Just need to get this off my chest - husband vent

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by slsh, Oct 26, 2012.

  1. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    I know probably most of the folks on the board don't really "know" me, not in the same sense that folks did 10 years ago, and I apologize for spewing, but I have really just reached the end of the rope with this man and if I don't vent it out, I'm going to just explode and I do not want to do it in front of the kids. There is of course no one else in my life besides husband, and he's deaf on the subject, so you guys are it.

    husband and I have been married almost 25 years. We've endured a lot in spite of the fact (or maybe because) we are 2 completely different kinds of people. We actually get along rather well - dips and waves like most couples I think but no fighting, really - at least not in a very very long time. I really enjoy his company. I think it's pretty remarkable that after this long together, we're still friends.

    The man is a hypochondriac, or heck, I dunno, maybe he really is sick, but.... the older he gets the less tolerance he has for not feeling well. Can't tell you how many times I've told him to drive himself to the ER (perhaps because the "chest pain" is heartburn from the darn salsa you ate 2 hours ago????). We had a 3-ring circus about 6 weeks ago, which I (rightly) tagged as a panic attack. But no, we have to go thru the whole flipping process of CT to rule out embolus, echo, stress test, etc., etc., etc., ad nauseum. And of course, he is starting to show some early changes on EKG and echo - perhaps because he's been carrying around 150 *extra* pounds for at least the last 10 years???????

    And where is he right now? In the ER. I didn't ask for specifics because I quite frankly don't want to know.

    He was absolutely insulted at the diagnosis of panic attack. Insulted. Because.... what? There's no stress in his life???? Get real. Umpteen years of mental health tx with- thank you, and husband *still* refuses to acknowledge or address the fact that HE IS STRESSED.

    He is *morbidly* obese and he can't figure out that that just might have something to do with his issues as well???? The whole weight thing is a huge issue with me. I grew up in a home where my dad berated my mom for being "fat" my entire childhood - truth be told, while Mom's BMI hasn't been normal since about 1960, the woman is not "fat." Anyhoo.... lots of junk tied up with- that whole thing that prevents me from being the food police with- husband. I buy healthy food, or I give him healthy shopping lists. I cannot control what he does on his own. I refuse to police him. He's got a gym membership. I'm pretty sure going twice a year ain't gonna cut it.

    I am not his darn mother. He's a big boy (OMG, a pun).

    I'm angry and scared and angry. So angry that I actually found an apartment for myself about 6 weeks ago. When I told husband that I thought it was time for me to leave, he begged me to stay, said that we could make things better. I do love the man and I don't want to hurt him, so I stayed.

    What a flipping soap opera.

    Maybe I'm off base, but I figure if you're gonna kill yourself with- a lousy lifestyle, shut up about it. The sheer gut terror I feel at the thought of him dying is ... indescribable. I don't understand not taking care of yourself and then spazing out every time you don't feel well. I mean - duh???? Logical consequences????

    Help. Help me put this in perspective so I'm not an absolute witch with a "b" when he gets home tonight. Help me not be angry when I have to write the next round of checks for thousands of dollars because he's too.... I don't even know what the word is.... to either take care of himself better or just deal with- the fallout of his poor choices. I feel like there's this huge anvil hanging over our heads - I distrust the medical profession enough to know that one of these times, they're going to decide (rightly or wrongly) that something serious is going on and he's going to become a flipping invalid.... and heaven help me, in spite of "in sickness and in health," I simply cannot take care of him *and* Boo. I don't have it in me to do it all on my own.

    I am just so darn angry with- him right now - and he knows from past history that my toast is beyond burnt, and even that is not going to be enough for him to do anything differently.

    Someone with wise words, or even a smack upside my head.... whatever. I just need some input here, please.
  2. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Well...Slsh....i KNOW you love him and always have. So it stands to reason that your FEAR of losing him would send you spiraling. I can not get my husband to have his prostate test for the life of me. I finally told him if you love me you will go get tested. by the way his father had that cancer...

