Ladies, what would you do? (regarding the issue of weight gain) - Talk About Marriage
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post #1 of 38 (permalink) Old 01-18-2017, 03:52 PM Thread Starter
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Ladies, what would you do? (regarding the issue of weight gain)

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..

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post #2 of 38 (permalink) Old 01-18-2017, 04:02 PM
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Re: Ladies, what would you do? (regarding the issue of weight gain)

Like you pointed out, no one is going to do a decent job of losing weight for someone else. They have GOT to do it for themselves. So no matter what you do or say or threaten or withhold, it isn't going to matter. She HAS to come to some kind of light bulb moment ON HER OWN in order to do what you think she should do.

The only thing you should be doing is modeling the behaviour you want to see. Do the grocery shopping. Make the meals. Eat reasonable portions. Exercise. Join a gym. You can't control her, you can only control yourself. Believe me, she KNOWS how you feel and she knows how SHE feels. Look up diet info and talk excitedly about it to her and ask her in a NON JUDGMENTAL WAY if she wants to try it with you.

Hubby and I are both around 50. We've been together for about 20 years. He's developed quite the gut over the years and I don't like it much at all. I'm not thin and have struggled with my weight pretty much our whole relationship. I've done probably 20 eating plans/diets/programs whatever you want to call them. But it's only this month that he has FINALLY, after this long, decided to actually try an eating plan with me. We are FINALLY at the point in our relationship where he's comfortable admitting he could stand to lose the weight. It took a sh1t ton of work for us to get here.
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post #3 of 38 (permalink) Old 01-18-2017, 04:09 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Ladies, what would you do? (regarding the issue of weight gain)

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Like you pointed out, no one is going to do a decent job of losing weight for someone else. They have GOT to do it for themselves. So no matter what you do or say or threaten or withhold, it isn't going to matter. She HAS to come to some kind of light bulb moment ON HER OWN in order to do what you think she should do.

The only thing you should be doing is modeling the behaviour you want to see. Do the grocery shopping. Make the meals. Eat reasonable portions. Exercise. Join a gym. You can't control her, you can only control yourself. Believe me, she KNOWS how you feel and she knows how SHE feels. Look up diet info and talk excitedly about it to her and ask her in a NON JUDGMENTAL WAY if she wants to try it with you.

Hubby and I are both around 50. We've been together for about 20 years. He's developed quite the gut over the years and I don't like it much at all. I'm not thin and have struggled with my weight pretty much our whole relationship. I've done probably 20 eating plans/diets/programs whatever you want to call them. But it's only this month that he has FINALLY, after this long, decided to actually try an eating plan with me. We are FINALLY at the point in our relationship where he's comfortable admitting he could stand to lose the weight. It took a sh1t ton of work for us to get here.
Thanks for the reply. I'm curious though, how many times did you ask him to lose the weight? How many times did you guys fight about it? How many times did you explain how important it is to you (if it indeed was) and he subsequently made all sorts of empty promises, letting you down time and time again? Was any of this a factor?
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post #4 of 38 (permalink) Old 01-18-2017, 04:15 PM
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Re: Ladies, what would you do? (regarding the issue of weight gain)

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Thanks for the reply. I'm curious though, how many times did you ask him to lose the weight? How many times did you guys fight about it? How many times did you explain how important it is to you (if it indeed was) and he subsequently made all sorts of empty promises, letting you down time and time again? Was any of this a factor?
None of that was a factor. I probably made snide remarks to him when we were in a bad place in our marriage 6-8 years ago, and he probably made them right back, but we certainly never had big fights or anything about it. Neither of us believes that berating the other person for something is going to help them change.
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post #5 of 38 (permalink) Old 01-18-2017, 04:15 PM
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Re: Ladies, what would you do? (regarding the issue of weight gain)

In order for a woman to be serious about making a life change such as this she has to definitely have an "ah-ha" moment. That ah-ha moment cannot happen if she is constantly put down about her weight. It seems like you are hyper-focused on her changing and making this commitment to exercise. You said yourself that she is making decent nutritional changes..have you tried praising her for that? I find that in order to get my head into my weight routine I have to feel good about myself....I have to feel strong and beautiful. Once I feel strong and beautiful I am driven to become better and stronger. If I were told that my husband was not attracted to me and if he didn't desire me, well, it would diminish my self-esteem, which would make me feel like what is the point in working out?

