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Thread: Am I selfish because I'm not gluten free

  1. #1

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    Am I selfish because I'm not gluten free

    Yes, really. This has become very serious issue in my relationship with my wife, and I feel my wife has made it an issue with my 14yo daughter. I desparately want other perspectives on how to handle this with her and my family. I am being shamed all the time (often in front of my daughter), being told I am selfish for not putting my family first, and irresponsible to my own health. I feel guilty all the time, sneak food, sneak beer (I love beer), and often avoid friends because my wife doesn't approve of me having a beer. I find it demeaning and, honestly, taking the joy out of my life.

    But am I selfish? Should I just suck it up and go 1000% gluten free (and diary free btw) to support my 14yo who has also been gluten free for many years. Is this an issue of not putting my family first?

    Background. My wife does have a serious issue with gluten resulting in calling the ambulance a couple of times. She became rather obsessed with gluten free lifestyle, went to conferences, had a blog for a while, read all the books, etc.. She had barrages of tests to confirm she has intolerance (not celiac) and so does my daughter, and so do I apparently.

    Yes, I do feel better when I avoid gluten. But it is my choice.

    I give the analogy of diabetes. What is my wife and daughter had diabetes? Would I be expected to live my life as a diabetic? Of course, I would be mindful of not eating certain foods around them as home, as I do now with gluten, but being expected to go 1000% diabetic would not be reasonable in my view. Or am I wrong?

    My wife feels that at this difficult age of my daughter's life, I need to be more supportive. Am I a bad parent? Again, its not like I eat gluten and drink beer around them. I'm 100% gluten free at home. But why should I have to hide the fact that I eat/drink other things when away? I feel like I'm cheating!

    And is it appropriate for my wife to make this a central issue in our family? Bring it up in front of my daughter? Have both of them at me and expecting me to go gluten free? FORCE me?

    I would appreciate your thoughts and, most importantly, what might be a kind, yet firm, way of dealing with this issue. Or, please be honest, tell me if I'm in the wrong and need to just suck it up and try to change my lifestyle.

  2. #2
    Platinum Member j.man's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by DerekM
    She had barrages of tests to confirm she has intolerance (not celiac) and so does my daughter, and so do I apparently.
    Sounds like your wife is full of ****, buddy. Would be really curious to know what exact tests she took. And you mention her "issues" with gluten-- does your daughter have a medical reason to be avoiding it, or is she just doing it for its own sake? Fair enough if it's her choice, but you shouldn't be beholden to it yourself. Or is it something your wife has likewise pushed on her? How did these tests determine you and your daughter have this intolerance as well?

    Honestly, I wouldn't even hide it. It sounds like it's probably more an issue because you let it be an issue. You hiding it validates your wife's indignation. No one's saying to bust out an unsliced loaf of bread and go to town on it in front of everyone, but you should be able to enjoy foods you like inside your house, never mind outside of it where no one can see you. Seriously. I'd do so with some sensitivity, but I wouldn't just stop eating gluten in my own home. Let her be upset about it. She may scowl and not have sex with you for a little while. So what? Rub one out. I can't imagine discouraging someone I purport to love from foods they enjoy simply for my benefit of not having to know they were actually enjoying something.

  3. #3
    Bronze Member Afireblue's Avatar
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    wow, I feel for you. NO, you don't sound like a selfish person at all

    Your daughter is not a little baby who can't understand that making certain choices have consequences.

    I have a 14 year old daughter myself who has chosen to be a vegetarian, not for health concerns, but she wants to. We have talked about it and I fully support it, however, I will never give up eating meat and she knows it and respects it, but we actually did talk about it.

    Your wife needs to respect your choices and stop shaming you for them. You really need to open up and tell her how she makes you feel, in a nice, calm manner, don't accuse her of anything, just say that her words are hurting you. Maybe do your own research and discuss with her.

  4. #4
    Platinum Member Heather Dawn's Avatar
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    I think your wife, while well-meaning, is taking things to the extreme.

    My 2.5yo son has FPIES to gluten - which means he has a rare gastrointestinal allergy to it (he vomits if he ingests any gluten). Fortunately, this particular issue is almost always outgrown by age 3-4, so we'll be having a food challenge somewhere around that time to be sure, and will hopefully be able to reintroduce gluten into his diet.

    However, for now - and since the age of nine months - he's been totally gluten free. Since I'm home with him, almost all of the things we have at home for snacks are GF - that way we can share without issue, as he always wants to eat what I eat. My husband, on the other hand, eats tons of non-GF foods because he's working outside the home. Most of what we have for dinner in the evenings is at least partially GF, if not wholly.

    That being said, he's too young to fully understand the situation, which is why we make an effort to be as conscious of it as possible. But, had he been diagnosed with CD or a lifelong allergy, we eventually would have to help him acclimate to living in a world where most people could eat something that he could not. (Not going to lie, I'm grateful that's not the case.)

    Your daughter is old enough to understand that the world around her is filled with foods that contain gluten - and that most of us are eating it without issue. Your wife is being considerate, but it's probably better for your daughter to get used to being around these foods.

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  6. #5
    Gold Member LikeWater's Avatar
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    Your diet is your choice. Period. Everything you said about your wife's obsession about this can be applied to many other dietary lifestyle changes. If your wife had went vegan, found that she felt better afterwards with the bonus of being guilt free, she'd probably be the same and force your daughter to do it while pressuring you to forfeit meat as well. Point being this has little to do with what's best for you and mostly to do with your wife's subscription that gluten = evil.

