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Old 03-08-2006, 05:58 AM   #1  
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Unhappy Insulted and not sure what to do.....

I have been holding back talking about this but I need to get it off my chest and you all here are so supportive.

My boyfriend one week after I had started losing weight (he was not aware I was trying because I did not tell him) Informs me that he has been bothered by something for a long time. He tells me he is embarassed to be seen walking with me in public in the city. Not the base mind you because in America I am "standard" size. (his term not mine) But in the city were everyone is rail thin. He says he was not sure if he could get over it and he wanted to be honest before we went any further with our discussions of getting married. He is not American he is Korean.

Well folks it felt like the rug was pulled out from under me. All this time he has said I like you for you. Meaning in my thoughts ....size does not matter. We have been staying in a lot recently and I thought maybe it was just because of the weather being so flippin' cold here. I am not a cold weather person.

Anyway...he killed something inside me. I feel like I can not look at him the same way. I love him so much and he knew he had made a huge mistake. He kept apologizing over and over and saying he was so lucky to have me love him etc.....

I have been losing weight for me and I make sure he knows that everyday. I was not going to let his selfishness ruin my progress. He has been trying to make up for his comment because he thought since Americans were so open with conversation it would be ok to share those feelings with me.

I was so upset I could not even speak to him for an hour. He was great in my eyes until that moment. I knew it wasn't perfect but I thought we could work it out.

I go through waves now as too whether I will be able to get through this. My evil side tells me to lose the weight get him all pumped up and then move soft side says to work through it and give our relationship a chance.

I have no clue....I love him so much but I am not sure what I should do. Now I feel like not telling him how my weight loss is going for fear of him being totally selfish so he feels comfortable on the street.
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Old 03-08-2006, 06:35 AM   #2  
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Wow that is a tough one. I am sorry that happened and I know how terribly painful for you it must feel. I know I would be feel very hurt and also confused. If you guys can work it out that would be wonderful. The problem confronting you personally is that if you lose the weight and marry can you be sure you will never gain weight again? You may be in a place to lose weight right now but is his love going to be there later on if you do not stay slim later in life. It would be hard for anyone to advise you because we do not know you as individuals. People have worked through some very hard things all the time so I guess it would depend on your own individual motivations. The problem with his statement is that it has driven a wedge between you and now you will tend to question how much he really does love you. If it were me I think I would tend to back off marriage until I felt the matter was fully resolved and I felt I was with a man I could trust to care for me thought thin or fat.
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Old 03-08-2006, 07:37 AM   #3  
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I can't believe I am about to defend this guy but here goes. I had a Korean boyfriend, many years ago. I am sure he didn't mean it quite the way that it sounded.

But I'm not telling you to be a doormat. I think you need to try and sit down talk to one another without getting upset. I can just imagine though what it must be like in Korea, and I made that comment in a pm to you as well. I know when I went to Singapore, and that was just on holiday, I felt like a giant ogre!!! In Lilliput land!!!

Don't let this undermine your weight loss. I see this as two seperate issues. I know your losing weight for you. You are working so hard on your weight loss, and your doing so much to help yourself.

Your attitude of your boyfriend is a seperate manner. I think most Korean men have a bit of an attitude about weight, and in a way, he is just reflecting his culture. He does have to learn though, that he needs to respect you and be sensitive to your needs.

Are there any other cross cultural couples in your peer group that you can talk to?

I know my Korean boyfriend said things on occasions that I thought were really hurtful, until I got to know some of his friends and realised he didn't mean to be that way.
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Old 03-08-2006, 07:54 AM   #4  
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Oh Darlene, I'm so sorry that you had to hear those negative and hurtful comments.

However, I do believe that it was better that he expressed his concerns and fears now, before the relationship went to the next level. I'm not defending his comments (I think they were horrible and harsh) but people feel certain ways about certain things and that's what makes them who they are. I think you need to have a very long talk about your relationship and expectations of each other and see if this is a relationship that you want to continue in the long term if you're not satisfied with the outcome of that conversation. It's much better to have things out in the open instead of keeping them bottled up until it escalates to a level where you're not able to have the conversions you need to work through it.

