My husband refuses to eat

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Not sure if this is the best place to get help, but I need to start somewhere.

My husband is 51 yards old and always looked good for his age. After several years I start being concerned about his eating habits. He pretty much forgets to eat. Food is not his priority. His fine eating once a day but it's not necessary a nutritious meal.

In the last few years I managed to lose ~35lb just eating healthier and reduce sugars and carbs. My main motivation was trying to get pregnant. After a while, seeing the results, somehow he realized that it's not a bad thing. He wanted to go to the gym so I gave him for Christmas a membership that could be canceled at any time. A good transformation started and he chanced some of his eating habits for better, exercising (mainly weight lifting) and running during warm weather. He did a couple of 5k raises and he seemed to be on the right path. I was cooking at home all the time and although he didn't like quite everything I was cooking, he was making an effort to eat. He's not open minded and he doesn't like most of the vegetables. He grew up on fast food and a poor diet. Not being exposed as a young man to veggies, he simply rejects a lot of them as an adult.

After I got pregnant in fall, everything went south. He canceled his gym membership to build his own weight lifting room in the basement and he stopped using it. No more running because of the weather and he doesn't like to do it on the treadmill. He starting a new job on midnights and now even his sleep is poor. Because of complication with pregnancy and being placed on bed rest, I was no longer able to cook. So no more eating for him.

He says if he's not hungry, he'll not going to eat. More than that, we saw a dr for a different issue and the smart man told him that it's ok if he only eats once a day as long as he eats a nutritious day. So in my husband's mind, it's fine if he only eats once a day. The part with nutritious didn't matter. I mean he will eat a bowl of sugary cereals with milk and that will be his meal. Really?

I then thought that maybe after I'll give birth and start cooking again, he might get better. But I am concern that it might not be the case. Once because of the different schedule, second because he'll tell me he's not hungry. So even if I cook and he has what to eat, doesn't mean he'll eat and this scares me.

It's very hard to talk with him about this subject and I am worried for him and us. He's 51 years old and we are expecting a baby. I want him to be around for the longest possible. My philosophy is that his body will respond to the way it's fed. If you get it used with lack of nutrients, it will not "ask" you for food, but will not work properly either. If you feed it regularly, it will get use to ask for food.

I don't know if it's laziness, stubbornness, ignorance...but what can be done?
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Replies

  • kgeyser
    kgeyser Posts: 22,505 Member
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    Talking to him about it is the only solution.
  • SomeNights246
    SomeNights246 Posts: 807 Member
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    The last part of your post is not really true. The exact OPPOSITE is true, which is why many people with eating disorders get worse mentally as the eating disorder progresses. The more you deprive yourself of nutrients, the MORE your body is going to demand you eat. The fact that your husband seems to be refusing food for so long is worrisome.

    It's hard to know what's going on from your post. It could be an eating disorder (yes, men get them, too), it could be digestive issues that make it hard for him to eat (his age makes me lean toward this one; those can be VERY painful, I'd know, and often create fears of eating), or he could just be stubborn as a mule - but for some reason, I don't think that's it.

    Either way, I highly recommend speaking to him about it. You're right to be concerned.
  • _Terrapin_
    _Terrapin_ Posts: 4,301 Member
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    Not sure if this is the best place to get help, but I need to start somewhere.

    My husband is 51 yards old and always looked good for his age. After several years I start being concerned about his eating habits. He pretty much forgets to eat. Food is not his priority. His fine eating once a day but it's not necessary a nutritious meal.

    In the last few years I managed to lose ~35lb just eating healthier and reduce sugars and carbs. My main motivation was trying to get pregnant. After a while, seeing the results, somehow he realized that it's not a bad thing. He wanted to go to the gym so I gave him for Christmas a membership that could be canceled at any time. A good transformation started and he chanced some of his eating habits for better, exercising (mainly weight lifting) and running during warm weather. He did a couple of 5k raises and he seemed to be on the right path. I was cooking at home all the time and although he didn't like quite everything I was cooking, he was making an effort to eat. He's not open minded and he doesn't like most of the vegetables. He grew up on fast food and a poor diet. Not being exposed as a young man to veggies, he simply rejects a lot of them as an adult.

    After I got pregnant in fall, everything went south. He canceled his gym membership to build his own weight lifting room in the basement and he stopped using it. No more running because of the weather and he doesn't like to do it on the treadmill. He starting a new job on midnights and now even his sleep is poor. Because of complication with pregnancy and being placed on bed rest, I was no longer able to cook. So no more eating for him.

    He says if he's not hungry, he'll not going to eat. More than that, we saw a dr for a different issue and the smart man told him that it's ok if he only eats once a day as long as he eats a nutritious day. So in my husband's mind, it's fine if he only eats once a day. The part with nutritious didn't matter. I mean he will eat a bowl of sugary cereals with milk and that will be his meal. Really?

