My husband’s put on quite a bit of weight during the last several years, and the truth is, I don’t find him physically attractive anymore. He doesn’t seemed concerned enough about it to change for me, which makes me feel unloved, but I also get upset with him because of how this impacts his overall health and our family’s future. Help!
The issue of weight is a highly sensitive one because it ties into issues surrounding our self-concept. When I’ve written about this before, I’ve received many comments—pro and con. Many of us have strong feelings on this topic.
For instance, some believe we should be loved and accepted no matter how we appear. A few extra pounds over the years should not, they suggest, cause anyone to be critical. “If my mate’s going to judge me based on a few pounds, then he’s incredibly shallow.”
On the opposite side are those who commented, “Get real. We’re all impacted by our mate’s physical appearance. Anyone who says they aren’t sensitive to this issue isn’t being honest. Of course I want my mate to take care of his physical appearance. If he don’t take the time to appear attractive to me, someone else probably will.”
Can you sense the high voltage attached to this topic? With that being said, I’ll offer what I hope is a balanced perspective on a very sensitive issue.
This situation isn’t an issue of a “few pounds,” but of “quite a bit of weight”–to the point where it threatens your husband’s physical well-being. Being overweight by a few pounds is vastly different than being considerably overweight. Weight that threatens someone’s health stops being a personal concern and becomes a marital/family issue.
His weight has impacted your attraction to him. Whether someone debates how “right” or “wrong” this is, the truth is, you’re not attracted to him. Apparently you’ve talked to him about your feelings and he’s unconcerned. I’ve said many times, “If my mate has a problem, it becomes my problem.” Thus, this issue must be addressed. Your spouse cannot hide behind the denial that this is not a serious problem, because it obviously is.
Your husband needs to enter into a discussion with you about the problem. Free from any judgments about whether he’s “too heavy,” you two must have a candid conversation about this issue. You’d do well to set up some ground rules first about how you’ll talk about this, taking great care not to condemn, criticize, or ridicule. Even if your spouse has a problem, he is to be respected.
Finally, this conversation may need to take place with a professional. Because it’s such a “hot” topic and emotions may run wild, a neutral professional can assist you in keeping the issues in perspective. You and your husband need to avoid a power struggle over his weight, but rather move collaboratively toward a solution.