Author Topic: dealing with a spouse who is literally killing self with unhealthy lifestyle  (Read 27562 times)

adjunctprof

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I love my wife (in mid-40's), but she is lazy, unmotivated, and addicted to carbs and unhealthy food like a drug addict.

My wife has always had a weight problem, but I've been supportive and tried to get her to eat healthier, go exercise, etc. None of that has worked out so far.

My wife is on high blood pressure medicine. Despite that, she was suffering from a sinus infection so she went to the walk-in clinic to get checked out and get some anti-biotics.  The nurse took her blood pressure and was shocked at how high it was (i believe 180/200), and advised my wife to go to ER or urgent care and lower her blood pressure.  My wife blew it off, and said she knows she has high blood pressure and is dealing with it via meds.  I think the nurse's reaction was a little bit of a wake up call for her though.

Some more back story - my wife's father passed away recently from a heart attack in his late 60's, and her mom is deathly ill, constant in and out of the hospital from diabetes and a myriad of serious health issues.  I don't even want to say it but I'm seriously afraid of what might happen to the mother.

Despite these recent events, my wife continues to lead a very unhealthy lifestyle.  She stays up late watching Youtube / TV, goes to work but eats very unhealthy fast food, and eats a lot of carbs at home, like bread, rice, pasta, etc, with very little veggies.

In contrast, I'm extremely lean and fit, I go to the gym 4-5 times per week.  I eat organic chicken, lots of green leafy veggies, hardly any carbs, and I also practice intermittent fasting to keep my blood sugar stable and insulin response high.

I've tried for 15 years to get my wife to follow my lead.  I'll make healthy food for her, and she refuses to eat it, calling it "yucky".  I paid for years of gym membership, thousands of dollars in fees, and personal training lessons.  It's a chore to drag her to the gym.  She claims she's "tired" after work, or just not feeling like going to the gym, etc. 

She got motivated for a few weeks to go to the gym once per week after her father died, which was a wake up call, but then she went back to her normal routine and stopped going to the gym or trying to eat healthy.

At this time I'm deathly afraid she will have a heart attack, stroke, or some other serious health issue.  I've sent her internet information on healthy eating, why intermittent fasting is good for her, why she should avoid unhealthy carbs and fast food.  Nothing seems to take.  She ignores what I share with her, and prefers to watch reality TV like Project Runway, Dance moms, crap like that, instead of the nutrition and healthy lifestyle information I send to her to watch.

I've sort of given up over the years, and I told her "it seems you really want to die, the unhealthy lifestyle is literally suicide for you. I'll be extremely sad if you die, but it might be better than you being a vegetable and need 24/7 care from me to take care of you."   It's extremely sad thing to say, but I need to support the family and the kids, and there's no way I could give up my job to take care of her if she is unable to live a self-sufficient lifestyle.

I'm really just venting in this post.  It's upsetting to see someone not care about their own health at all, and ignore all my attempts to show them and support them to a healthier lifestyle.  In a way I've thrown in the towel... I guess I need to chill and figure out how I'm going to protect myself and the family financially and emotionally if she decides it's better to eat crap food and live an completely sedentary lifestyle while taking meds for all the symptoms.

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Posting to follow. My wife and I are younger, but I feel like we are in a less extreme version of your situation.

Stachless

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Sorry to hear this, Prof.

I guess the only thing I can say is that after 15 years of trying, you've probably realized nothing will really change until she really wants to change.

I wish you both the very best of luck!

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Was she always like this? It sounds like you are super healthy and active and she hasn't ever been, in which case it seems odd that you would couple up having such drastic differences.

I am not a doctor, or anything, but just from what you wrote, she sounds extremely depressed and stressed out and is self medicating with food and in denial about how bad things are. Add to that possibly feeling like her spouse is judging her and hates her and finds her unattractive. So she continues to hide from the issues and keeps self medicating with food and sedentary activities like computer crap/Youtube.

It is time for a serious discussion, and that should include counseling for her individually and for you as a family.

Calling her lazy and unmotivated is not helpful. For either her or you, because you are framing all of this as a simple lifestyle change that she needs to make, when it likely stems from mental roadblocks like depression and outright fear. Got to untangle the mess in the head and brain before the body stuff makes sense.
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adjunctprof

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Was she always like this? It sounds like you are super healthy and active and she hasn't ever been, in which case it seems odd that you would couple up having such drastic differences.

I am not a doctor, or anything, but just from what you wrote, she sounds extremely depressed and stressed out and is self medicating with food and in denial about how bad things are. And likely is feeling extreme worry over her health, shame, embarrassment and like her spouse is judging her and hates her and concerned about the state of her relationship as well. So she continues to hide from the issues and keeps self medicating with food and sedentary activities like computer crap/Youtube.

It is time for a serious discussion, and that should include counseling for her individually and for you as a family.

Calling her lazy and unmotivated is not helpful. For either her or you, because you are framing all of this as a simple lifestyle change that she needs to make, when it likely stems from mental roadblocks like depression and outright fear. Got to untangle the mess in the head and brain before the body stuff makes sense.
She has gone to see counselors and theraptists before, but it is not depression or any mental issue, it is pure laziness.  She much prefers to sit at home on her bed or lazy chair and watch TV than go to the gym which is "punishment and not fun".

Lazy and unmotivated is what it really comes down to.  I hate going to the gym at times, but I force myself to go, and I always feel better afterwards.  I've been there.  There were periods (months) where I hated the thought of going to the gym, I know what it feels like.  But I refuse to allow myself to wallow in self pity and laziness and avoid taking care of my health.

I don't agree about untangling the mess in the head before the body stuff makes sense.  Sometimes you just got to do it, and by going to exercise, you start feeling better about yourself.

I was very shy and non-confident when I was growing up, and hated going to the gym. But once I started a routine of going, I realized over time how much better it made me feel, and cured whatever issues I had in my head. 

You have to take care of the body, to take care of the mind.  Anything else comes across as an excuse to do nothing.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2018, 12:44:46 PM by adjunctprof »

adjunctprof

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Posting to follow. My wife and I are younger, but I feel like we are in a less extreme version of your situation.
I wish you good luck.  I literally called my wife's work, and spoke to her supervisor, and informed her of the situation.  I stated that my wife's near minimum wage job is not worth her getting a heart attack or stroke over, and I'd rather my wife quit her job and deal with getting healthier full time.

