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Weight Gain for Fear of Being Too Attractive?

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Old 06-14-2011, 02:12 PM   #1
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Default Weight Gain for Fear of Being Too Attractive?

I was always pretty skinny, and it wasn't until around four years ago that I started having weight gain. It wasn't until I got into a relationship with my husband. I think it is most likely the combination of drinking alcohol more often, eating differently, and getting older, but I also wonder if there might be other factors.

My husband used to be really critical of how I dressed when I was thin. He forbid me to wear heals and he often criticized me for dressing "too sexy" and "wanting men to want to have sex with me." He would argue that he didn't like makeup, so who was I wearing it for? I, of course, didn't want men to want to have sex with me, but I changed the way I dressed to prove that I wasn't like that. I would try different outfits and he would complain about almost all of them, until I put some hideous granny suit from goodwill on, or wore over sized men's clothing. I would think about him every time I got dressed, and I would feel nervous when shopping for clothes, because I didn't know what he would hate. I also wondered how the majority of women around me got along with their husbands, although they were guilty of the heinous crimes that my husband was accusing me of--like wearing makeup, a form fitting outfit, or heels and a skirt that went above the knee. I also wondered why my husband had no trouble chatting and socializing (in a most charming manner) with other women who dressed in ways that he would have only reserved a cold rage for me, had I been wearing their clothing.

Since I gained thirty to thirty-five pounds, he no longer complains about my clothing, and we don't ever go out to social events because he thinks that I am not "socially supportive" of him, which basically means that I talk too much to other people than him, and I have my own opinions, which somehow detracts from his own presentation. He has several times accused me of flirting with, or wanting to sleep with, other men, especially his friends who I only was nice to because they were his friends (not like I would have even talked to them otherwise.)

Anyhoo--I am sure the controlling/emotionally abusive aspect of the relationship causes stress, which probably causes increased weight gain. But I also wonder if women sometimes gain weight, subconsciously, because they are afraid of attracting men's attention. Or, there is even the possibility that women might gain weight so that their own husband leaves them alone more. I think the most likely reason would be that I eat when I am stressed, and I am obviously going to be stressed when I can't even talk or dress the way that I want to without getting accused of being someone who I am not.
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Old 06-14-2011, 02:24 PM   #2
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Dump Him!!!!!! What you are describing is an extremely unhealthy relationship.

Last edited by IsabellaOlivia : 06-14-2011 at 02:25 PM.
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Old 06-14-2011, 02:29 PM   #3
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There is no good reason to stay in an abusive relationship, ever.
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Old 06-14-2011, 02:56 PM   #4
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Please locate some local resources to help you exit this abusive relationship. If there is a risk of him snooping in your browser history, and having a potentially awful reaction, go to your local library to use the internet and search for support services in your region of the state.
No woman or man should be subjected to such behavior.
Good luck to you.
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Old 06-14-2011, 03:33 PM   #5
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To answer your question, yes, you may have underlying fears that are keeping you at a higher weight. It's wrong for your husband to act that way and it is definitely indicative of an abuser. My boyfriend tells me how great I look dressed up and not. I can't imagine him accusing me of trying to attract other men. If he did, he'd be gone in two seconds.

How long have you been married? And did he say those things before you got married or did it start after?
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Old 06-14-2011, 03:59 PM   #6
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I'm not going to shove advice down your throat but that seems like a very unhealthy relationship. And the answer to your question is yes. I believe I've stayed big for so long because I was molested as a child and in my mind I thought I wanted to lose weight but really, I thought being bigger meant no one would want to touch me.

Dealing with weight is not as much a physical thing as it is emotional. That relationship seems bad for you from what you've described. And, it seems he's got some bad issues with himself and needs you to feel less for him to feel better.
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Old 06-14-2011, 04:17 PM   #7
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I agree with the others, this is a very manipulative, abusive relationship, your husbands problems about you wearing make up or dressing attractively are only HIS problems because what he tries to make you think, he is actually thinking it himself. Example - wanting to sleep with other men. Your husbands childishness, jealousy and insecurities are problems HE needs to work on and this has nothing to do with you.

I have lived this so I know what of i speak. In my first marriage when guys would look at me my ex would go into a angry fit and call me names. I felt pretty when I was younger and believed I was. Not like i was a model or anything I was a size 11/12 and just felt good about myself. he would suggest for us to go out and I would say okay just let me have a shower and get ready and he would say no your fine, and i was in sweats, no makeup and hair not done. I allowed this man to control me for years.

I am so sorry you are in this situation, there are times when we can't control situations in our lives we turn to food because that is what we can control. Our husbands should be encourging us to be our best everyday, not beating us down with their pathetic behavior then blamins us.
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Old 06-14-2011, 04:29 PM   #8
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Do some women gain weight as a social shield? Yeah.

