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TOPIC: Husband is constant opposition!!

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May 17, 2012 6:56 AM

I was that husband for years. My wife did things to please me. If I didn't like the food I would cook my own(rarely), buy cheap fast food or buy crap snacks from the grocery store.
My stubbornness and her enabling only prolonged the situation.....for years.
Having kids and a tight budget did not put a stop to my affair with food.
Your husband is being childish just like I was.
He is afraid, comfortable and addicted.
He may not come around to your way of thinking, it might have to be HIS idea.

I think the longer you enable his behavior the harder it will be to lead a healthy life for you, him and any future children.
It will be difficult, there might be fights and feelings will be hurt.
There is no guarantee of success.
You may not get him healthy but he can at least respect your need to be healthy.

Something else to think about.
If you have kids will he enable them with candy, sodas, energy drinks and other garbage?
When mom cooks a healthy meal why bother eating it if dad will have little partners in food crime.?

Sorry, this kinda held a mirror up to me and my habits.

This. Do you want your kids eating like he does? Or worse, talking to you and disrespecting you like he does?

If he is unwilling to eat what you cook - he's a full grown man - he can fend for himself. He's not a baby. Stop buying 2 sets of groceries.
May 17, 2012 6:57 AM

I'm not sure it's that he doesn't support me. I just don't think he realizes how difficult he makes it for me, even though I try to explain it to him. I spend about $200 on groceries EVERY WEEK (for just the two of us) and spend a good chunk of my day planning meals and cooking (even though I work full time).

GASP! I spend just a little bit more ($250-300/month) for a family of four! I'm sure that probably has something to do with where we live, but oh my!

As far as the situation - you can't ever give motivation to someone, they have to WANT it themselves. That goes with everything, including healthy living. My sarcastic comment would be to make sure you have good insurance, and an excellent life insurance policy. But, I know it goes beyond that.

I can not even imagine how frustrated you must be. Not only do you have someone who doesn't want to share the healthy journey with you - you are doing all of the extra work because of it!

Have you checked out There are a ton of healthy versions of things my husband wouldn't know was healthy unless I told him!

Good luck - and stay strong in your goals to be a healthier person. Maybe, at some point he will have a moment that makes him realize the benefits to a healthier lifestyle (for my husband - it was his mom who struggles to get around because of her numerous health issues - most of which could have been avoided with diet and exercise.)
Edited by knowwhentoshutup On May 17, 2012 6:57 AM
May 17, 2012 6:57 AM
I am a very lucky person, my husband is great. You need to be around positive people in your life. Period. If they are on a different path (i.e destructive) than you, it is hard to make it work. I could never be married to an unhealthy person. Everything in my life is about health & therefore living well. I'm not obsessed, and I don't feel it's hard, or punishment, but the very opposite. Surround yourself with good like-minded people, and don't let destructive people bring you down. Do what you gotta do for YOU. "If it is to be, It is up to me."
May 17, 2012 6:57 AM
I'm not married and have never been, but: If he wants to eat that way, make him buy his food and cook it. He's an adult, why should you have to follow his plan? He knows where the grocery store is. This is 2012 and you aren't June Cleaver. This may be the 33 year old single person in my talking, but we are all responsible for our own decisions and no one else is ever going to change what we want. If he wants to continue gaining weight and eating crap, then let him. But you shouldn't have to work around his goal when you are on a different path.

If you need to, have 2 different places in the kitchen: His food and your food. Then you aren't tempted to eat his food.

Hopefully, down the road you can be a good motivation and inspiration to change his ways, but you'll never been able to change his way of thinking. Ever.
May 17, 2012 6:58 AM
I'm with everyone else who says let the husband make his own food. At the very least, maybe he'll expend some calories doing that.
May 17, 2012 6:59 AM
I didn't read through all of the other responses, but I just wanted to say I am so sorry you are dealing with this! I am truly blessed to have a husband who does like healthy food (doesn't mean he won't throw down a few peanut butter cups after eating a healthy dinner, but what can you do).

