The difference between "getting by" and strengthening your relationship, lies here.
Diabetics (Type I or Type 2) receive extensive education about their lifestyle, including their diet and exercise regimen. Sometimes the spouse is included in the education process, sometimes they're not. The spouse often struggles with having to treat his partner's hypoglycemia, concerns about complications, and worry about his partner testing sugars, following a new diet, and doing everything he or she can do to take care of him or herself.
In families where the wife assumes responsibility for shopping and cooking, she may feel overwhelmed and unsure of her ability to follow the instructions; while a husband placed in this position, usually leaves responsibility for the meals to his wife, regardless. Wives are placed under extra pressure because it's them who must learn how to prepare meals for her husband that will satisfy the entire family — all the while, these efforts may be completely looked over. Her husband may feel hungry because of smaller portions or dissatisfied because he misses the food she once provide.
The same goes with children who prefer the status quo — they'll have mixed feelings because they're not enjoying their meals as much but are feeling concerned about the health of their parent, as well.
The entire family is missing their pasta, deserts, and meanwhile, dad is trying to cope with limited portions (after years of an "all you can eat" lifestyle). If he tries to take second helpings or snack after supper, chanced are his wife will transform into "Diabetes Police," almost immediately. As a result, he becomes angry with her for questioning his right to do what he wants to in his own home. She won't understand that he's trying to deny his illness and the reasons for these changes. The conflicts often linger into other areas of their lives as a couple.
If the wife has diabetes, her husband may appear unconcerned. He will often deny there's a problem — wanting to devour the same meals he's always had. If his wife is unable to eat the food he craves, in an attempt to avoid conflict and keep him happy, she will prepare a separate meal for herself. However, after her education sessions with the nutritionist, or diabetic educator, she will realize the food she is advised to eat is actually much healthier for the entire family.
If her husband is unwilling to change his diet to match her healthy one, she will become angry as she'll feel unloved for the following reasons. She will perceive him as not caring that she has diabetes, period. She now has to learn about nutrition, prepare two meals, and take on the worry of developing complications alone. She will also feel that her husband does not care about her or the children, because he wants them to continue eating unhealthy food. It may not occur to her that he is unable to deal with his wife having a chronic illness and simply, doesn't know how to discuss it.
By learning how to prepare healthy, diabetic friendly meals the whole family can enjoy dinner time. By talking and learning about the disease, much of the conflict is resolvable.