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Your Significant Other
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Hi all

I am writing tonight, looking for some input about everyday life at home, regarding your significant other, his/ her reaction when diagnosed/ going gluten-free/ being glutenated etc...because I didn't really have to deal with that so far, but I will soon!

>>I have been diagnosed about 6 weeks ago.

The first 2/3 weeks were a bit chaotic, it was day-to-day dealing with understanding what I could safely eat (neg bloodwork, dr. advised me to try the diet anyway, but I had no idea where it was going/ if I "really" was going to do that -for life) so I didn't change a lot at home, and hubby did go on eating gluten.

Due to a very positive response to the diet, I (dr. agreed) decided I have to stick to it.

Right after that, hubby & me were away from home for spring break.

Then I came back home, but he's still away. So I delt alone with replacing the cookware/ trying to get more comfy with the diet etc...felt a bit lonely at times; but in a way that was much easier, because I could focus and do my things without having to explain, etc.

Now, hubby is coming back home (finally :)) in a week. So, we will have to deal with this together: another adaptation period.

We discussed it a bit already, and there is a good chance he'll go gluten-free with me at home (maybe not regarding beer, though)

But we mainly discussed it at a distance, so there will be some adjustments to work on!

I know he will be supportive (he is already!) but I am curious about the way it happened for you guys? was it easy or tough?

For now, the only things I can think of is:

-try to educate myself the best possible, so that I can explain things simply to hubby and educate him as well. I find this new gluten-free life both easy at times, and tough on me at others, and I realise this is a big change for my significant other, too. I want him to understand me and what I am going through! I feel like I need to "get ready" for this, so that it ends up being a positive experience for both of us!

-I also bought a bunch of different gluten-free pastas for him -since going gluten-free I mostly experimented new grains like quinoa millet & buckwheat, but he loves pasta so I figured it would be nice to have some to cook & try with him when he's back :)

So, here it is.

Sorry for the huge post! hope you guys will find some interest in the topic & come drop a line, give a tip or two according to your own experience...

Thanks!!

Sophie

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My boyfriend and I live together, and our kitchen is strictly gluten-free. Whenever friends come over he is the first person to tell them that they can't eat gluten, and beer is only allowed in the living room and cannot be poured down the sink. He does sometimes pick up gluten at the caf between classes or fast food before work, but he always always brushes his teeth after he eats. I didn't ask him to go gluten-free though, he just decided he'd rather I be healthy and having a special kitchen would make it a lot better.

Good luck!

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In my case, my husband is the one that started clearing out the cupboards - I had planned to just go gluten free by myself and keep cooking "normal" food for him. He wasn't having with THAT load of nonsense (his words!). While he will eat items with gluten outside of the home sometimes, at home, he is gluten free as well. And since I pack his lunch most days - even at work he is usually gluten free! Really, the only times he eats gluten is when he is out with his mom at a restaurant. When we go out together, he has lately started keeping to a gluten-free menu so we can both try what the other is having and there are no worries about leftovers. (PF Chang's is great for this - but with some asking around, we've also managed to find a wonderful pizza place and our favorite little Chinese restaurant started keeping gluten-free soy sauce and bought a separate wok to keep on hand for when we drop by!)

It's funny, in a weird way the previous two years of some serious health scares made this whole celiac thing a breeze for him to handle. There was a bad period when the doctors were convinced I had stomach cancer - and about a year of me being seriously ill from another issue. He told me a few months ago that after spending so long terrified that I was going to die, finding out he just has to stop bringing wheat bread and fast food home is a snap! Add in that I'm finally feeling so much better that other aspects of our life together are getting more.... active, he seems to feel its a fair trade.

I think it helps that we both love to cook and experiment in the kitchen. As long as the food is tasty and we get to play together trying it out, he's fine with whatever ends up on the table!

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It's going to depend on the person. My husband has no problem eating meals I make or letting me rule the kitchen, but he has his separate area where he has his gluten items, and he eats them regularly. It's not worth arguing over to me, as I can't blame him. So I just keep my stuff separate.

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My boyfriend and I live together and our kitchen is whatever. I do the majority of the cooking, with no complaints from him...and I tend to make meals that are gluten free. However, just because its gluten free doesn't mean you have to cook any differently than you would normally, it's easy to avoid gluten containing items when you eat shrimp, chicken, meat, etc... Our kitchen isn't gluten free strictly but my boyfriend does an amazing job at cleaning up on a regular basis if he has anything containing gluten. I don't have separate pots and pans either, pans I typically use aluminum foil as an extra precaution and pots/dishes/utensils get double washed. First by hand and then in the dishwasher.

I know I'm in the minority with this and a lot of people have separate items but I don't. I've noticed that if your significant other loves you and supports you in general, going gluten free won't be as challenging as it seems.

