Wife's Serious Weight Problem - Talk About Marriage
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post #1 of 73 (permalink) Old 06-23-2016, 12:16 PM Thread Starter
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Unhappy Wife's Serious Weight Problem

As my wife 'Beverly' entered middle age, she developed a voracious appetite for food; seemingly overnight it replaced what had been a healthy sex drive. She began doing things like spending afternoons at the food courts or binging on fast-food in her car. At home, she would close the door to her bedroom and eat for hours. She eventually became unable to control her appetite even when we dined with friends or my business associates, sometimes causing stares, smirks, and catty comments with the way she would devour her meal- which invariably consisted of not only appetizers, as if she needed any, but 2 entrees and 2 or 3 desserts. Ditto weddings, birthday parties, and holiday meals. It wasn't long before she'd put on so much weight that she could no longer fit comfortably into any of her clothes. At that point she panicked and tried dieting, but to no avail. No matter the plan, she could stick to it for only a week or so, before the urge to binge became more than she could resist. Plan B was just to try to hide it. 'I'll just start wearing a girdle when we go out,' I overheard her tell a girlfriend on the phone. But even that plan didn't last very long; the girdle was not only 'uncomfortable,' but a hassle to get into and out of, requiring my assistance. Her wardrobe now consists of large men's t-shirts and sweatpants, underneath which her stomach can be seen hanging to her knees. People, seeing her so obese and out of control began to say of her that she'd 'let herself go.' In fact, it was a vicious cycle. The more the woman ate the heavier she became and the heavier she became the more she ate. Unable to break that cycle, her weight soared to well over 400 lbs.. Her mother eventually became fed up and told her in front of the rest of her family on Thanksgiving that 'she should be ashamed of herself.' Beverly could only hang her head and beg her mother not to 'humiliate' her any further. But she did put down her fork for the rest of afternoon, so there was hope that the harsh message had had the desired effect, that someone had finally gotten through to her about her weight problem. That hope was quickly crushed, though, when she begged me to stop for fast food on the way home.

Her obsession with food also took its toll on our marriage. We began sleeping in separate bedrooms, mainly because of her nightly habit of going downstairs for a 'snack' that would last for hours. When I confronted her during one of these binges, she appeared out of control, cramming food into her mouth non-stop. I pleaded with her to get a hold of herself, but she would only mutter over and over 'I can't stop, Jerry, I can't stop. I want it so bad!' Rebuffed in this way several times, I gave up trying to get her to diet and more or less looked the other way when she would overeat, content to spend more time on my work while hoping that somehow she'll find the strength to change. She, however, wants me to 'accept her as she as is' and constantly worries that I'm going to leave her for another woman. Her mother stopped by the other day with a younger friend of hers. Beverly, per usual, was in bed glutting when they arrived. Her mother immediately went into her room and slammed the door shut. Her angry voice could still be heard as I stood trying to hide my own embarrassment from the other woman. Finally, she emerged from the room, saying 'When he leaves you fatso, I won't blame him a bit.' Then they left. No sooner had the door closed than Beverly came crawling out of her bedroom and threw her arms around my waist. 'I beg you not to see her,' she cried. I told her that I didn't know what she was talking about. 'My mother's friend,' she said; 'I know you want her. And she's the kind who will come after you now that she knows we are having problems.' I told her that she needed professional help and offered to find it for her, but that she would have to take the first step and admit to having an eating disorder.
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post #2 of 73 (permalink) Old 06-23-2016, 12:54 PM
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Re: Wife's Serious Weight Problem

Did you stop at the fast food place on your way home after Thanksgiving? Who does the grocery shopping and cooks meals?
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post #3 of 73 (permalink) Old 06-23-2016, 01:06 PM
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Re: Wife's Serious Weight Problem

Before she started eating, what happened in her life? Something is going on that has triggered her behavior. She needs the help of a professional now.
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post #4 of 73 (permalink) Old 06-23-2016, 01:12 PM
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Re: Wife's Serious Weight Problem

humiliation does not help her in her disease. It is a disease and needs to be treated as such. She needs a doctor yesterday!

She is morbidly obese, surgery is her only true alternative to a cure. No amount of dieting is going to fix it; obese and morbidly obese people are not fat by choice, it is an illness even if most don't recognize it as such.

A bariatric facility and doctor can get rid of her excess fat and she will be forced to stop overeating. These type of facilities have all kinds of doctors to help her succeed in curing all her ailments. The overeating has an emotional component to it. It may also be hormone related as well.

Good things come to those who wait...greater things come to those who get off their a$$ and do anything to make it happen.
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post #5 of 73 (permalink) Old 06-23-2016, 01:17 PM
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Re: Wife's Serious Weight Problem

She needs medical help. You need to insist she see her Dr. for blood work. If there is nothing abnormal that has caused this she needs a combination of counseling and if I were in her shoes I would get bariatric surgery.

