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'AITA for following through on my threat of divorcing my wife if she didn’t start taking care of herself?'

'AITA for following through on my threat of divorcing my wife if she didn’t start taking care of herself?'


"AITA for following through on my threat of divorcing my wife if she didn’t start taking care of herself?"


I am 49 years old. My wife is 48. We have been married for 23 years. When I first met my wife in college, she was energetic, fun, and simply radiant. Her love of life was infectious. We would go hiking, eat at restaurants, go to theme parks, take walks on beaches, and everything else. We both loved the outdoors.

About three years after we got married, my wife started changing. Instead of going out, she began to become something of a couch potato. She gained weight, started sleeping less, stopped cooking, and frankly became kind of a slob.

I put up with this for years. I started cooking on most nights, and I had to hide vegetables in her food for her to eat them. I started doing the dishes every night because I knew she wouldn’t.

When I went grocery shopping I abstained from buying my favorite unhealthy foods because I knew she would devour them within hours. I tried to encourage her to start taking care of her health.

Nothing changed. Ten years ago, I finally reached my breaking point. I sat her down and gave her an ultimatum: "Start taking care of your health because if it falls apart, I’m not going to be here to take care of you." She was very upset with me, saying “In sickness and in health my a$$” repeatedly, but I told her I didn’t care.

Again, nothing changed. I’ve stayed active. I go jogging every day and maintain a healthy weight. But over the past five years, she has reached a point where she frankly kind of disgusts me at times.

It takes her five minutes or more to get up from her typical position of lying down on the sofa. She has started waddling hunched over. She’s 48 but she honestly looks 10 years older and acts 25 years old.

A month ago, I finally got her to go to the doctor (another one of her reckless behaviors is never going in for check-ups). They discovered that she’s on the verge of type 2 diabetes, has a mild case of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, and her blood pressure is concerningly high.

Naturally, after receiving such news, on the way home from the hospital she swung by a fast food restaurant to get some food and a shake. The other day I sat her down and told her that I simply refuse to be a caretaker for someone who’s not even 50 yet.

I told her I would be filing for divorce, but left how we do it (either through lawyers or through a cooperative splitting of assets) up to her. She’s absolutely furious with me, and my parents seem to be on her side. Am I really the AH here?

Here were the top rated comments from readers in response to the OP's post:


NTA, she is giving no effort, so why should you. Everyone deserves to be happy. Clearly, she isn't and making bad choices and taking away your happiness. Life is short, and it moves quicker as you get older. Get your happy back.

I'm 55, hubs 63. His health was getting in a bad place, lots of medications. 2 years ago started getting up at 3:30am, to hit the gym before work. Lost 40lbs and damn buff. This with a titanium knee. We cook together again and outdoor active. She needs a counselor and buy in. If not, she's doing what she wants to, you get to do the same.

The OP responded here:


You have a wonderful relationship. It's clear that you love him a lot.


At 42 I had all the same - 320lbs, type II, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, stage 3 non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. My doctor told me I'd die young if I didn't change. I've lost 120lbs in the past 14 months. I'm in the best shape of my life.

(ETA - Just sharing that change is possible. I was basically in the same boat as his wife. It doesn't take 10 years to change. He has given her plenty of time, if she was going to change her ways she would have by now. So NTA)


NTA, it’s not like you gave her a year, fucking 10 years is too much for that kind of behavior, she was warned and still decided to continue with her lifestyle.


INFO: While I am not qualified to diagnose, this sounds to me like it started with depression. Has she sought therapy or other help in that direction?

The OP again responded:


I have suspected the same in the past, but she has never been diagnosed with depression. She has never made the slightest effort to address any of her health issues. Come to think of it I don't even remember the last time she went to the dentist.


Why did you wait so long? I would have done all this after 3.5-4 years.


She went from energetic and fun loving to lethargic and depressed? And did you think that there might be something going on? Did she seek mental health treatment? Did you encourage her to? Are you saying there isn’t anything that happened that would explain such a dramatic shift?


Kinda surprised that your parents are on her side. Anyway, NTA.


In 20 years you were unable to effectively communicate with her regarding her lifestyle and health choices? I’m so confused. Even 10 years ago when you reached your breaking point… there was no marriage counselling or anything to help you both effectively communicate? I highly doubt this was a healthy marriage emotionally.

So, what do you think about this one? If you could give the OP any advice here, what would you tell them?

Sources: Reddit
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