I think your best bet though is to not constantly make two separate things. Our son has some food allergies, so I occasionally alter parts of what we are having for dinner so he can basically eat the same thing as us. So maybe the main course is the same, but your husband gets a few different side dishes? One of my best friends has a husband who HATES vegetables and we had them over for dinner once and made roasted broccoli and he actually ate it and really liked it! You take fresh broccoli, chop the crowns up and toss it in olive oil, kosher salt & pepper, roast in the oven at 450 until it browns lightly. It sort of takes on that charred by the grill taste which is why her husband liked it! So maybe it would take trying to prepare vegetables differently. We also grill lots of squash & zucchini in the summer which is always yummy! Anything charred by the grill tastes good. If all else fails, but pureed carrots in the spaghetti sauce :)
May 17, 2012 6:59 AM

If he is that opposed to eating healthy, then I would give him his portion of the grocery money and tell him that he is in charge of feeding himself and that includes cooking his own meals. Then you only have to worry about your own groceries and your own meals. When he sees that you are getting smoking hot, and he's only growing wider, he might change his tune. I'm lucky that my hubby is totally on board, but if he acting like yours, that is exactly what I would do!

I'd go with this advice, except he isn't going to change his tune when you get smoking hot. He'll just get jealous and suspicious, because this is about something more than food, and that goes for both of you.
Seek counseling, and both of you be prepared to accept your roles in this dysfunctionality.
May 17, 2012 7:00 AM
Just come home and yell:


Then when he starts to say something just start yelling


Yeah, that didnt work for me either, but it was fun to say.
May 17, 2012 7:00 AM
My husband is the same way. He loves junk food and he says he is not going on a diet. I am worried about his health. I am buying fruits and vegetables and not junk food but he is a chef and he just eats the junk food at work. It is hard to stick with a diet when the rest of the people in your house are not eating healthy.
May 17, 2012 7:01 AM
You need to maintain harmony in your home if you want to stay married. If he isn't willing to eat healthy just accept it for now. Men can be very hard-headed and most of us hate it when someone tries to pressure us into doing something we don't want to do or aren't ready to do. We will quite often do the opposite if we feel we are being pressured.

If you have explained to him how much you would like his help and he still doesn't help, that's all you can do short of kicking him out. Take care of yourself and your health, and let him deal with his own in his own way when he is ready.

Try to figure out healthier foods that he is willing to eat. That way perhaps you can slowly ease him into healthier eating without him realizing it, or better yet making him think it was his idea (guys love being right). Lean cuts of meat are a great start.

Anyone who has ever worked with mules knows that you simply can not force a mule to do anything. "Stubborn as a mule" was coined for a reason. You can lead a mule, you can coax the mule into wanting to do it, but you can't force the mule to do it. Your husband is a mule.
Edited by gpstrucker On May 17, 2012 7:20 AM
May 17, 2012 7:01 AM

Just come home and yell:


Then when he starts to say something just start yelling


Yeah, that didnt work for me either, but it was fun to say.

May 17, 2012 7:02 AM

He kind of sounds like an ass. Please tell me there is something good about your marriage too.

Nice support.
May 17, 2012 7:02 AM
I have a similar thread going...

But with regard to having two different menus. I have three kids in addition to my DP. I try to eat clean 90% of the time, my kids will NEVER eat that clean. One claims she's a picky eater, the other has a severe Sensory issue that went undiagnosed and untreated he's 14 now and his dad laughed at me when I suggested he got to OT, and the youngest will eat just about anything. Then there's DP who tells me what a great cook I am one night and the next begs me to just order out.
My solution isn't two menus but the same thing one Healthy version and one not so healthy.
Pizza for example, my kids love, DP loves. I make pizza of them, I make a pizza for myself and DP that's thin crust and full of vegetables..and offer a salad.
Earlier this week we had Burbon Street Chicken, with white rice and greenbeans. Very ho hum meal, but for the kids I made a box of mac n cheese. Everyone was happy.

