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I also posted this in my bio... I just needed to vent and blog a bit. Here's my not quite elevator speech.
I've always been the big guy. Chris Farley like, but not as funny. Fat and kinda slapstick, and willing to use my body to get a joke. I make the fat jokes on me before others can. That being said, I always said I was "fat and happy".
There was a time when I wasn't fat and happy. I was fat. And I didn't like it, But I didn't do anything about it either because I was lazy. Eventually I just accepted myself, and that was good on paper at least. The lab results over years though were telling a different story. High blood pressure. High cholesterol. Borderline pre-diabetic. I probably have sleep apnea. Winded while walking any minority substantial distance. Running, not on your life. I also suffer from ostrich syndrome: If you don't admit that it is there, it's not there. Just stick your head back in the sand.
Oh did I mention smoking? Quitting is easy, but not starting again is a b***h. For 20 years off and on. Poorly hiding it at times, too.
Some how I was able to meet a great wife. Seriously the bee's knees. We have 4 boys together. I love them all dearly; they really are my life. I'm starting to see signs in a couple of them of developing bad habits. Eating way too much. Sitting around not doing much activity. It's scary.
My wife is a bigger gal, too. And short. I never saw her as fat, though. However, I know she did. When she was in her late teens she struggled with anorexia. She worked through it. After our last child was born she couldn't loose the weight. She would work out, she would diet. She'd lose 60 lbs. Yay! My passive "fat and happy" ass would just be that passive and not support her like I should. Something about late night Taco Bell runs that would destroy that ****.
She started exploring Bariatric Surgery last summer. I was pretty passive about it. I thought she's talk her self out of it. She didn't. She plowed ahead full steam. I went to her surgery consult, and it actually made me feel better. She'd go to her education classes. Mention things out of the little handbook they give you. I'd smile and nod. I wasn't listening. Then her surgery was approved.
She asked me to go to her pre-op surgery class. She got in early so I could go, and I totally missed her asking if I would go with her. I knew it was happening, and she wanted to do it while I was in town (I travel for work). Missed the whole YOU NEED TO BE THERE thing. So she asks the night before if I'm going, and I was like WTF, yeah sure what ever.
Turns out this class is the one, single most important class of this process.. The one they review all that **** you've been learning over the months (or years) on your journey. I go in to this class with the very minimal information. Like its happening and I know where but that's it. This class scared the everlasting f**k out of me. But I watched. I listened. And man... I was scared.
You know how I said I didn't read much. The stuff I did read was about the sky high divorce rate of couples who involve Bariatric Surgery. I read one place as high as 85% after 3 years. My parents? Yeah, they divorced about 18 months post-op. Why would my wife who I love want to risk our marriage with those odds?
The next two weeks I spent trying to convince my wife she didn't need the surgery. I took her to a fancy dinner. Promised to go on a regular diet and start exercising with her. She stood her ground.
So then I told her I didn't want it to happen point blank. We screamed at each other. She stood her ground.
Hours, minutes, I don't know what exactly... It was in the heat of battle, but she said she would't have the surgery and just blame me for her unhappiness for the rest of her life. OUCH. I almost said good and fine. But I couldn't do that. It was obvious this was important to her. She wanted my support and blessing. Not my ridicule or being told she can't do something.
Did I mention this was happening on the one anniversary of her dad passing? God I'm an ass.
She's my world... I can't have her unhappy. I left that match ugly crying. I was convinced my marriage just ended right then and there. 15 years. Good run, but nothing lasts forever. Who's side would people be on? Hers. I'm kinda a prick... Hell, even my step mom I bet would choose her.
I was sitting in a parking lot smoking and thinking. The tears had stopped. Why was I against it? What was my problem? Self reflection can be painful. I realized I wasn't as fat and happy as I thought I was. I had an epiphany. I needed to change, too.
So I scheduled a consult. Quit smoking as of 1/20. I did have one cheater on 1/21. As of 1/20 I weigh 327 lbs. I have a BMI of 44.5. I need to loose about 100 lbs. They fit me in an unorthodox manner to get me going sooner on the program because of my wife. I'm trying a sympathy diet as she's full liquid pre op at the moment. I'm still eating regular food, but for the most part not around her. It f**king sucks for me, and I can't imagine what it is for her. I was averaging about 3500 calories a day before I started this sympathy diet. Most the week I've been below 2000. I have 24 weeks to go before I will likely look at getting me approved. for a similar procedure.. She'll be at regular foods again by then (there is this whole diet progression thing). When I anticipated doing this I was thinking I could delay her so our timing was more together. Like some sort of fucked up couples massage. It didn't work out that way. She's going forward on Tuesday. I don't know if I can do this.
The anxiety is suffocating. On top of all of this work has been bad. It's been kinda slow. They have me learning something new and I'm too distracted with this going on to give it the attention it deserves. People are noticing my heads not in the game. I cleaned out my desk yesterday because I thought I was going to get fired. I didn't. So now it just looks like I'm quitting because I don't have **** there. Well f**k.

