husband Has Me Feeling Passive-Aggressive This AM

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by DaisyFace, Nov 7, 2012.

  1. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    The man is driving me up a tree!

    He is overweight. That's OK - he's always been a little heavy. Never bothered me.

    Lately, though, his eating is absolutely out of control. He will eat several helpings of everything at dinner - finish with a dessert and then immediately proceed to "snack time". Usually "snack time" starts with a jumbo bowl of cereal, or a large plate of cheesy nachos (because, as he says, he's got to have his "dairy"). Then he will have a few sweets, followed up with a bag of microwave popcorn.

    Then when he has finally finshed eating - he sits in his recliner and complains that he is sweaty and hot and his stomache hurts. We need to open all the windows in the house because he is so hot. We've been buying all kinds of medications for upset stomache and husband has been to the GI half-a-dozen times now. At night, he struggles to breathe - it sounds as though he is choking.

    Over the years he has gone from an XL to a 2XL to a 3XL to a 4XL and now we are heading into a size category that can only be found in specialty big and tall stores.

    And now this morning, I found a shopping list that he made for me in which he HI-LITED all of the goodies he cannot live without.

    Is it me? or is this absolutely ridiculous?

    I cannot keep up with the amount of food this man is eating. Groceries are not cheap! And now we have to pay extra for his clothes - PLUS the medications and doctor visits - PLUS the extra electric to keep the A/C and fans running on account of his being hot.

    I really do not want to go buy him all these foods he 'needs'. But if I don't - I will have to hear all the whining and complaining. So I am sitting here trying to figure out how to buy cheap, crappy versions of all these snack items in hopes they won't be so appetizing.


    Any suggestions?
  2. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    Sorry to hear that.

    But how about being proactive and practising your detaching and not-enabling skills? I mean. He is an adult, he is free to make his choices, but you don't need to enable him to eat himself to death. He is making very poor choices with his diet. You can't change that, but you don't need to help him making those poor choices. You can go on and buy healthy food to your house. If he wants junk, he can go and buy it himself, but it is not reasonable to ask you help him self-destruct. You wouldn't go buying beer to an alcoholic. There is no reason to go buying junk to the person who seems to have eating issues. Neither can you make him eat well, but you don't have to enable his poor choices.
  3. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    You're much nicer than me. I have absolutely *forbidden* any cr@p in the house - boy, were they ticked off at me when the morning after Halloween, I dumped the rest of the candy in the garbage can (the one in the garage, where there will be no temptation to dig it out). Chips? Get tossed. No cookies, candy, cakes, muffins, etc. No junk food. No fast food, aside from Subway, but heaven help the fool who brings home a Subway cookie.

    My husband takes it one step further - he feels so "bad" he has to go to ER, which results in ridiculous bills. He's not 50 yet and has had 1 heart cath, countless echos, stress tests, EKGs, etc. Honestly, and I'm a little ashamed to admit this (but only a little), he's now got the doctors doing an upper GI on him - my preference is to have it done in hospital setting for safety, but they only apparently do "twilight" sedation in hospital, while they will knock him out completely in office - makes no sense, but whatever. But my thinking was: "Hmmmm, maybe he *should* have it done in hospital so that he's a bit miserable and WILL CUT THIS KOI OUT!!!!" I relented and he's having it done in dr office but.... I swear, next time he decides he needs to pull this, I'm having them do *all* testing without any sedation/anesthesia.

    I have to bite my tongue when he gets his "chest pain" - gee, perhaps the salsa and other junk that you ate might have something to do with it. I refuse to drive him anymore to the hospital.

    He also has panic attacks, which he refuses to accept, which complicates the whole picture.

    After this last go round, I had to simply put it to him. He wants to kill himself? Fine. But I'm not sticking around to watch. And this frequent flier garbage in ERs with his "chest pain" has got to stop because I cannot take anymore of this stress - it's making me nuts. His heart is *fine*, dammit. I've got the bills to prove it. He needs to get off his expanding posterior and put up or shut up.

