Are your healthy eating choices causing conflict in your marriage?
“What do I do when my spouse is unwilling to eat better, and even worse, sabotages my efforts to get our family on track?”
Sadly, you wouldn't believe how often I get these comments from readers…
- “He drinks soda every day and eats candy and then shares with the kids.”
- “Nobody likes the yogurt I make or the homemade bread.”
- “I'm afraid this is going to drive a wedge into our marriage.”
- “The kids liked my cooking when they were younger, now they're complaining just like they've heard him do.”
- “They go get fast food when I'm not with them.”
- “He sees how my health has improved but thinks the changes are in my head and that it couldn't really be related to what I eat.”
- “He's freaking out over how much our grocery bill is.”
(By the way, yes, sometimes it's the wife who doesn't “get it”, but it seems like more often it's the husband.)
What to do?!
Hopefully the lines of communication are open between you and your spouse, that's the first issue. If not, then I'd say your issues go beyond food. (In that case, some of the posts at this link might help you.)
Here's what I'd like to say to your spouse if I could talk to them…
Do you want your kids to have a shorter life expectancy than yours?
I'm sure you've noticed that things are not going well out there. How many people do you know who struggle with obesity, anxiety, depression, diabetes, sleep issues, digestive troubles, behavior or learning issues, infertility and so much more?
How do you think your kids will learn about making a conscious choice in this world to be different and live better?
Not by watching you eat junk food!
If you really don't have the motivation, the self-control or the willingness to cut the junk food or fast food indulgences down to a reasonable level, then at the very least, for your kids, at least only eat it during your workday or somewhere away from the their eyes, and be sure to ditch the evidence out of your car before you get home.
Although even that is bad advice, because kids are great detectives and they'll eventually find you out – then you'll be a hypocrite and they'll think eating crap is OK as long as it's hidden, ughhh.
Please consider at the very least NOT sabotaging your spouse's efforts.
Even if you're not into healthy eating and are to stubborn to go there anytime soon, couldn't you make an effort to offer support in this area?
It's not like you can never enjoy treats again.
I'll bet your spouse would be willing to make you healthIER homemade treats, which truly taste so much better! There are other healthier options to the junk you like, that are just as delicious.
Take it from someone who used to be a fast food junkie: after eating real food that nourishes your body, soon you don't even want the crap anymore. Eventually it all just tastes fake once you're used to the real stuff. Of course you don't believe me, though, because until you find out for yourself how much better real food is, it's too hard to believe. Not that you'll love everything, but if your mind is open (remember you're not a toddler), I'll bet you'll like a LOT of it. You love butter, right?! Butter is real food! That's a great place to start, put it on everything! Real food doesn't mean only eating kale and lentils you know. How about a nice big grass-fed steak fried in butter? Or bacon and eggs for breakfast? Guess what? Those are good for you! Even if you don't like many vegetables, make sure the ones you do eat are served with healthy fats and pastured meats and they'll not only taste great, they'll be more nutritious too.
What about the cost?
Do you know how expensive boxed, processed, packaged foods are? Or how many nutrients you actually get when you eat fast food? It's really a pretty horrible investment. To save on real food I have a whole list of ways you can do that. Just sign up here for my newsletter and get a bunch of free printable lists — one of them is how to save money on real food! (Another is how to save time making real food.)
Hopefully over time you'll come alongside your spouse even more and learn about what's IN all that toxic food you love so much. You know how to do an online search, right? Hop on there and do a little digging, I'll bet you'll be shocked at how many people cleaned up their diets and got their lives back.
Now here's my advice to you, the spouse trying to feed your family better…
- As difficult as it is, try to nag them less and just live it more.
- Just like I often suggest with stubborn kids, take your spouse's their favorite meals and adapt them to healthier versions!
- This does put more pressure on you to make the healthier meals you feed them taste really good, but making real food taste good isn't that tricky. Hello butter?! Sourdough or other fresh-baked bread with more butter?! A roasted pastured chicken with other comfort foods like mashed potatoes and gravy? See what I mean, it's not difficult to win someone over with traditional tasty meals like that.
- Try not to be too much of a Nazi about it – as a family have treats together now and then, but make them homemade, or buy some “organic junk food” now and then as a treat or the better options at the store. (Get a copy of my book, Real Food for Rookies for help! Or get the whole first chapter with a real food ingredient guide here.)
- Want an entire printable list of ways to save money on real food PLUS how to save TIME when making real food, get those here.
What advice would you give to help this struggling spouse? Please share!
- A while back in my my original post on this topic, I said some of this and a little more about how my husband, Kent, felt about all the changes I was making early on after my “food conversion“.
- Eating healthy without sacrifices
- Eating healthy on a budget
- Interview with my husband, Kent