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To expect DH to make an effort to lose weight

(42 Posts)
xandersmom2 Sat 04-Nov-17 13:13:14

We’ve been together for 15 years, 2 'tween' kids. DH has struggled with his weight his whole life (comes from a morbidly obese family, terrible relationship with food etc). Whenever his weight goes up past a certain point, he starts snoring really, really badly. When he loses the weight back down to the pivotal point, he stops snoring. It’s like magic hmm

I’m no size 0 model myself, I hover around a stone overweight much of which is stress eating. I do try, though, am losing the pounds slowly, and go to the gym 2-3 times a week for an hour around my FT work and providing the childcare in the evenings when DH works (so often go in my lunch break).

Recently he’s been struggling with depression, is seeing the docs, on AD, waiting for counselling appointment. I had severe depression myself a couple of years ago, I totally ‘get’ that it isn’t fun. Anyway, he has stacked on the pounds again and is snoring horrendously. He is now at his heaviest ever and has started with sleep apnea – he’ll be snoring and rattling the windows then will suddenly stop breathing, I thump him (yes I could be a bit more gentle but I’m exhausted and sleep deprived and still need to be alert every day as I’m the main breadwinner), he’ll snort and gasp and flail around, and then fall asleep again – and back to snoring, of course. I lie awake for hour after hour, on occasion I’ll go sleep on the sofa or just give up on sleep and read a book. I've frequently gone to work on 3 hours' sleep, and as my job involves up to 4 hours' a day driving, this isn't good.

His health (blood pressure, BMI etc) is so bad at the moment that when we tried to get life insurance last month, our broker was unable to find any company that would cover him. His family history involves multiple close family members dying from obesity-related diseases in their early 50’s (he’s currently 48) and clearly they can all see him going the same way.

We had a bit of a row about it the other day. This has been going on for weeks, I’m beyond exhausted, I could cry I’m so frustrated and tired. We don’t have a spare room for either of us to retreat to. We have talked and talked and talked about the fact that if he loses the weight again, this will all stop. He fully acknowledges this but ‘isn’t ready’ to do anything about it. We have a family gym membership and he works part-time (evenings) so has plenty of opportunity to go to the gym a couple of times while the kids are at school, even if it’s just to walk on a treadmill for a bit or go for a swim (which he has always enjoyed). He refuses. He eats and eats and eats, drinks fizzy pop by the litre bottle, then falls asleep in front of the telly in the evening….

Last night as I go to bed he presents me with some ear-plugs. Apparently as he ‘can’t help snoring’, this should solve the problem and stop me complaining. I literally laughed at him until I cried. I didn’t do it to make a point or to be deliberately offensive – it was just an automatic reaction and once I started, I couldn’t stop. I’m so tired I could cry, he could totally make this stop, but the solution is for me to stop complaining?

He was very upset at my reaction, but I honestly am losing all respect for him. He pointed out he can’t lose the weight overnight, I said of course I recognize this but even if he was trying, I would be able to deal with it (again, from past experience I know that when he tries the weight comes off within weeks). I am truly concerned that he is going to have a heart attack and die any day (and yes, I’ve told him this).
AIBU to expect him to make a freaking effort?

Sirzy Sat 04-Nov-17 13:17:54

You can’t force someone to lose weight. It’s as much a mental battle as a physical one and if he is already struggling with his mental health then it is easy to see why he won’t be in a place to lose weight.

It’s a vicious cycle of course because losing weight and getting generally fitter will probably benefit both his physical and mental health but you can’t force someone to make changes. The more you push the more he is likely to push back.

That said I would be waking him up and sending him to the sofa. I would give the ear plugs a try though if it helps you get a better sleep why not?

Bambamber Sat 04-Nov-17 13:25:57

If he has sleep apnea he needs to get himself to the dr. While he has that he is unlikely to muster the energy and motivation to do very much, It causes very disrupted sleep cycles. My mum has it, and since going on her CPAP mask she has so much more energy so has found it a lot easier to get the motivation to sort her weight out.

His weight is directly impacting his health and yet even that isn't enough to push him to change. There's only so many times you can encourage someone to help themselves.

But YABU, it's not even about size. It's about maintaining a reasonable level of health where possible. Even just cutting out the fizzy pop and cutting down on the junk is a good start until he at least gets to the Dr.

xandersmom2 Sun 05-Nov-17 13:07:24

Sorry to come back to this so late - in the middle of packing to move house (on top of everything else!) and the time has just flown by.

I do appreciate the replies, I do understand that this is a bit of a 'Catch 22' for him (doesn't feel good so doesn't want to exercise and just comfort eats, then feels even worse etc). I think I'm just over-tired and out of patience with it all. I'm becoming increasingly frustrated with the selfishness of it all - as awful as it is, if he carries on like this we won't be growing old together and I'll either have to become his nurse as well as the breadwinner and raising the kids, or I'll be raising the kids on my own.

