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Hello All- New Guy here.

Confession: I am the spouse of the soon-to-be patient and recipient of a sleeve procedure. But we will be going through the upcoming changes together in 8 weeks time as she starts her process.

I’ve been researching all the diet standards and recipes as chief house cook and trying to come to grasp with some of the upcoming permanent changes that will impact my wife/ best friend/ love of my life.

Primary reason for undergoing the procedure is medical, due to both a sports injury in college and severe diabetes that got worse after each of our four children. She JUST qualified in the 36 BMI range with medical conditions and after tons of other attempts, her doc said this was a necessary last resort to avoid complications later in life.

We’ve been married 14 years and together for just shy of 20! I would say our marriage is solid: we have been through times where we couldn’t rub two pennies together, a very difficult sickness and then death in the family, her 9 years of medical training and my “earning your stripes” years in my career and then most recently COVID and all the fears of having the wife/mom immediately at risk in one of the biggest hospitals in the city.

We’ve always worked to take both time for family vacation as well as time away just for us with date nights or sometimes a big week away. Our marriage, intimacy and family, though right in the thick of crazy child-rearing (we have twins!), is probably in the best place it’s been in years.

I guess this is where my real question starts: I fell down the internet rabbit hole about a week ago reading not about all the medical info and diet info, but about family and marriage impact. Personality changes, mood swings, emotional issues, depression, people acting like “a different person”, and the term “bariatric divorce”.

My nights have now been basically sleepless. A year ago we were told we could lose our medical professional spouses to COVID and thankfully she never got sick. However, now I am petrified of losing her to bariatric surgery and her “new self”. She has very much assured me this would never be the case and worked to calm my nerves.

Now, I am a numbers and research guy and much of the data out there says our relationship should be fine, statistically. We’ve been together for many years, there are not underlying toxic issues, and when we first started dating we were both very fit...

Like I said, I think we are rock solid and I am committed 100% to doing this with her, including changing my diet and exercising more, as well. Sure, we’ve had challenges in the past, but nothing that has ever threatened our relationship and who hasn’t? We’ve always worked through everything together and come out the other side stronger (as best as I can tell).

Still I am ashamed to admit I feel threatened, if not only for the many, many articles you can find online. She is primarily doing this so we can grow old together and get rid of her ailments and to be a more active individual with our busy kids. She joked and now I do too that she will look like she did when we first met and dated and that it will be a huge bonus just for me and she will love the way she looks again, even though it’s not the reason we are even doing this... That she’ll feel more confident also to dress more like the way she used to (prior to kids and wearing scrubs, she was pretty high maintenance- which I admittedly miss and she knows it).

So, the endgame question is- has anyone experienced some of those threatening items about personality changes and shifts, life decisions out of nowhere and the like? I’m trying to do EVERYTHING right here and while I am a confident guy, my biggest fear in life is losing my wife or kids. She’s my best friend and I could never love anyone as much as I do her... I want her to get healthy, but for herself, she decided to do this and came to me with it and I initially went all in to support her. This could make our lives better and longer despite some of the permanent changes. And we actively are talking about “the benefits” regarding appearance and intimacy on a daily basis. So even though all of that is positive talk, and reassuring, I’m turning to the people with experience to ask- AM I JUST FREAKING MYSELF OUT???

thanks!

Edited by TheBeornMan

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So, I haven't had my surgery yet, and don't have any personal experience to really add to that end of the discussion, but it does sound like you're freaking yourself out a bit. Anxiety is to be expected, I think, with any massive life change.

From what I've read in these forums, and seen in the videos I watched of people who have undergone the surgery, the main culprit for splits tends to be the partner not being supportive (for various reasons like insecurity, jealousy, control loss, ect.), or the relationship had underlying issues that were made worse/more apparent by the lifestyle changes and new found confidence. Based on what you've written, neither of those would apply to your relationship. You sound like you're doing as much as you can to support your wife, and that's honestly really amazing. Be more kind to yourself :)

If you are finding that you really can't shake the anxiety, it may be beneficial to see a therapist too. I'm a huge advocate for therapy for basically all things mental health related. The surgery is definitely a big change, and a neutral third party who is trained in such things can help you navigate the feelings that come with it.

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I am three years post surgery....and married for 27 years. You will be happy to know that nothing has changed in our relationship:)

That said, I know it does for many, many people. They don't call it "divorce surgery" for nothing. So, I get where you're coming from....the statistics are a little scary!