I hope you know that you are a wonderful person and you're doing such wonderful things for you body and health.

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Old 03-08-2006, 08:04 AM   #5  
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I am sorry that you are hurt. Believe me I understand - I spent 27 years morbidly obese at over 300 pounds over weight.

I will take a shot at explaining my thoughts on this. Of course this is just my opinion. First off on a man or a woman - being overweight just is not attractive. If you are honest with yourself all of us know that to be true. I am not talking a few pounds. I can say that having been way overweight most of my adult life. I don't care what Billy Bob thinks, that beer gut that is hanging over his belt is not a babe magnate. Now let me clarify that a bit. I don't know of anyone expecting someone to have movie star bodies. I just mean you have to make an effort to be fit and healthy for you. I mean, people dress nice and comb their hair to look better. Why should taking care of our bodies be any different.

I know there is a school of thought that we should love ourselves for who we are - not how much we weigh. I think too a point, that is right. You should always love yourself - but never use that as a crutch to not have the lifestyle that you deserve. Being overweight limits you so many ways. You don't have to live that way.

Can people learn to over look that and see the person inside? Yes they can - but it does not happen often. I have lost a good bit of weight in the last 2 years. I still need to lose about 50 pounds. I am losing about a pound a week and working out 5 days a week. When I was really overweight - it was as if I did not exist. I mean, I was the same person I am now. I think as most people go, I have a lot going for me. I graduated college with a 3.8 GPA. I was named Who's Who in American Colleges. I think I have a good sense of humor and a sharp mind. I love to laugh and have a good time. I have a great job and I don't think I am ugly by any means. I even have a fair singing voice. None of that mattered. Really - none of it mattered.

Now, I could blame the world and say people are shallow. However, I chose to take the opportunity to improve myself. Now, I did not start working on getting fit so that I could date. I wanted to get fit and healthy for my daughter and for myself.

I think your boyfriend should have framed the discussion in terms of what is good for you and your health - not his embarrassment. That was the wrong way to go about it IMHO. Like someone else said - it is much better that he said something than to remain silent and you find out after you were married that he felt that way.

*sigh* It is a weird subject. I know how hard it can be to put in the time and effort to be fit. I also know that anyone can do it - if they want to. All it takes is having the willingness to change.

I hate obesity and would do anything I could to help you.

I wish you all the best.

Last edited by Charles78; 03-08-2006 at 09:45 AM.
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Old 03-08-2006, 08:45 AM   #6  
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Darlene, I already sent you a PM, but I think some really good advice has already been given. Charles, as always you have been really insightful. This is a tough situation, because I do think, as Kykaree stated, I think the cultural difference is a factor here. Should you have heard the comment, no, but again as Dee said, maybe it was a good thing you have heard where he stands now. Please do not let this derail your process and know we are thinking of you.
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Old 03-08-2006, 09:33 AM   #7  
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This IS a tough situation. On the one hand, there may be cultural issues here. On the other hand, that kind of comment IS very hurtful and CAN drive a wedge.

One question I had. Do you think he's saying "I love you very much, but sometimes I am embarrassed about your size, because I feel uncomfortable standing out in Korea?" That's different from "You embarrass me" I think, and does frame it more as a cultural issue.

I believe Korean culture is more indirect in its communication, isn't it? My experience with Japanese people who try to be direct (but who aren't used to it), is that they sometimes go over the top and bungle the comment, maybe by being TOO direct. That is, they haven't quite picked up on the nuances of how to be direct. maybe your bf is trying to be very direct in his communication, and didn't think the remark would be taken so personally?

Either way, I think more communication is in order!!

I also appreciate Charles' comment. Both my husband and I are obese. I love him very much, and he loves me, and that love is not contingent on weight. However, as we lose weight, I think we will start to find other ways we are attracted to each other -- other physical things that are attractive. I think it can be hard to separate those two issues.

