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Painted in a corner--marriage issue



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I had both an encouraging and frustrating day. I don't know where else to vent since my surgery is private. My husband of 27 years is encouraging and accepting of my surgery plans, which I started in earnest today. I'm a few months from surgery (damn dietician requirements) but I am well researched and prepared to make a lifelong change. After discussing the hoops and loops, my husband made one last comment.

(Paraphrasing) "I support you in this surgery but I am pointing out that I want you to think through the fact that you will probably have an affair or divorce me. Or your personality will change. Or you'll think less of me because I'm somewhat overweight. And I want you to balance choice along with the advantage of better health and being thinner."

Our marriage is good but has had a few rocky seasons. I am normally active. He is not. I'm extroverted. He is not. There is some unhealthy co-dependent and emotional abuse. He refuses any marriage counseling or movement towards change. I've been in therapy for years, by myself.

I know this is more emotional abuse but essentially, I am being asked to DECIDE to gamble my marriage if I dare to consider surgery. He'll support me but if I push back even a little bit, with any kind of independence, any joy, or lust for life, I'm proving him correct. And it will be lorded over my head. *I* made the problem. I made the choice.

Any advice or insight on how to let guilt slide off your back? Or how to make a selfish decision for your own happiness?

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Wow.

First of all, there is nothing selfish about taking control of your health by getting surgery. We all have the right to make smart choices about our health and our bodies, and you should be congratulated for taking the next step. You also have every right to Celebrate your weight loss success after surgery and to find joy in everyday life that may have eluded you before.

I'm not a psychologist, but I think it's pretty clear that your husband does NOT support your surgery. Saying you should think through your decision by giving you all the possible negative repercussions seems like a passive/aggressive attempt to talk you out of it. As you said, it's emotional abuse.

If you can't get him to go the therapy, you should address this with your therapist (if you haven't already) so you can separate you own needs from your husband's attempts to control you. This decision might be the catalyst you need to explore whether your marriage is worth saving.

Of course, I can't pretend to understand the dynamics of your marriage, but that's my honest assessment based on the information you have provided. Best wishes for whatever decision you make, and know that you will have a supportive community here throughout your journey.

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Wow! I don't have any constructive advice. I live alone and always have. But you need to do what is going to give you a healthy and happy life. He may be right but he doesn't have a crystal ball. the future is going to unfold with you in a better place Healthwise. commit to that.

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All of this here is good advice. Your health should be your primary focus, but you don't want to destroy a relationship if you can avoid it.

Your husband sounds just like mine...he was worried that once I lost the weight I would not still want to be married to him. And unfortunately the data after WLS shows many marriages do dissolve. But that's all up to you...if you want it to work, it will! But again, your health is the most important consideration. The marriage will certainly be over if you die due to your weight issues!

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some relationships get better, some get worse, some stay about the same. Mine actually got better - my husband is/was very active, and at almost 400 lbs, I couldn't keep up with him. Now - I can! But I've also known a couple of people who've ended up divorced. I think it largely depends on how the marriage was BEFORE the surgery. Some people, after losing their excess weight, decide they're not going to put up with the crap any longer. They're more self-confident, they're more attractive to others (so there are other fish in the sea, if they so choose), so they're comfortable saying good-bye.

SO...long way of saying, it's certainly not a guarantee that you'll have an affair or want a divorce. But I'm glad you're talking to your therapist. It sounds like there are issues there. I personally don't know if I'd want to put up with them, but then, I'm not you. You may prefer to stay and work on the issues - and that's fine! Like others have said, I have no advice for you - but I'm glad you're seeing a therapist to help you work some of this out.

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A wise woman (my mother) told me "you manifest your own destiny" - Your husband sounds scared and nervous. I agree with what everyone else has said. Hang in there - In reality, how he handles your weight loss is HIS decision. If he chooses to alienate and not support you, then those are HIS choices. YOUR choice to get healthy and be happy are yours.

I hope that you do what's best for you - Whatever that decision is.

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10 hours ago, Locken said:

I had both an encouraging and frustrating day. I don't know where else to vent since my surgery is private. My husband of 27 years is encouraging and accepting of my surgery plans, which I started in earnest today. I'm a few months from surgery (damn dietician requirements) but I am well researched and prepared to make a lifelong change. After discussing the hoops and loops, my husband made one last comment.

(Paraphrasing) "I support you in this surgery but I am pointing out that I want you to think through the fact that you will probably have an affair or divorce me. Or your personality will change. Or you'll think less of me because I'm somewhat overweight. And I want you to balance choice along with the advantage of better health and being thinner."

Our marriage is good but has had a few rocky seasons. I am normally active. He is not. I'm extroverted. He is not. There is some unhealthy co-dependent and emotional abuse. He refuses any marriage counseling or movement towards change. I've been in therapy for years, by myself.

I know this is more emotional abuse but essentially, I am being asked to DECIDE to gamble my marriage if I dare to consider surgery. He'll support me but if I push back even a little bit, with any kind of independence, any joy, or lust for life, I'm proving him correct. And it will be lorded over my head. *I* made the problem. I made the choice.

Any advice or insight on how to let guilt slide off your back? Or how to make a selfish decision for your own happiness?

I'm a guy, was married 27-28 years when I started toward surgery. My wife was like you, outgoing, social, etc. I am like your husband, introverted, insecure, a curmudgeon. Ok, here we go...

I've heard it said "WLS makes good marriages better and bad marriages worse."