    He keeps thinking there's something "wrong" and that the dr will find it and fix it and he will be fine. Only if it involves jaw wiring.

    I don't trust doctors and I think the more he shows up in their offices, the higher likelihood they *will* find something (or more likely foul something up and just cause more problems). I'm honestly not sure which terrifies me more - him dying, or him becoming an invalid. I have a hard enough time taking care of Boo.

    So..... don't know what to tell you. My strategy ended up being a raving b-word. I'm not the food police and husband is a big boy, but I have my limits and I let him know what they were in very clear terms.

    He's hitting the gym tonight for the second time this week. We will see.
  4. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    ETA: Oh yea, can we talk about his bad knee? The one he wants to get replaced? Tell me how on earth a 300+ pound man is going to do rehab? Another one of his genius quick-fix ideas.

    He wants junk, he has to buy it. He brings it into the home, I toss it. He doesn't start taking better care of himself, I'm outta here. I love the man dearly, but.... I can't continue to watch this.
  5. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Oh my goodness - this is EXACTLY where I am.

    You stuffed yourself to the gills and now you're hot, sweaty and your stomache hurts? Well - DUH!

    And he absolutely refuses to believe that these monster-sized portions have anything at all to do with his stomache pain. Instead, he is sure it must be cancer.

    Yes - he is a big boy. A very VERY big boy. And I can detach until his lifestyle begins encroaching on the rest of the family.

    Right now - he is encroaching BIG TIME. We all have to suffer with a cold house because he is so sweaty. Instead of having leftover meats to make second and third meals with - husband polishes it all off in one sitting. And now these doctor bills!

    And even all of that would not be so bad if it didn't come with a big serving of whine! If you want to eat until you make yourself sick - have at it. But don't do it and then complain that it doesn't feel good!

    Sounds like we need to leave our big boys at home and go someplace nice...
  6. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Ugh! Surely his docs have explained that the extra weight is part of the problem?
  7. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    Amen!!!! That is exactly how I feel about it. husband has always been big, has gotten worse in the last 10 years (except he did lose a significant amt of weight on Weight Watchers a couple years ago - but he felt "starved" and didn't keep with it.... sigh). He can do what he wants but he needs to suffer the consequences IN SILENCE!!! I don't want to hear about, or pay for it.

    Funny thing is, I've always been less than patient with his illnesses - even when he's legitimately sick. I think it's mainly fear on my part, but even with a cold... he doesn't get a lot of nurturing from me. I think taking care of the kids has maxed me out completely (or I'm just a lousy wife). I almost feel like *he's* the one being passive-aggressive here - like he'll eventually get big enough or sick enough or they'll find something "bad" enough where I will have to be his nurse too.

    I've fantasized about sending him off to the TV show "Biggest Losers." ;)

    And no.... for some reason neither his PCP or knee guy *ever* mention weight loss to him. Hunh???? I even asked the nurse at the last knee appointment to tell him to lose weight - she said, "Oh no, we don't do that." Guess it guarantees return visits. UGH!
  8. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    DF... That eating sequence is totally classical for depression or extreme anxiety (aka stress). Carbs and more carbs, especially simple carbs (sugar anyone?) Unless and until he can come to grips with his underlying condition... the rest is very hard to fix.
  9. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    That sounds like a combo of 3 people in my house. Me, Billy and Buck. I have gotten a ton better about it since my stomach issues this past summer but Billy and Buck are horrible. I have basically lost my chocolate tooth but when I have to have a little chocolate I have Snackwell's cookies and they are only a 100 calories. Also I have become a huge fan of Greek yogurt and Bunny low cal ice cream bars which are like 80 calories. They are wonderful! There is also a bag of sugar free jello cubes that are 45 calories for the entire bag! Now that is what I am talking

    I have lost almost 30 pounds since June without even trying.