Ultimately, what I'm reading in your post, is that you'd like to know with certainty that this change isn't going to cause any changes in your relationship.

And here's the honest answer: there is no way to know. Chances are excellent, in my opinion, that it's going to work out great. But yes, of course, people can and do change over time and change with personal changes/growth/age.

Here's my question for you: What do you think your options are? Would you stop supporting her decision? Would you change your behavior in any way....if you knew the risk to your relationship was real?

I think you're trying to have control and certainty....and that just isn't realistic.

She's doing something to improve her health. She's doing something to improve her lifespan. She's doing something to improve her quality of life.

Would you ever, under any circumstances, want to stand in the way of that?

If your answer is...."I might not support her if there is a chance I could lose her"....you need to make an appointment with the therapist pronto.

Marriage is a daily choice. There is no reason to believe she would choose any other way than she has the past 14 years.

Reign in the insecurity and get ready to be her rock. She will need you.

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2 hours ago, TheBeornMan said:

< -- >

So, the endgame question is- has anyone experienced some of those threatening items about personality changes and shifts, life decisions out of nowhere and the like?

< --- >

- AM I JUST FREAKING MYSELF OUT??

Been married for 18 years, together for 25.

My surgery definitely resulted in personality changes in me, or should I say the results of my surgery resulted in me behaving more like I did in the early years of our dating/marriage life. Which is to say the changes were for the better.

I am the first to admit (and Mr. a close second) that I am waaaaay more patient and chill since the poundage loss. I am less annoyed, less tired, less angry, less clingy. I chalk all this up to my regained confidence (and physical betterment in terms of energy).

Generally they say that if the relationship has a good foundation of trust and security, any changes/stressors that come your way can be weathered. If the relationship is already on shaky ground, then there may be more challenges.

Sounds to me from your post you two are of the good-foundation type. But really, only you (and your wife) can determine if you guys can last, surgery or not.

Good Luck! ❤️

Edited by ms.sss

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6 hours ago, ms.sss said:

I am the first to admit (and Mr. a close second) that I am waaaaay more patient and chill since the poundage loss. I am less annoyed, less tired, less angry, less clingy. I chalk all this up to my regained confidence (and physical betterment in terms of energy).

24-year relationship here, and I agree with all of the above. I would say our relationship is stronger than before, in large part because my improved health has made me able to do more of the things we both want to do, and my self-esteem is also higher.

My spouse was incredibly supportive throughout the entire process. He did a huge amount of research as well to be sure that he understood what to expect and what I could and could not eat (and to nag me when I was deviating from the program).

I would say that the fact you are asking yourself these questions means that you are going to be supportive of your spouse and sensitive to her needs, so your marriage should be fine. I would think it's the husbands who are threatened by the their wife's physical (and emotional) transformation who pose a threat to the relationship, as well as those who simply don't care and are clueless. Just keep communications open with your wife throughout her recovery and let her know you are there for her.

Edited by Recidivist

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15 hours ago, Creekimp13 said:

I am three years post surgery....and married for 27 years. You will be happy to know that nothing has changed in our relationship:)

That said, I know it does for many, many people. They don't call it "divorce surgery" for nothing. So, I get where you're coming from....the statistics are a little scary!

Ultimately, what I'm reading in your post, is that you'd like to know with certainty that this change isn't going to cause any changes in your relationship.

And here's the honest answer: there is no way to know. Chances are excellent, in my opinion, that it's going to work out great. But yes, of course, people can and do change over time and change with personal changes/growth/age.

Here's my question for you: What do you think your options are? Would you stop supporting her decision? Would you change your behavior in any way....if you knew the risk to your relationship was real?

I think you're trying to have control and certainty....and that just isn't realistic.

She's doing something to improve her health. She's doing something to improve her lifespan. She's doing something to improve her quality of life.

Would you ever, under any circumstances, want to stand in the way of that?

If your answer is...."I might not support her if there is a chance I could lose her"....you need to make an appointment with the therapist pronto.

Marriage is a daily choice. There is no reason to believe she would choose any other way than she has the past 14 years.

Reign in the insecurity and get ready to be her rock. She will need you.

You make several great points. Truth is, I would NEVER want to hold her back from trying to better her health. In fact, for months, I have been a proponent of this route when it became clear it was our best option to get the issues managed to improve her quality of life and as I said in my OP- enjoy growing old together and hopefully having a great back 9 in life with one another even though we are still both 39. So that’s completely off the table.