Good luck!!!
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Old 03-08-2006, 10:00 AM   #8  
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You know, I've been at war with myself and this issue for a long time. I truly agree with Charles, obesity is what it is - and it's NOT attractive. Call me shallow, call me whatever, but I haven't dated in quite a while, just because I'm not attracted to the men who are attracted to my overweight self. It's one of the reasons I want to loose the weight! How can I expect to meet Mr. Total Package if I wouldn't even be attracted to myself? Forgive me if I sound shallow and ridiculous, but it's how I feel.
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Old 03-08-2006, 10:17 AM   #9  
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Oh my, I'm so sorry that this happened to you, hun! Honestly, I wouldn't be able to put up with the one I love insulting me like that. I'd always be thinking in the back of my mind things about him, and I wouldn't be able to deal with that. I think you definately need to tell him how much he hurt you...I can't get over that he told you that he's embaressed to be out in public with you! This just makes me mad.
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Old 03-08-2006, 10:31 AM   #10  
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Default Hope This Doesn't Offend You

First of all, before I say anything, I am trying to be tactful. I agree with the comments others have said here - and there are a lot of issues going on here and it's a topic that can be picked to death. But, this is my question . . .

How long has this person been with you - if he is a long-time boyfriend, did you suddenly become overweight and it's a new thing for him or did he become your boyfriend when you were already overweight? If it's the latter, then if he's so embarrassed, why did he become your boyfriend in the first place? Obviously he was attracted to you or he wouldn't be your boyfriend.

I guess I feel that even though he was being honest (which is a good thing), there are ways to be sensitive to a person's feelings and I think the way he put it, makes him sound selfish and only concerned about his feelings. I had a somewhat similar comment said to me by my husband once a long time ago and I have never forgotten it. I have stored it back in my mind and I don't bring it up but I feel that he was being selfish at the time and not sensitive to my feelings. I truly don't think that he understood how devistated I was by his comment and your boyfriend probably doesn't realize it either - since he doesn't have a weight issue (I'm assuming this from what you said).

I think if he feels the way he does and is concerned about marriage, then you are probably better off knowing this and not entering into a marriage commitment. But I would be darned if I would let what he said sabbotage my weight loss efforts and my self esteem. This type of comment would only make me more determined to lose the weight and be attractive to many men. I know that you love this person, but I wouldn't become invisible so that he's not embarrassed anymore - there are other fish to fry.

Like I said, I hope this didn't offend you but I am all for standing up for yourself and you need to do just that.

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Old 03-08-2006, 10:32 AM   #11  
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This is a very delicate subject and I went through something similar a fair few years ago with my first husband. We had been together about 5 years and married for 2 of those. My weight had gone up and down, then I was diagnosed with PCOS so there were other issues for me to deal with but all through that he seemed totally supportive. In 1990 I was at my highest ever weight - 287lbs. One night my husband said to me, I don't think I want to be married to you anymore, I would rather be divorced then a widower. Well, I understood his reasoning to a certain point, I tried to tell myself that he was trying to be helpful and encourage me to lose weight, but with a medical problem helping my weight gain, it wasn't the easiest thing in the world to do. As you can imagine I was devastated. Luckily we had 2 wonderful friends who came running over when I called them in hysterics and they sat us down in separate rooms and gave us both a good talking to. The following week I signed myself up with a new endocrinologist. It was discovered that I also have thyroid problems. I was put on medication, I followed a sensible diet and over the next 8 months or so, 137lbs fell off me. My husband was, as you can imagine, delighted. However, something inside me had died that night and no matter how I tried I could not bring it back to life. It was love and respect that died.

A couple of months later, I left him. His turn to be devastated. I tried to explain to him what he had done to me that night. He just didn't get it. Many years later when we became friends again, he finally understood and realised that it was his fault for not talking to me about it.

My situation was different as my husband was telling me he was leaving me because I was fat, and that he was scared I was going to die. However, he had never before brought up my weight in that way. He could have been a little more selective in what he said, but I guess he was at the end of his tether and had kept it bottled up.

That's why talking now is so important to you and your boyfriend. As said in earlier posts, what if you do lose lots of weight, get married settle down but you put on weight again in a few years? Will he say something similar to you again? Is it cultural differences and not really embarrassment on his side.


Then and only then can you make a decision and that decision has to be yours.


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Old 03-08-2006, 10:38 AM   #12  
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I am so sorry!
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Old 03-08-2006, 10:40 AM   #13  
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I can see why this would be painful to you. I can also see why he wouldn't be embarrassed on the base where you are a "standard size".

