It typically begins in a doctors office. Your partner has been told by a doctor that they still need to lose weight and have been heavy for years. Their attempts through exercise and failed or yoyo diets have proven unsuccessful and either the doctor suggests bariatric surgery or most likely, your partner asks the question about the surgery after hearing about it from a friend.
Bariatric surgeries are becoming more commonplace because some people think that it’s the easy way out or only way to lose weight and bring your BMI down to a healthy range. But what most people don’t know is that it is in fact a very strict diet and you still requires tremendous will-power to make it work, although, the surgery provides people with a “tool”. And like any tool, it needs to be taken care of it and it needs to be sharpened from time to time.
As a partner to someone who has made this decision, you may feel frustrated, as you know this decision is not without risk and will result in drastic life changes. And you know that there are other options out there, like will power, dieting and exercise.
Your partner has already made the decision and you might feel like it is a mistake. You have done your own research and have seen that this operation could result in increased sex drive, loss of libido, malnutrition, diarrhea, dumping syndrome, gas, nausea, extreme weight loss, weakness, psychotic episodes due to vitamin deficiencies / dehydration, hair loss, nail loss, teeth loss, stomach leaks, infections and death.
Your partner has done their research too and either have made themselves aware of the risks or are avoiding thinking about the risks and putting their head in the sand.
They have joined the bariatric support group forums and have hesitantly asked questions and have received hundreds of replies of “support”. After all, this is a support group forum. But, every so often, you will find people who continually have the symptoms, the people who have lost the weight and have gained most of it back, the people who say they regret the surgery or cannot be intimate with anyone because of their gas problems or their sagging skin. And sadly, once in a while, you will hear from a relative of a member, that they have passed away from complications. But there are many people who say that they have no regrets and have the pictures to prove it.
This is a very emotional decision. Since, with this new “tool” there is a possibility of losing all of their fat and being the fittest person that they have every been.
There is a lot to weigh! (pun intended)
Your opinion does not matter and the decision will be made
Do they change their mind? You planned your life with this person, and now, they have stated that they do not have the willpower to diet and exercise to lose the weight and they are going to:
(1) Make a decision that is 450 times riskier than skydiving (a study in 2012 concluded that out of 6118 surgeries, 18 people died within 30 days and stated that this is a low-mortality rate ( 30-day Mortality after Bariatric Surgery: Independently Adjudicated Causes of Death in the Longitudinal Assessment of Bariatric Surgery) But, if your partner is going into a room with 340 people and one will die, would you want them to go into that room?
(2) Make a decision that will cause life long changes, that will need willpower to use their new “tool” so that they don’t break it and lose and then gain all the weight back.
(3) Make a decision that has historical led to increased rates of separation by causing new events that can cause your relationship with your partner to disintegrate. These events may draw upon insecurities in the relationship, disconnection of your matching sex drives, disconnection of the eating habits, disconnection of energy levels that have worked for your current dynamic, and disconnection of meal time experiences.
(4) But ultimately, your partner is making this decision to accept the risks and they are putting their faith in the notion that they will be a happier, healthier person, with a better body image, lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol, longer life expectancy. The ability to do things that they never thought possible at their HW or SW. (Heaviest Weight / Surgery or Sleeved Weight).
You have to decide your actions
So, now you have to make a decision, are you a supporter, or are you leaving and increasing the separation statistic discussed in item 3?
Please view the BariatricPartners.com forums in the “pre-surgery discussions”
You finally decide that it is your partners decision to make and that you can stand behind the positives and reasons listed item 4 and look to pursue the lifelong dream of happiness and fun together. But keep in mind, that your relationship will change and you need to keep up with the changes and adapt as well. The purpose of this page is to is to help couples go through the Bariatric process and stay together and be supportive of one another.