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Surgery In 2.5 Weeks and I Haven't Told Husband Yet...



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Hey all - it's a while since I posted (and I was a newbie anyway so I hadn't posted much). I told myself it was because my surgery was still so far away that it was better to step away from the board and obsessing too much... but in reality it's because I'm anxious because I haven't told my husband and I don't know how to start. The surgery is Feb 5th!

We have a few friends who have had the surgery and he is very negative and judgemental, critical and mocking. My main reason for getting it is PCOS - which causes weight gain as well as some other nasty side effects. My hormone levels are getting further and further away from where they should be, and the medications I was on are no longer working and are having a negative impact on my health. Honestly, the weight loss will be a bonus for me - it's resetting my hormones and becoming healthy again that I am most looking forward to. My BMI is "low" for this surgery at 36 - but I know that it will just get worse and worse so I should deal with it now while I am still relatively young. And he knows this - he has seen my struggle with awful hormonal conditions for 17 years. But all he ever says is that I need to work out more and eat better.

A few things come into play in our relationship:

1. He is 25 years older than me (which I didn't find out about until after we were engaged - he lied about his age).

2. He is an alcoholic (which I didn;t find out about until after we were married. He is a binge drinker and so was able to stay sober for the months we were engaged).

3. I have an Irish accent that people here in the US gravitate to, and he gets very jealous.

4. He is not overweight as such, but has a belly from drinking and being middle-aged that he has been trying to lose since I met him. He yo-yos a lot, and goes on extreme fasts and workouts to lose it, then gains it all back when he goes on a drinking binge. He always talks about this magical day in the future when he has lost his gut, and it never comes. It will irritate him beyond belief that this day will come for me.

These things make him very insecure, and while he gives me a hard time about my weight sometimes - I think he is very comfortable with me being fat as it means I am not going to leave him or be attractive to other men. He will be jealous of me. He might try to stop me getting the surgery.

I'm not being fanciful - back in 2013 I was due to have a breast reduction. My boobs were massive, always had been even when I was 112 lbs. He supported my decision, wanted me to get the surgery... then he wen on a drinking binge the week before and I caught him trying to get my insurance cancelled so I couldn't have the op. When that didn't work he tried to call the hospital and cancel it - of course they wouldn't let him. When he sobered up he was mortified and bent over backwards to be supportive when I had the op - but it happened, and I am wary. To that end I am not telling him until after this Friday, as that is the end date for open enrollment on our insurance plan. I have gotten more savvy as time goes on!

Please don't be lecturing me or telling me to leave. I know what the situation is, I know what I can deal with, and I have a plan. The only place I would want to go if I left would be home to Ireland, and that can't happen until my daughter is 16 - so I have 4.5 years to squirrel away money and position myself. I have a comfortable lifestyle, and it suits me to stay. I gave up everything to move here and be with him, and I figure I'm owed and would rather be comfortable until I can leave. If we divorced some other woman would move in and get what I'm owed - there is a shortage of men around here, esp men with good jobs. And honestly (don't judge me) - he is a 67 year old chronic alcoholic. He could pass away in the next 4.5 years and me and the kids would be pretty set.

He doesn't bother me, we live pretty independently, there is no animosity, I have my own bedroom, and I pretty much do my own thing (like going home to Ireland for 6 weeks every summer). I have gone to all my weigh ins and pre-op appts without him even being in the slightest bit aware - that's how separate our lives tend to be.

How do I start this conversation? He is smart and educated, but very judgemental. He is a therapist (haha, I know) who has had clients who have had the surgery and not done well. But they were a lot heavier than me, smokers and substance abusers, with severe mental health problems. I have read a lot and plan to make a note of all the benefits. I have some articles to show him - but I know he won't read them (he has a very short attention span and I've never seen him read a whole article never mind a book).

I plan to ask him why he doesn't want me to have it - I know that "you could die" will be the only real thing he'll have to say - but I have a medical report showing that the mortality rate for sleeve surgery is 0.08%. He can't really say "because I'm jealous" as that isn't a valid argument.

If he says it is the easy way out or the lazy way out I can cite facts to show him how it isn't - but even if it was... so what? So what if it was the easy way out it gets my health back on track and me feeling better? I mean, when I was having kids it was all epidural vs. med free and breast milk vs. formula. We all made our own choices, but in hindsight it didn't matter as long as the outcome was the same: a healthy baby.

I'm trying to anticipate other things he might say, or stuff I should have prepped in advance. Everyone else I have told has been very supportive - my mum, two daughters, close friends. I know 4 people in my immediate circle who have had it and have asked a lot of questions.

I guess my fear is that he will try to stop it somehow - I don't expect any support, but I don't want to blindside him by telling him afterwards. I don't plan on telling him my Dr's name or the hospital I'll be at, just in case. I'm very averse to confrontation and hate having hard conversations. I'm not scared of him - he isn't physically or emotionally threatening in any way, but I am scared to bring it up. Can't put my finger on why exactly.

