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PlayingForKeeps 01-13-2013 10:48 AM

Looking for a little weightloss/marriage advice
Hi everyone!

So I am having a bit of an issue with my marriage and I wanted some honest advice. It's nothing terribly serious, but it's always nice to hear feedback from others who may have experienced the same thing. I guess what I am hoping for are some thoughts on whether or not my expectations are too high, or whether I should be concerned.

My husband and I have been married for a little over five years, but we have been together for twelve. During our entire dating life, we did it long distance, driving over two hours to just see each other on the weekends. Though it was extremely hard, I think the distance also kept things hot and interesting. We always looked so forward to seeing each other every weekend, and we were both apt to be quite romantic, writing each other sexy or sweet emails and talking on the phone every day to stay connected.

When we got married, all of that stopped pretty quick. I was finishing school and working part time, and he started his career. Our focus shifted to "real life" things and we've been pretty busy ever since. Overall, life has been good. We bought a house, we have two great pets, we both like our jobs, and we've taken some awesome vacations together.

About three years ago, I started feeling like I really needed to make some changes. I had gained a lot of weight since we first met, and I wanted to be a healthier person. I lost 40 lbs, bringing me 15 lbs under where I was when we had first met. After slimming down, I have started taking more stock in my appearance, slowly expanding my wardrobe, learning how to style my hair nicely, and learning how to apply makeup. To be totally honest - I have never looked better in my life. And I know this is true, because out of the woodwork, the male friends in my life have started giving me a lot more attention, along with quite a few strangers. It's very flattering because I was overweight my whole life and I was never "pretty." I considered myself very lucky that I had ever even caught my husband's eye.

All throughout this transformation, I have tried to get the spark back into our relationship. Besides working on my appearance, I send my husband a daily sexy/romantic text, I am always "initiating," and I try to surprise him on a regular basis. However, he does not reciprocate any of this. Quite frankly, there is zero difference between how he treats me now as how he did four years ago. I thought that by putting in all of this effort, I might get his attention again. That it might spark more interest from him. But everything is the same.

For example: He tells me he loves my daily text messages. I told him that I might appreciate some back. He told me he can't... he's at work and he feels it's a conflict of interest to think about me while he is at work. But, he told me he would miss it if I stopped texting him. Mind you, I am at work too when I text him, but I happen to think about him all the time while I am at work and I want him to know that.

The fact that I am putting in so much effort, and I do not get anything in return, is disheartening. But, I have so many thoughts running through my head:

Maybe I am just being immature. He does love me, and he's a good man - maybe I shouldn't ask for more than that?

Maybe I lost weight for all the wrong reasons. His approval probably shouldn't matter all that much.

Maybe this is how marriage is in real life. Maybe I have unrealistic expectations about how hard a spouse is going to "try" when he already has me for life. Maybe I am trying too hard myself.

Thoughts? Thanks in advance for your insight!

nelie 01-13-2013 11:44 AM

Besides the text messaging, which honestly I understand from his side of the situation, how are things at home? I mean you see eachother every day so he probably doesn't feel the need to text you or call you. My husband and I worked in the same building for 6 years but honestly, we hardly saw eachother during the day.

And in terms of his approval, I'm guessing you never got his disapproval throughout the years you've been together so getting his 'approval' would be something you already have?

I don't know, maybe you should talk to him if you don't feel he is being affectionate at home.

PlayingForKeeps 01-13-2013 01:00 PM


Things at home are okay. We spend a lot of time apart during the week, doing our own things. We have very different interests. During the week we eat dinner together and usually spend about an hour together before bed watching a favorite show or something. On the weekends we usually spend more time together, and we do try to do a "date night" once a week.

As far as affection goes... he's verbally affectionate, but not physically. He is not an "initiator" when it comes to romance, and quite often, he actually turns me down. It is a blow to my self esteem, but I also understand that our needs are different and I just want it more often than he does. Once a week is usually enough for him... I could almost every day. I guess I was hoping that maybe it was my appearance that was standing in the way of being more "active" in that area, but it seems now that is not the case. It never used to be this way... only after we got married.