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My boyfriend and I live together and our kitchen is whatever. I do the majority of the cooking, with no complaints from him...and I tend to make meals that are gluten free. However, just because its gluten free doesn't mean you have to cook any differently than you would normally, it's easy to avoid gluten containing items when you eat shrimp, chicken, meat, etc... Our kitchen isn't gluten free strictly but my boyfriend does an amazing job at cleaning up on a regular basis if he has anything containing gluten. I don't have separate pots and pans either, pans I typically use aluminum foil as an extra precaution and pots/dishes/utensils get double washed. First by hand and then in the dishwasher.

I know I'm in the minority with this and a lot of people have separate items but I don't. I've noticed that if your significant other loves you and supports you in general, going gluten free won't be as challenging as it seems.

Very nicely put and you are absolutely correct! A spouse does not have to go gluten-free just because their wife/husband has Celiac. It's all about respect and if the other person has that and cleans up after themselves, there should not be any problems. I also do not use separate pans...they are cleaned well enough after eating and it has never been an issue at all. Everything I make is gluten-free and my husband loves my cooking but we do live in the real world where there is plenty of gluten and it should not be something to fear. I would never expect my husband to stop eating gluten completely because I have Celiac

and in return, I have someone who goes out of his way to make sure he does nothing wrong to make me sick. Can't ask for more than that!

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My boyfriend and I live together and our kitchen is whatever. I do the majority of the cooking, with no complaints from him...and I tend to make meals that are gluten free. However, just because its gluten free doesn't mean you have to cook any differently than you would normally, it's easy to avoid gluten containing items when you eat shrimp, chicken, meat, etc... Our kitchen isn't gluten free strictly but my boyfriend does an amazing job at cleaning up on a regular basis if he has anything containing gluten. I don't have separate pots and pans either, pans I typically use aluminum foil as an extra precaution and pots/dishes/utensils get double washed. First by hand and then in the dishwasher.

I know I'm in the minority with this and a lot of people have separate items but I don't. I've noticed that if your significant other loves you and supports you in general, going gluten free won't be as challenging as it seems.

I completely agree here. You are cooking fresh, if a sauce is needed make your own. Watch the ingredient list on pre made things. We don't have separate cooking utensil just be careful, wash(we use bleach in the water) Both of us cook and the only thing that has gluten is his bread for sandwiches for work. Thinking that spouses can learn along with us, mine is. Good luck to all.

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Hi there!

I am amazed by all your answers; thanks for the input :)

I agree hubby shouldn't have to go gluten-free for me, but he's the one who came up with the idea (when he began realizing the extent of cc problems, mainly) and I won't complain because we currently have a tiny tiny kitchen...plus I do most of the cooking; I like it :)

woooow, writing that, I realize that since we are together (even though I "forced" him to eat more fresh foods/ fruits/ veggies), I eat way more pasta/ pizza/ gluteny stuff in general, because he loves all these things...and that's also since I am with him that my symptoms appeared -well, got more noticeable, and then much worse...

Anyway, you all got me a lot to think of, thanks :)

any additional input are welcome, of course!

have a sweet week-end

Sophie

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My boyfriend used to keep some packaged gluten foods in the house, nothing that would be cooked with, but he got paranoid about even that. He's the one who decided to get rid of all the gluten in the house, he also makes friends wash their hands when they come in, I can't tell you how many times someone's said, Well, I didn't have any gluten today, but ok. And then been like, oh wait, I had a sandwich... and never did wash my hands.... It's funny. Most of the time when we're out he eats gluten-free so he can still kiss me, but sometimes he'll indulge. Then he goes through his process of drinking lots of water, swishing, brushing twice when he gets home, eating something else, and brushing again, to make sure it's all gone. He's so cute.

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My boyfriend used to keep some packaged gluten foods in the house, nothing that would be cooked with, but he got paranoid about even that. He's the one who decided to get rid of all the gluten in the house, he also makes friends wash their hands when they come in, I can't tell you how many times someone's said, Well, I didn't have any gluten today, but ok. And then been like, oh wait, I had a sandwich... and never did wash my hands.... It's funny. Most of the time when we're out he eats gluten-free so he can still kiss me, but sometimes he'll indulge. Then he goes through his process of drinking lots of water, swishing, brushing twice when he gets home, eating something else, and brushing again, to make sure it's all gone. He's so cute.

That's adorable :D

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My fiance has free reign of one (large) cupboard - he barely uses it. He likes sandwiches, but other than that, he doesn't really eat much gluten. I have no problems with him having sandwiches or gluten containing items, but he knows by now that he has to wash his face & brush his teeth before getting close to me. He also knows that he cannot use my cast iron pans to cook grilled cheese. He has his own tupperware, one frying pan, a cutting board, and two cookie sheets.

