Author Topic: dealing with a spouse who is literally killing self with unhealthy lifestyle  (Read 29459 times)

Rightflyer

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 368
  • Location: Cotswolds
Each person in a marriage is a fully autonomous individual.  That means H and W are free to make their own choices and H and W are responsible for their personal choices.



Uh. No.
That's not a marriage. At least not in the real, grown up world.

You are NOT autonomous and you are NOT free to make unilateral decisions (choices) that negatively affect your spouse.

So I don't have free will?  I'm a slave, or a robot?

I didn't say you didn't have free will or that you are a slave or a robot.

But in a marriage you are not autonomous. Autonomous means having the freedom to act independently. Marriage is a partnership. Partners do not act independently.

You do have the freedom to act independently.  Your choices may be shitty, and may carry negative consequences that inure to your detriment and to your partner's detriment.  That's why you are responsible for your own actions.  My point is that giving your spouse an ultimatum is counter-productive.  "You MUST do whatever because you are the Wife and I am the Husband (or vice versa)" is not going to work.

I completely agree that ultimatums are counter-productive in most cases. They are the nuclear option.

As for the freedom to act independently and cause grief for your spouse.
That is called selfishness.   

use2betrix

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 975
Would we all have the same opinions of the OP and his wife if she started smoking after they got married, 3-4 packs a day, and now their kids are seeing it as acceptable and slowly starting to smoke?

It really is no different, except that itís ok in our society to call smoking gross and say itís unhealthy and kills you. Heaven forbid you say the same thing about being overweight or a crappy diet though.

We moved past a ďsmoking cultureĒ decades ago... yet there still seems to be some huge #fatacceptancemovement - of people constantly justifying it, calling it beautiful, healthy, etc. thereís nothing healthy or OK with gluttonously destroying your body... heaven forbid you talk negatively about it though.

OurTown

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 903
  • Age: 48
  • Location: Tennessee
Each person in a marriage is a fully autonomous individual.  That means H and W are free to make their own choices and H and W are responsible for their personal choices.



Uh. No.
That's not a marriage. At least not in the real, grown up world.

You are NOT autonomous and you are NOT free to make unilateral decisions (choices) that negatively affect your spouse.

So I don't have free will?  I'm a slave, or a robot?

I didn't say you didn't have free will or that you are a slave or a robot.

But in a marriage you are not autonomous. Autonomous means having the freedom to act independently. Marriage is a partnership. Partners do not act independently.

You do have the freedom to act independently.  Your choices may be shitty, and may carry negative consequences that inure to your detriment and to your partner's detriment.  That's why you are responsible for your own actions.  My point is that giving your spouse an ultimatum is counter-productive.  "You MUST do whatever because you are the Wife and I am the Husband (or vice versa)" is not going to work.

I completely agree that ultimatums are counter-productive in most cases. They are the nuclear option.

As for the freedom to act independently and cause grief for your spouse.
That is called selfishness.   

Okay, so a spouse who puts his/her own health at severe risk, i.e. morbid obesity with the OP's spouse or alcohol abuse as other posters have mentioned, is acting selfishly.  Very true.  But the OP is not going to affect change by being aggrieved (victim mode) or by issuing an ultimatum (control-freak mode).  Both of those reactions are also selfish and are less likely to lead to a change of heart.  Since the spouse has free will to do what she wants, even if it hurts herself, the OP, and the marriage, the only way forward is for the spouse to realize that she needs to do the right thing, and for the spouse to want to do the right things, so that she in fact chooses to do the right thing.  I would submit that treating the spouse with dignity and respect, like a real, grown-up person, while preserving boundaries is the only way to do that.

ysette9

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3100
  • Location: Bay Area, CA
I don’t disagree that bad eating habits are unhealthy like smoking is healthy. But constantly nagging and belittling someone isn’t going to get them to give up smoking any more than it is helping OP to get his wife to eat better and go to the gym. We have to accept that as adults, our limit on what we control pretty much stops at the boundaries of our own bodies. You can force your kids to do things, to a certain extent, but you can’t reasonably expect to MAKE an adult do anything. So we are talking about what reasonable actions the OP can take, not whether his wife’s choices are good or bad.

Rightflyer

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 368
  • Location: Cotswolds
Each person in a marriage is a fully autonomous individual.  That means H and W are free to make their own choices and H and W are responsible for their personal choices.



Uh. No.
That's not a marriage. At least not in the real, grown up world.

You are NOT autonomous and you are NOT free to make unilateral decisions (choices) that negatively affect your spouse.

So I don't have free will?  I'm a slave, or a robot?

I didn't say you didn't have free will or that you are a slave or a robot.

But in a marriage you are not autonomous. Autonomous means having the freedom to act independently. Marriage is a partnership. Partners do not act independently.

You do have the freedom to act independently.  Your choices may be shitty, and may carry negative consequences that inure to your detriment and to your partner's detriment.  That's why you are responsible for your own actions.  My point is that giving your spouse an ultimatum is counter-productive.  "You MUST do whatever because you are the Wife and I am the Husband (or vice versa)" is not going to work.

I completely agree that ultimatums are counter-productive in most cases. They are the nuclear option.

As for the freedom to act independently and cause grief for your spouse.
That is called selfishness.   

Okay, so a spouse who puts his/her own health at severe risk, i.e. morbid obesity with the OP's spouse or alcohol abuse as other posters have mentioned, is acting selfishly.  Very true.  But the OP is not going to affect change by being aggrieved (victim mode) or by issuing an ultimatum (control-freak mode).  Both of those reactions are also selfish and are less likely to lead to a change of heart.  Since the spouse has free will to do what she wants, even if it hurts herself, the OP, and the marriage, the only way forward is for the spouse to realize that she needs to do the right thing, and for the spouse to want to do the right things, so that she in fact chooses to do the right thing.  I would submit that treating the spouse with dignity and respect, like a real, grown-up person, while preserving boundaries is the only way to do that.

Respect in a relationship needs to be mutual and equal.
From the OP's story, I'm not sure that is the case here.
But, in everything else you state, I agree.

It is a shame, but I have had insight tonight about why so many marriages fail... it's because they are not really marriages to begin with.
Hmm. Interesting.
 

netskyblue

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 629
  • Location: Midwest USA
I'm of the firm opinion a marriage is a legal arrangement between two people, entered into for whatever reasons they choose, which can be ended at the choice of either party for whatever reason.  Wouldn't ever marry anyone who thought otherwise.  "Till death" - yeah, no.  For as long as it's both what we want.  I wouldn't want to be obligated to anyone else past the point when I no longer wanted to be, nor would I want them obligated to me past when they wanted to be.  Let every day be a conscious choice to stay together, and if or when that no longer becomes one party's choice - best of luck, let's figure out the best way to separate things, which presumably we already did before getting into this arrangement in the first place.

Edit: though if I REALLY had my way, there would be no legal marriage as it exists now, a "package deal" with all the rights, responsibilities, and protections afforded.  I'd prefer ANY or ALL those rights to be available to ANY people via legal documents.  Let religious marriage be one thing (a romantic partnership "blessed" or "sanctified" by their religious leaders), and legal arrangements be something entirely different, in which the rights, responsibilities, and protections people choose to partake in should be up to them.  And it not even need to be between solely two people.  I can already give power of attorney to whom I wish, why should I not be able to designate someone to whom I can gift my estate without estate tax, or choose the person with whom I want to contribute to their IRA, without having to take the provision of government intervention in the relationship's dissolution, if we both agree that's not a thing we want?  Legal arrangement a la carte.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2018, 02:40:18 PM by netskyblue »

Dabnasty

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1089
  • Age: 29
  • Location: North Carolina
Respect in a relationship needs to be mutual and equal.
From the OP's story, I'm not sure that is the case here.
But, in everything else you state, I agree.

