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Old 08-16-2008, 09:15 PM   #1
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I'm in the doghouse with GF's family

Hi all

OK, what i am about to say may sound shallow to some, but i really didnt intend it to be. My girlfriend (whom i been dating only a short time) has become very overweight, i think she has been categorized as obese by her doctors.....anyway, she was telling me the things she eats at work. She says she has 7 cokes a day and a full block of chocolate a day among other unhealthy things. Now, as you can imagine, i was appaled by this and i told her that it was not on and that it was abusing her body. I was also upset that while she was tellingm me this, she was proud of it! she was smiling.

So, me being the caring boyfriend told her to stop abusing her body like that and that it was wrong to eat like that. She got all defensive and said that it makes her feel good and it shouldnt bother me. Of course it bothers me! THen i went to dinner with her family and they all eat like that! ALL OF THEM.
Is it irresponsible of the parents to let their kids eat like that?

I told her she needs to get her health in order and that i would help her. She has complained of knee problems etc. She does have health problems because of her weight and eating habits. She told her family this and they dont like me now because they think i should like her the way she is and that she souldnt have to change. But cant they see she NEEDS to change her eating habits? they all do.

So i am in the doghouse with all of them and they dont like me now. I have seen first hand how bad eating can result in bad health as i look after my sick father who has a very bad heart. I just didnt want to see it happen to her, but obviously, i am a bad person and was wrong for hoping my girlfriend never ended up like that.

What do you all think?

Last edited by AustralianKing; 08-16-2008 at 09:18 PM.

 
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Old 08-17-2008, 12:12 AM   #2
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Re: I'm in the doghouse with GF's family

I don't think that you are a bad person, nor shallow. It would be shallow to say that you want your gf to have a body of a model, but you don't say that, you sound concerned with her health. Her whole family apparently have bad eating habits and this is how she grew up and what she is used to. You say that you have been dating her a short time, so I assume that she was overweight when you started dating. To change eating habits is hard and if she grew up eating in a certain way and it was accepted and condoned to eat a lot of unhealthy food, it will take a lot of willpower on her part to change her eating habits and also lose weight. You can be supportive of her, but ultimately she is the one deciding what she is going to eat and how much she cares about her health. You need to examine your own feelings about this. Do you want to commit to somebody who already (I assume that she is young) have health problems due to her eating habits and weight? Unless she makes some radical changes, her health problems will get worse as she gets older. Once in a while I see people that are so fat that they are in a wheel chair. What about your future children? How is she going to teach them about good eating habits when she eats the way she does. I think that this may become a major problem between the two of you, so please think this through before you commit further to the relationship. You sound nice and concerned about your gf, but only she can change her eating habits and her values. She obviously doesn't treat her body well since she abuses it as she does. One thing you could do is tell her about OA (Overeaters Anonymous) where she can meet other people in her situation and get some insight into her problem.

 
Old 08-17-2008, 12:30 AM   #3
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Re: I'm in the doghouse with GF's family

Thanks for your reply Nelli, much appreciated, you are right and i have had this discussion with her but she says she is losing weight but she puts it back on. I don't want a model perfect girlfriend, im just concerned for her health.

What is really making me frustrated is why her family and her are making me feel like im a bad person because i am concerned for her??? Any person in their right mind would be concerned, why cant they see that? Why dont they get that it is not on? They shouldnt make me feel like I am in the wrong

 
Old 08-17-2008, 12:51 AM   #4
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Re: I'm in the doghouse with GF's family

For your gf to lose weight is not only the scale showing that she weighs fewer pounds. She has to be willing to change her whole life style and values and also the way she looks at food and health. It sounds to me as if the two of you have very different values when it comes to this issue. Please reevaluate your relationship before you commit further. Obesity can cause serious life long problems, like diabetes, heart problems and much more. She has already troubles with her knees, picture what her knees are going to be like in 10-20 years. Consider also the emotional side of this problem. Do you want to live with somebody who stuffs herself with cookies and doesn't care about her health? Do you want to take care of her down the road because of problems she has inflicted upon herself by eating junk?
I wouldn't care what her family thinks if I were you. By the way, this is another thing you need to think about. If you stay with your gf, her family is going to be part of your life. Their values will be part of your life. They will be part of your future children's lives. This is an important issue you are dealing with and think long and hard about your own values and how much you are willing to accept. It is easier to get out of the relationship now than when you are married and have children. Good luck to you. You seem like a nice, caring person. Don't let your gf's family treat you poorly.

