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For those of you worried about divorce statistics

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Hi all.  I had Gastric Bypass in 2013. Prior to surgery,  I read several topics on WLS and how it affects a marriage.  I thought I had the best support I could ask for from a husband and figured our marriage would survive through the change.   It turned out to be true..... He was the greatest support.  He ate what I ate, he didn't eat crap in front of me, he supported my attendance to support groups and sometimes even went with me.  He would remind me to drink water and chew more; eat slower.  Even supported and paid for a tummy tuck. 

Fast forward a year.... I became very active.  using all my free time to go hiking or swimming.  I wanted to tone my body after all the weight loss.  I started doing p90x.  I was very aware of my activity.  However, he still wanted to stay in and build a relationship with his Xbox.  

Fast forward another 2 years.... We were just arriving in Germany!! He is a military man and we would move every three years.  This time it was a whole new country.  I was so excited.  I started planning all these trip and adventures.  It was so easy and cheap to travel to places like Paris or Amsterdam.  Again.... he wanted to stay in with the Xbox.  I found us growing more apart.  I would plan trips with friends and he would stay home.  I couldn't get him excited to do anything.  He was constantly texting on his phone with family and friends back home.  He couldn't get used to living so far away from everyone.  He started to use his free time to go back to the states to see family.  I stayed in Germany because traveling state side every few months wasn't affordable for the both of us.  

We were living different lives.  I spend my days hiking and exploring cities.  Wine tasting in France.  Laying on the beach in Spain.  Pub crawls in Prague. Camel rides in Morocco.  I took up snorkeling, scuba diving, spelunking, free climbing, castle hikes and exploring ruins.  He still had no desire to join me.  He still stayed home.  We stopped talking.  stopped spending time with one another.  I suggested counseling... he said no.  I suggested date nights... that happened twice.  I tried many times to talk to him and he would just check out of the conversation, usually face in his phone.  We seemed to only talk in loud tones, usually about not talking.  I understood that he was depressed and missing family.... but I couldn't understand why he couldn't  communicate that with me.  

I eventually started to sleep on the couch.... still no conversation.   After two months of couch surfing, I change our office to a second bedroom and moved his things into that room.  He fully supported the decision with no conversation about it or objections.  For the next 5 months he isolated himself in that room. I only saw him when he came out to get food.  Finally after about 8 months of silence we had a heart to heart.  I told him that I no longer loved him and I didnt know how to help him.  He agreed that he no longer loved me.  He said that I was a completely different person after surgery and I wasn't the person he fell in love with.  Turns out he liked when I was bigger because I had less confidence.  I needed him and relied on him for emotional support.  I needed him for little things like going grocery shopping with me because I was scared of getting judged if I had ice cream in my cart.  Once I lost the weight and became independent, I no longer relied on him as I did before.  I was more energetic and he prefered the sedentary lifestyle.  I was more outgoing and he preferred the shut in.  I was more ambitious and he preferred the underachiever.  I was more confident and he preferred the insecurities.  

At this point it became clear.... after 10 years of marriage, 15 years invested time together... age 38... I had to start over.  There was nothing I could do to make it work.  Did I want to?  If he didn't support the better me... Did I want to stay married?  

We continued to live together in Germany as roommates, each living our life.  We agreed to stay together for convenience.  I didn't want to leave Germany and he didn't want to live in single barracks.  

Now, 2 years later.  We are back in the states.  We lived in Germany for 3 years and I had the time of my life.  We are now living in TN and are the best of friends (and yes, still roommates).  We are signing divorce papers in a few months.  We will finally go our separate ways once I have established a source of income in this new area.  He feels as though he owes me enough time to be able to take care of myself financially.   I hope that once I move out on my own we will remain friends.  We have spent the last 15 years in each others company but only time can tell.  