It is a shame, but I have had insight tonight about why so many marriages fail... it's because they are not really marriages to begin with.
Hmm. Interesting.

mar∑riage..[ˈmerij]NOUN.marriages (plural noun)
1.the legally or formally recognized union of two people as partners in a personal relationship.

Marriage is what you make it, not much point in arguing about that.

whitewaterchica

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 45
I stand by my original comment and do so as a healthy weight and very active person (the poster who thinks we must be fat and lazy of we don't agree with certain behaviors, you are wrong).  I am glad she is well but there is clearly a lot more to this story.

re: a blood pressure of 180/200. I've never heard of such numbers (I am trained wilderness first responder) and google and the american heart association confirm that such a reading doesn't exist so to the poster who keeps pointing to it as some sort of learning opportunity- It is- this reading is not possible but if you'd like to learn more about actual blood pressure values and what they mean, this is a great resource: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/HighBloodPressure/KnowYourNumbers/Understanding-Blood-Pressure-Readings_UCM_301764_Article.jsp?appName=WebApp

Peace.

wageslave23

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 229
I'm of the firm opinion a marriage is a legal arrangement between two people, entered into for whatever reasons they choose, which can be ended at the choice of either party for whatever reason.  Wouldn't ever marry anyone who thought otherwise.  "Till death" - yeah, no.  For as long as it's both what we want.  I wouldn't want to be obligated to anyone else past the point when I no longer wanted to be, nor would I want them obligated to me past when they wanted to be.  Let every day be a conscious choice to stay together, and if or when that no longer becomes one party's choice - best of luck, let's figure out the best way to separate things, which presumably we already did before getting into this arrangement in the first place.

Edit: though if I REALLY had my way, there would be no legal marriage as it exists now, a "package deal" with all the rights, responsibilities, and protections afforded.  I'd prefer ANY or ALL those rights to be available to ANY people via legal documents.  Let religious marriage be one thing (a romantic partnership "blessed" or "sanctified" by their religious leaders), and legal arrangements be something entirely different, in which the rights, responsibilities, and protections people choose to partake in should be up to them.  And it not even need to be between solely two people.  I can already give power of attorney to whom I wish, why should I not be able to designate someone to whom I can gift my estate without estate tax, or choose the person with whom I want to contribute to their IRA, without having to take the provision of government intervention in the relationship's dissolution, if we both agree that's not a thing we want?  Legal arrangement a la carte.

If that is what you are looking for, then you are correct a marriage is not what you want.  You should just live with someone if you want, and give them whatever legal and financial power you want as well.

netskyblue

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 629
  • Location: Midwest USA
If that is what you are looking for, then you are correct a marriage is not what you want.  You should just live with someone if you want, and give them whatever legal and financial power you want as well.

I am :).  It just grinds my gears that there are still things we can't access without taking the package deal (which we don't want to do - for multiple reasons, some being that we don't want ALL the parts of legal marriage to apply to us, some being a general opposition to societal norms that place legal marriage as the generally recognized "end goal" of a romantic relationship, and some being that we find the fact that it's impossible to legally marry more than one individual to be morally objectionable).

adjunctprof

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 22
Goodness me, this has been a busy thread today.

Once all the immediate emergency situation is over, here's my suggestion.

Instead of asking your wife to exercise, ask her to do something with you with love.

Tell her you love her very much and want to take long walks with her, holding her hand.  Get a babysitter and pack a picnic lunch or dinner for yourselves and walk to (or at) a neighborhood park.   Get a 2 person bicycle or, if you have kids, a bigger one that will hold the kids, too.  A quadricycle.   Go riding together, hold hands, listen and talk (in that order on the last 2!).

In other words, find a way for her to get exercise without it being "exercise".  Make it full of love and fun and intimacy.

It's worth a try.
Thank you and everyone all the posts, too numerous to reply to each one individually, as we have been swamped with taking care of my wife, and me taking care of the kids while she is in the hospital.

I'm sitting down for a few precious moments to see the latest, and it's very interesting, to say the least.

First of all, many people must have serious marriage issues to assume that I control or abuse my wife or am unkind to her.  They seem to skip over the part that over the 15 years, I have paid for gym memberships, expensive personal training lessons, all to encourage my wife to enjoy physical activity.  I have bought and sold many bikes, roller blades, tennis racquets, wii dance floor mat / games, even bought dogs for my wife and I to take out to go walking.  Everything ultimate results in her becoming uninterested to go out for physical activity, not because of depression or some underlying unseen issue, but because she loses interest in physical activity and finds it easier to put off physical activity to "later, tomorrow, I promise".  It is like dealing with a child at times.

I'm using the words lazy and unmotivated because they 100% accurately describe what's going on here.  I never call her lazy or unmotivated, but there must be very nasty people who read these words and think I'm abusing my wife and I'm a very bad husband.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  I have been 100% supportive of my wife our entire marriage.

For those who think I care about my wife's appearance, they seem to completely miss the boat.  I tell my wife she will always be beautiful to me no matter how she looks, but I care greatly about her health and her ability to see our kids grow up, marry, and have children of their own.  Health is the only thing I care about.  As long as my wife is healthy I'm happy.  Who doesn't want their kids and life partners to be healthy?  Somehow it seems like people resent me for wishing my wife to be healthy and think I'm a control freak.  I don't get it at all.

It's interesting to see some nasty posts from people who choose to interpret my posts as an abusive husband who only cares about myself, not my wife.  I suspect those people are projecting their own nasty personalities onto other people, and accuse others of what they are probably doing in real life. 

I have become depressed myself over the (lack of) health of my wife.  The only thing that has helped me deal with this is by going to the gym and exercising. It's amazing how exercise can be one of the best cures for depression.  When I am feeling severely down and depressed, an hour long gym session clears my head and I feel like I'm in the clouds.  So ironically, for those who may be depressed, the best medicine is to go work the body and get some blood flowing.

I'll say many of the posts are very kind and helpful, and I greatly appreciate that.  Some of the posts are very hurtful and outright nasty.  To those people, I will give them the benefit of the doubt, and assume that they have serious issues of their own that they are projecting onto others.  I pray they get some healing and counseling on their own to work their issues and baggage out.


adjunctprof

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 22
I'm not going to get into everything brought up. OP, I have addictive and/or depressed people in my family. I also work in the psychology field. I know you think that you are showing you are caring by pointing out her flaws, threats and ultimatums telling her you are going to get a divorce so you don't have to see her kill herself, etc. You are doing things that that are making her feel scared, unloved and probably coping with that stress in that same way.
I'm glad whatever you did helped her get the medical attention she needs. BUT- as she recovers from surgery PLEASE delegate to someone else the motivation and structure or program for her for physical fitness, take on a healthier diet. Your interactions with her about this has made it too personal, emotional, and adversarial.
See if there are are any programs or classes she can take that are free or covered by insurance. If she has a girlfriend, see if they are willing to go on walks together. Plan fun physical activities with the kids, that she can choose or choose not to join in with. Make some meals that are healthy but taste good. Be a good example. Give unconditional support. It may or may not work. But what you are doing is certainly not going to work. I've been there.
I appreciate you posting, but you have completely misread into my relationship with my wife. It is 100% supportive and loving.  You don't think over the 15 years of knowing and loving my wife, I have tried everything under the sun, including what you have described, to try to help my wife?