 
Old 08-17-2008, 12:59 AM   #5
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Re: I'm in the doghouse with GF's family

Thanks Nelli. Looks like i have some decisions to make......she says her knees are not the result of her weight, just that she has bad knees. But to me, it makes sense that her knees are hurting because of her weight because they cant support the weight....also, she has bad stomach pains and the doctor thought she had ovarian cysts. Turns out it wasnt cysts but something else less worse, i cant remember what it was though. I know she has been having unusual cycles, passing blood when she shouldnt be. Im not too sure on the details

 
Old 08-17-2008, 03:09 AM   #6
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Re: I'm in the doghouse with GF's family

I agree with Nelli. You aren't a shallow person at all. I don't know your age, but to me you are a very considerate, thoughtful person. Yet I am not sure if this is a relationship for you to invest in, if I can speak my mind.

I think that maintaining your appearance and health is a way of showing your partner that you value them and that you care about what/who they are looking at regularly. Indeed, maintaining a good appearance (you don't need to have perfect shape, however) is a sort of duty for each partner. And I understand this is even more important when you are young, but it shouldn't be overlooked either when you are older.

To say "You have to accept me as I am" implies an attitude of inflexibility, disrespect and laziness.

I would have a hard time having a relationship with someone who had very different eating habits. For eating together, cooking together, sharing food, even talking about foods is a lot of fun. If both of you are not on the same page here, then I am afraid much of fun is gone.

There is another problem. She may want to change her style of eating (and start exercising as well), but will her family be supportive of her efforts? Will they buy and prepare the foods she will need to eat? Perhaps, if she comes home with a doctor's prescription, they might change their minds and help her and even change their ways, but this is something about which you can only speculate at this point. Anyway, her decision is the most important thing.

The relationship is becoming stressful. Lay your cards on the table. Talk to her frankly about your concerns. Offer your help. Say you will be there for her. If she makes little of your preoccupations and if she prefers to follow her own family's directives, then maybe you should make up your mind this is too much for you.

 
Old 08-17-2008, 03:18 AM   #7
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Re: I'm in the doghouse with GF's family

Thank you for your response pendulum, very much appreciated. I am 25 and she is 22.

Her brother was mad at me for raising these concerns about her. He started lecturing me about accepting her for who she is etc and apparaently the other brother has more to say to me next time i see him. Oh well.

I am going to have to make an exit from this whole relationship i think.

 
Old 08-17-2008, 05:45 AM   #8
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Re: I'm in the doghouse with GF's family

You are probably right to be concerned, and I feel that you could have handled the whole thing a lot better. If it went down the way you described, I am not surprised that you got the whole family's backs up. Look at it from their side - Mr Righteous comes along and starts laying down the law about their lifestyle, and insinuates that their daughter and sister is less than perfect!!! They would immediately think "Butthead! Who does he think he is??" There are ways and ways to gently and sensitively educate people about their bad habits, and usually this would be much longer-term thing than a lecture or two. You cannot change people this way. Look at smokers (I used to be one)- they KNOW all the info, and risks. Bad eating habits are just the same. While it is possible to deny and ignore the facts, they will go for the more emotionally satisfying option. It is more deep-seated than just ignorance or laziness. You are better off out of it unless you value her enough to take it all on long-term. This response is in no way taking a position on right or wrong, just my observations.

 
Old 08-17-2008, 05:49 AM   #9
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Re: I'm in the doghouse with GF's family

I believe that getting out of the relationship is your only option. This was who she was raised to be and she doesn't want to change.

While that style of emotional overeating is unhealthy and you have every right to be concerned about it, it sounds like you were on a high horse when you brought the subject up. You "told her to stop" and that it was "wrong," that she "needs to get her health in order." Unless you're her husband and her preacher, I don't see how you can make those sorts of demands and moral judgements. From your description of things, it sounds less like you were concerned and more like you gave her an order. Even if she had wanted to change, she would have reacted defensively and contrary for that reason alone.

Again, I think this is a valid issue, but it sounds like you didn't bring it up in a mature way, and then cast yourself in the role of a victim when she responded the way any person would.

 
Old 08-17-2008, 06:15 AM   #10
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Re: I'm in the doghouse with GF's family

I have seen the aftermath of bd eating first hand, i look after my critically ill father who has a bad heart and doesnt have long to live--because of his bad eating....i jsut didnt want to see it happen to her. She laughs at the way she eats, she is proud of it. She expected me to laugh with her as she was telling me all the bad things she eats, im sorry but if she thinks im going to laugh with her she is wrong, im not going to laugh with her when this is the very thing that is killing my dad.

I have been pleading with her to stop but the message wasnt getting through, i dont know, maybe in situations like that you got to be cruel to be kind. I acted the way i acted cos i dont want to see her go through a difficult painful life.

I didnt tell her to stop or demand her to stop at all, i asked her, i e ven offered to help her. The way i may have explained it on the forum was just the general jist, not the actual words i said

Last edited by AustralianKing; 08-17-2008 at 06:17 AM.

