Re: Ladies, what would you do? (regarding the issue of weight gain)
Wow, as I've looked through some of the old chat threads, this is a subject it seems mostly brought up by the guys, and quite frequently. It's an issue. I've been there myself. Thankfully, my wife got back into shape, but it took a few years for that to occur. Honestly, it's the way men are created. We're visual creatures. It's that simple. We want to look at our wives and be visually attracted to them. It's not shallow. It just is what it is.
For example, I don't know many guys who, when they are teenagers or in college who, if they are in reasonable shape, and who may be considered attractive themselves, who would ask someone out who they are not at least visually attracted to them. The initial allure is in the visual realm. A man will give his left testicle for a long-lasting, faithful, committed relationship with a woman, his wife, whom he can say to himself "She's not only beautiful on the inside, but also on the outside". Yes, we all age, and so comes those changes, but we can ALL stay in reasonable shape by the discipline of eating well and exercising when we can. We should do that for our spouses. If her body is mine, and mine is hers, I take that seriously and I want to present an in-shape body to her as far as I am able, and I expect the same. Women have needs, so do men. As men, I think we have to be very familiar with those needs that our wives have and spend every moment ensuring those needs are met.
If I were not married, and I saw a woman who was dressed nicely, seemed very kind, neat, friendly, etc, but if she was also overweight, although I may enjoy the conversation with her, I would not be drawn to her. I would not have a desire to have a "consummate" relationship with her. I wouldn't even initiate getting to know her better. And those are just the laws of attraction from someone who is not overweight. The laws are different for those who may be, and who they are attracted to. Men need their wives to look good, period. Many women may not like hearing that, but it is a legitimate need. Now, for those men who don't take care of themselves, their bodies, their appearance, their health, then they have no right to expect anything from their wives, but for those who do, I think it should work both ways.
But here's the thing, OP: even though this is a legitimate need, and there are a million men which understand what you're going through, and it sucks, all you can really do is make sure you take care of yourself, and, while doing that, choose to be even more patient with your wife, praise her even when the words may not want to come out of your mouth. Find ways to help build her esteem. Choose not to obsess over it, but rather try to find ways to encourage her, listen to her, let her know you love the essence of who she is. I don't know how that looks for you, and it's going to require some work. Who knows what is at the very root of why your wife has gained so much weight. She is likely in a cycle of depression, and may have some real needs that, once worked on, she may be able to have a totally new outlook. You simply cannot hover over her, give her the stink eye, or come across as resentful, judgmental, or frustrated when you're around her. That won't work. As one other poster proclaimed, yes, she has to do it for herself, not you. Trust me, you don't want that anyway. Be kind to her, meek, supportive, and take care of your own body and do the things you need to do to stay healthy. Perhaps she will be drawn to this space you give her and be motivated herself to make some changes.
Having said all of that, if significant efforts are undertaken, efforts that would be anyone be considered healthy, supportive, non-shaming, patient, kind, even after efforts are taken to find the roots of the weight gain, etc, etc, and there simply is no desire to change, then, brother, if you cannot enjoy the physical aspects of the relationship, if you cannot have a marital bed, then you don't have much of a choice but to move on.