It's amazing how some people come along to a situation, assume they know all of the answers and start preaching.  Believe me, I have done everything you have described, and more.

My wife's friends are equally unhealthy as her, and they are all suffering various health ailments of their own.  One recently just got released from the hospital for lifestyle choices as well, and I wouldn't be surprised to see a relapse soon.

If life was as easy as you describe, my wife wouldn't be in this situation.

I've met with therapists / counselors, independently to help me deal with the situation, and as a couple with my wife, and independently for my wife.   Our insurance sends us piles of medical claims for the many many sessions we've had.  I have bundles of the claims for evidence.

I'm starting to become a bit leery of therapists / counselors / psychologists as none seem to have the answer to help people like my wife.  It sounds great - go see a counselor / therapist, I'd love to see the success fate of these professionals.  I bet the vast majority of their clients don't have major improvements.

It takes self awareness and actualization to want to change.  I've enrolled my wife and I in a life coaching program to see if that will help us.  I desperately want my wife to stop her self-destructive behavior and focus on what's really important in life - her health and our family. 

adjunctprof

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 22
A-fucking-men.

OP, I have a lot of thoughts and personal experience with loving self destructive people that Iím willing to share, but DEFINITELY not in this blood bath of a thread.
Feel free to PM me if you want.

As for the statements about calling the wifeís boss, well, it would be so nice if life were that black and white, wouldnít it be?

Yes, in general, itís an insane move to call your spouseís boss, but there are scenarios where it can make sense. I called my exís boss numerous times and it was perfectly reasonable within the context of the situation we were all dealing with.
When crazy shit happens, sometimes crazy behaviour is necessary in response. Life and death counts as crazy.

OP might have been totally out of line, but I donít like to jump to conclusions, especially when someone is obviously stressed and frustrated with a very serious and scary situation.

Iím sure I sometimes sounded like an insensitive and uncaring dick about my ex when I was at the heights of my frustration and hopelessness with him, so I try to give people the benefit of the doubt when I only see the ugliest side of an issue.

Dealing with loving someone who is killing themselves in front of you is INSANELY INFURIATING and can drive even the most patient and caring person to a level of resentment that can make them unrecognizable to themselves.
I just have to say this resonated with me deeply.  I called my wife's boss because my wife was not answering my calls / texts, asking her to go the ER.  I called my wife's boss to explain the situation, and I flat out told her that my wife's health is more important to us than her income / job.  My wife's boss fortunately completely understood where I was coming from, and acted from my love to get my wife the help she needed. 

My wife's boss gave me her personal contact information in case my wife has any issues like this again.  Life is more about work, and my wife's boss is on the same page.  She and I both want to see my wife healthy again and working happily, but it's not going to happen if my wife stays in denial about her health.

Since this traumatic event, my wife has promised me that she will eat better, and go to the gym with me.  It's shocking how this very negative event has turned into a seemingly positive event.  I pray and hope my wife will stick to her promise and follow up with this.  I'm going to support her 100% of the way to get there, a healthy and happy place.

Please pray for us and our family.  My kids were almost inconsolable last night that mom was in such a bad place.  My heart would die if my kids had to deal with my wife's death.  It's not fair for them, it's not fair for me.  We need to get my wife healthy and get this family strong together. 

With regards to the divorce I mentioned earlier, I only would have executed that as a legal tool to protect our family assets.  I wouldn't want to burden our family with enormous medical bills.  I would not leave my wife or allow the kids to choose between one or the other.  It would only be a paper divorce so we are insulated from the medical bills fallout.

My wife and I made a commitment to be strong for each other, and to love and support each other.  I will try to hold up my end of the bargain and be there for her and my family.  I'm not going to dump her like a cold dish and let her deal with this on her own. 

Kyle Schuant

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 459
  • Location: Melbourne, Australia

Respect is important.

A while back I had a friend and colleague, we'd go for coffees and lunches a fair bit. She said once, "I never heard a man speak of his wife with such love and respect before."

I was a bit surprised by this, as I wasn't exactly praising her to the heavens, I just wasn't saying negative things. With the exception of 1 or 2 close male friends, my policy is to always speak of my wife as though she's sitting there listening. After all, words have a way of getting around, especially in today's online culture, and a momentary vent can be taken out of context and ruin everything.

The other aspect was that, even if I were unhappy, I wasn't going to sit down with a single woman friend and say, "My wife doesn't understand me, boohoo." That never leads anywhere good.

Frankly, your wife sounds awful, but fairly typical for a modern Western person. Someone has to keep all those doctors employed. But you sound awful, too. A man shouldn't badmouth his wife to others, even strangers. Disloyalty isn't attractive. Has there ever been an instance in which someone whined, complained and berated their spouse on a regular basis, and the result was positive lifestyle change and hot sex?

I'm asking this, but I don't want an answer, I just want you to think about it: when was the last time you romanced your wife? Complimented her? Thanked her for something she did? Gave a gentle caress as you passed going through the house? Got her flowers? Found yourself staring and smiling at her? Talked to her about the day she gave you your first child, and how you felt on that day? Wrote her a love note? Read an interesting article or book and shared it with her, discussing it? Gone out with her for dinner or lunch? While out, pointed out the sort of building or tree she liked? Got her a gift - not a present, which is something you want her to have (like a gym membership), but a gift, something she wanted to have?

It may be more productive to log off the internet and go and romance your wife again. You're married, so presumably you did some romancing at some point. Someone who's been sedentary for a long time does best, I've found - and I'm speaking professionally here, as a trainer - by easing into things. Perhaps a walk to the park with a picnic? Romance the woman, and make physical activities an occasional part of the dates. Be loving, loyal and respectful, and that way even if she does die early, your remaining years together will at least be nicer.

mm1970

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5729
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.

So hard though.  My mother quite literally drank herself to death over the space of a decade.

mm1970

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5729
I'm going through the same here.  I live a very healthy lifestyle.  Exercise almost daily.  At 42 I'm in better shape than I've been my whole life, and most likely most people. 

My wife is very unhealthy.  Poor poor choices and refuses to eat well and/or exercise.  Eats out all meals ( mostly due to her job).

"Cooking" for the kids mostly revolves around Ramen Noodles, Dominos delivery, and a pantry full of candy.

I don't know what to do.  We've talked about it.
You need to take over the cooking.

To be honest, in my 20s and 30s I got fat on eating out and my husband's cooking.  When I started losing weight with Weight Watchers, I realized quickly that the only way to know what was in the food was to cook it myself.  I lost 57 lbs, he lost 20.

Awesomeness

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 107
I will certainly pray for you and your family. Hoping this is the bottom and things improve from hear on out. Take care.

MMMaybe

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 385
OP,  I do feel for you. My MIL is extremely obese and I have seen the exact story play out in their family. Everyone desperately tried to get her to be healthier and nothing worked. The results: double hip replacement in her 50's and chronic disability/extreme pain by her 70's. She literally cannot walk more than a few steps and requires high levels of opioid painkillers to function. To say, she wishes, she had listened to her family/friends , is an understatement.

Her kids and husband also have been left with deep issues and resentment over how her health issues have affected their family dynamic. It literally took over everything. Her husband had a stroke and they are now struggling to stay independent. Its truly a terrible outcome and one, which many will face others who are heavily overweight. Its not just about high blood pressure/stroke/heart attacks, its also the cumulative damage to your joints and spine etc that will cause such discomfort later in life.