Tonight I plan on Quessadillas, made with whole wheat tortillas, and 2% milk cheese. I will make one for myself with roast red peppers and grilled chicken and NO sour Cream. The kids will ahve the same sans chicken and peppers.
May 17, 2012 7:04 AM
I'm going to agree with most of the other posters. Your situation is much like living with an alcoholic - you can't make him stop drinking (eating crap), but you don't have to buy and serve him the booze (crap food). He's a big boy and can make his own decisions. He can also shop for and make his own dinner if he chooses. Show him the grocery budget and tell him how much is available for his meals. You can't change him if he doesn't want to change, so don't invest any more energy in trying. Lead by example.
May 17, 2012 7:07 AM
I'm not a professional, but it does sound like he may have a deeper issue to deal with. You can not own his problems. You can tell him: "I feel like you are sabotaging my healthful living goals," "I feel like you are asking me to watch you kill yourself," "I feel like...[insert statement here]." He can not argue with how you FEEL (so don't start sentences with "You are doing.." or "You are making me..."). And if he wants to argue, stop it with "I love you too much to argue about this, we'll talk more when you are able to speak to me calmly" - you don't have to go to every argument you are invited to. (Check out Love and Logic techniques here!)

Absolutely make him buy his own garbage, and make his own meals. You provide good food and meals, so he can eat them or deal with it himself. When he sees how much discretionary $ he's losing, that may be a wake-up call.

Ultimately, it's up to him to decide how he's going to live his life, you can only control your choices and your reactions to his choices.

Good luck!
May 17, 2012 7:13 AM
My husband used to behave similarly. Ultimately, I think he was scared that I was trying to lose weight so that I could leave him (never the case). Sometimes, people get comfortable and change terrifies them.

I started having him go grocery shopping with me. I told him if he didn't come with me, I didn't know what to get for him and he would have to settle for whatever I bought. We found a small grocery store that we both like (it's the community co-op). He started to get interested in the quality of the meat (he's a big carnivore) after he saw an episode of King of the Hill, oddly enough, about co-op grocery stores.

He started eating better, even will eat salad now! And the funny thing is, he gets really sick anytime he eats fast food now! He still eats candy and junk, but it's much less than it was before. He's discovered he likes to cook, and he is on board with me getting healthy. He even gets a little preachy about his parents not taking care of themselves!

So there is hope - believe me, I thought my husband would never be able to support me because he just couldn't understand, but he gets it now, and grocery shopping and cooking has become quality time for us - even on nights when we eat separate meals. Good luck! (By the way, this transition took about a year for him.)
May 17, 2012 7:14 AM
All of us have had to overcome obstacles in order to lose weight. I'm sorry that your husband, who should support you, is not helping. But I agree that harmony at home is really important... I don't think you should nag him about eating, because he's clearly not receptive to criticism. I wonder why you have to cook his meals? Let him cook his own food and do his own grocery shopping. If he complains, tell him that yes you may seem like a "food nazi" to him, but your outlook on your health has changed and so you're going to be giving it a bigger priority in your life. It's ok to tell him that you're not going to bother him about what he eats, but that if he resists anything that you want to make for yourself, he is now responsible for his own dinner.

I'm a really busy person with very little time to make dinner, but I lost weight because I found lunches and dinners that I could make ahead of time and reheat (lots of delicious soup and make-ahead salad recipes).

