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The Cardinal Rules to VYM Relationships

Slimv

New member
Just do the right thing but do it nicely

Hi Sharon,
I don't blame you for being upset about your boyfriend smoking and I think you did the right thing by not confronting him while you while you were angry. In a perfect world, it would be wonderful if you quit, because it would set a good example for your boyfriend, and it would be great for your health. However, this isn't a perfect world, because cigarettes are designed and manufactured to be addictive, and if you're anything like my wife, you may not be able to quit. Anyway, this really isn't about you quitting. It's about your boyfriend not starting. And people shouldn't make it about you.

You are 53 years old and there is nothing wrong with you smoking because smoking is an adult habit and you're an adult. I don't want to insult you or him, but an 18 year old boy who steals and sneaks "Virginia Slims" from his adult girlfriend is not a grown man. I know you don't want to hurt his feelings and I can appreciate that, but this ranks high on the scale of things. If you do the right thing, there is no way to avoid hurting his feelings. The best you can do is to be as nice as possible about it, while still being firm. I was his age once and I guarantee you that he doesn't think of himself as your equal or peer. You're the older partner and he respects you and looks up to you. If I were you, I'd handle it the same way you are handling alcohol. If he still wants to drink and/or smoke after he turns 21, then so be it. Three years is a lot of time to grow up.

I know your boyfriend did a stupid thing, but try not to be angry with him. If I had married my wife when I was 18 instead of 45, I'm sure I would have done the same thing.
 

sharon1963

New member
Good advice

Thanks again, Slim. You've been so nice to me since I got here. And once again, I feel better after reading one of your messages. By the way, I've read all of your posts about you and your wife and I think she is one lucky lady. The two of you sound so happy together.

I wish I could quit smoking. I've tried everything: Hypnosis, Chantix, Allen Carr, Cold Turkey, Gum, Lozenges…you name it and I've probably tried it.

I've calmed down a lot since I first wrote the post, but I'm still bothered. I counted the cigarettes left in the pack on Friday night and have been checking on them ever since. It looks like he's smoking about two cigarettes a day. I don't even know if he's inhaling, but the good news is that he can't be hooked yet, so I know i caught it early, thank God!

I've decided to take your advice and talk to him after dinner. You're right. This isn't about me. It's about him.


Thanks for everything,
Sharon
 

fiorinda

New member
Hi Sharon, and welcome to AL. firstly.

And secondly, Wow!! That sounded just like what I'd have said when my SON was 18 if I'd found some of my cigarettes in his pocket (if I'd still been a smoker when he was 18, which I wasn't).

You want to have an adult relationship with this guy, and you're a smoker yourself, but you're freaking out because he's chosen to smoke. I'd be more pissed off that he had taken my cigarettes without asking, and also concerned that he was sneaking them and smoking in secret like a child.

I also find the not allowing him to drink alcohol thing weird too, but I'm English and 18 is the legal age to be able to go into pubs and bars and drink alcohol here, also to buy it, and I'm not even sure if there is an age limit on drinking in your own home - probably is but it'll be something like 14. I believe 14 year olds are allowed a glass of cider or similar with a meal in a restaurant here in the UK. And of course in Europe it's perfectly acceptable for even young children to have watered down wine with their meals.

I do understand that you don't want him doing anything illegal in your home (so you probably wouldn't allow drug taking either, by him or by anyone else). But if smoking at 18 is legal, and you smoke yourself, what can you really, honestly say about it? 'Buy your own' would be one thing. Preferable would be 'please don't start smoking and will you support me while I give up?'

Have you any idea how disgusting a smoker's breath is to a non-smoker? I smoked for well over 25 years. I gave up about 12 years ago and I have never regretted it for a second. I hate it when smokers breathe near me now, sharing the lift at work with one is gross.

I found giving up to be really very easy, even after all that time. I used nicotine patches. I wish I'd known how easy it was going to be, I'd have done it years before. I think the key is really wanting to do it.

