Weight loss can cause divorce
Article by Barbara Thompson
Losing a great deal of weight can disrupt relationships. You are changing every day, and you may find that your friends or spouse are unwilling or unable to change in the relationship along with you. A subscriber of my newsletter sent me this story and his permission to reprint about how his weight loss affected his marriage in a tragic way. Please keep in mind that losing weight changes many things in your life, some of which may not be so good.
Barbara, how are you? In response to your book excerpt on relationships...... How true it is!!!!!! This cannot be emphasized enough! Most all of my friends are ecstatic so far at my progress. My wife however, has filed for divorce. Though her words said she supported me in my surgery, passive aggressive behavior escalated steadily from the time I decided to have surgery on January 2, 2001 right up to the time I had it on March 6th, 2001.
There were many escalations in arguments that were unexplainable. Even while I was in the hospital, helpless on my back and in tremendous pain, she wanted to argue with me in an ever escalating and hostile way about "her issues" and anger, with me. Now let me ask you, do you think if there was just one time in your life that a spouse might consider putting something on hold, this might be it? You know, where a just sliced and diced individual could maybe focus on themselves and their recovery from a 1/200 mortality rate surgery? Well it didn't happen that way for me. My wife fought with me right in the hospital; blaming me for pretty much all of the problems in her or our life that she didn't like or want to address.
Since this time, I have lost 130 lbs. and am continuing to get a little better every day. Since then however, threats of divorce from her have dominated our lives until 3 weeks ago when she finally moved out of the bedroom and stated her final intentions to file. People should be aware, that knowing how dependent we are as obese members of society, some people attach themselves to us for just that reason. It’s rarely apparent at first, and motives vary from situation to situation. But attaching yourself to a fat person can give you a lot of power and control, for they are often times dependent on those closest to them for many things in life that others take for granted. This sets up a power dynamic in the relationship, which is based on need and is often indisputable. It can bring much comfort and a strange kind of security to those who are in the position of power. Likewise, when one of the partners is morbidly obese and there is another addiction or serious emotional problem in the other spouse, changes of this magnitude and rapidity are NOT welcome, despite what the spouse may say outwardly. The morbid obesity of an individual is often times a cheap and easy target for scapegoating, blaming and defocusing on the non-obese spouse's own problems.
The rapid changes that occur in a bariatric surgery patient's lifestyle can, and often do upset the apple cart in a rather explosive way. As the " identified patient" quickly regains their health and self-esteem with the results of surgery, the other spouse often panics and can explode in too violent rages of finger pointing, blame and emotional abandonment. After all, while one individual's glaring problem is becoming less visible, the other's problems are subject to becoming quite a bit more glaring. A scared and intimidated spouse will more than likely leave. Mine did.
So, people need to be aware of the structure of the glue that holds their marriage together. If it’s a good marriage, it will very possibly get much better! But if it is a marriage whose structure, consciously or unconsciously, is built on the foundation of dependency and assured power arrangements, ........beware. You are in for some difficult challenges in your relationship as the balance of power changes while you get well. Take stock of your life before you commit yourself. Make the necessary changes or arrangements, put your affairs in order, and then........ Get the surgery and live life the way everyone else gets to!! To the fullest!! God bless and go for it!!
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