    One thing I did do was go out and replace all my regular plates with those luncheon sized Corelle plates. Its incredibly hard to overfill those unless you want to dump food on the floor. I also bought the small sized bowls so if you eat ice cream or cereal you are more likely to get close to a serving. That is working for me but Billy and Buck use either pots to eat out of. Tony and I have noticed that as we have gotten older we simply are eating less. I go out to eat and get a small portion and still have leftovers most of the time. I hate buffets because I never eat more than a plate with a few things on it. Billy and Buck have at least 3 to 4 plates.

    At home I cant put leftovers in the fridge and expect them to be there the next day for dinner the next night because Billy will eat them all night long. Needless to say he weighs at least 350 or more. The last pants he bought were 48x32 though he swears he only weighs 300 and wears a 44. Yeah right, I saw the stickers on his dresser.

    Now I have also been told that they wont do my knees even at my weight and I wouldnt want them to because I know they would wear out plus I dont think that the rehab would work well. If I can get down to less than 200 then I will consider it. I just dont want to waste my time.

    I do get the being hot because I am menopausal but then after about 10 minutes I am cold

    Try getting those low cal things I told you about and seeing if he will eat those as substitutions. If not, have no clue. Oh, two squares of dark chocolate do help you lose weight.
  10. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I think any doctor who will not address his weight is irresponsible and most likely is practicing medicine so badly that it is malpractice. With ANY heart issues they should be talking about diet. What would happen if you took him to a 'bariatric' doctor? Those are the docs who specialize in weight issues for those who are huge?

    Has he had the A1C test and a fasting blood glucose? A challenge blood glucose test where he has to fast and then drink that ultra-sugary stuff? You know, the one you had to do when you were pregnant? in my opinion that test alone had me eating right for months because it was so awful. I would send a fax or letter IN WRITING to the doctor describing his diet and asking the doctor to consider this when treating him, and letting the doctor know that unless the doctor is going to treat these factors in your husband's health then you will not just push your husband to see another doctor but you will also file a complaint with the state licensing board because it is far too well known that with these issues the dietary factors MUST be treated.

    I strongly doubt that you can force them to do any testing on him with-o anesthesia, mostly because it isn't your decision - it is his. He has the legal right to control this and you only get that right if you can prove that he is not competent.

    As for the food, I would not buy it for him. I probably would throw it out also. I refuse to allow microwave popcorn bags in the house. Yes they are cheap, but not that cheap. We make popcorn in the microwave in a plain brown paper lunch bag and then use various toppings. Even using a bit of real butter or margarine it is loads healthier and lower calorie than even the 'light' bags that you buy. Adding various spices (even ones I don't like smelling, lol!) adds antioxidants and other healthy things.

    in my opinion your husband NEEDS to get some help for depression as it does sound like depression/anxiety eating, and he NEEDS to see a nutritionist. Most ins co's will pay for a nutritionist, and you could probably pay one out of pocket for less than the junk food he is eating in a month. Make portion sizing a common discussion topic. Meat should be about the size of a deck of cards, etc.... there are LOTS of similar rules that make it EASY to judge portion sizes by comparing them to items we regularly use. It is harder when you say '1 ounce' but if you say 'size of a golf ball' or whatever the rule of thumb is, that is hard to overlook. One friend of mine kept a bowl with these items of comparison in them in her kitchen while she cooked and on the table while they ate so that t was really hard to argue that a deck of cards is the size of a brick, etc.....

    I honestly think that for some people the feelings that they get when they overeat to extremes is very similar to what cutters get when they feel the pain and see the blood. Whether this is true or not, reality is that you cannot control someone else's diet but you don't have to enable them or allow them to make you watch them commit slow suicide. It is hard, but you need to think about ways you are enabling him, and about your own co-dependence because this can be an addiction issue. Look up overeater's anonymous and see if they have any help that would support YOU. Then do what you feel is reasonable with your own behavior and make darn sure that his doctor knows that you feel he is committing malpractice by not even discussing diet wiht your husband.

    What would happen if you insisted that your husband see another doctor? Maybe have you visit a few docs to ask about this issue and then get husband to go see one of them on the premise that if he wll change to this doctor (that you know will keep on him over this issue) then you will not keep throwing all his junk food away? Or if he will see this guy and a nutritionist then you won't toss what the doctor and nutritionist put in writing that he can have?

