Gluten Has Now Affected My Marriage
Posted 16 January 2008 - 12:31 AM
Posted 16 January 2008 - 03:25 AM
Personally I'm of the mind that even for people that can eat gluten, eating a lot of it is just not healthy. Lets face it baking usually involves sugar, lots of calories and very little nutrition. She may enjoy it but I'm not sure she is doing anyone any favors by baking all the time.
Why doesn't she spend the time learning how to cook in a healthy way without gluten? Lots of fresh veggies, fruits, lean protein. My house is totally gluten free and my daughter didn't complain at all when that switch was made... she didn't really know.... I just switched things, instead of pretzels I bought her corn chips, I discovered new sorts of dessert things we can eat, we became discriminating consumers of chocolate. (now we have found out my daughter has to be gluten-free as well). Now even though we occasionally have sugary snacks we have lost our craving for them. We are by far thinner and more healthy now.
However, you all have to decide what sort of foods your going to eat and yours has partly been decided for you. No gluten, period. Tell her to find something else to worry about. I'm also a firm believer that to worry about things you CAN'T change is just a waste of good worry time! And this can't be changed. Worry about world peace, the changing climate, homelessness and figure out how you can make changes there.
Tell her you love her, you feel so much better without gluten and its not a big deal.
Posted 16 January 2008 - 03:32 AM
How long have you been on gluten-free diet? How long have you been married? How many children do you have and their ages? Were either of you married w/children before? My reply is going to be based on : this is only marriage for both of you, you're both under 10 years of marriage and have 2 children under 10 years of age. My advice might be different if this info is different. I am going to talk to you like a concerned sister or mother....
Our background: married 28 years; husband ill all those years but celiac diagnosed past 4 years; no children, never married before.
I am the non-celiac spouse and I too used to love to do cooking & baking of gluteny stuff for my husband before his celiac diagnosis, especially desserts. Now I have re-focused my energies to learn all the ways of baking gluten free. I "frustrated, but not trapped" and I have made it my heart's desire to keep my husband healthy by re-learning the gluten free way of cooking.
What I can't understand is what exactly is feeding her anxiety? Is she upset that the gluten stuff she's feeding your children and herself too tempting to you and she feels guilty? She's " not relaxed & doesn't not feel appreciated" and it's a result of your rejection of her attempts at cooking gluten free? It doesn't sound like you are rejecting her gluten free cooking....it sounds to me more like eating gluten free is the exception in your household rather than the rule - you are having to fend for yourself and it sounds like it is happening all too often. Sure it's overwhelming at first but cooking gluten free is very easy.
My Advice: I have some for both of you...in order to keep everyone happy, everyone (including yourself) should get involved in the learning process of cooking gluten free. Make it a family project; work with her to convert her gluten receipes into gluten-free receipes. It's a re-learning process.
If a certain meal can be made the same gluten free, then it always has to be made gluten free so that you can eat with the family. Re-train the children into accepting the gluten free versions: you never know, they may some day have the same condition as you as they are your children and have the same genes and the info they learn as youngsters will help them adapt better as older-diagnosed celiacs.
I taught my husband how to make his own gluten free cornbread..it took about a year but I combined the flours & made my own receipe; then he learned how to do it and now does it for himself. Everyone should be allowed to relax over this and feel that their contributions are appreciated as a team.
If I make something new, like the Chebe bread (but it was a flop) I show my husband how to make it. Now we always cook together. I do it to encourage him and show my support for him because he's the one going thru the problem: not me. I just hope that my next gluten-free food "experiment" is a success.
With all due respect, I think you are overconcerned about her "feelings" (relax/unappreciated) as you sound like you appreciate her gluten-free cooking....what do you say to her that's making her feel you're not appreciative? My husband sometimes tells me not to bother to make gluten-free brownies & stuff like that and I just ignore him and do it anyway - like water off a duck's back - sometimes he sounds unappreciative, but I don't let it get to me -- He just doesn't want to bother me (as I work a full time plus job).
Either you are saying stuff to her to make her unrelaxed and unappreciated - like the stuff my husband says to me that I ignore and I don't let it get to me....or she's focusing more on herself and how she feels rather than focusing on your needs.
