A little back story, we’ve been married for just about a year, and were together before hand for just over three, so in total about 4 years, we were also friends for about a year before dating. My husband is 15 years older than I am, I was 20 when I first met him, though the actual age doesn’t bother me there was a lot of things to consider when marrying an older man, it wasn’t something that I decided on lightly.
We discussed our goals and priorities before engagement and marriage and I was under the assumption that we were on the same page. We were both over weight at the time and had less than stellar family histories so it was something that we both wanted, to get healthier together.
Over the past 2 years I have managed to drop the weight, roughly 80 lbs and I’ve changed my life significantly, while he has yet to commit to the process. A few months before our marriage I told him that I wasn’t willing to sit idly by while he continued to live an unhealthy lifestyle, I wouldn’t stick around to watch him die, my father died at 46 due to an illness that may have been completely preventable. He agreed and said that having me as his wife would be all the motivation he needed. While I understand, and agree with fully, the part of marriage vows that state in sickness and health, and I would NEVER consider leaving him due to him becoming ill suddenly, his issues are all things that can easily be remedied, type 2 diabetes and high cholesterol.
I have made EVERY single effort to help him out, I do not buy junk food for the house, I encourage him to exercise with me (simple walks with our dogs, hiking, cycling, etc), I’m always researching foods for him, cooking very healthy meals at home but nothing works. He continues to eat fast food while I’m working, he is always going out to buy snacks and won’t commit to a regular exercise plan, he is currently almost 100 lbs over weight and he has actually gained weight since our marriage last year.
It has NOTHING to do with physical appearance, I still find him attractive (albeit the laziness is starting to get to me) but I want a husband that is going to be around long enough to enjoy a full life with, I want a baby and I don’t want to have to explain to my child, as my mom had to me when I was 16 that there weren’t going to be many days left with dad. I realize there are NO garantees in life but I feel like I’ve made the effort to become healthier, so why can’t he make even the slightest effort? I was VERY clear to him that changes needed to be made, and that I would do everything in my power to help him, that I understood it wasn’t an easy process, and that I didn’t expect things to happen over night, but I needed to see SOME changes or I was going to leave.
In the year we have been married he has made no changes whatsoever, and every time I bring it up he says that he doesn’t want me to go and that I’m important and he’ll make the effort. He will do well for a few days and then he’s back at McDonalds.
I don’t want to have to babysit him for the rest of my life, and I don’t think I should have to, I work a full time job I cook, I clean, I pay my share of the bills, I don’t ask him for much, all I want is a healthy husband.
Am I asking too much? We are best friends, we are SO comfortable with eachother, when it comes to health (and money, whole other issue) we seem to be on totally seperate pages. I don't feel like I'm asking for the world, am I being unreasonable?
One thing you could do is head over to the men's clubhouse and read the thread "I'm losing weight but the wife isn't." Much of the conversation there could apply to your situation.
With respect to your situation --
The way that you are framing the question is that you want to start a family and you want to feel that your child will have a secure life with two caring & healthy parents. That's a bigger issue than simply whether someone is overweight or not, and you might have better success with your husband if you talked about having children/ each of your visions for family life.
Having children involves:
1) Being financially ready. It sounds like your husband works hard, and it isn't clear how much you work. Are both of you contributing to the family income? If you were to have a child would you continue to work? Do you have a home/ apartment that will work for raising your child? Have you figured out how you will pay for child care? (It is incredibly expensive where I live -- at least $800/month.)
2) Being emotionally ready. Children are demanding -- in terms of time & patience. How will you deal with the the amount of time you will spend with your kids? (I was shocked by how I lost the hours between 5 and 8:30 pm; I used to be able to relax, hang out with my partner; now I am a mom unless I make careful plans to carve out time for myself.) Needless to say, this will impact the amount of time you have to spend on yourself (i.e., exercise, reading, friends) and as a couple. Are you both ready for these changes? It sounds like your vision for rearing children involves being active with them. But, does your husband have a vision in which he is either not as involved in the day to day childrearing (but does see his job as providing for you financially) or does he imagine spending time doing quieter activities (playing board or video games with the kids?). IF so, then his getting into shape may not be as immediate a need in his mind.