In order to maintain harmony (and sanity) you are probably going to have to distance yourself from your husband in terms of food and nutrition, and just accept that things are the way they are. You may make a good impression on him. All partners are resistant to change that upsets their comfort.... But I think in time he will acclimate to your healthy change and may at some point be more open to compromising with you.
May 17, 2012 7:15 AM
I am in a similar situation as you. We both go grocery shopping, 2 carts, 2 receipts but I hate that he brings home all these tempting things (cookies, chips, coke). grumble

Eating out causes arguments but I try getting the healthier alternative wherever we go. Makes me sad but he is just getting bigger and I hate that he doesn't make an effort to at least try to make small changes even after the doctors have told him he NEEDS to lose it. He knows he needs to make those changes b/c he has talked to me about it but keeps putting if off.

Yesterday he finally told me that he is upset about all the working out I'm doing and that I'm exaggerating everything. He doesn't object to it he's just upset I'm spending too much time exercising in general. I don't want to cave in now...I'm sticking to these new changes...they make me feel great.

I am sorry you are struggling with your hubby but if these changes are making you feel great I don't think anything should deter you from meeting your goals. Have a talk with him in a calm manner and see if that does any good. I really hope your guy sees that everything you are doing is for benefit of the both of you.

Best of luck to you lovely girl.
Please feel free to add me - we can support each other. flowerforyou
Edited by deniseg31 On May 17, 2012 8:10 AM
May 17, 2012 7:17 AM
A) Stop fixing him his own dinner...treat him like I do my kids...if you don't like what I prepared (after taking at least one bite) you can go make yourself a PB&J or a turkey sandwich....

B) Ignore him - if you keep up on him it will probably drive him to keep rejecting anythign you try and tell him...he has to come to the conclusion himself and change because he wants to change - just make sure his life insurance is up to date
May 17, 2012 7:17 AM
I understand this. My OH doesnt eat great. My problem is that he (says he)doesnt like alot of vegetables etc.
He turns his nose up if I ask him to try new vegetables and its rare he says its nice. Most nights I also cook 2 meals.
I sometimes get the feeling that the vegetable didnt taste that bad but that he doesnt want to admit it may have tasted nice.
Because he is so fussy with his food he always buys in ready meals for the 4 days he's at work along with crisps and we are forever nipping to the supermarket because he's out for pop. Id say he drinks 2 litres every 2 days. All this costs us about about 50% of our shopping budget for the week. I usually buy my healthy food/veg/fruit from my own money.
He never drinks water unless there's no choice.

I think what I might do for the next month is keep track of how much we spend on ready meals/pop and crisps and compare it to what I spend on Fruit/vegetables/Healthy things. Also what comes from the shopping and what comes from our own pockets so we can realisically see exactly what we are spending.
May 17, 2012 7:17 AM


This is a REAL tough one.......I really don't know what I would do in your situation? I am incredibly lucky where my husband supports me 100% through anything I do, I just couldn't imagine him not? BUT if he didn't, it would make me more determined to make him see sense!!! I just can't fathom someone not wanting to be healthy? is he jealous of you? or just plain ignorant? I'm really sorry you are going through this, I know other women who say their partners don't compromise either and I think it is completely selfish, if you love a person don't you want them to be happy, make them happy, especially when its something like this, he should be proud you are so focused and be more supportive.....x

I'm not sure it's that he doesn't support me. I just don't think he realizes how difficult he makes it for me, even though I try to explain it to him. I spend about $200 on groceries EVERY WEEK (for just the two of us) and spend a good chunk of my day planning meals and cooking (even though I work full time). He also doesn't understand how hard it is when he always has a ton of candy and junk food lying around. He will tell me how proud he is of my determination and that I look like I've lost weight, but he wouldn't go as far as to change what HE'S doing to help me. In the past, after I'd "fallen off the wagon", I sensed relief from him because he didn't have that pressure hanging over him anymore.

Stop enabling him. The chief cook sets the menu and anyone who doesn't like it can have a bowl of cereal. In my house, that means cereal with <10g of sugar per serving -- more than that and we call it dessert.
May 17, 2012 7:19 AM
*sigh* Boy do I know what you're going through - after 30 years of marriage and a husband who also was not supportive of my many, many attempts of losing weight I finally put myself first. I've lost a total of 120lbs with the last 40 to go! Of course he loves that I've lost the weight but I still end up cooking at times 2 meals. I will say he is very easy to please and he has come around to eating what I made for myself.

