While what you say and how you say it is important, so is listening. "My husband, who passed away two years ago, was a cigar smoker," says Isaacs. She had tried and tried to get him to stop, mainly by giving him literature about the dangers of smoking, but he dismissed her. "If I had to do it again, I would have asked him to talk about his feelings," she said. "I'd have said something like, 'Help me understand why you continue to smoke when you know it's not good for you.' Not hostile, not confrontational. Then I would have shut up and listened."
Putting a rational man into a position where he has to explain irrational behaviors might force him to reexamine what he's doing.