    So, your fears are real and founded. You just need to tell him what HE has to do so YOU dont have to live in fear. Period.
  3. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Slsh, perhaps not the best moment to mention this, but geez girl, you can write! Interesting, cheeky, heartfelt and clear, quite good. Well, anyway, FWIW, the first thing that crossed my mind is you have a grown up large difficult child on your hands! And, we all know we have no control over their actions, so........ Have you tried couples therapy? Underneath the anger is a lot of fear and worry about losing him. I presume you've told him that? He needs to wake up to reality and like our kids, you can't pry his eyelids open for him to see, to really see what he's doing to himself. Sigh. What a predicament you're in, I can see why you feel the way you do, you're in a double bind, you love him and you don't want to lose him, but he won't do anything to help himself get healthy. Yikes. I'd be angry and scared too. Perhaps you should go get yourself that apartment or set up some kind of strong boundaries that say, you lose weight, get yourself healthy, eat well, take care of yourself, or I will not be around to watch you kill yourself. All you can really do is take care of you. I'm sorry, that may not really be what you want to hear. It seems that this may be another example of detaching.............or learning to accept him for who he is and live with his choices, even if they kill him. Sometimes a therapist can offer more options which you aren't able to see right now, I don't know.

    If he is really having panic attacks due to stress, perhaps there is a medication which will relieve the stress and give him energy to change his eating habits and go to the gym? I am not knowledgeable about medication, so maybe another member here can offer you suggestions on that. It sounds like he's stuck in a rut of his own making. Is he depressed? It feels to me that on some level he's abandoned you.

    In any case, you have so much on your plate, this added stress from his choices seems very unfair to you. I'm sorry you have to deal with this too. I wish I had some magic formula to share with you, but I don't. I can send hugs and offer you warm wishes for solutions and options to show up and for a light bulb to go off in husband's brain which makes him eat a lot of salad and go out the door to jog.............
  4. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful


    You basically described Fred.

    I couldn't get him to listen to anything I said. I even pointed out to him that last year he had all the signs of congestive heart failure and was a decade overdue for his heart attack. (per family history) He chain smoked. He ate everything he should've stayed away from, especially bulking weight gaining foods like lots of bread, milk, cheese and sweets. The only exercise he got was walking up the stairs to bed to going to the frig.

    But I wouldn't do the food police. I wouldn't harp on him to quit smoking or anything else. It wouldn't have worked and it would've made life hades for both of us.

    Even now, a year after his passing, I know this to be true.

    Maybe if you have a sit down with him and tell him how scared you are to lose him? It didn't work for me (I got poo pooed), but maybe it would work for you.

    I totally understand your vent. Fred used to drive me nuts over this.

  5. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    First, hugs...your frustration comes through loud and clear.

    The bottom line is that you can't change him. Only he can change himself. All you can do is work on you and how you react or don't react. We all know this and it's easier said than done.

    I'm not advocating that you leave the love if your life, but perhaps it would be the wake up call he needs to truly look at the way he's living and make some gradual changes in his lifestyle. After all these years, change won't come easy or quickly.

    Maybe you could seek some support via alanon? Hugs to you...I get it.

    Incidentally, your post has me thinking of a couple of bad habits I should work on.
  6. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Oh Sue. Your post makes me sad because I remember when you put the "almost" into your signature. I do think part of this is going through the 25 year blues. Trust me, that can be tough. You wouldnt think so but it is. We are having some of this here too.

    With his weight, do you think he would even consider bariatric surgery? Just a thought. I do know how much you love him and the fear of losing him is what is driving your anger. Policing him wont do any good because he will just eat when you arent around. Just like with any other addiction, he wil sneak food when you arent around. I know this for a fact. You know I am in his shoes. I am going to try raspberry ketones. I have managed to lose 30 plus pounds this summer/fall since getting sick and since hearing about the raspberry ketones I have decided to try them. Maybe they work, maybe not. Doesnt hurt to try.
  7. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    LOL Janet - actually, the reason the *almost* got put in there a couple of years ago was because Star went on one of her *wonderful* riffs about how I was married to Christ. It was hysterical, but in a nod to her wit, I threw that in there. ;)

    Final diagnosis was "palpitations," i.e. he had another panic attack.