My wife's supervisor is sympathetic, and said she will speak with my wife about this immediately.  I'm going to be a pain in my wife's side until she decides to deal with this, one way or another.  I will not allow her laziness and apathetic attitude to kill herself or destroy this family.

It is just unfathomable how people don't take care of their health.  You can't buy good health with money, you have to earn it.  I'd rather be broke and penniless and healthy, than be super rich and very ill.  It's insanity the way people treat their bodies today.

adjunctprof

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Sorry to hear this, Prof.

I guess the only thing I can say is that after 15 years of trying, you've probably realized nothing will really change until she really wants to change.

I wish you both the very best of luck!
thank you, it is definitely true, the only person who can change is the person him/herself.  I've tried to be supportive with money, examples, and physical encouragement.  It's led to some nasty fights where she acts like a child when I try to get her to go the gym.  I refuse to allow her laziness and resistance to take this family down. 

TheWifeHalf

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How old are your children?  Inspire them to live a healthy life (without referring to Mom at all) and maybe seeing them, will motivate her.
Make grocery shopping a family outing, talking about why something is going into the cart, and why something is not.
Plan on 'activities' and before long, the kids will be asking Mom to join.
Try to not let her choices be the example your kids want  to copy.

I'd also investigate the 'depressed' cause too

adjunctprof

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How old are your children?  Inspire them to live a healthy life (without referring to Mom at all) and maybe seeing them, will motivate her.
Make grocery shopping a family outing, talking about why something is going into the cart, and why something is not.
Plan on 'activities' and before long, the kids will be asking Mom to join.
Try to not let her choices be the example your kids want  to copy.

I'd also investigate the 'depressed' cause too
Children are early teens.  They were conditioned by my wife to eat junk food, drink soda.  I've been hammering them about eating real nutritious food, and it seems to be working.

The children were at Grandpa's funeral and saw how he killed himself with soda and unhealthy food, and spent their spring break in the hospital with Grandma and saw how seriously ill she is.

The children are now starting to turn away from junk food / soda and following my lead, in asking for carrots, broccoli, green leafy veggies, and healthy protein. It is a VERY encouraging sign!!!  My oldest one asked if she could come with me to the gym if my wife won't come with me, I'm shocked that I'm having such a positive influence!!!

Ryancanderson23

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You might just be venting.  But based on your posts, it seems like it might be best for both of you if you got divorced. 

adjunctprof

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You might just be venting.  But based on your posts, it seems like it might be best for both of you if you got divorced.
Believe me, I've explored this with my wife before.  But she says if we divorce it will literally kill her seriously ill mom, who is near death.  Out of respect for her mom, I'm going to hold off until she passes. 

I really do love my wife, despite all her flaws, but this is a deal breaker for me!!

CNM

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If she doesn't want to change, she won't.  If I were her, I might be angered by my spouse's involvement and specifically rebel against it.  So, if being really invested in the process isn't working, maybe dropping it altogether will work.

Also, she might hate going to a gym.  There are lots of valid reasons why people don't like gyms.  The easiest way to start getting exercise is finding something you like.  Maybe it's dancing, biking, hiking, SUP, yoga, or something else.  Perhaps one way you can try to help her is inviting her to do some class or activity with you, that is different than just lifting weights at the gym.  Or, maybe get her friends involved- invite them to do a fun exercising activity with your wife.  Then it's more of a social activity than simply pumping iron with a bunch of sweaty strangers.

Health and weight loss does come down, in large part, to diet.  Again, if it is not working by having you push it, maybe if she went to a nutritionist or Weight Watchers or basically ANYONE ELSE BUT YOU she might be more receptive. 

Good luck!

Ryancanderson23

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You might just be venting.  But based on your posts, it seems like it might be best for both of you if you got divorced.
Believe me, I've explored this with my wife before.  But she says if we divorce it will literally kill her seriously ill mom, who is near death.  Out of respect for her mom, I'm going to hold off until she passes. 

I really do love my wife, despite all her flaws, but this is a deal breaker for me!!

If that's case, then you are only married legally and not mentally and emotionally.  So try to disconnect from wanting to change her.  Think of your situation as if you are already divorced.  What she does with her health is her business and doesn't effect you, and even if it does effect you there's nothing you can do about it.  Just like if an ex-wife wasn't taking care of herself.

Khaetra

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I'm sorry you're going through this.  It sucks, but she is an adult and it's her choice to make if she wants to slowly kill herself and no amount of nagging/threatening will change that.  Perhaps instead of trying to get her to go to the gym with you (or on her own) try a different approach.  I hate gyms.  With a fiery passion I hate them.  I do however like different types of activities that are not gyms.  I like to walk a lot.  I like to dance.  I like to bike.  Exercising doesn't have to be gym or bust.  Maybe try talking with her to find some kind of activity that she might be interested in.

I don't to want to sound mean, but have you checked your own attitude?  Sometimes we think we may come across as one way but the other person might take it entirely different.  Maybe instead of as a partner she might see you as a parent with the nagging/pleading and she has drawn a line in the sand the same way a child might.  That's not healthy either.

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I literally called my wife's work, and spoke to her supervisor, and informed her of the situation.  I stated that my wife's near minimum wage job is not worth her getting a heart attack or stroke over, and I'd rather my wife quit her job and deal with getting healthier full time.
In doing this you crossed a line from spouse to parent. You have set up a relationship dynamic where you are attempting to guilt and bully your partner into behaving a certain way. She is - quite predictably - responding by doing the opposite.

Frankly, the way you describe your wife is appalling. Calling her lazy and unmotivated when she is working and raising children in addition to dealing with grief from her father's death demonstrates a lack of empathy.

Counseling. For you, for her, for the whole family.

Frankies Girl

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Was she always like this? It sounds like you are super healthy and active and she hasn't ever been, in which case it seems odd that you would couple up having such drastic differences.