Yes, I realise those thoughts in themselves are also selfish!

The GP is seeing him regularly because of the AD, I have asked/told him to mention the sleep apnea for the last 2 appointments but I know he hasn't - when I ask he makes a non-committal answer which means he doesn't want to deal with it and so didn't say anything. I can't insist that I go with him (I asked once and he went nuts).

He worked a night shift last night. I got the whole bed to myself and the silence was just bliss. Went to bed early to make the most of it. Woke up at 4am in an absolute flat panic, heart pounding, as I was disorientated and forgot he wasn't there, it was too quiet and I had a split second of not wanting to turn over in case he was dead next to me...

Cactusjelly00 Sun 05-Nov-17 13:11:10

You are being U (but understandable) to expect him to do anything for you with regards to his own body.
You would not be U to give him an ultimatum or leave. I would not be happy in this relationship at all... it's tough. I'm sorry.

PinkHeart5914 Sun 05-Nov-17 13:13:59

He will only lose weight when he is ready too. You can have all the arguments and tell him he needs to lose the weight but nothing will happen until his ready.

As his suffering from depression the over eating could well be a symptom of this as it might make him feel happy when he does eat, I think he needs to tackle the depression, talk to someone and then look at his weight.

Also as you say he comes from a family where many are obese and have bad relationships with food, it’s not as simple as him being greedy. The way he is with food comes from childhood and the attitudes he saw around food.

I’d also give the ear plugs a try I mean what have you got to lose

Nadeynoo Sun 05-Nov-17 13:28:25

I really feel for you xandersmom2. My ex-financé was similar - he had an untreated chronic sinus infection that was eventually picked up when he eventually went to the GP after we'd had many arguments. We'd been together about 2 years when he started to snore really badly - and had also put on weight but wouldn't do anything about it either. Every now and then he'd announce he was 'going on a diet' and starve himself for about 2 days while being in a miserable mood. He used to get very annoyed if I woke him during the night so we started to sleep in separate rooms.

There is no easy solution and earplugs didn't work for me. All you can do is try to talk about it when you're not feeling tired and stressed and explain the impact it's having on you. He should be taking his turn on the couch, too - it might spur him on to seeking medical advice.

Rudgie47 Sun 05-Nov-17 13:52:06

I'd be saying he needed to be sleeping on the floor on an airbed not ruining the couch.Why should you be sleep deprived its not fair.
Could you get him to go to Slimming World?, you could go with him as a supporter or try to loose that stone yourself.
Say that if he wont sleep on the floor then you will kick him out of bed as soon as he starts snoring. He sounds in a bad place mentally to be honest.
I think I'd be telling him to leave if he didnt try to make some effort, he sounds very, very selfish.

Aquamarine1029 Sun 05-Nov-17 13:59:37

Sorry, but there is no way I would stay with a man like that. He doesn't care about himself, and he doesn't care about you or your children. I'd have him leave.

pinkliquorice Sun 05-Nov-17 14:13:37

I posted a thread yesterday asking of obesity should be considered like an eating disorder.
People are too quick to label you as fat shaming, being judgemental and that his weight is none of your business but if he is dangerously over weight your concerned rightly so with his health not his aperance.
I have struggled on an off with eating disorders since I was a teen and when it’s got out of control and my health has been suffering my friends and family didn’t just leave it because they didn’t want to be judgemental or upset me they kept on it they forced me to eat and didn’t give up because they didn’t want me to starve my self to death.
This including being hospitalised involuntary and tube thread until I gained weight, why on the other end of the scale are we allowing people to eat themselves into disease and early death.
You are doing the right thing because you love him you want him to get help and to get better, don’t ignore and don’t give up.
I’m so sorry I can sympathiser completely and I really hope you husband gets appropriate support and can loose the weight and feel better. flowers

GummyGoddess Sun 05-Nov-17 14:25:44

I don't think you can make him do anything about it unfortunately. He is being selfish knowing that many members of his family died doing what he does and he is willing to risk that and leave you and the children alone. If that isn't enough to get him to take this seriously then there isn't anything you can do until he is willing to get some sort of help.

As for the snoring, he should sleep elsewhere, it's unfair to deprive you of sleep and risk your life driving around all day for work tired.

Jasminedes Sun 05-Nov-17 14:25:44

Him on the sofa until he loses it? Just on a practical level there is no reason you should both be sleep deprived.

ivykaty44 Sun 05-Nov-17 14:38:47

Is there anyway you can convince him that exercise is one of the best medicine for his depression? It has been shown to improve as the exercise has an affect on the brain and releases hormones which aid well being

If your dp is overeating due to illness then treating the illness through exercise first then tackle the eating habits afterwards

JonSnowsWife Sun 05-Nov-17 14:45:22

He doesn't care about himself, and he doesn't care about you or your children. I'd have him leave.

