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Hiding things from future inlaws

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luckystar112

Ideal_Rock
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Jan 8, 2007
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3,962
Soooooooo long. Wow. I''m sorry you guys, but I guess I really needed to vent!



Girls, I''ve gotten myself into a tailspin and along with my engagement fever I''ve been having nightmares, so I don''t know what to do.

Let me first start by saying that my boyfriend and I live in TX. His whole family lives in VA, and my whole family lives in ME, so we don''t see our families that often. We''ve been together for 3+ years and I''ve only been around his family 4 times--each time lasting about a week in length. I love them. They are the most generous, loving people in the world. However, I have kept hidden a couple of things about myself which I should have come clean about LONG ago.

I am a smoker. I know, it''s bad for me. I want to quit so bad. I even DID quit for 10 days when I went with his whole family to Italy, although I was chewing nicorette gum by the pack. I want to quit...I NEED to quit. My boyfriend wants to marry me, but doesn''t want the mother of his future children to be a smoker--which I TOTALLY understand. My smoking is not only affecting my health, but possibly my future engagement! (FTR, some would say he should want to marry me regardless, but smoking would put our future children in danger so I completely understand where he is coming from, and if I were in his shoes I would feel the same way. Please don''t think he''s a bad guy because of this, cause he''s not--and I haven''t been given an ultimatum or anything.)

Back to the story...
I decided very early on that I wasn''t going to smoke in front of his family. It was MY decision. It just wasn''t a first impression that I wanted to make. But since then, I''ve been present for a few conversations about smokers and his whole family is in agreement that smoking is disgusting. Which it is, but during these conversations I have just sat there and not said anything. They do not know I smoke. Makes it kind of hard to come clean after that! Not only that, but I guess deep down I''ve been hoping that I would have stopped by now, so they would never have to know. But that''s not the case. I KNOW I need to quit. I WILL quit soon. I really hope.

The dream I had the other night was terrifying. It was my wedding day--I''m in my dress in front of my boyfriend''s whole family. My cousin comes up to me and asks me if I want to smoke a cigarette. In my dream I had already quit, but my cousin didn''t know that. My boyfriend''s family was shocked and disgusted, and I was embarressed. That COULD happen in real life! I only see my family once a year, it''s not so far fetched that one of them could "forget" I quit and do something like that! So basically I''m petrified, not only because I *am* a smoker, but because I''ve kept it hidden from them.

The second thing that I kept hidden from the future in laws is that I have 3 tattoos. Again, totally my decision--boyfriend had nothing to do with it. The funny thing about that is that one of my boyfriend''s uncles HAS a tattoo. A very LARGE tattoo. Again, it was just a first impression thing. I should probably mention that my very first time meeting his family was at a family REUNION. At LEAST 50 people.(Which is why I was so obsessed with first impressions.) I didn''t want everyone to be be whispering about the tatted-up smoker that he brought home. Anyway, same thing...time goes by...all of a sudden it''s 3 years later and they still don''t know I have tattoos! I''m still not sure if I EVER want them to know I have tattoos, although it would be a huge weight lifted off my shoulders. One step in the right direction though---his sister-in-law emailed me one of those survey type emails where you answer questions about yourself and then forward it. One of the questions was if you had any tattoos. I answered it honestly and nervously forwarded it back to her. So if she read it, then shes got to know, at least. Really, the tattoo that bothers me the most is right smack inbetween my shoulder blades, which I plan on trying to hide on my wedding day. (His family is part of it, but mostly because I want a more conservative wedding.) The tattoo that I think his family might not be thrilled with is right on my stomach, around my belly button. (Don''t worry, it''s not a sun. lol.)

I know his family would dislike the fact that I smoke, but the tattoo thing they''d probably be okay with. I''ve just been keeping these things secret so long I wouldn''t even know how to come clean about them. It''s driving me crazy!


So I guess my question is, do you guys have any advice? And is there anything your in-laws don''t know about you, or am I odd?
 

partyjewels

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Oct 29, 2006
Messages
476
Firstly, I don't think your guy is a bad one because of his stance on your smoking, I knew from the start with my guy that if I kept on smoking, he would never marry me. He might stay with me, maybe even for years, but he would never marry me. He made that very clear from the start, and I quit about 3-4 months after we became an offical couple. Not only for him, but because I know I should anyways, but hey, the fact that this awesome guy wouldn't even CONSIDER marrying me if I didn't quit sure helped push me along!

To be fair though, I had only been smoking for about 2 years or so, it was still hard, but I'm sure it's not the same if you've been smoking for a long time.

I can understand why you would hide that from them, but maybe you should just come clean so you don't have to worry about them finding out from someone else. They might think you a worse person for lying about it than actually being a smoker. But of course, you know them better than me, even if you've only met them 4 times :) What does your FH have to say about the whole thing? In regards to keeping it a secret or coming clean?