    I then thought that maybe after I'll give birth and start cooking again, he might get better. But I am concern that it might not be the case. Once because of the different schedule, second because he'll tell me he's not hungry. So even if I cook and he has what to eat, doesn't mean he'll eat and this scares me.

    It's very hard to talk with him about this subject and I am worried for him and us. He's 51 years old and we are expecting a baby. I want him to be around for the longest possible. My philosophy is that his body will respond to the way it's fed. If you get it used with lack of nutrients, it will not "ask" you for food, but will not work properly either. If you feed it regularly, it will get use to ask for food.

    I don't know if it's laziness, stubbornness, ignorance...but what can be done?

    Well, first of all great first post.

    Second, maybe he needs to write the OP instead of you. Meaning, let him log on here and discuss it.
  • SonicDeathMonkey80
    SonicDeathMonkey80 Posts: 4,489 Member
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    Have him create an account here so we can bully - er. "support" him.
  • JennyHollyHansen
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    I think you are doing a great job at leading by example. Make sure your child is learning how to eat from your good habits.
    I also I would talk to you husband about being a example for your child ie not teaching the child to hate veggies.

    I have a boyfriend who eats cereals for meals like your partner. He eats a lot of refined sugar and generally horrible food while I try to eat mainly veggies and healthy food. He always complains that I don't eat enough and my food is bland. He knows from a health perspective I may be healthier but he generally believes that healthy people take food intake too seriously. I feel I eat enough. I eat easy 1300 to 1400 calories a day but I am not stuffing my face 3 times a day and when I am eating I stop when I am full. I only eat a small plate of food while he can eat two large plates. We agree to disagree on our differences. We don't agree with each others habits but we cant change each other.
  • _Terrapin_
    _Terrapin_ Posts: 4,301 Member
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    Have him create an account here so we can bully - er. "support" him.

    ^^this^^ cause at 51 he will need the bullying er support.
  • LazSommer
    LazSommer Posts: 1,851 Member
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    Cook better?
  • SharonNehring
    SharonNehring Posts: 535 Member
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    Has he ever talked with a physician about his health? I'd think I'd start by doing that and checking to see if he has any digestive issues, what his blood sugar and cholesterol are doing, blood pressure etc. if there is a medical reason to support a change, he may be more open to it. Then it's not just you "nagging" him as well. (I'm NOT saying you are, as there are legitimate concerns here.)
  • NextPage
    NextPage Posts: 609 Member
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    If you are 51 and having a baby I would concentrate on my own health and the babies exclusively since this has got to be very difficult. Hope everything goes well and the baby brings a routine to both of your lives which will include sitting down and having healthy family meals together.
  • LazSommer
    LazSommer Posts: 1,851 Member
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    If you are 51 and having a baby I would concentrate on my own health and the babies exclusively since this has got to be very difficult. Hope everything goes well and the baby brings a routine to both of your lives which will include sitting down and having healthy family meals together.

    Well sweet baby Jesus I'm hoping the husband is 51 and not the wife.
  • Ccrcata
    Ccrcata Posts: 3
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    Yes, the husband is 51, I am 33. And yes, I talked with him. As I said, he did improved last year so I know he can do it. But this dr as well as another primary care physician told him (and I was there) that it's all right to eat the way he does. We changed doctors but didn't meet the new one.

    I doubt that it's a disorder it almost feels like he is lazy in eating and stubborn or sometimes too preoccupied of what he's doing and forgets about food. True, that we've been going through some tough time with me on bed rest and not being able to cook or sit at the table together. But knowing that he works midnights, it makes it harder to think of a better change in the future. I can't put food in his mouth if he doesn't make an effort himself.

    Sometimes I'm thinking that the "I'm not hungry" it's more of an excuse because sometimes he eats if I remind him and give him food. And it's more psychological - if he doesn't know what I put in something when I cook, he'll eat it. As soon as he sees smth that he has an issue with, he will have a problem. Sometimes I can hide when I cook, sometimes it's not working that well.

    What it's more weird is that his blood tests come always normal. He goes for physicals yearly and has no problem. Plus the fact that he's not showing his age makes him feel really good.

    I think that his problem is consistency. He will do things for a while and then stops. Well to me, feeding yourself well requires consistency...

    Anybody has other ideas of how I could create a better environment for him to keep at least 3 meals a day? And are those doctors wright in telling him that it's ok to have a meal a day? And no, he will not write here...not crazy for computers and the "healthy trend" it's over. Last year he was so into eating right, exercises, taking supplements .... But again, consistency it's not his friend :(
  • MelodyandBarbells
    MelodyandBarbells Posts: 7,725 Member
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    Well he does not have to eat three meals a day. But I would say he probably does need enough calories. About how many would you say he eats per day, cereal and all? Are you sure he doesn't eat anything outside the house; or otherwise without your knowing?

