11

votes

"Divorcing" from Your Partner's Eating Habits

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created July 18, 2012 at 8:59 PM

My wife and I have been married for 11 years and I had been struggling with my weight for many of those years. Some points of conflict:

1) my wife is an ultramarathoner and nearly everything she eats is carb, often processed carb. 2) Despite being half my size, she can out-eat me by a factor of 3, no problem. 3) My exercise habits are slower (walking/hiking with some weight training) 4) My wife is a great cook, and makes her own bread and ice cream.

Two months ago, we "divorced". We basically talked about our nutritional needs and decided to go our separate ways. I do my own food shopping and cooking. After some experimentation I've adopted a low carb Paleo diet with intermittent fasting. My wife eats how she likes/needs, and she makes her bread and ice cream now only when there will be many other mouths around to consume it. We go out with friends perhaps 1-2 nights per month which I pronounce to be cheat days (beer and the odd potato might be consumed).

Having done this, I am down over 16 lbs without even thinking hard, my energy is great, and keeping at the routine just feels good.

I'm writing this just to pass on the knowledge that just because you are in a relationship that means that you have to try to eat and function the same way. It is important that you do what is right for your body.

Any other stories/experiences along this line?

19ff515e8ec02d95e8f2cf68c3ec1373

(1207)

on January 19, 2013
at 08:11 PM

He does better weight and energy wise on a lower grain diet but won't be disciplined about it. He knows, doesn't care.

5bc61961126827414874d0af0b4e33cd

on January 19, 2013
at 05:52 AM

Why judge him for his choices? It's hard if you're sniping at each other over something as essential as nourishing your bodies according to your own individual needs. It is like griping about how someone breathes.

5bc61961126827414874d0af0b4e33cd

on January 19, 2013
at 05:45 AM

She recognizes our different nutritional needs. And she knows that it isn't good to eat bread and ice cream all the time, so she makes those things only when we have a lot of friends or family over to help make it disappear. On those days I enjoy some ice cream and bread and don't sweat about it. She tends to eat more grains and fruit than I do, generally for breakfast and lunch. I might just have a cup of coffee with her at her breakfast. Our diets overlap OK for an occasional dinner of meat and vegetables.

Fd70d71f4f8195c3a098eda4fc817d4f

(8014)

on January 18, 2013
at 11:50 PM

You'll get there! Stick with it!

8508fec4bae4a580d1e1b807058fee8e

(6244)

on July 21, 2012
at 04:30 PM

a way through your partner's heart is through the gut - there are mouth watering Primal/Paleo dishes! Anyone that comes over for dinner always wants the recipe. For vegetarians (rare) I make rich cream of broccoli soup and offer some farmer's market mozzarella with olive oil, tomato, and balsalmic vinegar. Otherwise it's a delicious meat and veggie stew, chili, soup, etc.

5bc61961126827414874d0af0b4e33cd

on July 19, 2012
at 10:23 PM

My wife eats a lot of potatoes and squash in addition to pasta and grains. She can put it away, not sure how, but she can eat.

239bcbf6d0013fd74890f5c7305daf64

(664)

on July 19, 2012
at 09:11 PM

Man in the Middle, it sounds like you guys have a pretty good system worked out. Glad to hear it! I know, as a married man, the dinner table can cause tension in the relationship. As far as I know, my marriage vows did not include the words, "You shalt eat what he eats" or vice versa. And you are right...it is a diet and not a religion and as long as you can sit there and have an apple while she scarfs down linguine...then I think it works just dandy!

Dc6407193ba441d1438f6f0c06af872b

(4400)

on July 19, 2012
at 05:41 AM

Of course, Man With A Middle, your wife might well do better by replacing her refined carbs and gluten grains with yams, sweet potatoes, squash, etc.

5bc61961126827414874d0af0b4e33cd

on July 18, 2012
at 11:47 PM

Hug your Mom. Like my mom, she expresses her love for you by making sure you are fed (Paleo or not). Keep her in the loop of what you are doing and why.

345c1755efe005edd162b770dc6fb821

(8767)

on July 18, 2012
at 11:41 PM

excellent! nice to see 'making it work' work!

0382fa263de4c83328dc34a56e25437f

(4238)

on July 18, 2012
at 11:12 PM

This is awesome in more ways than I can easily count. +1.

5bc61961126827414874d0af0b4e33cd

on July 18, 2012
at 11:11 PM

The other point is that, Paleo is a model diet, not a religion. What fits me doesn't necessarily HAVE to fit what my wife does. But, like religion, there needs to be some mutual respect and understanding of the differing needs.