I guess I'm not very much help, but heres something to keep in mind when you're quitting (notice I said quitting, not trying to quit
)

"I don't need a cigarette because I don't smoke." It sounds silly, but sometimes it helps. *shrug*

And lastly, don't think about it as if you're TRYING to quit, when you go to do it. Think of it as YOU QUIT.

Also, I have several friends that I personally know that did the whole hypno thing for quitting smoking and it definitely worked. So there's always that to try too. :)

I'd wish you lots of luck with it, but I don't think you'll need it. The most important thing is that you actually WANT to quit. My brother in law smokes, has for a loooooooooong time, he's tried to quit, or at least cut back, but the fact is that he doesn't WANT to, so it never sticks.

Sorry if I'm not making sense, I haven't eaten dinner yet and I'm starting to get dizzy from it!

P.S. My Future Mother in Law has no idea I can't stand her cooking!!!!!!!! But things about me personally I'm not sure... I don't think you're odd for it though, you didn't want to make a bad impression. My guys family knew that I smoked and that I have a tattoo , but they live literally a 3 minute drive from our home, so we see them all the time, so I had met them right off the bat and my view was, if this guys family doesn't like me, I don't really care!!!! But now that I'm soooooo in love and really want to marry him, I find myself trying to be on better behavior... oh how I miss that part of the beginning :)
 

rockzilla

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Nov 19, 2006
Messages
1,286
This must be so hard for you...they say that nicotine is one of the most addictive substances out there...BUT I am not so sure about the "coming clean" thing. I think your #1 priority should be to QUIT, and don''t worry about his family as much. I know you are worried about maybe your family bringing it up while his family is around...but I don''t think there is any shame in being a FORMER smoker...everyone knows it is such a hard thing to do, and if anything it will show your determination.

I will second the quitting before any kids though. My parents were smokers for years. Then they had me, and I started getting chronic bronchitis as a baby...the Dr. said it was because of the smoking. That was all it took for them to get into a support group/quitting class. They have been non-smokers for the past 23 years =)

Of course, it would have been better if they had quit before I was born, but I think for every person who quits there is the "aha" moment...that was it for them. And great for me, since I was healthier and I have healthier parents who will be around longer for me to spend time with.
 

luckystar112

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 8, 2007
Messages
3,962
Thank you so much for the advise!

Maybe I should just get it over with....QUIT. (It sounds SO easy.
)
I still have tons of nicorette...I have a book called "the only way to quit smoking" which I hear has saved lives. Maybe if I''ve already quit, his family won''t take it so hard. I can just tell the truth and say that I had a hard time quitting smoking, and it was hard to hear their conversations but that they helped me to quit for GOOD. That way they can only be disappointed in me for a second.

I also forgot to mention that his father used to be a smoker YEARS ago. In one of our conversations about smoking, he said that he thinks he hates smokers more than the average person because he used to do it. YIKES!

As for my boyfriend, he doesn''t really say anything about me hiding things from them. He thought it was silly to hide my tattoos, but understood my point. With the smoking, he was all aboard with me deciding to hide that since his family doesn''t like it-- plus the fact there are always children around.

I am very self conscious about my tattoos anyway. First of all, 2 out of 3 I got when I was 18 years old and dating a guy from hell.
<--Sort of resembles him.
I''ve lost confidence in my body BECAUSE of my tattoos, which is why I think I''m so scared of being judged by them. It would be like being kicked when I''m down.
 

luckystar112

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 8, 2007
Messages
3,962
Date: 2/16/2007 9:48:24 PM
Author: rockzilla
This must be so hard for you...they say that nicotine is one of the most addictive substances out there...BUT I am not so sure about the ''coming clean'' thing. I think your #1 priority should be to QUIT, and don''t worry about his family as much. I know you are worried about maybe your family bringing it up while his family is around...but I don''t think there is any shame in being a FORMER smoker...everyone knows it is such a hard thing to do, and if anything it will show your determination.


I will second the quitting before any kids though. My parents were smokers for years. Then they had me, and I started getting chronic bronchitis as a baby...the Dr. said it was because of the smoking. That was all it took for them to get into a support group/quitting class. They have been non-smokers for the past 23 years =)


Of course, it would have been better if they had quit before I was born, but I think for every person who quits there is the ''aha'' moment...that was it for them. And great for me, since I was healthier and I have healthier parents who will be around longer for me to spend time with.
I wish I could have an "AHA" moment to make it easier.

