Relationship Changes after Bariatric Surgery

Apr 01, 2019

Weight loss surgery is not only a family affair, but can also affect an individual’s support network. When a person goes through bariatric surgery, the rest of their family and friends also experience significant changes. One of the aspects of weight loss surgery people often don’t consider is how it will impact their relationships after surgery. For many individuals, the lifestyle changes after bariatric surgery are positive and can have a positive impact on their relationships. However, every relationship in the individual’s life will change simply because the individual is changing. These changes can sometimes lead to others feeling threatened and possibly try to sabotage the individual’s weight loss. Although there is an attempt to prepare people in support groups, most people are often surprised when their relationships change after surgery. Understanding these changes and how to address them can make a significant difference in deepening the relationships individuals have with the people closest to them after surgery.

     In preparing for surgery, the focus is usually on how it will impact the individual, but not on how it will impact the people closest to them. This lack of education and communication often leaves people inadequately prepared to deal with the complicated range of emotions that arise after surgery. Most people want to feel supported and comforted after weight loss surgery. However, those closest to the individual also want comfort and support. They are experiencing their own tough changes. If someone notices their spouse, friend, or family member trying to sabotage their weight loss it is helpful to understand why. Typically, the loved one needs their own support and talking to them about it is vital for everyone to be successful. Structured individual or couples counseling can help an individual and their loved one process all these changes in a healthy, supportive environment. This will help everyone be less likely to revert to old habits that could cause weight gain or other problematic behaviors.

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