I am not a doctor, or anything, but just from what you wrote, she sounds extremely depressed and stressed out and is self medicating with food and in denial about how bad things are. And likely is feeling extreme worry over her health, shame, embarrassment and like her spouse is judging her and hates her and concerned about the state of her relationship as well. So she continues to hide from the issues and keeps self medicating with food and sedentary activities like computer crap/Youtube.

It is time for a serious discussion, and that should include counseling for her individually and for you as a family.

Calling her lazy and unmotivated is not helpful. For either her or you, because you are framing all of this as a simple lifestyle change that she needs to make, when it likely stems from mental roadblocks like depression and outright fear. Got to untangle the mess in the head and brain before the body stuff makes sense.
She has gone to see counselors and theraptists before, but it is not depression or any mental issue, it is pure laziness.  She much prefers to sit at home on her bed or lazy chair and watch TV than go to the gym which is "punishment and not fun".

Lazy and unmotivated is what it really comes down to.  I hate going to the gym at times, but I force myself to go, and I always feel better afterwards.  I've been there.  There were periods (months) where I hated the thought of going to the gym, I know what it feels like.  But I refuse to allow myself to wallow in self pity and laziness and avoid taking care of my health.

I don't agree about untangling the mess in the head before the body stuff makes sense.  Sometimes you just got to do it, and by going to exercise, you start feeling better about yourself.

I was very shy and non-confident when I was growing up, and hated going to the gym. But once I started a routine of going, I realized over time how much better it made me feel, and cured whatever issues I had in my head. 

You have to take care of the body, to take care of the mind.  Anything else comes across as an excuse to do nothing.

I stated I wasn't a doctor, but as far as I know you aren't either. So emphatically stating she's not depressed and again calling her lazy and unmotivated... you are likely hurting the situation much more than you realize if that sort of judgement and contempt comes through on any of your interactions with her. And your posts so far have been dripping with contempt for her. You sound like you hate her. If that comes through in your day to day interactions with her... on top of losing her father, her mother being deathly ill, her own health very poor and now a troubled marriage where the spouse has brought up divorce already and is also starting to turn the kids against her? How the fuck you'd expect her to NOT be depressed I can't imagine...

Just because you followed a path of physical health that helped your mental situation doesn't mean it's the only true way, and it certainly doesn't give you the authority to call anyone else's ability or lack thereof "an excuse to do nothing." You obviously don't understand the depths of depression if you believe that narrow "I did it on my own, so everyone else that is malingering is just lazy" world view.

If you really care about her, then you need to find her help that will actually work for her, not berate and name-call her for not being mentally strong enough to make sweeping lifestyle changes that you deem easy for anyone.

« Last Edit: April 10, 2018, 01:25:05 PM by Frankies Girl »
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Sibley

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I literally called my wife's work, and spoke to her supervisor, and informed her of the situation.  I stated that my wife's near minimum wage job is not worth her getting a heart attack or stroke over, and I'd rather my wife quit her job and deal with getting healthier full time.
In doing this you crossed a line from spouse to parent. You have set up a relationship dynamic where you are attempting to guilt and bully your partner into behaving a certain way. She is - quite predictably - responding by doing the opposite.

Frankly, the way you describe your wife is appalling. Calling her lazy and unmotivated when she is working and raising children in addition to dealing with grief from her father's death demonstrates a lack of empathy.

Counseling. For you, for her, for the whole family.

Beyond that, unless your wife is in the hospital unable to use a phone, you should NEVER call her boss. The company does not want to speak to spouses or parents except in cases of extreme emergency.

diapasoun

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You might just be venting.  But based on your posts, it seems like it might be best for both of you if you got divorced.
Believe me, I've explored this with my wife before.  But she says if we divorce it will literally kill her seriously ill mom, who is near death.  Out of respect for her mom, I'm going to hold off until she passes. 

I really do love my wife, despite all her flaws, but this is a deal breaker for me!!

If you love her, you need to show that love to her. Right now you're showing her shame, and you're acting like you don't respect her. You're treating her like a child -- calling her work! That's a major boundary you crossed. No wonder she's not reacting well when you bring this stuff up.

As everyone has said over and over, and you have yourself, you can't force her to change. What you CAN do is love and respect the woman you are married to, and enjoy the time you have with her.

What I would suggest, if you want to stay married: Drop this. Move to a place in your head where you're thinking about your wife's many good qualities (why else would you have married her?) and not her flaws. Tell her that you love her. After several weeks of this, tell her that you love her; you worry about her; and that you've realized that you can't make her change her habits. If she wants to talk about it, or to exercise or share in your delicious veggies, you're there. Otherwise, you're going to stop bugging her about it. And then stop bugging her about it. Show her love and support and affection.

You can't change her -- you really, truly can't. This is her choice. Your choice (imo) is to love her anyways and care for your relationship, or to leave. What's currently happening (fights, badgering, increasing loss of respect, etc) isn't tenable.

Sibley

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OP, so here's what I'm getting from you:

1. You're a smug know it all
2. who is emotionally and likely verbally abusing his spouse.

Your wife's problem is YOU.


MOD NOTE: Let's find a way to be helpful and constructive. Cheers!
« Last Edit: April 12, 2018, 10:24:49 PM by arebelspy »

big_slacker

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Bread, rice and pasta is bad? Carbs are bad? I only wanna thread derail a little. ;)

Sucks your wife is unhealthy and might not want to change. You can't argue her into changing, she has to want to and a good example for her and especially your kids is all you can do. FWIW my wife and I had an early relationship agreement about being fat and lazy. If it happens on either side we can divorce.

whitewaterchica

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Like the posters above me, I cannot believe you called her employer. Not only do you humiliate her at home with your "help" but you've taken to humiliating her at work, too? Fat people know they are fat, ok? She knows she is fat. You don't need to tell her this over and over.

I hope her boss's advice to her was to get away from what you quickly revealed to be an abusive situation.  I wish her and your children all the best- hopefully they have actual supportive people in their life.

Optimiser

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Posting to follow. My wife and I are younger, but I feel like we are in a less extreme version of your situation.
I wish you good luck.  I literally called my wife's work, and spoke to her supervisor, and informed her of the situation.  I stated that my wife's near minimum wage job is not worth her getting a heart attack or stroke over, and I'd rather my wife quit her job and deal with getting healthier full time.

