Our expert says:
Dear Worried Wife
I can well understand that you must be desperate about your husband's ever increasing weight, his very bad eating habits, his drinking and lack of cardio exercise. Your problem is of course made even more tricky by the fact that you can't actually say anything to him without him flaring up and getting upset. So he is very sensitive about you mentioning overweight, diets, exercise, etc. From a psychological point of view there are various options: a)Shock tactics: You can say 'No I am not going to leave you, but you will drop dead and then I will be all alone in the world, just because you won't do something about your weight/drinking/lack of exercise, etc." b) The reverse psychology approach: Say you have realised that he can't do anything about his habits (which actually surprises you because he is such a strong and clever man, etc), so you are going to enjoy the time you have left with him and never, ever mention his weight, his poor eating habits, his lack of exercise, his drinking, his family history of diabetes and heart disease, again (One of the reasons why he may refuse to do anything, is that it gains your attention and he enjoys his hold over you because you are so worried - if you can pretend that you are NOT worried then he may also change). Suggest that you want to go for "One more holiday together". c) The subtle approach: Leave magazine articles about the dangers or overweight, drinking, etc lying around where he must see them. If he remarks on them, you just say, 'Oh I was reading about the new fashions or something'. d) Positive affirmation: Praise him every time he does something positive - for example using an exercise bike is a wonderful idea and would do him the world of good. So devise a way of getting him to demonstrate how it works because you want to get fit and when he shows you, praise him. Also praise anything else he may do that is positive like having more regular meals, or not snacking after supper. Don't say anything that is critical or negative, just positives. This approach can make people crave more positive affirmation and thus change their behaviour.
You know your hubby best, so you need to select one of these approaches and then stick to it no matter what. This may be difficult, but it could just make the difference between getting your hubby to lose weight and him getting worse and worse. Sometimes it also helps to get someone else to speak to such a person - one of his friends or his boss at work, or the minister at his church. You will have to decide because from what you say, a straight forward approach is not going to work and hubby needs a prompt to get going to stay healthy.
Holding thumbs that you can figure out a way of making hubby realise what he is doing to his body and to make a positive change.
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