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I Am Having A Hard Time With This!
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31 posts in this topic

I just bought some fluorescent green dot stickers that we are using to mark gluten free/safe items (we keep separate pnut butter etc.). We did clear the pantry of most gluten items. Our family is adjusting fairly well and while my husband is very supportive and loves to cook (everyone in our family cooks and we are all learning to make all gluten free meals) -- there are times he gets tired of talking gluten-free. I don't blame him and try to watch for the signs of over gluten-free ing my family.

The other day I sent all three of my men out to eat at their favorite restaurant without me to have a gluten party....funny thing is they came back with a full report of what I would be able to eat safely at that restaurant so I could go along next time :)

I'm trying to keep it a simple as possible now...there are gluten breads in our kitchen...but I never make my sandwich while preparing theirs and I always wash my hands very well after touching gluten items...hoping that will be enough but am aware that we may have to take more drastic measures if I am not improving.

Hang in there...thanks to everyone's responses...it is comforting to hear the difficulties others are having with transitioning/living gluten-free -- to know we are not going through this alone.

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I encourage you to reframe your thinking.

Instead of "my wife won't let me eat gluten foods" think "my wife CANNOT eat gluten foods, but i can still have whatever i want when i go out."

Instead of " my wife is denying me my favorite foods" try "my wife had to give up ALL of her favorite gluten foods, but i can still have them if i learn to keep a clean, gluten free kitchen after preparing them."

Instead of "I resent my wife because she tries to tell me what I can and can't eat" try "my wife resents her illness and needs my support to overcome her anger about her diagnosis and be happy to have good health."

Finally, think about what is better for YOU and your kids- a sick wife with physical and emotional problems that do not allow her to focus on her family? OR a healthy wife you can enjoy your company and participate in activities with you.

In my case, I was diagnosed after a few weeks of throwing up everything I ate. Prior to the vomiting, I had emotional side effects- very irritable- and extreme fatigue. My family SUFFERED because of MY illness. My kids are now 4 and 6. My fatigue started when my second son was born (pregnancy can trigger celiac.) My husband has been desperate for me to be back to my normal self. He is THRILLED to do ANYTHING that will allow me to be an active participant in the family again. Our home is going gluten free, except one loaf of bread, one box of cereal and one box of crackers.

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johncgaiser:

You both have to give. If she expects you to do all the compromising, it won't work. She needs to understand that with a few precautions, you and the kids can eat gluten-containing foods, and she can eat gluten-free. However, your job is to ensure and re-ensure her that you and the kids ABSOLUTELY WILL NOT CROSS-CONTAMINATE HER FOOD WITH YOURS. If you cross-contaminate just one time and she gets sick, she will lose trust. She needs to know she can count on you to protect her and be just as mindful of where the food is flying as she is. This means that you may have to have two toasters - one for gluten-free bread only and one for regular bread. And under no circumstances should regular bread EVER go in the gluten-free toaster. This also means that you will need to be extremely meticulous about cleaning up and wiping down the dishes and counters where you've prepared gluten-containing food. But she needs to be reasonable and not expect you to completely overhaul your diet with foods you aren't required to eat.

My husband and I are in the same situation. I can't eat gluten and he can. He's patient with my questions about making sure he's cleaned an area of the countertop before I use it to prepare my food, and I encourage him to enjoy pizza and all the glutenous foods we used to eat together. He prefers not to because he doesn't want to "punish" me like that, but I'm a big girl and can handle it. Your wife needs to be a big girl, too. Likely, she's just feeling sorry for herself right now. She's been thrown into an unfamiliar world and probably resents having to give up all the foods she loves. Try putting yourself in her place and imagine how you would feel if you suddenly couldn't eat all the food you're used to. It's pretty scary, overwhelming, and daunting. Likewise, she needs to put herself in your shoes and imagine how she would feel if the roles were reversed. Would she like being forced to give up foods she liked because someone else couldn't eat them? No, she wouldn't.

But the good news is she'll find new foods to love...I have. Just be patient with her and tell her you understand, but tell her you don't want to give up those foods. Support her through this, learn everything you can about gluten-free living (the Internet is a wealth of knowledge, and there's lots of books you can buy), and maybe even help her prepare a gluten-free meal once or twice a week. There's lots of gluten-free recipes all over the Internet and my hubby and I have found foods that we both just LOVE -- even better than some of our old favorites pre-gluten-free. I've got two words for you: Mexican food. Yum! My hubby and I have found that Mexican food is one of the easiest meals to prepare gluten-free. No burritos (flour tortilla), of course, but we whip up an incredible enchilada (corn tortilla). Oh, and pick her up some Ben & Jerry's Toffee Crunch ice cream. It's gluten-free and should put a big fat smile on her face.

If you do this for her, it'll make her feel better and make her feel supported like she's not in this by herself. That's really all she needs right now...and I'll bet once you do this for her, she'll relax her feelings that you should only eat gluten-free, too.

Good luck! ;)

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1. You are a really fantastic human being for seeking out a place like this to ask questions and get support! (Not all persons are so lucky, so pat yourself on the back for wanting to find out more)

2. This is hard for you and your whole family because it involves food - everyone needs to eat and eating has so many social and cultural components. Your wife is going through a whole slew of emotions and undoubtedly feeling left out and that is is very unfair that she has to give up so much and probably doesn't want to give up her family meals and wants to see her home as "safe."

