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My wife and my dilemma.

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Old 05-27-2009, 06:57 PM   #1
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Default My wife and my dilemma.

My wife gained about 100lbs since our son passed away 2 years ago (most was immediately after he died) and she's now dead-set on getting the lap-band surgery to help her lose the weight she can't seem to shake. We used to work out almost daily and we cut back on the things we ate... well, I did and she did for a while, but she's almost child-like sneaky with eating things; I've lost some weight, but she hasn't and she worked out harder than me.
Here's the thing... she puts condiments like ranch dressing and BBQ sauce and parmesan cheese on EVERYTHING from pizza to pasta, so I know she's taking in far more empty calories than she'll ever admit. She also likes to drink and doesn't seem to realize that even though Miller Lite is 99 calories, 6 of them are still 600 worthless calories. Also, my wife has said "I love food and I love eating food".
She thinks that the lap-band surgery is some cure, but I'm not willing to pay tens of thousands of dollars when she still eats like she does, knowing that she'll gain it all back. She's already self-conscious about her weight, but even talking about it makes her want to eat more.

So I need to convey to her that she has habits that aren't going to allow her to ever lose weight. Anyone know how I can tactfully do it and not hurt her feelings? Every way I play this out in my head, she gets angry, upset and/or defensive, which is exactly what I don't want. HELP! I love my wife and I want her to be happy... I just think she's not going about this the right way.
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Old 05-27-2009, 07:09 PM   #2
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Has she gone to therapy since your son passed away?

It sounds like she's using food and alcohol as an escape, and really they're just symptoms of deeper feelings that may need to be addressed?

It's a shot in the dark, but it sounds like you love her very much and want the best for her - it's great that she's got a loving cheerleader on her side which is definitely also an important factor in both recovering from such a tragedy as well as weight loss.

Good luck to the both of you
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Old 05-27-2009, 07:23 PM   #3
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I agree with the last poster that your DW has some grieving issues that she is trying to deal with; and counselling may help her, but she has to want to do that herself.

I'm not sure there is a 'delicate' way to tell anyone else anything that they don't want to hear, especially concerning their weight. When and if your wife does investigate lap-band surgery, the doctors will give her lots of info about how to eat in a healthier way.

BTW -- having some condiments on some things may not be her biggiest issue: ie pizza itself has hundreds of calories per slice (the crust has more calories than anything else). It takes time to learn how to eat in a healthier way; trying to do everything perfect all at once isn't realistic either. If anyone wants to lose weight permanently (and I'm learning and living this myself at this time), then they will have to find a way to eat healthy AND also enjoy it for the rest of their lives or they WILL gain all the weight back, surgery or not.

She has to want to do this herself; take the initiative herself; and do the hard work herself. Interfering may indeed be interpeted as a put-down; and what she really needs more than anything right now ~ is your support -- 100%. Have you ever considered making a dinner or two yourself, and treating her to your version of a healthier meal? Just a thought ...
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Old 05-27-2009, 07:50 PM   #4
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I agree...WLS of any sort would come after counseling. I would get grief counseling. Lead by example. Go for the counseling myself...talk about how much it's helping me and encourage her to attend a session and see how it goes. She may feel like you're calling her crazy, that food is bad...which it isn't (condiments and all) or she is bad, that you are trying to take away her only recourse for the pain of losing your child. Even with the best of intentions, she might perceive it as you trying to exert control over her somehow, thus the sneak-eating. You only really can control one person's reactions and actions...your's.

Look at excess food as medication for depression...the only one that she knows how to use. In counseling, hopefully she can learn to deal with the pain and sadness of your loss, different ways to handle the difficult life that follows that loss that don't necessarily involve excess food.

Good luck to you both and may I extend my deepest condolences to you and your entire family...the loss of a child is unbearable!

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Old 05-27-2009, 09:06 PM   #5
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I'm sorry for your loss.

You've got a relationship issue (both of you) not a weight issue.
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Old 05-27-2009, 09:30 PM   #6
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What a terrible loss for you both - my most heartfelt condolences. There are no words I can say, of course. Only know that you have all of our sympathies.

