When my wife and I look at my before and after photos from gastric bypass surgery, I always ask her the same question:
“What the hell were you thinking?”
It’s a funny question. Sure. But the truth is, as more time passes even she has struggled to come up with an answer more forgiving than: “Well you had a great personality.”
The truth about weight loss surgery, or any major lifestyle change for that matter, is that it can dramatically affect relationships. I’m sure the same can be said of changes made in other aspects of life.
The death of a child can cause rifts in the parents.
If one spouse quits smoking, it can have major repercussions.
I’ve listened to many horror stories about post-gastric bypass divorces. It seems that the two main culprits were resentment and commitment. Resentment from the spouse who hasn’t dropped weight aimed at the one who is dramatically changing.
The commitment issue can be more problematic. Either the person losing weight starts to look elsewhere as they feel that maybe they now have better options, or the person who hasn’t lost weight starts to feel as though that may be happening. Either way, divorce rates for post-surgery patients are high, too high for me to not think through before going through with it.
I adore my wife. Those of you who have met her understand exactly why that is. I definitely scored about my pay grade when we met. She is kind, patient and truly enthusiastic about…well just about everything. She is one of the main reasons that I decided to have my surgery.
1) I wanted to be around for my children.
2) I wanted to be able to be to fulfill the commitment I made to her on our wedding day, and not have “…til death do us part.” come sooner than either of us were ready for
3) I wanted her to be proud to be seen with me
That last one means a hell of a lot more than most people would think. My wife used to tell me she thought I was sexy, but now I actually believe her. But with that change came unexpected side effects.
Women would try to compliment me to my wife, but unknowingly make things worse. Telling someone, “Mike is sure looking good, you better watch out,” may be meant as a compliment, but what it does is sow doubt in her mind. We had patches where I was concerned about what she thought.
I am a man. As a man I have a healthy (well at least to me it is healthy) appreciation for a beautiful woman. But that doesn’t mean that I ever think that the grass is greener on the other side of the fence.
My wife is a gift that I get to experience daily. But that doesn’t mean that this journey we have been on hasn’t been trying on us both. I think that we are both better off as a result, but it has been challenging nonetheless.