Best thing you can do to stop your boyfriend becoming a smoker is to give up yourself.
 

sharon1963

New member
Hi Fiorinda. Thanks for the welcome both here and on the introduction page. Congratulations to you for finding happiness with your VYM who dropped the V. I think it's wonderful that the two of you are climbing over the age gap hurdles. I hope I can do the same with my VYM. I also want to congratulate on giving up smoking. That's impressive when you consider that you smoked for 25 years. For me, it’s been a 40 year love/hate relationship.
I appreciate your input into my problem. I did have the "Talk" with Derrick about not smoking before I saw your post and it did not go very. He was very embarrassed that I found the cigarettes in his jacket pocket and you were right about me treating him more like a son than a boyfriend.

I do understand where you're coming from about the "adult relationship" and it's a mixed bag. On one hand, he's not old enough to have a drink with me at dinner, but he is old enough to have sex with me, but I don't see him as being grown up enough to share a cigarette with me after we make love. It does sound silly from your perspective. Of course you live in the UK and I live in the good old U.S, where society is much more Puritan. The last thing I need is for his mother tell the cops that he’s drinking at my house.
I agree with what you said about most nonsmokers being repulsed by smokers. As odd as this may sound, Derrick actually likes it that I smoke and he loves kissing me. He says I look "Glamorous and Sophisticated" when I smoke and he thinks it's "Sexy" the way I hold my cigarettes. Weird, huh? As for the smell, he says it doesn't bother him because both of his parents smoke. At home, he lights my cigarettes for me and cuddles with me while I smoke. I’m not saying I understand it, but I do enjoy the attention and the affection without the criticism.
As I was saying, I’m rethinking my position on this. The more I think about it, the more I think you’re right. Maybe his starting wouldn’t be such a bad thing. After all, it’s not like I’m babysitting him. We’re working toward a future together that includes marriage. It’s just important to me that he doesn’t hide it, because it will eventually come out if he does, and that would make me look bad, especially with his mother.
Thanks for helping me a take a second look at this Fiorinda.
 

Slimv

New member
A different take on this

I don't know Sharon. To me, this is a lot like getting a tattoo. Getting something you want as a teenager might not be the same thing you would want as an adult, but you have to live with the decision you made a teen. Only time will tell. And then again, there's the philosophy of living in the present rather than living for the future. It's challenging to make life changing decisions based on cliché's.

I know you are going to do whatever it is you're going to do and you're looking for support to rationalize your decision either way. It's obvious to me that you really do love Derrick and that you want to have a future with him, and that future will start with the present.

Your last post shed more light on the situation than just saying you found a pack of cigarettes in his pocket. From what you described, this is much deeper than a curious teenager wanting to "experiment" with cigarettes. It sounds like your boyfriend has a fetish for older women who smoke. And before you jump to conclusions, I don't think fetishes are a bad thing. I might not like the word, fetish, but I think it's fair to say I have a fetish for older women, because I've never been attracted to women my own age. I truly believe that if we're honest with ourselves, most of us on this site have a fetish for younger or older partners. And from what you wrote in your last post, it sounds like your boyfriend really thinks you're sexy when you smoke, so yes, I'd say he has a smoking fetish.

I could go on with my thoughts, but I'm afraid I might have said too much as it is. I don't want to offend or scare you about your relationship. The good thing is that it sounds like he loves you unconditionally the way you are, and that's a wonderful thing. And finally, if you do decide to give him your blessing to smoke, I agree with what you said about insisting that he do it openly and not hide it from his family and friends. Good luck to you and I look forward to hearing how it works out. I really do wish the two of you my best.
 

Ellethe

Ex-Marcy'd
Your boyfriend isn't your kid. He's someone else's child. Would you lecture someone you were dating that was 60 about smoking, particularly if you smoked yourself? Ignoring your partner's adulthood and failing to respect his choices, as you would like yours respected, is the absolute death knell of these relationships. It is so darn difficult to not "help" a very young partner make choices. We've lived longer. However, even more so than your own children, your partner needs to learn his own way. If you don't want to be cast as a parental figure, than don't ever put yourself in that role.

I met my husband when he was 18 and I was 36. We have been married now for 11 years. We enjoy a fairly wide circle of friends and the enthusiastic support of both our families.

Your partner's age shouldn't affect how you treat him as a partner, and if it does, then don't be surprised if everyone around you does the same. My advice may have seemed flippant, but the point is this. Role modeling is the only way you can or SHOULD influence your boyfriend's decisions. Would you date another smoker, your current boyfriend aside? If the answer to that is yes, then you aren't really respecting him.
 

sharon1963

New member
Think I did the right (but sad) thing.