I personally feel like there are a few things you could do to encourage her. (1) Praise her. Tell her she is beautiful and you are so thankful she's your wife. DO NOT count her workouts, praise her for working out, ect. Accept and praise her as she is. I bet you will begin to see her self-esteem increase and she will want to do better and better to gain your attention. At this point she feels like it is a lost cause. (2) Make plans with her that involve activity. Sign you guys up for a boxing class or a dance class or the Warrior Dash and tell her now you are training because you are going to ROCK IT! (3) Take her out. Tell her to get a nice dress and that you are going to show her off to the world. COmpliment something on her body. Tell her she has sexy legs or a sexy ass. Make her feel like physically she is already sexy. Again, she will want to be sexier.

You cannot brow beat your wife into changing. All you can do is give positive feedback, enhancing her self-esteem. It's possible she doesn't enjoy "working out" and instead doing something active like yoga or dancing might be the thing that keeps her active. Not everyone enjoys the gym.
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post #6 of 38 (permalink) Old 01-18-2017, 04:18 PM
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Re: Ladies, what would you do? (regarding the issue of weight gain)

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Thanks for the reply. I'm curious though, how many times did you ask him to lose the weight? How many times did you guys fight about it? How many times did you explain how important it is to you (if it indeed was) and he subsequently made all sorts of empty promises, letting you down time and time again? Was any of this a factor?
You constantly say she is "letting you down". In her mind she has already failed you. Why should she continue to try if YOU are going to be the one deciding what is "pass" and what is "fail"? I lift weights for ME. If my husband was constantly analyzing my body to see if I'd lost weight I wouldn't like that very much. It's about being active and healthy, not about what my husband thinks my body should look like.
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post #7 of 38 (permalink) Old 01-18-2017, 04:18 PM
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Re: Ladies, what would you do? (regarding the issue of weight gain)

Another thing to consider: I quit smoking a year ago Jan 5 and gained 20-25 lbs. I set this Jan 1 as the goal of getting my weight back under control and am doing so. If my husband had badgered me about it, all it would have done was piss me off. I don't need him to tell me I need to lose weight - I can see what's in the mirror.
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post #8 of 38 (permalink) Old 01-18-2017, 04:22 PM
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Re: Ladies, what would you do? (regarding the issue of weight gain)

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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.
This is the comment that caught my notice. The numbers vary a bit depending on who you ask but in general, diet makes up about 75% of weight loss while exercise is responsible for 25%. If she has in fact made decent dietary changes, then she should be seeing some changes on the scale. If not then there is more to her problems that a lack of exercising. She needs to get a complete medical check up including hormones and liver tests.
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post #9 of 38 (permalink) Old 01-18-2017, 04:26 PM
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Re: Ladies, what would you do? (regarding the issue of weight gain)

I would just offer you a divorce.

One of the deepest feminine pleasures is when a man stands full, present, and unreactive in the midst of his woman's emotional storms. When he stays present with her, and loves her through the layers of wildness and closure, then she feels his trustability, and she can relax. -- David Deida, The Way of the Superior Man
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post #10 of 38 (permalink) Old 01-18-2017, 04:49 PM
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Re: Ladies, what would you do? (regarding the issue of weight gain)

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I would just offer you a divorce.


But he is being honest. Don't you praise that?

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post #11 of 38 (permalink) Old 01-18-2017, 04:51 PM
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Ladies, what would you do? (regarding the issue of weight gain)

OP, divorce her. It will only get worse at 40. She doesn't care about sex or you.

We've seen this story many times. There is never a happy ending.
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post #12 of 38 (permalink) Old 01-18-2017, 04:52 PM
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Re: Ladies, what would you do? (regarding the issue of weight gain)

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But he is being honest. Don't you praise that?
Why do you think I disapprove?

I think it is great that he is being honest with her. I also think she needs to offer him a divorce. Win/Win.

One of the deepest feminine pleasures is when a man stands full, present, and unreactive in the midst of his woman's emotional storms. When he stays present with her, and loves her through the layers of wildness and closure, then she feels his trustability, and she can relax. -- David Deida, The Way of the Superior Man
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post #13 of 38 (permalink) Old 01-18-2017, 04:55 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Ladies, what would you do? (regarding the issue of weight gain)

I got an idea over lunch.

