Wife Considering Divorce Over Husband’s Weight Gain: ‘Tired of Him’

Nearly 3,000 readers on Mumsnet voted 89% for it not being unreasonable for a user to want to leave their partner after gaining weight.

In the post, user1471462428 asked “Am I being unreasonable?” (AIBU) after the father of her children became unable to perform some childcare duties.

obesity in men
An image of an obese man measuring himself. A woman has approached Mumsnet asking if it was unreasonable to want to leave her husband after he gained weight.
Deepak Verma/Getty Images

The World Health Organization reports that at least 2.8 million people die each year worldwide due to being overweight or obese. In 2016, 1.9 billion adults were overweight and 650 million were obese, and the prevalence of obesity almost tripled between 1975 and 2016.

The Mumsnet poster wrote: “I know I’m gonna get burned but AIBU for having a hard time co-parenting someone obese.

“He can’t do rides or inflatables because he’s over the weight limit. He can’t play football/netball with our kids because he’s breathless and has no energy. His days are focused on food and when he can sleep next (he’s fighting exhaustion, I guess, from moving around with his weight).”

Explaining that she was fed up with being the only active parent and had unsuccessfully suggested gastric banding or dieting, the Mumsnet poster wrote: “Sometimes I worry he’ll die in his sleep and that the children find him. I make it recognized that he is now at the stage where he is essentially handicapped.

“I recognize that he is sick and that the obsession to eat is a compulsion, but I no longer have sympathy for it. Is it horrible to leave him?” add the poster.

In a later update, the woman explained: “He just weighed himself (he’s been gaining weight since last month) so his weight is now 110kg, he’s 5.7” and his BMI [body mass index] is 38 years old. Her fat is all over her belly. I know he has sleep apnea, but he refuses to go to the doctor.

“He had prediabetes a few years ago and managed to reverse it but won’t be coming back to see if it came back. He wasn’t allowed to take a child aggression class this morning because he weighed too, he went for a sleep surprise, surprise!She also mentioned that her partner was 35 kilograms (77 pounds) heavier than when they met.

Ruth Ettenberg Freeman, LCSW, president and founder of Peace At Home Parenting Solutions, said Newsweek that she would advise the exhausted mom to “take a break.”

Freeman added that while the partner’s condition requires both physical and medical treatment, and the OP wants to be supportive and open-minded, “he does nothing to remedy. ยป

She said: “It may, indeed, be life threatening and it certainly puts her life and that of your family at risk. It sounds like you want to leave, but you are concerned about the impact of this decision. You you are well advised to take this decision seriously.

“At the same time, if he is unwilling to resolve the issue by seeking treatment, you may want to consider arranging couples therapy. Take this opportunity to let him know clearly and kindly that you are not stay with him only if he takes his condition very seriously and seeks active and prompt treatment.

“It won’t be an easy process for him, dealing with obesity can be complex, but I guess you would be more comfortable and supportive if he were engaged in solving this problem that affects you all,” said Freeman said.

“A couples therapist can help you communicate with your husband and keep your boundaries around this issue. If necessary, have your own therapist work out what you need to say and make a plan for your well-being and that of your child.

“Your husband doesn’t necessarily have a choice of what condition he’s in, but he does have a choice to seek treatment, even if he’s afraid it won’t work,” Freeman added.

Users in the comments were overwhelmingly supportive, with AquaticSewingMachine commenting, “I couldn’t live or co-parent with someone who was functionally killing themselves, whether with alcohol, drugs, overwork or food.”

IncompleteSenten wrote: “He needs to see a doctor. At 5 7 and 16 stone there is no way he is suffering from what you are describing.”

Mumsnet user FleecyMcFleeceFace posted: “You don’t need any excuse or permission to leave a relationship. If things are as you describe, with you basically doing all the parenting work while it’s going on. is resting, then I can see why you want to separate.”

Newsweek was unable to verify the details of the case.

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