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Old 02-02-2011, 12:48 PM   #1
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Default How my weight affects my husband

First, let me say, I love my husband and I know he loves me. I was overweight when we married, but ballooned upwards afterwards. I know when we first got married he said he would like it better if I were ten or twenty pounds lighter, but he would still find me attractive it was I ten pounds more too. Well, I put on a LOT more than that.

It bothers him on so many levels, but mainly I think it worries him as he wants a life long partner and if I am heavy, how healthy will I continue to be? And then this recent bout of health problems? It scared us both. But also, he wants to be attracted to his spouse. And well, really, who is attracted to a big blob of blubber?

He doesn't say anything hurtful. And he knows I'll never be a petite thing. Doctors say my ideal weight is between 155-165 and he's aware of that. he even said my aging is no big deal because we all age - it's the lack of fitness and the weight. They are unhealthy and unattractive.

But it's what he doesn't say. He hasn't said I'm beautiful in years. I think 'maybe' I've heard it once in 7 or 8 years. I can tell, when he looks at me, I can see the disapproving look in his eye, or more, the disappointed look. And while he's been hopeful with my couple weight loss attempts in the past, he's barely showing anything for support this time. I think he's afraid to be hopeful.

But I need his support. I know it's there, but my lack of success has hurt him too and I realize that. He has no control over what I eat or how I live my life and it's probably super frustrating to him, but I need more.

I need him to be more excited for me when I lose a pound. Or to praise me for exercising every day. It HELPS me to have him believe in me and to be a cheerleader. It makes me sad that I'm getting a sense that he doesn't quite believe this will last.

The only thing he has said, period, was berating me for eating a slice of bacon. He said, "if you're trying to make a life change, then bacon isn't a good choice. You get nothing positive from it." Because see, he's a guy who can go his entire life without ever making a bad choice on foods. maybe an occasional sweet if it's there, but he would never go out of his way to find one or get one. I'm just not like that and never will be. I will want an occasional piece of bacon, or an ocassional chip (salty foods are my bane). That desire of his to make me want to eat ONLY healthy foods is what led to my sneaking foods 13 years ago. (and led to my first weight loss demise). Telling me "I shoudln't eat something" is not supportive. It's berating me.

I wish I could write out a formula - this is how I need your support. Do not comment on the foods I eat. Praise me for the effort I'm putting in with exercise and on my weight loss. Tell me I'm looking better. Notice small details. Don't say something like last week, "It's only been 3 weeks. How can you expect to see any difference yet?" This is not helpful...

or maybe that is what I "DO" need to do? Give him written instructions? Or have a nice talk? Where hopefully I don't break down in tears. His support is so unbelievably important to me.
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Old 02-02-2011, 12:57 PM   #2
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He doesn't want to be too hopeful because you'll play mindgames with yourself about why he was hopeful that you'd lose weight. "He was excited about it...he must hate the way I look now" or "He was excited about it...and he'll never be happy with the way I look".

He said what he did about the bacon because he was trying to be helpful and supportive. They're obtuse, boneheaded, and insensitive...but he was offering genuine input and support. You said he doesn't make poor food choices. He tried to offer dietary input, and you got upset with him.

Man logic says that if you got annoyed about food suggestions, you're going to get upset about ANYTHING else he says on the subject. They're really good at not saying anything when they've realized that everything they say is wrong.
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Old 02-02-2011, 01:06 PM   #3
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He said what he did about the bacon because he was trying to be helpful and supportive. They're obtuse, boneheaded, and insensitive...but he was offering genuine input and support. You said he doesn't make poor food choices. He tried to offer dietary input, and you got upset with him.

Man logic says that if you got annoyed about food suggestions, you're going to get upset about ANYTHING else he says on the subject. They're really good at not saying anything when they've realized that everything they say is wrong.
I suppose this is true, but man... after 18 years together, you would think he would have learned what I NEED for support. Maybe it's that "I need to fix it" mentality.

And he was trying to be helpful, but it wasn't. reality is ONE piece of bacon, dried in a paper towel and crumpled into my eggs with veggies is not somethign worth commenting on.

he doesn't complain when I go to exercise and he did willingly watch over teh baking bread the other day when I was still exercising, so I know he's trying to work with me, but WORDS... What is it with him and lack of WORDS for re-affirmations? He doesn't say "I love you" any more either. He says I should know that he loves me by his actions... UGH!!!!

Maybe I'll make it a game. After I tell him I just walked 5 miles and he says nothing, I should say, "Now is the time you should say, "that's great! You're really buidling up in miles!"

there are times I think being a lesbian would be better. A "girl" would know to comment.
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Old 02-02-2011, 01:11 PM   #4
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Your husband is a wise man. You've gotta find a way to do this without him. Dependence is way, way more unattractive than fat.

See, what you are accidentally doing is trying to make your weight his responsibility. That way, if you fail, it's also his fault, so he can't blame you. But it just doesn't work that. Eating is the one thing that is really only under our own control. Two year olds get this and refuse to eat to show their independence. Eating disorders are rooted in control issues.

You can ask him for practical help: take over the grocery shopping or cooking, watch the kids when you exercise, not keep brownies in the house--but he can't be emotional support. That's gotta come from within.
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Old 02-02-2011, 01:16 PM   #5
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No, I don't believe that.

We are partners in this. It doesn't make me dependent emotionally. We've been together 18 years. We help each other because we WANT to, not because we NEED to.
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Old 02-02-2011, 01:18 PM   #6
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there are times I think being a lesbian would be better. A "girl" would know to comment.
You'd be surprised.

