My husband may be permanently disabled and I'm asking myself questions

I have emptied pee-tainers and picked up more than my fair share of household chores and grocery shopping while my husband recovers from ankle/foot surgery. He’s done this once before. The first foot recovered like a charm or a champ or whatever the fuck you want to call it (he went from flat-footed to arch-footed).

The second foot is having many more issues. He’s heavier now than he was before–approx 300 lbs–and there are complications. More surgeries are apparently called-for.

I am lighter than I’ve ever been. I got weight loss surgery in 2016 and I’m down from 320lbs to 175ish. I’m no prize, not in my twenties anymore. I’ve got loose skin and all that shit, but I’m cuter with my clothes on.

Fortunately, our employer has been willing to work with his restrictions. He’s been working from home for months. I am still pitching in more than my fair share and wondering if this will ever end.

We were wandering a flea market the other day. He pulled out a chair to sit on (that was not intended for customers to sit on) and I realized that… it very well may not. And I’m not sure I’m okay with that.

Through sickness and in health is an easy enough thing to parrot during the exchange of wedding vows, but how much is too much? I’m 34 years old. He’s about to turn 35. I did not… NOT sign up for this, but the thought of living without him is… literally unthinkable.

I dunno. There’s a big enormous ginormous bucket of I don’t fucking know right now.

No kids and there never will be, if it matters.

Listen, if you’re unhappy with the relationship, the only sensible thing to do is get out. Otherwise it’s life full of resentment (Which already shows in your OP) for BOTH parties involved…

Morally wise, IDK, that’s something you’re gonna have to come to terms with yourself. But no matter what conclusions you come to, that still doesn’t change the fact that you need to get out.

Sorry you’re going through this.

Don’t listen to Grrr!, apparently they didn’t finish reading :stuck_out_tongue:

What can be done about the weight? That seems like a big item, and one which should help with the foot if it can be brought down.

Work with your doctors as much as possible to make sure that he’s getting treatment for everything that’s needed. And do you have any sort of counseling resources available?

There’s your problem right there. It is evident that you did not actually mean what you said on your wedding day.

You DID, in point of fact, sign up for this when you made those vows. If you did not want to sign up for it you never should have gotten engaged, much less married.

Marriage is for LIFE; plain and simple. Not until things get messy or inconvenient.

I think you need to talk to him about it. Not “You’re a drag and I want to leave”. rather “This is becoming too much for me, and we need to see if we can shift things around to make it easier. Because right now, this won’t work in the long term.” Then look at it - If he can walk around a flea market, even a bit, he should be able to make it to the bathroom. If he can stand at the sink for 5 minutes, he should be able to wash the dishes in stages. Find your major pain points and look for solutions.


Says who? Some clown in a robe? You’re required to be miserable for your entire life because you made a mistake when young? Utter nonsense, IMO.

Is he willing to get healthy? My husband is disabled and it’s not something that can be fixed. He’s not overweight, and he does what he can, but part of the reason I’m going to the gym four times a week is so I can heft the wheelchair into the trunk when I’m in my 70s. Bless him, he couldn’t sleep last night due to his pain, so he spent two hours on our home gym. He tries, goddammit, and that’s so important.

You may need to have a sit down with him, his doctor, and possibly a therapist. I think he owes it to you to fix what can be fixed. If that means going on an exercise routine and eating healthy then so be it. Fix the things that can be fixed, so the stuff that cannot be fixed aren’t complicated by other issues.

Flyer, I think you’re being a bit harsh. To me, sickness and in health to me means you stick by each other in sickness, but you also have the responsibility to maintain your health so you can be together as long as you can.

OP, i think you are despondant because of the circumstsnce. Don’t make decisions at this stage. Gradually decrease your help to his person. He needs to take responsibility for his own hygiene, that includes pee-tainers. My advice, give it more time. You owe yourself that much.

So ok your husband is recovering from foot surgery but meanwhile you’ve lost some weight through surgery, starting to feel confidence about yourself and now this porker is holding you back from living wild and free, is that the situation?

I know you’re frustrated, but do you love your husband? You mention how much work you’re doing and how much cuter you feel, but never once do you express sympathy for what he’s going through.

OP, discuss with him. And you may have already, to some extents. Your frustration is evident in what you shared, maybe you can read it to him pretty much verbatim, or its main points anyway, because threatening to leave does not form a good discussion basis if you want to find solutions, but rather it’s more delivering an ultimatum, which may not be the best route towards mutual problem solving. Maybe a “this is super-serious shit I must emphatically emphasize to you” kind of marital summit meeting.

The words in our oaths and vows weren’t just said by someone wearing a silly robe, they were also said by each one of us who took those vows, and in front of at least one witness (usually). Typically, we meant them when we said them. Typically, we didn’t say “I promise to be with you but only if you continue to make me happy, and only if I remain happy”. I do believe there are grounds for leaving, and those typically involve sexual infidelity, substance addiction / abuse, and/or physical abuse — and those are not absolutes. Each person decides for themself when enough is enough. None of us here on The Dope know everything you are dealing with, Rachel.

Yesterday as I was browsing through some shops (with my wife, as it turns out), I came across this magnet with a quote I really liked:

The secret to life is not learning how to live past the rain, it’s learning how to dance in it.

Sincerely, I hope we Dopers can help, and I wish you well.

He might look into bariatric surgery if diets don’t work.