We've been married for 28 years and have had loads of health and financial issues that would have broken up other couples - but we weathered through every storm. Marriage is like a house, if the house and its foundation are strong, the elements will not permeate it; if the "house" has a crack in the foundation any problem/element will make that crack larger and further problems will bring the house down. Sometimes when there's a crisis, you find out what your mate is "made of." In of itself, "gluten" shouldn't be affecting your marriage. If it's something more than "gluten" you need to have a serious conversation with her without the kids around and find out what's getting to her. I am concerned over the usage of the word "trapped" as you describe her feelings about the celiac diet. That's a strong word to be using for something that does have a resolution (i.e., simple change to a gluten free diet).
Husband misdiagnosed for 27 yrs -
The misdiagnosis was: IBS or colitis
Mis-diagnosed from 1977 to 2003 by various gastros including one of the largest,
most prestigious medical groups in northern NJ which constantly advertises themselves as
being the "best." This GI told him it was "all in his head."
Serious Depressive state ensued
Finally Diagnosed with celiac disease in 2003
Other food sensitivities: almost all fruits, vegetables, spices, eggs, nuts, yeast, fried foods, roughage, soy.
Needs to gain back at least 25 lbs. of the 40 lbs pounds he lost - lost a great amout of body fat and muscle
Developed neuropathy in 2005
Now has lymphadema 2006It is my opinion that his subsequent disorders could have been avoided had he been diagnosed sooner by any of the dozen or so doctors he saw between 1977 to 2003
Posted 16 January 2008 - 04:39 AM
Mom of four boys
Nana to three granddaughters
Diagnosed with Celiac January 2006 after positive biopsy and follow up with positive blood tests
Diagnosed Chronic Fatigue Syndrome March 2006 after ruling out so many other things
Vitamin B12 deficiency October 2006
Oldest son diagnosed Celiac June 2006 also diagnosed type one diabetic November 2002
Posted 16 January 2008 - 04:41 AM
Meat, potatoes, rice and vegetables are gluten-free anyway. Gravy can be thickened with corn starch or light buckwheat flour, and I dare anybody to taste the difference. There is excellent rice pasta out there as well. When my kids come to visit (even the ones who aren't gluten-free) they always love my cooking, as they did before I cooked gluten-free.
I refuse to cook gluteny foods, because EVERYBODY who is here for supper, including me, should be able to eat everything on the table.
Have your children been tested for celiac disease? It is advisable to have all close relatives (kids, sibling, parents) of somebody with celiac disease tested as well, because it is genetic.
Why don't you buy your wife some gluten-free cookbooks? The ones by Bette Hagman are fabulous. My kids baked pies and carrot cake using those recipes for our Christmas dinner, and they were great.
Your wife may have to adapt her recipes to be gluten-free, and re-memorize them. It isn't your fault that you can't eat her gluteny baking any more! She shouldn't make you feel guilty, and you can't feel guilty over this. If she really loves you and wants to bake for you, she can. She will just need to adapt and get over feeling betrayed by your diagnosis.
She is justified in feeling guilty for cooking supper for the family that you can't eat. I can't see any excuse for that. If you will be around for supper, she needs to cook food you can eat.
I think you need to ask her to please start cooking food that is gluten-free, so you won't be excluded from eating with the family, since you are part of that family. Stop saying it doesn't matter, because it does. It is hurtful.
I know, because when I am too ill to cook, my husband will often go out and buy food I can't eat, and will sit there and eat it. I don't get fed, unless I manage to get up and cook myself most of the time. It is very hurtful and makes me feel unloved and unappreciated. I can't imagine that it makes you feel loved when your wife cooks supper you can't eat.
Intolerant to all lectins (including gluten), nightshades (potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant) and salicylates.
Asperger Syndrome, Tourette Syndrome, Addison's disease (adrenal insufficiency), hypothyroidism, fatigue syndrome, asthma
Posted 16 January 2008 - 05:23 AM
I see this more as a concern for their health rather than a "social" type of thing. Do they have gluten issues that have not been diagnosed yet? I have always been told to make a list of the top 5 foods you crave and find the common denominator then you will have a possible offending food. The body craves the "bad" food in the same way a drug addict craves their drug. If you start seeing a pattern like this, you may want to encourage testing for all even though they may not be outwardly showing symptoms yet.