My sister who has always been overweight (like me), once went to England, and she said she looked around and said "Where are all the fat people?" In America it has become almost standard to be overweight. We don't have to be, but we have in some ways gotten used to it, it has become almost a part of our culture. Sad but true.

This isn't true everywhere. I heard a friend tell me about a TV show she saw where French people were speaking about what they thought of Americans. One lady said "They're all FAT".

Ugh. What a sad situation. I think it is more true than not. We live in the land of "super size it". We tend to be avid consumers. We think always that "more is more" never "less is more."

I can understand why this wouldn't bother your boyfriend while around other people who are the same as you, but would bother him around people who culturally are different. Men want to be proud of the woman on their arm. When a man is out with a woman who is hot and sexy and all the guys are looking at her, it bothers him a little, makes him insecure a bit, but at the same time he is proud to be the one she will go home with. He may love you for YOU, but there is that "shallow" element of a man's ego that is affected.

I do think if you are losing weight you should do it for you. But on the other hand if you can think of it as a gift to him as well, maybe you can feel more comfortable with the whole thing.

I would have the talk with him though. You need to know where you plan to spend your lives together, whether in his culture or yours, you need to know how much pressure there will be on you to keep the weight off if you do indeed manage to lose it. That pressure isn't necessarily a bad thing, but feeling less loved because of your weight IS.

Let him know that you are losing the weight because you want to, but that you are not sure what the future will hold. Whether you will become thinner or not, whether you will be able to maintain that. Let him know that you want him to love you either way and if he can't then you need to separate.

Get it out in the open. It is in some ways natural for him to feel that way. I mean imagine this. Suppose you were going places with him, and for some reason he decided to wear his hair in a bright red rooster comb look on the top of his head. Wouldn't you feel somewhat embarrassed at all the looks the two of you would get? It isn't that your weight bothers him, it is the attention you get because of it in a culture that doesn't have that as the norm.
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Old 03-08-2006, 10:47 AM   #14  
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I am so sorry, you must be broken hearted. I know I would be shattered. I think it is good that you know now how he feels instead of later. I would hold off on marriage. Maybe he didnt mean it the way it sounded or maybe he can get over it, move past the weight issue. But if I were you I would wait! I would try to work things out, talk about it, find out how much weight really bothers him. I mean people feel the way they do, they can't help it sometimes, So he cares about weight, that doesnt mean he loves you any less. It's just something he may need to get over. Talk about it, see how big of an issue it really is with him. If it continues to be a problem, get out. you don't need that. He also needs to know that he hurt you no matter what he ment by it. It hurt, sorry can't take it back. But maybe with some time and descussion on the matter it can get better. But you may always have the scar, so to speak. Bottom line he needs to love you for you and if he can't than bye bye. But you should be sure!!!! I wouldnt give up on it either. just wait and take things slow. Sometimes things are so hurtfull that we can't see 2 feet in front of us. So thats what we are here for. I hope we all can help! GOOD LUCK!!!
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Old 03-08-2006, 11:08 AM   #15  
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I wonder if it something that he never really thought of before, obviously he doesn't think weight is an issue if he started going out with your to start with but when you started going out together in the city he noticed the attention you were receiving because of your weight. I think any kind of negative attention is embarrassing regardless of what it is about. It could be a weight issue or a hair style or the size of your nose. For example my son is a very sensitive child and will cry easily if his routine is changed. Lately he's been crying at school when I drop him off because we have to go to a different door than what we've been using. He starts crying and wants to go home and it is so embarrassing to me because there are all these parents with their kids and none of them are crying. That doesn't mean that I love him less and actually I am more upset about my own reaction for being unable to cope sometimes with his outbursts. I think the whole issue of feeling embarrassed about someone and love is difficult and often reflects more on the person having the embarrassment than the other person. What if the shoe were on the other foot? I'm pretty sure we'd all say that it doesn't matter if our husband or boyfriend was overweight and we are not but deep down wouldn't it bother you a tiny bit? Like Charles said that beer belly is not attractive at all. I don't know, it is tough to deal with.
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