Maybe remind him couples get through their most difficult challenges by working as a team. Tell him that’s not how this feels to you. Be honest that you’re questioning whether you can meet this challenge, and fear you’ll never be able go the distance, as things stand.

It would be really helpful to bring to the table some suggestions on what you’d like to see from him. Be brutally honest, if he can’t pull more of his own weight, around the house etc, you seriously doubt you can keep this up.

See what he has to say. Leave it with him and tell him you want him to think about it before responding, then you go out and give him some time.

Sometimes people need their world shook up a little bit, especially if they’re struggling to recover from something so disruptive to their lives.

Wishing you Good Luck!

Annnnd now you see why the divorce rate after weight loss surgery is so high.

If he is a good person overall, then I would try to talk to him about how you are feeling and what you think he can do to meet you halfway. I mean, if you hadn’t had your surgery, it is quite possible that you could have been the one having health issues from your weight, and wouldn’t you want him to give you a chance to try to work on things before leaving over it?

The argument I’ve heard is that if the person who got surgery was skinny when the couple met, got heavy and then got surgery to get skinny again, then divorce doesn’t really skyrocket. But if the person who got surgery was heavy when the couple met, and is now skinny, then the divorce rate shoots up because now they feel they can do better.

For OP, I’d recommend encouraging husband to get bariatric surgery and a good pair of Z-coils to see if that helps.

An important thing to do, and it is very hard, is to remember that he is not being disabled AT you. I’m sure this sucks for him, too. I am in no way blaming you for feeling the way do, just saying that a change in mindset can help with the resentment, even if it doesn’t do anything for the underlying problem. It also sounds like you’re doing a great job. You’ve been taking care of him when he really needs you, but this isn’t a situation that can go on indefinitely.

A key point from when I had my broken leg—I wanted to help around the house, it was a matter of figuring out how to overcome my physical limitations. If your husband doesn’t want to help, but would rather wallow in his misery, then he might also be dealing with depression. It is important to get help with that, too. No amount of glaring at him or asking if he can just sit on the bed while he folds the laundry are going to fix depression.

A few random useful bits I learned from having a broken leg: A tall stool in the kitchen let me cook; a thrift store plastic lawn chair and a detachable shower head let me bathe; I couldn’t vacuum or put away clutter, but I could clean surfaces and bathrooms; almost all big stores provide electric carts.

So when you married, you were 320lbs and he was nearing 300? Or did you both gain weight after marriage? Because if that’s the case, you certainly did sign up for this. Unless there was some pact to lose weight added to your vows or simply promises to one another.

Either way, if it helps, consider how he’d treat you if the situation were reversed. If you were the one to break your ankle, which I hear even thin people do (but don’t quote me), and there were unexpected complications and thus you needed assistance, do you think your husband would have pitched in accordingly? Did you require any help or accommodation during your weight-loss surgery recovery time? Did he help you then? If he didn’t, and if you think he wouldn’t do so in any circumstance, I don’t blame you for being resentful.

OTOH, I’m not sure why his requiring a chair after wandering around a flea market, esp. if he has foot issues, is some damning proof that he’ll never change. Did you require any rest after exertion when you were 320? Didn’t seem to prove that you couldn’t subsequently lose weight courtesy of surgery and change of diet.

And let’s look at the timing, too. You began to lose weight two years ago, at 33. Why do you think the fact that your husband has held on to his extra weight a couple years after you came to your epiphany indicates that he’s never ever ever going to change? Did he pass some invisible barrier that exists between 33 and 35 during which the window of opportunity to decide to change one’s lifestyle slams shut, permanently?

It’s entirely understandable to feel frustrated because it’s damn tough to help someone who requires assistance. Even when you love someone, it’s exhausting. So you’re entitled to vent. As an observer, I just think it’s way too soon to be considering cutting him loose, if indeed you are. Doesn’t seem fair to a guy who’s taking (not very much) longer than you to address a health issue you once shared.

None of the weddings I’ve performed (and they’ve all been performances) have included anything about sickness or health.

When faced with a difficult decision ask yourself, “Can I live with this?” If so you’re halfway there.

I’ve known people that have faced similar decision, some have partners that wind up with 20 year prison sentences. Is it fair that a 25 year old needs to wait out 20 of the most productive years of his/her life?

This is something you ultimately have to decide for yourself, and whatever the results are good or bad, you’re going to have to live with it. So again, I say ask yourself, “Can I live with this?”

If household chores are the issue, if the guy can get around a flea market, he can fold some clothes and do some dishes. Before his foot surgery, did you have one of those old fashioned marriages where the man does nothing around the house except take out garbage and squash spiders? If not, tell him he needs to pitch in. If you did all the chores before, tell him that things can’t be like that anymore, and he needs to pitch in. Either way, he needs to pitch in. Tell him.

But to me it sounds like you’re thinking how cute you are, and you’re tempted to look elsewhere. You say that living without him is unthinkable to you. Lemme ask you, is that because you still love him, or because he takes care of you financially? Or perhaps a change that big would be a lot of effort and you’re just too tired?

If you still love him, my advice is cuddle up to him. Flirt and spend that cuteness you’re feeling on him. He’ll respond, believe me. And you’ll forget about looking elsewhere.

If you don’t love him anymore, and you don’t want to try to love him again, you have a decision to make. Do you help him through his health misfortune as you promised to do when you married him, or just abandon him, and break that vow.

If honor means something to you, you’ll know what do. If not, well, if you can live without honor, that’s up to you.