When you think of unhealthy relationships, you normally think of abuse and neglect. This is not the type of unhealthy relationship I’m referring to. I’m referring to the type of relationship where your partner is physically unhealthy. He may be diagnosed with HBP or Diabetes or has a stint in his heart. And you are frustrated because he is continuing the unhealthy habits that got him the unhealthy diagnosis.
- What do you do?
- How can you get him to change?
- Why can’t he understand that you’re concerned and scared because you love him?
- You can’t.
- He won’t.
You’ve heard this before, but it’s worth repeating. The only person you can control is yourself. You cannot control the thoughts or actions of another person, especially an adult. You cannot get him to take his life and his health more seriously until get discovers the motivation within himself. You cannot get him to understand your concern because he wants you to understand that “he got this.” He wants you to stop worrying and trust him.
But, I get where you’re coming from. How can you stop worrying when he is on 5 different medications just to keep his heart beating, yet, he comes home with Kentucky Fried Chicken on Monday, Pizza on Tuesday, Hamburger and Fries on Wednesday, Fried Catfish and greens with Hammock on Thursday, and . . . you get the picture.
You can’t control his actions, but you can control how you react and internalize your feelings.
- Love him just the same. Understand that just because he is acting nonchalant about his health doesn’t mean he is unconcerned. He may be scared and but is more afraid of showing his fear. Continue to love him through it all. Don’t let your love for him change because of a physical condition. Remember, Love is patient . . .
- Lead by example. If you want him to get healthy, then you can take the initiative to get healthy by yourself. Make your health a priority. Join the gym. Hire a trainer. Cook healthy meals (or hire a chef to teach you how to cook healthy).
- Handle your business. Review your insurance policies and make sure that you and your family are well taken care of. Do research on long term care insurance to cover the cost of in home care in case your loved one is unable to care for himself (this is also a good idea for aging parents).
- Express your fears to God. Prayer and Meditation works. Pray for yourself. Pray for him. Pray for his healing. Belief that God hears and answers. And wait with joyful anticipation for God’s will to be done. Remember, healing does not always mean a physical healing. There is a reason why God is allowing your husband to experience his physical ailments. God could be after something bigger than him losing 10 pounds and stop eating fried chicken.
When it is all said and done, your partner or loved one has to love himself as much as you love him in order for change to occur. No amount of nagging, setting reminders, or putting locks on the refrigerator door will make a difference. It’s all about self-love and honoring the temple that we all have been blessed with. Be patient. Continue to love him, support him, and create a safe place for him physically and emotionally that will allow God to work in his life to lead him towards change.