And you don’t find her attractive anymore?
I debated writing this because I know weight is a sensitive topic, so instead, I decided to make it clear that I’m asking a genuine question. I should also add, this isn’t about my wife.
A few nights ago, I was in the running with a friend of mine, and once we got into a good pace, we started chatting. Mostly we chat about work, the kids, what’s happening in the news, Marvel, the latest Playstation game, and so on. But sometimes, we broach topics that are a little deeper, a little more personal.
We’ve talked about mental health, life goals, the odd thing about feelings, but recently he asked me,
What would you do if your wife got so overweight, it turned you off in bed? Would you tell her?
Now it isn’t that he doesn’t love her; he does. They’ve been married for just over fifteen years. They have two children together and have always worked as a team. His wife has always been a plus-size woman, and it’s been fine. She’s always been above the ideal weight for her height, and it’s never been a problem.
However, after having two children, she’s struggled with her weight and seemed to gain a little each time and then didn’t lose it. It wasn’t for trying.
She’s been to weight-loss groups, started countless diets and has even spoken to me and my wife about fitness routines and healthy eating. I’m not an expert, but I’m a runner and am very conscious about what I eat. We’ve given her tips, pointed her in the direction of books we’ve read, videos we’ve watch. I even gave her the login details for a fitness application I used and told her to make a profile of her own.
But try as she might, the weight doesn’t budge.
What’s The Problem?
I asked my friend what the problem was. He told me he loves her, she’s the best woman in the world, and he’d do anything for her, but something has changed with her weight, and she’s just gaining more and more. She’s close to three-hundred pounds now. It’s getting to the point that he’s not finding her attractive anymore, which bothers him.
“I don’t know how to help her,” he says.
She’s gained so much weight now that her knees hurt when she walks anywhere. Going up the stairs leaves her red-faced and out of breath. She can’t collect the kids from school because she can’t walk that far now (it’s a fifteen-minute walk). She can’t get out to see her mother or friends without needing a ride, as she finds it too uncomfortable to get behind the wheel and drive herself.
“She’s slowly losing her independence to her weight, and it’s making her miserable.”
Are There Solutions?
I offered what I could think of, like, what if he went on a healthy eating kick? Maybe she’d join in with him. He’s tried that, but she just buys junk food from the local shop and eats it while he’s at work.
I tried again. Do you think she’s depressed? I asked this after he told me she’d been using those meal replacement shakes and then following them up with a cream cakes and croissants toasted with butter as dessert. I’m not a stranger to emotional eating. When my father died a few years ago, I binged in ways I never knew possible and I know the restrictions of the current world is enough to fray anyone’s nerves.
He shrugged and said, he’s asked that, but she tells him to get off her case. That she’s fine.
I then asked, what about just leaving it? I mean, we all know if we’re overweight or not. She’ll know she’s overweight. She’s not blind. I gave him the example of my ex-drug habit. I knew taking drugs was ruining my life. I didn’t need anyone to tell me that. But no one could make me quit taking drugs until I wanted to, until it meant something to me. And food is such a drug. When I was using drugs, no one could talk me into getting clean. Not until I was ready. I managed it when it became something I wanted to do. Just like, no one can make her lose weight until she’s ready to.
He’s tried that too. She either gets upset with herself that she’s overweight, and tries something, then gives up and gains more, or she says he isn’t helping her.
“It’s a losing situation. If I try to help, I’m pressuring her; if I don’t say a word, I’m not caring.”
He’s Not Overweight
I suppose it doesn’t help that he’s naturally slim, and at six foot, a little weight gain doesn’t really affect his body that much. Plus, he’s a runner and is on his feet a lot with work. He can eat twice what she does in a day, and not gain a pound.
What if she’s lonely? He works; she’s a stay-at-home mother. She used to work before the children were born but never really liked it and felt her place was better in the home. That’s fair. They made adjustments to accommodate that. He said he’s broached that too. Not about her weight, but asking if she’s okay? Does she want to go back to work, are their any clubs or groups she wants to join? Does she want to go out with her friends? But she takes the defensive approach, that maybe he doesn’t want her home anymore.
The Yo-Yo Dieting
It isn’t that his wife doesn’t try to lose weight either. She’s been a member of weight watchers on and off for years but always leaves, saying she doesn’t like the pressure to lose weight she feels when she goes to get weighed each week. She’s tried meal plans, joining gym classes and more, but it doesn’t work, and she gives up.
What Is the Real Issue?
As we talked, it seemed to become apparent, it wasn’t really the attraction thing, but more a worrying about her health.
“I’m worried about her,” he said. “She gets out of breath so much that the doctor has given her an inhaler. What if she ends up having a heart attack?”
I think maybe this is what scares him the most.
They want another baby, but she’s been told it’d be too risky with her size for things such as pre-eclampsia, and diabetes. He’s afraid to touch her in case she does get pregnant, and something terrible happens. Maybe that’s where his initial thought about attraction comes form?
What Do You Do?
Do you even have the right to do or say anything? Weight is such a touchy subject.
If my wife were doing something hazardous to her health, I’d probably tell her about my worries. If she started smoking or taking drugs or something like that, it’d be easy to raise those. But weight? I’m not sure what I’d do or say.
It’s such a tricky thing. You want to support your spouse in any way you can; you love them, care about them, and most of all, never want to hurt them. If he tells his wife he thinks she’s too overweight now, he’ll hurt her feelings. If he doesn’t tell her, he watches her hurting herself, her body and her health.
If this were the other way around, it possibly wouldn’t be such a problem for her to tell him he needed to lose weight. We both agreed that if we got fat, we’d want our wives to give us that wake-up call.
But I think that issue comes because of society and the media. If he were overweight, it’d be a joke. He’d be able to grab his belly and announce to the world joyfully; it’s bought and paid for, but a woman? Suddenly, when they’re overweight, they’re fat and lazy.