Weight Loss Support - Am I resentful?

View Full Version : Am I resentful?

02-01-2012, 12:57 PM
And is it okay?:(

Hi everyone--this is sort of a strange issue that I'm not sure how to classify.

I am married (though we've had major issues) and I think weight has played a part in my current relationship with my husband.

We had a very sick kid who is better now, but was sick for over 2 years. The stress was unbelievable. Before this happened I weighed about 170/size 12 (had 3 kids in 2 years) and that was about the best I could do with so much else to take care of.

When our child got sick I initially lost about 30 lbs in 2 months--severe grief is an appetite killer. But then the stress (which fell mostly on me) of dealing with the therapies, doctors appts., special diet, nutritional/medication for our kid continued, I rewarded myself with treats.

I began going to the store after my kids went to bed, and bought bags of candy, and numbed the pain by eating and watching TV. My husband didn't know what to do with me, so he went on with his life.

I got up to about 210. I made a bit of an effort about 6 months ago, and slowly lost 15 by just not eating as much. During this time (about a year ago) my husband and I stopped making love, first it was grief, then I think he was super disappointed in my appearance. I pretty much stopped doing things for myself--haven't bought clothes, didn't wear make-up much, etc. I felt like, why bother when you have such a very sick child? How selfish/superficial would that be to try to look pretty? What was the point?

So he has made some cracks that have really ticked me off. About a year ago, he made some comment in an argument that he thought I'd "at least lose weight for me". I told him that I'd lose weight when I was ready, and for me. Now when he sees someone who's lost weight or someone jogging or walking he'll make a big deal out of it and say "Good for her/him!" Or says I could lose weight if I "wanted to".

So he is fit, and works out a lot. He would love nothing more than to work out with me, or come up with a whole workout/weightlifting/diet/calorie plan for me which angers me. He's been nice and generous about it, and it still makes me mad. I know this is nonsensical.

I feel like I'm not loved fully because I'm fat. That he'd LOVE to take credit for helping rehabilitate me. I feel like with every bit of weight I gain, I have less power in our relationship--just subtle things.

Not even sure what I'm after here? I just want to lose weight on my terms n my own time. And part of me feels I'll be angry that if I do lose enough to EARN his positive reinforcement that I'll resent the heck out of the conditional aspect of it.

Anyone else struggled with this?

02-01-2012, 01:05 PM
I think you have every right to be resentful.

02-01-2012, 01:12 PM
I'd love it if my husband was more involved with me being healthier and wanting to work out together and get healthy together. But not if he made comments like your husband has.

I kinda understand where you are coming from, the stress you have gone through has probably pushed you two apart. Ideally, what is the end result that you would like? Have you thought about counselling for your husband and yourself?

I think while you go on this weight loss journey, you should also try to work on your relationship at the same time. It should be a partnership, not you against him or him against you. Don't use your feelings towards him as an excuse to not be healthier, you deserve better than that.

02-01-2012, 01:18 PM
Instead of letting him get away with sniping at you, maybe the two of you could sit down and have an adult discussion--about stress, about weight, etc. Perhaps it would be good to do this in the context of seeing a counselor who could mediate, so that it doesn't just devolve into him expressing his dissatisfaction or telling you what to do.

I'm sure he had some coping action that he engaged in while your child was sick--maybe he was always at work, or hiding in the den, or working out, or drinking. I have no idea. So perhaps that's a place the discussion could start: what did he do to cope? And then it could segue into what you did, and how you are now trying to reverse things but you need to do it on your own and without his hurtful comments.


02-01-2012, 01:24 PM
Men are visual creatures. I've already spoke about this and how I look to my long-term boyfriend. I know he would be more attracted to me if I was a normal weight, and I feel the same about myself.

Yes stress can be dibilitating, and it can kill your motivation for other things, but I think making an effort to look nice will not only help your own emotions (I find when I feel I look pretty, I have more confidence to go through my day) but it will help your relationship. It may sound ridiculous, but in my experience I find it works if you want it to.

Despite all that, yes I think you have a right to be angry about it. I would be angry about it, but realize that some men just say what they think and it can be hurtfull. But know it's up to you how you want to take it, and if you want to use it as motivation or use it just to be angry and do nothing.

