Cheating with Fast Food

Hi everyone,

I am brand new here, and I see that a lot of the advice is for newer relationships, but I thought I might give this a go anyway. Maybe you all could help me get my head straight.

My husband and I have been together for four years, married for two. I love him. He is my partner and my friend and my lover. He loves me too. Of this I am certain. Never a doubt.

The Situation: My husband has type 2 diabetes, a pretty big problem for a man in his early 30’s. He is a big, chubby dude, but I don’t mind. In fact, I like that he has some “thickness”. I do too. I am, however, worried about his health.

On top of this, my husband also has money problems. To be honest, he grew up with a lot of money, and I’m not sure he is ever going to figure out that money is not constant. I grew up pretty much dirt poor, and I understand that in order to save money, you can’t, well, spend it.

My husband I do not eat fast food. The closest we come is the occasional Subway sandwich or Mexican take-out. With his diabetes, there is just no way he can eat Jack in the Box and McDonald’s and remain healthy.

The problem: I keep a pretty close eye on our money as my husband has a history of overspending sometimes. A few months ago, I found out that he was eating fast food when I was not around. I was pretty upset, and after some talking, I thought we had worked it out.

This month, I got a notice that over $200 dollars had been spent on my credit card. I called him immediately to see if he knew why. He looked up the statement (he was near a computer, and I was not) and said that a payment for a dress went through($100) and that the rest had gone to gas money.

Our rent was due, so I looked at our bank accounts to see which account we should pay it from (we have separate accounts as a security measure against either of us overspending). I saw that he had far less money in his account than there should have been, and I started looking at his history. He had gone to McDonald’s TEN TIMES in the last month. Carl’s Jr. twice, and Jack in the Box three times. I was shocked.

At this point, I thought something was up, so I checked my credit card statement. He had spent over $40 on fast food on MY credit card and then LIED to me about it. In total, he spent over $130 on fast food last month. (I am not counting any food we got together or more healthy choices. Just fast food by himself.)

It’s like he’s cheating on me with fast food! Yes, the money spending is bad, and the lying is bad, but what makes it so infuriating is that this food is going to kill him. He is spending out money, deceiving me, and slowly killing himself.

Combined with a couple of other, smaller fights (not doing the dishes when he said he would and being rude to me because he could not find his checkbook), this thing blew up into a nuclear fight.

I asked my husband to give me the night to think about things. He slept at a friend’s house. I don’t think either of us would even consider leaving the other for a moment. That is not what we are talking about here. He is coming back tonight, and hopefully we can talk about this, but what on earth can we do to get past this? How do we fix it?

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16 thoughts on “Cheating with Fast Food

  1. Dennis Hong says:

    [Hey there, welcome to LemonVibe!

    To be perfectly honest, I don’t think this is something that anyone on the internet is going to be able to help you with. Instead, I believe you should seek couples counseling.

    That’s awesome that neither of you would consider leaving the other, but that also means you both have to be willing to work on your relationship at this point. Given what you’ve described, it’s pretty clear to me that you have quite a few issues you need to hash out. These aren’t issues that will go away quickly, so you both have to accept that this is something that make take months or even years.

    Having said that, when your husband comes back tonight, my suggestion is that you sit him down and suggest that you seek counseling together. Now, the key here is that you have to avoid making any accusations. When you’re bringing up a topic like this, you have to be very careful that you’re not being verbally aggressive, that you’re not making this a “you versus him” situation (he lied to you, he cheated on you, etc.). If you do, you’ll only put him on the defensive. And if he’s on the defensive, he probably *won’t* agree to counseling.

    So, even if you think it’s absolutely his fault, don’t open the conversation by telling him how much he has messed up. Instead, frame it as a “we” thing. This isn’t something that he messed up on and needs to fix. This is something that both of you need to work on together. For example, you don’t say this:

    “You lied to me, and that’s why we need to seek counseling.”

    Say this:

    “I think we have some trust issues in our marriage right now. And because I love you and want this marriage to work, I think we should seek counseling together.”

    Notice that, in the first instance, you’re putting all the blame on him. In the second, you’re avoiding blame and framing your feelings in terms of what you think *both* of you can work on together.

    I think you and your husband have a lot of stuff to work out. But I also know that plenty of other couples have found success with far worse issues… provided they were both willing to work on them. So now, you just have to get your husband to be willing to work on them, too.

    Good luck, and please let us know how it goes.