Malaysia41

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3156
  • Age: 45
  • Location: Verona, Italy
    • My mmm journal
@adjunctprof  - I'm sidestepping the interpersonal dynamics here, but I do have a question: have you or you wife see the documentary like Forks Over Knives?    You both might get something of that movie regarding health.  If it helps, you can tell your wife that an internet stranger, who also loves watching Project Runway, recommended Forks Over Knives.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2018, 11:31:59 AM by Malaysia41 »

fuzzy math

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 570
  • Location: PNW ---> Midwest (for now)
I feel for you OP. I watched this occur with my parents. Eventually my dad cheated on my mom (perhaps a few different times) and eventually they divorced.

Dick heads cheat. I only suggest that if you find yourself unable to stay in the marriage, or looking to stray that you give your wife the courtesy of leaving before finding someone else.

Everyone who is preaching about what does and does not constitute reason for divorce - consider the children here. Kids who are raised under unhappy marriages grow up with some pretty fucked up ideas about relationships. Kids do better with happier divorced parents than unhappy married families. "Keep it together for the kids" is a recipe for parents to divorce the minute kids leave the home.

« Last Edit: April 12, 2018, 06:56:17 AM by fuzzy math »

StarBright

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 975
I'm going through the same here.  I live a very healthy lifestyle.  Exercise almost daily.  At 42 I'm in better shape than I've been my whole life, and most likely most people. 

My wife is very unhealthy.  Poor poor choices and refuses to eat well and/or exercise.  Eats out all meals ( mostly due to her job).

"Cooking" for the kids mostly revolves around Ramen Noodles, Dominos delivery, and a pantry full of candy.

I don't know what to do.  We've talked about it.

Like others here have said, you can't control another adult - but you could certainly take over cooking for the kids.

mbl

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 289
NOTE:  You've provided a very private and personal account on a public forum.  Did you understand that responses are often going to be those with which you don't agree, take offense to and sometimes just see as a personal attack?    So your response is to counter with an adversarial response of your own:
Quote
"To those people, I will give them the benefit of the doubt, and assume that they have serious issues of their own that they are projecting onto others.  I pray they get some healing and counseling on their own to work their issues and baggage out."

Take caution when you put yourself out in a place where no one knows you personally and can only respond based on what you've written.   You're guaranteed to read some things that you don't want to hear.  Maybe you expected a resounding chorus of agreement?   Sometimes,  if you're willing to be a bit more self-aware, and perhaps re-read some of these "hurtful" posts you might get some very insightful and truthful points. ....for free.   :)    END NOTE

Yes, you've done all these helpful things to encourage a change, yet over and over again  she doesn't engage then for very long.   That's a clear message that she's not going to change.   I agree with you on health and exercise and diet.   I mean, it's like acknowledging gravity.  It can't be denied.    But, it can be rejected.     That's what she's demonstrating.   You can call it lazy or suicidal or selfish or whatever resonates.    You have not been able to accept that you can't control the behavior of your wife.   Even as self destructive as it is.   No different if she was an alcoholic or a drug addict.   She has to want to change.   You can want it for all the reasons you have but you can't force someone else to do these things no matter how well intended.

The serious issues you're feeling are your level of concern, frustration and fear of what will happen if she doesn't make some drastic changes.     Actually, more of what just happened.  Hospitalizations and chronic, major health issues which will hinder her ability to care for her children, her husband, her home and mostly herself.

You've said that 
Quote
"health is the only thing I care about"...."As long as my wife is healthy I'm happy."
   All good and reasonable things.   But you are involved in an exercise(poor choice of word I suppose) in utter frustration in your attempt to have your wife improve her health and thereby create, in addition to many other things,  some emotional relief for you. 

You said it here: 
Quote
"It takes self awareness and actualization to want to change."
  Start with yourself.

Focus on the things that you can control.  Your children.  Providing them with all that they need to get through a rough time with their Mom so ill.

wageslave23

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 229
I think you would have had better luck if you were a woman posting that you can't get your husband to help with household chores or helping with the kids.  If you called your husband lazy and unmotivated for not helping you with the kids, I doubt people would be berating you for being an unsensitive jerk.  People would also not respond by saying "stop trying to get him to help you, he is his own person and can do what he wants, instead try taking baby steps like asking him what he enjoys doing around the house and start with that".  No one would be saying you need to stop nagging your husband and look at the deeper psychological issue, such as depression.  But that is the culture we live in and everyone is super-sensitive towards weight issues.

SachaFiscal

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 241
My SO and I have both been unhealthy at times and sometimes one unhealthy and the other not. We stick by each other and try and pull each other up but sometimes one of us is stubborn and wants to be left alone to continue unhealthy habits. Recently I got onto a healthy track and he was inspired by a family member to get healthier (sometimes it takes someone outside the relationship to convince a person). I was excited and just offered to support his journey to health. He tracks calories now. I do all the grocery shopping and cooking and make healthy low calorie and low fat meals (we eat mostly Whole Foods plant based). We eat out very rarely.

Is she mustachian? If so maybe you both could eliminate the eating out budget and just eat at home. If you can take over all the grocery shopping and cooking you could just buy/cook healthy meals (no snacks). If saving money is more important to her than her health, it might work.

Whatever you expect her to do you should stick to yourself, it sounds like you do.

Lastly Iíve found that positive reinforcement works better than negative reinforcement but it takes time to see the change. Rewarding good behavior with a compliment and ignoring bad behavior can work (of course in extreme situations like the blood pressure issue, it canít be ignored).

Also understand that she is at a very different fitness level than you so if she does decide to do an activity with you, let her set the pace and length. Go for consistency rather than intensity. Like ask if she would like to go for a short walk after dinner just around the block. Even just 10 minutes gets her out there and she may decide to go longer but let her decide, donít force. Or maybe have the kids ask her to go to the gym or do and activity with them. She might not be able to say no to them as easily.

ysette9

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3100
  • Location: Bay Area, CA
It occurs to me that perhaps an analogy would help.

My grandmother was religious and believed strongly in the importance of going to church and believing to be able to go to heaven. She was worried about the rest of her family not being in heaven with her. While I never got this, she would regularly say things to my sister and mother about how she was worried she wouldn’t see them in heaven, “so what church are you going to?”, and more. One could argue that her wanting to push religion on others is like the OP wanting to push his healthy lifestyle on his wife. Both genuinely come from a place of love and concern and sincere belief that his/her way of life is The Right Way.


Imagine if my grandmother kept up this campaign for years, sent religious tracts and links to videos and paid for camps or bible study groups or whatever else. She could view these expenditures as loving gifts, born from the desire to have the best long-term outcome for her loved ones, at least as she sees the world. On the flip side, we don’t f-ing want to have anything to do with religion. Tried that, not for me, thanks. The continual hounding only serves to strain the relationship because she would be trying to shove her wishes on independent adults who don’t want to change. How successful was she in making the non-religious convert? Zero. Other religions family members accept the differences and never say anything remotely close to pushing religion and enjoy a close relationship as a result. They recognize that the only way someone may convert is of their own accord, and perhaps influenced by seeing the life that someone religious around them models.

I get the OP’s feelings because I believe in being healthy and see the incredible benefits of exercise in my own mental and physical health. I want everyone to enjoy that. I wanted my sister to get off the couch and start eating better and to lose weight. But I absolutely could not do that for her, and my relationship with her was more important, so I said nothing. After several years of her watching me from afar, she decided she wanted to make changes. She eats better than I do, runs more than I do, and now is an inspiration to me. It was all what she chose to do on her own, and all the rest of us do is love her and support her wherever she is at.