Her mother sounds like an absolute b!tch and is not helpful at all. You didn't indicate that you stepped in while her mother was attacking and scolding her like a child about her weight. If that was my mother I would have cut her out of my life, the woman sounds toxic.
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post #6 of 73 (permalink) Old 06-23-2016, 01:17 PM
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Re: Wife's Serious Weight Problem

I'd leave her if it was me. I feel bad for you, what a miserable place to be in. It's all her fault.
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post #7 of 73 (permalink) Old 06-23-2016, 01:18 PM
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Re: Wife's Serious Weight Problem

Your wife is suffering from a mental illness that is going to kill her. You, by not forcing the issue and staying in the marriage, are enabling her self destruction.

First, sack up! This is a real issue that is literally killing your wife. Tell her she has 2 options. Get serious professional help, including meds if warranted, and make a real effort or you'll be filing for divorce because you aren't going to stand there and watch her die.

Second, mean every word and back it up with actions, if necessary.
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post #8 of 73 (permalink) Old 06-23-2016, 01:21 PM
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Re: Wife's Serious Weight Problem

@Bibi1031, weight loss surgery CAN help, but it is no guarantee. First, they need to find out what triggered this switch. She cannot even get the surgery without going through psychological testing as well as attempting weight loss without surgery. She will even have to go through some physical tests. And, weight loss surgery is not a cure. I really wish people would stop calling it that. It is a lifestyle change, and it isn't foolproof, either. She COULD go back to those poor eating habits, even after getting surgery. So, right now, he needs to get her to see a psychologist, to find out what caused this... and to her primary doctor as well as *maybe* specialists. WLS is not her only option. It is a tool, only to be used as a *last* resort!

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post #9 of 73 (permalink) Old 06-23-2016, 01:25 PM
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Re: Wife's Serious Weight Problem

Jerry, it sounds like you've been married for some time, and the quality (up until recently) has been pretty good.

If that's accurate, then something aside from your marriage is seriously wrong here. There's either a very serious medical issue or a very serious psychiatric issue. Does she have a family history of either?

1) Tell her you DO accept and love her as she is, but you are seriously concerned about the changes you see..and describe them very observationally, don't be accusatory or judgmental. She might not experience herself and her changes accurately.

2) Tell her you want her to see the family MD first, and that you're going to set it up and accompany her. She does not have to "Want" or "See" anything other than your concern. Besides, if she had awareness of this, she'd take these steps herself. "Wanting" it is over rated, and requires lucid thought!

2) Call your family MD and discuss this with him. If he already doesn't know about this dramatic change in eating behavior, he'll want to examine her and do some blood work.

3) If the lab work and exam don't show anything get a referral to a psychiatrist, and follow up.

It cannot (and should not) be said with any certainty what the treatment is until there has been an adequate diagnostic work up to determine the probable cause. The sooner you get started on that, the sooner you can begin to address the issue. Just keep it supportive for now, and take the lead by setting up and accompanying her to the appts.
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post #10 of 73 (permalink) Old 06-23-2016, 01:27 PM
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Re: Wife's Serious Weight Problem

gastric bypass surgery
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post #11 of 73 (permalink) Old 06-23-2016, 01:28 PM
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Re: Wife's Serious Weight Problem

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Originally Posted by Unicus View Post
Jerry, it sounds like you've been married for some time, and the quality (up until recently) has been pretty good.

If that's accurate, then something aside from your marriage is seriously wrong here. There's either a very serious medical issue or a very serious psychiatric issue. Does she have a family history of either?

1) Tell her you DO accept and love her as she is, but you are seriously concerned about the changes you see..and describe them very observationally, don't be accusatory or judgmental. She might not experience herself and her changes accurately.

2) Tell her you want her to see the family MD first, and that you're going to set it up and accompany her. She does not have to "Want" or "See" anything other than your concern. Besides, if she had awareness of this, she'd take these steps herself. "Desire" is over rated!

2) Call your family MD and discuss this with him. If he already doesn't know about this dramatic change in eating behavior, he'll want to examine her and do some blood work.

3) If the lab work and exam don't show anything get a referral to a psychiatrist, and follow up.

It cannot (and should not) be said with any certainty what the treatment is until there has been an adequate diagnostic work up to determine the probable cause. The sooner you get started on that, the sooner you can begin to address the issue. Just keep it supportive for now, and take the lead by setting up and accompanying her to the appts.
This, I completely agree with. Unicus, I may not agree with everything you say, but this is SPOT ON!

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post #12 of 73 (permalink) Old 06-23-2016, 01:42 PM
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Re: Wife's Serious Weight Problem

This is not an issue of eating an extra bag of chips. This is a life threatening, definitely a life shortening, condition. She is addicted to food and it will kill her as if it was alcohol or meth.

First step as other have mentioned is family doctor. If he/she does not do much, get another doctor. She will need physical as well as mental evaluations. She may be depressed or have some eating disorder.