My wife's supervisor is sympathetic, and said she will speak with my wife about this immediately.  I'm going to be a pain in my wife's side until she decides to deal with this, one way or another.  I will not allow her laziness and apathetic attitude to kill herself or destroy this family.

It is just unfathomable how people don't take care of their health.  You can't buy good health with money, you have to earn it.  I'd rather be broke and penniless and healthy, than be super rich and very ill.  It's insanity the way people treat their bodies today.

At this point I feel the need to distance myself from the implications of my earlier comment. I do wish my wife made healthier choices, but the similarities between my situation and the OP's pretty much stop there.

*slowly backs out of thread

jezebel

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OP, so here's what I'm getting from you:

1. You're a smug know it all
2. who is emotionally and likely verbally abusing his spouse.

Your wife's problem is YOU.

+1.  My goodness

netskyblue

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I'm going to gloss over the health thing, because it doesn't really matter WHAT the problem is. 

There is a thing you don't want in a partner.
Your wife does that thing and doesn't want to stop doing that thing, even after you've communicated to her that it's important to you for her to stop.
You can't MAKE her stop.

You have to decide if you can accept her doing the thing forever until one of you dies (should she so choose), or if you can't accept it.

If you can't accept it, you need to decide what you're going to do about it.  Whether that's counseling for yourself, protecting your assets from what would happen if she caused herself a medical crisis, leaving, or some other thing - that's what you need to decide.

« Last Edit: April 10, 2018, 01:46:38 PM by netskyblue »

use2betrix

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I have more to comment - but Iím curious of a few things.

Have you always ate healthy and worked out regular? Even before your wife? Or was this a newer thing that started after dating/marriage?

Has she always been like this? You mention youíve been trying for 15 years, but what was she like when you first got married? Like this?

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I don't think carbs are so bad.  I live in Italy, where people pretty much live on carbs.  It's normal here to eat pasta twice a day - with bread!  But people tend not to be overweight and they live a long time.  Obviously, I'm not talking potato chips and soda here but carbs like white pasta, bread, pizza etc.

patchyfacialhair

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Dude, you called her employer? You're sick in the head, man. Even if my wife cheated on me, humiliated me, whatever...there is no benefit to bringing personal issues in the workplace.

I hope her boss went right to her and said "your husband is seriously disturbed calling here telling me your issues."

Take a good hard look at yourself and realize that you can't change ANYONE unless they want to change. What you need to do is decide your breaking point, and take care of yourself + the kids. The rest is just details.
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mm1970

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Quote
You can't change her -- you really, truly can't. This is her choice. Your choice (imo) is to love her anyways and care for your relationship, or to leave. What's currently happening (fights, badgering, increasing loss of respect, etc) isn't tenable.

Yes. 

I didn't necessarily read your post as a smug know-it-all.  To me, it reads like a man who is worried about becoming a widower, worried about his children losing their mother.  When you love someone, it literally hurts to see that.

It sounds like you've tried what you can try.  You can only nag so much, and it can be counter productive.  I don't nag my spouse for his bad habits.  He went to the doc and asked how to lose weight, doc said "cut back on the carbs", so he did.  I just made sure, as the person who does the shopping, that I adjusted what we bought.

I also make healthy food for dinner, and every day I send him to work with a fruit and/or vegetable.  He hasn't exercised in months, but I can't make him do that.  For him these days, it's either exercise or sleep - and I made him choose sleep.  Now he literally has to make the decision to get off the TV or stop reading early to get both.  His habit is going to bed at 11 or 12 pm and getting up at 6 or 7.

Bad food is addictive.  She has to want to change.  She has to want to see her kids graduate, get married, have children.  You can't make her want that.

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Sounds like your wife has become the "normal" middle/lower class American. Watch shit TV in their lazy chair all day while eating themselves to an early death.

I would ask your wife if she is willing to let a counselor come into the home and follow the family to see their interactions. You may be trying to help but may be coming across as an ass. She may care but hates you for being an ass. Rinse, repeat.

Does she like anything else besides food/TV???

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netskyblue

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What she does with her body is literally 100% her choice.

You don't have to like it, you don't have to stick around and watch it happen, but there it is.  Her body, her choice, and if her choice is killing herself slowly, that's her call. 

If being married to a partner who chooses slow, sickly death over your objections is a dealbreaker for you, you know what you need to do.

runbikerun

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There are two things here:

1. Your wife enjoys junk food and doesn't like exercising.

2. You're behaving in an unbelievably controlling and borderline abusive manner.

There's close to zero equivalence between these. If this is how you come across when describing and justifying your own behaviour, I can't even imagine how unpleasant the reality is. You called your wife's employer to complain that you'd prefer for her to quit and be more in line with what you expect of a spouse? This is, unless there's a truly colossal mitigating factor that you've totally failed to mention, WAY THE FUCK OUT OF LINE.

This is not a problem with your wife. This is a problem with you. If your wife wants to eat junk food and watch Netflix, that's her prerogative. If you can't stomach that, split up. I wasn't exaggerating earlier when I described your behaviour as borderline abusive: your description of your own actions is setting off alarm bells in my brain.

Unless your wife is 600lbs and has a life expectancy of fifty, what you're doing is almost certainly completely unacceptable. What you're describing is not normal behaviour: read some descriptions of controlling behaviour and ask yourself how an independent viewer would assess you against them. Back way the fuck up, and go take a long hard look in the mirror. The problem in your relationship is not that your wife likes junk food and TV; the problem is that you appear to be engaging in emotional abuse.

wenchsenior

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What she does with her body is literally 100% her choice.

You don't have to like it, you don't have to stick around and watch it happen, but there it is.  Her body, her choice, and if her choice is killing herself slowly, that's her call. 

If being married to a partner who chooses slow, sickly death over your objections is a dealbreaker for you, you know what you need to do.

100% agree.   Quit trying to control her or change her, and for sure stop the creepy shit like talking to her boss behind her back.  That is so unbelievably unacceptable that I can't believe you even considered it. 

jlcnuke

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Your wife's behavior regarding her health and weight is terrible.

Your behavior regarding her health and weight is atrocious.
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Malaysia41

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I’d recommend Dr. gregor’s book, How Not to Die, as it has transformed the way my family eats and made us all healthier. Also the movie Forks Over Knives.

