DEAR ABBY: My husband, "Fred," lost a lung to cancer 14 years ago due to smoking. He is one of the lucky ones to survive a deadly cancer.
Even though he has only one lung, he continues to smoke "secretly." I have begged, offered in-house treatment, anything to get him to stop, to no avail. What is troublesome is that Fred is in denial. For the last several weeks, he has blamed his coughing and wheezing on "allergies." He also chews nicotine gum nonstop. It's expensive, but he uses it to get his nicotine fix when he's around me, our family and friends.
I am angry, frustrated and sad that Fred has chosen cigarettes over having a chance to live, enjoy his grandchildren and grow old with me. Sometimes I think he doesn't deserve to still be on this earth because he disregards his health after nearly dying from complications after his lung surgery.
Fred is loving, warm, caring and intelligent -- except when it comes to his health. What can I do short of leaving him? -- MISERABLE IN MINNESOTA
DEAR MISERABLE: There is nothing more you can do. Your husband is hopelessly addicted to nicotine and he's incapable of getting away from it.
I doubt you are serious about leaving him, and I wouldn't suggest it anyway. Try to enjoy the time you have with him, and understand that many smokers go to their graves begging for cigarettes while on their deathbeds. It's not that he doesn't love you or that he loves his cigarettes more. He's hooked.