middle aged men

macbirchApril 30, 2007

Does something happen to men at a certain age?

DH has turned into a pig. Particularly annoying are his table manners. The weird noises, the way he shovels his food. There are no physical reasons I'm aware of, no new false teeth or anything. I know people's behaviour changes when you've been together for a while. One of the nice things about being together so long is you feel comfortable with each other and you don't obsess about your presentation, does your rear look big in that skirt, is there food stuck in your teeth, is your perfume/aftershave too overpowering, why did you have to get a zit just in time for the big date. We've been together a long time and have been in that comfortable stage for a long time. And though we don't obsess we used to have a certain level of behaviour and dress. Then DH hit middle age and something changed. I know there can be worse changes but I still wonder what happened.

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western_pa_luann

Nothing like that happened to my husband... but we have only been married 26 years (no false teeth, etc like you mention). If anything, his table manners have improved as we are able to afford nicer restaurants now!

    Bookmark   April 30, 2007 at 2:53PM
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sweeby

Are you sure it's him?
...and not just that you're finding these things more irritating than in the past?

If a gentle reminder doesn't help, it could be a sign that it's time for a thorough medical checkup.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2007 at 3:56PM
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popi_gw

Gentle reminder, you say Sweeby.

How can you gently remind someone that they are turning into a slob, without it ending up in an argument ?

Its a very delicate subject.

How do you delicately say "Can you please stop shovelling the food into your mounth like that?"

Popi

    Bookmark   April 30, 2007 at 7:05PM
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linda117117

I dont know, I must be a real B%(#*$. If my husband was doing that, I would simply say, you're eating like a pig, cut it out!

    Bookmark   April 30, 2007 at 7:18PM
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coolmama

LOL linda117...That's what I'd probably do too.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2007 at 7:28PM
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marge727

Look at the bright side. If they are having an affair, they suddenly dress better, look neater and change what they eat and drink and get critical of you. So you don't have that problem. I suggest you take him to get his eyes checked, and his hearing. Physical changes may be making him feel detached and you really don't notice things.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2007 at 8:51PM
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sweeby

I either correct or compliment my son's table manners, and DH usually picks up on it as well. If he doesn't, I usually ask DH "Honey, can you show him how to hold his fingers? I'm sitting across the table, so it's backwards to him." So far, that's always worked.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2007 at 9:24PM
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popi_gw

Good idea, Sweeby, I will try that.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2007 at 4:01AM
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macbirch

Someone who leans right into his plate and literally shovels wouldn't have gotten a second date. It's a recent change, not something I became irritated by when the honeymoon period wore off. Other family members have noticed. Hints have been dropped. It is tricky to be firm, and firm enough that the message sticks, but not start an argument.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2007 at 10:03AM
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icaris

quote " marge727
Look at the bright side. If they are having an affair, they suddenly dress better, look neater and change what they eat and drink and get critical of you. So you don't have that problem. I suggest you take him to get his eyes checked, and his hearing. Physical changes may be making him feel detached and you really don't notice things."

i have to disagree with this. i have overall done many changes in appearance and manners, i lost wieght, toned my muscules, eat right, work out, keep my hair short and clean cut, but i didnt do that because im trying to have an afair, i did it for two reasons. 1.) to try to make myself more attractive for my wife, then maybe she'll notice me more often, the 2nd reason is i also did it for myself, to get back into shape like i use to be. so you always can't go by the changing thing meaning its an afair. i did it for my wife.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Bookmark   May 1, 2007 at 12:32PM
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carla35

icaris,

I don't think marge was suggesting that anyone who changes for the better is having an affair; I think she was only making a joke that at least that was one thing that didn't need to be worried about. I thought it was funny.

All "A'"'s can be "B"'s without necessarily making all "B"'s be "A"'s (Boolean logic). In other words, 'theoretically', all people having an affair may dress better...but that doesn't mean that all people who dress better are having affairs. Don't worry, no one thinks you're having an affair just because you're getting in good shape.

Anyway, I have no idea what to tell the OP about her problem. Maybe the food just tastes too darn good...try serving some overcooked pasta or serving the food real hot! That may slow him down a bit. It sounds like he's just extra hungry or something...could he be diabetic?

Let us know if/when you come up with an explanation.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2007 at 2:27PM
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icaris

"Anyway, I have no idea what to tell the OP about her problem. Maybe the food just tastes too darn good...try serving some overcooked pasta"

ahh man, i love overcooked pasta, add a little butter/garlic sauce, some fresh oregano, basil, and parcley, topped off with my special twisted rose bud, and you have good eats oh and lets not forget my homemade garlic bread, or poegotch (sp) bread iether...lol.. sorry, it just sounded to good, and i love to cook..
but if you want him to slow down, try setting his plate up for him, give him small portions, by that means cook small dinners. he will then learn to charish each bite and savour the flavor, instead of inhaling his food.
if that doesn't work, i know of some good hot and spicey reciepes that will make his mouth slow down..lol..

    Bookmark   May 1, 2007 at 2:37PM
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coolmama

icaris,you sound like a lovely husband,your wife should be happy to have you.I hope you can work everything out somehow.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2007 at 4:04PM
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popi_gw

Icaris, you do sound like a good hubbie, nice to hear that you are looking after yourself. Why do you think more men don't think like you ?

Macbirch, you say he "shovels" his food. Is he overweight ?

