So I know I’m knocking on wood, but since I sent that email, “I’m done”, Michelle has been… better?
So this is what has been happening so far. Since I sent that email, I went home from work with the determination that I was going back to how I was before ED became a part of our life and I felt… well…
It was like a huge pressure was lifted off of me as I didn’t feel like I needed to go home and help her eat appropriately, chide her if she missed a meal, be disappointed when she lost one more pound, argue about the example she’s setting for our kids, etc., etc. and that was a huge burden off my back that I didn’t even realize I was carrying.
That guy isn’t me. I hated feeling like I had to parent my own wife… and I really think that’s how our relationship gradually became over the last year or so.
So that email was sent on Friday, January 13th. That weekend took some time for me to adjust my mentality and for her to accept that I was not her enforcer/parent/therapist any more. To an extent I think she also felt less pressure and didn’t have to worry about me being disappointed (at least visibly) with her decisions.
By the time Monday, the 16th rolled around, something weird happened… we were both… happy?? Not that we were unhappy before… it was just different. Like we were on the same team again… whereas before it felt like I was the coach and she was the team. For lack of a better analogy.
She knows that I’ll love her no matter what, but I think over the past year especially, she maybe didn’t see that as much as she should have. It got me thinking that she’s probably been regressing so badly because… I wasn’t happy being her… enforcer.
Now here’s the magical part. My birthday was last week. My wife took me out to lunch and we both had a large gourmet burger. She didn’t eat anything else, but I was proud that she ate that, but true to my word, I didn’t say a thing about it.
Later that night our entire family went to a Japanese bistro… and she ate her two sushi rolls, which is what she usually eats when we go out and sushi is available.
Here’s the magical part. She didn’t refuse to eat… heck, she didn’t even hesitate or appear guilty in doing so. Just the week or two before at the Indian restaurant she refused to eat dinner at all, because of the half a burrito she ate for lunch!
I was baffled… then I had an epiphany. My attitude actually affects her?! I had always thought it was the other way around. When she’s happy, I’m happy. That’s still the case, but I didn’t realize that when I’m happy, it affected her so much.
I know, I know, I’m an idiot “guy”… but I honestly didn’t think that I affected her mood/attitude as much as I do. Of course, maybe I’m reading too much into this and she’s doing this because it’s a nice change to how things have been.
Here’s the amazing part. Last Sunday, she was modeling some clothes she purchased at a thrift store. One was a very form-fitting skirt/dress. She knew it was, but showed it off anyway. Staying true to my new mantra, I just nodded my head and didn’t say a word.
She then said, “Although I should probably take this back right? Since you want me to gain some weight and my thighs are where the weight goes first.” She looked at me questioningly.
I just looked at her like a deer in headlights. I tensed all up fearing that the good week had come to an end and all I said was, “Then you should probably take it back.” She nodded and said she’ll take it back.
Without a further word, she took it off, crawled on the couch and cuddled up with me and we watched some of our favorite sitcoms where we BOTH laughed. She seemed like herself… like she acted the couple of months after she came back from the Center in 2015.
I haven’t seen the skirt/dress since.
Now before this email I sent on the 13th, that question/comment, “Although I should probably take this back right? Since you want me to gain weight and my thighs are where the weight first goes.” would have probably solicited a response like so:
“Babe, you will always look beautiful. Stop living in the world of black and white. You will not get fat if you eat a little more than you are now. The Center showed you how much you should eat and you never became fat when you came home from the Center”.
Of course if you read some of my past entries… she thought she was fat then… which is ludicrous, but she can’t see that.
So, what does her asking me that mean? Does that mean she’s actually going to make some changes? Or was she just waiting for me to say, “Nah, go ahead and keep it, you’ll be fine.”… which if I did she probably would have used it for an argument or most likely use it as fodder that I do prefer her as skinny as she is, which I definitely do not.
I then found out that she had her blood work done and EKG this past week, which I’ve been asking her to do for a while. She hasn’t shared the results with me and I haven’t asked, but she did it. Amazing!
I’m not sure, but I’m hoping and praying that this new tactic will work. She knows what she should do and she knows where I stand, but she also knows that I have her back no matter what happens. I’ve come out of the enforcer/therapist/parent role and become solely her supporting husband.
She still asks me if what she’s eating is enough and I still answer her, which is 100% never enough, but at least she still asks and I will always help if she asks.
This makes me happy and it’s so nice to come home and give a big kiss to my sweetheart and have her kiss me back. A real kiss, an “I’m in love with you.” kiss, which has been a while… probably since she stopped seeing a therapist last year, but I’m sure that’s an exaggeration.
Life is funny… I don’t know if I’ll ever understand it, but I’m letting the good times roll while they last. I’m crossing my fingers that she’ll continue recovering and I’ll continue to support silently and stoically. It’s working thus far, let’s hope it keeps on going.
Have a great weekend everyone!