But there’s way more going on here than a book or documentary on nutrition is likely to solve.

Good luck.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2018, 03:23:01 PM by Malaysia41 »
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I literally called my wife's work, and spoke to her supervisor, and informed her of the situation.  I stated that my wife's near minimum wage job is not worth her getting a heart attack or stroke over, and I'd rather my wife quit her job and deal with getting healthier full time.
In doing this you crossed a line from spouse to parent. You have set up a relationship dynamic where you are attempting to guilt and bully your partner into behaving a certain way. She is - quite predictably - responding by doing the opposite.

Frankly, the way you describe your wife is appalling. Calling her lazy and unmotivated when she is working and raising children in addition to dealing with grief from her father's death demonstrates a lack of empathy.

Counseling. For you, for her, for the whole family.

Prof -- did you call your wife's boss and attempt to get her fired from her job?  That is seriously controlling behaviour on your part.

Awesomeness

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Iíll cut you slack on the calling the boss thing. Youíre scared. I totally get it. 


My ex spouse was/is killing himself with his lifestyle and itís heartbreaking for those around them that care.  He was more extreme than your wife but the feelings were the same.  Think alcoholism, smoking since 12. Had a heart attack at 45, got stents put in. He drinks while on all the meds, has severe sleep apnea, itís a nightmare really.  He kept the heathy lifestyle for three weeks after the heart attack then went full force downhill since.  His dad died at 67, stroked out.  Others in his family are obese, diabetic, etc. lots of bad examples and theyíre problems are their own doing. Iíd cringe when heíd say how bad his genes were and heíd rarely admit they all did it to themselves.  It seemed like he just accepted he was going to die young so why bother changing anything even though the doctors said he could totally turn it around.  Pathetic excuse. Truly I believe thereís serious life trauma, fighting his demons, he hates himself. Yes absolutely heís depressed. 

My biggest fear was being without him and alone but it came true. Not how I expected but he got so bad I ended our marriage.

I tried very hard but for me nagging never worked so I really didnít do that. I tried to prepare good foods, be an example etc nothing worked. He did whatever he wanted whenever.

I did reach out to his family after many drunken bouts but that just made things worse for me. I was very desperate for help and no one truly saw that.  It was a hard time.

Eventually I learned his choices were his to make and could I live with them or not.  I learned to accept so much, I loved him and wanted to keep our family together.  But he just kept getting worse and eventually he cheated then I got out as fast as I could. I wonít be surprised to hear heís dead soon and I hope he turns it around but itís not my problem anymore.   

She does sound depressed.  She also probably knows what sheís doing isnít good for her or being a good example for the kids either.  Maybe she hates herself too.


But you have to check yourself. Lead by example.  Quit the nagging and apologize for calling the boss. Tell her you were scared, youíre afraid sheíll leave you and the kids alone too soon and that you love her.  Get yourself some counseling on how to deal with this. You can truly only control yourself. 

Asalted_Nut

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So clearly there is a lot emotionally at play here beyond just unhealthy eating and lack of exercise, and OP has gone pretty far down the rabbit hole by telling her she is committing suicide and calling her boss.

I just wanted to expand on some of the comments here about fitness activities and the gym, and offer you a more specific alternative that may work well in your instance. Have you considered taking lessons in social dance (ballroom, latin, swing)?

Hear me out:
Normally the fact that it is fun (which is subjective, of course) or that it's a form of fitness would be one of the main reasons why I would recommend social dancing. But in your case I think you might find it extremely helpful in re-connecting with each other. Since your success in the ability to dance with another person depends on both people working together, its a relatively simple and more casual way to work as a team instead of just working out in the same building or doing similar things/hobbies next to each other. 

Secondly, it is initially extremely low impact, to where the basics really don't feel like exercise, but it gets you up and moving. More importantly, it gets you up and moving literally together. Added bonus, it makes a great date night!

My wife and I have spent a lot of time learning how to dance, and there is something about a supportive dance community that really inspires people to work towards their own ideal image. For example, we've been at a studio for a long time, and we have seen people there who initially came in looking disheveled, but now come in dressed to the nines, or came in shy and now they never stop talking!

One last thing, and just like everything else this is just based on my experience taking lessons with my wife, is that when you are partner-dancing it's almost like a form of mindfulness.. when you start dancing the leader has to focus on leading, and keeping time and making sure their steps are correct, otherwise the follower cannot complete their steps. The follower has to be really tuned in to what the leader is doing and leading, and has to focus on the music and their steps as well. So that's what you are thinking about, because you can't afford to let your mind wander because you are responsible for another person. So you don't think about food, you don't think "I am exercising right now" or how many calories you are burning, you just think about your steps and listen to the music and (ideally) have a nice time dancing.
 
Anyhow, that's just been my experience after taking lessons for several years. Then again YMMV, you may both try it out and hate it! Or you may not have any good dance studios around you. But I though I would just throw it out there as an alternative to doing nothing, or trying to push her into hobbies and activities that she doesn't show any interest in doing. /End shilling for partner dancing

Counselling would still be a good idea, but I figured I would mention the above as a way to possibly inject more connection and fun (though this, once again, is subjective) back into your marriage.

Hope I am not out of line here! Take care.

adjunctprof

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Quote
You can't change her -- you really, truly can't. This is her choice. Your choice (imo) is to love her anyways and care for your relationship, or to leave. What's currently happening (fights, badgering, increasing loss of respect, etc) isn't tenable.

Yes. 

I didn't necessarily read your post as a smug know-it-all.  To me, it reads like a man who is worried about becoming a widower, worried about his children losing their mother.  When you love someone, it literally hurts to see that.

It sounds like you've tried what you can try.  You can only nag so much, and it can be counter productive.  I don't nag my spouse for his bad habits.  He went to the doc and asked how to lose weight, doc said "cut back on the carbs", so he did.  I just made sure, as the person who does the shopping, that I adjusted what we bought.

I also make healthy food for dinner, and every day I send him to work with a fruit and/or vegetable.  He hasn't exercised in months, but I can't make him do that.  For him these days, it's either exercise or sleep - and I made him choose sleep.  Now he literally has to make the decision to get off the TV or stop reading early to get both.  His habit is going to bed at 11 or 12 pm and getting up at 6 or 7.