02-01-2012, 01:55 PM
I completely understand where you're coming from. I KNOW I would have coped the same way in your situation. Perhaps you can show your husband the "stages of readiness" model (Google it) and explain to him that there is NO substitute for inner readiness when making a change.

At the same time, we need to recognize that people sometimes lose their physical attraction toward partners who are overweight or out of shape. We may think it's superficial, but some people are just wired this way. I don't think you can fully blame your husband if his attraction to you depends on physical parameters. It is what it is, you know?

Hugs and empathy for your very difficult situation. I hope your child is well on the way to recovery.


02-01-2012, 02:46 PM
Wow. What a difficult situation to be in. :hug:

First, I'm glad your child is doing better! That's great news!!

As for your husband - I would be resentful as well. In fact, knowing me, I'd probably subconsciously dig my heels in and say "you're NOT going to tell me when I'm going to lose weight - I'll lose it when I am darned good and ready!" And then I would probably proceed to NOT lose weight just to prove to him that I wasn't going to do what he said. :dizzy:

*Please note: I never said I was a mentally well balanced individual*

I'd sit down and have a heart to heart. Let him express his worries and concerns and let him listen to yours. He needs to understand the toll that not only the emotional stress but the physical stress your child's illness took on you.

I think that it was only normal that you allowed yourself to fall further down the priority list - you were in survival mode and your one focus (as it should have been) was caring for your child. Now it might be time to start moving past just survival.

I'm not talking about weight loss necessarily but putting yourself somewhere closer to the top of the list. Take some time to buy new clothes and do your make-up and pamper yourself. Maybe ask your husband what he's willing to do to help lighten the load you're carrying so that you CAN do those things.

If he wants to help you and you're willing to have his help, that might be a way for you two to reconnect (because it sounds like you've fallen away from one another - again, from what I've seen, often happens in cases where there's a catastrophic illness) but he needs to realize that this is YOUR journey. He can support you but not direct you. He can cheer you on but not micromanage.


02-01-2012, 02:58 PM
I've definitely struggled with something similar - no sick child here (bless your heart, I hope your child remains healthy and strong!) - but I went through a couple years of severe knee injuries & surgeries and then in a stretch of less than 3 months, my father passed away, I had emergency back surgery and then I lost my job. I was depressed, very very depressed, and I gained a lot of weight. Suffice it to say, everything in my life suffered, including my marriage.

In late 2009, someone at work made a comment to my husband about him putting on some weight and he immediately came home and started running. Within 6 months, he ran his first half marathon, and within about 8 months, he'd dropped about 50 lbs. He was eating really well, running a lot and trying to better himself. He would make comments to me, too - nothing very overt, but overemphasizing when he'd see someone overweight running (like your husband) or something. I took it as a personal slight, but I honestly believe that he saw it as being supportive.

I know that he wanted me to lose weight. I was fat and miserable, I never wanted to go out, do anything, travel, see friends or have fun - so of course, he missed that woman he married. And...I think he didn't want me to continue risking my health. My dad died at 62. 62. UGH. It had nothing to do with his weight, but still...

I tried to join a gym, more to placate him than to get healthy, and it failed miserably. I desperately wanted to lose weight, but I wasn't ready. I wasn't doing it for the right reasons. It didn't work.

Congrats to you for dropping 15 lbs - it may not seem like much, but I daresay that your joints do not agree. :)

I finally had to sit down and tell my husband to stop it. I'm a pretty smart cookie, I knew that while some comments were innocent, others were not. I told him to stop, that I would lose weight on my own time and the best thing he could do was just continue being a role model for me, but not to rub it in, emphasizing to him how incredibly sensitive I was on the topic and that his comments only made me resentful. He got the hint. He stopped, and somewhere along the line I made the decision to get healthy for me - not for him, or for my mom or for kids or my dogs or my job or anything else. For me.

He was much better after our heart to heart AND I learned to be less sensitive and not assume that all his comments were directed at me. He had also just gotten in shape himself and he needed reinforcement, too.

02-01-2012, 03:31 PM
I think it matters what your husband's motivation is. If he wants you to lose weight so he'll be attracted to you, then he's being fairly shallow and not honoring his vows "in sickness and in health...".

If he wants you to lose weight because he's concerned for your health and because he wants you to be around for him and your child and healthy enough to do things as a family, then his concern is a lot more understandable.