I do get mixed signals. He'll tell me when he thinks another girl is "hot"... but he doesn't use that word to describe me. He does tell me I am beautiful, but I feel there is a different connotation to that. I can think a friend is beautiful... but I wouldn't call a friend "hot." I asked him the difference before, between hot and beautiful, and he couldn't really explain it other than a hot girl tends to wear less clothing, haha.

I know he loves me... I think I just want more signs that he's actually physically attracted to me. I feel like I am in my prime, and I get more signals from other guys than from him.

And other than THIS particular issue... things are fine. We still talk, we have fun together, we have a great group of mutual friends we hang out with often, and we have good lines of communication. I just see other guys complaining about their wives not being "affectionate" enough, and I seem to be on the other side of the coin, and I can sympathize because it is kind of a blow to your self esteem.

Does that make sense?

Mozzy 01-13-2013 01:25 PM

I think marriage counseling would be a reasonable next step.
Your communication and expectations are out of sync. If you don't address these issues, things will get worse.
Marriage isn't about settling for less than we deserve.

LockItUp 01-13-2013 01:47 PM

I totally get what you're saying about hot vs beautiful. Hot has a certain sexual connotation to it whereas beautiful is neutral. You would call a little girl, or a grandmother, or a young woman, or even a horse, beautiful; but you hot is kind of just when you are saying someone is attractive in a more sexual way.

I agree with Mozzy though, about that counseling. Or if you haven't communicated ALL of the above stuff to him, that'd be a good way to start. Men can get very lost about what women want. Sometimes they really need it spelled out. If you spell it out and you are still left feeling he's not giving his all, definitely counseling.

sacha 01-13-2013 03:46 PM

Start finding interests together and build an integrated life. You didn't fall in love by spending time apart, you won't stay in love that way.

JohnP 01-13-2013 05:02 PM

I don't know that you need counseling at this point because it sounds like you have a good relationship. Just tell him what you want, and you'll likely get it.

I know a couple guys who have a hard time seeing the woman they love as "hot" which probably has something to do with their upbringing. I'm not a psychologist but it probably has something to do with their mothers and the relationship there. So if you tell him what you want and he has difficulty providing it ... then you might want to seek some professional help.

nelie 01-13-2013 05:09 PM

I also don't think you are at the counseling point yet although it never hurts. My husband and I have different needs but we talked it out and it helped a lot. If you want sex daily, and he is a weekly guy then obviously you are always going to be the iniator because he doesn't have a chance. Come up with a compromise like snuggling in bed, no sex. That would give you a chance to have intimate time without him feeling he is pressured to perform. Communication is very important so talk things out.

IAmTheGlue 01-13-2013 07:19 PM

I took a communication class last semester & it really opened my eyes. It was talking about how different people "hear" and "speak" love. There were 5 ways people express love. For example, my husband "hears" love by food items/treats. If I bring him home a special treat or make him a good meal, he feels loved. But, food in no way equals love to me. So if my husband tries to express his love to me that way, it falls on "deaf ears". I "hear" love by actions. If he does a chore that I typically do, I feel more loved than if he bought me a stack of presents. When he de-ices my windows on my truck, I feel loved. That truly makes me feel valued. Just like when I am out of the house, I try to bring him home something he loves so he feels valued. We try to make sure we are "speaking" in a way that the other one will "hear".

I think the two of you are "speaking" and "hearing" different things. We actually took the quiz from my text book together & seeing how differently we "hear" the love was like an awakening. It really solved my communication issues in my marriage & something like that might help you guys too. Because if you are both speaking different love languages, it can really screw up what you are trying to show each other.

I hope that made sense & I hope things work out in your marriage.

Remington90 01-13-2013 09:05 PM


Originally Posted by IAmTheGlue (Post 4588917)

I think the two of you are "speaking" and "hearing" different things. We actually took the quiz from my text book together & seeing how differently we "hear" the love was like an awakening. It really solved my communication issues in my marriage & something like that might help you guys too. Because if you are both speaking different love languages, it can really screw up what you are trying to show each other.