Bad food is addictive.  She has to want to change.  She has to want to see her kids graduate, get married, have children.  You can't make her want that.
Thank you.  I'm posting an update from the hospital. It turns out I may have saved my wife's life.

After I spoke with my wife's boss, she had a co-worker who is a part time paramedic check my wife's blood pressure, and it was so high, that they just called 911 and had an ambulance come and take her to the ER.

I spoke to the doctors at the ER, and they were shocked she hadn't come in sooner.  They said if I hadn't intervened, she most likely would not have survived today.  They said I was right to trust my instincts and follow up persistently.

My wife is now in the ER being administered by the doctors and nurses.  She is thankful that I was persistent in caring about her health and called her boss.  She had no idea her condition was so serious, even though other people had told her to go the ER and get addressed right away yesterday.

I can't believe the junk I'm seeing some of the other posters throw up.  I'm being a control freak?  You know what, if it means I care about my wife's heath over her salary, I'll take being a control freak and have my wife alive than dead.  My kids would much prefer the same thing as well.

It's amazing how nasty some of these people get, assuming the worst and post the vitriol on here.  I'm guessing these people are saints and absolutely do nothing wrong in life.  I'm just astounded.

gettingtoyes

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How did your wife not know that her condition was serious? didn't the nurse at the doctor's office tell her it was high in your original post?

As others have said- she's going to do what she's going to do. Don't waste your life trying to change her. Sure you can try to help her out, but the motivation has to come from within. Maybe this will be a new start for her, but maybe not. Your life here on earth is precious- don't waste it with someone who doesn't give a damn.

Phoenix_Fire

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I agree with others that I thought calling her employer was a bit on the extreme side, but I read it as you making a plea for help.  You didn't know what to do anymore and were trying to get someone else to know what was going on.  We're not in your shoes to see it first hand, you are, and you made what you thought was the right decision.  And thankfully for your wife, it was the right decision. 

Hopefully this is a true wake-up call for your wife.  You might know within a few weeks if it is.  As others have suggested, try different forms of exercise.  Probably walks through your neighborhood are a good place to start.  She is going to have to ease into things if she decides to change.

No one else has touched on this point, so I'll bring it up.  Anytime someone says that, "if you leave me it will kill me" is a huge red flag.  The fact that she said that OP leaving would kill her mother doesn't really reduce it in my mind.  It's manipulation and a form of abuse.  That stood out to me even more than OP calling the boss. 

OP, if she doesn't change you do need to look out for your own happiness.  That might lead to leaving.  Only you will know what feels right.  Read Basenji's post about the depression again.  I know you think she isn't based on previous counselors, but it is probably worth going to a couples counselor and see what they have to say. 

Good luck with everything, and hopefully she comes out of this better off.

Basenji

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Read Basenji's post about the depression again.  I know you think she isn't based on previous counselors, but it is probably worth going to a couples counselor and see what they have to say. 

Good luck with everything, and hopefully she comes out of this better off.

Oops, I deleted it. Sorry! Was feeling a bit exposed and thought maybe it wasn't that helpful. @adjunctprof PM me if you want to chat sometime after you get your wife settled. I'm glad you saved your wife, but that's obviously just the first step. I'm worried you will think, "Oh, this is it. She'll change now." But she'll need positive support. Again, good luck.

Awesomeness

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Iíd pull the doc aside and talk to them about whatís going on. I did this for my ex but made the mistake of doing it in front of the doctor. They listened and he got furious w me.

Be quick and frank and maybe they can talk with her some more about her lifestyle, getting help etc. 

Hopefully this is an eye opener for her.  Time will tell.  Take care.

wenchsenior

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Quote
You can't change her -- you really, truly can't. This is her choice. Your choice (imo) is to love her anyways and care for your relationship, or to leave. What's currently happening (fights, badgering, increasing loss of respect, etc) isn't tenable.

Yes. 

I didn't necessarily read your post as a smug know-it-all.  To me, it reads like a man who is worried about becoming a widower, worried about his children losing their mother.  When you love someone, it literally hurts to see that.

It sounds like you've tried what you can try.  You can only nag so much, and it can be counter productive.  I don't nag my spouse for his bad habits.  He went to the doc and asked how to lose weight, doc said "cut back on the carbs", so he did.  I just made sure, as the person who does the shopping, that I adjusted what we bought.

I also make healthy food for dinner, and every day I send him to work with a fruit and/or vegetable.  He hasn't exercised in months, but I can't make him do that.  For him these days, it's either exercise or sleep - and I made him choose sleep.  Now he literally has to make the decision to get off the TV or stop reading early to get both.  His habit is going to bed at 11 or 12 pm and getting up at 6 or 7.

Bad food is addictive.  She has to want to change.  She has to want to see her kids graduate, get married, have children.  You can't make her want that.
Thank you.  I'm posting an update from the hospital. It turns out I may have saved my wife's life.

After I spoke with my wife's boss, she had a co-worker who is a part time paramedic check my wife's blood pressure, and it was so high, that they just called 911 and had an ambulance come and take her to the ER.

I spoke to the doctors at the ER, and they were shocked she hadn't come in sooner.  They said if I hadn't intervened, she most likely would not have survived today.  They said I was right to trust my instincts and follow up persistently.

My wife is now in the ER being administered by the doctors and nurses.  She is thankful that I was persistent in caring about her health and called her boss.  She had no idea her condition was so serious, even though other people had told her to go the ER and get addressed right away yesterday.

I can't believe the junk I'm seeing some of the other posters throw up.  I'm being a control freak?  You know what, if it means I care about my wife's heath over her salary, I'll take being a control freak and have my wife alive than dead.  My kids would much prefer the same thing as well.

It's amazing how nasty some of these people get, assuming the worst and post the vitriol on here.  I'm guessing these people are saints and absolutely do nothing wrong in life.  I'm just astounded.