5bc61961126827414874d0af0b4e33cd

on July 18, 2012
at 10:59 PM

That's actually something my wife has observed - that she needs to modify her intake drastically in the off-season, and moderate-carb Paleo might be something that fits for her (her words). She likes it when I cook meat & veggies and she is not anti-Paleo, it just doesn't suit her training needs at the moment. She is mystified and somewhat worried about my ability to go without food for 24+ hrs. My response is to pat my belly and say "Don't worry, I packed lunch, and dinner, and tomorrow's breakfast, and elevensies, and snacks...".

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8 Answers

9
5ae48230df3b05bb8f210405f75fc8ed

(153)

on July 18, 2012
at 10:44 PM

I'm still in highschool, living with my family. My mother is a wonderful cook, but she (and the rest of my family) is fond of pasta, potatoes, fried chicken, bread, etc. Even though pretty much everything she cooks is relatively healthy (compared to the average Amercian's standards, certainly), I have decided to stop eating her "non-paleo" dishes. Unfortunately, this offended her at first, so I had a talk with her and explained that, really, her cooking was delicious--the issue was what I decided was best for my health. Though she doesn't really understand why, she is now OK with me cooking for myself if I can't eat her food or only eating the paleo parts of our dinners.

One of the best parts of our new arrangement is that I have volunteered to cook for the family once a week--now every Wednesday I make a yummy, paleo dinner that even my little brothers (age 9 and 12) will enjoy.

0382fa263de4c83328dc34a56e25437f

(4238)

on July 18, 2012
at 11:12 PM

This is awesome in more ways than I can easily count. +1.

5bc61961126827414874d0af0b4e33cd

on July 18, 2012
at 11:47 PM

Hug your Mom. Like my mom, she expresses her love for you by making sure you are fed (Paleo or not). Keep her in the loop of what you are doing and why.

2
1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on September 07, 2013
at 12:44 AM

My boyfriend of 8+ years do that. If I cook some burgers on the grill, he has his on toasted buns while I have mine bun-less. He eats standard SAD and I have an 80/20 Primal diet. Every once in a while I'll splurge on some junk, but not often enough to induce a state of chronic yuckiness.

Last night I grilled up some salmon burgers (not gluten-free, since it had breadcrumbs in them), along with some dried veggie chips & a glass of milk. I don't even know what he had for dinner, since he got home before I did, lol.

We'd already been doing this for years, as he likes a lot of stuff that I don't. It became more pronounced when I went Paleo/Primal, but it's not even something either of us gives a passing thought to. Plus, that means neither of us eats each other's food! Win-win!

2
58d456f4c4d551a697e65ada8c32ad4f

on July 18, 2012
at 09:34 PM

Nice work! Standing up for your own health is hard when it's someone you love.

I was gluten free for 2 years before going Paleo in April. My partner has been amazing at making sure everything we eat when it's just the 2 of us is Paleo or GF in the past, but it doesn't mean he eats the way I do at all on his own or while we're out. And I'm okay with it and grateful that we can do what works for us. After dinner last night, he was still hungry and ate some up the rest of my GF oats that we're lingering about. When I was at the gym the other day, he ate corn dogs and French fries. He gets excited when I'm out of town because he can eat whatever for days at a time.

I eat Paleo because I have allergies and intolerances and he'd rather see me be well than than be in pain. I guess we're just supportive of letting each other be our true selves all the time.

0
32be195157f00ad15a933b8bb333dcc4

(379)

on January 19, 2013
at 12:42 AM

IF she eats 3x as much as you, why not make 1x of her 3x be the same food as you, then she can eat bread and ice cream for the other 2x? Seems like a good compromise. But maybe I'm way off..

5bc61961126827414874d0af0b4e33cd

on January 19, 2013
at 05:45 AM

She recognizes our different nutritional needs. And she knows that it isn't good to eat bread and ice cream all the time, so she makes those things only when we have a lot of friends or family over to help make it disappear. On those days I enjoy some ice cream and bread and don't sweat about it. She tends to eat more grains and fruit than I do, generally for breakfast and lunch. I might just have a cup of coffee with her at her breakfast. Our diets overlap OK for an occasional dinner of meat and vegetables.

0
19ff515e8ec02d95e8f2cf68c3ec1373

(1207)

on January 18, 2013
at 11:34 PM

I dropped carbs and my bf dropped carbs cuz I make all the food and he can't be bothered. When I'm not making dinner, he's eating processed carbs left and right and I judge him loudly for it. It does hurt a teensy bit when he's eating a chocolate croissant inches away from my face (I'm also gluten intolerant), but its okay.

Although he'll get a bit smug and say he can handles his carbs and I can't.

