks. Don’t mention how much he’s eating, as this is a side effect of nicotine withdrawal and usually subsides within a few weeks.
Be patient. Your husband is going to be cranky. He’s going to be frustrated. He will need a person to vent these feelings to. Most likely, that person is you. The first 72 hours are especially difficult. He won’t be thinking normally. Take what he says with a grain of salt. Remember that his body is going through a rough time. His ability to quit dip will be more successful if you don’t react and further his frustration.
Keep a “safe” distance. You want to be supportive during these rough days, but you don’t want to smother him. Instead of constantly asking him how he is doing, let him come to you. It’s also a good idea to let the kids sleep over at a friend’s house or pack them off to grandma’s for the weekend if you can. You understand what he’s going through, but little kids won’t. And you don’t want to deal with a crabby husband and a crying child.
Most importantly, be flexible. Everyone is different, and everyone will react to nicotine withdrawal in different ways. Some men may want to be alone in bed for the weekend; others may want to be surrounded by family and friends to take their mind of off dipping. There’s no way to tell exactly what to expect, so take things day by day.
Help Him Quit Dip with Outside Support
Sometimes, your spouse will need extra outside support. While you shouldn’t pressure him to seek extra help, you can be prepared with a list of alternatives if he seems to be faltering.
Find someone who has quit dip recently for him to talk to. It’s always easier to go through a rough time with someone who has been there before. You can sympathize with his experiences, but you won’t always be able to understand completely. Having a friend who has quit dip as well will give him someone to support him, show him that quitting is possible, and take some of the pressure off of you.
Have him set up a visit with the doctor. A physician can enumerate the reasons why quitting dip is important. He or she can also help you and your spouse devise an alternative plan if necessary. There are nicotine replacement therapies and prescriptions available if needed.
Look for local or online support groups that focus on quitting dip. There are plenty of resources for ex-smokers, but there’s also plenty of support for smokeless tobacco users as well. As much as you can tell your husband about the how important it is for him to quit dip, sometimes it’s better for him to hear it from his peers.