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My Husband Is Trying To Sabotage Me

Sunday, November 25, 2012

I'm getting mixed signals from my husband over my weight loss.

On one hand, he can't keep his hands off of me and it's quite obvious (if you catch my drift) that he is pleased with my weight loss and the way I look. I get compliments and comments from him often.

On the other hand, I'm convinced that he is trying to sabotage me. I know that sounds strange and confusing, but it IS strange and confusing.

He knows my triggers, and he knows how vulnerable they make me.

So why does he keep making popcorn and asking me if I want some? And when I say "no," why does he put the giant bowl of popcorn in my lap while we're sitting on the couch?

Why is there a half a gallon of Blue Bell Coffee Ice Cream in the freezer? (you wouldn't believe how much of it I ate last night!!!!)

Why does he keep asking me if I want to go to Mexican Food?

I'm sure there are a number of things going on here. He's significantly older than I am, so he might be a bit insecure as I shrink. He might feel more "safe" (subconsciously) if I have extra poundage.
I think we had a lot of fun when I was getting high on margaritas several times per week and binging on candy and ice cream. He might miss that to some degree. But I definitely can't get back into that cycle.

After my coffee ice cream binge last night, I woke up remorseful and he almost seemed happy! He said, "Well, I know what to do if you lose too much weight. Buy some Coffee Ice Cream."

I guess I'll have a talk with him in a bit.



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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RLT5089 11/30/2012 5:26AM

    My husband has done the same thing but when confronted said he supported my efforts but also wanted to let me know that whatever I ate he would still think of me the same way. He said he didn't want me to feel like he would be judging me if I splurged every now and then, and offering me foods I used to eat was his way of letting me know. I told him I understood but that those things were becoming temptations I didn't need. I think talking it out directly would be the best thing to do!

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MZADAMS 11/29/2012 1:47PM

  Men don't care much about your weight, if they truly love you. I asked my husband, after I had gained over 90lbs, why he didn't tell me I had gained sooooo much weight? He said you were Angee to me. I never saw the weight. He and I both didn't really see it until I had to get my license renewed and took a new picture. I compared one with the other and was so surprised. So don't necessarily think that he was trying to sabotage your hard work. He's just being loving and wanting to share with you.

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JENNY160 11/28/2012 5:13PM

    Right on Oohlala53!

I love the idea of removing the bowl to maul him, then putting it back, then eventually not putting it back after mauling him. Shifty, but probably very effective.

My DH and I had this same sabotage when I finally dipped below 200. Unfortunately he also accused me of cheating and losing all the weight for another man. After some counseling he realized it was for ME, there was no cheatin' going on, and he joined in for awhile. Then he lost interest in losing weight and went back to his old ways. He does not sabotage if I remind him of my goals. If I didn't bring it up, there would be chips and cookies on every counter.

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BEEKERBOYY 11/28/2012 9:49AM

    I get mixed messages from my much older fiance (14.5 years older). I definitely think it has to do with some insecurity that I'll get attractive, even at the few pounds I've lost, and he'll be at risk of losing me to some younger guy. I know reassuring your husband will help. You're an incredible looking woman now! He probablay doesn't even know what's going on inside of him. All great comments above. Everything will work out, I know it.
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SDLEE514 11/27/2012 2:52PM

    I don't have much more to add to what's already been said, some great advice on here! Obviously you need to talk, and if you already have, I hope it went well! I think the insecurity, the subconscious sabotage, etc. are all factors, but also, it's far less fun to eat unhealthy by yourself! Especially if you had so much fun before bingeing together. Maybe he wants a partner in crime with that ice cream and he resents you for being "good." If he's not on board with your eating style as you are, you can either increase your will power (wouldn't that be great if you could just say "poof!" and it increases?) or you can try to get him on board, or you can do the shopping, or you can keep on reminding him what not to do. best of luck!

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MYRTROSE 11/26/2012 5:45PM

    Men can certainly be quite dense, but it does sound like there's more going on here.
I know a couple of women that had issues with spouses after weight loss, and their husbands never could come to terms with the "new" person they'd become.
Talk openly and honestly about your needs.

