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life in recovery, an unsupportive spouse

Saturday, November 28, 2015

How do you deal with a non supportive spouse was the theme of a message board I was reading, and I paused, and thought a bit and started blogging. Because I am conflicted about this. On my right hand, I think IT IS MY HOUSE, and MY KITCHEN, my health, my meal plan and I admit that I am addict, so I don’ t want it around. I don’t want it in my house, my kitchen, my reach. SO I DON”T. I don’t buy it. If I was an alcoholic, they wouldn’t bring me beer, and when I said, I am sober now, they would respect that. And then there is the left hand, that says my choices are personal and I shouldn’t inflect them on the rest, so he brings home leftover pasta from the daycare, and it taunts me. And when I say, please don’t, I am powerless over your chicken fettuccine, he says I should just not eat it, it’s for Jacob. Would you buy bourbon for an alcoholic household, and says “it’s for Jacob?”. This is silly, because pasta and bourbon is not the same thing… thus the conflict. I have written this line in the sand many times, and then capitulated, so he really doesn’t believe that I am not going to eat it, and that I really don’t mean it when I say “NO POTATO ROLLS”. But I have this fantasy, about how much easy boundaries would be if I lived alone, and there was no one to test them. The message board said things like “talk to him, explain it.” I have. I have even had the doctor explain it, so he would hear how serious this is. And his response was “It’s important for you, but WE, the rest of us, don’ t have to follow these guidelines, and you should just NOT eat it.” Isn’t part of step one acknowledging that you are POWERLESS over the urges and compulsions that define you as an addict? So JUST NOT DO IT, isn’t really realistic. Yet It is about willpower. And the willpower muscle gets tired from fighting the world, from all the heavy lifting and pushing it does every day, and then gives in, exhausted by all that one has to do to remain paleo food sober in a non paleo consumerism world, at 6 pm when they say “what’s for dinner, can we have pizza? And they don’t mean cauliflower crust pizza but Dominos, and I think “ I can have one” but I never eat just one slice, I eat one pizza, a thin crust veggie and then feel sick so NO, we are not having pizza, it’s a paleo household, and you can learn to cook paleo.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • BABYSOX
    This conflict must be so hard for you. My only advice is that you need to do what is best for you. If you are healthy, then you can make decisions easier.
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    1452 days ago
  • HUYANA_PHOENIX
    So sorry about the lack of support you are getting. It is tough enough to battle food addictions without having to battle the people who should be supporting us, not tempting us. Know that you are not alone in these struggles.

    Perhaps it is time to take a stronger stand. If he won't stop bringing home things you cannot resist, then maybe start throwing out these things as soon as you see them. Throw them completely out... either down the garbage disposal, into the compost pile, or out of all packaging, into the trash bag and take the bag out to the garage can. This would be reinforcing of the fact that you are taking control over food instead of allowing it to take control over you. (I mentally tell food, "you have no power over me" when I take actions like this.) Hopefully when he realizes that bringing the wrong foods into the house results in it getting thrown out, he'll stop bringing them home. If not, keep it up anyway!

    If you are wavering between both sides of the argument, it leaves an opening for others to take advantage of the situation and go about doing things as THEY want it. Be firm in your resolve!

    Good luck with everything!
    1452 days ago
  • MAWMAW101
    Such great advice! emoticon
    Bottom line is the same -- you eat it, it's gone! You throw it out, it's gone!
    Except for your health, the end is the same. Throw it out without a big fuss, he may not even notice for a month!
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    1453 days ago
  • _RAMONA
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    Aw, Kate... that really SUCKS!

    Since you are embracing authenticity, I'm going to get really honest here. It breaks my heart to see you working SO hard, with very little support. Sure, your choices are personal, but for you there isn't a lot of difference between beer and pasta, and in marriage there really aren't many choices that don't require each other to adjust and bend and support (at least that is how I understand the sacrament).

    Out of curiosity, I read this to my Mr. and asked him what he thought you should do. His response was, "well, her husband is pretty selfish if he can't set aside his own wants to help her get some traction. Marriage is about sacrifice, isn't it?" I share this in case you want to share it with your Mr... another man's point of view.

    I know you've spoken before about the arguments you and he have had about you starting off on a path, but not sticking to it, so he may think "what's the point at this juncture?" ...and maybe that's fair, I don't know (marriage isn't about fair, it's about love and sacfifice)... but perhaps you need to negotiate an agreement where you explain the progress you've recently made, how counselling is helping, and ask him to get behind you for a month. Then you review together at the end of the month and see if you can negotiate another month.

    If a healthier, successful wife isn't pay-off enough for him, then perhaps part of the agreement is some non-food reward for his 'sacrifice' each month.

    Initially I asked my Mr. to commit to paleo suppers for only a month, and outside the house he could eat whatever he wanted. It was seeing the change in my health and well-being that convinced him to adopt paleo for himself. He now eats paleo outside the house, too... he even arranges for only paleo food when he has a business function to attend where a meal is included.

    ...And if your husband won't be supportive on his own, perhaps you need a push-back strategy. If it were me, to convince him to get on board I'd throw the contraband out as soon as he brings it in. When you see non-paleo food in the house, just throw it out. Dump it out of the container straight into the trash (make sure it's not retrievable). I'm pretty sure it wouldn't be long before it stopped coming in.... If it's a fight either way, I'd personally rather fight FOR my needs to be met, than fight AGAINST all that would cause me to stumble.

    Kate, the authentic plan has to happen with or without your husband's support. I know it hurts you that he consistently runs right over your needs and wants... partly the result of not ever having had clear boundaries in your relationship (I don't get the sense that you've ever drawn any really clear lines).... so there will be growing pains for all involved as you continue to grow and mature in your own walk forward into the health and well-being you seek.

    Again, just know my prayers and support are with you always!

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    1453 days ago

    Comment edited on: 11/29/2015 10:26:43 AM
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