Whether it's your husband's smoking or nail biting, you do have influence over his bad habits. Helping him tackle them bit by bit and being his cheerleader will go a long way in helping him move on. Though it's impossible to expect change overnight, you can get the ball rolling. Here's how!
Bringing It Up
1. Address the habit. How many times have you found yourself playing with your hair or fidgeting without even knowing it? It's possible that your husband's bad habit is just as subconscious. Let him know that it bothers you. Does he even know he's doing it?
Of course, certain habits are more delicate than others. But you two are married for Pete's sake -- if you feel uncomfortable bringing it up with him, who would you feel comfortable talking about it with? As long as you're calm and gentle about it, he shouldn't get offended. A simple, "Hon, do you realize when you're chewing on your nails? It bothers me," will get the conversation going.
Show him the side effects of his bad habit and why you are asking him to quit it. Tell him how it's affecting your life and what result it will bring in the future. He may need a bit of convincing.
2. Identify the triggers and patterns. Bad habits don't just present themselves for no reason. Usually they're the result of either boredom or stress. Does your husband smoke like a chimney after work? Crack his knuckles during TV? Get to the why behind the habit. It's the only way you can really get it to stop.
If he claims not to know, you'll have to be super observant. Watch him at different times of the day, while he's doing different activities, and when he's displaying different types of emotion. What seems to be the reason for his habit?
3. Be compassionate and empathetic. We all have bad habits. Show him you understand how hard it is to break one and that you're not expecting a miracle overnight. Especially if it's something like eating less or working out -- that stuff is tough!
Don't make him feel like a child. The last thing your husband wants is to feel emasculated. Nagging won't get you anywhere. If anything, it'll get him riled up and more stubborn in his ways! Make sure it's a conversation and that both of you are listening.
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