Milk free (all forms) since 1991
Feingold in 2003
First gluten-free round 2007
Now entering full time Gluten free, egg free, almond/peanut free
Posted 16 January 2008 - 06:15 AM
MrMark,I love to bake and still do. I bake gluten foods for the rest of the family and gluten free foods, desserts and such for me and when I make a lot so I can freeze some the rest of the family shares in that as well.
Lisa, you are putting yourself at risk when baking with gluten flours. Even if you wash your hands and scrub under your fingernails after baking, there WILL be flour in the air, which you will breathe in.
I baked with gluten flour just once after finding out that I can't have gluten. That was two years ago, when I baked a cake for my husband on Valentines's day. Even though I obviously didn't eat it, I was sick with obvious glutened symptoms for three days afterwards (and I was EXTREMELY careful, too, to not put gluten in the air). Since then gluten flours have been banned from my house.
Which is another concern for Mark. With all that gluten in the house, the risk of cross contamination for him is very high. I never felt safe (and I wasn't) when people still ate all that gluten food here. My house is supposed to be gluten-free now (even though I keep finding gluten foods my husband sneaks in, unfortunately, even though we had an agreement that he wouldn't do that).
Our youngest daughter has two of the same genes for gluten sensitivity. Meaning that she got one from each parent. I wished my husband would give gluten-free an honest try, who knows what it would do for him!
Intolerant to all lectins (including gluten), nightshades (potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant) and salicylates.
Asperger Syndrome, Tourette Syndrome, Addison's disease (adrenal insufficiency), hypothyroidism, fatigue syndrome, asthma
Posted 16 January 2008 - 06:36 AM
I'm the only Celiac in the house, and I also just loved to bake. Luckily, my husband and son are very supportive of me and although they eat gluten containing foods for breakfast (at home) and lunch (at work), I only make gluten-free dinners.
Like Ursa said, there's virtually no difference in what I make now for dinner than before.
My husband bought me some great cookbooks, as he knew I was anxious to begin learning how to bake again gluten-free. I've added to them--'The Gluten Free Kitchen' by Roben Ryberg is a great book with quick, easy and tasty recipes for everyday foods. I also make use of Gluten Free Pantry mixes quite often. Their pancakes are actually better than the kind I used to make! Their brownies rival any wheat containing ones. I'm just finishing some toast made from their French Bread mix.
I also agree that continuing to use wheat flour in the kitchen is harmful to you and will impede your recovery. While we have some gluten foods here, they're limited to already prepared things like bagels and cereals. I don't have wheat flour or any dry "regular" baking mixes here. Flour gets in the air, and where ever it lands gets contaminated--no matter how careful you are. To me, it's too much of risk.
I feel bad that you are made to fend for yourself at certain mealtimes--that's totally unnecessry. There is no meal I can think of that can't be made safe for you with little to no tweaking at all.
I sincerely hope that your family can come together on this
"Life is what happens while you're busy making other plans"
"When people show you who they are, believe them"--Maya Angelou
"Bloom where you are planted"--Bev
Posted 16 January 2008 - 06:42 AM
Well, I would have to say that some of the other posts seem a bit deep and maybe right on target depending on the rest of your story or they may be a miss. So here is my OPINION.
I went back and read your first post (I had a feeling I would get a little history there . . . ). So I'm going to include some of the information that I find pertinent so that the other readers might understand better. Also, if I get anything wrong, jump right in and correct me.
It looks like you self-diagnosed your gluten intolerance with family history and symptom improvement after going gluten-free. And you started your gluten-free diet about the first of December. I think these two facts are HUGE in how your wife is dealing with this.
She may be having trouble with the lack of a "doctor" telling you to go gluten free. I'm not sure how to help here. Can she tell that you feel immensely better? Does she buy into the fact that gluten was a problem for you? I actually think that this would be the harder issue to deal with if she doesn't believe gluten is a problem.