    This is a terribly complex issue, and a bariatric doctor is likely to push surgery, so think about that. It might be the only realistic way to get him to lose enough weight to be healthier, but there are side effects to the surgery that can be super difficult. esp one called dumping where your bowel empties totally because it got too much food or fats or difficult foods at one time. J had a teacher who had surgery for weight loss and half of a 2" square piece of cake sent her running, literally runnng, for a bathroom. But the procedures have come a LONG way since then and this might be something that could help him. The surgery is no substitute for proper diet, and makes proper diet even more important, but it may be something to consider.

    As for the cost of food, it sounds like your husband is an addict and that may not be something that has any effect on him. It might help if you went over the family budget, showed how only X amt can be put to food and then made him actually shop for the family groceries with you and made him pay CASH for them. Then have him get a cart with his junk food and see how small that cartfull of food is and how much it costs in comparison with what the rest of you eat. That may be a way that makes an impact.

    I am really sorry that this is such a problem. I think that it is for many people. I hope your husband will accept help before he kills himself. How do you get any sleep with him choking all night? I would push a sleep study for that issue because it sounds like it would have me awake all night every night. (No one in my family wants that, not at all!) A sleep study done at a reputable place WILL tell him that his weight must be lowered and he must not eat for so many hours before bed because it is causing problems. They also may rx a machine for apnea which is probably badly needed.

    If you get really upset, homemade emetics are a bad, bad choice. The last thing you want him to learn is to vomit the food up because it causes other problems and they can double or triple what they eat because after they vomit they are 'empty' again. I do know a woman who did this as a last resort with her husband and it got really ugly. Dumping bulimia on top of the rest of this is a recipe for a real disaster.
  11. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Good point on that sleep study, Susie... because the second driver for overeating is fatigue. been there done that on multiple fronts.
  12. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Also, have you considered something like low dose topamax to help him control his intake of food? It actually makes food less palatable, at least the first time you go on it. I was on it for quite a while the first time I started taking it back in 2002 maybe and it helped me lose weight. I had to go off of it in 05 because I lost insurance and it is ungodly expensive. When I finally got back on it, it never had the same effect of weight loss again unfortunately. I wish it did!
  13. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    I remember reading about this on the board before....was that you, Janet? I thought the smaller plates was a great idea - so I tried it. I told husband I was going to use smaller plates - and at first he agreed this was a good idea, but then when he actually saw that I was using a 10-inch plate for dinner (instead of a 14-inch plate) he got really upset. What??? You can still fit an awful lot of food on a 10-inch plate. And I didn't make enough food for second helpings and BOY was he upset about THAT!

    I don't think it's necessary to cut out foods that you love. Chocolate, cookies, ice cream, potato chips - I think it's fine in small amounts. The other night, difficult child made a "family-size" tray of brownies in a 13 x 9 inch pan. difficult child had one small brownie. DS had one small brownie. I had none. husband had more than half the tray just about right out of the oven. That's totally uncalled for - and downright rude to everyone else..

    Janet--I'm glad to hear you have a plan that lets you eat some treats and still lose weight! I think it's awesome!

    I am not looking to make husband "diet" or to be "skinny" or anything like that - I just need to get the rampant eating under control
  14. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    As far as the docs go, they ARE discussing husband's diet in that they are discussing his food choices and the fact that he does not exercise. I'm just about positive husband refuses to admit the amounts of those foods he is actually eating.

    Yes, we really need to get the portion sizes under control. He does have health insurance, but husband's state of denial is the biggest obstacle to actually particpiatin gin one of their healthy lifestyle programs.

    We have done this, too. When husband sees the amounts we spend on sugary, snacky food on paper - he gets upset and agrees that we should stop buying most of it....if not all of it. Then we agree that I will not be purchasing any of those foods during this week's grocery trip.

    So what happens? The WHINING. Hey - how come there's no....? Because I didn't buy it, remember? Well, yeah but I could really go for that right now. I'm gonna run out and buy some.

