Husband Doesn't Take Care of Himself

Updated on July 20, 2011
L.M. asks from Meriden, CT
13 answers

My husband has diabetes and really doesn't take care of himself as he should. I used to push, but I soon realized it really didn't help and just created stress in the family. He works on his feet everyday and has 2 pairs of good quality sneakers that he rotates. Yesterday, he took the kids to an event where he was on his feet all day and decided to wear his boat shoes. He came home and took off his shoes, He had severl cracks in his feet and they were bleeding, he also had several blood blisters. His feet hurt so bad, he couldn't stand long enough to shower. Today we had a family day trip planned, of course he was miserable, and we (my daughter and i) chose to cut the day short because we knew he was hurting. We're leaving Wed. for a camping trip. He was supose to help do some food prep and packing. Where is he, laying in the bedroom in the a/c in front of the tv. I'm so frustrated. Does anyone else in this situation?

My mother died from complications of diabetes and I'm a boarderline diabetic. We know all the symptoms, complications, etc.

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So What Happened?

Of course, all of you do not know the entire situation and I 'm really disappointed in the reponses I received. If he wore his sneakers, his feet would be fine. I was looking for some hellp as to how I could handle the situation, not people telling me my husband is depressed (absolutly not), and he/we need counceling. He has contacted his doctor, who has advised him how to properly take care of the blisters. There is absolutely no reason what-so-ever to cancel our trip, per his doctor.

Thank you to all who provided concern and took the time to respond.

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answers from Los Angeles on

I agree with S.H., especially about the foot sores. My husbands uncle just had his 2nd leg removed b/c of these infections and the gangrene. Then he fell into a coma and is struggling to come out of it right now.

He should see the Dr also about depression. He may need some medications to help him realize he needs to take better care of himself.

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answers from Charlotte on

Be really careful right now with his feet, Mom. One of the hallmarks of diabetes is the inability or difficulty in sores healing, especially in the feet. I'd get him to the doctor, to be honest.

I would consider doing a revamp of the food in your pantry and refrigerator. With your borderline status, get serious for yourself, cook that type of food for him, and see if that helps.

I hope his feet get better without complication.


4 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I agree with S.H., especially about the foot sores. My husbands uncle just had his 2nd leg removed b/c of these infections and the gangrene. Then he fell into a coma and is struggling to come out of it right now.

He should see the Dr also about depression. He may need some medications to help him realize he needs to take better care of himself.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

My late Dad, had Diabetes.
It, affects the ENTIRE body.... the circulatory system, the nervous system, the eyes, the vital organs, the kidneys, their genitals (because it is a circulatory system), their heart and blood pressure, they can get numbness in their foot and hands, etc.

My Dad, had had a stroke, failing eyesight then could NOT work NOR drive a car, he had had heart surgery, he then had Kidney Failure and had to be in Dialysis 3 times a week for HOURS, all day.

Tell your Husband, my Dad DIED, because of Diabetes.

Nagging your Husband will not help.
He needs to also be going to the Doctor.... having his heart and kidneys monitored too. He should have a Primary Care Physician, an Eye Specialist, a Renal Doctor (kidney doctor) and heart Doctor.
He also needs to see a Nutritionist.
My Dad, saw ALL of these Specialists, regularly.

Also, if his foot gets infected, he can get GANGRENE and lose his foot. T his is common in Diabetics. Because... their circulation and immune system, is weak.

A Diabetic, even has to learn how to cut their own toenails... BECAUSE if they get cut on their foot, it can lead to infection and worse. AND some Diabetics cannot even "feel" if they are cut, because their feet gets numb.

Sorry to be so blunt.
But Diabetes is very serious.

He NEEDS to go to the DOCTOR... to check his feet!
He is Diabetic.
This is something that has to be done.
CHECK his feet per his injuries.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

It's not fair, I know, but because his feet are sore with bleeding cracks he needs to stay off of his feet. He also needs to see a doctor, now, before they get infected. You need to cancel the camping trip so he can keep his feet elevated.

Those are all natural consequences that may help him learn to wear the right shoes next time. It's not fair to you and your child but it's what needs to happen to help him learn that it's important to take care of himself. It's what your family needs so that he can be more healthy.

You went on a day trip even tho doing so was not taking care of him. If you go on a camping trip you're also participating in his not taking care of himself. This indicates to me that your situation is more complicated than him not taking care of himself. I urge both of you to get into counseling.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Have you told him you love him? Have you told him that you want him to be around for a long, long time.