CSuzette

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 35
  • Location: Boston, MA
You married a type. Why?  She may have been healthier 15 years ago, but her intrinsic personality has not changed.

Khaetra

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 515
I don't want you to answer OP, as it's not my business, but what happened 15 years ago up until now that has affected your wife so badly that she has ended up like this?  And more importantly, what was *you're* reaction to it?  Was it something that she thought was a big deal and you didn't?  Was it something horrible?  Something said?  Again, I don't want an answer, I want you to think back over the years.  Something had to trigger the 'don't care' attitude.  You need to figure out what it was and start healing from there.

You said you've met with therapists, both with your wife and without.  Has she been to one by herself?  Maybe she has some things she needs to work through without you there.

Sibley

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3134
  • Age: 32
  • Location: Chicago, IL
I think you would have had better luck if you were a woman posting that you can't get your husband to help with household chores or helping with the kids.  If you called your husband lazy and unmotivated for not helping you with the kids, I doubt people would be berating you for being an unsensitive jerk.  People would also not respond by saying "stop trying to get him to help you, he is his own person and can do what he wants, instead try taking baby steps like asking him what he enjoys doing around the house and start with that".  No one would be saying you need to stop nagging your husband and look at the deeper psychological issue, such as depression.  But that is the culture we live in and everyone is super-sensitive towards weight issues.

Ryan, there is a difference though. If you are part of a household, it is not unreasonable to expect that you contribute towards that household's running - including housework, repairs, scheduling, etc. If you have children, it is not unreasonable to expect that you contribute towards raising those children, including scheduling, discipline, bathing, dressing, etc. And if you do not contribute in a fair way (whatever that looks like, it's different for every family), then you ARE in the wrong. Just because there's a higher number of situations where it's men judged in the wrong doesn't mean it's invalid, it means there's a problem in our society. If the situation were reversed and women were more commonly slacking off, then it would be equally valid criticism.

wageslave23

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 229
I think you would have had better luck if you were a woman posting that you can't get your husband to help with household chores or helping with the kids.  If you called your husband lazy and unmotivated for not helping you with the kids, I doubt people would be berating you for being an unsensitive jerk.  People would also not respond by saying "stop trying to get him to help you, he is his own person and can do what he wants, instead try taking baby steps like asking him what he enjoys doing around the house and start with that".  No one would be saying you need to stop nagging your husband and look at the deeper psychological issue, such as depression.  But that is the culture we live in and everyone is super-sensitive towards weight issues.

Ryan, there is a difference though. If you are part of a household, it is not unreasonable to expect that you contribute towards that household's running - including housework, repairs, scheduling, etc. If you have children, it is not unreasonable to expect that you contribute towards raising those children, including scheduling, discipline, bathing, dressing, etc. And if you do not contribute in a fair way (whatever that looks like, it's different for every family), then you ARE in the wrong. Just because there's a higher number of situations where it's men judged in the wrong doesn't mean it's invalid, it means there's a problem in our society. If the situation were reversed and women were more commonly slacking off, then it would be equally valid criticism.

That's my fault for throwing gender in the mix, that's a separate issue.  My point is that if someone isn't contributing their fair share to household chores and child rearing then its ok to call them lazy or give them a kick in the ass to change their ways.  Nobody says "well there is some deeper issue for why they don't want to do their fair share - i.e low self esteem or depression, or some tragedy that happened years ago". As the OP said, some people are just plan lazy, immature, selfish, lack discipline.  Not always the case, but it can be the case.

ysette9

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3100
  • Location: Bay Area, CA
I disagree. If the partner started by pulling his/her weight in the household and then stopped, there certainly could be something else going on there. Perhaps the person is depressed. Perhaps the person is stressed at work and needs a temporary break or a better way of dealing with the stress. Perhaps the marriage is rocky and a resentful partner is being passive aggressive instead of talking about the issues in a healthy manner. Perhaps both partners previously agreed to be lazy and have a messy house but then one later changed his/her mind and now wants both of them to do more than they were doing before. My point is that I think most reasonable adults don’t just up and decide to be lazy out of the blue with no other reason than “I don’t wanna”.

jezebel

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1585
Also, there is a big difference between saying to yourself, I don't feel like doing the dishes or the laundry, and ignoring a serious medical issue until it becomes life threatening.  Not taking care of your health generally has no comparison to someone letting their significant other do all the household chores.  If that person lived alone, however, and let their home become squalid, then I would agree that it's more akin to neglecting one's health.

sjc0816

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 223
I probably have harsher opinions than most on this topic. Healthy eating/living is something I value greatly in life and it would be hard for me to stay with a spouse who didn't feel the same way. To me, killing yourself with food is no different than abusing drugs or alcohol. Kids learn life-long eating habits from their parents. I cannot BELIEVE how many obese children go to school with my kids. The problem is bigger than anyone is willing to honestly discuss and I wish people took it more seriously.

If this were me, I would take over the cooking and get into counseling. Or leave.

partgypsy

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2221
I stand by my original comment and do so as a healthy weight and very active person (the poster who thinks we must be fat and lazy of we don't agree with certain behaviors, you are wrong).  I am glad she is well but there is clearly a lot more to this story.

re: a blood pressure of 180/200. I've never heard of such numbers (I am trained wilderness first responder) and google and the american heart association confirm that such a reading doesn't exist so to the poster who keeps pointing to it as some sort of learning opportunity- It is- this reading is not possible but if you'd like to learn more about actual blood pressure values and what they mean, this is a great resource: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/HighBloodPressure/KnowYourNumbers/Understanding-Blood-Pressure-Readings_UCM_301764_Article.jsp?appName=WebApp

Peace.
I saw that too, and I think it is a typo. OP when you get back to us, can you confirm what the reading was? 
« Last Edit: April 12, 2018, 12:17:55 PM by partgypsy »

RogerG

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 1
Just based on reading through your comments, it appears you and your DW are not compatible.  You can't change her until she's ready to change - which may be never.  It has to be her making the decision - not you telling her.

Every time you "suggest" she trade out the cookie for some leafy food, what she hears is:  "He's telling me I'm fat".  Every time you suggest she go to the gym, what she hears is "you're telling me I'm lazy".  She's heard it for years.  She knows what she should do.  Every fat person knows why they are fat and most know what to do to change it, but when their spouse nags them to death, it's easy to just give up.

I would suggest marriage counseling.  You need it.  Notice I didn't say nutritional or diet counseling.  You guys aren't to the point where that would help much yet.   She needs to know why she eats like she does.  You might find out part of the problem is you. 

Realize now that she will never be like the fitness babe at the gym that you look at and wonder "why can't my wife be like that?".   Don't tell me you don't think that.  It's a natural feeling.

Maybe this latest health scare will cause her to make drastic changes and she will no longer be (in your eyes) a lazy, fat, youtube watching, minimum wage earning, slob.

Sorry, I don't know you and you may be completely different than what I got by reading your post, but I don't give your relationship much hope.  Having been married 39 years, I certainly don't want to suggest divorce lightly, but it might be what's needed for both of you to be happy. 

TheWifeHalf

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 499
I believe the bp reading. Mine was very near to that when I was admitted to the hospital, in fact was the reason I WAS admitted. Like I said in a previous post, there was an underlying reason, that was taken care of.