My mother''s "aha" moment was a heart attack at the age of 36, a freak occurance directly related to smoking. I DO NOT want it to go that far. My boyfriend was extremely disappointed when I started back up after Italy. And the only reason I did was because I had a pack at home waiting for me with 5 or 6 cigarettes in it. That seems to be my biggest problem too, is that when I try to quit I still need to have 3 or 4 "just in case" cigarettes lying around somewhere or else I feel panicked, almost like I''m having an anxiety attack. Just talking about this is making me realize how ridiculous it is and how much its consuming my life. I REALLY need to do something about this.
 

allycat0303

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 19, 2004
Messages
3,255
Luckystar,

Take a deep breath. I don''t really think of this as *hiding things* it''s your personal business and you wanted to make a good impression. If they asked you "do you have tattoos, or do you smoke" and you said "NO" That would be hiding things. I just can''t imagine a family being terribly judgemental about this stuff. My family is ultra conservative. Really. Think Asian Mormons (yes they do exist) my parents frowned on seeing kissing on TV. My guy has tattoos, 2 actually, one of them which is my name and it''s HUGE. Talk about totally biker guy. It''s on his arm, and when he wears short sleeved shirts you can see it. They didn''t say much, clucked their tongue abit, rolled their eyes and that was the end of it. But part of it is he''s ultra ok with it and himself. I think part of the reason you''re freaking out about it, is that you have such a negative perception of the tattoos. But they''re a part of you, and consider them a lesson learnt if you hate them. People tend to pick up on your negative self perceptions and magnify them. As for the smoking, well obviously, it''s not good for you, and it looks like you are on the path to quiting. I don''t think the fact that you smoke makes you a bad person (and I don''t think anyone is going to think negatively.)

I don''t think it''s necessary to volunteer information that hasn''t been asked. It''s kind of like a job interview, you don''t have to say you had a fight with a boss and were fired, something more like "we had different views on what my role was in the company" is fine. The dirty little secrets only come up after
 

firebirdgold

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 30, 2005
Messages
2,216
I don''t think of the tattoo thing as hiding info, it''s your body! Telling someone you have tattoos (other than potential bf) is just weird, actually. You''ve never lied about it, you just haven''t volunteered the info.

I''m certainly not going to throw stones for your hiding the smoking. His parents don''t know I smoke either! In fact even my own parents don''t know I still smoke! I don''t exactly feel eaten up about it either. I also have no trouble agreeing with non-smokers when they say how disgusting it is, because I know it''s disgusting.

Erg, I''d better quit soon, I don''t want to be getting cranky right before my wedding. Or franticly chewing on niccorette! My mother is bound to notice that!
 

anchor31

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Oct 18, 2005
Messages
7,074
Date: 2/16/2007 9:40:59 PM
Author: partyjewels
P.S. My Future Mother in Law has no idea I can''t stand her cooking!!!!!!!! But things about me personally I''m not sure... I don''t think you''re odd for it though, you didn''t want to make a bad impression. My guys family knew that I smoked and that I have a tattoo , but they live literally a 3 minute drive from our home, so we see them all the time, so I had met them right off the bat and my view was, if this guys family doesn''t like me, I don''t really care!!!! But now that I''m soooooo in love and really want to marry him, I find myself trying to be on better behavior... oh how I miss that part of the beginning :)
Haha... Mine either. She''s the worst cook I''ve ever know (on top of everytime else
), if I eat twice in a row there I get stomach cramps.


luckystar - I never smoked so I can''t really help you on that, but my father quit at 50, almost 7 years ago, and has never smoked since. I guess his 50th birthday was his Aha! moment... He used the patch and it was highly effective. Also, the way I see it, it''s more about your health than impressing the FILs...

About the tattoo, I don''t see why they would care. I have one, had it made while I was dating FI. I''m not sure they know about it and I don''t see why it matters.

Good luck!
 

Independent Gal

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 12, 2006
Messages
5,471
It''s going to be OK, Lucky!


Decide to quit smoking NOW and then DO IT. Once you''ve quit, they can''t find out you ARE a smoker, only that you WERE a smoker. What that means they are finding out about you is that you are someone who can make difficult decisions for the health of yourself and your family and can carry them through with STRENGTH and determination. How would they not then be proud of you? You can say ''Yeah, I used to smoke, and I knew it was a terrible habit. I didn''t want FI or our children exposed to it so I worked very hard at it and quit."

How could they react to that with anything other than pride and approval? I would think you were AWESOME if I were your FMIL. (Of course, I''m an ex-smoker, so I would know how hard it was to do!)

By the way, 1) the nicorette just keeps you addicted, so switch gradually, but not to slowly to regular gum. They suggest you stay addicted for AGES, but keep in mind that that''s how they sell more product. Wean yourself as quickly as you can. 2) once you quit, you''ll be SO happy. You have more energy, you feel wonderful, you''ll love it.
3) Keep in midn that smoking also SERIOUSLY affects fertility! You may not even be able to get pregnant if you''re smoking, and if you do, the baby''s birth weight is likely to be much lower, which causes problems.