Thanks to the women for the input and insight you've given me. It was the next best thing to having an instruction booklet for a VYM. And thank you Slim for your guy's perspective on what makes Derrick tick about his attraction to my smoking.

I had the "Revised" talk with Derrick last night about his wanting to start smoking. I basically gave him my blessing along with a pack of Marlboros (because I didn't think it would be a good idea to give him a pack of my Virginia Slims). And by the way, that was the first and last pack I will buy for him. If he's adult enough to smoke then he's adult enough to buy his own.

I know I did the right thing, because I do want him to grow and mature into our relationship. However, I don't feel good about it. I guess those feelings go along with the territory. I'm just saying that I take no joy in seeing him repeat my mistakes.

He was thrilled and excited to get my blessing. However, he wasn't pleased with the conditions I laid down. I told him that he can't sneak or be closeted about it and that he has to smoke in front of his family and friends. But that is his problem, not mine.

Hopefully, I'll get used to this. Right now, it just looks out of place on him. I know this is a huge mile stone for him. I remember how excited I was when my parents gave me their permission to smoke in public when I turned 13. I also remember how sad they were…and now I know why.
 
G

gorillagirl

Guest
" Maybe his starting wouldn’t be such a bad thing." Really? How about the money it costs to buy cigarettes? How about supporting the evil corporations that produce cigs? How about the environmental impact of cigarettes (air pollution, cigarette butts)...oh, and then cancer. Yes, him starting is a very bad thing. Add up every penny you've spent on cigs over the last 40 years. You'll be horrified. But he's an adult and it's his finances and health to ruin.

(I did this for a friend once. She and her hubby smoked a pack a day for 30 years...here's the math...assuming cigs averaged $4/pack over the 30 years....they were $2 and now they $6 or however much, I don't really know. Let's assume $4.00 a pack per person for 30 years): 4/pack x 2 persons=8.00 per person per day x 365 days= $2920/year x 10 years= 29200..$87,600 in 30 years....and my friend wonders why they never could afford to buy a house or condo. How much do cigs cost now? $6/pack? 6 x 2 (both of you)=12/day x 30 years= $131k !!!! and then there's the cost of cancer treatment....
 

theREALTrish

New member
In my opinion, he's decided to start smoking because he thinks it will make him look older and, maybe, sophisticated. I just turned 63 the other day, and when I was 18, and starting my "adult" life, I tried smoking. Thank goodness I couldn't stand it. When I inhaled, I choked and coughed like crazy. When I didn't inhale, the smoke came out of my mouth in a huge puff in front of my face. I came from a family of smokers but I decided it wasn't cool at all. So, after having the same pack for over a week, I gave it up. That was, probably, one of the best decisions of my life. My father quit and he still died of lung cancer 30 years after giving it up.

Why on earth would you encourage him by buying him a pack of cigarettes? Talking to him about it was one thing. Actually buying the **** things is quite another. No, you didn't do the right thing.
 

degausser

New member
Surely there must be a happy medium between treating him like a child and actually "giving him your blessing" to start smoking? Like "I hope you don't make the same decision I did because I wish I'd never started. But also I'm not your mom and have no right to be mad at you for smoking when I also smoke."
 

fiorinda

New member
Agreed GG, Trish and Degausser. Smoking is stupid, expensive and seriously bad for you and everyone around you. It is so far away from being cool it couldn't get much further. Just give up. There's really no rational defence for it. And your 'partner' really shouldn't need to have your blessing to do something you do. The fact he was excited by it makes me question whether he's really mature enough for this relationship.
 

Slimv

New member
Keep your chin up

Sorry Sharon. Judging by the responses, you have landed in the middle of a "Damned if you do and Damned if you don't" situation. I was firmly on the "Don't" side when you first brought up the problem, but have since changed my opinion for several reasons.

1) He is 18 and he's not doing anything illegal.
2) If your relationship is going to last, you need to start treating him more like an adult than a child.
3) Unless he's been living in a cave for the last 18 years, he's making an informed decision, albeit a unpopular one.
4) He wants to smoke and he is going to smoke, so you might as well embrace it and make the best of it, which is what I do with my wife who smokes.