Most important thing for OP is to tell his wife he loves her and wants her to LIVE A LONG LIFE with him.

Last edited by 225985; 06-23-2016 at 01:48 PM.
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post #13 of 73 (permalink) Old 06-23-2016, 01:44 PM
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Re: Wife's Serious Weight Problem

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Originally Posted by Maricha75 View Post
@Bibi1031, weight loss surgery CAN help, but it is no guarantee. First, they need to find out what triggered this switch. She cannot even get the surgery without going through psychological testing as well as attempting weight loss without surgery. She will even have to go through some physical tests. And, weight loss surgery is not a cure. I really wish people would stop calling it that. It is a lifestyle change, and it isn't foolproof, either. She COULD go back to those poor eating habits, even after getting surgery. So, right now, he needs to get her to see a psychologist, to find out what caused this... and to her primary doctor as well as *maybe* specialists. WLS is not her only option. It is a tool, only to be used as a *last* resort!

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Now a days, if you are morbidly obese, you can bypass trying to lose weight without surgery. They have figured out it will only work for a few years and then the person will balloon the weight back up and then some. Surgery is indeed the last resort for others but not for morbidly obese people.

You are morbidly obese if your BMI index is a bit lower than 40. Morbidly obese people's only resort sadly is indeed surgery. Bariatric facilities have all the help she needs, and they won't do any kind of surgery on her until all the necessary things are in place.

Based on her middle age and her weight, her doctor will have no problem referring her to one of these facilities. Most insurances in the USA cover this process. It is a process that takes years in order to be successful. She starts going to this facility and taking classes as well as seeing a group of professionals to determine the best plan of action for her illness or illnesses. In the beginning months, they will determine when is the best time for surgery. After surgery, she will continue seeing her group of professionals as part of regular follow up to help guarantee that her surgery is indeed successful. The whole process is if I remember correctly about 3 years. The first year after this type of surgery is critical and the patient must not stop her treatment.

The family found all this out due my nephew being 320 pounds and suffering from diabetes at age 17! He lost 100 pounds on his own when he was diagnosed with diabetes, but ballooned back up two years later. His insurance covers the surgery, he is morbidly obese at 19 and diabetic to boot.

Bariatric facilities have therapists too. It is the best way to combat morbid obesity which is a disease regardless of how the patients got it. They take a wholistic approach to the illness...

Good things come to those who wait...greater things come to those who get off their a$$ and do anything to make it happen.

Last edited by Bibi1031; 06-23-2016 at 01:53 PM.
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post #14 of 73 (permalink) Old 06-23-2016, 01:45 PM
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OP, sounds like your wife is suffering from binge - eating disorder.

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-c...e/ovc-20182926

Non surgical help is available but she has to want it.
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post #15 of 73 (permalink) Old 06-23-2016, 01:54 PM
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Re: Wife's Serious Weight Problem

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Originally Posted by Bibi1031 View Post
Now a days, if you are morbidly obese, you can bypass trying to lose weight without surgery. They have figured out it will only work for a few years and then the person will balloon the weight back up and then some. Surgery is indeed the last resort for others but not for morbidly obese people.

You are morbidly obese if your BMI index is a bit lower than 40. Morbidly obese people's only resort sadly is indeed surgery. Bariatric facilities have all the help she needs, and they won't do any kind of surgery on her until all the necessary things are in place.

Based on her middle age and her weight, her doctor will have no problem referring her to one of these facilities. Most insurances in the USA cover this process. It is a process that takes years in order to be successful. She starts going to this facility and taking classes as well as seeing a group of professionals to determine the best plan of action for her illness or illnesses. In the beginning months, they will determine when is the best time for surgery. After surgery, she will continue seeing her group of professionals as part of regular follow up to help guarantee that her surgery is indeed successful. The whole process is if I remember correctly about 3 years. The first year after this type of surgery is critical and the patient must not stop her treatment.

The family found all this out due my nephew being 320 pounds and suffering from diabetes at age 17! He lost 100 pounds on his own when he was diagnosed with diabetes, but ballooned back up two years later. His insurance covers the surgery, he is morbidly obese at 19 and diabetic to boot.
Bibi, I am speaking from experience. I know it is covered. I know what it entails. I have gone through it. This is why I am emphatic that you do NOT call it a cure. It is NOT a cure. Even after weight loss surgery, you can STILL gain weight back. And many ARE able to eat the same things they were told not to consume after surgery. It is a tool, nothing more. And if you don't address the underlying issues FIRST, it won't make a bit of difference, in the end.

Oh, and some insurance companies DO require that you attempt to lose some weight, first. Yes, even now, they want patients to keep food diaries and try weight watchers, etc. People in my area have had to do this as recently as a few months ago.

So, like I said, I know what it entails. Bottom line, she needs to see her doctor to find out why this started in the first place, before she even THINKS about surgery.

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