Need advice regarding spouse who does not take care of himself

By TCR Latest Reply 2011-06-18 00:44:53 -0500
Started 2010-08-16 16:29:41 -0500

I need some advice to deal with my husband who does not take care of himself. He was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes about 2 years ago. He does not eat the right foods and then his blood sugar gets high. I get so frustrated with him, but do not know how to help him. What I really need is a support group for people who have family members with diabetes. I have asked the ADA about a support group near my home, but apparently there is not such a group. He is not under the care of an endocrinologist. Should he be? Any and all advice would be appreciated.

8 replies

Snowhoney 2011-06-18 00:44:53 -0500 Report

Hello everyone.. .I was just doing some research as to others dealing with a love one (my husband) who have Diabetes some 10 years, and stubbled upon this site.

My husband seems to think he knows what his blood sugar is (without testing) eats out at resturants all the time, take his insulin (without knowing his blood sugar level), don't eat after taking all his meds (about 10 in the morning heart meds, gout meds, high blood pressure meds, water pills due to congestive heart failure), then gets whoozing in about 2 hours (knowing full well it's because he hasn't eaten) but when I tried to cook healthy for him (Oh he's not feeling that what I'm cooking) therefore, I stopped cooking since it would go in the trash in 3 or 4 days if I didn't eat it, because he don't care to much for left overs.

I've gotten so frustrated, that I just don't ask him about his blood sugar, let him eat whatever he wants, since he feels he knows it all. But he still feels bad, always tired, don't sleep well, plus over weight, but don't want me to be the 'Diabetic Police'. So I just gave up.l I truly need this site.

I've told him though just let me know where all the life insurance policies are, and also that if anything happens to him, that if he gets down and out, due to him not taken care of himself, knowing there are things he can do to make it better, that it is very unloving of him to not do better to take care of himself, and I put my life on hold to take care of him, I refuse to do that! That may sound terrible, but right now, that is how i feel.

How dare someone not do what they can to help themselves by eating right, taking your blood sugar, try to get it under control, knowing that they can go into a diabetic coma, or even become dependent on someone else taking care of them. It is not right!

Harlen 2010-08-17 09:53:47 -0500 Report

Rather then tell you what to do I will tell you what my wife would do if I didnt take care of my D.First she would not let me drive with her or the grandbaby in the car 2nd she would tell me she is with me for life and wishes that I stey with here for as long as I can and by not taling care of diabetis I am shortening that time and the grandbaby.As a man its hard to do the right thing for me but ez to do for others so she would flip it on me= I love her =As a RN she sees all the hardcor
DKA's that come in and how some never leave or go into a coma.
This can be life ending and a slow one at that.My mom didtn take care of her D and now she is gone I miss her and wish she was still with us but there was no way to make her do what she needed to do.
So if you wish to make a point get the paper work for 2,000,000 Death insuorance and hand it to him and sey if your going to leave then leave us the meaqns to cover for your loss????? It just may bring home the point???
Best wishes

TCR 2010-08-17 10:39:20 -0500 Report

Your advice is very, very good. You look like you take great care of yourself! That is wonderful; I only wish my husband would take care of himself the way that you do. He has made some improvements, but then he has days when he cheats and eats the wrong foods and feels bad. Those days are really hard for me and one of my sons. I have two sons who are still at home; they are 20 and 17. The 20-year old is just like me and gets really frustrated with his dad; the 17-year old is more of an enabler with his dad. I will really take your words of advice and use them!!

Pam from KCMO
Pam from KCMO 2010-08-17 06:50:21 -0500 Report

Dear TCR - One of the hardest lessons I've had to learn is that I can't force other people to make good choices. Reasoning, crying, pleading, yelling - nothing works. In fact, sometimes it just seems to make the other person dig their heels in even more.

You can't control his behavior - but you can control yours. There's plenty of support here on this site; let DC become your support group.

Do what you can, but realize ultimately it is his choice. (Sad, in this case, but true.) Let him do as he chooses, and do it without judgment (or at least, don't let him see it!)

I've been in a similar situation - in my case, an epileptic sister - so I know a bit about what you're going through. :(

She's doing well now, thankfully. But it was really really hard for me to back away. She had stayed with me for a year (she was 26) and I did all the yelling and screaming and stony silence things, but nothing worked. Finally, after nine months of that, I told her that I loved her but that this was her life and her choices and I would respect that. I also told her that she had 3 months to find a job and a new place to live. (Tough love is hard.) But she did it.

Obviously you don't want to throw him out of the house! But you can educate yourself more and more about his condition. You can cook healthy meals for him, or go for a walk and invite him along. And if he prefers sitting on the couch and watching TV, that's HIS choice. Take the walk anyway, get out of the house and enjoy yourself. Call his doctor and let the doc know about your concerns - maybe he/she can help.

A saying that helped me at the time (and still does) is, "Let go and let God."

TCR 2010-08-17 10:36:06 -0500 Report

You have helped me so much by telling me of your past experiences with your sister. I am just like what you were with your sister! I am trying to get my husband to change, and as you have said, only he can change himself—I cannot change him. I will try really, really hard to take your advice. I have expressed concerns to his doctor but haven't gotten far because of the HIPA law. I really need to step out and find some activities that are all my own too; I need some communication with other women. I don't have much communication at all with women at work and I miss that connection. Thank you again for your advice!

RAYT721 2010-08-16 17:39:16 -0500 Report

Believe it or not, your question is not the first of its kind nor am I expecting that it will be the last. Take a look through the archives to read the questions and answers that others have shared in the past and you'll discover that you're not alone.

I take care of myself because I WANT to take care of myself. For him to be diabetic for two years is a little past just a slight case of denial. There's something else there and I don't think it's going to matter if he sees an endocrinologist, dietitian or the valedictorian from a clown college, only he can do or not do what's right.

There should be support groups for spouses of diabetics because you will see in the archives that there are others in need of that kind of thing. I don't have the answers for you other than to educate yourself and hopefully you can share a little of your knowledge and compassion for the husband to pick up and use.

You'll meet some amazing people here but just know that you're pretty amazing too!!! You'll fit right in.

TCR 2010-08-17 10:28:08 -0500 Report

Thank you so much for your comments! I will go back and read the archives. I just found this site yesterday because I was desperately needing advice on how to cope (my husband was having one of his weak times, had cheated and eaten the wrong foods, and was having a bad day). I have struggled so long and have tried so many different approaches to try to get him to take better care of himself. I know that this site will definitely help me. Your comments have definitely made me feel better!!

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