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Ask Dr Laura: Husbands who smoke, who drink

Dear Dr Laura: "My husband and I are extremely compatible. Before me married, though, he promised he would quit smoking and he did -- but he started again. I told him I would leave him because he broke the marital contract. I am highly allergic and a smoker smells of it all the time. What can we do?"

Answer: You had to have known that smoking is a ferociously difficult chemical addition to break. I'm sure you've seen the commercials with people smoking even after cancer surgery! You dated him for quite a while during his smoking days -- and your allergies didn't dissuade you from seeing him.

Have some rules (smoke outside only -- downwind) and air purifiers. Dear Dr Laura: "Do I tell my alcoholic husband that I have been attending Al-Anon meetings for a month and a half? He is in denial with his drinking."

Answer: Absolutely. As you leave the house for your very next meeting, say, "Honey, I'm going to an Al-Anon meeting -- and I'll be back at 9pm." When he says, "What"? and "Why"?, you need to respond, "Because, my beloved husband is an alcoholic who won't admit it and give me back the wonderful man I married. In Al-Anon, I am trying to learn to cope with that pain."

Do not argue about this -- just stay with that answer time and time again.

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