I have to agree with the other posters that this is a grieving issue. My thought, from my own experience, is that food and drinking (for her) is a way of literally "pushing the pain" back down inside. The grief may be too difficult for her to consciously face. May I also suggest that your focusing on the details (as correct as you are - there is nothing wrong or unloving about your post) is another way of allowing the weight to become the issue (it is a tangible thing that can be controlled) rather than allowing the grieving process to come back to the forefront.

This may be what the previous poster was trying to express. In some families a child's bad grades and poor performance in school can become an issue to keep the parents from facing a relationship issue between the two of them. In this case if you focus on the weight (and details) then it is a different issue - something with "handles". Does that make sense?

But this isn't what you asked....I have had two friends that had the surgery. Both were in situations it was affecting their health and it was a last resort. One almost died from complications. The other ate himself back "out of it". This seems crazy but I guess it can happen. So no, this is not something to take lightly. And I guess yes, you can destroy the surgery.

I sure hope this helps. I would also recommend counseling (or if money is an issue, some support groups and just some reading - lots of good books that talk about this) for yourself. Take care of yourself, first, and hopefully - in time with love and patience - the rest will fall into place.
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Old 05-28-2009, 09:25 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Eskinomad View Post
Has she gone to therapy since your son passed away?

It sounds like she's using food and alcohol as an escape, and really they're just symptoms of deeper feelings that may need to be addressed?
Yes, but no (if that makes sense).

We don't really have the money for her to see a shrink, so we utilized the counselling services through our HMO. The issue there is that they seem to be focused more on physical health, so the counselor brings up her drinking in the session and she gets upset/defensive about it. She's always been depressed, because of her ****e life growing up and our son was really the one thing that kept her happy and gave her a purpose (no, I'm not offended by that)... so now, no depression drug in the world is going to 'fix' her. She takes meds, but they don't help... she then says she's anxious about things and can't cope with that, which comes back to the counselor, because they prescribe that medication. So we're back to a circuitous path of going nowhere.

Honestly, she's moved on from the terrible grieving, but because she's so heavy, she's less attractive to me, which means I'm less 'in the mood', which makes her feel less attractive/worth, which leads her to drink more... etc and the circle continues. Her entire family from grandparents to mother to brother are addicts of either drugs or booze and they use it as a coping mechanism; to think my wife miraculously missed this curse is naive, so I'll be a realist and say that I think she's dealing with an addiction to food and booze; she's always 'loved' food and can't stop eating sometimes... she eats WAY past what's comfortable, so if that's not an addiction, then I don't know what is.

I just don't know what to do at this point. She needs help for her addiction(s) and she doesn't want to hear it from me. He family is worthless and won't tell her anything and she's offended if my parents say anything.

How do you tell your spouse that they have a problem, short of calling the 'Intervention' TV show, without them blowing up or shutting in on you?
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Old 05-28-2009, 09:30 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by bobblefrog View Post
I have to agree with the other posters that this is a grieving issue. My thought, from my own experience, is that food and drinking (for her) is a way of literally "pushing the pain" back down inside.
Problem is, her entire family is 'broken' and addicts, so they use it to cope with everything. She drinks 'because it helps me sleep at night' or 'because it relaxes me'... there's always a reason and I don't care about the drinking, but when you're 100 lbs overweight and trying to lose weight, should you drink 6 beers a day?

We're moving in 2 weeks and the new place has a huge gym... she talks about "I'm going to be this cute, skinny chick down there" (because I promised her I'd buy her breast implants if she was X weight... hey, she wanted them, not me ), but I have to laugh inside, because she's taking ZERO steps to acheive that goal, other than moving there. She really thinks that she can get lap-band and POOF! all her weight woahs are gone. I know that's just not the case... one has to adapt their eating habits, which she isn't event TRYING to do.
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Old 05-28-2009, 09:46 AM   #9
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You are laughing inside? Just wow. That's all I can say.

