*I am NOT a mental health professional and I urge you to seek appropriate counseling for any relationship problems*
For many of us who have weight loss surgery, we have had weight issues most of our lives. I for one battled with my weight since the age of 12. So when we hear the words “you’re approved” it’s a mix of feelings; relief, happiness, nervousness, excitement…I’m sure you can fill in many others you felt when you heard the news for yourself. We all imagine our spouse/significant other will be behind us 100% in our decision to change our life for the better and put an end to our obesity struggles.
But what happens when you’re partner doesn’t support your decision to go under the knife? Why would he/she react this way? More and more I’m hearing of couples having relationship issues either during the approval process or soon after the surgery is done. There are many reasons that your partner might not support your decision for weight loss surgery. For many, couples met and fell in love while at their current weight. Basically who you are (and are trying to change with your WLS) is who your partner fell in love with. The new you will take some getting used to.
Some lack of support may be due to worry that you will now be more attractive to other people and leave him/her for someone else. If your partners is also heavy and unhappy with their weight, good ‘ole fashioned jealousy can be at play that you are able to change for the better and they are not.
Sometimes, without realizing it, our surgery becomes our sole focus, and that can wear on the other person (and honestly our other friends and family, not just our partners). It’s a big deal to us, and even if our loved ones are happy for us, and supportive, it doesn’t mean they want to hear about it during ever conversation…that’s when support groups come in handy, so we can talk about it to our hearts content!
If your partner is truly disrespecting you, insulting you, or hurting you in anyway, do NOT tolerate that! But if it seems to be simply they are having a rough time with the changes your surgery brought on, try talking honestly about them, and meet him/her halfway, and see if attitudes can shift to make both of you happy again. One of the biggest changes in your life doesn’t have to mean an end to your relationship!