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Cry for help, how to not be an enabler

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Old 06-27-2011, 03:29 PM   #1
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Default Cry for help, how to not be an enabler

How?

How do I say no to baking cookies, pies, popcorn with full-fat cheese for dinner, every night? I don't eat it myself. I eat well. But I always say "yes".

I feel like I am killing my husband. Is anyone here a hypocrite in terms of eating healthy for themselves but turn a blind eye to their spouse? I cook breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

This isn't about weight. It's not about looks. It's about his health, I worry, men in his family don't live past 50 due to heart disease and poor diet. He's almost 34. I don't want to be a widow so early.

Please help
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Old 06-27-2011, 03:44 PM   #2
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I don't see why you should cook unhealthy food. If he wants it, he can cook it himself!
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Old 06-27-2011, 03:49 PM   #3
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I agree. My husband knows that if he wants anything in the house that is unhealthy, he has to cook it/buy it himself. Unfortunately, he does exactly that!
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Old 06-27-2011, 04:16 PM   #4
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My ex used to make a big fuss because I wasn't Betty Crocker. While we didn't divorce over this, to this day, he STILL will complain about that.

It's tricky. Is he going to be a big baby about it and make a fuss if you don't? Many people cook out of love. Clearly, you'd be doing the opposite out of love. Would he see it that way?

BTW, my ex's gf bakes ALL THE TIME. Now, they both struggle with their weight. I just love Karma.
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Old 06-27-2011, 04:26 PM   #5
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Unfortunately if I don't make it, he won't eat it. He will just do without.

It's ME who is really the problem. I don't know why I don't say no?
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Old 06-27-2011, 04:31 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sacha View Post
Unfortunately if I don't make it, he won't eat it. He will just do without.

It's ME who is really the problem. I don't know why I don't say no?
I'm confused. Isn't a good thing he won't eat junk if you don't make it?
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Old 06-27-2011, 04:34 PM   #7
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Sorry, I meant fortunately he won't eat it. I'm just not sure why I always say 'yes' when he asks. Maybe because it makes him happy?
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Old 06-27-2011, 04:36 PM   #8
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Do you equate love with giving people whatever they want? Are you afraid he'll leave if you don't? That's the only thing I can think of that would explain what you're doing.

Simply say that you're going to be cooking healthier food for your meals, and you hope he'll join you. Tell him if he wants desserts like pie, cookies, etc. that's fine, but you're not making them anymore.

If he chooses not to eat, that's not going to kill him, is it? He'll either get over it or find a way to get his own food.

I don't recall anything in the marriage vows that says you'll love, honor, cherish, and cook anything he wants.

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Old 06-27-2011, 04:37 PM   #9
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it's possible to switch to healthier versions of the things that you make for him...using sugar substitutes or whole wheat versions or low-fat versions of ingredients...it's possible to show him that eating healthier versions can be just as tasty, especially if you switch ingredients slowly...what type of things does he eat for meals besides cookies etc?

i began a few months ago to switch to lower carb foods because i am pre-diabetic...once my DH saw me losing pounds and once he saw how delicious i can make low carb food that i cook, he joined me and he's losing weight even more rapidly than i am!
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Old 06-27-2011, 04:41 PM   #10
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Quote:
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Sorry, I meant fortunately he won't eat it. I'm just not sure why I always say 'yes' when he asks. Maybe because it makes him happy?
Ah, so it's not a issue of practical relevance, it's an emotional thing.
That's more difficult to answer. If eating junk makes him happy, you can't change that about him. All you can do is stick to cooking healthy food. However, it sounds like there's some headwork you need to solve. Why do you cook unhealthy food on request that only he eats when you're silently scared you're contributing to his morbid obesity by doing said cooking?
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Old 06-27-2011, 04:42 PM   #11
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Karma is a beautiful thing! X didn't like it that I was fat. He also didn't like to eat healthy. I did cook, a lot, but all healthy stuff. I refused to cater to his poor eating habits.

I started to lose weight. He started to find more things to complain about with me. And then he started building a Pringles shrine in the man cave (garage). For many reasons, we were eventually divorced. And then, just two weeks after the divorce was final, he married a mail-order bride who is subservient and very small. And she doesn't speak much English. And now he's gained about the same amount of weight that I've lost, 50 lbs.!

Sacha, you must be getting something out of making the stuff. Otherwise you wouldn't be doing it. How does it feel to you when you make it? Are you feeling better about yourself when you bake? Do you gain pleasure from feeding him? Are you trying to tell him you love him more? Are you communicating something else? Just be a little vigilant, see how you're feeling, don't judge what you're feeling, and see if there's some other way to accomplish what you want that you feel good about.
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Old 06-27-2011, 05:03 PM   #12
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In all honesty I think it's just because I love cooking and making him happy. I went through some really bad postpartum depression and he was amazing to me, very supportive, and being the 'perfect housewife' stereotype makes me feel like I'm making it up to him
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Old 06-27-2011, 05:39 PM   #13
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I've been a vegetarian for the last 10 years, while my husband's favorite food continues to be MEAT. I don't buy it or cook it. I cook a healthy, vegetarian meal for our family every night, and he scarfs it down and never complains.
If I'm not home for dinner, he runs to the store and puts meat on the grill.

This system works great for us. I feed him healthy most days, and he gets to treat himself to what he feels like he's missing a few times a month.
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Old 06-27-2011, 05:52 PM   #14
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Why not say "how about on Friday?" And leave it at that. Then you can bake a whole batch of cookies, give all but 3 away and he will have a special treat to look forward to.

Also, I think if you're worried about something as serious as him DYING in the next 15 years, you should tell him how you feel!!
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Old 06-27-2011, 06:11 PM   #15
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I totally get the "it makes me happy to make him happy" thing. Both my husband and I like to cook and we frequently whipped up little treats for one another before we decided to get healthier. It was a little gift that I could give him, something that didn't cost much and made him aware that I was thinking of him, to bake his favorite cookies or add extra butter to the mashed potatoes.

It's a kind and thoughtful impulse, one that shouldn't be throttled. It's a good thing to want to delight a spouse. The problem only came in when "delight" became synonymous with "overfeed on wildly rich foods."

Our solution was to keep that generous impulse, but do it creatively. My husband loves finding recipes that fit into my calorie plan; his most recent effort was home-baked French bread with whole wheat flour and narrower loaves for easier portioning. Before that, it was a to-die-for chicken mole that he tweaked to make a little more diet-friendly. For my part, I pick up new fruits and vegetables for him to try when I go shopping, learned a new way to make his favorite meat loaf, and took him out for sorbet at our favorite sweet shop this past weekend.

It's really hard to say no to "Ooh, would you bake me your awesome apple pie? I love it sooo much!" So don't say no. Say, "I have a better idea: how would you like to try this recipe for baked apples I saw online?" or "I was thinking of skipping dessert in favor of a trip to the bookstore; want to join me?" or "It's too nice outside to stay in and bake; let's go for a walk and grab a couple of snowballs on the way home from the park."

Then there's always, "I've got your dessert right here," if you catch my drift.

Your husband sounds wonderful; it's no wonder you want to do kind things for him. Show him even more kindness with a few new cooking tricks that'll satisfy your desire to do something nice for him and his desire for something tasty; you'll both be happier and healthier.

I'm really glad you've recovered from your depression and that he was so supportive of you. It makes me smile to read such a kind-hearted thread. Happy relationships are awesome!
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