5bc61961126827414874d0af0b4e33cd

on January 19, 2013
at 05:52 AM

Why judge him for his choices? It's hard if you're sniping at each other over something as essential as nourishing your bodies according to your own individual needs. It is like griping about how someone breathes.

19ff515e8ec02d95e8f2cf68c3ec1373

(1207)

on January 19, 2013
at 08:11 PM

He does better weight and energy wise on a lower grain diet but won't be disciplined about it. He knows, doesn't care.

0
Medium avatar

on January 18, 2013
at 09:35 PM

I am also going through this right now as well, along with the added pressures of holiday foods at work. Thankfully the holidays are over, but I need to get back on the wagon and need some tips to "stand up" to a partner who doesn't agree with the Paleo diet and resents the additional cooking time, mess, and cost associated with it. The biggest problem is that I haven't been able to follow it enough to show "proven results", so he hasn't taken it seriously yet. :(

Fd70d71f4f8195c3a098eda4fc817d4f

(8014)

on January 18, 2013
at 11:50 PM

You'll get there! Stick with it!

0
9426eec8c8385c90bdf843aa44bd5a4b

on July 19, 2012
at 12:56 AM

I'm going through this right now.

I used to never drink juice, soda, pastries, pastas, cakes, and most breads/grain and milk. I found this way of eating helped me lose weight and keep it off after I took control of my health in high school.

In college I married my husband who ate all of these things with no problem. I balked at the idea of having soda in the house. Slowly after the first year a caved and started eating the same things because everyone else I knew was. I figured all I needed was moderation. Oh how wrong was I. I gained the weight back and I seriously regret it.

I have finally came to a point that we'll have to eat separately and disagree on what is okay to eat. I have a medical condition and he doesn't understand I shouldn't be eating lots of carbs and excess calories. What he eats does not work for me (nor for him, though he won't do anything about it and like bread too much).

Today he wanted to go out and eat. I told him no, and that he should cook since I cooked yesterday. He went out to get BBQ slathered hot wings and pizza with our roommate.

I'm still here. I refuse to enable him any long by going with him to such places because he doesn't like going alone.

Now I will enjoy some of my Kale.

0
239bcbf6d0013fd74890f5c7305daf64

on July 18, 2012
at 10:49 PM

Congrats!!! That is awesome. I see two things happening here. The first is that you wife will have to, at some point, stop running marathons. You cannot sustain that kind of physical punishment on your body for ever, or at least slow down a little. When that happens you are going to be in the perfect position to offer her a burger with a romaine leaf 'bun' and some sweet potato chips.

Or...she may just come around on her own. My wife did not start down the paelo path with me, but she eventually really came all the way around. For her, it was a few meals I cooked and her loosing a few pounds by eating my way.

You guys may have the perfect plan worked out, but your situation may change and she could come around.

As far as your weight loss, GREAT JOB!!! Keep it up and your ultimate goals will be realized.

Dc6407193ba441d1438f6f0c06af872b

(4400)

on July 19, 2012
at 05:41 AM

Of course, Man With A Middle, your wife might well do better by replacing her refined carbs and gluten grains with yams, sweet potatoes, squash, etc.

239bcbf6d0013fd74890f5c7305daf64

(664)

on July 19, 2012
at 09:11 PM

Man in the Middle, it sounds like you guys have a pretty good system worked out. Glad to hear it! I know, as a married man, the dinner table can cause tension in the relationship. As far as I know, my marriage vows did not include the words, "You shalt eat what he eats" or vice versa. And you are right...it is a diet and not a religion and as long as you can sit there and have an apple while she scarfs down linguine...then I think it works just dandy!

5bc61961126827414874d0af0b4e33cd

on July 18, 2012
at 11:11 PM

The other point is that, Paleo is a model diet, not a religion. What fits me doesn't necessarily HAVE to fit what my wife does. But, like religion, there needs to be some mutual respect and understanding of the differing needs.

5bc61961126827414874d0af0b4e33cd

on July 19, 2012
at 10:23 PM

My wife eats a lot of potatoes and squash in addition to pasta and grains. She can put it away, not sure how, but she can eat.

5bc61961126827414874d0af0b4e33cd

on July 18, 2012
at 10:59 PM

That's actually something my wife has observed - that she needs to modify her intake drastically in the off-season, and moderate-carb Paleo might be something that fits for her (her words). She likes it when I cook meat & veggies and she is not anti-Paleo, it just doesn't suit her training needs at the moment. She is mystified and somewhat worried about my ability to go without food for 24+ hrs. My response is to pat my belly and say "Don't worry, I packed lunch, and dinner, and tomorrow's breakfast, and elevensies, and snacks...".

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