Thanks for listening to my ramble - I guess I'm just anxious, and I really could do without it because I am a natural worrier as it is!

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Woah. That's heavy as f**k. And to think when I was kid all I wanted to was be an adult riding off into the sunset with my princess and living happily ever after. Didn't quite work out that way. I'm an adult with many debts, who lives on a dark street in the hood. At least I've got my princess *she's got a hot accent as well* ❤️

Well sis sounds like you already really know what you're going to do. Since I'm full of Sin I say do what you gotta do! Ride his old drunk ass out to pasture, leave with them Euros and be happy with your daughter.

Or come on over to Michigan! My wife and I will treat you and that irish brogue like the queens you are ^.^ lol

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30 minutes ago, Boldilocks said:

I guess my fear is that he will try to stop it somehow - I don't expect any support, but I don't want to blindside him by telling him afterwards. I don't plan on telling him my Dr's name or the hospital I'll be at, just in case. I'm very averse to confrontation and hate having hard conversations. I'm not scared of him - he isn't physically or emotionally threatening in any way, but I am scared to bring it up. Can't put my finger on why exactly

Questions: Who will be watching your children while you are in the hospital? How will you be getting home from the hospital after surgery? What if there are complications? Are you relying on an alternate family member? Will the hospital.release you to a cab after surgery?

Ultimately, is it prudent for your husband/co-parent **not** to know your surgery location? Could you leave a Post-It on the fridge on your way out, just in case? If you are this adverse to telling him, can you make up a plausible alternate surgery, and just avoid the whole situation?

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8 minutes ago, Sigi42 said:

Questions: Who will be watching your children while you are in the hospital? How will you be getting home from the hospital after surgery? What if there are complications? Are you relying on an alternate family member? Will the hospital.release you to a cab after surgery?

Ultimately, is it prudent for your husband/co-parent **not** to know your surgery location? Could you leave a Post-It on the fridge on your way out, just in case? If you are this adverse to telling him, can you make up a plausible alternate surgery, and just avoid the whole situation?

Very good questions, thank you - it helps me solidify my plans.

The kids will be to and from school themselves on the bus - and they are fine being home alone from when they get in at 3.15pm until my husband gets home at 4.30pm. They are 12 and 11 now and very mature. This will not be new or stressful for them as they already do this 2 days a week as I get home later than my husband on those days.

If my husband isn't willing to bring me home, I have at least 4 friends who know the situation and will be able to bring me home. The hospital is only 20 minutes away. I plan to either take an Uber to the hospital, or have a friend take me - if my husband is not prepared to do that. I am not very worried about this - he is very into preserving his reputation and looking good to the outside world, so I think he will want to transport me there and back or we wouldn't look like the perfect family, you know?

If there are complications, I would call an ambulance or he would take me to the ER. He wouldn't want anything to happen to me - he does care about me a lot. The relationship is a bit one sided these days, LOL. I don't have any family here - they are all back in Ireland.

If I don't disclose the location, I will leave a post-it, as you say. I will also call after the op - once it's done there's nothing he can do. I'm not a great liar, though, so I don't think I could invent another surgery. He would end up being at the hospital with me all concerned and they'd be talking about sleeve while he's thinking gallbladder or whatever. That's my luck. TBH, he's averse to and suspicious of doctors and any kind of medical procedures really - probably because of his drinking - so he'd be just as likely to try to talk me out of any surgery.

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I know I joke around a lot. I have to or else I'd go even madder, but I do wish the best for you sis. I wish this wasn't even something you have to deal with. I'm sure you married that man because you loved him to the Death Star and back. I'm a helpless romantic I'm ashamed to say. I hope that someday YOUR prince will come. Even if it's your now husband coming to realize all that you are to him, or Mr Emerald Isle, waiting for you at home. Don't ever give up on love. Don't let anyone steal that from you.

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22 hours ago, LadySin said:

I know I joke around a lot. I have to or else I'd go even madder, but I do wish the best for you sis. I wish this wasn't even something you have to deal with. I'm sure you married that man because you loved him to the Death Star and back. I'm a helpless romantic I'm ashamed to say. I hope that someday YOUR prince will come. Even if it's your now husband coming to realize all that you are to him, or Mr Emerald Isle, waiting for you at home. Don't ever give up on love. Don't let anyone steal that from you.

You are the sweetest person - you and your princess are lucky to have found each other!

I did love him when we got married - but really I married the him that he constructed, as he is a compulsive liar. I made my bed and I'm lying in it - no one made me marry him or stay with him.

Circumstances got in the way (I was just here to visit, 9/11 happened, my flight home was grounded, and I just stayed and we had to get married quickly before my visa expired. Had I had more months to know him better, I wouldn't have stayed).

I am a really strong person. I get it from my mum who had to go through hell with my alcoholic dad (which is why I said I couldn't be with someone who drank, and my husband said he was teetotal... and he didnt drink until after we were married. He can stop for months before binges). I will always win in the end - I'm patient and I can wait. He will never get the better of me.

