I think 'most' men aren't really that effected by weight gain of their spouse. I think men, in general, see the person they married and their attraction is based on that person showing up. If that person happens to have more meat on her hips, less definition between waist line and bust line, they don't really see it.
What I think men react to is how their spouse carries herself when she has gained weight. If a woman feels unattractive she wears clothing that hides her body, both inside the home and outside. A woman who feels negatively about herself is less flirty, less open to acting in a sexually alluring way, and even has a lower sex drive in general. Her confidence is gone and there is nothing sexier than a confident person.
This is what I hang my hat on when I am discouraged about weight gain or signs of aging. My husband has never said anything about weight gain, nor about weight loss. He has only ever responded to my confidence level. If I'm feeling confident he is attracted and he keeps his distance when I'm feeling neurotic about my appearance.
while my husband has never said he is affected by weight gain, (and he has never said he is affected by an appropriate weight
) it is clear to me that he is affected by my confidence vs neurotic body image.
My husband started gaining weight a soon as we got married. In the beginning it bothered me because the fine characteristics of his face that I found irresistible were disappearing with the puffiness. His belly didn't bother me, I missed his face. But as the years wore on and he continued to expand I gave up but for the most part I never really saw his belly and forgot to look for the face that initially attracted me. His smile, the smile I thought so engaging and so perfect, was a thing of the past. Unless I looked at old pictures, I completely forgot that he used to have a smile that I thought so wonderful. We've had MANY conversations about his weight gain and they started out, back in our early days, very gentle. I would tell him how I missed his face, missed his smile and didn't like how the puffiness obscured his face. Now I just ask him to make sure his life insurance is up to date and all our financials are put together because when I am a widow I will need to be able to mourn his loss without the anxiety of trying to figure out where our money is and how to access it. Both of our fathers died in their early 60's from heart attacks. My husband is 58. Our time is limited without substantial weight loss on his part. He has worked so hard to ensure our comfortable retirement and it is not likely to include him. That is tragic.