    UUUGGGHHH!!! You may be onto something with your addiction theory....

    The doctor has already recommended a sleep study - and because husband knows the results will not be good, he refuses to have one. Even so - I don't think the issue is permanent at the moment. if he stops eating several hours before bed his breathing is just fine. Very quiet, smooth, normal breaths. But if he eats a ton right before bed? It's awful! It's like he struggles for air. It has to be a very distended stomache pushing against his diaphram.
  15. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Sugar is highly addictive. I read somewhere that if sugar had not been developed hundreds of years ago, and was a "new" substance, that it would never pass testing required even at a basic level. But... we've had it for so long that it doesn't even get tested, and if it did... how are you going to change people's complete diets and taste buds NOW?

    GRAS isn't necessarily so (GRAS = generally regarded as safe)
  16. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    I agree - sugar, caffeine, chocolate are absolutely addictive. (Don't even get me started on my own cravings for the goodies!)

    I am just having trouble wrapping my mind around the sheer amounts being eaten. Maybe it IS an addiction? I wonder if I could convince husband to go to Overeaters Anonymous?
  17. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    The safety of sugar is actually a very complex issue, esp as people now do NOT regard or consume sugar the way people did for centuries. I don't believe that it is dangerous for the majority of people IF consumed as part of a balanced, healthy diet. I do believe that many people have addiction issues and that sugar and other foods are just another type of addiction for them. I think our society has made unhealthy food so desirable that most folks have no clue what they are eating or how many calories or how unhealthy the food and/or their portions are.

    He is going to whine. Regardless of what changes he may choose to make, if he doesn't deal with the why, or find a reason to fight for himself, there is little you can do other than to refuse to listen to hm or to allow junk to be in your home. Whining is obnoxious, and it makes life tough for you, but that may be something you end up tolerating. I would personally start taking photos of his plates of food with a camera or your phone and make sure the time and date are on them. Then print them out and go to the doctor WITH him. You can think of it as an intervention, and in my opinion this may be the ONLY way to get him to pay attention.

    Why not watch a couple of episodes of intervention, talk to a therapist or someone at overeater's anon and think about what you can say and do to help your husband see how his addiction is hurting him and hurting you and the kids.

    Topomax might help him. It did help me lose weight and I know some docs are rxing for weight loss. I think he honestly may not be aware that he is eating so much. I know when my husband talks about food he is truly clueless about how much he is eating much of the time. He used to go on and on about how he only had ice cream one time a week and didn't eat much sweets and was just soooo much healthier than me. then I started commenting on how the biggest bag of chips or doritos or other salty snack was ten servings and how many calories and how I ate ice cream every night but a pint lasted more than a week and his one night of ice cream had him going through way more than a pint a week.

    I also pointed out all the fat in his chips and the tons of cheese he put on them. At the time we lived near an all you can eat buffet restaurant and he would brag about how 'healthy' he ate there, and how I pigged out on desserts. I didn't eat as healthy there, largely because other than salad their veggies were cooked to mush and I loathe that. But I wasn't drowning my salad in cheese and ranch and fatty things. I also used maybe 3 plates and I didn't eat everything if something didn't taste good at the time. husband ate every bite of every single plate and would go through a full plate of salad, three of meat and veggies, one of potatoes, one of tacos and nachos and a 'dessert' of sweet potatoes of cinnamon and butter all over them. In all he ate moe than three times the amt that I did, and was completely shocked when I showed him photos of his meal vs. mine. I did that because I got tired of his constant "I am so healthy in my food and you are not" koi. I am not the healthiest eater, but he sure isn't eating any better than I am, we just have different junk food favorites.

    If you want him to change this pattern, he needs help. Would it be possible to either take pics or take pics and WEIGH each plate of food? Maybe make it a challenge? Get a kitchen scale and weigh each plate that you see him fix, and each one that YOU fix. Take pics and make sure there is somethign to show the scale in each. A spoon or ruler or specific dish that you can measure separately would be good. then print the photos to scale and take them to a doctor appointment with him.