    In fact, I'd say it's actually your wife that's being the selfish one here, not you. If you are fine with consuming gluten and it's not causing health problems for you, then go for it. You're being more than courteous enough by only having it when away from them.

  7. #6
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    There is no scientific evidence at all to support gluten having negative health on the average person. If she and your daughter had Celiac's then there could be some merit in keeping Gluten from the household, but honestly even then I think it is BS.

    You shouldn't feel guilty for your wife's obsession. She is being controlling and demanding and from what you've wrote, manipulative and downright mean.

    It's time to sit down and have a serious discussion with her. If gluten is a deal-breaker for her, then she knows where to find the door. You can support your wife and daughter without participating in their lifestyle. To think otherwise is absurd. I don't have to participate in gay sex to support my gay best friend. Same goes for gluten.

  8. #7
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    Originally Posted by j.man
    Sounds like your wife is full of ****, buddy. Would be really curious to know what exact tests she took. And you mention her "issues" with gluten-- does your daughter have a medical reason to be avoiding it, or is she just doing it for its own sake? Fair enough if it's her choice, but you shouldn't be beholden to it yourself. Or is it something your wife has likewise pushed on her? How did these tests determine you and your daughter have this intolerance as well?

    Honestly, I wouldn't even hide it. It sounds like it's probably more an issue because you let it be an issue. You hiding it validates your wife's indignation. No one's saying to bust out an unsliced loaf of bread and go to town on it in front of everyone, but you should be able to enjoy foods you like inside your house, never mind outside of it where no one can see you. Seriously. I'd do so with some sensitivity, but I wouldn't just stop eating gluten in my own home. Let her be upset about it. She may scowl and not have sex with you for a little while. So what? Rub one out. I can't imagine discouraging someone I purport to love from foods they enjoy simply for my benefit of not having to know they were actually enjoying something.
    Blood work, etc.
    The only true celiac test is to scope down into your stomach. There are more people with wheat intolerance than celiac and there are people that actually have celiac who just didn't want to go through that procedures and knowing they are wheat intolerant is good enough (it involves avoiding the same foods). It can be genetic, and for people that have it and choose to eat wheat products, life can be pretty miserable - brain fog, immune system probs, stomach issues.... your body eating away at itself...

    I do think that if the daughter is struggling, he should not be eating "fun foods" like pizza with regular crust from their favorite pizza place in front of her in the house. I think if he is out with his buddies he should eat what he wants. My cousin cannot bring any peanuts or peanut butter into the house just "trusting" his highly allergic kid won't get into it....
    I think the big prob is what he chooses to do when he is not with his family away from the house.

  9. #8
    Platinum Member j.man's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by abitbroken
    Blood work, etc.
    The only true celiac test is to scope down into your stomach. There are more people with wheat intolerance than celiac and there are people that actually have celiac who just didn't want to go through that procedures and knowing they are wheat intolerant is good enough (it involves avoiding the same foods). It can be genetic, and for people that have it and choose to eat wheat products, life can be pretty miserable - brain fog, immune system probs, stomach issues.... your body eating away at itself...

    I do think that if the daughter is struggling, he should not be eating "fun foods" like pizza with regular crust from their favorite pizza place in front of her in the house. I think if he is out with his buddies he should eat what he wants. My cousin cannot bring any peanuts or peanut butter into the house just "trusting" his highly allergic kid won't get into it....
    I think the big prob is what he chooses to do when he is not with his family away from the house.
    There isn't a medical test for gluten intolerance. And there certainly isn't a test to vicariously diagnose your husband and daughter with it. You can do a tTG-IgA test for CD* (sorry, had this written as "gluten" before). And you can even test for a specific allergy to something like wheat, but that's not a test for gluten itself. A wheat allergy is much less restrictive. That the wife is alleging the "confirmed" condition onto her, her daughter, and (evidently) him suggests she's either poorly misinterpreting her results or is being full-on disingenuous. With the extent to which she aims to control his diet both inside and outside his home, around his family or not, I'm not quite willing to write off the latter.

  10. #9
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    So when you eat bread do you go to hospital too? All of us have an intolerance to everything. If I eat 50lbs of salt, for some reason, I would die. And yet if I eat a little I'm fine, heck I even need it sometimes. And there probably is a test that shows I have an intolerance to high levels of salt, hence the death and emergency room. Does that mean I don't keep salt in the house? No! And even if I were to avoid eating it I always find people sprinkling it on their food and enjoying this fatal substance. And I have no right to prevent people from bringing it in the house despite how salty I would get, even though they're eating so much of it in front of me.

    Eat what you want, bring home what you want. People buy alcohol despite their kids not being able to drink it, and there it's fine. You should be able to bring home bread and have it be fine. It's an intolerance, not a peanut allergy, the bread isn't going to run up to her and stab her like the peanuts would.

  11. #10
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    One other thing, we had a test done for intolerance and potatoes came up. I called BS and we've still been having potatoes with no issues. Another example, someone I know went on the Atkins diet. Didn't have any issues with poisonous gluten before but after the Atkins diet he does. Sometimes it's good to eat poison to build up an immunity. I don't say that as a medical professional but based on the princess bride movie. In any case I have witnessed changes in how people who used to eat unhealthy can now no longer handle unhealthy food after being on a healthy diet. Eat that bread, enjoy that bread drink, have a good life and stop feeling like you're cheating on your wife with bread.

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