As far as cooking goes, you are both early in the adjustment phase. It is overwhelming at first. If she does all the shopping and cooking, she needs to be doing the research otherwise she will never learn what is OK for you. You are MORE than welcome to be involved, but she needs to be involved too. Many of the items that she currently buys are probably OK or she may just need to buy a different brand. I would suggest that she join this forum and learn about ingredients, shopping and recipes. Then she can pick one recipe at a time and "tinker" with it. It is NOT hard to convert your meals to gluten free.
For example, I always used crushed saltines to make my meatloaf. The first time I made meatloaf, I used Hol-Grain crackers . . . it was all right, not bad. The next time I used crushed puffed rice cereal . . . nope, absolutely not, tasted OK but made it really dry, needed extra ketchup to get it down . Next time I used crushed Health Valley rice crunchem's . . . perfect! Along the way, I figured out I needed to add the salt that I usually got by default with the saltines. The family voted each time . . . "last time was better" . . . "this is the best one yet". We always have au gratin potatoes with meatloaf. Betty Crocker's is NOT safe; Great Value brand is. . . no brainer. We went through the same process with fried chicken. That one took a little longer but there were no "flops" along the way, just some versions were better than others.
I think she is overwhelmed and not even sure of what she should do or where to start. Help her research one meal. Make it a family project. Start with something not too hard . . . Pamela's pancake mix is wonderful, that with some oscar mayer bacon and pure maple syrup for you (and the rest can eat whatever brand syrup they want) and then you have breakfast . . . together.
I think she's missing some outside support . . . send her HERE!!!
Experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted.
Posted 16 January 2008 - 06:53 AM
I'm the kind of person who shows love through cooking/baking and it was a huge blow to learn that the foods I've lovingly prepared for my daughter were the reason she was so sick. Sometimes I still get angry or sad about it (and we've been gluten-free since July!). A mourning period is normal and necessary. I think you can help your family through it by approaching the diet as an exciting, family-bonding activity.
Great good luck to you!
Posted 16 January 2008 - 07:47 AM
As for cooking gluten-free - it's not that hard once you get the diet down. If she makes tacos, is it such a big deal to have corn tortillas instead of wheat? Then the whole family can be gluten-free. If she's making pasta, she can use rice pasta. There are many very easy substitutions that can be made if you know the right brands. I've also adapted all my old gluten baked goods recipes. I replace the flour with a gluten-free flour mix and add a bit of xantham gum. Most of the time you can barely tell the difference.
Peanut-Free since July 2006.
Posted 16 January 2008 - 07:48 AM
Ask her what she thnks, and don't read into the situation more than what she thinks. Ask her what you can do to help, and do that. Maybe your read on the situation is right, maybe it's not, maybe it's close but not quite.
And, as everyone has pointed out, you are *VERY* early in this process, in the learning curve, where it is hardest, and you've got bumps to get past. Does it help, right now, to know that? Probably not, but it means that it's not going to keep getting worse month after month, year after year. It means that you guys are going to learn to adapt, make those changes, and have a new family norm. Now's the time to work that out together.
Inconclusive Blood Tests, Positive Dietary Results, No Endoscopy
G.F. - September 2003; C.F. - July 2004
Hiker, Yoga Teacher, Engineer, Painter, Be-er of Me
Posted 07 February 2008 - 12:19 PM
Posted 07 February 2008 - 04:58 PM
If your wife has a questioning mind, one thing you might try is to explain to her that EVERYONE is gluten intolerant whether they know it or not.
Whilst in ancient times Wheat consisted of a simple protein molecule of 14 chromosomes which was easily digested, over the last few centuries, due to hybridisation techniques science has meddled with it to the point that it now has AT LEAST 42 chromosomes. Yes GM was alive and well at least 200 years ago! This huge protein molecule has rendered Wheat gluten highly indigestible to humans and is damaging the gut even though we may not have any obvious symptoms. It is setting the body up for any amount of illnesses and diseases, Celiac being just one of them.
Even low level gluten intolerance can interfere with the way the body absorbs and processes nutrients and eventually the lack of nutrients will cause cells and organs within the body to start to break down.
