Annie Lane: My wife’s vaping drives me up the wall

Published 5:46 pm Friday, December 10, 2021

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Dear Annie: My husband works with a guy, “Dave.” I met Dave’s girlfriend, “Julie,” last summer, and she’s a sweet, earnest, trusting person. She and I became friends, and we text and meet for coffee when we can.

Dave has been really unkind to her in public (my husband witnessed this a few times), and he’s said some shockingly cruel things to her. She finally broke up with him a few weeks ago but, being a sensitive and romantic soul, is feeling torn and wistful.

My husband tells me that Dave has been bragging at work about hooking up with girls all over town and also with Julie because “she was available.” He also said he hates condoms and doesn’t use protection. I’m concerned for my friend’s safety. If Dave reaches out to her and wants to reconnect, she’ll possibly be open to it again and won’t realize he’s putting her at risk.

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Should I tell her about his behavior? She’ll be hurt, and it will certainly cause drama and make things awkward for my husband at work. Maybe Dave and Julie have cut all contact now. On the other hand, she knows him better than she knows me. What do you think? None of my business? Or is it wrong to stay silent?

  No Drama Mama

Dear No Drama: Although it’s a new friendship, I’d say your relationship with Julie trumps the one your husband has with a schmuck of a co-worker like Dave. And if it involves a potential risk to her personal health —  information Dave likely will not volunteer if they do rekindle a relationship —  Julie should know one way or the other.

Gently let Julie know the gist of what you’ve heard. (Fewer gory details means less risk of trouble at work for your husband.) With this new information, Julie can make a more informed decision about Dave. And if she decides he’s history, you may have been what saved her from more headaches, heartache or worse.

• • •

Dear Annie: I stopped smoking cigarettes completely in 2014. My wife eventually did the same, however, she picked up one nasty, terrible habit: vaping.

I cannot stand the smell of it. It drives me crazy, yet she continues to smoke around me in the house. I turn the fans on when she does, but it still inundates the room, and she doesn’t have enough respect not to smoke in the house.

If she were smoking cigarettes, she wouldn’t do so in the house, so why is vaping any different? I think it shows great disrespect by not honoring my request.

  Smokeless Spouse

Dear Smokeless: Kudos to you for kicking the nicotine; as for your wife, she’s traded one bad habit for another.

What she does all alone by herself is one thing, but in common spaces, she has to compromise with everyone else. If she insists on continuing to vape, she has to do so where others won’t be bothered by it. Just as you can’t make her stop vaping, she can’t make you comfortable with something you’re not.

Though it’s not the same as smoking, vaping comes with health risks of its own, and your wife should be aware of them. If she wants to put her own health at risk, that’s up to her, but when it comes to that of her loved ones, she has to understand and respect their desire to escape the vape.

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