I hope that made sense & I hope things work out in your marriage.

I don't have any input that would help as I am somewhat in yee same boat.. More weightloss 'un-related', however this advice is golden. I've never thought of anything like this or sat down and thought about this. So much truth. Thank you very much for posting and now I might just consider taking a class like that.

janeyg25 01-14-2013 05:11 PM

Iamtheglue's advice is really solid. I think you and your husband need to sit down and really talk about what you want in terms of showing affection. Don't make it seem like an attack on him because he is not doing these things. Instead, just point out that you would like for him to express his feelings in a way that he is comfortable with. Some guys just aren't good at expression! I do not think counseling will be a bad thing for you either. You may not be at the point where you need it, but it is better to prevent that need than to wait until you are both at your wits end. Perhaps you just need a reset on some things. It can be easy to settle into a comfortable pattern!!

NJChick78 01-15-2013 09:15 AM

Do you think you are too available to him? Too convenient?

energie 01-15-2013 07:57 PM

It just seems like marriage kills passion.

RavenWolf 01-17-2013 01:52 PM


Originally Posted by sacha (Post 4588666)
Start finding interests together and build an integrated life. You didn't fall in love by spending time apart, you won't stay in love that way.

I 100% agee. I think a part of y'alls problem is that you have different interests and do your own thing.

I just finished reading a book called "His Needs, Her Needs (Building an Affair Proof Marriage)" and I highly recommend it. It even has a quiz of sorts at the end to see what your top 5 and your spouses top 5 needs are. Making sure these are met.

One of the biggest things the author touches on is that in order for a man and woman to continue to be compatible they MUST have mutual interests and make time to do them together. If you or your husband meet your "interest" needs with other people and not each other, you will grow apart and it can happen that you or him will grow closer to other people.

It also talks about how men need sex, while women need affection, and explains the difference between the two, which may help him understand if you desire more physical affection. I think it would be a GREAT book for both of you to read together. It most definitely led to some in depth conversations with my husband.

It seems like one of your "needs" is to have him appreciate you and your effort in looking great for him. Perhaps you can show him appreciation for him things you like about him, and what he does, and see if he returns the favor? I know since reading the book, I have definitly started doing that in my own marriage, and have seen a total change in how my husband and I have been interacting.

I'm sorry you feel down about him not showing you the "love" for all you have accomplished with your appearance and weight loss. I hope something I wrote here will help in some way and you see some changes that make you smile! :D

tiawyn 01-17-2013 02:07 PM

Something to think about; a man's brain is very different than a woman's brain. You've probably heard about this before. A man is like a huge chest of tiny drawers; only one drawer is open at a time, and when too many drawers are open, the whole thing falls over. When he says that he cannot text you romantic messages at work, it's because he is in his "work drawer" and can't switch to your drawer even when you want it. Understanding that will make both of you less frustrated at each other because you understand where he's coming from and you won't have to pressure him to revert his male thinking.

I also agree with IAmTheGlue's advice. You have to figure out what love languages you both are and be able to give and receive the different kinds of love. The one that I have a better understanding of is "The 5 Love Languages" by Gary Chapman. The love languages are quality time, words of affirmation, gifts, acts of service, or physical touch. Most of the time, you can figure out what your love language is by what you give out. For example, my boyfriend loves to cuddle with me, so his love language is physical touch. However, he knows that my love language is time, so he rearranges his schedule in order to spend time with me. Another test is to ask yourself what you cannot live without. Like "If my husband didn't _______, it's proof that he doesn't love me." For me, I know that gifts are not a priority, so it doesn't fit that sentence. However, "If my boyfriend didn't spend time with me, it's proof that he doesn't love me" would be correct for me.

Having an open talk about the situation will be an eye opener to both of you. Communication is very much key to any successful relationship. I am very blessed to have someone that we can talk about anything; even the difficult topics. I highly recommend that you can practice having that open communication with your husband, it will be rewarding if both of you are willing to communicate better. :)

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