3) Making decisions about childrearing - Do you and your H share the same vision for religious upbringing? Have you thought about schooling (private versus public)? Are you planning to pay for college? How will you discipline your child? Are there things that you consider part of being a family -- vacations, playing team sports, visiting grandparents more often -- that you need to work out? Have you saved enough money to pay for your retirement and finance these changes?
4) Worst case scenarios --
What will you do if one of you dies, loses a job, if you divorce? What can you do to minimize the effects of these possibilities? Would you be satisfied if your husband had life insurance to cover the costs?
In short, I suggest you back off from just talking about getting in shape and instead try to talk about the broader issues.
1) Honestly, my husband works long hours but he does not work hard. VERY often he will come home and say he did nothing all day, which yes can be very draining but physically no. He works a shift type of schedule, certain amount of working days and then a certain amount off. When he is working he comes home and gets to relax, eat dinner and that's it, he isn't responsible or asked to do anything else and I'm fine with that. I will ask him if he wants to join me on a walk with the dogs about 80% of the time he says no. I work a full-time job, 50 hours per week and I manage the entire household, cleaning, cooking laundry etc. I pay all utility bills, he is only responsible for our mortgage payment and he makes over double the income I do in a year. When we purchased our home I wanted something less expensive but he had to have this and that so that was the deal, he would pay the mortgage payment and I would pay the utilities and such, I'm fine with that.
2) He talks about activities with children that ARE physical but at this point in time he wouldn't be able to do many of them for long. We have discussed walking/park visit/hiking etc with kids and he is always very excited about the ideas. I have saved enough money that if I was off on maternity leave I would still be able to cover all the bills I am responsible for and would not have to lean on him for anything other than direct child related expenses which I believe we should share.
3) We do have the same religious views, in that we have none to speak of. Both believe public school is the best route, we have an amazing school system where we live. I would set up a college fund yes, if my child was to want to go that route I would have no issues saving to help pay for that. Grandparents were both part of our lives growing up and of course they would be involved, we would visit often (they don't live far). I have a friend who runs a daycare about a block from my house and she would help, or my mother would babysit for us and she doesn't work anymore. Having a baby isn't something I've taken lightly.
4) He HAS life insurance to cover our mortgage (and then some) in the event he would pass and his job is extremely stable, the likelihood of him losing it is very slim.
Personally I find the last statement extremely rude, why assume that we have never had these discussions? We've had them all and more.
I don't care if he is IN shape, I want him to be healthy, I'm not asking for a gym rat all muscles and no brain, I'm asking for a healthy partner to live my life with.
Anchorwatch: Yes I have told him everything I have said in this post, he says he understands and wants to make the changes for himself as well as us as a couple but just can't seem to stay motivated to do it. I've offered all the help I can, I don't know what else to do but assume that his health and his finanaces are not a priority for him, when he always said they were.
Speaking as a psychotherapist/couples counselor, if he won't make positive changes for himself, perhaps you can try some other type of leverage.
For example, an effective way to get long-time smokers to cease smoking is using their children as leverage in terms of asking them if he wants to be there to enjoy his children's happiest moments. Is that extra order of fries worth not being able to protect and guide your loved ones, provide financially for the family, see your child graduate, get married? etc?
Sadly, it often takes a medical scare/diabetes/cancer diagnosis and a doctor saying "You must change or you will die." to convince folks to change. Let's hope it does not come to that.
A simple evening walk is a good idea: a great way to get moving and spend time with his family. Like any habit, it takes a few continuous days to become ingrained, but when he starts to feel better (more energetic, etc) and look better, he may get hooked!
You are not being unreasonable. You love him and want him to be healthy. Health is wealth.
Dieting can be hard if he's not use to it. Was he like this when you married him?
How overweight is he? Does he have health insurance?