This is what it is, so you can either make the best or the worst out of it, and it appears to me that you are trying to make the best out of it. At this point, the best question is: Are both of you happy?
 

sharon1963

New member
Yes, we are happy

This is what it is, so you can either make the best or the worst out of it, and it appears to me that you are trying to make the best out of it. At this point, the best question is: Are both of you happy?

Thanks Slim. It's more complicated than a yes or no answer, but since you asked, yes, we are both happy. And for what it's worth, you were right about Derrick having a smoking fetish. At first he was embarrassed to talk about it, but he eventually opened up and it is mind boggling. I had no idea a guy could think a woman is sexy when she smokes. But he does and it really explains a lot.

Unfortunately, he hasn't lived up to his promise to be up front with his family and friends about his smoking. We attended Easter at his grandmother's and he kept his cigarettes firmly hidden in his pants pocket. I didn't make an issue out of it until we got home. It's a busy morning, so I have to get ready for church.
 

fiorinda

New member
Unfortunately, he hasn't lived up to his promise to be up front with his family and friends about his smoking. We attended Easter at his grandmother's and he kept his cigarettes firmly hidden in his pants pocket. I didn't make an issue out of it until we got home. It's a busy morning, so I have to get ready for church.

Surely this needs to be his choice to make. You've told him how you feel about this, but he has to make this decision for himself. I was 31 before I told my mother I smoked! Do you want him to be an adult in your relationship or not? If you do, then stop telling him how to live his life!
 

degausser

New member
I think you really need to take a step back and just let him make his own decisions. He is an adult. There is absolutely no reason why he needs to tell anyone he smokes if he doesn't want to.
 
T

truckman

Guest
I think the bottom lie of all of this is you need to decide whether you are dating a grown-up or being a mother to a kid, and I don't mean that to sound as prickish as it's probably coming off. I sense you might be flipping back and forth and if I'm right, I can almost guarantee it won't work out for either of you.

I went through a little of that early on when I met my VYW in 2010 - she turned 20 just before we met, and I was in my 40's, a single father, a business owner, totally in a different life-place. It took me a few rounds of accidental fathering to get it and pay attention to it. I'm glad I did because here we are in 2016 and we're still going strong.
 

sharon1963

New member
So, it's good to hide things?

I didn’t get to finish the update because I had to go to church. So I guess there is nothing wrong with Derrick promising that he would be open about his smoking and then breaking that promise when we were with his family on Easter? It’s not as if most of the adults in his family don’t smoke (parents, grandmother, aunts). He wasted a good opportunity to get this behind him. And something hidden always gets bigger and worse the longer it is hidden. Because things always come out eventually.

On another note, Derrick reconnected with his parents at parents during Easter and now they are talking to him and they’re talking to me. This is wonderful! But it’s not going to be so wonderful a year from now when they find out their son is smoking, because they’re going to blame me.

What does hiding solve? If you’re hiding something, you’re still doing it.
 
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truckman

Guest
So I guess there is nothing wrong with Derrick promising that he would be open about his smoking and then breaking that promise when we were with his family on Easter?

I didn't see anyone say that it is.

because they’re going to blame me.

Um, probably not. Deep inside, at a very subconscious level, you blame you which is why you are projecting this fear preemptively.
 

theREALTrish

New member
I didn’t get to finish the update because I had to go to church. So I guess there is nothing wrong with Derrick promising that he would be open about his smoking and then breaking that promise when we were with his family on Easter? It’s not as if most of the adults in his family don’t smoke (parents, grandmother, aunts). He wasted a good opportunity to get this behind him. And something hidden always gets bigger and worse the longer it is hidden. Because things always come out eventually.

On another note, Derrick reconnected with his parents at parents during Easter and now they are talking to him and they’re talking to me. This is wonderful! But it’s not going to be so wonderful a year from now when they find out their son is smoking, because they’re going to blame me.

What does hiding solve? If you’re hiding something, you’re still doing it.

Are you dating this guy or trying to raise him? What would your reaction be if he was 48, instead of 18, and he took up smoking? He doesn't have to tell anyone.... family, friends, strangers, or even you, for that matter, that he's decided to smoke. What else is going to come up that you're going to feel that you need to correct him for, so that you aren't held responsible by anyone? Because, at 18, he's got a lot of growing up to do. If you don't lay off this, he's going to start resenting you, then bye bye relationship.
 
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