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SUN_N_SEA 11/26/2012 9:58AM

    Men are certainly fickle creatures! My guy is supportive most of the time, but sometimes he gets insecure, i.e. he sees me getting dressed nicely to go out with my sister or to class.. but then in the same breath he'll give me a compliment! What I can say about your husband bringing around your trigger foods is that, like others have mentioned, there may be some subconscious activity going on here... I'm sure it's not all being done with devious intent! He must remember how happy these treats used to make you (on the surface), and he may be trying to recapture those moments of joy by bringing out these tokens of the past--- in the form of popcorn and ice-cream. Have you shared with him, point-blank, the things that make you happy now? Maybe if you give him alternatives, he would know what he could surprise you with, without also giving you the feelings of guilt and remorse from a bad food bender.

Good luck, and hang in there!!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 11/26/2012 10:04:34 AM

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TINASWEEP 11/25/2012 11:59PM

    I can't offer any advice based on my own experiences, but I have been reading the responses and I found validity in MJZHERE's post. Men operate under different rules of communication and while such a direct threat may seem too offensive to a woman, it may be the best way to deal with a man.

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GEE-KNEE 11/25/2012 10:51PM

    Mine use to make dinner and tell me that there was no butter in things that he clearly put butter in. Mine is older too. I think there is a bit of insecurity going on with mine. When we fight, all my favorite candy/cookies (my kryptonite food) some how appear in the house...sabotage! I think they do it on a level that they aren't even aware of. Good luck! You can do it, even with temptation staring you in the face.

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BOOKWORM27S 11/25/2012 10:41PM

    Wow, I'm not sure what to say. But it does sound like it is insecurity. I'm so sorry to hear that you have another hurdle to overcome with your weight loss. I've not had to deal with this, so I have no advice to share. But I do know that it is quite common, and a lot of women experience this from their partners. I think it will take an adjustment period on his part, hopefully he will relax once he sees that your weight loss doesn't change the person you are.

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SADWHITEWOLF 11/25/2012 7:57PM

    I had the same problem with my ex. He was really happy (err excited) about my figure, but then did his best to render me incapable of maintaining it. I had the "talk" with him. He seemed to almost not believe me even when I showed him the Before pictures. Still he threw temptation in my path at every turn. Bringing over cream puffs, buying pizza, urging appetizer and second helpings, talking me Out of my exercising. In the end when I had regaisned 25 pounds he was complaining about that. I never understood it. For the record I do not blame him for the the regain, but he did not help it. I hope when I get the guts to have the similar talk with my new boyfriend he has more respect.

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GINGERHAWK 11/25/2012 7:11PM

    Sorry to hear that you're feeling sabotaged. It's totally reasonable for you to talk with him about your needs and how he can best support you. I go around this issue with my husband - not because he wants to sabotage me but because he is a sweet food junkie and can eat the stuff endlessly. Because he's thin it has no impact on him, but it certainly does on me! Good luck and don't beat yourself up too much over the binge.

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MJZHERE 11/25/2012 6:58PM

  From someone coming up on 30 years of marriage - I got tired of it and asked him (more than once and usually in response to him trying to "offer" me a trigger food) -" do you want a fat wife? You can't have it both ways - keep it up if you want me fat." All right, this may not be politically correct, but guess what - he doesn't like it and he hasn't tried to "sabotage" me in a while. According to DH, DS and several male friends, they respond to consequences - I've tried all the communication in the past, and don't get me wrong, I told him lots while I was losing the weight, but now the truth is the truth. I know he likes how I look and if he wants to help me stay this way, he needs to change his behavior.

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RUNNERRACHEL 11/25/2012 3:15PM

    Yes, a talk is in order. Insecurity can cause so much division in a relationship. Honesty, trust, reassurance and clear expectations (don't offer me popcorn/margaritas/ice cream) when you *know* it is a trigger. He may not even realize he's doing it...well, it sounds like he knows your weaknesses but he may not realize how it is affecting you. This is an emotional issue for him and you. Rather than bonding over Mexican food and candy, maybe you can make some time/activities planned together that don't involve food/overeating. Something like a hike or a race or something you can enjoy together that is fun and active and will bring you closer together....
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PS I agree with OOLALA53 on a lot of things and the other comments as well.

