Post # 1
He says it’s not my weight but my committment to maintainig or improving my level of fitness that he is dis-satisfied with. When we got together I was 21 years old and weighed 135lbs. Even during the early months of our relationship, my lack of interest in physical activity was a point of contention for him. Infact, I almost ended our relationship because I felt he was critical and unsupportive. He agreed he was and that he was lucky to have me so would make an effort to support me more. Yea, I like to eat the odd cookie and order pizza once and a while, but I am by no means overweight! 6 years and a 15 pound weight gain later, my weight, eating habits and exercise routine are still things that he frequently brings up to me as needing improvement. While I also want to improve these aspect of my life, I cannot help but feel defensive when he brings it up. His way of supporting me is by asking me what I ate that day and if I went to the gym. Meanwhile, I am making efforts to improve my fitness – drastically. I am running a half marathon in August for ME not for HIM, but he’s still dissatified.
My husband knows that when he brings this up, it hurts my feelings and makes me feel unsupported by him. So he is very cautious with how he approaches it. But he says that he can’t help but feel like he’d be more physically attracted to me if I cared more about how I looked for him. (Reminder, I’m 150lbs and 5’6″ – by no means overweight).
I am seeking your ladies feedback on how to handle this topic. HELP please!!! I’m sick and tired of having this discussion/argument with him.
Post # 2
lanny: I suppose every couple is different, but for us, personal criticisms are off the table. I wonder if your H would ever be happy with the way you look. Somehow I always thought it was what was inside that mattered most. I’m sorry. Other bees will no doubt have better advice. *hugs*
Post # 3
- Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA
That’s a tough one, because on one hand, regular exercise and mostly healthy eating patterns are really important for one’s health and quality of life. And when you’re married to someone, you want them to be fit and active and not sick and alive for as long as possible, so you care about that stuff. On the other hand, you can’t force someone to motivate for that stuff themselves. (Even though apparently he’s motivated you to run a half marathon?) And it’s hurtful to link it to sexual attraction, even if he’s “just being hones”t.
I have this same dilemma with my husband except the roles are reversed… I wish I could give you advice but I haven’t figured it out myself. I guess you should make sure he knows that it’s really hurtful and insulting when he tells you his attraction for you is linked to how much you exercise or eat healthily. Even though I may think that on occasion, I’m sure as hell not going to tell my husband. It’s not going to help motivate him and it would be very hurtful.
(Also, I don’t mean to be rude but according to the Mayo Clinic, 5’6″ 150 pounds is at least on the edge of being overweight (outside their ideal healthy weight range). http://mayoclinichealthsystem.org/~/media/Local%20Files/Eau%20Claire/Documents/Medical%20Services/Weight%20Management/BMI%20flyer5104612.pdf )
Post # 4
Take up strenuous exercise by all means but do it on your terms. I suggest something with a bit of excitement: sailing, skiing, skydiving, paragliding, scuba diving, snowboarding, horseriding.
It doesn’t have to be the boring old gym.
Post # 5
lanny: This is a really hard one.
First of all, i am shorter and heavier than you. I would be really upset if SO said that he would be more attracted to me if i cared how i looked for him. Even if it was true, that is tough to hear and in no way a positive reinforcement. If anything, that would make me sit and eat a whole carton of ice cream instead of gearing up to put on my running shoes.
I am not happy with my current weight and lifestyle. I got in to a bit of running and have since fallen off the wagon – getting back on tomorrow! But SO has never been anything but supportive – even a little too lenient with me at times, as i am with him. He has was really into running when we started dating and has recently started getting back into it. I find the best ways to support eachother are to encourage. When he says he is tired i am quick to say “ok skip the work out and come cuddle with me!” BUT i know that wont help him and he really wants to get back into it. I will say things like “well you can skip if you want, but i know yesterday you expressed how much you wanted to go”
I am not sure what to say to him since you have clearly had this conversation before, but maybe you are going to have to lay it out like “hey, you are being really rude in regards to the way you bring up these issues” does he get defensive when you tell him that? Or does he admit it? Tell him it is hurtful and anything but encouraging and give him some other phrases to try like
“hey that was an awesome run! Good job – i hope you can do the same tomorrow!”
“Let’s BOTH go hiking this weekend”
“I love the way you look after a hot work out!”
“It makes me happy to see you enjoying your work out”
etc etc etc. You really need to emphasize that POSITIVE reinforcement is the way to go. The way he is doing it is negative and bringing down your energy levels.
Post # 6
Does he workout and eat healthy?
Post # 7
lanny: Weight fluctuates. Bodies change. I work out for myself, not for my husband.
If its important to your husband, why isn’t he signing up for this marathon with you? Or offering to go to some cooking classes or see a nutritionist to make BOTH of your lives healthier? He’s not being a team player and that’s what marriage is- working as a team to accomplish goals
Post # 8
I have gained 30 lbs since meeting my husband almost 5 years ago. His passion for fitness was almost a dealbreaker because I knew it would come up. Mine is critical at times and while he doesn’t hurt my feelings, because I have a mirror, it’s annoying. Sometimes I just want to leave the house and eat in my car in peace. One time he went on and on about how many calories were in my salad. Other times he askes incessantly why I am tired if I am not at the gym.
The only thing I can say is you have to want to lose weight and become physically fit for yourself. I struggle with going to the gym. I struggle with eating right. A couple months ago my husband realized his tactics were not supportive. He changed what how he approached my health.
