Her Weight Gain
Q: : I have been married for 13 years, and I love my wife. The problem is that she's gained weight. She used to weigh 127 lbs., and now she weighs 155 lbs. I just can't be intimate with an overweight woman. I really love her, and I miss our intimate relationship, but I just can't get past her weight gain. What do I do? -- JJ, 59
Dr. Susan: If you love her as you say you do, you can get past it. Normally, when you love someone for who they are, you are able to turn those warm feelings into physical intimacy. Sure, your wife has gained some weight. But don't we all get less gorgeous and fresh-faced with the years? Many of us will unfortunately have accidents or illnesses that will affect how we look. And don't you realize that you, too, are going to get old and wrinkly and possibly pudgy and balding? If you want your wife to keep showing you affection as you sag and decay, you owe her the same consideration. Practically speaking, of course, if this matters so much to you, then have a serious conversation with her. Focus on the benefits to her health and mood of her getting rid of at least some of the weight she's gained. Then go the extra mile and find a way to help her. Walk with her daily, on her schedule. Join a gym or take a class with her. Be sure she talks to her doctor, as sometimes there are medical issues (thyroid, hormone imbalance?), and don't neglect the possibility of psychological issues (resentment, boredom, anxiety?). Don't ever give her mixed messages by insisting on unhealthful meals or lobbying to eat out when you know that makes it hard for her. Do keep in mind that marriage isn't about youthful fitness but about something much more important. And, hey, the more you bug her and make her feel unlovely, the less likely she'll want to behave like the sexy desirable creature you married.
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Susan K. Perry, Ph.D.
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, relationship expert, and bestselling and award-winning author. Her books include Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way, and Kylie's Heel, a novel for adults.
Pamela G. Chollet, Ph.D.
Dr. Pamela Chollet has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and Master degrees in educational psychology and fine arts. Her passion has been helping people face and get through those times when they feel trapped and unable to move forward.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, stress management expert, and author. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or struggling to make changes in your life, Anna can help.