Re the tatooes ... those aren''t hurting ANYONE so with that I say: NONE OF THEIR BUSINESS! I''m sure they love you and they''ll get over it.
 

KimberlyH

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 15, 2006
Messages
7,485
ls,

I smoked for 10 years on and off (at my worst I was a a pack and a half a day smoker), and started again shortly after I met my DH. He is allergic to smoke and detests it so he made me a deal, he''d take me to Hawaii if I quit for 6 months. You bet I bought into that deal, I saved money and my health and got to go to Hawaii! Point being, he wouldn''t have continued to date me if I couldn''t quit, because smoking is a lifestyle and ours wouldn''t have meshed if I had continued. There''s nothing unfair or unreasonable about not wanting to be with a smoker if you aren''t one, it is just plain horrible for you. On the up side, even if you can''t quit on your own, we continue to head towards it being illegal in the US so you might not have a choice. But if you really want to quit, calculate how much you spend on cigarettes in a month, then turn that into something you really really want (a wedding, a house, a new car) quit and start saving. Incentive was the key for me, perhaps it will work for you. I''ve also heard that acupuncture and aversion hypnotherapy work great. And throw out those few just in case cigarettes. But I don''t think you need to come clean with the in laws. You respect their feelings about it by not smoking around them and beyond that it''s your own battle, not something you need to discuss with everyone who knows you. And if it''s ever mentioned in front of them you could simply say "it''s something I''m not so proud of and have battled with for some time and I didn''t feel comfortable sharing it with you guys as I knew it would offend you and I never wanted to do that as I think so highly of you."

As for the tattoos, I don''t think they are anyone''s business but yours, it''s your body.

Good luck and don''t be so hard on yourself!!!
 

luckystar112

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 8, 2007
Messages
3,962
Thank you so much everyone for your replies.
I feel a lot better now. :)
I think I''m going to try my hand at quitting again, and if I fail...seek some outside help. Wish me luck!
 

canuk-gal

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 19, 2004
Messages
20,549
Date: 2/17/2007 2:23:35 PM
Author: luckystar112
Thank you so much everyone for your replies.
I feel a lot better now. :)
I think I''m going to try my hand at quitting again, and if I fail...seek some outside help. Wish me luck!
HI:

In our health region, we have assistance programs for smoking cessation. Can you tap into these resources should they be in your area? I think it is wonderful you are taking steps to stop smoking!


As for the tatoos--IMO it should be a non-issue for others.

cheers--Sharon
 

Liquiddazi

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Aug 25, 2006
Messages
159
I can completely understand hiding things from the future in laws. Smoking is a bad habit to kick. It is said it was more addictive than heroin and being a nurse and knowing several friends who have tried to quit, it is HARD!

The tattoo thing is completely understandable. I am getting married in August & my fi''s dad still doesn''t know about the one on my back, even though it is small 1 1/2" by 1 1/2".

However, remember the one on your stomach is probably going to be hard to hide, especially if you get pregnant with this boyfriend''s child.
 

Fancy605

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jul 3, 2006
Messages
1,446
I can see why you would be concenred about the tattoos, but I really think you have nothing to worry about. I am a person who doesn''t care for tattoos. Even so, I would never base my thoughts on someone on their tattoos. In fact, typically here is what goes through my head when I find out someone has one: "Wow, I had no idea she had a tattoo. Oh well, she''s stuck with it forever, and I guess she must like it so, whatever. I''m glad I didn''t go through a must-have-a-tattoo phase." But that''s the extent of the tattoo thoughts.
After the initial sighting, the whole tattoo thing kinda fades into the back ground. If I liked the person before, I keep on liking him/her. I really don''t think their overall oppinion of you will be too affected by the tattoo thing. I think it''ll be more like a momentary shock. Then they''ll get over it.

Plus, if they find out about the tattoos, I doubt they''ll feel you''ve tried to hide it. I don''t know many people who introduce themselves like, "Hi, nice to meet you, I have 3 tattoos." People will probably assume it''s just something that never came up before. I don''t think you have anything to worry about there.
 

firebirdgold

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 30, 2005
Messages
2,216
We haven''t had too much luck quitting with nicorette, so I came up with a new idea: Every two days we start smoking one fewer cigs. So if we started x cigs per day then today and tomorrow (oh wait it is tomorrow) we smoke x-1 cigs, Monday and tuesday x-2, etc.. until it''s 0. It''s sort of the same principle, but instead of quitting cold turkey on the physical smoking and weaning oneself off of nicotine, we''re weaning ourselves off of both. I don''t know about you but I''m mentally as well as physically addicted to cigs.
Might something like that work for you?
 
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