It sounds selfish but you need to put yourself first, it's not easy, it wasn't for me. I would feel guilty cooking something he would like and I would end eating it. Don't fall into that trap.
May 17, 2012 7:20 AM
A lot of people are saying 'zomg how dare he, he'll eat what you cook and LIKE it or you should castrate him and serve him his balls overeasy'.

That's a pretty combative way of approaching the scenario. As she had said he does 'fend for himself' going out and getting junk food that she feels they cannot afford.

You mention he likes covering the healthy meals you make with cheese or ranch. Have you looked at low or no calorie ranch? Part skim cheese?

What kind of meals are you cooking? Would you be willing/able to modify them slightly if you thought that you both would enjoy them?

Faux fried chicken (greek yogurt+spicy bread crumbs and baked instead of fried)
Lean Steak and brown rice with veggies and a sweet potato
Meatloaf with lean beef and tomatoe sauce instead of ketchup with sauted onions and broccoli
Baked french fries and hamburgers stuffed with mushrooms, cheese, and onion
Take whatever you want to eat, and add bacon to it for him.

Healthy and good for you doesn't have to look like rabbit food.

As for leaving junk food all over, you could try starting by limiting the areas where such food is kept. Do you have a pantry? Give him a shelf and cover it where he can leave things he likes but that's still out of sight for you. Section off a part of the fridge, maybe one of the bottom drawers or something.

I personally feel working with the person is more likely to yeild results than going in with a 'my way or the highway' attitude.
May 17, 2012 7:22 AM


One thing I know I wouldn't do in this situation: I wouldn't enable this kind of behavior.

I know it's tough. My husband is rather similar. I told my husband point blank that I intend to eat healthier, lose weight, and gain muscle so I can be a fit individual who lives a long and happy life. He says he is on board but... I get the sighing and the nit picking at the meals, too. I don't feel sorry for him. I told him that if he wanted to eat unhealthy foods he had to make his own meal plans, go to the grocery store, buy his own foods, and prepare his own meals - while still working and supporting this family. Also, there will be less money for hobbies - no video games, no movie night with the guys, whatever. It's not my job to support his bad habits, if he wants to act that way he can make his own sacrifices to do it. Make him work for his unhealthy lifestyle and realize just how much you really do for him.

Luckily, my husband isn't as verbal with his insecurities as yours is. Saying you're a health nazi and that you're obsessed with your health while implying that isn't any way to live is only him putting his own problems onto you. He's scared. I would seek therapy so that you can work on communicating through this and hopefully bring him to the realization that if he just lets you help him while helping yourself it can benefit him greatly in the long run.

I guess I certainly have been an enabler. I guess it made me feel guilty to not provide any food for him, but I do. I provide him with healthy food, which I'm sure any person on this site would love to have someone cook them healthy meals every night! I admire your standing your ground with your husband. I need to take note. :)

If you do all of the grocery shopping, could you look for healthier options for the foods he enjoys? Will he snack on fruit or maybe granola bars? I do all of our shopping, and I just get what I think is best. I do buy a little junk occasionally for my "boys" (mac n cheese or something like that) but mainly, I buy what I know I'm going to want to eat. But I still include snacks, just healthier snacks.

And I don't buy sodas at all, and you know, after a week or so, no one noticed they were gone.

Of course, my husband is so happy just to have someone cook for him, that he doesn't complain :) And since both diabetes and heart disease run in his family, he knows I'm doing him a favor, even if he doesn't make the healthiest choices away from home.
May 17, 2012 7:26 AM're going to have to put a foot down. No one should have to "lose" in this situation. Just tell him his snacks are now limited. Too bad for him. He doesn't need to get diabetes anyhow.

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