Comment edited on: 11/25/2012 3:18:51 PM

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KATHARINEBRAY 11/25/2012 2:34PM

    we all have pretty much experience our husbands doing the opposite , of what we expected.

In my case , its all about the stress I can cause him , while losing weight.
we read lables together . and shop for certian items I want.

one day he said I am so tired of all this diet stuff . sugar count carb coun t

I stood there emoticon

I realized he wasnt trying to sabtage me . he was just tired of it all.
the ups & downs .

yes he did bring me home ice cream and cookies .
we are okay now . much better . I watch him eat all his junk food .
but I am a binge eater .so I have to be careful not to join him

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OOLALA53 11/25/2012 2:01PM

    How long have you been married and did you lose the weight while you've been married?

My suggestion is to take the focus off weight and even health, as it's unlikely that you'll convince him you'll be healthier to any significant degree by losing any more weight and you already look terrific. Plus, it gives him something to possibly argue about. "You're thin enough!" "Oh, this won't kill you!"

When your ground of being around food comes from your commitment to eat in a way that maximizes joyfulness and a sense of vitality and freedom, people cannot sabotage you. When people see over and over that you do not eat when you're too full to enjoy anymore (and that may not be stuffed), that you just prefer not eating when it doesn't leave you feeling as comfortable as you like, but that you do enjoy what you do have, they back off. But you have to DO it. If they see you waver, they will just believe it's not actually that important to you, or that you are actually depriving yourself, and that you are really happier when you eat more. If they think you are actually suffering somehow by not eating, they will want to coax you to enjoy yourself. Make it clear to yourself and to them that you enjoy life more when you eat reasonably, enjoying food for its rightful place, but not as simple entertainment.

I do think it sounds as much that hubbie misses an eating-for-fun partner as anything. I'm not sure it would help if you ate "good" versions of the foods. Besides, is the issue eating "good" food, or is it being hungry for and enjoying what you eat? If you actually want to eat when you're sitting with him, eat what you would enjoy more. If not, don't eat. Have tea or cocoa?

He might put the popcorn bowl on your stomach because it's part of the closeness and fun for him to reach into the bowl on your tummy, and not to tempt you. Why is it so tempting? Did you not have a delicious meal already? Would the taste and texture of the popcorn really be good enough to put up with feeling too full? Is the memory of other times you did reach in really more powerful than your ability to choose NOW not to eat it?

Or would you be willing to eat a smaller dinner and leave room for popcorn?

If you prefer not to have popcorn while you watch TV, be sure at the meal you share beforehand to ooh and aah over the food you do eat. Then also say how wonderful and full you feel at the end of the meal. You might say while the bowl is sitting on your tummy that wish you felt like eating some but that you just still feel so good from that delicious dinner. And don't eat any popcorn. Just don't do it. It will be good for you and good for him. But also say how fun and content you feel sitting and enjoying the time with him. Occasionally, take the bowl off your stomach and reach over and kiss and maul him. You can put it back, but have him associate not having it there with affection. Eventually, after many sessions, you can leave the bowl on the coffee table after a smooch...?

Regarding the Mexican food, haven't you been having good experiences recently with it? Do you just not enjoy it as often as he does? Can you figure out how to eat the amount or variety you prefer when you go with him? If not, can you have restaurants you prefer in mind as alternatives when he proposes Mexican?

Is it possible he thinks you think he should change his eating because of you?

Anyway, it does sound like you need to talk, but I'd advise against accusing him of anything. It's possible he doesn't even know what he wants in the situation except to have fun and stay close to you. Just keep letting him know how much you love him and are attracted to him, and how glad you are you married him. And keep getting stronger in your own resolve to come to peace with food in your life so that other people's influence doesn't play such a big role emoticon . AND, if you absolutely do need for him to curtail the popcorn and ice cream habits for you, ask for it.