What works for my wife and I is me telling her EXPLICITLY what I need. If I have an expectation of what she'll give me, and I don't tell her what it is, I'm setting her up to fail me. This happens a lot with cleaning in our relationship. If I work hard to get our house in good shape, I want praise for it. But I basically have to tell her that I want praise, or she doesn't know I want it. So I have no qualms about saying:

"Hey, check out the mail pile! It's all filed! Praise me!"

or

"Did you notice how clean the shower is?"

And sometimes, she makes the equivalent of the bacon comment...when I've worked really hard all day to clean, and she walks in and points out "I guess you didn't get to weeding/folding laundry/etc". At which point I also have no qualms about saying "When I worked really hard at this, it bothers me when you come in immediately with criticism". A few repetitions of that, and she's learned not to do it anymore.

Girls don't magically know what another person needs more than a guy would. If you express your expectations in a clear way, they're MUCH more likely to be met.
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Old 02-02-2011, 01:18 PM   #7
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Totally agree with Shmead. Losing the weight is your responsibility. You are lucky he is giving you support. Time to put on the Big Girl Panties.
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Old 02-02-2011, 01:23 PM   #8
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Maybe he doesn't know how to support you. Like how some people say negative things and we take it to heart because it's someone we love, but they intention is to support. Of course that's not the support you or anyone needs. He needs to know and understand that. If I were to guess, what he wants from you is confidence. As you lose weight, you will become more confident and confidence is what attracts people. Have a heart to heart with him and let him know all that you are feeling.
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Old 02-02-2011, 01:24 PM   #9
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You guys are telling me, it would not bother you to have your husband say NOTHING? Not a word about your fitness or weight loss, except for a criticism for not doing it perfectly? COME ON!!!!
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Old 02-02-2011, 01:26 PM   #10
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berry: i know you love him and he loves you back.... but losing weight is something you have to do by yourself. When i started my husband asked me: How can i help you???? and I told him... nothing just don't bring me junk food (he used to do it) and tell me everyday how much you love me, that all what i need.....
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Old 02-02-2011, 01:26 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by mandalinn82 View Post
You'd be surprised.

What works for my wife and I is me telling her EXPLICITLY what I need. If I have an expectation of what she'll give me, and I don't tell her what it is, I'm setting her up to fail me.
OK, you got me laughing. That's what I need to. WHen my husband cleans something, he brings me in to have me praise him. We desire that acknowledgment.

My mother in law, who lives with us does what you said about finding a criticism. "Oh, I see you missed this spot." Makes me want to strangle her! LOL
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Old 02-02-2011, 01:27 PM   #12
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I wish I could write out a formula - this is how I need your support. Do not comment on the foods I eat. Praise me for the effort I'm putting in with exercise and on my weight loss. Tell me I'm looking better. Notice small details. Don't say something like last week, "It's only been 3 weeks. How can you expect to see any difference yet?" This is not helpful...

or maybe that is what I "DO" need to do? Give him written instructions? Or have a nice talk? Where hopefully I don't break down in tears. His support is so unbelievably important to me.
Men are visual and logical.

Write out this list and put it on the fridge. Tell him this is what you need. One of a man's biggest pet peeves is being expected to know how to support their woman emotionally, when let's face it, they don't understand what that actually means to you.

So spell it out - literally!!
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Old 02-02-2011, 01:28 PM   #13
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berry: i know you love him and he loves you back.... but losing weight is something you have to do by yourself. When i started my husband asked me: How can i help you???? and I told him... nothing just don't bring me junk food (he used to do it) and tell me everyday how much you love me, that all what i need.....
But see he asked, didn't just ignore the big elephant in the room. And he says he loves you. Mine doesn't. I know he does, but for some reason he just doesn't say it. When we've talked about it, he doesn't know why and he doesn't realize he never says it, but when he used to say it EVERY DAY and then stops? You notice.
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Old 02-02-2011, 01:31 PM   #14
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I'm not sure if where you what were you said he can go his whole life without making a bad food choice? That he isn't interested in food or he is has a lot of self-control?

I think from what you described that he is trying to be supportive. I know we can be so obsessed with what we eat that we sometimes over react when others comment on what we are eating. I'm eating low-carb low-sugar and my mother thinks fruits are necessary in a healthy diet. I don't comment when she says something and she doesn't say much anymore.

I know myself that it's hard for me with my history to really believe that this is the time of all times and I will make it. I don't have any cheerleaders but that is OK. I guess the closest thing is my mom who annoys me with questions about whether I am still losing. But that's OK too because this is my journey. It's totally up to me whether I succeed or I fail.

My husband doesn't compliment me either. He does support me by not complaining about some of his favorite salty snacks not coming into the house anymore. He doesn't push me to eat things I shouldn't and eats what I serve him without complaint. I know he doesn't like eggs but they have become an intregal part of my plan so he sucks it up and eats them without complaining. He doesn't have a cheerleading bone in his body but I feel he is supporting me by not complaining about the changes he has had to to make due to my choices.
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Old 02-02-2011, 01:32 PM   #15
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Men are visual and logical.

Write out this list and put it on the fridge. Tell him this is what you need. One of a man's biggest pet peeves is being expected to know how to support their woman emotionally, when let's face it, they don't understand what that actually means to you.

So spell it out - literally!!
I will talk with him about it. I know I've motivated him to exercise too and he's never been mum before. But it's been years since I tried to lose weight intentional. 1997 and 1999 I think. LONG time.
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