    Lisa, you were in my thoughts last night as I mentally ranted and raved about this. Logically, I know. It's impossible right now to swallow emotionally.

    I know I can't change him - I don't want to. The man loves me beyond reason, still, after all these years. I have no idea why.... I'm no walk in the park - I'm cranky, depressed, opinionated, and not terribly flexible. I'm also sorely lacking in the empathy dept when it comes to him and his ailments. But I really want him to stop taking us on this roller coaster. Diva was a mess last night and I wasn't terribly comforting to her - just assured her that he was fine, but.... I knew she was ticked at me for not being with- him.

    Couples therapy - he won't buy into it. He's old-school, mental/emotional issues are a sign of weakness. 15 years of therapy with- thank you didn't help that attitude (makes me again amazed that we survived that whole period of our lives). He would do it, for me, but he wouldn't buy into it.

    Bariatric surgery - I don't want to insult anyone so I won't go into my thoughts on it, and I do know we've had at least 1 member that it worked for. But if he were to choose that route, I'd be pretty ticked. I should mention he lost 75 pounds on WW about 5 years ago. Did really well. Hated every minute of it. Gained back 75+ when he went off it. He *can* lose the weight, he just doesn't want to stop eating the junk. It's like his knee - he's got a knee that is in bad shape. He, for some unimaginable reason, thinks a knee replacement will solve his problems. I think putting a new knee in a 300+ pound man who is in horrible physical shape is just a really bad idea - and I can't even begin to describe my feelings of resentment that I will be expected to nurse him back to health when he's not doing a lick of proactive work. I mean, the lift I use to get Boo in/out of bed won't work with- husband because he's just too darn big.

    He got a rx for Xanax last time, but won't take it ("I'm *not* having panic attacks. There's something physically wrong with me.")

    I just don't get the mentality of not taking care of yourself but then expecting a dr. to have a simple "fix" that will require no effort on his part. I mean, holy cow - has the man not learned *anything* in our 23 years of dealing with- doctors who are *complete* idiots????? Maybe I'm crazy, but between Boo and thank you, I've decided the *last* thing I would do is deal with an MD for anything.

    Sigh.... I don't know. I have to either find a way to make peace or leave. Really the only 2 viable options. Both inhale forcefully.

    I'm heading off to Normal for the weekend for a band contest. (Love saying that - "I'm going to Normal" - because, really, how many of us ever get to go anywhere near "normal"????? :rofl:) husband will be here with Wee and Boo. I'm just going to Scarlet O'Hara it for now.

    Thanks so much for listening. I know I need to get this straight in my head, cuz he's not going to change.

    husband as a difficult child.... interesting concept. I guess difficult children come with- all kinds of behaviors, LOL - he's the *last* guy you'd classify as a difficult child. ;)

    Thanks guys.
  8. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Ok I get your point on the surgery. I am putting it off more out of fear than anything else. Maybe if I simply have no choice. What is funny is that as far as the knee surgery goes, your husband and I probably arent getting it done for the exact opposite reasons. For me, I think it would be useless to put a knee in a 280 pound woman. I would hardly be able to do much of the rehab because I hardly have help around the house now and I would be kidding myself if I think anyone is going to drop things to help then. If I thought that, I would have to have my head examined because I think I was really heading into delusions. Right now Tony brings over the baby and then gets mad when I wont help with her. Uhhh...I have repeatedly told everyone I am not up to that and dont expect me to help. You bring her, you tend to her. like I woke up really early this morning to pee and take my pain medications but I will be going back down for a nap soon. He thinks I am being selfish and should stay up with her. Uhhh..no.
  9. MyFriendKita

    MyFriendKita Member

    I know what you mean about not wanting to be his mother, but could it be this is his way of getting you to take care of him? Maybe with all of the issues you've gone through with Boo and with thank you (and it sounds like you have been their major caretaker, so I get why you REALLY don't want to have to mother husband, too), he has felt left out, and let's face it, most men are big babies and still want to be mothered sometimes. Like we don't do enough mothering of the actual children. We went through a period when my husband wouldn't take his blood pressure medication. Why? Because I didn't give it to him, but I did give difficult child his medications. Uh, yes, because otherwise, difficult child wouldn't have taken his medications. husband wasn't quite a hypochondriac, but he did seem to want to be "mothered." He's not as bad now, but then he actually does have health issues now, so maybe he gets enough medical attention he no longer needs my attention in that way.