But what I'm taking away from your post is, like everyone's saying upthread, that you're not in a healthy relationship. Do you have someone impartial and uninvolved (counselor, not friend or relative) you can talk this stuff over with?
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Old 06-14-2011, 04:37 PM   #9
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honey lose the weight and shake you skinny butt again!
if your man dont like it then tough he wont like anything.
my DH likes me bigger for thw same reason but you know what men still chat me up and ask me out even more now, it got nothing to do with weight its all about you and your persona
Get some confidence back honey and enjoy your self

xx
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Old 06-14-2011, 07:21 PM   #10
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Thanks for your support, everyone. Sometimes I wonder what is what, but it helps to be able to talk about it. Right now I do not have the resources, but hopefully soon I will be done with my education, and will have time to get a good job. Until then, I will keep trying to improve my situation in the ways that are available. Someone asked earlier if he did this before we were married, and the answer is yes. I think I just compartmentalized the mean episodes though, which is some psychological trick that sometimes makes it difficult for me to remember what has and hasn't gone on. Sometimes I wonder about how appropriate his behavior is, since he seems very charming to all the other acquaintances, so it helped me to be reminded by the forum that that kind of treatment isn't normal or healthy.
Thanks for being supportive, and I appreciate all of your observations and suggestions. Maybe as I gain confidence and control over eating healthy and exercising, then it will help to give me the confidence I need to deal with the other problems in my life. I certainly have seen a lot of examples of healthy people overcoming obstacles in the posts of this forum, and I appreciate all the inspiration. Ashley777, I appreciate your sharing your personal experience and I am glad that you decided not to be controlled anymore. I agree that no one should stay in an abusive relationship.
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Old 06-14-2011, 08:50 PM   #11
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Does your school have a counselling center?

The idea that you'd hinge your ability to stand up for yourself on first losing weight is worrisome. (And it's more worrisome, IMO, because you're already at a normal weight. 5'5/150 is a BMI of 25.)
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Old 06-15-2011, 10:36 AM   #12
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I will tell you that as soon as I got back to my normal weight, I almost immediately exited my marriage. The same happened with my ex-mother in law. The confidence that losing weight can give you often pushes you to do things you didn't think you could. I'm thinking of you - please know that there are resources all around you to take advantage of. ((HUGS))
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Old 06-15-2011, 11:09 AM   #13
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Thanks,
I think that the confidence for me, from losing weight, is that I am able to take control of my consumption and to make it healthy. It isn't just the losing weight part, Maria, and I know I am teetering between normal body weight and overweight at a BMI of 25, but I am also using this time to lose weight to cut out other self destructive activities like smoking and drinking unhealthily. I'm on day three of Phase 1 of the South Beach Diet, which doesn't allow any drinking and encourages exercise. I plan to use it as a jumping off point to re-healthilize my life. I already went for a week without smoking, though I did have about three cigarettes four days ago.
I probably should see a counselor because I know emotional abuse causes trauma, and I already know that I have compartmentalized some of it, which suggests that I am somehow reacting to the trauma in a way that I don't understand. Plus, I must have had some kind of self esteem issues to get into this kind of relationship in the first place, and I don't want to be self destructive. I appreciate all the feedback on the thread, and I think the advice is very useful, even if I don't seem like I am following it right now.
Muchy--that is a great story. I agree that losing weight helps to build confidence. Even other than the weight lost, it's the ability to feel in control of something in your life. For me my lifestyle changes are giving me confidence to quit the self destructive behaviors and to start piloting my "vessel" towards my dreams. I know what it's like to have an eating disorder, so I don't want to be too "in control", but I am focusing on health and it feels good.
I actually do stand up for myself more in our relationship (not from losing weight but just from the decision to stand up). Now I tend to avoid my husband, like last night I went to bed before he even got into the house. I just left him dinner on the stove. Since it's emotional/verbal abuse, he can't really do it unless I'm talking to him, or in earshot. If I want to do something that he doesn't like, then I just do it without telling or showing him. If he really feels like spouting off at me I just pretend to listen, then excuse myself and go sleep in the other room. It isn't much of a loving relationship, but it's not too uncomfortable right now. I just had to make the choice between trying to survive and be healthy, and trying to have a loving relationship with him, and I chose to survive. (Meaning survival in the psychological sense, and in the not acting destructively sense.) All those examples above, when he accused me of things, and when he's attempted to tell me I am a "screw-up", or "a worthless person", they only bothered me when I was actually trying to make the relationship work on equal terms--now I know not to listen to his opinions, and I try to put as much energy into my private and secret endeavors to improve my life.
Thanks for all the support everyone! It's so nice to know there are many healthy people out there, and many caring one's too!
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Old 06-15-2011, 11:16 AM   #14
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Have you guys thought about going to counseling together?
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Old 06-15-2011, 02:37 PM   #15
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Oh, definitely being bigger removes some issues in a woman's life, especially when with an abusive partner.
As for all the people telling you to leave, when I was in bad relationships, hearing that only made me feel like there was yet more things I was doing wrong (by staying, not leaving, not standing up to him, standing up to him, but not enough, etc etc) so I will say it helped me to become more focused on other things in my life that were good (my kids), got a therapist since my self esteem had been whittled away, and as I "got better" he got worse and worse and it escalated to having to divorce. (Many times abusers get worse as their victim gets more together and less dependent/reactive/concerned with the abuser's opinions and attacks), so be careful!
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