I’m going to start a little series off called Melissa…
Bariatric surgery brings great change. It will lead to a healthier, longer life. You will change a lot on the outside but lots will change on the inside too not only physiologically but mentally too. These changes will be different in scale and significance for us all but one thing you can count on is it’s going to influence and affect some of your interpersonal relationships.
When I was going through the process to try to get myself in the public system to have my gastric bypass I had to answer a lot of questionnaires. There are many things they need to know and want to check to make sure that you are going to be able to make the changes you need to be successful and that you are a good candidate for surgery.
One of the areas they focussed on initially were my close relationships and how I felt they were going at the time and how they may be affected by surgery. It’s quite common after one person in a relationship has bariatric surgery for the relationship to end up breaking up. There are many, many factors that influence this and it’s definitely not a given outcome after surgery but it is something to be aware of.
Having bariatric surgery is a huge decision and affects not only you but others around you especially in the lead up and for the first six months or so after surgery. It’s important to have a main support person who you know is there for you and really wanting you to be successful. This may or may not be your significant other. It’s okay if it’s not, let’s just get that straight. If the person you are closest to encourages your attempts at looking after yourself or undermines your confidence this is not going to be helpful for you
The factors that influence relationship breakups after surgery vary but from what I’ve read anecdotally it can be from the person who has had the surgery feeling such a change after in themselves and wanting different things. I am not surprised by this at all. After surgery you gain so much of your life back that if your partner is not willing or wanting to go on these new adventures then, no, it may not continue to work between you. Also on the part of the non surgery partner there may be feelings of jealousy and a loss of control and that can be for a variety of reasons. I think also a little bit of insecurity in the relationship on either part can be a huge influencer in whether the relationship makes it or not.
I have said before that my husband has been incredibly supportive throughout this whole process and he has been my main support person. Our relationship was very healthy before my surgery, he was worried about my health and was excited at how good this would be for me long-term. More than anything our relationship has been reinforced and we have got even closer through this which is amazing.
I think if your relationship is not in the best way and your partner is not terribly supportive it may not fare too well through bariatric surgery. Anyone thinking of doing this needs to be aware that the consequences and effect it can have on your life can be more far-reaching than you can begin to imagine. This road is going to be hard and you are going to be vulnerable throughout and if your significant other is your biggest cheerleader then it will make it easier for you emotionally.
Were you aware that bariatric surgery can have such a big effect on your relationship with your significant other? Was your partner really supportive or did you have someone else as your main support person going through bariatric surgery? Comment below I’d love to hear from you!