  2. Missy says:

    [hi there! i’m glad you are asking for advice on this. i fully agree with what dennis says above in that you two should probably seek couples counseling, but i also have some insight into this from a personal level.

    my ex-husband and i went through similar issues as what you describe above. we’ll call my ex “tim.” tim had been diagnosed with celiac disease in his youth. in case you are unfamiliar with celiac, it is a disease that affects the lower intestine and is triggered by consumption of gluten. if ignored, it can lead to cancer and autoimmune diseases among other things. many people think of gluten as anything bread-related, but in actuality, it is an ingredient in so many processed foods and sauces. not important for our purposes here, but just some background.

    as a loving wife, i was very concerned for tim’s health, and went above and beyond to make sure he didn’t get “glutened.” this was at a time way before the gluten-free diet craze. there was practically nothing safe for him to eat unless i made it from scratch, and so that’s what i did. i spent countless hours cooking up lunches and dinners that would be safe for him to eat.

    while i know he appreciated my efforts, he would still crave “regular” food, and i would see charges on our credit card and receipts laying around for jack-in-the-box, mcdonald’s, taco bell, whatever. seeing this kind of evidence of his “cheating” would send me into a tailspin.

    how could he do this to me?

    that was the issue: how could he do this to me. i loved tim, and it hurt me to know that he was eating things that were harmful to him, but at the end of the day, tim is his own person and makes his own decisions. going around policing his eating habits made us both feel crazy and resentful of each other. the more i snooped, the more he tried to hide and the further we pushed each other away.

    after all was said and done, it wasn’t the food-issue that we split up over. the food-issue, for us, was a byproduct of my inability to allow tim to make his own choices and be his own person without it directly effecting me.

    we also had similar problems when it came to money.

    i noticed that you mentioned spending $100 on a dress. put yourself in your husband’s shoes for a minute. how is your spending $100 on a dress different from him making a decision to spend x amount of money on whatever he chooses to? i’m going to guess that he feels like there is a double-standard when it comes to money in your household, and that he is being placed under a microscope while you are allowed to spend money however you see fit.

    i’m really glad to hear that you two are completely dedicated to your love and to making your relationship work, so i really think that counseling is a great idea. i know that it can be expensive, but maybe it’s something that you two can sit down together to discuss and budget into your expenses.

    • roomagic says:

      [Hi there. Just wanted to clarify about the dress: I am a singer, and I had a big performance coming up. I am not a person who likes to shop at all, and it is very rare that I buy clothes. The dress was something I HAD to buy for the performance and certainly not a usual occurrence. I will think on what you said about the rest, though. I think you had some good insight.

    • Dennis Hong says:

      [Hey, quick question…

      Did you mean to out yourself on this comment? Or did you mean to comment anonymously?

      Let me know if outing yourself was a mistake, and I can delete your comment.

  3. EricaSwagger says:

    [I agree with both of the above, counseling was my first thought.

    But aside from the trust issues which I think you definitely need to address, your husband may also have some anxiety/depression about his diabetes that he’s not discussing with you. Feelings he’s not dealing with could be a huge part of why he’s acting this way.

    You do need to address the lying itself, but also (and more importantly) you should address WHY he is lying. It probably has nothing to do with you or your relationship, and is entirely about him. Go into it with an open mind and try to be understanding — However worried you are about his health, he’s probably more worried, but he might just not know how to deal with that.

    • Dennis Hong says:

      [Gotcha. Well, sometimes, people do click that by accident (okay, it’s something we need to work on).

      But also, the blurb author’s votes are worth +5/-5. So if you get a -5, it usually just means that the blurb author disagreed, not that a bunch of people disagreed. So in this case, the blurb author disagreed, but three other people did agree with you, for a net of -2. To encourage people to be nice, we felt it was reasonable to allow the blurb author’s votes to be worth more — but not so much more that a bunch of other people can’t effectively override them.

      Either way, I know you’re usually pretty blunt, so I think that’s the risk you have to be willing to take there…. 🙂

    • EricaSwagger says:

      [Or she didn’t vote at all, and two people gave me -1! Hahah.
      I guess I just don’t understand like if she did -5 me, what didn’t she like? I’m not asking, just venting. If I was mean I’d have expected it and I know I’m usually very blunt, but this one I thought was pretty nice of me!

    • Dennis Hong says:

      [Fair enough. I think you just have to not take it personally, ya know? Who knows why someone might agree or disagree with someone else….

  4. roomagic says:

    [Hi there. Sorry about the confusion. I accidentally clicked the disagree button. It was not a slight in any way. I wish there was a way to FIX the accidental button pushing. They are right next to each other… 😦

    • Dennis Hong says:

      [Yes, yes, I know. This is something we’re working on. We want to allow the different votes, but also not clutter up every comment. 🙂

    • Dennis Hong says:

      [Okay, Erica, I just upvoted you on your three above comments, to up your overall score. 🙂

  5. roomagic says:

    [And no, I did not mean to out myself. That was a mistake. Please delete the comment above with my picture/ name on it. Thank you.

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