Every woman's situation is different so I cannot speak for her. The only advice I can offer is to encourage you to be supportive of her in every respect. She will come to face her demons in her own time and in her own way. Any amount of negativity or nagging coming from you isn't likely to do anything but blowup in your face and add fuel to her fire. If she knows you aren't attracted to her anymore--well, it must be devastating for her. My hubby has lost his hair and isn't as buff as he once was. I am attracted to him more so than ever though because he is one **** of a man and fathered my kids. I guess what I am trying to say and sometimes attraction comes from another place besides physical appearance. For me, my attraction to my spouse is so much deeper than what his shell is.

As far as lapband, it has greatly helped many. I don't know if it's your wife answer or not. A medical doctor hopefully will address several issues with her before agreeing to perform the procedure.

ETA: You mention not having money for a "shrink" but I notice you mention that breast implants were in the future?
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Old 05-28-2009, 10:06 AM   #10
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Oh my goodness. She has two issues--one of them is her addictions.

Until she takes Step One and admits she is powerless over food and alcohol, there's nothing anyone can say to her.

And any reputable bariatric surgeon would RUN--not walk--from your wife's case until she starts working on the root of the problem.

Good luck to you both.

PS: I think I would rather have my wife free from addiction than to have big boobs....but that's just me.
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Old 05-28-2009, 10:52 AM   #11
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You are laughing inside? Just wow. That's all I can say.
Yea, maybe that didn't come out right. Call it a disbelieving 'Ha!' at the irony of the situation. Kinda like "You have GOT to be kidding me".

Quote:
ETA: You mention not having money for a "shrink" but I notice you mention that breast implants were in the future?
Yea, she's not working right now (since we're moving), so I don't have the hundreds each month to spend on a shrink.. obviously the other would be financed in the future.
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Old 05-28-2009, 10:56 AM   #12
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I'm so sorry for your loss You sound like a great guy one who's willing to help her at any cost. I agree with the other posters that lapband at this point would not help her. She seriously needs counceling and maybe some counceling with a nutritionalist. Lapband will set you back thousands $$$$ but taking that money and putting it towards proper counceling would put you both ahead of the game... its a great investment if she goes.

Grieving is something everyone must do at their own pace. It might take her 10 years where it might take others 1 or 2 years.. I think when there's a child involved grieving lasts a life time, the hurt never goes away. Your marriage is worth saving but its going to take alot of patience on both ends... you and your wife are worth it.

Good luck
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Old 05-28-2009, 10:58 AM   #13
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Oh my goodness. She has two issues--one of them is her addictions.

Until she takes Step One and admits she is powerless over food and alcohol, there's nothing anyone can say to her.
Exactly... but how does one get them to do that?

Quote:
And any reputable bariatric surgeon would RUN--not walk--from your wife's case until she starts working on the root of the problem.
Well, that's good to hear; I didn't think they would just slice and dice someone without seeing if they are ready for the mental and physical hurdles ahead.

Quote:
PS: I think I would rather have my wife free from addiction than to have big boobs....but that's just me.
That is my goal.. she wants the enhancement... though I have no doubt it's tied to the low self esteem and body image she's had her whole life. TBH, I've played down the need for that operation.
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Old 05-28-2009, 11:01 AM   #14
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I agree with the other posters that lapband at this point would not help her. She seriously needs counceling and maybe some counceling with a nutritionalist.
Thanks for the kind words and I completely agree. I've told her that I'd stand behind anything she needed, but she has only in the last few months climbed out of the deep hole she was in.

If I were your husband, how would you want me to present the idea of a nutritionalist or counceling? My fear is the delivery...
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Old 05-28-2009, 11:13 AM   #15
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If I were your husband, how would you want me to present the idea of a nutritionalist or counceling? My fear is the delivery...
Everyone is different, but if it were "ME" I think I would want my you to sit down with me, tell me you love me no matter what, tell me I'm beautiful no matter what size I am. Explain your concerns and that my weight is a health issue as well as the addictions. Tell me you want us both to grow old together. I think "I" would want you to take my hand and go with me to the doctors (therapy and nutritionalist) because I am not only torn apart from losing my child, I am embarassed at what I've done to myself. I need help and lots of patience and understanding as this could take years. I would want you to say that no matter how long it takes you'll be there for me and you won't leave me.

But... thats me. I too have had a death in my family that resulted in me gaining 75 lbs its sad. I still struggle with it years later.

Good luck sweetie !!!

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