I read that if you eat slower and chew more, taking smaller mouthfulls, you actually eat less, feel more satisfied, and don't run the risk of putting on excess weight.

Try saying to him "I am concerned about your health" that might open up some discussion.

That could be an opening statement to lots of issues, come to think of it !

Popi

    Bookmark   May 1, 2007 at 6:06PM
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macbirch

He was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes last year. He'd been putting on weight for years, buying bigger clothes, ignoring anything that was said about his health (family history of type 2 too!). Since diagnosis he's gotten the diabetes under control really well, he exercises almost every day, he's lost weight, and he's so smug about fitting into his old clothes. He's doing just about everything he should have done sooner.

BTW, I thought all the grunting and huffing would lessen now that he's a normal weight and much fitter but he still sounds and acts fat. And did I mention the burping and farting?

    Bookmark   May 2, 2007 at 9:36AM
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popi_gw

Macbirch

Can you tell him you dont find him attractive, when he does all the things you don't like ?

I see this as your only option, at this point, just come out and say it....you've have nothing to loose, do you ?

Are you, yourself, in pristine condition, you know, nicely scrubbed up, sweet smelling, etc, etc. ?

I wish you all the best.

Sorry about the diabetes 2, perhaps you could use this as something you could do together, like exercise, make yummy, healthy meals together.

I should take my own advice.

Popi

    Bookmark   May 2, 2007 at 10:52PM
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macbirch

I can't remember if I've said it in so many words but we've been trying to draw attention to various things. Don't really want to be blunt to the point of being nasty, though sometimes a particularly pointed comment slips out. Problem is 90 percent of the time communication is too subtle for DH to notice and 10 percent of the time (and rising!) it's nagging or arguing. I've never actually found a way to discuss things so DH will hear me. This is getting into a broader issue now. I've wondered if it's the age difference. I've always felt a little invisible. Or is it just men's inferior communication skills? (Sorry, but there is this idea around that men aren't as verbal as women.) This recent slovenliness is just the latest thing. Particularly annoying though in that it's so frequent and obvious. I mean we can't be in the same room together for very long before he's doing something. I can't believe he behaves like that at work.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2007 at 10:24AM
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coolmama

"Problem is 90 percent of the time communication is too subtle for DH to notice"

I have the same issue.You have to hit my husband with a building to get him to notice something,there is no being subtle.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2007 at 7:44PM
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popi_gw

I think its difficult to discuss things, if you feel it will start an argument.

This is the same situation for me.

I think we just have to work hard at finding ways to be more assertive, and to communicate in such a way, as to not sound like we are blaming them.

This is easier said than done.

I think its okay to say "I am going to say something, that you probably won't like to hear, but this is of concern to me and I have to get it off my chest". If you "prepare" him for a comment that he won't like,then surely this is the only way to get through.

I do this myself, I anguish for days, hours on how I will "say" things, but gee if they are bothering me, isn't it okay to bring it up ? Trouble is, its often taken as a criticism, when that is not my intention, at all.

Try reading some books about communication, it might open your eyes on how you can voice what you are thinking and then get the response you are looking for.

I think one should be able to say anything, in a marriage, if it is said with love, and concern, for the marriage.

Keep trying to get through.

What have you said today, to alleviate your worries with this man ?

Popi

    Bookmark   May 6, 2007 at 6:59PM
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macbirch

Yes, it's so hard to be assertive with your husband. It doesn't even sound right to talk about being assertive with your husband. You would hope he would love you enough to care about what you have to say without you having to work yourself up into "assertive" mode. Then if you're not careful you get too worked up and you're in nagging or arguing mode. And you know what really annoys me. When you occasionally think you've gotten it right and DH has heard you and is making an effort to keep your comments in mind . . . and then a week later he forgets. Like the conversation never happened. All that effort to choose the right time to raise the subject, to stay calm, to see his point of view, to meet him halfway, etc, etc. Seems to work. And then it all reverts back to the way it was.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2007 at 9:14AM
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popi_gw

I agree with you Macbirch, let just struggle on and become better negotiators !

P

    Bookmark   May 7, 2007 at 7:46PM
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macbirch

Starting to wonder if it's the first signs of senility. He's illogical and answers back and loses focus and is more trouble than a two year old sometimes. Three tradesmen and DH are more than I can handle in one day.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2007 at 4:43AM
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sweeby

Actually, it could be something medical. Often the first sign of a change in mental status (such as some forms of dementia) can be a change in personality or personal care habits. A thorough checkup (with an advance heads-up to his doc) would be a good idea.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2007 at 1:04PM
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popi_gw

How old is your DH?

    Bookmark   May 13, 2007 at 7:41PM
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macbirch

I have a vague memory of coming across something about slovenliness or something like that being an early sign of dementia when I was researching FIL's illness. But DH is much younger (57) than FIL was. I think I'll do some googling anyway. I hoped I wouldn't have to think about such things for another twenty years.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2007 at 7:02AM
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marge727

My job sometimes involves assessing competency for court using medical reports, etc. 57 isn't too young to begin having problems.What looks like senility isn't always caused by old age. He also could be depressed, or he may have had a small stroke. You need to make a medical appointment, but be sure to talk with the doctor first to alert them to what they should be looking for. FIL was your father or his?

    Bookmark   May 28, 2007 at 2:13AM
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