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Oh man, what a story.

Bariatric surgery done as a couple could be a good thing, you'd support each other. Remember that you are doing it for your health, and being able to be a part of your four boy's lives longer!

Are you sure about the 85% divorce rate? Sounds kinda high...

What ever you both decide, good luck!

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Self reflection indeed is hard, but you are obviously deep in it. I hope that you find a place (of worship, a therapist, a good friend's ear, a meditation class) where your self - reflection allows room for the positive. You are doing several of the HARDEST things you can do: 1.) quitting smoking 2.) dealing with your weight/health/etc. and mostly 3.) taking a long, hard, honest look at yourself and taking responsibility for the damage you might be doing to those around you.

I don't know you, but your post shows that you love your wife, you love your sons, and you have supported your family. Those are big foundations upon which to build.

I wish you strength, and kindness. Be kind to yourself, too.

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The surgery itself doesn't cause the high divorce rate. It's the stress and change that comes with it that puts relationships to the test (as with any stressful or drastic change in our lives...surgery or not).

Strong relationships stay strong. The weak ones get whittled out.

You sound like you have it in you for the makings of one half of strong relationship. Your ability to recognize and acknowledge behaviours and thought processes in yourself and others around you is a STRENGTH, and exactly the type of foundation great relationships can build upon.

What you wrote above was very sweet and poignant. Maybe show it to your wife. ❤️

Edited by ms.sss

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I have had two bariatric surgeries and we will have our 28th anniversary on Feb 29th. I think it just depends on the people. I can see how if you do this together you would have more support, and a walking buddy. Change is hard, but doable!

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59 minutes ago, Lynda486 said:

I have had two bariatric surgeries and we will have our 28th anniversary on Feb 29th. I think it just depends on the people. I can see how if you do this together you would have more support, and a walking buddy. Change is hard, but doable!

Similar stories: two bariatric surgeries, and we are celebrating our 44th anniversary in May.

I agree with ms.sss. Bariatric surgery is a lot like having kids--it'll make good relationships better, and doom the ones that were in trouble from the onset. Sounds like you have a good start!

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85% divorce rate sounds really high. Yes - it happens to some couples - but I don't believe that statistic. Plenty of us have stayed married. I agree that a lot of it depends on how your marriage was BEFORE surgery.

I think if anything, my marriage has gotten stronger. My husband never had a weight problem and is really active. At almost 400 lbs, I couldn't keep up with him. Now I can - and we do a lot more things together than we ever did before I had surgery.

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I too heard those statistics prior to surgery, and did some heavy research and soul searching prior to going forward. Here are some of the things I learned:

The divorce rate is highest for couples in which the person getting surgery was at a very high weight at the start of the relationship. Otherwise the divorce rate is the same as any other couple.

My takeaway is that sometimes there is a power differential in a relationship. As someone loses weight, they tend to gain confidence and in relationships in which they were submissive prior, they can start to stand their ground more. For the partner used to being in control, this can be an adjustment. Either they adapt or they get more controlling. Of course there is more that goes into it. People, and relationships, are very complex.

For me, I was always confident in my relationship. My partner and I met when I was actually pretty close to the weight I am now (about 30 years ago). The surgery and weight loss hasn’t diminished our relationship, because it was always on equal footing and healthy. Instead, like Catwoman, we are able to do A LOT more together. I don’t feel like I’m holding him back from fun stuff anymore. He’s never been overweight.

Anyhoo, it’s good to be aware of changes that may happen in relationships, but it’s not a done deal, you know? It sounds like you are working towards being more supportive, and joining her rather than trying to control her (get her not to do it). I think it’s a healthy step, to be sure.

Marriage counseling as you go through this time of transition may not be a bad idea.

Edited by AngieBear

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I found that study. And I noticed that every other article that mentions the 85% divorce rate quotes that one study. There was another study done in Sweden (which has a 47% overall divorce rate - about the same as in the U.S.) said that 9% of couples get divorced after bariatric surgery. That sounds a lot more believable to me, just based on anecdotal evidence I pick up from the various WLS boards I've been on the last five years.

I wonder if the person who did that first study meant an 85% LIFETIME divorce rate? (divorce rate for everyone - WLS or not - is about 48% in the US). Even an 85% lifetime divorce rate for WLS patients seems a bit high - but 85% in the two years after WLS seems really farfetched. I wouldn't be surprised if that study is flawed. Unless people who join internet forums are overwhelmingly in strong, happy marriages - but that seems implausible as well.

I don't doubt the divorce rate increases after WLS. People gain confidence after losing weight, and many aren't as likely to put up with crap anymore - and they probably aren't as afraid of leaving someone for fear of never finding another mate because of their weight. But I think we'd hear about divorce A LOT more on these forums if it was happening to 85% of us.

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