Join me on MyFitnessPal LemonT to track your progress. Get some encouragement outside of your home. My gym “family” is awesome. Makes working out fun.
Post # 9
- Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL
lanny: When my husband pointed out that I had gained weight in a less than flattering manner, I pointed out that it wasn’t very supportive nor was it inspirational. Then I told him what types of comments to make that I consider motivational for exercising and eating right. I also told him it was a two way street and that he couldn’t expect us to eat pizza and wings every weekend and expect me to be fit. So we both eat well and try to exercise together whenever possible.
The biggest thing to realize is that him wanting you to eat healthy and exercise may be his way of saying he wants you to be around for a long time. The comments can be hurtful though because guys don’t always know the most tactful way to say things. But going to the gym everyday doesn’t mean you are super healthy either and some people just aren’t gym rats. Being physically inactive just isn’t healthy and there really is no way for you to argue that to him (or anybody else) so you need to figure out a way to be more physically active in a way that works for you but also shuts him up too.
Post # 10
lanny: I’d want to know how he thinks he’s going to react if you guys end up having children 🙁 That is a significant body change even if it’s mostly ‘baby weight’ that’s lost quickly 🙁
Post # 11
If my husband ever approached me in this way I would go OFF. I mean, does he not think you are acutely aware of your body and level of physical activity? Who died and made him boss? I work out 6 days a week and track all my calories on Myfitnesspal, but it is MY PERSONAL journey- not any of my husband’s business!
Post # 12
Honestly, I would be extremely offended and would tell him to keep that to himself. I’m your height and about 30 lbs (OK, maybe 35) heavier than you, and pretty self-conscious. I used to be about 245lbs and went on weight watchers shortly after meeting my then-bf-now-DH. He thought he was helping when he’d make a comment about an un-healthy snack, or missed workout. I finally told him that what I eat, my workouts and my physical health is completely my decision. If I want an unhealthy snack, or a day off from the gym, I’m going to do it because thats what I want and this was for me, not him. All comments about my weight, food and workouts were off limits unless they were 100% positive. There’s enough negativity going on in my own head, that i really couldnt handle any from him. He was supposed to be my cheerleader and biggest supporter!
it didnt help that he was/is overweight and did nothing to become healthier but would criticize when I had a cheat meal. Since i told him that was off limits, he hasnt said anything. I honestly would be devestated if he said he was less attracted to me because of my weight. Sure, he’d be more attracted to me if I was 120 lbs with a killer 6-pack, but thats not who I am and he chose me, not some vision of perfection that I could someday become.
Post # 13
I’m confused why he married you if he wasn’t happy with your lifestyle or figure..
If he’s concerned about your health, that’s one thing. But, he appears to be critical of you for aesthetic reasons and is being quite cruel about it. Although for your height you are in fact on the cusp of being considered overweight, what he’s doing is not appropriate. If you choose to get fit and change your eating habits, do it for health reasons not for him.
Have you sat him down and discussed how it makes you feel? I’d ask him for encouragement instead of criticism and see how he responds. Maybe he doesn’t realize how he’s coming across.
ETA: I gained 15 pounds due to an injury 2 years ago, I knew my ‘new’ body type couldn’t be appealing to him, he still didn’t say anything negative about it or act like my parent. As I healed, I began making small changes to lose the weight and he encouraged me, whether I walked up the stairs or ran 5 k.. Your SO is there to encourage you when you need it, not to bring you down.
Post # 14
- Wedding: September 2014 - Lubeznik Center for the Arts
I think he is actually being a bit unreasonable. You are not overweight, you are, in fact, at a healthy weight for your height (those stupid BMI charts take nothing into account, including muscle mass, and you can be outside of the “healthy” range and still be fine). If he wants to encourage you to be active and eat well, that’s one thing, but being so upset about your weight makes no sense to me.
I would tell him, I am healthy and I am in good shape, working out to run a 1/2 marathon. I am happy with myself; if you aren’t happy with my body, I’m sorry but this is who I am. You can be helpful by doing X, Y, Z, but your comments about my weight are not helpful or constructive.
Post # 15
Wow. I would be so hurt if my guy treated me like that.
Since meeting my fiance four years ago, I have gone on birth control and moved to college, both factors with have contributed to some pretty extraordinary weight gain. Luckily, I carry most of this weight in my boobs, ass, and thighs, instead of my tummy, so I still look like I weigh less than I do.
Even with a fifty pound weight gain over four years, my fiance has never said anything that would make me feel any less beautiful than I am. I’m way harder on myself than he is on me. In fact, he’s a little bit of an enabler with my eating habits, but I would rather have that than someone who makes me feel underconfident.
You deserve to feel beautiful and sexy. No one takes marriage vows that say “for as long as we both are skinny and hot.” If your husband’s attitude is making you feel bad, you should tell him.
My fiance never mentions my weight unless I bring it up first. Instead, he suggests we do active things together, like swimming. This is much more constructive than tearing me down and saying he is unhappy with me.
However, all of this seems crazy to me because you don’t even sound overweight. I’m 5’2″, shorter than you, and I’d love to weigh what you weigh. I think that if I was not overweight, and my husband was criticizing me, I’d tell him to F*ck off. That’s totally inappropriate because his behaviour cannot even be interpreted as coming from a good place, where he cares about your health. Nope, this sounds like it’s all about him and what his image of you looks like. He needs an awakening, fast.