On a very personal note I want to discuss relationships. I know I have mentioned having lost friends from me being so “selfish” by bettering myself, with increased confidence and generally foodie friends that aren’t who I need to be around anyways. Now I want to talk about how weight loss effects marriage, from my experience. I have known of a couple dissolved relationships due to weight loss and the statistics are showing an increase in divorce following extreme weight loss over 75% after a couple of years in maintenance. Well, here I am working towards two years in my new form. What will the future hold for me? Considering that I have found the strength to become a survivor of morbid obesity I am ready to conquer the world – with or without a man on my side. Will my situation alter or count in that statistic?
I was married before. I have two daughters, 15 and 12. I have wondered if, when or why I should ever tell them. For over twenty years I have been with my husband, their father. The situation has gotten out of control recently and the time was at hand that seemed fitting to tell them of my previous relationship. I was physically and mentally abused. I have had major weight, self-esteem and confidence problems from my youth, compounded with relationship issues. I have built many a wall around myself, quite high and layers thick, with LOTS of “insulation”, for self-preservation. In the last couple of years I have learned to love myself and have lost a lot of weight, without surgery, over 150 pounds and dropping 9 sizes. My confidence has gone out the roof and I have found my treasure-me!
My husband, on the other hand, to this day, has not been supportive about me losing weight. Ask him?! He’ll tell you that he hasn’t been supportive in my efforts. He has been a saboteur in previous attempts and I have “allowed” him to lead me away from bettering my health. Now that I am smaller than I have ever been as an adult, or a teen even, he has even more problems with me and my personal improvements all around. My daughters’ well-being is important, yet the way that they see him treating me is not a good example. I don’t want them to think that this is the way they should expect to be treated by a man, much less that this is how a relationship is supposed to be. The two parties should have some kind of similar interests and all that but friendship and communication is key. You hear about marrying your best friend…. At the time maybe I did? I know that I haven’t been the best “wife”, loving, etc. because he makes me feel so bad about myself. I can’t pull something out of nowhere and offer myself to one who rejects my existence. It’s too much to explain to my daughters now, yet hoping that in years to come that they will have a better understanding once involved in relationships themselves. Hopefully they can learn from my experiences to choose wisely, don’t “settle”, and for sure don’t marry someone who doesn’t make you feel like they’d do anything for you.
As I have lost weight and with the increase of confidence and pride in myself, he told me something a year or so ago that has stuck with me. I can hear it echo in my head as if he said it a second ago. I am pretty good about forgiving and going on but this is one thing that speaks volumes about the truth in his “love”, or lack thereof, for me. He has never been one to defend me in any way, shape or forms so it wasn’t too big of a surprise when he told me that he had agreed with whomever told him that they thought I walked into a room “better than everyone” after having lost weight. My “defense”, was if I should even have one to my husband, was that I walk into a room now confident in who I am, where I’ve come from if anyone knows about my weight or not. I am proud to be who I am. He doesn’t “get it” and just stands firm on his beliefs. No, he’s never had weight issues. No, he cannot understand. No, he doesn’t act like he cares at all. Yes, it is obvious that he preferred me larger. This is what I’ve lived with and put up with for too long, trying to hang in there, because of the kids. Anyways, the straw that broke the camel’s back shall we say, is the remark he made “Don’t expect me to ever put you on a pedestal!” I don’t care what I look like or if I weigh 100 or a thousand pounds- I’m his wife and he should always put me on a pedestal. I need that. NO! I DESERVE THAT!
I was sick and tired of being beaten and abused in the first marriage and now I have had about all I can take in this one too. The difference is the connection that won’t be cut because of the girls. I will have to be around him still to a point. I can’t imagine that he is willing to get any help or counseling. I have mentioned it numerous times before and I think it’s beyond repair. The love I had for him is gone through all the hurt. I can’t see trusting him again. I have gotten rid of a lot of weight that was holding me back from living. Now I think it’s time to get rid of a few more “excess pounds” that are weighing me down. If he wanted to go for counseling and to work on the marriage then HE needs to make the effort, make the appointment, etc.
Biblically…. It’s confusing. God has brought me through many a tough situation, carrying, pushing or dragging me. I am a believer that everything happens for a reason. Why did my weight loss “work” this time? Because it was my “time”. Why have I lost friends? Because it was “best”. Why have I had the privilege and honor of journaling my story? Because it needed to be recorded to help others. Why have I been chosen for opportunities to appear and speak? Because God wants me there at that time to help someone that I might not ever know. Why do I go on? God has a purpose for me. What is that purpose? Well, that’s the one I’m still trying to figure out. Having been in that small percentage of overweight kids that became obese in adulthood, working with impressionable adolescents that could potentially benefit from my experiences and change not only their weight but their health views for themselves would be a blessing. My weight loss “rite of passage” was traveled alone because I was the only one in control, or out of control. Through this process I have come out on the other side, to return, a much healthier person physically, mentally, emotionally and most importantly spiritually. God’s institute of marriage is not to be broken. When one’s spirit is being broken by the other partner it’s difficult for me to imagine that God wants that person to feel invaluable. A husband is to love his wife as God so loves the church. I am not one to have that experience, unfortunately twice. You can’t “make” someone love you. You can’t “make” someone understand what they aren’t willing to learn or care about. You can’t “make” something that should be natural, or instinctive, to come out of someone that won’t open their eyes to possibilities.
Everyone has their own choices to make while here on Earth. We can’t do for others that won’t do for themselves. We can’t go to heaven or hell for anyone else. It’s completely up to ourselves. Life is too short to be “stuck” in a situation that drains you and prevents you from being the best person that you want to be. We are here to help others. If I can’t help myself how am I to help others? It made my husband mad when I started writing about my weight loss. I am worthy. I am valuable. I am Doing it for ME!