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Diabetes and help from partner

(119 Posts)
Sunflower2 Thu 25-Mar-21 14:23:19

Hi, I’d like your advice.
I am diabetic, and have asked my partner if he would keep the treats he brings home for himself out of sight. That means putting them in a carrier bag so I don’t see them, which can then go in the fridge or freezer. I have no problem at all with him buying treats for himself and eating them. It would just help me if I didn’t see them. It is a request, not a demand, for something I would find helpful and would show support for the difficulty of having diabetes without any extra temptation. I liken it to someone giving up cigarettes. I would not show them the cigarettes I’d bought, or someone trying to give up alcohol and not showing them bottles of wine I’d bought. I would keep them out of my partners sight because I think it would be helpful. Despite repeated attempts to get my partner’s help, it happens once, then he ‘forgets’, or brings me something sweet, saying, ‘I thought you might like a treat’.
I have asked him not to do this, but today, after a visit to the supermarket, he asked me to come and look at what he’d bought before it was packed away. He brought out 2 pain au raisins, a packet of hot cross buns, a family sized lemon tart and a bar of fruit and nut chocolate along with the other items. The treats he has put in the freezer are on top in full view with no attempt to conceal them. Aibu to feel it is a relatively simple request? He gets angry if asked about it, as though it is too much to remember or a nuisance for him.
I can’t imagine not doing this if the situation was reversed.

TrendyNannie6 Thu 25-Mar-21 14:38:09

Have you just been diagnosed sunflower ? I don’t think you are asking too much, I have a very sweet tooth and I’d probably feel like you if i was a diabetic, so I can understand where you are coming from, my parents were both diabetics mum type 1, Dad type 2, I too would feel peeved if I was asked to look at the goodies my husband had bought, I would have trouble going to supermarket knowing I had to be good so until I got into the swing of what I should be eating I’d be avoiding the choc, cake aisles, my husband is also a diabetic type 2 recently diagnosed, he’s finding it quite difficult but determined to be the best he can, and watching carbs and sugar on the labels at supermarket, I sympathise as it’s very difficult to be good all the time , best of luck Sunflower 2 x

nadateturbe Thu 25-Mar-21 14:42:05

I'm prediabetic and have exactly the same problem. I think it is quite selfish of one's partner to ignore this request.
I have managed to stop him buying so many biscuits but he still has ice cream most nights after dinner and a chocolate biscuit at lunch.
I have got used to it though, and it doesn't bother me as much.
I don't avoid sugar completely, I know I should but it's difficult. I have a little dark chocolate and maybe a small biscuit or chocolate. It's terrible having a sweet tooth, I do sympathise.
I think if it annoyed me, I would bin some of them when he's not looking. If he is "forgetful", you could suggest he has forgotten where he put them!

Redhead56 Thu 25-Mar-21 14:51:02

If he doesn't be careful he might end up type 2 diabetic himself. My DH admits he was eating whole cheese cakes when he was single. He also ate a whole packet of crumpets or biscuits. I noticed he was eating more sweet stuff and he was moody. I noticed it about ten years ago and suggested the well man clinic. He was diagnosed pre diabetic and cut his food intake and sweets etc and lost three stone. Without medication this went well for about eight years. Now he is on Metformin but he does have little treats at the weekend.
I suggest you have a little treat at the weekend so you don't feel left out. I personally would find a draw or a box to put his goodies in. He probably isn't doing it deliberately he just doesn't think the same as you.

Grandmabatty Thu 25-Mar-21 15:19:37

I was going to say you were being over the top until the bit in your post where he called you to look at his stash of food. That's unkind and insensitive on his part. In fact, I think it's cruel. Is he usually kind? I would ignore all requests to look at what he's bought.

suziewoozie Thu 25-Mar-21 15:23:46

DH is T1. When first diagnosed, my position from the word go was that I regarded everything as a team effort - we were in this together and I wanted to do all I could to keep him healthy because I love him very much and want him to live as long as possible and not face all the awful,possible consequences of inadequately controlled diabetes. In your situation I’d ask my dp why he doesn’t love me and want to support me. Then I’d say that shared food spaces are for shared foods. I like the idea of just chucking out his selfish treats ? or you could try lacing them with laxatives.

welbeck Thu 25-Mar-21 15:34:08

how about chucking him out.

suziewoozie Thu 25-Mar-21 15:34:55

Sorry about last comment - I wasn’t meaning to make light of your problem. There are times when the restrictions of DHs diabetes are annoying but I wouldn’t dream of saying a word. When a partner has a life changing / impacting diagnosis, love just means support.

suziewoozie Thu 25-Mar-21 15:35:20

If this were MN it would be LTB.

fairfraise Thu 25-Mar-21 15:46:00

I have Type 1 diabetes and manage to stay off DH's sweet things unless I am really low and then I will have a bit. But to be honest I do find some of it far too sweet. I've had it 40 years and just got used to it. You will in time.

suziewoozie Thu 25-Mar-21 15:49:03

I think it’s the DP who needs to get used to being a supportive grown up.

