Concerned about fiancé...

Hi! So for a little background, I'm a long time user of MFP! I was 210 lbs at 5'4", now I'm 135. I quit MFP but monitored my weight and continued to exercise for about a year because I was getting obsessed with calorie counting and was getting very worn out about the whole thing.

I recently got engaged! My fiancé and I have been together for 2 and a half years, and he is my best friend. His relationship with food has been poor ever since I met him. His ex had a complicated relationship with food as well due to being diagnosed with chronic illness and she forced her issues with food on him. When things turned sour, he stress ate like crazy.

Flash forward to now, and he's just under 6 feet and weighs probably close to 300 pounds. I love him to pieces, and I am just very worried about him. He complains of headaches very regularly (like almost every day ...), never sleeps well and feels tired all the time, and has back pain. I have told him again and again to see a doctor, but he won't because he thinks the only solution they will tell him is to eat better and be more active. Whenever I tell him to see a doctor, he always shuts down. I do think how he feels is related to how he is treating his body, but I also think that seeing a doctor would be good to eliminate other health concerns.

I think he has high blood pressure (I work in healthcare and I've taken his BP before and it was pretty bad at the time) and I think he is going to experience other obesity/sedentary related health consequences before too long if he doesn't change.

I try to get healthy foods at the store and have reduced the amount of sweets at the house (his biggest issue by far) to one pint of ice cream (it's Ben and jerry's now). He used to eat ice cream every night, sometimes multiple times and now he is being forced to ration it a little bit because I am the shopper of the house and I only go once a week. I also cook for him as much as I can and I don't eat red
meat so his meals have veggies and lean proteins and whatnot in it. I also offer to go on walks with him or go swimming or go hiking.

I want to help him but I don't want to control him. I know that he wants to eat healthy and exercise (swimming was his idea, he tells me how he wants to incorporate healthier options into his diet). But he can't commit. He has lost a little weight calorie counting and walking regularly but he fell off of the wagon.

He also thwarts my attempts to get him eating better. He comes home with cookout milkshakes and will go out to eat instead of packing a lunch. He tells me he doesn't want to go walking or anything else because he is tired or has a headache, etc.

I post this looking for suggestions as to how to help him and encourage him. I know he is unhappy and his health has a negative impact on our relationship. I know the longer he treats himself this way, the more likely he is to develop more serious, irreversable health problems and I want to help him before that happens.


  • DKG28
    DKG28 Posts: 299 Member
    my brother-in-law is the same way. my sister is slim and active and eats well. She's worried about him, and models healthy lifestyle, but she knows she can't make him do anything. the motivation has to come from within. The best you can do is talk and say "i know you don't feel great, and want more energy and to feel better overall. Tell me how I can support you in getting there."
  • elphie754
    elphie754 Posts: 7,574 Member
    Unless he has specifically asked for your help-stay out of it. If you keep on him about it and he doesn't want to change, you could end up losing him (him break up with you). He is obviously already unhappy if he goes out to get what he wants (fast food/the milkshakes).
  • Lounmoun
    Lounmoun Posts: 8,427 Member
    Help him address the emotional eating. He might see a therapist and work on new ways of coping with boredom, loneliness, stress, sadness, anger, whatever that are not food or drink.
    I think many emotional eaters know what to do to lose weight but struggle to make lasting changes if they don't learn new tools for their emotional life.
    Other than that you are already doing what you can really.
  • clags301
    clags301 Posts: 69 Member
    I don't know....People always say "he/she has to do it for himself, but I think sometimes doing it for someone else at first gets the ball rolling and reminds us that it's what makes us happy anyways.

    I've been married 26 years, to a completely non-controlling hubby, but he knows I am happiest (and more pleasant) at a certain size/weight, and he doesn't hide the fact that he likes me best that way, too.

    I respond to honesty and tough love. I don't like it in the moment, but I always appreciate it later, as it's what gets my butt in gear when I can't seem to get going on my own.

    Might be worth a little tough love. For both of you.
  • eyer0ll
    eyer0ll Posts: 313 Member
    everher wrote: »
    eyer0ll wrote: »
    She won't be able to make him get healthy. So yeah, she needs to decide whether she's willing to marry a man who very well may always have health problems that are at least in part related to his weight.

    If she can't accept him as he is now, she shouldn't marry him since there's no guarantee he'll change.

    OP, this a minor derail but I think it's the only thing you have control over.

    I agree with this, but I disagree with what the previous poster said about it being about "loving him and accepting him like he is".

    It's not like OP's fiancé is a few pounds overweight. . .we're talking obesity here and he doesn't seem to want to do anything about it. He's even experiencing health issues and won't go to the doctor to see if there's something wrong besides the weight.

    I agree OP can't make him change and I do think she should consider all this before marrying him.

    To clarify: I am not saying OP shouldn't marry her fiancé because of his weight.

    I am saying if she cannot be okay with him being at any weight -- including heavier than he is now -- she shouldn't marry him. Both of them will end up resentful and miserable.
  • CattOfTheGarage
    CattOfTheGarage Posts: 2,750 Member
    I think there's a lot of good advice here - tough, but good. I feel for you, OP, because this is a hard set of issues to deal with.

    For what it's worth, here's what I think:

    - First, I think it's important to do some soul-searching, as others have said, and decide if you can deal with the fact that he may never change, may have increasing health problems, and may die young. Obviously that's the worst case, and I hope it won't come to that, but if you can't face that, it might be best not to marry him. Marriage is a total commitment to a person, both as they are now, and at their worst in the future. Don't assume they will change for the better.

    - Assuming you decide you can handle the outcome if he doesn't change, I would sit him down and have a serious, straight-up talk with him about your concerns, the health risks he is facing, and why you, as his friend and ally, feel deeply that he needs to face up to this issue and change his behaviour. Emphasise that you will help and support him in any way you can. Emphasise also that you are not going to nag or badger him on this. It is his deal, but you are there for him if he wants help.

    - Then I would leave it, and only talk about it again if he invites your help. Revisiting the issue over and over may only make him more reluctant to tackle it. If he asks for help or advice, give it, otherwise leave it.

    - Meanwhile, don't let his behaviour affect yours. Keep pursuing your own goals. I don't know if he has any tendency to sabotage, hopefully not, but don't let him if so. Your goals are your goals.

    I hope this helps and I hope that you find a good balance that can work for everyone. Best of luck.