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I Am Having A Hard Time With This!

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#16 Dasmith


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Posted 25 March 2009 - 10:35 AM

I am an extremely lucky wife....my husband has chosen to go mostly gluten free for me, but I did not require this. There is bread in the fridge and garlic bread in the freezer for him and he uses the toaster oven which I no longer use. I believe that this is my disease and not his so if he still wishes to eat gluten, he can....he actually is more aware of it then I can be. For example, I kept getting sick after "gluten free meals" or so I thought. While he was BBQing he was using the same utensils on my food and his which had BBQ sauce on it...and he is the one that noticed what he was doing....I just laughed and teased him saying that he was trying to collect on my $5000 life insurance policy through work....lol. I don't want him to be so jumpy about what I can and can't eat that he ends up resenting me, I can be neurotic enough on my own...lol.

Anyway, my point is do what is best for you both....have her read this site, see how people cope with it when one is celiac and one isn't. Maybe make a designated area for you in the kitchen, etc. My hope is you both can come to some agreement where she feels supported and you can still enjoy foods that you like. Good luck to you both, and take care.
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#17 samcarter


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Posted 03 April 2009 - 07:09 AM

Well, I won't be popular, but as the gluten-intolerant person in our household, I would never make my family eat gluten-free in my presence. Leaving out the fact that eating gluten free can become expensive (if you try to duplicate a gluten-filled diet with substitutes), I think it can create resentment on the part of the non-celiac familiy members. If my husband had to go without bread, I would fear for our marriage.

Also, the world is not gluten-free. Eventually we all have to learn how to keep ourselves as safe as possible when we go out in the world, unless we decide to become hermits and stay in our homes the rest of our lives.

Your wife's diagnosis is recent, you said, and it's very common and understandable for her to be pulling up the drawbridge and wanting to avoid as much tempation and contamination as possible. However, it's going to put a strain on the rest of the family. As much as she wants a gluten-free haven for herself, while she figures out how to eat at restaurants and heals internally, she's living with other people.

I have a shelf for my gluten-free foods (rice threads, Larabars, Rice Chex), and I do all the meal planning and cooking, for the most part. If i'm making a gluten-free meal for myself, I make it first, and then the gluten-filled foods. This reduces the chance of cross-contamination. At first I was greatly tempted by the Pringles (wheat starch) that our kids have as treats, but a few slips and the resultant diarrhea was enough for me to remember to exercise willpower.

I don't bother baking many gluten-free treats for myself, so that I don't have to boil my Kitchenaid mixer after using it to make cookies for the kids. ;) Often we just buy gluten-filled cookies, rather than go to that bother.

I make sure to wipe down the counters and change dishcloths often. If I'm working with flour, I make sure to wash my hands well.

I'm not saying your wife has to bake bread for the family, or cookies, or whatnot. There are lots of wonderful, naturally gluten-free meals she can make for the whole family that won't rely on substitutes like tapioca flour or bean flour (yuck). Or if the kids are old enough, they can make their own lunches and breakfasts--which tend to be gluteny.

Again, if her diagnosis is new, she's going to be jumpy about gluten and worried. That's understandable. But in my opinion, forcing those who don't need to eat the special diet to eat it, is only going to create resentment over the long term.
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Negative EMA test 8/08
Gluten free 8/08
Positive response to dietary change
Dairy free 3/09
Citrus free 5/09
Allergies: bananas, apples, green beans, mold.

#18 ranger


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Posted 03 April 2009 - 08:21 AM

My DH can eat gluten - I can't. There is no wheat flour in the house. He takes his lunch to work, so whats allowed in the house is: Sandwich bread, individually wrapped baked goods, crackers, and cereal for him. It's kept together away from the rest of the food. There is one area of the counter where he can make a sandwich ( on a paper plate) or pour cereal or make toast in his toaster. My toaster is across the room. We eat mostly gluten free joint meals. On occasion, we have a meal that is too expensive to make gluten free, so I make separate meals. Not often! An example is pizza. I'll buy him a regular pizza, and make a gluten-free pizza for me. He doesn't mind gluten-free meals - says they're just as good as before. And I'm not sick all the time. You can work it out but, remember, your wife's health is more important that any inconveniance's that occur because of it!
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#19 LDJofDenver


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Posted 03 April 2009 - 11:35 AM

Well, lots of great advice here, for sure.