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CHRISTINASP 11/25/2012 1:58PM

    Yes, have a talk with him. Make a few agreements about certain triggers.
My husband agreed this week to have no sweets in the house, except for his one-serving desserts that he eats a few times per week that I don't care much for anyway. That's a relief for me.



Comment edited on: 11/25/2012 1:58:54 PM

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JADOMB 11/25/2012 1:22PM

    This is probably more common than folks realize. There maybe some jealousies, sabotage, ignorance, or just plain old habits. So talking it out is best and that doesn't mean it will be fixed over night.
I have that same issue with my wife to a point. And she is also trying to eat better and stick with her workout plan. But she just isn't as focused or disciplined as me. So I have just learned to say NO. She asks me if I want some ice cream and I say NO, and I just let her eat the ice cream in front of me. Now she doesn't eat much(and she's lactose intolerant too, LOL), but she just gets those urges and can't fight it off as well as I can. Heck, all she has to do it stop buying it and that would fix it. ;-) So just keep trying and hopefully he'll come around eventually.



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SPUNKYDUCKY 11/25/2012 12:55PM

    I think this must be a common husband problem. Whenever I have been thin my husband starts to do this too - my trigger foods are different but the story is the same. Usually I end up having to set rules about him not doing this - (you don't offer alcohol to an alcoholic, don't offer M&Ms to me...) He generally wants to make me happy and I have to remind him that being thin makes me happier than any food and that I NEED his help and support. And that being with him makes me happy. Forgive yourself for the icecream, but definitely talk to him about it...

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GREEN-EYED-LADY 11/25/2012 12:21PM

    It sounds to me that he's afraid he'll lose you if you become too thin and too sexy. Reassure him that you love him and you're not going to leave him. My husband was worried that I'd be too attractive to other men if I lose weight and that he'd lose me. Men can be very insecure.


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MJREIMERS 11/25/2012 12:11PM

    My husband went through this when I lost my weight. Yes, just talk to him and let him know that you did this for you and that he is still "your man."

I believe in moderation, so maybe two cups of popcorn will help him feel that you still do the "fun" stuff you used to. Same with the ice cream, but 1/2 cup.

Hang in there. He'll come around. It took mine a while, but he now has the Spark app on his phone for me!!!

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BRENDAGAIL9 11/25/2012 11:46AM

    Just explain to you hubby that you want to lose weight to improve your health. Maybe that will work. It sounds like he wants company when he eats. As we get older, we don't like change so that may be what is going on with him. Let him eat the ice cream and you can switch to pllain Greek yogurt and fresh or frozen fruit.

Good luck!

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ROCKMAN6797 11/25/2012 11:37AM

    It sounds like you have an idea of what is going on. Talk to him about, reassure him that nothing changed except your weight. It is so difficult to maintain all by itself but when the support is not there that makes it even harder. Stay strong....

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-AMANDA79- 11/25/2012 11:28AM

    Talk to him about it. He may not even realize. Another option is to outsmart him! Have some low fat popcorn. There is a weight watchers (I think that's the brand) coffee ice cream bar that would be a nice substitute. Have some healthy options in mind at your favorite Mexican food restaurant. Good luck! I know it stinks to have someone who is supposed to be an ally working against you...

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ERIN1957 11/25/2012 11:26AM

    Most certainly talk with him. This can become a huge issue. Many people fear change of a partner. Many studies have been done especially with significant weight loss and relationships. I see a red flag, most certainly talk together and set down guidelines and yes even rules. Without the proper tools he may not succeed in this journey with you. This is serious and if you are serious you need his support 100%. As well as he needs yours too. He is trying to deal with this in his own way and obviously is struggling.

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SEPTEMBERSPIRIT 11/25/2012 10:49AM

    Perhaps he doesn't comprehend that while you've lost the weight, you still have triggers - key is communication between the two of you. If he feels insecure, then you can re-assure him. I think guys just don't 'get it' at times... because for them weight is not such a big issue as it is for us.

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