I am sincerely glad your wife is in care, and I understand your hostility to posts such as mine.  I apologize if I misunderstood the situation.  You probably did save your wife's life. My impression was that your wife had been under ongoing care by doctors (for high blood pressure) and had recently been informed by a nurse that she was in a near emergency situation.  In addition to which, given her parents' similar health situation, I surmised that she either did not want to save herself or was unable to.  You repeatedly said she was lazy or unmotivated rather than 1) lacking understanding of her own health situation; or 2) depressed or having any other psychological barrier to caring for herself.   

Again, I'm very glad your wife is in care and hopefully this will be a wake up call for her.  However, going forward,  you must realize that it might NOT change her behavior, for whatever reason.  And longstanding experience shows that the approaches you have taken to change her have not worked.  So again, you need to focus on what you can reasonably do: support her if she wants to change, and try to accommodate HOW she wants to change (which might not necessarily be the way you would act or the way you might want her to act); set good examples for your kids; take care of your own mental and physical health for the sake of your kids and yourself, which might include stepping back emotionally and possibly legally from your marriage if your wife does not want to/cannot take steps to care for herself; seek counseling about better and different ways to communicate with your wife, and possibly different approaches she could take to acting on behalf of her own health going forward.

To some extent, this thread reminds me of the misery of struggling with a loved one with an addiction, though the situation isn't entirely comparable.  But it is easy with an addict to feel that if you just find the magic words, or tough love, or whatever formula, you can get them to see how terrible they are making their situation.  But the addict has to decide that on their own. Until then, and possibly after then, you have to somewhat remove your own emotions from the situation or you just perpetuate a psychologically unhealthy dynamic. 

Similarly, I've had a longstanding relationship with someone who is psychologically somewhat disordered in that she is pathologically passive.  She just won't act (eat well when she's unhealthy, job hunt even when the creditors are calling and she's near dead broke, leave the house even when she's miserably lonely).  She's not obviously psychologically impaired, and from the outside it looks like what you seem to view your wife's condition as: A Massive Character Flaw of Laziness.  Maybe it is, but I suspect deeper seated issues of self loathing and fear lie at the heart of passivity in my own loved one.  And that isn't fixable by me. I've been down this road and tried it all.  In the end, I had to step back from this love a bit....distance myself a bit. Because almost nothing I do changes what she does.  I can make her feel horrible, and she won't change.  I can be encouraging and 'take her along/boost her' hoping that forward momentum will stick.  But nothing has ever really affected her for more than a couple weeks. Sometimes you can't fix or save people you love.  But you can sometimes help them IF they want to save themselves. 

Again, apologies for sounding harsh, and I'm glad you and your wife avoided a further emergency.  Best of luck going forward.

diapasoun

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I am sincerely glad your wife is in care, and I understand your hostility to posts such as mine.  I apologize if I misunderstood the situation.  You probably did save your wife's life. My impression was that your wife had been under ongoing care by doctors (for high blood pressure) and had recently been informed by a nurse that she was in a near emergency situation.  In addition to which, given her parents' similar health situation, I surmised that she either did not want to save herself or was unable to.  You repeatedly said she was lazy or unmotivated rather than 1) lacking understanding of her own health situation; or 2) depressed or having any other psychological barrier to caring for herself.   

.....

Again, apologies for sounding harsh, and I'm glad you and your wife avoided a further emergency.  Best of luck going forward.

All of what wenchsenior said, but especially these parts. I'm very glad that your wife is under the care of doctors right now.

FINate

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You might just be venting.  But based on your posts, it seems like it might be best for both of you if you got divorced.
Believe me, I've explored this with my wife before.  But she says if we divorce it will literally kill her seriously ill mom, who is near death.  Out of respect for her mom, I'm going to hold off until she passes. 

I really do love my wife, despite all her flaws, but this is a deal breaker for me!!

Why is your wife's unhealthiness a deal breaker? The whole "in sickness and in health" thing. She needs you more now than ever before, even if her sickness is self inflicted.

Also, not sure why you think divorce is somehow constructive in this situation. You're worried she's going to "destroy" the family by killing herself with food and yet you're looking to divorce. Is this like a preemptive strike? Does not compute, no idea how this helps the family. If anything it compounds the trauma for the kids... divorce and that whole shit show followed by mom's death.

If one of your kids was going down the same path, would that also be a deal breaker for you? Or would you love them unconditionally? Marriage is supposed to be that kind of love.

gettingtoyes

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You might just be venting.  But based on your posts, it seems like it might be best for both of you if you got divorced.
Believe me, I've explored this with my wife before.  But she says if we divorce it will literally kill her seriously ill mom, who is near death.  Out of respect for her mom, I'm going to hold off until she passes. 

I really do love my wife, despite all her flaws, but this is a deal breaker for me!!

Why is your wife's unhealthiness a deal breaker? The whole "in sickness and in health" thing. She needs you more now than ever before, even if her sickness is self inflicted.

Also, not sure why you think divorce is somehow constructive in this situation. You're worried she's going to "destroy" the family by killing herself with food and yet you're looking to divorce. Is this like a preemptive strike? Does not compute, no idea how this helps the family. If anything it compounds the trauma for the kids... divorce and that whole shit show followed by mom's death.

If one of your kids was going down the same path, would that also be a deal breaker for you? Or would you love them unconditionally? Marriage is supposed to be that kind of love.

Because it's self-inflicted and she's not doing a single thing to help herself. OP may face years of anxiety and worry over her health or may be put in a situation where he has to physically take care of her due to her health while trying to also take care of his family. She's already abusing him emotionally by telling him that her mother will die if he leaves her. In short, she is a jerk, first class who does not seem to care about anyone but herself...did I tell you how I really feel?

Very different then if she got cancer and needed to be physically taken care of. This is her burying her head in the sand, not giving a damn about her kids or her husband. Dictionary definition of selfishness.

Harsh? Maybe in the words I put here. But no less true. I can only hope that she will "change" this time. I can see this is killing the OP slowly and not sure if he will have the strength to leave her if it becomes inevitable...

Awesomeness

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You might just be venting.  But based on your posts, it seems like it might be best for both of you if you got divorced.
Believe me, I've explored this with my wife before.  But she says if we divorce it will literally kill her seriously ill mom, who is near death.  Out of respect for her mom, I'm going to hold off until she passes. 

I really do love my wife, despite all her flaws, but this is a deal breaker for me!!

