Celiac marriage concerns around the holidays

I wasn’t sure whether to post this on relationship advice or here, but I figured I might get more responses from people in a similar situation in this sub.

Two years ago we found out that my husband has celiac’s. Prior to his diagnosis we would go out on the town and go to parties every once in a while. Neither of us are big party people but we enjoyed the times when we would meet up with friends and go out as a couple.

When he started getting sick and got diagnosed after we got married, however, we (mostly me) have been struggling with going out as a couple. Most of the parties we’re invited to have no one else with celiac’s, and my husband doesn’t like bringing attention to himself so he’d just rather not go instead of risking getting sick. The few times we’ve gone out with friends for meals he’s either had to not eat anything, or he’d eat something presumably gluten free but would get sick anyway— probably due to cross contamination. I can only imagine what he’s feeling in these situations, and I understand totally why he would opt out of events because of this.

But it’s honestly taking a toll on me and our marriage. When he opts not to go I often feel like I’m leaving him behind or lonely that I’m going to another event by myself. I don’t have celiac’s, and I enjoy hanging out with friends, and I miss going to events with him. If I want to bring him with me to events it’s a massive effort to vet the food that will be available for him. He works out a lot and gets hungry quickly— in the past, I’ve either changed the venue of the event altogether (if it’s a small gathering with friends), brought food for him (I’m not sure if it comes off as rude) or if I’m planning it made sure that he had options. Every time we go out it’s like pulling teeth. It was already difficult before because of his schedule, but it’s more difficult now with the risk of him getting sick every time we leave the house.

The holidays are coming up and we’re getting invited to all sorts of gatherings— most of which are bigger parties that I can’t really control. While my husband is down to come with me when his schedule permits, I’m unsure how to navigate keeping him safe without alienating him. Has anyone else been through this as the spouse of someone with celiac’s? What sort of strategies do you guys have to make this easier? I miss having fun with my husband and I really want to make my marriage work.

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