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My husband doesn't want me to have surgery


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I haven't had surgery yet, but I've seen the surgeon, the nutrionists, and had some of the insurance required tests already. I still have a few things to do, but the surgeon said he thinks I should be able to have it in November.
So wouldn't you know that the moment I commented on one of the posts here about unsupportive boyfriend MY husband decides that he does not want me to have surgery. First he said he is worried something will happen to me, then he says I can do it by exercise and diet, and then today he said that he met me heavy and he wants me to be like how I was when we first met. Honestly I think he is worried that if I get thin that I will leave him, which I would not leave him but he told me that he will not support me on my decision to have it. He said we will get a divorce. He had already told me that he would not take to me or pick me up from the hospital and that he wouldn't take care of me at home, and I needed to call my sister to come and do it all.
It is very odd because we have been together 12 or 13 years, married for ten of those years and he has never been that way with me. He says he loves me but he sure isn't acting like it. I think in the end he will go along with it but for now he has really upset me. His parents said they would help me when it comes time for my surgery.

Each time I drink a shake he asks me why I'm still doing that diet. I just tell him it's because it's easier than eating at the moment.
I guess I should mention that I've already lost some weight and now he is heavier than me.....not by much but he knows I'm going to keep losing and he is struggling to lose it, but he has started to the gym and hopefully he can lose it and won't feel so insecure.

I really do think he will change when it comes to surgery time, but for now I'm just dealing with him nagging me about the diet and exercise.
I'm all about exercise, but I'm healing from some tendon surgery so I have to wait until after my physical therapy for my whole body.

Has anybody else had a spouse that didn't want to support their surgery in the beginning but changed their mind later?

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Oh boy, I'm so sorry he's doing this to you. Self esteem issues are complex and his behaviour is a checklist of that. He's nagging about doing it through diet/exercise because he knows that way leads to failure, and your success also makes him feel bad about his own failure to lose. Plus the "our fatness keeps us together" thing. Such a mess to unpick, I really hope he comes around.

My partner was also resistant initially. He never badgered me, or said nasty things, but he'd go quiet and I'd know something was up (and it's worth noting that he's thin and has never had food issues like me). When I got my initial consult appointment, it came to a head. I asked what was wrong, and he admitted that he wasn't happy about me doing this, that it was extreme etc. Well ... i lost it. I'd been planning and waiting for this for at least a year and a half, and I couldn't hold my emotions in and I just broke down and in an unstoppable monologue, told him how utterly miserable I was, how I wasn't living, how I wanted my life back, how I wanted to feel I could socialise again and not be mortified by my appearance, how I wanted to go with him to events and not be ashamed and worried that everyone was thinking "what's he doing with that fat pig" (my exact words to him). I let it all out. How my life for the last decade has been utterly, utterly miserable.

He had no idea I'd been feeling like this. He was stunned. I'm not a "talk about our emotions" person and prefer to make jokes and keep life light, so this was stuff I should have told him a long time ago, but hey, better late than never I guess. It changed the ratio for him, and realising how I really felt, he was then 100% on board with me.

We've a different situation of course, and I'm not suggesting "losing it and breaking down in a wailing mess" is the fix, but I definitely learned a "clear communication is probably a good idea" lesson.

I really hope you can get through to him.

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I'm a guy.

Everything your husband fears about surgery is true. Something COULD happen. You COULD change. You COULD find a better guy. He's seen the same WLS horror stories as you. He's had associates at work tell him all the things that he fears happened to a friend of a friend and it was horrible.

Another true thing: WLS makes good relationships better and bad relationships worse. By having surgery you are changing the status quo in all your relationships. Relationships will necessarily change as you change when eventually a new status quo is established. Again, some relationships will be better, others worse, and others may not change much at all.

So, you have a lot of talking to do.

Talk to your husband about his fears and reassure him that nothing extremely bad will happen, that you will not change in any important way. That you love him and have no intention of leaving him. You will have to have this discussion every time his fear (and insecurity) come up because you love him. Tell him of all the things you can do with him when you lose weight. Express all the reasons you are having WLS and how those will impact him in a positive way. Open and honest, again and again. Then you will have to do similar in other relationships whether you tell them about surgery or not, because they have eyes and will notice you losing weight.

We all get insecure about change sometimes when we perceive or imagine changes. We all have buttons.

This may seem unfair and perhaps it is. But it's how loving, caring, giving relationships work. If you don't care about the relationship you don't need to take the time. "I'm doing this. Get on board or..." works if you don't care about the fallout. Your choice.

Good luck,


Edited by The Greater Fool

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@Wickerbuni I am still in the pre-surgery stage but my husband has been almost like yours. He says “you can just keep doing what you’re doing exercising and watching your diet and do it without the surgery”. I am like HELLO been trying for years unsuccessfully! I do think as time passes they may change their minds. Maybe it is more fear that we might have complications or something and it seems like people act like it’s a cosmetic surgery not a true health need surgery. Hoping he comes alongside you as does mine.

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While I believe that you do indeed need to have a heart-to-heart with your husband and explain exactly how your feeling and lay out all of the emotions and reasons behind your decision to do what you want to your body... I disagree that you need to spend the rest of your life explaining yourself to him. Additionally, once you've laid your heart out on the table and explained your decision, (IMO) he'll need to make a decision to support you, his wife, or to not support you.

While I appreciate @thegreaterfool giving you the man's point of view, I don't think it took into account what you need from your spouse. You need support from your spouse just as much as your spouse needs you to support him. It's a give and take ... not just a give, give, give. So while yes, he needs to hear and feel your support to quell his worries right now, you're going to need his support too. 50/50 give and take, not just give and give some more. He has to care about your relationship as much as you do to put in his 50%.

Best of luck to you and I hope your talk with him goes well and that he's able to understand your choice and decision enough to partner with you on the decision and you can carry each other moving forward. Because this is a huge life decision, you're going to need him, too.

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@laurenantics, we need to call our marriage off. ;)

I usually do a couple paragraphs on the importance of communication, and more about relationships being about 100 commitment and more communication.

Then a bit on the importance of variety in sexual positions and role play in public.

You know, the obvious stuff.

But I had to pretend to work for a while, so couldn't hit the usual high points, so I'm sorry to say I rushed it a bit.

Trust me when I say the silent motto around here is "happy wife, happy life" and any man worth his salt has figured this about by year 20. 25 tops.

So, I could reprise any of the parts I missed if anyone would like to read them.

Good wishes and good luck,


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