Because he's suffering from depression and put a few pounds on? Yeah I'm sure kicking him to the curb will make him sharpen up hmm

speakout Sun 05-Nov-17 15:02:27

My OH is around 3 stones overweight.

I would like him to lose it, but I love him just the same, and I don't nag.

Lovemusic33 Sun 05-Nov-17 15:06:01

I think the more you mention it to him the less likely he is to do anything about it. I think you need to be a bit more sneaky, suggest going for a walk together at the weekend, cook him healthier food without him noticing too much. He can still eat plent if it's good foods (slimming world is a good example of this, many women have changed the whole household over to a slimming world diet without them noticing).

The only thing that gave me the push to diet was leaving my husband, then I lost weight for myself, not for my ex husband who was continuessly reminding me how much weight I had gained since having children.

MumW Sun 05-Nov-17 15:15:56

Does DH drive? If so, he has sleep aponea, then he probably shouldn't until it's being treated. He could be invalidating his car insurance.

Is there any way you can go to his next appointment with him so that you can bring it up?

Wearing earplugs is not a solution as it would also stop you hearing the children.

Also wonder whether you can go and see your GP to ask for help coping with your DH's depression, refusal to work on weight, the snoring and describe the sleep aponea symptoms. That way you have alerted the GP to your DH's problem without actually saying anything.


PlausibleSuit Sun 05-Nov-17 15:25:02

I'm a personal trainer, so I see this kind of thing a lot.

If he's aware of the weight issue but, as you say, 'isn't ready' to do anything about it, there's a big blocker there somewhere. What he's saying, at one level, is that he isn't prepared to make changes to himself that would aid your comfort, or make your life easier. This sounds like the depression talking; he doesn't value himself enough to make any changes that would benefit you. It's almost like he's on a path of self-destruction. If he/his GP can address this, it might break the doom-loop a bit - enough for him to see some value in looking after himself. At the moment he doesn't see it, which is why he's not doing it.

He needs a goal. Some of my clients sign up to triathlons or fun-runs, others have a pair of trousers they want to fit into by next summer. But until there's a goal there's nothing to take steps towards.

But you and others are right; he has to take that step himself.

I'm so sorry, you sound at the end of your rope. It's a horrible situation.

TheStoic Sun 05-Nov-17 15:27:43

He’s not motivated enough, for whatever reason.

I feel very sorry for you. I don’t know how long I could cope with the torture of sleep deprivation. Probably not as long as you already have.

MrsJBaptiste Sun 05-Nov-17 16:18:25

speakout It does sound like the OP's partner is a lot more than 3 stone overweight though.

ArcheryAnnie Sun 05-Nov-17 16:39:37

I know you are worried about him, OP (and also a bit desperate because of lack of sleep) but honestly, I very much doubt that in the history of the world anyone has sustainably and healthily lost weight, and kept it off, because of someone going on and on at them about it. Weight loss just doesn't work like that, especially when there is depression in the mix, too.

You are going to have to back off if you want it to happen at all.

In the meantime, if you do the shopping, and don't want to eg, buy the fizzy drinks, etc., then that's up to you, and he can buy them himself.

MatildaTheCat Sun 05-Nov-17 17:32:26

I really feel for you and you are quite right to be concerned. Has he actually been diagnosed with sleep apnoea?

A relative of mine has it. He’s also very overweight and sedentary. He was assessed and found to be having about 50_100 episodes every night which is considered dangerous. He was started on CPAP and it’s made a massive difference. Firstly no snoring and secondly, he feels better because he isn’t permanently exhausted. Thirdly, his wife is somewhat happier.

It strikes me that if you could persuade him to get help for this problem he just might feel better enough to have the energy to address his weight. I suggest making him an appointment at the GP and insist on going with him. He may be too scared of getting diagnosed or helped and feel safer in denial. He isn’t, of course.

WhatALoadOfOldBollocks Sun 05-Nov-17 19:33:37

It's a realy difficult situation isnt it xandersmom, you have my sympathies. His depression won't be helping his eating habits/weight, but I think you're within your rights to make sure he deals with your sleep deprivation. If he's not willing to lose the weight at the moment then there's nothing you can do, but I think he's being selfish to sleep in the same room as you knowing his weight-related snoring keeps you awake. Could he sleep in the sofa or on an airbed in the lounge?

Aderyn17 Sun 05-Nov-17 19:51:44

Can you ring the dr yourself and tell them that your dh has sleep apnoea and you are really worried. They won't discuss dh with you but you could ask them to phone him and come in for an appt.

Mrsmadevans Sun 05-Nov-17 20:24:06

The anti depressants may be making him gain weight too .l know l did when l was on them good luck op.

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