Saturday, July 11, 2009

I want a divorce because you're fat -- Part 2

In April I wrote a post entitled I want a divorce because you're fat. It was about a friend of mine who is overweight, and his wife was divorcing him because he is 150 pounds overweight.

I haven't talked to him since April. He stopped by my cubicle yesterday and we chatted about how things were going, about his divorce. I could see a sadness in him that I hadn't seen before.

I told him about my post I had written after our lunch, and the surprising number of people that had posted comments. Some siding with him and some siding with his wife. He asked to read the post so I sent it to him, with the comments.

Here's the email he sent me after he read the post and the comments other people had posted. This is from Ben:

D ~

Thanks. That was amazing to read.
It really puts things into perspective for me.

I don't blame her a bit for wanting to leave me. I did not do anything to correct the problem and did not give her any hope that I would.

With so many years of issues (baggage) stored in our closet, like not playing ball with the kids, not taking family vacations, not doing any exercises with or without her, what choice did I really give her? I was always way too focused on making money with my home business to provide the family with money to buy whatever they wanted because I was not available physically to do the things that normal size people do with their families. And the snowball just continued to roll down hill over the years.

Yes my family has a history of medical issues that are very serious and I should be doing something to prevent that from happening to me, but I didn't.

I don't really know what I was looking for in life, but for what ever reason didn't feel I was getting it from home.

I always felt like I was missing a role model in life to emulate as a good father and husband. But with my father-in-laws death two days before our wedding and having to bury him one day after, and my father that was a wife beater and alcoholic I really did not have anyone to emulate what it was that I should do for myself and my family.

So I guess my struggle was to do my best given what little knowledge I could gather along the way in life.

The last positive thing I can remember hearing from my wife was that I was a good provider, just not a good companion.

Please share this comment with your blog because I want them to know that sometimes you just don't get the story of life until you read the last page of the last chapter, and by then its to late to go back and make any changes.

Guess it is time to pick up a new book. Anyone got any suggestions for a good read on a 40+ Male, struggling to loose weight, and make ends meet now that he's on his own, with a full time job, and a business of 20+ customers and a desire to be a successful entrepreneur, so he can send his two kids to college starting in four years?

Oh well in my book LIFE does and will go on, it will just be a little different.

Thanks for the insights.

~ B

I want anyone out there that is overweight to realize what they're missing in life. I'm not saying someone should divorce their spouse because they're overweight. But I am saying if you're the overweight spouse, you are missing a lot in life and that it has a negative impact on your spouse and on your marriage.

I was that spouse, the overweight person in the marriage who didn't want to go anywhere or do anything. I was missing out on life and so was my husband. He never threatened divorce, but honestly, I would understand it if he had chosen that route.

The whole thing is sad. Ben realized too late the importance of his family and the importance of being healthy. It's not too late for you.

8 comments:

Sara said...

Wow Diana, what your friend said spoke to me on so many levels.

I didn't read your original post until today, but I have to admit that I do NOT believe that the "for better or for worse" clause in marriage vows somehow gives our spouses license to do whatever they wish with their bodies and their lives and that we must stand by and blithely accept it. I believe that until we stop considering obesity merely a character flaw with an aesthetic component and give it the same weight and consideration as other debilitating, destructive conditions that have implications far beyond the borders of our own minds and bodies then we'll never make strides toward beating it.

If a spouse was gambling away all of the household money and everyone was suffering for it and they refused to address the issue, we'd tell the other spouse to pick up the kids and run. If a heroin (or alcohol, or porn, or whatever) addiction had your spouse withdrawing completely from every part of their life and endangering their health we'd stage an intervention and encourage dissolution of the marrigae if it didn't work. But if someone is dangerously obese and it is affecting everyone's lives in countless ways and they're unwilling to change, we cry foul and pull out the whole "for better or for worse" clause in a hurry.

I believe your friend wrote with poignant and insightful accuracy just how much size DOES matter. I thank you for the thought provoking post, Diana. Great read, and good conversation to come.

Brooke said...

I just posted on my personal blog about how I have never been the one to be "in charge" of doing physical things with my kids. That was my husband's "job". For the 4th, we went to a fireworks show and we sat on an onramp so the kids can run up and slide down the hill while we wait - well, I've lost 100 pounds and I was actually running up and sliding down this year. It's like a small miracle. My girls are young, so they won't remember me not being active with them - BUT I WILL - and I never want to go back to that. I really didn't realize what I was missing. It's sad. But now, I've changed and things are different. Very different. Thanks for the post - it really does put things into perspective.

Jenny S said...

Wow... that's an amazing post... so much to think about that I had never considered before. Just thought I'd let you know that I started a weight loss blog myself today... I hope I can be like you in your amazing success.

My Fat Spouse said...

Have you ever read through the posts on myfatspouse.org?

Sue said...

Wow...what a beautiful post.

I recently lost 50 pounds...my faith had a lot to do with it, but sometimes I am not so strong and this post inspired me.

Thank you.

Lisa said...

So true! i tounched on that today on my site because so often peolpe say you have to do this for YOU but honestly you owe the members of your family who love you the chance of being present in their life. Great post. thanks!

- Lisa
www.losewithlisa.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

I am a 40+ male who has lost 50 lbs. and I am still going. I read Ben's comment as seeking advice, so here goes:

In my research I've found that there is a consensus on 3 really good programs: Weight Watchers, South Beach Diet, and NutriSystem. I didn't use any of them. I counted calories and tried to keep them under 2000 a day.

I also started running, after I had lost enough weight to do it without injury (BMI ~33). I highly recommend the Couch to 5K plan, which eases fat bodies like me from being a couch potato to being able to run a 5K in 9 weeks.

Diet and exercise are essential, but people who successfully lose weight do diet and exercise myriad different ways.

Good luck.

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