Some times people with terminal diseases (like Diabetes) don't take care of them selves because they feel no one cares how soon they go or how long they are here. Try telling your husband that you want him there for a long time and that your life is better with him than without him. Ask him to help do the things that will prolong his life.

Good luck to you and yours.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

If his feet hurt, and he has cracks and blistered I think I would be concerned about infection and not about him packing for a trip. Personally, I think I would wait until his healed before doing anything else. You're right, nagging doesn't work and it will make the situation worse. I have watched family members deteriorate over time because they refused to care for themselves and treat their illnesses.

My gosh, he was on his feet all day yesterday, then you guys went on family trip today, then you all are going camping tomorrow? That's a lot-not even considering he's a diabetic...maybe give him a break? You do the food prep and packing and give him a chance to heal. I wish marriage was always 50/50 looks like you might have to take up the slack on this one.

Are you upset because he's not caring for himself or are you upset because he's watching TV in the a/c instead of packing?

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answers from Boston on

I would get as much information on funeral planning as I could find, then sit him down and make him help you plan it. Maybe if he believes that you are convinced that he doesn't care if he lives or dies, it will shock him into taking better care of himself. Drastic yes, but I have seen this work.

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answers from Joplin on

There may be a deeper issue, the first thing that comes to mind when someone is not taking care of themselves is that they are depressed. I would have a quiet talk with your husband ( non accusatory) and also might talk to his doctor.

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answers from Houston on

tit for tat (no pun intended)

Do something you really know he wants you to do, or be better at, or pay more attention to in return for him taking better care of himself.It doesnt have to be sexual, it can be anything he expresses a interest in you taking more seriously.

for example my husband hates the fact that i procrastinate, i am working on it and without even asking him something in return he is noticeably going through my "honey-do" honey dont" list, maybe on purpose, maybe not i dont want to ask i dont want to jinx it.

My dad died of diabetes related complications, my grandmother suffered from it also. It is very serious. There are things you can do to in the kitchen to help without him even noticing, like changing out your type of flour, adding fiber into your baking and switching to a low/no glycemic sweetener like stevia or agave nectar, or pure grade b maple syrup.

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answers from Tampa on

As I said to another poster with a husband who didn't take care of himself... You need to have a heart to heart with him, tell him he needs to take a more active approach to improving his health - which is very simply done thru moderate exercise and watching what he eats.

He should also see a Dr about getting him on a medication regime until he is able to make enough changes in his exercise level and diet.

He needs to know you need him there and healthy for his family!! People die from diabetes 2 and it's complications everyday - you need to ask him what he expects his family to do without him if he continues this lack of basic physical maintenance.

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answers from Kansas City on

imo he needs someone to take care of him. no, it's not fair, no, it's not right, but it sounds like either that, or he is going to neglect himself to his dying day - literally. force him to stay home (cancel trips or fun outings if you have to), make dr's appointments for him and drive him there, whatever you have to do. it would drive me batty, and in a way i feel it's enabling him to be lazy and careless, but it's either that or him ignore it...right?

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answers from Scranton on

my uncle is battling diabetes and did not take care of himself a few years ago when he was diagnosed. He got blisters on his feet and didn't take it seriously now he is on kidney dialasis alot and has had to have both legs below the knee amputated. I think maybe your husband might be a little depressed so maybe doesn't care as much as he should, so that needs to be addressed, and he also needs to realize the severity of the situation and be aware of what could potentially happen to him. Good luck


answers from Hartford on

You may have been disappointed in the responses because it is hard to understand what kind of advice you are seeking. You are correct in pointing out that none of us know the entire situation, so we can only go on what we are told. Is your frustration that he does not take care of himself the way he should, that you did not get help packing for the trip, that he has diabetes, ???? Managing diabetes, unfortunately, is not your husband's problem, it is your family's problem. You say that you know the symptoms and complications, but if he works on his feet all day, you need to consider family outings that are not walking or standing intensive on the weekends so he has time to rest. It may put a cramp in what you want to do, but this is a part of changing your life because of this disease (in addition to diet, exercise, meds, etc.). You are kidding yourself if you think one day of boat shoes is what ruined his feet. Don't get me wrong, the shoes matter, but it is the sustained pressure put on them that is the real culprit. You described 7 days of significant walking/standing. Diabetes does not go away, rather you need to adapt your lifestyle to it. I am not a doctor, but live in a family of diabetics - some of whom are still in denial. It is an incredibly difficult disease to deal with and I wish your family the best of luck.

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