BBbevan Thu 25-Mar-21 15:58:04

My DH has been marvellous. He does forget sometimes but he now eats as I do, low carb. Doing that we can have the occasional sweet treat.My T2 has been reversed for over 5 years now .

icanhandthemback Thu 25-Mar-21 16:04:57

Isn't it difficult when people don't understand the psychological and physical difficulties in grappling with diabetes. Apart from being unable to enjoy many of the things you like, the body actually craves that sugar from so many things that it can't actually handle.
My husband would buy me big boxes of chocolates for my Birthday and couldn't understand why I got upset because he knew I liked them so much. I found it bewildering because his Dad died of mismanaged diabetes and it was the most horrible death. Then, one day I came in very tearful from the diabetic clinic where my results were awful and he had a lightbulb moment. He asked me how he could help and has been good, for the most part, ever since.
We have been able to relax more as my diabetes has become more controlled and I have found more treats that I can eat. At the last clinic I was back in the normal range for the first time in 10 years. For the majority of the time, I have good self control because I feel so much healthier. The worry of the diabetes has been lifted from my shoulders and I am hoping I can continue to make greater progress. The one thing I have found, is that if I slip or have a sugar binge, I need to get back on the wagon immediately. If I slip for more than a day or two, the harder it gets. Learning to read your body is key to managing.
AUBU? Maybe a little but then he should really be making more effort to understand the condition. There is a TED talk which talks about the craving and it might be a good idea to show him that. It may be that subconsciously, where there is message out there that Diabetes 2 is your own fault where you're fat, he may not be as sympathetic as he should be.

nadateturbe Thu 25-Mar-21 16:32:11

I do wish I could stay off sugar completely.i will show my husband this thread. It might help him to understand and be more supportive.

PippaZ Thu 25-Mar-21 16:33:21

I often wonder if there are some conditions that are just not taken seriously enough by most people. Sort of "it's only ...". The sad thing about that is that you can take some control back by sticking to whatever diet will help. It seems to be the autoimmune diseases that attract this not really "real" reaction. It's sad because more and more autoimmune diseases are being found to be helped by diet changes.

I have IBS and cannot digest short-chain fatty acids but a friend of mine has jumped on the fact that I don't eat wheat to thinking my only issue is with gluten. She gets quite annoyed that it isn't smile I notice with diabetics it's not just about avoiding sugar but carbohydrates that can break down in your body. Recently I was reading that research is showing that short-chain fatty acids added to an MS suffers diet may help.

If more and more people are treated by diet, at least as a contributory treatment, then we need to get used to this and take it seriously. Just because it's the diet that is the main treatment it doesn't mean you cannot be a) very ill and b) it can eventually shorten your life.

I'm not sure that helps with your husband but I do hope people can be thoughtful about the issues others deal with.

Sunflower2 Thu 25-Mar-21 17:45:03

Thank you so much for taking the time to reply. I really appreciate it.
I’ve been diagnosed with Type 2 for a while now, so I know to avoid carbs. I control it reasonably well with diet and exercise and simply wanted my husband’s support by not putting avoidable temptation in my way. It’s hard enough limiting my diet as it is! I’m pretty good, but also have the occasional (and sometimes not so occasional) treat. I’ve been known to ‘fall off the wagon’ many times, but have been able to get back on it. This post was about what part he could play in simply being helpful. It was simply an act of generosity I was after. As sooziewoozie said ‘ position from the word go was that I regarded everything as a team effort’. It’s mildly inconvenient for him, but would really help me.
I’ve just brought the subject up with him and asked why, even though we’ve discussed it many times, he’s still doing it. He said he wants to be able to ‘treat’ me. I said that’s like offering a coeliac a loaf of bread in case they wanted a ‘treat’. It’s a joke. He agreed. He said he didn’t see what he had bought as being ‘treats’! He does know about diabetes and limiting carbs! Sometimes I wonder if it’s a ‘head in the sand’ attitude so he can pretend I don’t have diabetes.
Icanhandthemback: ‘He asked me how he could help’. How lovely. That’s what I would like him to say instead of trying to make his own decisions. Well done for getting back in the normal range too!