If you can explain this to her from a medical and health point of view, that although she and the children may appear to be able to cope with gluten at the moment, it is the long-term damage that is of concern. You are fortunate in that the symptoms have shown up early enough for you to be able to halt any further damage by cutting the gluten.
Hopefully, explained with love, she will come to understand why you need to keep gluten-free and that adopting this kind of eating would be beneficial for her and the children too. None of us wants to see our children or loved ones suffer and the thought that we will be helping to keep them healthy is paramount. I watched my lovely Mum die over a period of 7 months and was unable to help her. Knowing what I know now, I have realised that she had suffered with gluten Intolerance and Celiac for years. I was too late to help her, but I at least am able to help myself and my family and I am telling as many friends as I can to get the word around as I can see so many who would benefit by losing Gluten from their diet!
Perhaps, as your wife likes to cook, you might be able to find a few really good gluten-free recipe books so she can get a taste for some of the yummy recipes and encourage her in ways she might also be able to convert the recipes she loves making. Perhaps even showing her the forum so that she can see how many people have benefited from dropping gluten might help too. Wheat products are extremely addictive and it is very difficult to break the cycle but it can be done with some planning and creative thinking. Hopefully she will come to see that creating gluten-free recipes for you will, in fact, actually be good for the whole family.
There are lists of many and varied symptoms that can be attributable to gluten intolerance. Does she have friends or family that may be ill with symptoms that could actually be attributable to gluten ingestion? Gluten intolerance can be behind just about any disease. It is endemic. Only communities that do not eat wheat have no problem with gluten! I know other grains are implicated, but wheat is the biggest culprit as it is in EVERYTHING! Thanks to science and its meddling, we are all being poisoned. Very slowly perhaps, but it is quietly doing its dirty work while we sit there enjoying it! The fact that it is so enjoyable makes it all the more insidious and evil.
I really hope you and your wife can come to an understanding. I am working on my husband - I think he is beginning to see how insidious it is and will eventually be happy to drop the gluten. I am sure it will help his Fibromyalgia. The proof is in the pudding after all (as long as its gluten-free!)
Stopped gluten & dairy, Jan 08, but still other issues so dropped most carbs and sugar and have been following the Specific Carb Diet (SCD) since March 08. Recovery slow but steady and I can now eat a much broader range of foods especially raw which are good for my digestion and boost my energy level.
Not getting better? Try the SCD - it might just change your life.........
Posted 07 February 2008 - 07:28 PM
At first, I cooked somewhat seperately for me, and fed them what I'd always fed them. Slowly, I tried to focus on foods we could all eat - Roasted chicken w/ mashed potatoes, burgers (I ate mine on a rice cake for a while,), Jambalaya (with gluten-free sausage), chili. I developed a fried rice recipe the entire family adored. My middle son was very sad that we couldnt have his favorite homemade mac-n-cheese, but i just didnt want to spend so much time in the kitchen and not be able to eat what I cooked.
I do still do 2 pots of pasta when we have pasta for dinner, but 1 sauce we can all enjoy. When I make a soup for dinner, I might eat corn chips with it, or occasionally make gluten-free corn muffins, and buy them a nice loaf of bread instead of making home-made rolls.
I am also starting to learn what tastes just as good - like I made chicken soup tonight with Glutino 'egg' type noodles, because last time when I seperated the soup at the end to add 2 kinds of noodles, I discovered that they are GREAT in soup . . . . so we can all eat them, then.
I quit both in November, and now its February and i"m starting to really feel confident that I can feed my family mostly gluten-free and dairy-free and they still enjoy their meals. Now, I do still have a lot of gluten in the house - kraft mac-n-cheese, pretzels, ramen, plus bread and desserts in the kids lunches. However, we are seriously considering taking the middle one off of gluten, too - he's already mostly off of dairy.
So, its ok for you to fend for yourself sometimes, but I'm also confident that, over time, w a few cookbooks, your wife can also find ways to feed the whole family happily with mostly gluten-free foods.
Off gluten and dairy (and tapioca ;-( ) since 11/07
A.L.C.A.T. test showed over 50 sensitive foods
Celiac panel came back negative.
Regular allergy testing reacted to every inhalant and all but 6 foods.
Slowly adding in foods, started w 19 and now have 25
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