In the end we didn't get divorced because of cheating or fighting.  We grew apart because I became a different person. In my opinion, a better person. This surgery opens so many doors for you but can close others.  You will become a better version of yourself.  There will be people in your life that do not necessarily like the new version of you.  If someone told me the surgery would make me healthy, energetic and happy but I would lose my husband, I would still do it.  Having this surgery has changed my life and I would never undo it.  Do not let people hold you back. Be the best you .....live each day as it were your last.  1175641579_2017-05-1715_29.28(2).jpg.4c85c334510763bc258d316e53efe554.jpg

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Wow, you've had some grand adventures!  The loss of a marriage is sad but it sounds like the two of you have been able to work through things positively.  Way to stay strong and live your best life!

Good to see you pop back on here...I remember your name from awhile back. I don't spend as much time here as I did in the early post-op period but it does seem to help me stay on track. 

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@Rainvenezia - congratulations on your fabulous success at using weight loss surgery to become thin, healthy and active.  You are an inspiration to us all!

I am sorry that your weight loss resulted in the dissolution of your marriage.  It sounds like your former husband could not handle your metamorphosis into an active and confident woman.  As your posting notes, that woman always was in you (in your words "You will become a better version of yourself"), but it took the weight loss for her to come out. 

For other readers of this post, I should note that divorce is not inevitable after weight loss surgery.  I remain very very happily married to my wonderful wife.  We recently celebrated our 35th anniversary.  She was, and remains, my best friend and my biggest supporter.  I cannot image life without her.

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2 hours ago, Res Ipsa said:

As your posting notes, that woman always was in you (in your words "You will become a better version of yourself"), but it took the weight loss for her to come out. 

It was definitely nothing in me like this wanting to get out. I'm still not into dressing up, social events etc. - and I admit that it wouldn't feel too good if my husband all of a sudden after being together for over 25 years would have these ideas of going here and there and then somewhere else and let's do this and let's do that and then some more.


Not this woman here. I work a stressful job with having to work nights and weekends. I'm just grateful for a weekend on the couch when I really have a two-day weekend.

In the end WLS is a major life event that has the power to change people or rather people's behavior, just like e. g. moving out of your parent's home, entering or leaving the working force, a chronic illness etc. - and when one of these things strike, couples might not be made for each other any more. It's a sad thing, that's right, but that's life.

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IMO what he couldn't handle was that she became a healthy, confident woman -  the best version of herself.  I am glad that your relationship has stayed amicable. 

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3 hours ago, LeeC said:

IMO what he couldn't handle was that she became a healthy, confident woman -  the best version of herself. 

That's what so many people say. I'm not so sure if that's really the truth behind divorce rates going up after WLS.

However, what does this imply? That many marriages started on the wrong foot anyway? Some woman marries a man that she doesn't really want to because she thinks she can get no-one better? Or some man marries a women he doesn't really love? I think this is assuming the worst (I'm not saying that this doesn't exist, I'm 100% sure it does).

I personally think that changed behavior or preferences can kill a relationship. Not only a romantic one but also a friendship. Two people no longer compatible.

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  • 6 months later...

Nine years ago when I had surgery, I had been married just six months.  He only knew me as 265 pounds.  As the weight came off, he seemed to expect that I would be more physical with him and essentially worship the ground he walked on.  I think he expected an emotional metamorphis too.  Instead I saw his jealousy over my weight loss grow and rage.  He was not overweight, but he was very, very insecure.  He re-established relationships with women behind my back.  He wasn't terribly good at hiding them, so I figured out what was transpiring and we split in an unkind way.  Looking back, I wish I had handled myself with more grace and dignity.  I was heartbroken to be divorced, and I really loved him.  He married one of his old girlfriends and we went our separate ways.  I was single for five years, not by choice, but because of emotional/transfer addiction struggles.  I have been remarried 18 months now.  We are doing ok.  We are best friends first, parents second, and lovers third, I would say.  A good marriage should grow in intimacy, it isn't a given, so he and I learn new things about each other every day after over 2 years together.  

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