How do you all deal with "date night" or activities in general with your spouse/partner?
Prior to my WLS about a year ago, my wife and I primarily went out to dinner for our entertainment. In fact, I just looked it up - we eat out about 500 times a year. Yes, almost 10 times a week. Over the last year, I have abstained from many most of those meals (we have a daughter at home, so her and my wife still go out a lot).
I am perfectly fine with my wife and daughter going out. After all, it was me who changed, not them, and I don't feel they should have to stop eating out to accommodate me. The problem is that I know my wife is not ok with it. It bothers her, and she has a very hard time truly accepting it. I've tried to explain time and time again that I prefer to eat at home because I am more in control of what I put in my body, and am capable of making delicious and nutritious food. When I go out to eat, not only do I have to be hyper vigilant about what I am eating, but I also generally end up relegated to menu items that frankly, are not that good. Therefore, I am willing to go out from time to time, but I derived little to no pleasure from it, and would prefer to avoid it unless necessary.
This just came up yet again with Valentine's Day. My wife said "oh, our daughter has an activity that night, so we are free if you want to go out somewhere for dinner!" And I know by her voice that she (for some reason) expects me to be thrilled by this opportunity. She says "think about somewhere you would like to go!". So, once again, I try to very calmly explain that there really is no where that I want to go, and that if this is something she wants to do, I am willing to accompany her, but she should just chose the restaurant because I am basically indifferent and will just be trying to make it work. I can tell this makes her very angry. She wants me to WANT this, but I just don't anymore.
And this leads to the bigger issue - if our time together no longer centers around dining out, what do we do? We still see the occasional movie, but aside from that we have little common ground in activities. I would love to go to the gym together, take walks, even just go grab coffee and chat, but none of these are things she is interested in. She is fairly overweight herself and not in the best of health, so she generally does not want to do any physical activities while I am now the exact opposite.
How have the rest of you coped with this? Any suggestions?
I take it that not many meals are made at home? Maybe date night could be the both of you finding yummy meals you can make together at home. What does she like to get at restaurants?
I love to cook and when my husband asked me where I wanted to go for Valentine's Day I said our kitchen. He isn't sure what I am making tonight, but he knows it will be better and healthier than any restaurant can make.
We probably have dinner at home 4-5 nights a week. Much more than we used to. I don't want to mis-characterize my wife, she is quite supportive of my new lifestyle overall, she just still really longs for the dinner's out.
I think part of it is that she does not work outside the home, so she is responsible for dinners and for her, going out alleviates her from having to do part of her job. I don't get home until about 7pm, so the idea of me prepping and cooking dinner at that point for our family is not realistic. I did make dinner for us this weekend as she was particularly busy as I knew it was going to lead to a request to go out - which would result in me opting to stay home, and her being somewhat frustrated with me. That worked out well, and she was very thankful for me helping out. I think by doing more cooking on the weekends (which I am definitely willing to do), it would help some, but doesn't necessarily solve the weeknight dilemma.
So, I think part of it is that she prefers to go out so she doesn't have to cook, there is no denying that she is a pro at coming up with excuses as to why she didn't have time to prepare dinner ;-). Part of it is that when she wants time with me, that used to be our go-to activity, and this is where I'm struggling to find alternatives that she's open to.
Ah ok now I understand her wanting to go out for meals. Maybe plan make ahead meals on the weekend so it alleviates her having to cook every night during the week and you two could make them together? There are so many different meals that can be made and then froze for future use. Then it would be just popping it in the oven to cook during the week. Does she make crockpot meals? Trying to think of things that can be done ahead of time so you both can just relax at night during the week.
As for a date night are there any hobbies or things she has said she wanted to try in the past? Something that you would be willing to join her in? Heck I have talked my husband into getting a pedicure with me and he like it.
You know what - that is a great idea about preparing in advance! In fact, it's another way I can help out. Once a month, I prepare all of my lunches - I make up 3-4 different dishes, divide them into individual containers, and freeze them. It would be little trouble for me to make a few extra dishes up in advance (or even double portion what I'm already making). That might ease the burden a little.
Also a great idea about the pedicures! I will be honest, most of her hobbies revolve around food. She goes out to lunch with her girlfriends almost daily, and usually goes out to dinner with them 1-2 nights a week. That being said, she is addicted to her mani/pedis. Not something I ever really considered, but perhaps it's worth a shot as a date night activity. Perhaps mani/pedis and some clothes/shoe shopping would be a great replacement (the key here will be get agreement that this is a REPLACEMENT, and not IN ADDITION TO) for dinner out.
Awesome tips, thanks - exactly what I was looking for. If you have any other ideas of what you've forced your husband to do, please share :-) !! I'm pretty open minded and willing to try just about anything.
What about an art night- painting or pottery class- Does your town have music on the square or a town playhouse? Couples massage, my favorite
Just registered here on OH to reply to your dilemma (I've been stalking the forums for a while).
My husband and I reduced our eating out long before he decided to have WLS, because I'm a type 2 diabetic and all that eating out was bad for my blood sugars. I also love to cook, so its not a problem to cook healthy meals at home. He began his liquid diet on May 4th, and had RNY just this past Thursday. I decided to eat the same as him.
In this last month we've gone out together 4 times, all without involving dinner out. we saw a play, a movie, and we have been checking out some of these "wine and art" type places that are cropping up. The drinking is optional (we just had water). One place was a "paint your own ceramics" thing where you purchased a plain piece of ceramic-mug, bowl, base, etc. then you paint it however you want, and they fired it. We took it home that night. The other was a place where we made rustic wooden signs (we each made one for our moms for Mother's Day.) are either of you crafty? My husband isn't, I am. We both had a great time and it was really relaxing and fun! Might be worth seeing if you have anything like that locally?
Well today I had my first pedicure!! We had a fun day hanging out together all day. We went to the gym and just walked the track for about a mile. Me rehabbing my replaced hip, her trying to build some stamina for our upcoming trip to DC. Then we did a little shopping, grabbed some coffee and got pedicures together.
So much more interesting and fun to me than going out to dinner at this point. I think she really enjoyed it too.
To the the last poster, we actually go to the theater on a somewhat regular basis. Something we've always enjoyed and this year I suggested rather than going once or twice that we select a number of shows to attend in order to have more varied activities! Given the productions are downtown (about an hour away), it still often involved a meal out; however at least it's not the focal point of the evening.
Picnics can be a good compromise to allow the stay at home spouse to escape the house, but not tangle with restaurant eating. I'm not sure of the weather were you are, but if it's super hot, breakfast picnics can be a fun way to start a day :)
SW - 206 CW - 146
M1 - 20lb M2 - 9 lb M3 - 7 lb M4 - 7 lb M5 - 7 lb M6 - 6 lb M7 - 4 lb