I included a long and short version. Only read the long if you want nitty gritty details, but the real question is after the short version. Actually, I'm more interested in an answer from people who don't know all the details and just look at the situation in a more black-and-white sense.
To make a long story short, my lady of 10 years is now 28 years old, I am soon to be 31. We have a great relationship for the most part, and I know I am very lucky for a lot of reasons. I also feel I got unlucky in some areas. I have a very unique woman by my side, that's for sure. The one important factor here, though, is that I truly love her with all my heart, and the last thing in the world I want is to leave her, so please do not jump to that conclusion.
Here's the short version:
You start gaining weight. You know it, and it's probably safe to say your husband notices. Shortly thereafter, he stops being quite as affectionate with you, and the sex comes less and less. He starts turning you down when he used to never do that. You continue to gain weight and don't make any changes. He then very gently and respectfully starts a discussion about it, and kindly asks you to join him in a healthier lifestyle so you can get back into shape. You still make no change, and you give him a hard time about it, being defensive. The discussions evolve into frustrated arguments, and straight up yelling matches. You still do nothing to lose weight, and continue to gain it, despite the fact you're calling yourself a whale looking in the mirror. Then you start making empty promises about weight loss, but continuously let your husband down by not sticking with it, and furthermore continuing to gain more weight. Your husband desperately tries every single tactic in the book, explains to you how important this is to him and the relationship, and is constantly trying to get you to work out WITH him, and yet, you still just can't seem to motivate yourself. About 6 years go by since the first hints were dropped, and you're in the worst shape of your life, he's still barely ever having sex with you and seems generally flattened when he arrives home at the end of the day, showing you little affection.
Please tell me, at what point during this process do you grab yourself by the scruff of the neck and say "I'm going to f-ing lose him if I don't get my ass in gear" and lose the damn weight? If for nothing else, then out of simple respect for this faithful man that you feel very attracted to, that has sacrificed his access to every other woman in the universe, shares his life with you, does absolutely everything for you, lifts you up and makes you feel good every day of your life.
Another question: Do women generally understand that a man requires physical attraction to his mate? Or do most women think along the lines of "if he loves me it shouldn't matter"? Honest question.
Last question: I know it's not straight forward or easy, but what would you do if you were in my shoes? As a woman, what could your man do or say to convince you that something is so important to him, even if you can't wrap your head around it, that you'll do it because you love and respect him?
Yes, I know, "she has to want to do it, you can't force her" yeah yeah yeah I know. I'm asking out of sheer desperation. Aside from just flat out leaving, what the hell can I do? This whole thing bothers me SO MUCH because it's been SO LONG, it just overshadows my life now. It's crazy how much this has manifested in my head and just f-s with me day in and day out. I love her so much but at the same time feel so much resentment due to this.
"Frustrated" is not a sufficient word.
If you're interested in more details, here's the long version:
When I met her, she was an average size, shape and weight. She's got the kind of body with curves where if she actually did put effort into staying fit, she would be a 10 across the board. But she doesn't. She has allowed herself to gain a depressing amount of weight over the course of our relationship, and has made minimal effort to do anything about it. When it started to become an issue, our sex life immediately suffered because I simply became less and less attracted to her. Then over the course of ~6 years, my attempts went from subtle hinting, to blatant hinting, to kindly discussing, to getting frustrated, to fighting about it, to straight up being a **** about it, back around again to all of those things again and again, now to the point where I'm just deflated, depressed and hopeless about it. Absolutely NOTHING has given her a reason to get in shape, even though she has sincerely promised to me several times, giving me that look, swearing up and down that I deserve better than this and that it's not fair to me as her faithful companion and that she is going to make getting in shape her utmost priority.....and then doesn't do anything. She makes empty promises about it constantly, and all that does is gas me up to let me down. And the excuses.....she's always got some kind of cop-out as to why she can't work out or jog or whatever. She has made some decent dietary changes, sure, took her half a decade, but she has never, ever made exercise a priority, and has never had anything resembling a routine.
And to be clear, I'm not out of shape at all, I'd say I'm fairly average in body but she's always telling me how handsome I am, how nice my butt is, how good I am to her, how lucky she is, etc.. If I ever detect myself starting to form a belly or anything like that, like the holidays or whatever, you bet your ass I immediately am jogging, doing sit-ups and other exercises, changing my diet, all that, and immediately lose the weight as quickly as I gained it. Don't think I'm sitting on the couch preaching at her with a remote in my hand. I ALWAYS am suggesting we work out TOGETHER, I never, EVER tell her "you need to go work out". NEVER.
Bottom line, I wish I could look at her and honestly say the same things, I wish she had a nice butt, I wish I could look over at her and feel physical attraction. She gets to have that, I do not. I did, but it was taken away from me and I've been begging for it back, she keeps promising to give it back, but then doesn't. I explained it to her this way, and she went on and on about how sorry she is, how it's not fair to me, how I deserve to have that, I promise this I promise that blah blah and then turns around, MAYBE goes jogging with me for a day or two, and then falls off the wagon with excuse after excuse.
Yes I have posted about this before, it's a passionate issue. I can't imagine this is a unique case, I want input from those who have been in a similar situation. There has GOT to be something I can do to help her WANT to lose the weight. I don't think threats of leaving are the answer.
Sorry for the wall of text....again. I'm just at a total loss and don't know what to do. I am seeking a therapist..