Wife not helping with dietary needs, refuses to take pork out of the pepperpot

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Husband and Wife Issues
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Dear Koren,

I have been married for over 18 years and I recently got a diabetes diagnosis. My wife was with me when the doctor told me and she pledged her support to help me get back to health. I could see how afraid she was when I got sick, but now the danger has passed, she seems to be taking the situation lightly. Now, she is complaining of having to cook differently, insists on still putting pork in the pepperpot, and complains that changing our diet is too much work, and that’s what the medication is for. She says she works hard and can’t cook two pots. It’s not like I ask her to cook more, she just has to make some adjustments and be a little more considerate. I need your advice because I am getting frustrated. I appreciate what she has done in the past but I want her to realise we are in this together for the long haul.

Frustrated Man

Dear Frustrated Man,

I can understand your frustration and concern about your wife’s attitude towards your diabetes and having to make the necessary dietary changes. I also understand you need the support and encouragement. But nowhere in the email did you say that anything was wrong with your hands. Now, you are the one who is sick and it sounds like she is trying, even though it is not up to your standards.

It’s clear that you value her support and wish for her to understand the ongoing seriousness of your condition, but I’m not sure you are going about it the right way.

I can tell you where to buy pepperpot without pork. Maybe in her mind, you need the protein and while I personally don’t eat pork or endorse the eating of pork, maybe because it’s diabetes and not hypertension, she thinks the meat is okay.

Please understand that your wife may be experiencing her own form of stress and fatigue related to your diagnosis. Initially, the fear of the unknown likely prompted her to pledge her support wholeheartedly. Now that the immediate danger has passed, she might be struggling with the day-to-day realities and adjustments required for managing diabetes, which can feel overwhelming.

Here are some steps you can take to address the issue:

Let her know how much you appreciate her support and emphasise that your health is a continuous journey that requires ongoing adjustments and teamwork. Please make it clear that her health also would be better off with the changes required for a diabetic meal plan.

Become educated together. Sometimes, a lack of understanding about the condition can lead to frustration. Consider revisiting your doctor or a nutritionist together to discuss the importance of dietary changes in managing diabetes. This might help her understand that medication alone is not enough and that a supportive diet is crucial.

Compromise. Find ways to make the dietary changes less burdensome. Maybe you can cook together on weekends or do meal prepping or find a restaurant or cook who prepares the kind of meals you can eat and purchase food sometimes.  Your wife should not feel like she’s doing it all alone. Also, explore new recipes that both of you can enjoy, which could make the process more enjoyable for her. If she has to spend extra time preparing your meals, then take some other tasks off her plate.

Be patient and understanding. Change can be difficult, and adjusting to a new way of living takes time. Encourage her and express gratitude for her efforts, even the small ones. Positive reinforcement can go a long way in motivating her to continue supporting you.

Remember, managing diabetes is not just about avoiding certain foods; it’s about adopting a lifestyle that promotes overall health and well-being. By working together and supporting each other, you can navigate this challenge and strengthen your bond.

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