My Sweetie is overweight. Not a lot, and I still think he's very handsome. I am concerned, however, because heart disease runs in his family. I'd love for him to start exercising regularly, but for his health. It's not going to change how attracted to him I am. I just don't want him to have an early heart attack like so many people in his family have, and not be around for me into his old age. I also think it'd be a good motivator for me- if we worked out together. :)

02-01-2012, 03:48 PM
I'd definitely be resentful too. You suffered through terrible grief and anxiety when your child was sick.. and the last thing you needed was to find out during such an awful time that your husband was disappointed in you. Which is what he was saying, not in so many words, by withdrawing from you emotionally and physically. And over something as minor as a few pounds of weight gain. At 5'8" and 190 pounds, you're not that overweight. You are not endangering your health... certainly not in the short term anyway.. so I don't buy that it was about that. It sounds like he just doesn't approve of fat people. So yeah.. I'd be resentful too and it would be hard to find a path back to him after that.

I really agree that counselling is your best route. Somewhere to talk out all that pain, grief, anxiety, coping that you've both been going through. Somewhere to also bridge this difficult topic, express your pain and disappointment in his lack of unconditional love for you... maybe when you clear the air and can express everything you're feeling, you will be able to see your way forward.

I wish you the best of luck, and big :hug: I really hope your child continues to thrive.. all the best and KUP on how things go!

02-01-2012, 05:51 PM
Have you sought counseling? For you. You have been through a horrible ordeal with the sickness of a child, and it sounds like that is affecting you more than anything else. It seems like you are resentful about how much of caring for your child fell on you, how much of that is bleeding into your feeling about his feelings about your weight? It honestly sounds like you are, or have been, battling depression. This is going to be a huge obstacle in working through the issues of your weight, and the issues in your marriage if you don't address it.

As for the weight loss part of it- talk to him head on. Tell him you feel pressured to lose weight, and feeling pressured doesn't help you. Tell him exactly how you would like to feel supported. My husband wants to help me so badly, but will do big time, accidental, a-hole things if I'm not specific. Serving as my food police = bad. Trying new recipes = good. Asking me why I haven't walked today = bad. Walking with me whenever I ask = good. That kind of thing.

If there's one thing that I've learned about resentment, it's that it will grow and fester like no other emotion if you let it. Confront it with your husband, confront it with a therapist, and expose it so that you can annhilate it.

02-01-2012, 08:20 PM
If it were me, I would definitely be resentful. But this is how I see the world: I feel as if someone should LOVE me, really love me, despite what I look like. Yes, I know men are visual and that physical attraction comes into play, but so what? He knows what you've gone through, and in my view, he should love you even more for being an awesome mother.

Sorry, but I'm not big on food and/or exercise police---or anyone else who tries to force others to make changes that they're not ready to make. It is not only ineffective, but it is hurtful

02-02-2012, 07:57 AM
When we have a sick child, we (mothers) completely lose ourselves. I remember going a week or two without even brushing my hair, who has time to look in the damn mirror when their child is seriously ill and/or in constant pain?

Was he ever there to deal with it too? Or did he sit back and leave you to do the work? It is one thing to lose yourself to mom jeans but it is not the same when you are dealing with serious health complications of a child.

I spent 2010 in a depression because of this. Here is what helped-
Resentment will kill a marriage. Are you right to carry the resentment? Well, as the mother of a fellow formerly-ill child, I'd have to say yes, but I want you to have a good marriage and go on from here.

I recommend marriagebuilders.com

You start with UA time (undivided attention). Basically, it's like dating again. It's about becoming a couple again - it's a program for people who may be on the verge of divorce. It really did help for us. It's not about letting go of the resentment but it's about starting with rebuilding your romance first, rather than "talk out" the resentment in the past. It's about a plan forward.

Good luck and glad your baby is okay now.

02-02-2012, 08:10 AM
If he wants you to lose weight because he's concerned for your health and because he wants you to be around for him and your child and healthy enough to do things as a family, then his concern is a lot more understandable.


This. Talk to him. With the scare of your child he may be scared of losing you too early. He may be trying to help you in the way he thinks is the best.

