There was a woman who often scolded her husband for smoking. Once, they were at a restaurant with some friends. A friend offered the husband a cigarette. The wife immediately snatched the cigarette away. The husband felt disrespected by the wife’s forceful attitude, and he smoked even more.
There was another couple where the wife was urging her husband to quit smoking. She thought of her husband’s health and their child’s future, and she lamented at the thought that her husband might get lung cancer in the future. She told her husband, “Look at our son. He’s so small and cute. I hope you will take your health seriously because your health is our family’s treasure.” The husband understood his wife’s implied message, and felt appreciated and valued. He agreed that he should try to quit smoking.
This wife not only used a warm manner to urge her husband to quit smoking, she tried to give him some methods to quit. First, she went out and bought lots of sunflower seeds since her husband likes to eat them when relaxing or chatting with friends. She told him, “Whenever you have the urge to smoke, start cracking open some sunflower seeds to eat. I got lots for you.” The husband tried it, but after a while, he couldn’t restrain himself and started smoking again. The wife’s first attempt failed.
She thought perhaps cheap sunflower seeds didn’t create much of an emotional response in her husband, so the second time, she decided to go for some good quality chocolate. She hoped that the cost and quality of the chocolate would communicate her love and help the husband quit. She told him, “Whenever you have the urge to smoke, eat some of this good quality chocolate. I got lots for you.” It worked for a while, but again, the husband eventually returned to smoking.
One day, a friend came over. He sat down and offered her husband a cigarette. The wife quickly walked over and used a warm tone of voice and said to the friend, “Please forgive me, but I’ve been trying to help my husband quit smoking. I got him to eat sunflower seeds, and that worked for a while, but eventually stopped working. Then I got him to eat chocolate, and that worked for a while, but eventually stopped working. I already spent a lot of time and money in this effort, so please support me!”
The friend felt guilty for ruining the wife’s hard efforts. The husband also felt respected and loved, so he continued to work hard to quit smoking.
Originally published at https://www.weeklywisdomblog.com on April 15, 2021.