I am the Celiac in my house. We do not operate a gluten free home or kitchen, we are just careful and conscious of our food prep. It was a little hairy-scary at first (on both our parts) but now it is old hat. We sort of just have his-and-hers pasta -- I make the spaghetti meat sauce with all the stuff we love, then we boil 2 pans of water, one to make my noodles (rice) and one to make his!

One thing we've done that really helps in the kitchen is purchased separate "safe" items in a different color: my cutting board is red, my strainer/collander is red. They stand out like a flag that says gluten-free! Might give that a try. Now it's even kind of fun to come across some other new item that is RED and add to my safe collection. Our stainless pans are safe, but coated ones previously used are not, so I have (yes) my red omelet pan. I have my own red electric mixer, and my own toaster (darn, it's just white, but it's mine).

And eating out, your wife can call your favorite restaurants ahead of time - especially during a slower time of day - and find out in advance what menu items would be safe for her to order when you go there.
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Diagnosed 8-8-08 (I think I'll remember that date!)
Positive blood panel
Endoscopy a little later on confirmed, via Small Intestine Biopsy
Adult son diagnosed Celiac in his late 20s
Suspect my Mother undiagnosed Celiac

#20 lonewolf


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Posted 03 April 2009 - 12:08 PM

I'm the gluten-free wife and my husband has tried to be patient. We have 4 children and I was the only one gluten-free for several years, but now 2 of my kids (teenagers) are also gluten-free. So we have 3 and 3. Here's how we have ended up compromising:

All breakfasts are gluten-free, except for the occasional time I buy gluten-free bagels. Because they're expensive, I also buy regular bagels so everyone can have some. We have french toast, pancakes, muffins, omelets, sausage, bacon and eggs, and often just cereal. We've found enough gluten-free cereal that everyone likes that there aren't any problems. Occasionally a non gluten-free cereal comes into the house and it's not a big deal. I've heard that Pamela's Pancake mix is good, but I can't have dairy, so we just make them homemade from my old recipe.

Lunches are a bit different. My 2 gluten-free kids and I pack totally gluten-free lunches. My husband and other 2 kids often have gluten-free food too, whether it's leftovers or sandwiches. My husband goes out to lunch occasionally so he can eat whatever he wants. My other two kids buy lunch once in a while when there's something they want that they don't get at home. I do allow wheat bread for sandwiches and packaged things like granola bars in the kitchen, but I try to make sure that there are gluten-free equivalents so no one is left out.

All dinners are completely gluten-free. I do almost all of the cooking and make things like pasta, roast chicken, pot roast, pizza, casseroles, tacos and "normal" food. I just use gluten-free ingredients. My husband is happy with how everything tastes and never complains. The non gluten-free kids are fine with dinners too. The occasional time we go out, there are no rules about what anyone can eat, but we have to go to a place where we can all order something.

If you like to cook and make things like pancakes and pizza, maybe you could experiment and make things that you both enjoy and can eat. It's worked for us, so I'm sure you can make it work for you too.
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Started Specific Carbohydrate Diet on 8-16-09 because son was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis and want to give him moral support.

Diagnosed with Minimal Change Nephrotic Syndrome in 2003. Discovered that going completely gluten-free put me in remission.

I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Psalms 27:13

#21 WW340


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Posted 03 April 2009 - 05:51 PM

I am the celiac, and my house is mostly gluten free. All meals are made by me and are gluten free. My husband and my son both say we eat better than we ever did before. They love our home cooked meals.

They both have their own bread and sometimes cookies or cinnamon rolls. If I will keep the gluten free items baked, they would just as soon have my gluten free cookies and cakes, and they love my gluten free crackers.