I wouldn't start a family until you know you want to be with him til the end.
What do you plan to do if he doesn't get into shape?
Also did you leave out the part of the extra attention you are getting from men now that you've lost weight?
He was overweight when I married him, we both were, I know first hand how hard it is to lose weight and I wasn't asking for miracles, I was asking for some progress, anything. He is about 100 lbs over weight and yes we have health insurance, but just because we have insurance doesn't mean it's ok to be overweight. If you read my post it clearly states that if he refuses to lose the weight I wasn't going to stick around, we won't be together anymore.
I've never had a lack of attention from men, so it really has nothing to do with that, I've always been considered quite pretty and have a better repore with men because I'm in trades. I'm not looking for someone better looking, I think my husband is a very attractive man, but his health issues are only going to get worse if he doesn't start to take things seriously.
The reason I asked about insurance is because he may be eligible for weight loss surgery. Is that something he would consider?
We live in Canada, and his weight doesn't put him in the category to be eligble for that. In my opinoin, he also doesn't need it. He's been offered and taken part in a few weight reduction programs but nothing sticks with him, he just won't commit. He's 6'0 and just shy of 300 lbs, his BMI is 38 which is obese, he should be like 180 to be at a regular BMI of 24, which I don't agree with either, I'd be happy with him around 220.
In the last year he has had to double his Diabetes and Cholestrol medication and he is now having issues with his liver. His doctor has told him that it's entirely possible to come off these medications if he loses the weight, that's all I want. The one medication he takes for Cholestrol is known to cause certain cancers (although everything seems to these days), and the diabetes medication has a side effect that effects sperm motility.
Like I said, this is a HEALTH issue, that's all I care about. I want a healthy husband. Someone who is commited to it for themselves as well as there family. He's 39, the longer this continues the harder it's going to be for him.
I know in the US, the general rule is 35 with comorbities (sleep apnea, diabetes, etc) & 40 with none. In fact the NIH has lowered it to 30, but insurance hadn't caught up yet.
I had VSG, not bypass, & love it. Basically removes 80% of your stomach. I eat less than 1000 calories daily & have lost 200lbs. I am 276 now and it's still coming off. I eat what i want, just much less.
I find that kind of ridiculous. If you have 200+ lbs to lose sure but a BMI of 35 is only like 60 lbs over weight, someone should be able to lose that without any surgery. I did.
I was 227 at my heaviest and I'm 165 now, I need to lose another 15-25 lbs but I did it, so can he, he's just lazy. The few times he has stuck with the plan for more than 2-3 week he has lost very well but just goes back to his regular routine of doing nothing and eating crap and it comes back on.
I'm sure Canada isn't far behind but I don't think we have the same issues with obesity so our insurances are quite there with yours, though they do have a LOT of programs to help.
A co-worker of my husbands was 120 lbs over weight, they paid for it for her, she lost some but not nearly as much as she was promised and she's had lots of issues with it.
She said he is 100lbs overweight. That is plenty to have surgery. Also he can cure his diabetes with bypass.
I said that, not sure why you say She.
From a BMI standpoint, yes he COULD lose a 100 lbs to be considered in the normal weight range, but I don't think that's necessary, he is muscular and I just can't see him weighing that much. 60 lbs would probably be enough to get the health concerns under control, if not then he could go from there.
There's no reason he can't lose the weight with good ole eating well and exersice. I can't even get the man to go for a freakin' liver biopsy, he keeps rescheduling, trying to convince him to have sugery (which again, I don't think is necessary) would never happen.
Well, I was just throwing out an option. If his bmi is 35, then he is morbidly obese. I know the charts seem off, but for the most part they are right. If he is muscular, how does he maintain it, gym? Work?
Men just don't pack on muscle for no reason.
You can't force him to diet. You can suggest it, you can threaten to leave, but ultimately he is in control of himself. You don't think he is at the point of surgery, yet he is a type 2 diabetic, & has high cholesterol, & morbidly obese and has several failed diets. That is a perfect WLS candidate.