3. How you feel about gluten and how she feels about gluten will change. This level of emotional intensity over everything is new and everyone in your house is trying to learn what this means.

If she is recently diagnosed she is probably dealing with a slew of other health issues. It takes a while for bodies to heal and she probably doesn't feel 100% better and might blame the current gluten-in-the-house situation for not feeling or getting better. (she also might be getting cross contaminated which SUCKS and feels like starting over from day one)

4. I am almost 2 years gluten free and often envious of those who are able to have a gluten free house. I live with two roommates and it means doing double work every time I want to eat something. (Cleaning up their crumbs, laying down a clean dish towel, getting my gluten free utensils out of a special bucket, having to use and clean things separately and get them back into the bucket, etc.)

It sucks. I feel like I did not choose to be gluten intolerant and I should not have to clean up after other people who leave out POISON on the counter... but the fact of the matter is my working definition of "clean" had to change and means something very different to me than it does to them.

I wouldn't doubt if your wife is feeling scared of your kitchen, crumbs and fingers. Again, this can change. (I no longer have roommate rage, I roll my eyes and clean up crumbs daily, because that is what I have to do to be healthy.)

5. Talk to her about separate spaces. Color coding, like others mentioned can be really useful.

But go gentle and say its because you want her to feel at home in her house and safe. Ask her what she feels is reasonable.

Here is the thing... she might not feel like she can share her space right now. She might feel gross and bloated and uncomfortable and tired and doesn't want to have to THINK about one more thing in her life that could make her sick. It sounds paranoid but when you are first diagnosed and all of a sudden you find out that things with gluten can be in ridiculous places - like twizzlers & envelope glue! - you think you are going mad and will never find all of the hidden gluten and never be healthy.

So while this feels really like she is punishing you, its probably because she wants to be healthy for herself and her family. (but when you are going through the beginning stages its really hard to know how you feel and articulate it because it feels overwhelming)

Hopefully the stories here can shed some light onto what it feels like from the can't-eat-gluten perspective and if you are able to have a conversation with your wife where you can say "man this has to be overwhelming and scary, lets work on this together" she is going to feel like you are her partner in this and that you will be helping her too (reading labels, respecting the rules of the kitchen, etc).

YOU ARE AWESOME FOR WANTING TO KNOW WHAT IS GOING ON AND ASKING QUESTIONS, DON'T FORGET THAT!!!

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My wife was diagnosed last year and now I and our two children are required to eat gluten free while in her presence. It has disrupted our total quality of life and I find myself resenting her. Is there middle ground at all?

I understand I can't cook the pizza in the kitchen, but can I bring a cooked pizza in the kitchen? Can I make pancakes in the garage and bring them in the kitchen? Can I make pancakes in the garage? Can I make them in the backyard?

At this point, she resents me for inquiring about compromise and I resent her for not being willing to explore where those compromises may be. I want to take her disease seriously and it is frustrating to hear that it is all or nothing.

I need support boot camp.

John,

This is a good question. One place you can make pizza and pancakes is in your new one bedroom apt. Yeah, the one you will be living in alone when she smarts up and leaves you. Though, if she plays her cards right and nails you for the alimony I would imagine you will have new recipes for eating Spam and TOP RAMEN on a hot plate. That would be the best compromise really. Because you believe there is a "compromise" dealing with the situation. I understand there is DEFINITELY NO SUBSTITUTE FOR PIZZA and BEER. Especially not yer old lady. The best way for you to understand her situation is with a sports analogy: Okay you favorite Quarterback has a broken leg, so he cant play at ALL. You are the coach and you are asking him to "just play the first half of the game" as a compromise. The QB is saying "i cant play at all" and you the coach is saying "your a pussy, if you had any guts you would be on that field" Get it?

What is food John? Its fuel thats it. Besides your children are likely better off with a gluten free diet? Mountain Dew is gluten free BTW

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John,

This is a good question. One place you can make pizza and pancakes is in your new one bedroom apt. Yeah, the one you will be living in alone when she smarts up and leaves you. Though, if she plays her cards right and nails you for the alimony I would imagine you will have new recipes for eating Spam and TOP RAMEN on a hot plate. That would be the best compromise really. Because you believe there is a "compromise" dealing with the situation. I understand there is DEFINITELY NO SUBSTITUTE FOR PIZZA and BEER. Especially not yer old lady. The best way for you to understand her situation is with a sports analogy: Okay you favorite Quarterback has a broken leg, so he cant play at ALL. You are the coach and you are asking him to "just play the first half of the game" as a compromise. The QB is saying "i cant play at all" and you the coach is saying "your a pussy, if you had any guts you would be on that field" Get it?

What is food John? Its fuel thats it. Besides your children are likely better off with a gluten free diet? Mountain Dew is gluten free BTW

You're saying it's all or nothing, while the rest of the thread is clearly explaining that isn't the case. Every other post states how they have compromised with the non-Celiac, while John's wife doesn't seem to want to herself. Some people have difficulty handling change, especially children. Stating that it would be best for his wife to leave him and their children is incredibly unhelpful. As I'm just starting on this site myself, I hope there are very few posters who have your point of view.

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