My husband has been bothering me for the past year about my weight. I have gained thirty pounds since I met him. I have asked him to stop bothering me about it but two days ago he told me that I was not sexually attractive to him because I was so fat. He said that because of my obesity he has not wanted to be with me. I still have a good shape and plenty of men like the way I look. I wear a size 14 for my height of 5’3. I am so angry at him that I have not spoken to him. I don’t want to see, touch, hear, or be near him because of what he said. I am seriously thinking of getting out of this marriage because I have my whole life ahead of me. Maybe if he got counseling I would reconsider trying to work things out but right now I do not want to. We have had large arguments before, but he said that if I keep gaining weight he will leave me.

Dear Struggling,

Many women don't like what they see in the mirror, and the truth is, most of us are bigger around the middle and hips than our ancestors. It is a modern day epidemic. In the 1950’s the average size for a woman was a 10, now it is a 14. And yet our so called role models in the media are a size 4 if not a zero, and that is what men see on TV ads and in magazines as well.

The number one New Year’s Resolution is to lose weight. It is also the one very few keep. There is a reason. Food is too readily available, and is usually the not-so-healthy, calorie and fat laden kind. So, if you are battling the bulge, you are not alone.

1. Explore the Intent of the Comments

Looks alone cannot be your motivation when it comes to getting in better shape. And your husband’s mentioning of it may make you run for the cookie jar for comfort, the opposite of what he hoped would happen. I suggest you sit down and have a long talk. Ask him why this is so important to him? There may be an underlying issue. Here might be a few to consider. Some men want other men to be jealous because they have attractive wives. So his own insecurity may be surfacing. Perhaps he has bought into the media’s image of what a woman should be and needs his focus adjusted so he once again sees your attractive qualities beyond the physical appearance. Has he been viewing porn, which portrays women in an unrealistic way and then, maybe without even realizing, trying to get you to measure up? Porn is so prevalent out there and most men consider it harmless. However, it can slowly alter their perception of women, even their wives. Of course, he may genuinely be concerned about your health and is not communicating it well.

Find out where his head is. However, don’t accuse him. That will only cause him to put up defenses. Instead, honestly express how his comments have hurt you. Together as a couple, explore why that is. Could it be that you are unhappy with your size and so knowing he is as well is like pouring salt into the wound? Be careful not to put the blame totally on him, which is what psychologists call transference. That will wall up any honest communication.

Is he willing to help you break the cycle? If you approach the issue as a team and work toward a positive solution, it will not only benefit your waistline but your marriage. If you two can work to discover the reason behind the emotions, that is two-thirds the battle. Anger and hurt can waltz around the real issues hidden beneath the surface.

If you need the guidance of a professional counselor to get you to that point, make the appointment. Sometimes an objective third party can help you both see what the real issues are beyond the hurt.

2. Decide For Yourself

Ask yourself whether or not you are happy with your weight and size. Does your weight interfere with your health? Do you have trouble doing the things that make life fun for you? Are you not able to function as well on the job or in your recreation?

The truth is that added weight is a silent time bomb ticking away to destroy your health. The longer it takes you to get that 30 pounds off, the more it will affect your gallbladder, knees, lower back, etc. Scientists have discovered that fat cells will stretch and after a while the added inches that have been there will feel “natural” to the body. Unfortunately, being 20 to 30 pounds overweight is not natural for the heart, digestive organs, or lungs. Long term weight gain can lead to cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and sleep apnea.

3. Make A Plan

Analyze your eating habits. What caused you to gain the weight. Stress? Inactivity? Fast foods that are easier to grab than taking the time to make nutritious meals? Hormonal changes? A check up with your family doctor may not be a bad idea. Simple blood tests can determine if there is a physical reason that should be addressed.

4. Move Forward

After you have cleared the air and identified the cause of the weight gain, make efforts to reverse it. Even if your husband chooses not to get on board, focus on your goals and let him see that you are enjoying life while accomplishing positive steps toward improvement. He may gain more respect for you, but even more important, you will gain more respect for yourself.

If you need someone to help you, please contact one of our free and confidential mentors through the "Connect" tab below. They will listen to your concerns and encourage you towards wholeness in your life.

This article was written by: Julie Cosgrove

Photo Credit: Katie D