We never really have problems in our kitchen.

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My fiance has free reign of one (large) cupboard

We never really have problems in our kitchen.

I like a man who knows his place! :P

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I'm so glad to read this post. My husband is really into his bread and cookies and not very good at seeing things when he cleans up or paying attention to where he puts things when he is preoccupied. I have talked to him about keeping his bread in a designated area and only cutting it on a certain cutting board, but we have not yet managed to completely separate things. It can make me so sick that I feel like turning my study into a separate place for food preparation...

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I'm so glad to read this post. My husband is really into his bread and cookies and not very good at seeing things when he cleans up or paying attention to where he puts things when he is preoccupied. I have talked to him about keeping his bread in a designated area and only cutting it on a certain cutting board, but we have not yet managed to completely separate things. It can make me so sick that I feel like turning my study into a separate place for food preparation...

I am sorry for you!

it turns out, this is going OK for us -hubby came back 10 days ago...

I had a hard time explaining cc and not looking like I'm completely paranoid to him...and he decided to stick to his first idea of being gluten-free with me (at home only) because he feels he would be overwhelmed if he had to watch all of his movements (cleaning the crumbs, not kissing me after beer, washing his gluteny hands etc.)

being gluten-free at home means he only needs to wash his hands/ teeth when he comes back home from work; so much easier!

on the other hand, I cook gluten-free bread & sweets so he doesn't feel deprived (and for myself, too :)

and at times, I think he still wonders if I really GOT to be so careful...though he also sees how much better I feel now, so I think (hope?) he will eventually understand it is not just me over-reacting.

...so it is fine, but you gotta work hard to make it work :)

hope this is going to work out for you too! can you try to insist more on the "cleaning the crumbs after you" thing? doesn't it work if he sees you getting sick from cc?

keep us posted!!

Sophie

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I see all your response are from the gluten free half of the equation. My husband is the gluten free (the one with Celiac)half of our equation so to speak. Since I do the cooking we are both gluten free. I have learned how to re-create some of his favorite meals and desserts so he doesn't feel to deprived. We have found that we absolutely HATE gluten free store bought bread! I found a recipe that is very close to the "real thing" though. The one problem I have come across with it is it dries out to fast. Otherwises its really good. And thats saying a lot when it comes to bread. We have had family over for holidays and the whole meal is gluten free, much to their surprise, they all like what they are eating. I guess my husband is pretty luck, he got a wife you loves to bake and cook, or this could be a real pain in the backside for use both! I find there are things I miss once myself, but don't dare have them in our home. What matters more to me that a moments pleasure is my husbands health. So if I am away from home on rare occassion (by myself) I might eat something I miss having, but most of the time I eat gluten free away from home out of habit. There's not much I miss as I have found substitutes for most items, thank goodness. I'm glad to hear that your husband is willing to go gluten free for you. You are very lucky, not many spouses are willing to take that step. It will get easier as you find recipes and foods to substitute your old favorites with. I found Gluten free brown rice Lasagna Noodles, what a treat! Best of luck to you!

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When I was living with a BF we kept the kitchen gluten-free except for beer. I did most of the cooking anyway, but when he cooked he was really cool about making gluten-free food for us. He didn't like to see me sick. He got his pizza, burgers, and whatnot eating out with friends.

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...so it is fine, but you gotta work hard to make it work :)

hope this is going to work out for you too! can you try to insist more on the "cleaning the crumbs after you" thing? doesn't it work if he sees you getting sick from cc?

keep us posted!!

Sophie

Thanks, Sophie. We will get there, I think. I recently walked in on him explaining to a guest that they could not use my special utensils or have any bread in a certain place, so that is already a great improvement. I will enjoy that step in the right direction for a while and then, maybe in a few weeks, talk to him about cleaning up crumbs. We are moving in the right direction, which I value, because we are both rather loving but stubborn creatures. :D

I will continue to post and enjoy your advice and compassion-

Sandy

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Uggh! I wish my hubby would be even half as considerate. He complains that we can't have REAL food (we still eat very well, just no gluten). We have small kids so we still have lots of cereal, cookies, crackers etc that have gluten. I do not complain, I just try to explain that they can't be getting crumbs all over or I could get sick. The kids are great about this, hubby not so much. He even tells me things like, "Oh, just one bite won't hurt." Uh yeah, it will, my last glutening I couldn't even tell where it came from, had to be a crumb from his pizza on the same tray as my soup and I was sick for 4 days! Last week, he took a big drink of beer and then kissed me and said "There, now you are glutened." Jeesh!

