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Tuesday, October 27, 2015

To the Wife who stole her husband's Doritos

Dear frustrated woman,

So you did it.  You took charge.  You showed him.  Good for you.

I understand - really, I do (on some level).  You watch him fill his body with junk.  You worry.  You beg, plead, convince, connive, determine what to do.  You love him SO much - you just wish he would consider how much you need him to be healthy - or at least try to be.

A recent blog post was written to the man who got his Doritos whipped out from under his unsuspecting nose.  He then was presented with celery and health food.

Now, it's your turn.

And I, for one, don't condone what you did.  And I'm a wife.

Let me make something clear to you: people rarely change when they are forced to.  And, when forced, the changes may be obvious and external, but rarely does inner change come about because someone was forced into it.  It CAN happen - like in prison.  But I'm not sure I'd advise it or call it ideal by any measure.

I get that you can try to control what your husband eats.  You can push for change.  You can advocate for what you'd like.  But when you do this you risk losing healthier aspects of the relationship.  Like, trust for instance.  When a person (husband OR wife) feels their spouse is trying to control them, it creates barriers in the relationship, unless you have an unusually, extremely gracious and forgiving spouse - and even then, their magnanimity may be serving as a barrier of kindness to true intimacy.

Do you want to threaten intimacy in your marriage?  (Emotional intimacy, as well as otherwise).  Then just keep trying to control what he eats.

There is a place for letting go.  There is a time to release him and allow him to be his own person who has desires, thoughts, feelings, needs, and down-time with a bag of Doritos.  I get that you love him and want him to be healthy.  But loving does not equate control.  Don't get the two confused, dear.  When you love someone you value their freedom just as much as you value yours.  No one is forcing YOU to eat Doritos.  You have freedom to eat your quinoa, avocado, celery, raw spinach salad.  Take, and eat.  And free yourself from the compulsion to control your husband.

Far better to merely be an example and inspire him with your joy in healthy eating - saying not a word of condemnation - but invite him to join you at the table, allowing him to decline if he chooses.  Far better to enrich your relationship on all other levels and let him decide how he wants to eat.  I daresay, give up the condemnation, and control mechanisms and let the poor guy live a little.  You are not in his life to micromanage his diet.

In fact, you are not in his life to micromanage anything.  I know God gave you wisdom and gifts and insights (like, about healthy eating, for one) that may be a benefit to him.  How about you wait until your husband invites your input about his diet.  You will not be content in God, yourself or your life as long as you are driven by a need to control him.  If it makes you happy that he conceded defeat and took up healthy eating just because you transformed his pantry stash of junk, you have just fed the monster within you named: CONTROL.  You are happy for a time.  But it is false.  It rests on getting your way, not on the freedom and joy that comes from releasing control.

To quote a famous song, "Let it Go."

Let me know how it goes after you've quit your compulsion - both in words and deeds - for a week, month, year or more.

I can't wait to hear what happens.

Sincerely,

A Wife Who'd Never Steal the Doritos.