I’ve vaguely touched on the trials of being a non-GF spouse to my gluten-free Celiac hubby in previous posts. He’s been my best friend, biggest supporter, father of my child, the hard-working breadwinner, and more for over 27 years and I love him dearly, with all my heart. He can also be a slight pain in my rear when it comes to his dietary restrictions. If being honest and you’ve been the spouse/partner/family member/coworker to someone that must avoid certain foods, you know exactly what I’m getting to…the guilt that comes with partaking of said food.
This can occur in a number of ways- you’re out to eat together and the restaurant doesn’t have a great GF selection, but you and rest of the group enjoy appetizers and dessert that he can’t have. You’re invited to a dinner party and there’s little to no GF options, but you eat anyway, knowing your gluten free loved one is hungry. Your company Christmas party is family oriented and tons of fun, except for the GF spouse, who will have to eat before you leave or bring something along with. You’re at the airport and REALLY want a Cinnabon (note, I said want, not need!) but there’s no alternative for him, so you play the martyr and forego it, while not-so-secretly seething. The last one might have happened on more than one occasion…
These types of situations can make the non-GF counterpart feel many emotions; angry, bitter, inconvenienced, and resentful, all of which I admit to experiencing at one time or another. It doesn’t change the fact that I happen to love someone who has a serious issue with gluten and always will…which then leads me to the more common feelings- guilt, selfishness, envy (yes, I am sometimes envious of other couples that can enjoy gluten together!) and disloyalty.
Most of the time, Doug handles it all with true grace and maturity and behaves as if it doesn’t bother him to watch others, including his supposedly devoted wife, savor foods that he can’t have. However, there have been rare instances that he makes his aggravation/frustration obvious and I’m just going to say it- it annoys the heck out of me that I’m expected to abstain because he has to. I try not to go out of my way to rub it in…I usually plan to visit the not-so-GF-friendly establishments when I’m not with him or I’ll give a dinner host a head’s up on how to accommodate
our his GF needs.
Over the years, we’ve had our share of heart-to-hearts on this subject and we’ve agreed to compromise…when there is absolutely no other option, he will eat what his body will allow and I will eat. That being said, I don’t ooh and ahh over the bread basket and he doesn’t (that I’ve seen) roll his eyes when I order something gluten-full. After all, that’s what marriage and relationships are about, give and take. Loving someone, flaws and all…given all of his, I’m so thankful that mine are non-existent! 😉