As Moms, we sometimes feel like the rest of the family is more important, and it takes a crisis to see that we have to take care of ourselves too. Hopefully that is all that is wrong here, and the family as a whole can mend

http://www.healthcommunities.com/high-blood-pressure/hypertensive-crisis-urgency-emergency.shtml

Captain FIRE

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 310
What do you want from us?  It seems to me you aren't interested in advice on how to improve the situation.  Am I wrong, or are you just looking for support/validation?  If so, you should probably post and clarify that, so people stop wasting their time trying to help you with things you don't want to change.  If I'm wrong, here's my two cents:

It's said the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. 

Berating, belittling, shaming, bullying (as many here see it) or coaxing, encouraging, begging, pleading (as others here see it, including you) her to eat differently and exercise clearly isn't working.  The way I see it, you can focus on the methods you think are right - or try to achieve the results you think are right.  By that I mean you can continue to try to drag her kicking and screaming to the gym and leafy green vegetables, because it worked for you and thus is the one true way to healthier living.  Or you can take the advice of most people here and try other methods.

Me, I'm healthy BMI (22), but I hate going to the gym.  On the other hand, I've happily kept active by playing a variety of sports over the years.  Just like I love my carbs and you will pry my bread, pasta, pizza from my cold dead hands - but I also enjoy a salad frequently at lunch.  Gym+leafy greens may have worked for you, but it's NOT a one size fits all.  And constantly preaching rarely gets people fired up who aren't already believers.

Also consider this - you don't believe you've treated your wife poorly regarding these issues and take umbrage at the suggestion you are less than a loving husband.  But, based solely on your words (which you can shape how you like, as we don't know you), many people have come to that conclusion.  Sometimes, where there's smoke there is indeed fire.

former player

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3443
  • Location: Avalon
I know you want to support your wife.  I wonder whether she feels that you have taken on the responsibility of her exercising for her, and so she doesn't need to?  Could you ask her whether passing all the responsibility for exercise back to her, rather than taking it on yourself, would work better for her?  If she takes you up on this, you would have to butt out for the foreseeable unless she raises the issue with you.

I definitely agree that taking on the shopping and cooking yourself is a good way forward.  If you do this, don't change everything at once: do it gradually, substituting some healthier options and/or smaller portions as you go.

I think the advice about the 10 minute walk is a good one.  But it would be better if it were a 10 minute walk before dinner, not after.  Better still, once the 10 minute walk before dinner has become routine, working up to a 10 minute walk before any meal or snack.   Then even working up to a bit of jogging in with the walking.  Suggest the walk to your wife, offer to come with her or it's something she can do on her own if she prefers.

Lastly, your wife is working a minimum wage job.  Is there any way in which she can get some training, move up at work, or get a new job?  It is surprising how often beginning to succeed in one area of life spills over into others, and I don't think your wife can feel that she is succeeding at work the way things are for her at the moment.

Awesomeness

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 107
I stand by my original comment and do so as a healthy weight and very active person (the poster who thinks we must be fat and lazy of we don't agree with certain behaviors, you are wrong).  I am glad she is well but there is clearly a lot more to this story.

re: a blood pressure of 180/200. I've never heard of such numbers (I am trained wilderness first responder) and google and the american heart association confirm that such a reading doesn't exist so to the poster who keeps pointing to it as some sort of learning opportunity- It is- this reading is not possible but if you'd like to learn more about actual blood pressure values and what they mean, this is a great resource: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/HighBloodPressure/KnowYourNumbers/Understanding-Blood-Pressure-Readings_UCM_301764_Article.jsp?appName=WebApp

Peace.
I saw that too, and I think it is a typo. OP when you get back to us, can you confirm what the reading was?

I read the number as if he accidentally flipped them.  When my ex was sent to the ER for his rating I believe it was 190/140.  They said it was easily stroke/heart attack range.  He also had ďwhite coat syndromeĒ. Just being in the office around nurses and doctors would elevate his.

jax8

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 94
  • Age: 38
  • Location: Pittsburgh, PA
I think you would have had better luck if you were a woman posting that you can't get your husband to help with household chores or helping with the kids.  If you called your husband lazy and unmotivated for not helping you with the kids, I doubt people would be berating you for being an unsensitive jerk.  People would also not respond by saying "stop trying to get him to help you, he is his own person and can do what he wants, instead try taking baby steps like asking him what he enjoys doing around the house and start with that".  No one would be saying you need to stop nagging your husband and look at the deeper psychological issue, such as depression.  But that is the culture we live in and everyone is super-sensitive towards weight issues.

Ryan, there is a difference though. If you are part of a household, it is not unreasonable to expect that you contribute towards that household's running - including housework, repairs, scheduling, etc. If you have children, it is not unreasonable to expect that you contribute towards raising those children, including scheduling, discipline, bathing, dressing, etc. And if you do not contribute in a fair way (whatever that looks like, it's different for every family), then you ARE in the wrong. Just because there's a higher number of situations where it's men judged in the wrong doesn't mean it's invalid, it means there's a problem in our society. If the situation were reversed and women were more commonly slacking off, then it would be equally valid criticism.

This.  Ryan's example of the lazy man revolved around not contributing around the house, but the OP is upset that his wife won't exercise and stop eating the wrong foods.  She works, she contributes, but she's not making an effort to get healthy.  Completely different scenarios.

I'd argue that with health-conscious gender roles, MEN get away with unhealthy choices and behavior way more than women.  Guys can joyously eat burgers and wings and chug beer, then complain when their partners fuss over them to eat better or get their numbers under control, and society smiles indulgently.  A guy has to be tipping over into severe obesity before he starts to feel that silent disapproval from the world around them.  (I will admit that men are losing ground here as society becomes less and less tolerant/empathetic/compassionate toward anyone who is overweight--but for now they still have it better than women.)

Women are expected to be the Keepers of Health.  They should know all the latest super foods and trends, keep themselves in tip-top shape, and nag the rest of their family to eat their vegetables.  Women are critiqued for how they carry weight (especially post-baby), how much visible effort they put into their meals and workouts, and the kinds of meals and activities they plan for their families.  If she's young and thin and pretty, her unhealthy choices (like fast food and trashy TV binges) are cute and winsome!  For a few years, anyway.  Once a woman ages past...oh, 30?...she's expected to step into this role of Health Police and steer the entire human population away from the BAD FOODS and towards the light.  In the words of Gretchen Weiners: "That's just like, the rules of feminism!"

I feel for the OP's wife.  I work 50 hour weeks + commute + kid drop offs.  I battle to keep my weight down.  I'm exhausted most of the time, with the kids grumbling things like, "You're always tired," and my husband complaining that I'm in bed by 9:30 pm.  I meal plan and cook vegetables, knowing it's going to be a fight to get anyone to eat them.  *And I'm not sick.*  The OP's wife has blood pressure high enough to land her in the hospital. How long has she been dealing with that?  OP is assuming bad diet + laziness = health crisis but he's failing to acknowledge that the formula could be underlying health issue = exhaustion + depression --> bad diet + laziness.  Lots of people eat crappy diets and avoid the gym, and they don't end up in the ER hypertensive, right?  There's something more going on here. 

Pigeon

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1100
Quote
First of all, many people must have serious marriage issues to assume that I control or abuse my wife or am unkind to her.  They seem to skip over the part that over the 15 years, I have paid for gym memberships, expensive personal training lessons, all to encourage my wife to enjoy physical activity.  I have bought and sold many bikes, roller blades, tennis racquets, wii dance floor mat / games, even bought dogs for my wife and I to take out to go walking.  Everything ultimate results in her becoming uninterested to go out for physical activity, not because of depression or some underlying unseen issue, but because she loses interest in physical activity and finds it easier to put off physical activity to "later, tomorrow, I promise".  It is like dealing with a child at times.

