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Friday, May 24, 2013

Expert Opinions

I found this question posted at

We have been married for 11 years. She always talks about doing something about her wieght/health issues, but never does. We have 3 children and I once loved her. After years of watching her harm herself and blame me or the kids for things not going right, I'm really sick of it. I don't risk bringing any sensative subject up at all. She does as little as possible at all costs. From the day we married she constantly questioned my fidelity, which I've never broken. My children are 7,8 and 9 years old when it's time to clean house--they do it all while she directs from the couch! I suppose I could go on but but there's no point. Basically, no matter what I do to hopefully make things better, they get worse. I not only feel like an utter failure, I also feel as if my life is wasting away. Could you lend me your perspective? 

Sound familiar? I thought the answer was in many ways a breath of fresh air.


Dear Ken,

First off, morbid obesity is not only a physical health issue, it is a mental health issue. Despite how much you and the children love her, she does not feel fulfilled unless she is filled. The seeds of eating to self medicate were sown long before you met her. She finds comfort in food. This addiction to eating has reached the point where she has become physically incapable of normal movement. Being able to intimidate you and direct the children to clean the house while she reigns from the couch is powerfully manipulative behaviour. Addicts are masters at manipulation of others, they just find themselves unable to manipulate (motivate) themselves into more positive behaviours.
Your wife needs the help of a mental health professional. She obviously will not seek this for herself, so you will have to do what you can to attempt to get her on the road to recovery. Be hopeful but be prepared to run up against a brick wall. Unless she is miserable enough to want to effect change in herself she will refuse any and all help.
You have the right and the responsibility to get her a complete physical check-up. You have the right to consult with her primary physician. You have the responsibility to discuss a mental evaluation in regard to your wife's obese condition and any other emotional symptoms that effect you and the children. You do not have the right to force a commitment if your wife refuses to enter a program for personal rehabilitation.
If your wife is in a state of denial and refuses to seek medical help you have the right, as a father and a human being, to do what you feel is best for your children and yourself. If that means filing for divorce and custody than that is what you must do. (As a personal note: I urge you not to leave the children with your wife, request custody as it will impact the children in a dangerously negative way if you leave them in the care of a mother who is not capable physically of looking after them).
So, first get some sound medical guidance. If she is uncoopertive about this then you should have no qualms about seeking legal advice to dissolve the marriage.
Best wishes,


Yeah, I know any idiot can search the web for this stuff, but isn't it nice to have somebody like me out there doing it for you? Isn't nice to have it all bundled up here at MFS? In any case this little Q & A got me thinking. How many of us have been to the doctor with our spouses, checked the medications, asked questions. I may have trotted this out before, but if your spouse had a broken leg or severe depression or god forbid, cancer wouldn't you be going to the doctor's office with her. I know people who are married to somebody with Arthritis who, I'm ashamed to say, spend more time on their spouse's health than I do. They read up on all the meds, insist that their spouse do what the physical therapist tells them to do...I realize obesity is not Arthritis and if your dealing with a smoker or an Arthritic nagging is rarely effective, but taking an active role in mitigating the effects of a serious health issue is a spouse's responsibility. I have to admit, I could take a far more active role in mu own situation. My wife is being treated and seen for a variety of medical conditions. I'm not familiar with all the medications, but she seems to stay on top of it and gets pretty regular checkups. The denial is still there though. Depression and obesity dance around each other or should I say lie on the couch together wrapped up in each others arms wondering what time it is.

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