Anything made of flour in this house is done with gluten free flours, whether I am eating or not. It is just too hard to keep floating gluten under control.

When we go out, they can have what ever they want to eat. It does not bother me to watch someone else eat gluten. I simply can't be worried about it finding it's way into my food. I don't like to go out to eat, because I frequently get cross contaminated. We have a few reliable restaurants now, so it is not so bad.

I am very sensitive, so the least little bit of cross contamination makes me sick for days to weeks. If I had to deal with the constant possibility of contamination at home, I would go nuts.

I make gluten free pizza that is very good, however, sometimes my son and husband will have a frozen pizza, but they are very careful with handling and clean up.

When my family got lax and started bringing in more gluten items, and not being so very careful, I got sick again for an extended period of time. They got better, and so did I.

I just can't live with flu like symptoms and constant itching 24 hours a day. I have many permanent problems due to celiac, I really don't need anymore.

My family would rather have me healthy, and not grumpy (one of my symptoms of contamination), so they work very hard at keeping me safe now.

I am glad to see that you are also realizing that your wife probably needs a little more support right now. This is definitely not easy. It is the very worse that it can be in the beginning, when you don't feel good anyway, and it all seems so overwhelming. Everyone will do better with it after a period of time and some experience.

Good luck, at least you are looking for answers, that is a good first step.
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Positive Bloodwork January 2007
Positive Biopsy Feb. 2007
Gluten Free since January 2007

HLA-DQB1 Molecular analysis, Allele 1 0201
HLA-DQB1 Molecular analysis, Allele 2 0303

Serologic equivalent: HLA-DQ 2,3 (Subtype 2,9)

#22 NorthernElf


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Posted 04 April 2009 - 06:42 AM

This is an interesting topic for sure - I'm thinking having kids at home makes a big difference. I'm the celiac in my family - we have three kids 13 and under. I do not have a gluten free home...I couldn't afford it ! Having said that, many meals I make are gluten free by default but lunches would be very hard. I have one small section of the counter set aside for gluten stuff - bread for sandwiches, etc. All the other counters have a small 'gluten free zone' sign, as does my toaster on that side (the gluten side has its own toaster). The top shelf of the fridge freezer is gluten-free stuff, the top shelf of the pantry is my gluten-free stuff. I have a drawer of gluten free bakeware and cooking utensils. If it is silicone, it's mine...I also have a couple of silicone sheets to line the gluteny cookie sheets when I bake my stuff. I use metal cooking bowls for my stuff, they use the plastic ones.

I got rid of the breadmaker real quick - cutting bread makes a LOT of crumbs. When we have pizza we usually have it on pizza shells - they have theirs, I use the Kinnikinnick ones. I still make muffins for my kids - I just use mixes. My kids have taken over making cookies at the kitchen table.

I definitely do not (try not to) resent their eating gluten in my presence. I find eating gluten free to be a real pain in the a$$ at times and I can resent it, but not my family. Why should they have to "suffer" along with me ? Sure, it bothers me at times that I can't have what they have but it certainly is not their fault. Mostly the times this whole gluten-free thing bothers me is when we are travelling and visiting family or vacationing. Not all extended family members understand gluten-free living and when travelling there are so many different food experiences I must miss out on...but it's nobody's fault, I just can't have it. It sucks - my in laws ordered in dishes of Chinese food over spring break...I could have the steamed rice. It smelled so good...but there were 15 of us so 14 got to enjoy a good meal together...I wouldn't deny them that. My own mother had a lasagna ready for us when we travelled down there :rolleyes: ...that sucked too but my family enjoyed it. I had a Thai noodle soup and worked on enjoying their company.

I've been at this for about 5 years. There are certainly ups & downs. My DH is very supportive - he's not too good at letting me whine and mope about it but he is very good at supporting me and following my gluten-free "rules". I really wish I didn't have this condition and I hope none of my kids develop it but I gotta live with it as best as I can. I could certainly see that once the kids leave home our house would be a lot more gluten-free but as long as I'm very careful, it's not an issue.
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#23 delidot


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Posted 18 April 2009 - 12:43 AM

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.