My wife supported me 100%. But I initiated a similar discussion. Since I was always huge, I couldn't be sure that I wouldn't change. What if I did? We finally decided worrying about it doesn't and won't change anything. Worrying now (then) was wasted energy. I had no intention of allowing WLS to kill my marriage and we had to settle there. It wasn't just one discussion, we had it several times before and after surgery. Each time we reconfirmed our commitments to each other.

Unless your husband is typically a jerk to you, I wouldn't count his insecurity against him. It's a fair concern. You both have issues and you love each other. But, once you remove your issues he fears he won't be good enough for the new you. Talk about it. Reassure him in no uncertain terms your feelings and intentions. Each time it comes up. Affirm your feelings toward him.

If he is a total jerk, well surgery or not you have some thinking to do. My experience won't help you here.

For the record, our marriage got better. My insecurities about the new me didn't blossom, but I'm still insecure. I am still me and I'm still in love with my wife more every day. She reports the same... but I think she's just being nice ;)

Good luck

Tek

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I would praise him for being “so tuned in to the marriage”! I’d then explain it takes 2 to make it work and since he IS so tuned in, he certainly wouldn’t let anything negatively affect your relationship. In other words, step up to the plate Mr Sweet Cheeks and stop depending upon my understanding for areas of life and our relationship that you KNOW you can do something about, too! What a Wonderful time to make our relationship the BEST it can be!

Edited by Lily66

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36 minutes ago, Lily66 said:

I would praise him for being “so tuned in to the marriage”! I’d then explain it takes 2 to make it work and since he IS so tuned in, he certainly wouldn’t let anything negatively affect your relationship. In other words, step up to the plate Mr Sweet Cheeks and stop depending upon my understanding for areas of life and our relationship that you KNOW you can do something about, too! What a Wonderful time to make our relationship the BEST it can be!

If my wife approached me this way it would have resulted in a fight about how to properly communicate. Worst case, it would be interpreted as an ultimatum, and we are both proud enough to take the 'or else' option. Which is why we never come close to such.

Insecurity is not something you can emotionally manipulate away, unless the goal is to get the insecure person to shut down.

I suggest open, honest communication that treats your partner as an equal.

Tek

PS: I don't actually believe you speak to your partner this way, it was just internet bravado. Or so I hope.

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I'm the last person who is qualified to give relationship advice, but hey, it's the internet, so I'm not going to let that stop me from throwing in my 2 cents. It is true that a lot of marriages end after WLS, so I don't blame him for being worried. But marriages don't end as a direct result of WLS; they end as a result of changes to the marriage from the (mostly positive) changes of losing weight and improving health. Sometimes it's because people put up with more than they should because they don't think anyone else will love them, and when they lose weight, they realize they don't need to put up with abuse to be loved. Other times, it's because your interests and priorities may change when you're physically able to do things you couldn't do when you were bigger.

It's not fair for him to put it all on you, though. If I understand correctly, you have tried to get him to go to marriage counseling and he won't do it. If the marriage is so important to him, he needs to put some effort into it, too. It is NOT a selfish decision to do something to improve your health. Unless you are actively planning to lose weight so you can find a better husband, deciding to have WLS does not equal choosing to end your marriage.

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I am also a few months out from having surgery (I have to wait until March, I have to accrue more vacation time to take off for after surgery, bummer) I am not married but in a relationship. My boyfriend adores me and loves everything about my body currently (so he says, lol. Of course women never 100% believe that, right?) But he made a somewhat similar comment and I was definitely a little hurt and surprised, he said it like he was kinda kidding but it's stuck with me. He said that he's a little worried that I'll lose weight and get cocky and thing I deserve better and leave him (he's a bigger guy) Then he said, "But if that happens, I have photo evidence..." I was hoping he was going to say, photo evidence that I loved him before, no! He meant photo evidence that I was once fat also! Ouch! He's extremely supportive and wants me to do whatever I feel is right for me! But clearly, a tad insecure too? I'm trying to not nail him to the cross for that one, but instead be understanding that he will have his doubts and fears about the process just like I do. Just in different ways.

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7 minutes ago, DogMomDoesRNY-2021 said:

I am also a few months out from having surgery (I have to wait until March, I have to accrue more vacation time to take off for after surgery, bummer) I am not married but in a relationship. My boyfriend adores me and loves everything about my body currently (so he says, lol. Of course women never 100% believe that, right?) But he made a somewhat similar comment and I was definitely a little hurt and surprised, he said it like he was kinda kidding but it's stuck with me. He said that he's a little worried that I'll lose weight and get cocky and thing I deserve better and leave him (he's a bigger guy) Then he said, "But if that happens, I have photo evidence..." I was hoping he was going to say, photo evidence that I loved him before, no! He meant photo evidence that I was once fat also! Ouch! He's extremely supportive and wants me to do whatever I feel is right for me! But clearly, a tad insecure too? I'm trying to not nail him to the cross for that one, but instead be understanding that he will have his doubts and fears about the process just like I do. Just in different ways.

Not all guys are as open and eloquent as I am ;)

Generally, we're idiots. Most of us only have a theoretical idea of how women work.

I think I was getting to a point, but I think I lost track... Hey NFL is back! Woohoo!

See my other posts.

Tek

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Hahaha! Ugh, men! Lol. Kidding! That’s true, people don’t always have the “right words”.

For the record, I could see on his face that he regretted making that comment! As soon as he saw the response on my face... he looked like he felt bad for potentially hurting me.

Edited by DogMomDoesRNY-2021

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