02-02-2012, 11:25 AM
Some men like thin women and some like fat and some like truly obese. You seem to have taken the stance you won't do anything about your weight because he wants you to. You can't take care of your children if you don't take care of yourself first.

02-02-2012, 12:20 PM
<<I feel as if someone should LOVE me, really love me, despite what I look like.>>

The OP's husband may love her but not be physically attracted to her at this weight. It's a hard truth to swallow, but I don't think it's fair to blame him for not being able to summon up the sexual attraction (which is largely if not entirely out of his control, IMO).

I know that my husband was far less attracted to me when I weighed 50 pounds more than he is now, and I fully understood and accepted it. Even so, I didn't lose the weight until my motivation came from within.


02-02-2012, 12:20 PM
It's hard for people to understand the stress and grief of having a sick child if they haven't been there. For us, it's been just over two years and it just takes over your LIFE. If you don't pull together, you pull apart. I am really struggling in my marriage right now because I have been so focused on my daughter for two years, I had nothing to spare for my husband. We've both gained weight, we're both resentful.

I handled things by throwing everything I had at my daughter, my husband managed by throwing himself into work - it sounds like you took care of your daughter an your husband took care of himself (I don't mean he was selfish, I mean maybe controlling his food and fitness was how he coped and numbing with food is how you coped). None of us did the harder thing, which was invest in our relationship. It's just too hard to give MORE of yourself when your whole being is preoccupied with worry and grief.

I am beginning to think only some therapy and hard work is going to get us out of it. We are throwing up issues that are smoke screens. I don't know your husband but PROBABLY doesn't care about your weight exactly, he probably would like ya fine if you still liked yourself. I know my husband has said things along the lines of - if the weight is holding you back and coming between us, then don't you care about US enough to take care of yourself? My husband would love me t 4592 pounds but he is having a hard time getting through all the loathing and frustration I've wrapped myself in.

If it helps, I can very much relate to losing and then gaining weight through this process. I lost about 30 pounds very quickly because the idea of eating repulsed me. How could I nourish myself when my baby was sick? And then it went the other way, who cares. My baby is sick. Eat, don't eat. I guess I chose eat. I don't really remember. I know I'm about 50 pounds heavier than when this all started. My marriage was the LAST thing on my mind.

02-02-2012, 01:48 PM
I'm going to go out on a limb and say this has very very little to do with either how you look or how attracted your husband is or is not to you at this weight.

I don't think I am making any great leaps by stating you were depressed during this time. Dealing with a person you love who is mired in depression is difficult and VERY few people know what to do. Because when you love someone it feels very very wrong to just do nothing.

Add that most men have a tendency to try to "fix" things. And quite often their methods of "fixing things" are exactly the opposite of what is needed. (I believe the phrase "will you quit trying to fix me and just shut up and LISTEN" has been uttered regularly in my house. Except with words 3FC wont let me use).

He very well might, in his own misguided way, have been genuinely trying to help. Not because he thought you were too fat, but because you were too sad.

But weight is an easier thing to metric. How depressed are you today on a scale of 1-10? Meaningless to most. But damn if I dont know EXACTLY what weight I am. When you dont take the time to put what is really wrong into words it is easy for someone to make the leap "She is miserable. She has gained weight. Therefore if I help her lose weight she will be able to be happy again.". Or even. "Damn, I have no idea how to help her deal with a sick kid but I do know how to help her lose weight. I'll do that! That will help!"

Addtionally, almost anyone who works out regularly KNOWS it makes them feel better. I know it, I've known it for years - doesnt keep me from couch potatoing during depression. But since your husband works out he likely knows it as well and initially that was probably part of the inner dialogue he failed to communicate.

Now of course it has gotten to be where the fight is about weight and even he has probably lost sight of the initial problem.

It is time for a talk. Because NOW you are digging in your heels. You said it..YOU perceive it as him WANTING credit for fixing you. So dammit, I wont give him the satisfaction. And that is holding you back. It is time to talk about what in the relationship can be fixed OUTSIDE of the weight. Date night? Friendship?

What DO you need from him. Think about it. And tell him

02-02-2012, 02:43 PM
Ennay I could not possibly have said it better. Men are men, we fix stuff. It's what we do. We see a problem, we need to fix it. I don't try to fix my wife because I've learned better. But that doesn't mean I didn't try a few times.