Hi John,

I really empathize with you. It is extremely difficult to change one's eating habits. However, your wife has had to change all of hers to accomodate this disease. Some of the things you should know are: gluten free does not have to be horrid or tasteless. There are hundreds of gluten free recipes that are great for everyone.

I am a Chef at a tea room/restuarant. I am not a celiac, but must prepare foods for people who are. It is really important to me to prepare gluten free foods that are delicious and would appeal to anyone. This is possible. If you want me to supply you with recipes or ideas for gluten free foods that anyone would enjoy, please email me and I will send them to you. Susan
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#24 delidot


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Posted 18 April 2009 - 12:49 AM

Hi John,

I really empathize with you. It is extremely difficult to change one's eating habits. However, your wife has had to change all of hers to accomodate this disease. Some of the things you should know are: gluten free does not have to be horrid or tasteless. There are hundreds of gluten free recipes that are great for everyone.

I am a Chef at a tea room/restuarant. I am not a celiac, but must prepare foods for people who are. It is really important to me to prepare gluten free foods that are delicious and would appeal to anyone. This is possible. If you want me to supply you with recipes or ideas for gluten free foods that anyone would enjoy, please email me and I will send them to you. Susan

ps: Yes you can make pancakes in the garage or outside, you need an electric grill. It is primarily the flour dust in the air that is a problem for celiacs.
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#25 one more mile

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Posted 18 April 2009 - 06:13 AM

This is an interesting topic to see how others deal with it.

I figure that it is my illness not other peoples.

I am the celiac but have a roommate. He understands my illness as he has seem me sick for the last 20 years.
but some things he just does not get. We cook separate most of the time but if one of us is in the mood to make dinner it is made gluten free.

One thing he does that makes me jump in fear is to make toast and then lay it on the counter and butter it and then walk off, leaving the crumbs. Lucky for me he always does it at the same spot so I just stay clear of that spot. One thing I had to learn to do was to put a plate on the counter before I placed anything of mine on it, even a spoon or butter knife. I have my own toaster and store it in the cabinet when i am not using it. That way it is not used by someone else in error.
Why grip about it when I can prevent the problem?

He is not a baker but I know I could not handle air borne gluten. He eats what I bake. I have taken many recipes of line and bought a few cook books.

I have had learn that for a celiac there is no 5 second rule. If I drop food, even on a clean counter I toss it out.

As my kitchen is small most gluten food is kept in his room.but for practical reasons bread is in the kitchen.
I do not touch or cook anything with gluten. I am not sure what I would do if I had gluten eating kids living with me.

We mix some of our food but not jelly or butter due to cross contamination.

It is an odd feeling not being safe in my own kitchen, part of me can not wait till he moves out, but it is also good practice. I must be so careful out in the world that I might as well practice at home.
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#26 GottaSki


    "The past is the past...I've got places to be."

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Posted 27 April 2009 - 08:43 AM

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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Undiagnosed Celiac Disease ~ 43 years

3/26/09 gluten-free - dignosed celiac - blood 3/3/09, biopsy 3/26/09, double DQ2 / single DQ8 positive

10/25/13 - MCAD

Health history since celiac diagnosis became too long -- moved to the "about me" section of my profile

My children and I all have multiple copies of the genes for Celiac Disease, along with large variety of symptoms/resolution gluten-free

Current tally from me, three kids and two grands: 4 diagnosed with Celiac Disease, 2 NCGS


ALWAYS independently research health related information found on internet forums/blogs.

"LTES" a Gem :)

#27 lizajane


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Posted 29 April 2009 - 12:31 PM

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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#28 JW88


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Posted 29 April 2009 - 12:36 PM


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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#29 melmak5


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Posted 30 April 2009 - 05:52 AM

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).

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#30 MonKol


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Posted 10 September 2009 - 06:43 PM

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.

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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