My husband refuses to take care of his type 2 diabetes and ED

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-04-2013
My husband refuses to take care of his type 2 diabetes and ED
Mon, 03-04-2013 - 5:05am

My husband was diagnosed with diabetes over 12 years ago and I have managed to get him to a doctor 3 or 4 times over that time frame.  He will take care of it for a couple months then just quit.  I pack his lunch and breakfast and pack healthy foods for him but he will stuff his face with sugary snacks whenever we are out and about or he will bring stuff home or purchase foods that are heavily sugar-laden.  A1C was as high as 13.2 (several months ago around 12.3), blood sugars range in the upper 300's.  One time his triglycerides were in the 700's (but were down enough several months ago).  He is in complete denial that he has diabetes.

He also has ED, started around the same time he started with diabetic symptoms.  He does nothing about it and our sex life has totally gone kaput.  Nothing.  It has been nearly a year since we've had sex (his erections are nearly non-existant).  Needless to say, he holds back on love and affection (probably to avoid dealing with it).  He tried taking cialis for a month and it did absolutely nothing for him.  He is 60 years old but this started when he was in his late 40's.  I am 57 years old and I have pretty much given up on having a normal life.  I think it is totally unfair for him to starve me out by doing nothing about his problems.

I am sorry he has diabetes and ED, for him, because I know he is literally killing himself in slow motion.  Talking does no good, because of his denial, he just gets defensive and won't talk about it.  I am frustrated and at my wits end.  I don't know how much more I can take.  Our youngest child will be 18 y.o. in 5 months and plans on moving out then.  I feel like if something doesn't give I may be moving out as well.  I know it isn't all about me, but I feel like I at least deserve a normal life.  I have suppressed my sexual needs for far too long and I feel like I deserve better than this.

How do I make him understand what he is doing to himself?  And our marriage?  TIA for any help and insight anyone can give me.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-16-2013

Hi. It sounds like you have got your hands full. Have you had a heart to heart talk with your husband about how you feel? Does he fully understand that his refusal to take care of himself is affecting your marriage? Can you just schedule a dr visit for him and tell him when it is so the two of you can both talk to the doctor?

I did this with my husband's depression and it really did work. He griped and groaned and claimed he wasn't going to go but in the end, he got in the car and went. I held his hand while we were in there and let him pretend to everyone in the waiting room we were in there for me and somehow it made a difference.

Good luck.

Community Leader
Registered: 07-31-1998

Men and diabetes are like horses and water. Not only am I diabetic but so is my husband! Unfortunately your husband doesn't feel well with an A1C as high as his has been and he probably has a pretty frustrated doctor also. Before the A1C test was developed I used to have patients come into the office with wonderful blood sugar readings and all kinds of diabetic complications that couldn't be explained by their fasting numbers. Of course they were starving themself to have this great fasting number and it really wasn't valid.

I am sorry to say that his impotency may not be cured by getting his blood sugar under control. Blood sugar does a lot of damage on the fine motor nerves, often before it is ever diagnosed. I don't understand why men can't understand that there is more to sexual satisfaction than just penises.

I do think it is valid to schedule an appointment with his doctor and tell him you will go with him. Also it is valid to make sure that his life insurance is up to date.

Please feel free to come around here and chat with us as you would like. We have all been down this road. We are here to help in anyway that we can and it is safe to rant and rave and laugh and cry.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-25-2013

Is your husband depressed and scared? Could that be why he is refusing to do anything?

My husband just found out day before last Thanksgiving that he was not taking care of his diabetes with diet that he thought he was. He had to go in for emergency surgery on his feet and that was a big wake up call. He went thru the anger, depression and being very scared that he might lose his feet or his life.

The family rallied around him helping him take shots, as he is insulin dependent now, and making sure we all changed our diet to be more healthy. I have to say he takes very good care of himself now.

Maybe your husband just needs to be made to go to the dr, get smacked in the face with the facts and deal with it.

Community Leader
Registered: 07-31-1998

Hi Thai I am,

Welcome to the board. I am so glad you have to come visit us. I am so glad that your hubby didn't loose his feet. Diabetes is the number one cause of amputations. It does at times take a whole village to take care of a diabetic! Healthy eating is good for all of you. One of the things that I have told diabetic women over the years is to cook one meal for the family which fitted the diabetic's needs. The others can eat the same thing with perhaps just larger servings. Besides if you have children they have an increased risk of becoming diabetic so they might as well learn how to eat correctly and to keep their weight as close to normal as possible.

Please pull up a chair and join out conversation. We are here to support you in anyway that we can.

Avatar for coldfingers
Community Leader
Registered: 04-30-2000

Hi! You talked about thinking of moving out when the 18 year old does. Maybe, you should tell him that! BUT also tell him exactly why! We have seen, you can't help someone who doesn't want to help himself and sometimes you have to just go ahead and take care of you. Mary Frances often shares with members that her husband was diagnosed diabetic before she was. She took "care'' of him. Then when she was diagnosed it became necessary for her to take care of her own diabetes and he had to do his... You don't have diabetes, and it sounds as if you have tried, with foods, etc. But it has been long enough and you need to take care of you. 'maybe' the thought that you WOULD go and take care of you for a change might help to wake him up.  (it has worked with other wives who have posted here in the past.)

You might make that appointment that the others have talked about, and let him know that if things don't change you can't stand to see him destroy himself when he didn't need to. Good luck and come back anytime.