 
Old 08-17-2008, 06:45 AM   #11
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Re: I'm in the doghouse with GF's family

This is a really touchy, difficult issue, Aussieking. I certainly don't blame you for worrying about her. It's not like she's put on 10 vanity pounds. If she keeps on drinking that much soda and eating that much chocolate, she will have diabetes before too long.

But on the other hand, the sad fact is, you can't force someone, you can't even help someone or kindly suggest to someone that they become someone they are not ready to be. She has to not only address her bad eating habits, but she has to address the emotional and mental issues that are making her choose to do this to herself in the first place. Even if she does lose weight, she'll gain it right back again if she doesn't address why she put in on and started such bad eating habits in the first place.

And in the last analysis, as much as it seems they are in the wrong, her family really is right, in a way, now hear me out. She is making poor choices that can seriously affect her health in the future, but the thing is, it's not up to you to change that about her. You're not her dad, you're not her boss, you're not her personal trainer, you're her boyfriend, and it's not your job to try to "fix" her. She has to fix herself. You can't, and shouldn't try, to control what she eats or how she eats or what she does with her health, because those are matters concerning her own free will and you can't control that. If you can't love her and be with her no matter how sick she gets, no matter what kind of choices she makes, no matter how heavy she gets, then I think there's really not much you can do but find someone else who is more compatible with you, who lives a more healthy lifestyle like you do, and who shares your views and values on health, well being and taking care of oneself. Shared values is an essential component of a successful long term relationship, and that's what's really going on here. It would be different if she felt bad about how she's gotten and wanted to change, and even asked you for your support in changing, but she seems proud of how she is, and not at all interested in developing better habits. It's a shame, but it does sound like a compatibility issue. I believe in eating well and working out and taking care of myself, even though I'm hardly a size 2. I dont' want a man who looks like Colin Farell, but I do want a man who believes in taking care of himself and looking after his health.

 
Old 09-28-2008, 10:30 PM   #12
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Re: I'm in the doghouse with GF's family

King, you are a sweetheart. An absolute sweetheart, more concerned for her health than you are about her looking like a model.

OK, I have to finish reading these posts, but I just had to say that.

-Jen

 
Old 09-28-2008, 11:06 PM   #13
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Re: I'm in the doghouse with GF's family

I think that it is ok that you shared your concerns with her. Sometimes we think love is protecting people from the truth and not saying anything that would hurt their feelings. But what we end up doing is enabling the behavior that is damaging to their health. Drinking that much soda in a day is crazy! Someone has to say something!

Anyway, all you can do is express your concern and as you know, you cannot force her to go on a diet. It is your decision after that if you want to stay with her should she decide to continue down this path.

The issue with the family does not help matters any. If you plan to spend the rest of your life with this girl, remember that her family comes with the package, unless you move her to another state.

 
Old 09-28-2008, 11:16 PM   #14
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Re: I'm in the doghouse with GF's family

Quote:
Originally Posted by AustralianKing View Post
What is really making me frustrated is why her family and her are making me feel like im a bad person because i am concerned for her??? Any person in their right mind would be concerned, why cant they see that? Why dont they get that it is not on? They shouldnt make me feel like I am in the wrong

Because they know you are right but they are all comfortable eating the way they do. Over eating is an addiction and I think thats the issue here since you mention she is in the "obese" range and she told you that eating unhealthly makes her feel better. Those are two red flags of food addiction. So honestly, picture that her whole family are alcoholics and so is she. They see nothing wrong with their drinking or her drinking and here comes this guy (you) telling her she drinks to much. They would react the same way.

People don't like when they deep down know they have a problem and people try and fix them when they aren't even ready to admit it yet. Thats what I think is going on here.

I don't think you are in the wrong. In Fact, I think you're in the right. Its not even a matter of right or wrong but obviously you are a pretty caring guy to see past her weight and love her for who she is. Also, you are actually worried about her health not so much her "attractiveness". I think you are sincere and I commend you for giving it a shot to bring her bad habits to her attention. However, until she finds it as a problem shes not going to change and you need to decide if this is someone you really want to be with and realize that you may have to take care of her oneday if her health declines due to her over eating.

Maybe you can try and figure out what and why she is wanting to "feel so good". Usually when people over eat its an emotional thing which they are trying to deal with..just like a drug. In fact, over eating actually creates a natural chemical in the body that makes one "feel good" just like some recreational drugs do. So maybe when you notice shes stressed and just starts eating, recommend she take a walk, or swim with you (something more healthly) that may take her mind off eating?? Just a thought.

And who cares what her family thinks. They are in denial themselves.

 
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