You might sprain something from patting yourself on the back for pouring a lot of money into things she's not interested in.  That's really not helpful or respectful.  I've fought weight issues all my life (and yes, I've been going to the gym daily).  None of this would be remotely helpful or supportive coming from my husband.

You need marriage counselling, but it sounds like what you really are looking for here is permission to divorce your wife.

partgypsy

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2221
I think you would have had better luck if you were a woman posting that you can't get your husband to help with household chores or helping with the kids.  If you called your husband lazy and unmotivated for not helping you with the kids, I doubt people would be berating you for being an unsensitive jerk.  People would also not respond by saying "stop trying to get him to help you, he is his own person and can do what he wants, instead try taking baby steps like asking him what he enjoys doing around the house and start with that".  No one would be saying you need to stop nagging your husband and look at the deeper psychological issue, such as depression.  But that is the culture we live in and everyone is super-sensitive towards weight issues.

Ryan, there is a difference though. If you are part of a household, it is not unreasonable to expect that you contribute towards that household's running - including housework, repairs, scheduling, etc. If you have children, it is not unreasonable to expect that you contribute towards raising those children, including scheduling, discipline, bathing, dressing, etc. And if you do not contribute in a fair way (whatever that looks like, it's different for every family), then you ARE in the wrong. Just because there's a higher number of situations where it's men judged in the wrong doesn't mean it's invalid, it means there's a problem in our society. If the situation were reversed and women were more commonly slacking off, then it would be equally valid criticism.

This.  Ryan's example of the lazy man revolved around not contributing around the house, but the OP is upset that his wife won't exercise and stop eating the wrong foods.  She works, she contributes, but she's not making an effort to get healthy.  Completely different scenarios.

I'd argue that with health-conscious gender roles, MEN get away with unhealthy choices and behavior way more than women.  Guys can joyously eat burgers and wings and chug beer, then complain when their partners fuss over them to eat better or get their numbers under control, and society smiles indulgently.  A guy has to be tipping over into severe obesity before he starts to feel that silent disapproval from the world around them.  (I will admit that men are losing ground here as society becomes less and less tolerant/empathetic/compassionate toward anyone who is overweight--but for now they still have it better than women.)

Women are expected to be the Keepers of Health.  They should know all the latest super foods and trends, keep themselves in tip-top shape, and nag the rest of their family to eat their vegetables.  Women are critiqued for how they carry weight (especially post-baby), how much visible effort they put into their meals and workouts, and the kinds of meals and activities they plan for their families.  If she's young and thin and pretty, her unhealthy choices (like fast food and trashy TV binges) are cute and winsome!  For a few years, anyway.  Once a woman ages past...oh, 30?...she's expected to step into this role of Health Police and steer the entire human population away from the BAD FOODS and towards the light.  In the words of Gretchen Weiners: "That's just like, the rules of feminism!"

I feel for the OP's wife.  I work 50 hour weeks + commute + kid drop offs.  I battle to keep my weight down.  I'm exhausted most of the time, with the kids grumbling things like, "You're always tired," and my husband complaining that I'm in bed by 9:30 pm.  I meal plan and cook vegetables, knowing it's going to be a fight to get anyone to eat them.  *And I'm not sick.*  The OP's wife has blood pressure high enough to land her in the hospital. How long has she been dealing with that?  OP is assuming bad diet + laziness = health crisis but he's failing to acknowledge that the formula could be underlying health issue = exhaustion + depression --> bad diet + laziness.  Lots of people eat crappy diets and avoid the gym, and they don't end up in the ER hypertensive, right?  There's something more going on here.

Thank you for saying this. I agree.

OccamsPhaco

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 37
Re: blood pressure

The bottom number (diastolic) cannot be higher than the top number (systolic). The top number represents the blood pressure at the time of each heart beat (about 1/3 of the time on average), while the bottom number is the blood pressure between heart beats (the other 2/3 of the time).

120/80 is the high end of "normal"
Up to 129/80 is "elevated"
139/89 is the top end of pre -hypertension or stage 1 hypertension
Typically if systolic is over 140 or diastolic is over 90, you'll probably be getting treatment from your primary care doc.

"Hypertensive urgency" is I think top number over 180 or bottom over 100. This needs to be seen about quickly but not emergently. Pt can go see their PCP in a day or two and not ride to the ER in an ambulance.
"Hypertensive emergency" (from what I remember) is same as above but with evidence of end organ damage. Headaches, blurred vision, slurred speech, etc... You need to be in the ER getting that lowered under very close observation as soon as possible unless you want to have a stroke or MI.

Categories change over time, and that's what I remember from med school, but I'm just a cataract/LASIK guy these days mostly, so info may be a bit off.

Khaetra

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 515
I think you would have had better luck if you were a woman posting that you can't get your husband to help with household chores or helping with the kids.  If you called your husband lazy and unmotivated for not helping you with the kids, I doubt people would be berating you for being an unsensitive jerk.  People would also not respond by saying "stop trying to get him to help you, he is his own person and can do what he wants, instead try taking baby steps like asking him what he enjoys doing around the house and start with that".  No one would be saying you need to stop nagging your husband and look at the deeper psychological issue, such as depression.  But that is the culture we live in and everyone is super-sensitive towards weight issues.

Ryan, there is a difference though. If you are part of a household, it is not unreasonable to expect that you contribute towards that household's running - including housework, repairs, scheduling, etc. If you have children, it is not unreasonable to expect that you contribute towards raising those children, including scheduling, discipline, bathing, dressing, etc. And if you do not contribute in a fair way (whatever that looks like, it's different for every family), then you ARE in the wrong. Just because there's a higher number of situations where it's men judged in the wrong doesn't mean it's invalid, it means there's a problem in our society. If the situation were reversed and women were more commonly slacking off, then it would be equally valid criticism.

This.  Ryan's example of the lazy man revolved around not contributing around the house, but the OP is upset that his wife won't exercise and stop eating the wrong foods.  She works, she contributes, but she's not making an effort to get healthy.  Completely different scenarios.

I'd argue that with health-conscious gender roles, MEN get away with unhealthy choices and behavior way more than women.  Guys can joyously eat burgers and wings and chug beer, then complain when their partners fuss over them to eat better or get their numbers under control, and society smiles indulgently.  A guy has to be tipping over into severe obesity before he starts to feel that silent disapproval from the world around them.  (I will admit that men are losing ground here as society becomes less and less tolerant/empathetic/compassionate toward anyone who is overweight--but for now they still have it better than women.)

Women are expected to be the Keepers of Health.  They should know all the latest super foods and trends, keep themselves in tip-top shape, and nag the rest of their family to eat their vegetables.  Women are critiqued for how they carry weight (especially post-baby), how much visible effort they put into their meals and workouts, and the kinds of meals and activities they plan for their families.  If she's young and thin and pretty, her unhealthy choices (like fast food and trashy TV binges) are cute and winsome!  For a few years, anyway.  Once a woman ages past...oh, 30?...she's expected to step into this role of Health Police and steer the entire human population away from the BAD FOODS and towards the light.  In the words of Gretchen Weiners: "That's just like, the rules of feminism!"

