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When Your Partner Isn’t Supportive



*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!

Better Bariatric


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good blog.  

i just had surgery and hubby said things are changing already.  

he will grab a bag of chips shortly after dinner and start to just chip out.  ill make a statement like are you still hungry or why do u need that. and he will get snappy and say things like he doesn't have a stomach the size of a pea or he just wants to eat something other then the healthy crap i'm serving for dinner.  

I let him know that my statement came from jealousy because i would love to chip out with him.  and he says that hes just sad that since surgery hes hungrier then usual and feels he needs to eat more. we apologize to one another and i try not to say anything when he grabs his yummy snack that i cant have and he says that he'll stop being insensitive cause he knows its hard for me to break my relationship with food.   

honesty and communication works wonders.  

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Very interesting and is 'food for thought!'. My hubby isn't keen for surgery because he has never had a weight issue in his life and doesn't understand why I can't just diet & exercise more. I can see how there will be strained times post surgery but hadn't given much thought about it. I will now, Thankyou.

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I just had surgery on 01/07/2014, and although I am single I am definitely shocked at how relationships have changed already, even before I really started losing weight.  I have been pursued by a handful of gentleman.  I have been honest about my plans for WLS with everyone.  However, the day after I had it was like I fell off the earth.  They lost interest in me,  Not only them but some friends as well.  Amazing isn't it.  But I always heard that if you have a good relationship it will only get stronger after WLS and if it is bad it will only get worse.  I can already say that this is the case for me with all relationships.  My family is happy for me to be losing weight, but they could care less what size I am.  The same goes for my "real friends".  but there are some people who seem to be annoyed that you are doing anything to better yourself.  I don't think it really has as much with weight loss or not being attracted to thinner woman, than it does that it is hard for them to handle the fact that you are doing something to better yourself.  Sad isn't it.   

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My husband is showing support in some ways like listening & talking to me about this surgery. he also says stuff like we have lost weight before on our own we can do it again. he has like 10-15lbs to loose I have 12X that much. I have tried so many plans and programs I know this is right for me. I continue to help educate him while I get answers for myself. He also says things like "you do not have to tell people you are having WLS" I think he thinks it is the easy way out compared to what he does to loose weight.

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Very thoughtful blog post.  I would suspect that in most cases the amount of favorable support from a spouse is directly related to the strength of the marriage relationship prior to the surgery.  My spouse (of over 30 years) and I are best friends, and she has supported me throughout my weight loss surgery journey.  With respect to food, we are aided by the fact that she is a vegetarian (I am not) and so we already want and eat very different foods.  

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I am 2.5yrs post op. My husband was not supportive, l can now see there were many reasons why. Some fear for me l suppose. I felt very alone going through it which l now feel sad about as support is so important and infact this forum was my greatest support. I have had amazing results and my health and future are so good compared to where l would now be if l had not gone ahead. I wish l had done it sooner for ME. I waited a couple if years to TRY HARDER to do it myself!! as my husband requested. My advice would be dont let anybody stop you. If you dont have your health you cant enjoy life. And you only get one cgance at life. Do this for you. Get support elsewhere. If your husband isnt supportive it is a reflection on him. I am still in my marriage but do carry the memory of him not supporting me which is sad.

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I think judy7yuri is correct that for a lot of people, your weight loss and betterment of yourself often, for them, highlights their perceived failure to do so and it's upsetting for them. Really nothing to do with you, but when they see you, especially during the active weight loss phase, they are reminded. 

I recently visited my extended family in California and saw many people I hadn't since pre-WLS. Everyone was hugely complimentary, but those who had perhaps put on a few pounds never failed to then tell me all the reasons and justifications why. Personally, I don't care if someone is overweight or not - I do my best to not become judgmental with regard to weight because it wasn't so long ago that I was obese and struggling. It was clear though that my losing weight focused their attention on their own personal issues. I hope once everyone gets used to my much-reduced size it will be less in their face and we can move on topic-wise. I really don't want my success to make anyone feel bad about themselves. 

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