    The other thing is, it's one thing to know you need to exercise and lose weight, etc., but it's really hard to make those changes. Would he be willing to start small, like maybe walking around the block with you? It's a lot easier to exercise if you have someone to do it with you. You said he was miserable on WW, but what about changing his diet by adding things instead of restricting what he eats. Like having a bowl of soup before meals, or swapping out one soft drink for a bottle of water every day. I read about a woman who lost a great deal of weight that way, even though it took a couple of years.
  10. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    rm1976 is right. Often the slow weight loss is easier and weight stays away better. And small changes can do that. But of course you can not force him

    Though I have to say, that I, and boys, have been quite coercive about these matter with husband. He used to be very athletic. But some where along the years he started to gain weight. His job is bit hard for healthy eating, and while I do cook healthy, I'm not cooking light. Our boys have very high caloric consumption and I'm much over average too. And somewhere during those years husband started to exercise less. Work was busy, he was very involved with especially easy child's sports, we were spending lots of time driving kids around and there were always things to do at home. I think that at his worst he weighted almost 270 pounds and was obese. I told him quite clearly what I thought about his way to take care of his health and I also made it quite clear, that I did find him more attractive when I still was able to see his abs. At the same time he was rather critical about few pounds of easy child's baby fat that he developed one year right before he got this bright idea to grow 5 inches during next year. If he wanted to easy child to eat less sweets etc. I made it clear he should first look into the mirror and think what kind of example he was giving. Same time easy child lost his baby fat by growing faster than I had time to buy new jeans for him, husband did some changes to his diet and lost a lot of weight in next two years. He lost about 50 pounds and that haven't come back.

    But he has still not exercised that regularly and while he is not obese any more, only over-weight (so health worries are little smaller), he has always used easy child's sport as an excuse. Now that he doesn't have that excuse anymore, boys pestered him enough with the matter, that he promised he will win me on half marathon next spring. He certainly thinks too highly on himself. He can certainly train himself to run it in this time. he can even run it in decent time, but I'm an avid runner, he will certainly not win me that quickly, after a year of training maybe, after year and half, certainly, but not yet next spring. And while he has been exercising some more, he really has to yet to man up, if he wants to have that run. And if not, boys will never let him live that one down. They are very 'supportive' with this ;) easy child for example is planning presenting husband with running tights for Father's Day (coming soon around here) - not a good look at all for the guy who still weights over 210 pounds and is only 6 feet tall and not in the best shape... I guess easy child is still remembering those baby fat comments few years back.

    I'm quite happy with my off-spring on this. There is no way husband is ready to listen them harping him about it, so he will get himself back to shape. Oh, and he will win me at half marathon sooner or later, he is just that competitive. It will not happen next spring, but he will keep trying till it happens and because he is male and naturally talented athlete, it will happen when he does train enough. (Oh, and I may see those abs again ;))
  11. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I hope you know that I "know" what you are saying and what you are feeling. My husband really is a wonderful, honest, caring and loving man. He also "does his thing" and is willing to accept all the supportive gestures that are necessarily provided for a man who continues to smoke cigars..God forbid..knowing it not only is affecting the congestive heart failure that he already is diagnosis's with BUT is also a problem for me with the cancer. Good Grief! I am expected to cook reduced sodium meals BUT after dinner he has a cigar.

    I understand. I don't know what the answer is .. or if there is an answer. As recently as a week ago I thought about just "loading up and heading out". It is so frustrating. You have my hearfelt understanding & sympathy. DDD