I feel for the OP's wife.  I work 50 hour weeks + commute + kid drop offs.  I battle to keep my weight down.  I'm exhausted most of the time, with the kids grumbling things like, "You're always tired," and my husband complaining that I'm in bed by 9:30 pm.  I meal plan and cook vegetables, knowing it's going to be a fight to get anyone to eat them.  *And I'm not sick.*  The OP's wife has blood pressure high enough to land her in the hospital. How long has she been dealing with that?  OP is assuming bad diet + laziness = health crisis but he's failing to acknowledge that the formula could be underlying health issue = exhaustion + depression --> bad diet + laziness.  Lots of people eat crappy diets and avoid the gym, and they don't end up in the ER hypertensive, right?  There's something more going on here.

Thank you for saying this. I agree.

+2.  I agree with everything said.

jax8

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 94
  • Age: 38
  • Location: Pittsburgh, PA
OP--in your original post, you said you eat very few carbs and follow intermittent fasting to keep your blood sugars level.  This has really worked for you, and you send your wife all these internet links about why she should try it and see the same success you had.

I also follow a low-carb / grain-free lifestyle and I know the cult-following it has.  While I feel better, I haven't found the Fountain of Youth and my stressful job still saps my energy.  The diet hasn't magically changed my life in the past 3 years.  (I know the die-hards would respond with, "Then clearly, you aren't doing it right. Reduce your carbs to 20 grams per day and read every.ingredient.on.every.thing."  Mmmkay.  I'll get right on that.)

There are jokes about Paleo and Gluten-Free diets all over the place, because so many try to claim that following these diets will make you immortal.  I drank the Kool-Aid for awhile (while I was losing 20 pounds) and got irritated with my husband for continuing to drink beer and enjoy pizza.  When he landed in the hospital for his gall bladder, it was on the tip of my tongue to say, "SEE?!?  LOOK WHERE GRAINS HAVE BROUGHT YOU!"

Then, I realized I have zero proof that grains ruined his gallbladder, and I was being a smug ass.  Gallbladders go bad.  Next time it could be me.  So I encouraged him, made inappropriate jokes to cheer him up, and walked slowly around the hospital with him and his IV stand. 

I hope your doing the same for your wife.  She needs your love and support.

Apple_Tango

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 307
I agree with Jax8- I donít do a low carb but I do a vegan diet. To hear vegans talk you would think it would be life shattering, dropping weight, boundless energy, etc. haha nope. Iím a chubby vegan and I feel pretty much the same as I always have. I stick with it for the animals and the good feelings about lowering my carbon footprint. But really...even adding tons of veggies and fruits to my diet hasnít made me go ďwow! I feel great!Ē

All the eczema people say itís 100% diet and that dairy has to go. But I actually developed eczema 3 years after ditching dairy.

Low carb has almost as big of a cult as the vegan diet does. And sometimes switching your diet in such an ďextremeĒ way truely doesnít do jack.

Instead of focusing on converting your wife from junk-a-Holic to low carb, I would just try a simple goal of home cooking instead of take out, or minimize portions, or give up eating after 8pm. Something a little less ďextremeĒ to start. Maybe switching potato chips to homemade kale chips (mmmmmm so good). Switching from a grilled cheese sandwich to a grilled vegetable sandwich.

Things that still taste awesome but will add some nutritional value.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2018, 03:06:21 PM by Apple_Tango »

BlueSky45

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 15
OP - I'm just curious if you've asked your wife what she wants?  This thread seems to be primarily  focused on "fixing" her, but does she see herself as "broken"?  Is she happy, is she getting what she wants out of life?  If the answer is no, she's not happy, then what does she need to start working towards happy? 

Speaking as someone that has been notoriously bad at caring for myself (although I am excellent at work, at caring for others, etc.) - these questions are really important to ask yourself, especially if you're caught up in an unhealthy spiral.  I've used food for most of my life to numb feelings, for comfort, to celebrate, to feel good, etc. etc. etc.  I'm not lazy and I'm not unmotivated, but having lost and gained weight for much of my life, I'm finally starting to see that food is really emotional for me and until you understand the "why" of overeating - all of the dieting and exercising is just pushing the ball uphill.

For what it's worth, I've been going through an online course for people that battle with weight but the dietitian that runs the program focuses on helping you see how to be happy first and then the weight starts to take care of itself.  If you'd like to check it out, it is https://www.feelbettereatbetter.com/

I wish both you and your wife lots of happiness..

ETBen

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 354
    • I started a journal about single parenting and the new life towards FIRE
Have you read Gretchen Rubins work on the Four Tendencies?  Itís about what motivates people.  I picked up on this in your post. You are motivated by doing what is right. Youíre a just do it person. Many more people are not. Regardless of laziness, mental health, etc she is not a person motivated by the black and white. She is also not someone motivated by wanting to oblige or make someone else happy (you.). There are a few  other categories.i canít remember exactly  Motivated by making sense of why the thing is important. And the rebel. Motivated only bc it serves them and their desires. Which is essentially what sheís doing by choosing this lifestyle.

Also, itís very easy for health and wellness to come off as a moral high ground to some people. So if she sees that youíre living it at such a high level and has a negative self image, that wonít motivate her to improve. Bc sheís probably thinking that she will never achieve your level so why bother.

I donít agree with those lines of thinking and I donít have an easy answer.  I donít understand making chronically unhealthy choices either.  But in your venting itís making something thatís very complex to her into a black and white issue for you.

Dicey

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8256
  • Age: 60
  • Location: NorCal
Wow, this thread is all over the place!

My mom exhibited a lot of the traits that @adjunctprof describes. My dad eventually gave up trying. It was so sad to watch him gradually give up any hope of improvement. He simply caved and let her do whatever she wanted without comment. It was the only way he could survive and stay in the marriage. Things never improved. My mother's choices always came first. Unsurprisingly, she died first. Dad broke all of our hearts by describing her as "the love of my life". Poor, good, kind man. He deserved so much better than what he got.

Deep down, he knew he was responsible for chosing her as his bride and he accepted the consequences of his decision. It didn't stop it from being heartbreakingly sad for all of his children to watch.

The book and movie, "The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood" by Rebecca Wells really resonated with me. In it, there is a heartbreakingly simple exchange between Daughter "Sidda" (played by Sandra Bullock) and Dad "Shep" (James Garner):

Sidda: Daddy, did you get loved enough?

Shep: What's enough? My question is, did you?


Sadly, when one person sucks all the air out of the room with their neediness (whatever the cause), everyone around them suffers. Such a fucking waste.




deborah

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7526
  • Location: At Home
My local area has a list of every active group (walking, sport, craft...) in the area. I found it great for inspiration about the activities available - some of which Iíd never heard. Perhaps your area is similar. Going through all the different activities together may give you some ideas of things that may work out.

ePalmtrees

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 54
I skipped reading most of the responses to this, because quite frankly it's a long thread..

"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."

What did she say to that?

Sugar and flour are a real addiction. This book actually lays it out how the food really acts like a drug in the brain. Not that she seems to want to tackle it but it's interesting.

https://www.amazon.com/Bright-Line-Eating-Science-Living/dp/1401952534/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1523638789&sr=8-1&keywords=brightline+eating&dpID=51ESNgw1lQL&preST=_SY291_BO1,204,203,200_QL40_&dpSrc=srch

I would recommend this book, I'm reading it for a second time and it's been a game changer for me. It's about conversations but it's about so much more than that too. Since you aren't getting anywhere trying to change her, this may actual help.

https://www.amazon.com/Difficult-Conversations-Discuss-What-Matters/dp/0143118447/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1523638880&sr=8-2&keywords=difficult+conversations