welbeck Thu 25-Mar-21 17:55:14

and if he was ill, would he expect you to wait on him hand and foot, ferrying cups of tea upstairs etc.
maybe next time just say, oh i thought it would be better for you to be motivated to get up, go downstairs and fetch your own tea, and make one for me while you;re at it.

he says he wanted to treat you.
then says he didn;t think what he bought as treats.
why do you put up with this rubbish.

M0nica Thu 25-Mar-21 18:14:35

I think you have put your finger on the cause when you say Sometimes I wonder if it’s a ‘head in the sand’ attitude so he can pretend I don’t have diabetes. I think it is exactly that

Some times, men in particular find it difficult to take on board and accept that a partner has any health problems, I think mainly because it leaves them uncertain and not knowing what to make of it, frightened because it is a sign that we are all mortal so it is easier just to pretend it isn't happening.

I think you need to have a gentle talk with him, not to discuss your illness but why he finds it so difficult to face up to it and to try to find ways of helping him come to terms with your illness and find a wy of dealing with it that is successful for both of you.

nadateturbe Thu 25-Mar-21 21:23:39

I don't think it's head in the sand, I think it's just not taking it seriously enough. Giving someone something that is dangerous to their health is not a treat.
I told my husband about this thread and that I told the OP I had the same problem, and that I was going to show him the thread.
Two minutes later he said I really have a notion for a cinnamon swirl, I think I'll put them on the online shopping order. (They will be deleted).
Closely followed by I think I'll have some chocolate, I didn't have ice cream tonight.
My husband is an intelligent person. I find this hard to comprehend.

Sunflower2 Thu 25-Mar-21 22:10:23

It is hard to comprehend. Did you say anything to your husband?
My husband is also intelligent. I’ve tried to reopen the conversation tonight to ask if he had thought about what I’d said. He said he hadn’t, and clearly didn’t want to have another conversation about it, saying, ‘Yes. You were right!’ I felt it was dismissive and more about avoiding another conversation. I haven’t got to the root of what goes through his mind when he considers buying me a ‘treat’. It seems to be more about him and how he feels about giving it. Why not give me some bath product, clothes, jewellery? Ha ha!

suziewoozie Thu 25-Mar-21 22:38:49

Why not just give the treat of really loving you by supporting you?

welbeck Thu 25-Mar-21 22:41:43

surely you are not taking seriously his excuse re treats ?
it's. all. about. him. treats for him.

nadateturbe Fri 26-Mar-21 08:04:56

Sunflower I said, Could you stop going on about sweet things and he said sorry. Your husband sounds very like mine. He too has been asked to think about it or look up info on prediabetes and didn't.
I think it will be impossible to get him totally on board. I think it's a case of having to just constantly say, Don't eat that in front of me. I don't think they are being purposely unkind. Selfish, possibly, or an age thing, possibly. In any case your post has made me think and although I would not want to stop my husband enjoying things he likes, I will insist on limiting what we buy, because it' makes sense for both of us.
Perhaps printing out something informative and putting it on the fridge door might be a reminder.
I managed to get through a whole day without anything more than a square of dark chocolate, thanks to this thread.

Sunflower2 Fri 26-Mar-21 09:14:04

I don’t mind (too much) if my husband eats sweet things in front of me. I have no problem with him buying ANYTHING he wants for himself. All I asked was that he simply keep it in the carrier bag when it comes through the door and keep it there so I don’t have to look at it. I felt the burden of having diabetes and all it entails, plus the burden of having to constantly try to get him onboard. I asked if he would go on a course for partners of diabetics, (not that I know of any), and he said he would. I don’t think for a moment he is purposefully ‘flaunting’ what he can eat in front of me, just lack of awareness and thought, plus remembering. Although, when you’ve told him many times, you do start to wonder! He tried putting ‘post it’ notes on the fridge to remind him to hide puddings, but once they’d fallen off he reverted back. I fail to understand why he needs reminders! Is it a man thing?
Yay! A square of dark chocolate! I’m cheering for you. Well done!

Suzey Fri 26-Mar-21 10:34:05

He is selfish like the majority of men