I have gained a lot through the path I chose - my amazing daughters, my breast reduction (I would have needed to wait for years to get it on the National Health Service back home), my design business, true friends, self-awareness, even this surgery. I'll be in my mid-40s when I return home for good - and if I meet someone I will be ready, and I will know what I want and need and not settle. I can wait. My daughters will be 16 and 17 then - I wouldn't want to enter into a new relationship with young daughters anyway. Not these days.

In the end I'll thank him for the experience he gave me, and let him go - I am a stronger wiser person than I would otherwise have been. We are friends, co-parents, family even. But there is just no attraction for me any more, and too many bad memories of trying to bring up toddlers while he was passed out on the bathroom floor for me to rekindle a deeper relationship beyond attraction. The age difference becomes more apparent with each passing year too - he is 67 and I am 42 - and we have less and less in common.

He loves me, at least he thinks he does - as much as a narcissist is capable of loving anyone. And he thinks we have a good marriage. Perhaps we do in this day and age. Honestly, I do hope he just passes peacefully at some point in the next 5 years so that my daughters and I can move on. I don't want to hurt him or wish him any ill. He's not a bad person - he is just not a very good husband (there was a reason why he had never been married at 50), and he's not my prince.

So many hugs to you! I hope your recovery is going well and that your princess is taking care of you and cherishing you!

Edited by Boldilocks

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Have a friend take you to hospital or1of your children if they drive if those aren’t possible take UBER.. although you are married to him you can put on medical papers that he isn’t to know anything about procedure but still possibly take you but I’d try &make arrangements for a friend to take you & check on you first few days while children are in school.,

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When is your surgery

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4 hours ago, counrtygirl said:

When is your surgery

Surgery is Tuesday Feb 5th - just over 2 weeks away.

The cut off for open enrollment for our insurance just passed on Friday, so he cannot now add or remove anyone from the policy except in the case of a life-changimg event (birth, death, divorce, adoption, etc.). So I can tell him any time now without fear of sabotage. Still working on how I'll do it.

It's a rural-ish area where I am, but the nearby small city that has the hospital I'm going to has Uber available. I am leaning towards that, or a friend. I have a pre-admission appt by phone this Tuesday, and they'll tell me what time I need to be at the hospital on procedure day - so then I will have a better idea if I can ask friends (who work). My kids are 12 and 11, so not old enough to drive (except me crazy, LOL).

I will definitely update here when I've told him, or if I decide not to - everyone has been so kind and thoughtful with input, support, and advice. It is much appreciated.

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A thought for you
You should no longer cross oceans
For someone who wouldn't jump
puddles for you.
Stay strong, don't lose your commitment, you are going to do what needs to be done for You on February 5th. And I am proud to know you now.

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On 1/21/2019 at 9:37 AM, Frustr8 said:

A thought for you
You should no longer cross oceans
For someone who wouldn't jump
puddles for you.
Stay strong, don't lose your commitment, you are going to do what needs to be done for You on February 5th. And I am proud to know you now.

Thank you, that means an awful lot.

And it's actually true as well as wise - right in the beginning he insisted that I had to move from Ireland to here if we were going to be together, even though he could have moved over to be with me without any immigration hassle because his parents were from Ireland and he could hold Irish citizenship right away. But addicts and narcissists like to cut you off and isolate you from your support system, and that's exacty what happened.

You are always such a warm, supportive, humourous voice here - I am proud to know you!

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How's it going since your surgery is next week?

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21 minutes ago, shanza said:

How's it going since your surgery is next week?

Still haven't told him. 😬

There is truly nothing he can do to stop it at this point as my insurance approval letter came through yesterday, so I'm trying to unpack why I'm so reluctant.

I think it's in part because I hate difficult conversations and confrontation. I have put off telling him other things for months too because I didn't want an argument - like when I booked flights for me and the girls to go home in Feb and didn't tell him until June. Or when my mum was coming to stay for 6 weeks and I didn't tell him at all, just went and picked her up at the airport and showed up with her. Or last year when I ordered new sofas and didn't tell him and they were just there one day when he got home, LOL. We get along OK as long as its not something that affects his life too much - but if it is, then everything's an argument. I'm not a pushover - I just go ahead and do what I wanted to do anyway, but I don't like to have the verbal altercation. It's very draining to me.

The other part, I think, is because he has body shamed me quite a bit in the past, though I have develped a thick skin about it and it lost its effectiveness. And I was always so embarrassed about my weight that it would never be mentioned. It's really, really hard to go to all these appointmnets where everyone in the waiting room is fat, the dr is prodding your belly, and you are being weighed constantly. I feel very vulnerable and exposed, and I think that I'm worried that his negativity will get in my head again.

And really, I just have no idea how to bring it up and start the conversation.

Thank you everyone who has replied to this - I'm not usually a self-absorbed person, but writing it out has helped me gain some insights. It is truly touching how supportive and non-judgemental the people on this forum are. And hopefully now it's all out there, if someone else is in a predicament like this they will be able to search and find this.

I will update on this thread through next week.

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