My husband has been bothering me for the past year about my weight gain. 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 no longer sexually attractive. He said that because of my obesity he has not wanted to be with me. Plenty of men still 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. Maybe if we 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.
The number one New Year’s Resolution is to lose weight. It is also the one that many of us find most difficult to keep. There is a reason for that. Today, food is readily available, and much of it is the not-so-healthy, calorie and fat-laden kind. So, if you are gaining weight, you are far from alone.
1. Explore the Intent of His Comments
One of the first things you can do to try to improve your marriage is to sit down with your husband and have a long talk about why your weight is so important to him.
Do any of the following reasons apply?
Some men want their wives to be attractive so that other men will be jealous of them. This could be a sign of insecurity or of a lack of self-esteem on his part that he might need to reflect on.
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 beyond your physical appearance to who you are as a person.
Has he been viewing porn, which portrays women in an unrealistic way? If so, he might be trying to have you measure up to the standards portrayed there, maybe without even realizing it. Porn is so prevalent today, and although most men consider it harmless, it can slowly alter their perception of women, even their wives.
Of course, he might be genuinely concerned about your health, rather than your looks, and is simply not communicating that well.
Find out what he is thinking. Avoid accusing him of anything, since that will only cause him to put up defenses. Instead, honestly express how his comments have hurt you, and why.
Then, together as a couple, explore what you can do together to improve your relationship. Try to come to an agreement about how you can both adopt a healthier lifestyle as a couple.
If you approach the issue as a team and work toward a positive solution together, it will not only benefit your health but your marriage. If you seek to better understand how your emotions and decisions are affecting one another, that is two-thirds the battle.
If you need the guidance of a professional counselor to get you to that point, make the appointment together. Sometimes an objective third party can help you both see what the real issues are.
2. Decide What's Best for You
Ask yourself whether or not you are happy with your state of health. 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 free time?
The truth is that being overweight stresses your body. The longer it takes you to get that 30 pounds off, the more it will affect your gallbladder, knees, lower back, etc. Unfortunately, being 20 to 30 pounds overweight is not what is best for the heart, digestive organs, or lungs. Long term weight gain can lead to cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and sleep apnea. Are you willing to do what it takes to improve your overall health level?
3. Establish A Realistic Plan
Analyze your lifestyle habits. What caused you to gain the weight? Stress? Inactivity? Fast foods that are easier to prepare than nutritious meals? Hormonal changes? It might be wise to request a check up with your family doctor to see if there are physical reasons for the gain in weight. Usually, all it takes is simple blood tests.
4. Move Forward One Step at a Time
Once you have identified the obstacles to optimal health, you can begin to overcome them one step at a time. Adopt one or two realistic health goals and share them with your husband. Let him see how much you are enjoying life while accomplishing positive steps toward self-improvement. He may gain more respect for you; but more importantly, you will feel better about 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 CosgrovePhoto Credit: Katie D