    I agree with speak to a doctor, but again he does not need to have a structured eating plan. Could you set a jar of nuts or other easy snacking foods where he could get to them easily, boiled eggs, etc? Maybe he doesn't like the concept of sitting down to an actual meal but would eat something if it's more convenient? I understand he should probably be solving this for himself but I'm guessing he doesn't believe he has a problem. I also have some busybody tendencies, so there :tongue:
  • dakotababy
    dakotababy Posts: 2,406 Member
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    Maybe he is getting depression, or post-partum?

    51 and having a baby might not be the easiest pill to swallow.
  • RodaRose
    RodaRose Posts: 9,562 Member
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    . . . . ..
    And are those doctors wright in telling him that it's ok to have a meal a day? And no, he will not write here...not crazy for computers and the "healthy trend" it's over. Last year he was so into eating right, exercises, taking supplements .... But again, consistency it's not his friend :(

    The doctors are right about that. One meal a day could work for him.
  • La_Malfaisante
    La_Malfaisante Posts: 1,509 Member
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    Maby he doesn't like your cooking? :laugh: jk

    Why don't you get him to join on here? Maby taking him to a dietician would help also...
  • UpEarly
    UpEarly Posts: 2,555 Member
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    What it's more weird is that his blood tests come always normal. He goes for physicals yearly and has no problem. Plus the fact that he's not showing his age makes him feel really good.

    If this is true, I'd just let him be and drop the matter. Whatever he's doing obviously is working well enough to keep him healthy according to doctors and lab work.
  • BookMaven79
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    Eating one meal a day is not harmful in and of itself. The 'eat small meals constantly all day' that we've been told is not necessarily necessary or even the best choice for many. He's basically practicing 'intermittent fasting' which can have some health benefits, so eating one meal wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing.

    Worry about yourself and the baby for now. Once the baby is born and you are cooking again, simply make sure that his one meal a day is a balanced and healthy one. If his bloodwork is good and his doctor isn't overly worried, then you probably don't need to be either.

    If it makes you feel better, my uncle is a 'one-meal-a-day person' and has been for 70 years. He's 90 and doesn't take any medications and still lives at home and is doing great. As long as nutrition balances out over the course of time, when it's consumed isn't a huge deal.

    Best of luck to you with your pregnancy and I wish you a safe delivery and healthy baby :-)
  • bcalleycat
    bcalleycat Posts: 6 Member
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    One meal a day worked fine for me all during my working life. I'm now 67 and my health is fine. I haven't always eaten the healthiest foods, either, but I never had weight problems until I retired. My advice is that your husband is an adult, and if he's anything like me the more you try to pressure him to change the more he'll dig in his heels. You may be motivated to have him around as long as possible health-wise, but you'll also be a single parent if you nag him right out of your life into someone else's life. Sorry if this sounds harsh, but life can be harsh. Cherish what you love about him and hold him close, life is short.
  • MelsAuntie
    MelsAuntie Posts: 2,833 Member
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    Just my take, but if he's already 51 he may not want a kid at all and doesn't want to tell you, refusing to eat may be his way of rebelling. At his age the huge detrimental changes that come with a baby--fatigue, expense, lack of sleep, lack of wife's company as the baby is needy and takes up all her time, etc., these things can be terrifying.Or if other things are wrong, he may have brain changes due to diabetes, stroke, etc. He needs a thouraough medical checkup, now.
  • xHelloQuincyx
    xHelloQuincyx Posts: 884 Member
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    I couldn't help but think if that was my hubby (who also is a picky eater raised with no veggies) I just make him eat, there wouldn't even be a choice. I spent this whole time making this for you, you will eat. he would at least have to take a polite bite of everything before excusing himself. I'm also a preschool teacher and no one gives me the business over eating veggies hehe. try having him drink his calories (protein shake, ensure etc.) or find high calorie stuff that he would only have to eat a little of. (nuts, pb, etc.) once you know what safe foods he will actually eat put them on a list and have him choose what 3-4 he will eat that day every two hours. tell him it's not healthy for his child to see him eating inconsistently- most men will man up and get through stubbornness if it seems like it is for their child. I saw my moms wacko eating habits growing up and developed anorexia during my teenage years. she showed me this unhealthy relationship with food- I don't blame her for my wrongs, but I know that is how skewed ideas got into my head. you could also tell him that he is ruining his metabolism and that when he is older his body will reflect unhealthy choices now. you could make him join mfp. you could set up an appointment with a dietitian. I think it's insane that he isn't cooking for you while you are on bed rest. are you getting proper nutrition for you and his child? also let him know that it is stressing you out that he isn't taking care of himself- he needs to be strong and full of energy for when your child comes- one meal a day will not cut it after he/she arrives however, it will be so hectic that if this is his habit it will remain his habit with a newborn.