Why is your wife's unhealthiness a deal breaker? The whole "in sickness and in health" thing. She needs you more now than ever before, even if her sickness is self inflicted.

Also, not sure why you think divorce is somehow constructive in this situation. You're worried she's going to "destroy" the family by killing herself with food and yet you're looking to divorce. Is this like a preemptive strike? Does not compute, no idea how this helps the family. If anything it compounds the trauma for the kids... divorce and that whole shit show followed by mom's death.

If one of your kids was going down the same path, would that also be a deal breaker for you? Or would you love them unconditionally? Marriage is supposed to be that kind of love.

This is so true. I viewed my husbands alcoholism as a sickness. Truly it is and but boy is that difficult because it was self inflicted. However I really worked hard and honored our vows.  It took him cheating for me to divorce him. It was hell. Divorce is a horrific experience and you donít want to put your family through that.  And Iím sure if you did it could be for many other reasons too but you donít want your kids to go through this and even think for a second you divorced her because she was fat. Anyway I am making assumptions here and you may not have even meant what you said about divorcing her, you did say you were venting.

My ex went to a regular doctor appt and his blood pressure was so high they called an ambulance.  We stayed at the ER til they got it under control. It took a couple months of tweaking the meds and eventually they did. But he still had a heart attack 9months later.  He had a stress test scheduled but had the heart attack three weeks beforehand.

She could benefit form a full physical and blood work up. Iíd try to get her into a cardiologist also.  Iím 47 and went for myself. Heart disease is the number one killer for women.

Also consider a sleep study. Anyone can have sleep apnea even if you arenít overweight. This alone can cause many problems.

Anyway so sorry you are going through this. But cling tightly to your marriage and stay strong.



« Last Edit: April 10, 2018, 05:45:08 PM by Awesomeness »

Kyle B

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I'm glad your wife got help.

I was once at an eye appointment and the doc saw I had a collapsed capillary in my retina. High blood pressure can do this, so he then checked my BP -- it was the same as your wife's.

The opthamologist immediately walked me across the street to the E.R. and checked me into the hospital where I stayed for two days.

So, BP that bad really IS a medical emergency. And it's hardly "abuse" to call someone's boss when someone is at identical risk as I was, requiring immediate hospitalization. That BP is "call an ambulance" high. It means someone is at death's door right now.

(Nor is the issue that "his wife just likes junk food, but you are a psycho abuser." Please.)

That said -- you guys need to get divorced. You both are seriously co-dependent and the marriage is over. 

That a divorce might 'kill' some relative -- more co-dependence. If emotional blackmail like that worked, everyone would be so controlled by others that no one would ever do anything.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2018, 05:56:03 PM by Kyle B »

FINate

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You might just be venting.  But based on your posts, it seems like it might be best for both of you if you got divorced.
Believe me, I've explored this with my wife before.  But she says if we divorce it will literally kill her seriously ill mom, who is near death.  Out of respect for her mom, I'm going to hold off until she passes. 

I really do love my wife, despite all her flaws, but this is a deal breaker for me!!

Why is your wife's unhealthiness a deal breaker? The whole "in sickness and in health" thing. She needs you more now than ever before, even if her sickness is self inflicted.

Also, not sure why you think divorce is somehow constructive in this situation. You're worried she's going to "destroy" the family by killing herself with food and yet you're looking to divorce. Is this like a preemptive strike? Does not compute, no idea how this helps the family. If anything it compounds the trauma for the kids... divorce and that whole shit show followed by mom's death.

If one of your kids was going down the same path, would that also be a deal breaker for you? Or would you love them unconditionally? Marriage is supposed to be that kind of love.

Because it's self-inflicted and she's not doing a single thing to help herself. OP may face years of anxiety and worry over her health or may be put in a situation where he has to physically take care of her due to her health while trying to also take care of his family. She's already abusing him emotionally by telling him that her mother will die if he leaves her. In short, she is a jerk, first class who does not seem to care about anyone but herself...did I tell you how I really feel?

Very different then if she got cancer and needed to be physically taken care of. This is her burying her head in the sand, not giving a damn about her kids or her husband. Dictionary definition of selfishness.

Harsh? Maybe in the words I put here. But no less true. I can only hope that she will "change" this time. I can see this is killing the OP slowly and not sure if he will have the strength to leave her if it becomes inevitable...

It hurts to watch someone you love hurt themselves - that's part of love, you will be hurt, will go through hard stuff together including death at some point. But unless there's an actual abuse issue (and no, claiming divorce will kill her mom doesn't make the cut) or unfaithfulness then there is no reason to break off the marriage just because it's self inflicted. What if one spouse is in the habit of driving too fast, gets injured in a crash and has a long painful and expensive rehab - just walk away because it was self inflicted? What about a spouse who smokes?

Again, I bring up the issue of a child who self inflicts harm. Do you stop loving them because you can't bear the pain of it? Or is that love unconditional? Marriage is intended to be of the unconditional variety (with exceptions for abuse and unfaithfulness), or at least that's what most people commit to in their vows. If instead marriage is simply "until one person decides it's no longer convenient" (which I realize is becoming more common) then just do away with all the grandiose vows and ceremonies already and stop pretending it's a commitment.

Kyle B

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It hurts to watch someone you love hurt themselves - that's part of love, you will be hurt, will go through hard stuff together including death at some point. But unless there's an actual abuse issue (and no, claiming divorce will kill her mom doesn't make the cut) or unfaithfulness then there is no reason to break off the marriage just because it's self inflicted. What if one spouse is in the habit of driving too fast, gets injured in a crash and has a long painful and expensive rehab - just walk away because it was self inflicted? What about a spouse who smokes?

Again, I bring up the issue of a child who self inflicts harm. Do you stop loving them because you can't bear the pain of it? Or is that love unconditional? Marriage is intended to be of the unconditional variety (with exceptions for abuse and unfaithfulness), or at least that's what most people commit to in their vows. If instead marriage is simply "until one person decides it's no longer convenient" (which I realize is becoming more common) then just do away with all the grandiose vows and ceremonies already and stop pretending it's a commitment.

Super unfair to frame him as deciding marriage is "no longer convenient" when you know his backstory.

« Last Edit: April 10, 2018, 06:29:27 PM by Kyle B »