Clearly, this issue bothers me....a lot. It bothers me all the time, and she can tell I'm bothered by something, but I don't think she's aware that THIS is why I'm acting differently. Not being rude, or unkind to her at all, she just notices I seem more down, or uninterested, or whatever. She always asks "What's wrong?" and it almost upsets me more because I feel like she should be aware, and by her asking what's wrong, it's clearly just not sinking in. She asked me again today, because she noticed I was not being very chipper. Soooo.... What if I sat her down, and gently explained to her to this issue is always, and I mean ALWAYS on my mind, always bothering me, always getting under my skin. I have constant reminders of it, on the street, at work, on TV, just all sorts of things that bring it to the forefront of my mind, and it gets me down. I'm only human, so if I have something like this just perpetually bothering me, I'm going to have good days and bad days, and it's not fair for her to always be wondering "What's wrong?", so I'm telling her.

I wonder if that will drive home the importance of this. Then hopefully, when she sees me being down so often, it might sink in that "Wow, he really is affected by this pretty severely" because clearly, me just telling her that isn't working. Maybe she needs to physically observe me being upset about it, and often.

Just a thought...
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post #14 of 38 (permalink) Old 01-18-2017, 04:56 PM
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Re: Ladies, what would you do? (regarding the issue of weight gain)

Not all women are like this, but I personally eat my feelings. If i am feeling crappy, I comfort myself with comfort food and books. So, eating rich and/or sugary things, and then making it worse by sitting around. I was in a sexless marriage, and I definitely helped myself feel less bad about the forced celibacy by cooking/baking and eating.

I split from my super critical, downright mean ex about a year ago, and had my hormonal IUD removed (can be a BIG factor in weight gain/loss). Between the hormones and being happier and more active/eating more whole foods, I have lost about..25+lbs? I was barely zipping up my size 12 jeans, and now I'm having to trade in all my new size 10's for 8's.

So, If she's feeling bad about her weight, bad about the relationship...That might not be motivation to change. Especially if things feel hopeless on her end.

You may be trapping yourself in a vicious cycle. Personally, if I'm not getting any, then i get sad and eat all the things and hibernate. If i'm in a relationship that has less and less sex, then i'm probably going to gain weight. If you can't have sex until she loses weight, and she is gaining because she's feeling unloved because you can't get it up for her...

I understand where you are coming from though. If you are a visual person, and the visual is not what it used to be, then that is going to be really hard. I am in no way shaming you for that. I'm just saying. know your audience. You are going to have to figure out what can motivate her inside the relationship (you shopping and cooking? you planning active dates like hiking or walking in a park?) or if you are going to have to lay out the big guns and be prepared to end the relationship over this.

Forget enough to get over it, remember enough so it doesn't happen again.
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post #15 of 38 (permalink) Old 01-18-2017, 04:57 PM
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Re: Ladies, what would you do? (regarding the issue of weight gain)

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I got an idea over lunch.

Clearly, this issue bothers me....a lot. It bothers me all the time, and she can tell I'm bothered by something, but I don't think she's aware that THIS is why I'm acting differently. Not being rude, or unkind to her at all, she just notices I seem more down, or uninterested, or whatever. She always asks "What's wrong?" and it almost upsets me more because I feel like she should be aware, and by her asking what's wrong, it's clearly just not sinking in. She asked me again today, because she noticed I was not being very chipper. Soooo.... What if I sat her down, and gently explained to her to this issue is always, and I mean ALWAYS on my mind, always bothering me, always getting under my skin. I have constant reminders of it, on the street, at work, on TV, just all sorts of things that bring it to the forefront of my mind, and it gets me down. I'm only human, so if I have something like this just perpetually bothering me, I'm going to have good days and bad days, and it's not fair for her to always be wondering "What's wrong?", so I'm telling her.

I wonder if that will drive home the importance of this. Then hopefully, when she sees me being down so often, it might sink in that "Wow, he really is affected by this pretty severely" because clearly, me just telling her that isn't working. Maybe she needs to physically observe me being upset about it, and often.

Just a thought...
Sounds good. Be transparent with her.

One of the deepest feminine pleasures is when a man stands full, present, and unreactive in the midst of his woman's emotional storms. When he stays present with her, and loves her through the layers of wildness and closure, then she feels his trustability, and she can relax. -- David Deida, The Way of the Superior Man
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