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I agree with you. I don't have a gluten free kitchen nor do I expect my family to eat gluten free. However, if I am making a meal for the whole family such as stew, meatloaf, soup etc. I use gluten free breadcrumbs, thickeners etc. If it is pasta I just cook mine seperate and we use the same sauce which would be made gluten free. I don't believe in this business about not letting utensils touch and having seperate pots etc. It has worked fine and I've been doing this since 1990. Even if we are going out, choosing things from a regular menu is fine if you simply ask a few questions. Some of the choices are obvious also. Sometimes there is a gluten free menu and sometimes not. It still has worked out fine.

I am a nurse who has been living gluten free since 1990 and sometimes I think that once someone is diagnosed with a problem they tend to blame any symptom on that when is essence there may be more than one problem going on. This isn't only for celiac disease but I have seen it in other medical diagnosis as well.

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Our house is different because we are currently three celiacs to two bread eaters. It was four to two but one grew up and moved away :( . Anyhow all meals are gluten free no matter who cooks it. The bread eaters have a cupboard with cheerios, bread, granola bars and their own butter, jelly and peanut butter. If it's in the community cupboards or fridge it has to be gluten free. We use squeeze containers and the no double dipping rule for condiments. The celiac kids are 43,19,18, and 16 so we have to be able to grab a safe snack or meal and run back out the door. It's been over a year now and the biggest problem now it rememberig to read the labels of foods we trust to check for changes.

Take care, RA

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I agree with you. I don't have a gluten free kitchen nor do I expect my family to eat gluten free. However, if I am making a meal for the whole family such as stew, meatloaf, soup etc. I use gluten free breadcrumbs, thickeners etc. If it is pasta I just cook mine seperate and we use the same sauce which would be made gluten free. I don't believe in this business about not letting utensils touch and having seperate pots etc. It has worked fine and I've been doing this since 1990. Even if we are going out, choosing things from a regular menu is fine if you simply ask a few questions. Some of the choices are obvious also. Sometimes there is a gluten free menu and sometimes not. It still has worked out fine.

I am a nurse who has been living gluten free since 1990 and sometimes I think that once someone is diagnosed with a problem they tend to blame any symptom on that when is essence there may be more than one problem going on. This isn't only for celiac disease but I have seen it in other medical diagnosis as well.

You know, that may work great for you, although 'not believing in this cross contamination business' has gotten a whole lot of people on this website quite sick. It's pretty easy to know you've been glutened when you get a rash that only comes from gluten, and 'this utensil business' has certainly gotten my gluten-caused dermatitis herpetiformis to flare up more than once.

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You know, that may work great for you, although 'not believing in this cross contamination business' has gotten a whole lot of people on this website quite sick. It's pretty easy to know you've been glutened when you get a rash that only comes from gluten, and 'this utensil business' has certainly gotten my gluten-caused dermatitis herpetiformis to flare up more than once.

I do believe in cross contamination. I don't have DH but have had enough digestive problems. My feeling is "better safe than sorry". I've lived alone since my husband died in 1999 so can control what's in my kitchen. My dog gets MilkBone and I make sure I wash my hands well after I give her treats at night. I've replaced a lot of things...not everything is very expensive either like cutting boards, plastic containers, etc. I got rid of a lot of Tupperware as I knew 1960's Tupperware mixing bowls would never get clean. A friend thought I had totally gone off the deep end when I bought a new toaster..."just shake the crumbs out". DUH! ph34r.gif

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my bf thinks i am too extreme (we don't live together) when i bought a new pasta strainer, tupperware and cooking utensils. it makes me feel safe when i have my own toaster and certain items that only i use separately from my roommate.

the other night some friends and i went to mcdonald's for ice cream. they all got mcflurries. i opted out because i didn't know about the ice cream and frankly didn't feel safe with all the CC possibilities. he kind of gave me a hard time about it but it's better than being sick in my mind! my response: it's my health. i don't care if i'm overreacting.

i just keep reminding him that this whole gluten-free thing is life long!!

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i just keep reminding him that this whole gluten-free thing is life long!!

...and he might not be if he continues on this way! :)

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...and he might not be if he continues on this way! :)

haha

i just ignore it. i know a lot of times he's just teasing me. i'm sure it'll be an entirely different story if we were to live together. one good thing: he's a very neat/clean person so i wouldn't have to feel unsafe about CC in the kitchen. i would never force him to be gluten-free if we lived together. what i do now (separate toaster, etc) will continue if that were the case. fortunately i am not super sensitive!

i'm (possibly) meeting the bf's dad tomorrow for the first time. my plan is to call ahead to the restaurant if we decide on a place earlier just so that i can talk to someone about menu options so i don't have to ask a million questions when ordering. it kinda makes me a little nervous being around someone who i don't know and who doesn't know about my dietary restrictions, especially because i don't think it should be a topic of conversation....yet.

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