Same thing with change- we never go out to the same restaurant twice on a date (before COVID) or somewhere on vacation for that matter. I was completely open to relocating outside New England for her medical residency and fellowship even though we both have lived here our whole lives (we ended up staying put). I love when she changes up her hair to something new to keep things interesting- I ask her to actually when she wants to know what I think. And frankly, despite this being solely about health and quality of life (otherwise this procedure would have never crossed either of our minds) of course I’m excited to see how she’ll look and dress and all that after the weight loss, she’s my wife- I’m mad for her!

When it comes to personality change, I guess that does worry me a bit. She’s already very assertive and strong willed, so from what I read in articles- that doesn’t really bother me, it’s one of the reasons I love her. We are both just really down to earth and humble people, I would hope THAT doesn’t change about her. We put our family and our marriage first- THAT I hope doesn’t change. It’s one of the reasons we got married in the first place- we share basic core beliefs. That said, I know people change. She changed quite a bit during and after all her medical training. I changed a lot after my younger sibling who I was close with got ill and passed away swiftly. But we loved each other through it all. I just hope that’s the same here.

Am i a little threatened or intimidated? Well, I know she’s a catch, I’m not too shabby myself, but I know she is someone really special. So yes, I’m quite protective of her and our relationship. I guess the one thing that makes me feel better is the extra lengths she has been going to to be affectionate and reassuring right now knowing my concern. She’s incredibly nurturing and sweet. So like I said, when hormones and self image and such shift. I just pray that she is still my wife at the end of it all with all the qualities I’ve been listing.

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I've been married for almost 42 years and my husband was not in favor of either of my surgeries. I had the sleeve in 2014 for obesity (I had a 36 BMI like your wife) and just had a revision to bypass in October 2020.

But in both cases, his concern was directly related to his fear that I was doing something drastic and irreversible for weight loss (sleeve) and GERD (bypass). But I can also tell you that he is very happy with the results. Tells the neighbors how great I look etc. He is very supportive of my eating habits and just thankful that I didn't quit cooking meals just because I don't eat them!!

The most important thing you can do for your wife is share your concerns but reinforce that it's her decision and you are there for her both before and after surgery.

Edited by mae7365

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So I think an update for everyone would be good and also for myself to memorialize this whole process.

Since my original post, we’ve had ALOT of discussions about the surgery, what life will be like after, her concerns, my concerns... we were very communicative about it before, but are extremely so now.

We made a costco run to get everything for her first 6-8 weeks post surgery. Have ordered a slew of helpful items on Amazon and Target and really drilled down to the heart of certain issues.

I’ve learned that for me, while this has just been about the existing ailments we are trying to treat; she has harbored concern about her weight and appearance more than I realized previously. She very much wants to go back to the person she was as far as her weight and appearance when we were dating/ engaged and just married. We took out old pictures and she pined for how she loved herself in one or two dresses or how she misses having slimmer face and a shorter haircut she feels she can’t do right now.

I’ve brought up my straight-up fears about her deciding she’s outgrown me or wanting to start a new chapter in life. Ever the empirical thinking, I was assured that between our four children, her job as a physician, our marriage and that fact that we along with all of our friends are in the thick of this busy stage in life- 1) when would there be time to go out more than she and I already do, with friends, no less. And 2) why would she or we throw away what we have spent close to 20 years building together?

We’ve done the math a number of times, if her projected weight loss meets the law of averages, she’d be at most 10-15 pounds less than when we first got together. Really hitting home the fact that she’s just returning to her former self and not becoming “a whole new person”. So while we were looking at pictures she asked me what I’d like to she her wear or do differently once she is at a major goal and comfortable to try different things out again. That led to lots of joking, affection and some foreshadowing of some of the benefits that will come along with this life change.

I also brought up my concern about her changing or becoming a “different person”. She feels that the hormonal and emotional changes will be just like pregnancy and postpartum, which we have done 3 times. She actually said she WANTS to change and to be more confident, in love with herself and less depressed. I said that would all be amazing and noted more concerns about the stories of people becoming mean or too aggressive or just actually losing key personality traits as part of the process.

Again, she pointed to how she thinks of our family and marriage and how she wants me to take her out and show her off. Reassured and lovingly noted again and again.

I was told I was getting a little clingy, which I think I needed to hear and have dialed it down a bit since then.

So, all in all. I think good progress and lots of revelations and open communication. We will only know things for sure in a few short weeks, but it seems that while I still have concerns/ fears, her constant affection and reassurances have really truly put me at ease.

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