    He needs to SEE what he is doing, and then his doctor needs to know. Going to the doctor with him, with your photos, is going to be one of the best ways to do this, esp if you have how much each plate weighs to help. Heck, take the dish to show the actual size of the plates he is eating off of.

    Then, when he whines, tell him you know it is hard, but you know he wants to change and you are not going to enable him to kill himself. If he wants to eat like that, then he can no longer spend a ton on docs and he must just deal with feeling awful. If he wants to get better, then he will get some help and do what the docs say.

    It is far better to control portion size rather than to feel deprived, but if he is addicted to sugar he may have to go cold turkey for weeks or months to get his body used to not having so much sugar. in my opinion his doctor needs to send him to a doctor who deals with these weight issues, and a therapist who also deals with addiction esp food addiction.

    I am sorry this is so rough.
  18. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    In my opinion OA is useless. I went to two different meetings in two different states and they both had the same rules. You cant mention food. What? That was why I was there! To get help with stopping overeating I didnt need help stopping alcohol, I needed to stop eating so much food! No, they wanted to go through the whole 12 step jargon which to me doesnt have much to do with it except to accept being powerless over food. Fine and dandy but you cant say the word food! So you have to say substances. Well wasnt was FOOD! And food you do have to eat so you really do have to discuss how to eat in a good moderate way. Nope...we couldnt discuss that.

    I gave up after about 3 meetings. Though the diet coke and hot chocolate was good! And the cookies.
  19. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Janet, that is BIZARRE! A family friend went for a long time and they talked about food a lot. Esp about how they used food to deal with feelings, and healthier ways to handle feelings and to handle food. She got some awesome recipes there.

    Did they actually serve cookies at OA??? How bizarre is that?????

    Don't go if that is what the OA meetings are about! I don't know how you or your husband feel about religion, but there is a program called Weigh Down that several friends in several states have had good results with. it is christian oriented, but has men and women and they deal with a lot of aspects of overeating and self esteem and coping. One friend was a real mess because her husband was using her weight to control her and they totally helped her get a healthier body, healthier perspective and healthier self esteem so she was able to tell her husband to either go to therapy iwht and with-o her or to get out. They did get help and they say the last five years of their marriage are the absolute best and they wish they had done it the first year of marriage instead of waiting ten yrs to do it. The other person I know was in a different state and had really good results. Both were from Christian churches of some brand, but I have no clue which brand of christan church.

    You CAN find classes, nutritionists and resources through your community hospital. If your husband is going to keep spending the $$ on the dr, why not spend it to have a PT oversee a workout for him? I don't know if you want to do this as a couple's thing, but I do know that having someone go through it with you is a huge source of support. Maybe start wth short walks? Just a thought.
  20. 1905

    1905 Well-Known Member

    This is just my opinion. I have food issues myself. My family hated to see my doing my thing, for your husband it's eating too much, for me it was eating too little. At some point they all decided to never push food on me, also to never discuss food with me....or listen to my nonsense about it. They told me that if I wanted to kill myself, they can't stop me, they let me alone. That was when my struggle was just with me and the food alone. My family was usually part of the battle and once they removed themselves from it, it was easier to realize what I had to do.

    Try this, tell him if he wants to kill himself, fine but you won't help him. Ignore all discussion of food. Make what you and the kids want to eat, give him one portion. Put the rest in the freezer or wrap it up for work right away, don't let him have access to anything more. He will have to get his own snacks. Walk away from him when he starts his nightly binge. Don't speak of it to him, he will get a louder message than if you try to convince him. You aren't part of his battle anymore. You buy him nothing to fuel this. Keep healthy things for him to reach for if he's hungry. If the rest of your family wants a treat, fine, he just can't have access to it. Don't make brownies unless he's not home. He can't control himself. Food is his drug. We all need food to live though, so it's a tough addiction. Tell him you love him often, make him feel good about himself if you know how. I'm sure he doesn't like to be this heavy either. He needs a lot of love right now.