Wife's weight is a turnoff for husband

Wife's weight is a turnoff for husband

There are 338 comments on the Chicago Tribune story from Oct 29, 2007, titled Wife's weight is a turnoff for husband. In it, Chicago Tribune reports that:

Dear Amy: My wife and I just celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary. We are still in love, and I could not live without her.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Chicago Tribune.

First Prev
of 17
Next Last
Polarity

Washington, DC

#1 Oct 29, 2007
Hoo boy, here we go again. I'm referring to the first letter, about the "grossly overweight" wife.

For many women, especially, weight issues are fraught and overloaded with all sorts of complicating and external factors. This is unfortunate, because weight should be primarily about one thing, and one thing only: physical health. Amy's response is woefully lacking in re-emphasizing this basic, medical point.

What this wife actually needs is a visit to her doctor, followed by an appointment with a dietician, a gym, and perhaps a personal trainer, and possibly counseling. Her doctor should take her medical history, and help identify a realistic target for reduced body weight. Her dietician and gym or personal trainer can help her achieve the weight reduction, and the counselor (if appropriate) can help her figure out whether she's using food and weight as proxies for something else in her emotional life. She will need to make a significant lifestyle change in order to truly lose weight and to keep it off.

Why should she do any of this? Her motivation should be to do it for herself. Not for her husband, not for their sex life, but for her own health, life, and happiness. The health benefits of a more appropriate body weight are considerable and will pay lifelong dividends to her -- regardless of whether she's married, divorced, having sex, or not.

As for him, frankly he needs counseling to figure out why he's still in this relationship. If he's doing so solely or primarily out of obligation, then the relationship is doomed, and he should get out. However, if he realizes that he loves her as a person, and wants to be with her regardless of her body weight, then he will need to figure out more constructive ways to support his wife cope with her weight issues, even if she only manages to lose 10 pounds when he wants her to lose 100.

Lastly, Amy surprisingly didn't ask about two key pieces of data that are missing from the letter: During their relationship,(1) has the LW has always been fit and trim, and (2) has the wife has always been overweight or obese? Understanding how the situation got to the current point would definitely be part and parcel of figuring out any way forward from here.

Good luck to both the LW and his wife, both as a couple and individually.
Steph

United States

#2 Oct 29, 2007
*steps away from dead horse and puts down club*
Anonymous me

Glenview, IL

#3 Oct 29, 2007
To the husband who is turned off by his wife's weight. I do have advice.
Last year I lost 60lbs with out really trying. I did go to the Doctor and got a thyroid test, mine was slightly slow. He gave me a low dose. I believe that helped some.
But I think most of all I decided I was beautiful just the way I was. I started living like that, I shopped like that, I walked like that, I talked like that, I ate like that.
It is amazing when you decide you are beautiful how much more you will get out and do.
By the way, my husband thought I was beautiful just as I was, we had/have a great sex life. I felt/feel loved. I am married 30 years I feel blessed. Had he ever told me I had a 'beautiful face' I would have never lost weight. He told me I was a beautiful woman.
If you, confused husband, love her just as she is. Get rid of your society taught predjudice and embrace her. Take her dancing. Give her candle light and roses..long walks on the beach, I bet you she will learn to feel so good about herself and her life, she won't need food to comfort her anymore.

“In the Space Love Demands”

Since: Oct 07

Black Love USA

#5 Oct 29, 2007
Polarity wrote:
Hoo boy, here we go again. I'm referring to the first letter, about the "grossly overweight" wife.
For many women, especially, weight issues are fraught and overloaded with all sorts of complicating and external factors. This is unfortunate, because weight should be primarily about one thing, and one thing only: physical health. Amy's response is woefully lacking in re-emphasizing this basic, medical point.
What this wife actually needs is a visit to her doctor, followed by an appointment with a dietician, a gym, and perhaps a personal trainer, and possibly counseling. Her doctor should take her medical history, and help identify a realistic target for reduced body weight. Her dietician and gym or personal trainer can help her achieve the weight reduction, and the counselor (if appropriate) can help her figure out whether she's using food and weight as proxies for something else in her emotional life. She will need to make a significant lifestyle change in order to truly lose weight and to keep it off.
Why should she do any of this? Her motivation should be to do it for herself. Not for her husband, not for their sex life, but for her own health, life, and happiness. The health benefits of a more appropriate body weight are considerable and will pay lifelong dividends to her -- regardless of whether she's married, divorced, having sex, or not.
As for him, frankly he needs counseling to figure out why he's still in this relationship. If he's doing so solely or primarily out of obligation, then the relationship is doomed, and he should get out. However, if he realizes that he loves her as a person, and wants to be with her regardless of her body weight, then he will need to figure out more constructive ways to support his wife cope with her weight issues, even if she only manages to lose 10 pounds when he wants her to lose 100.
Lastly, Amy surprisingly didn't ask about two key pieces of data that are missing from the letter: During their relationship,(1) has the LW has always been fit and trim, and (2) has the wife has always been overweight or obese? Understanding how the situation got to the current point would definitely be part and parcel of figuring out any way forward from here.
Good luck to both the LW and his wife, both as a couple and individually.
you are correct

and the only thing i would add to that is that men are shallow and he will probably cheat on her if she doesn't
adifferentann

United States

#6 Oct 29, 2007
Wow, Ann, how compassionate you are. A woman of average height who works out regularly can be 200 lbs while wearing size 8 clothing (muscle weighs more than fat), so claiming that any woman below 6' who weighs 200 is "a disgusting pig with gross rolls of blubber" has no basis in reality. Even without significant muscle tone, 200 lbs for a woman is overweight, certainly, but not morbidly obese.
someone

United States

#7 Oct 29, 2007
I thought this might save some time and bandwidth if the arguements were laid out in advance. This is courtesy of the Tales from the Front discussion a few weeks ago on the exact same subject

It's hard to lose weight

Just stop eating and exercise

He should love her for who she is

If she loved him she wouldn’t have gotten so fat

He should help her lose it for her health

He tried to help and she's still a fat pig

There is no need for name calling

You must be a fat pig

No I'm not. I'm (insert ideal body type)

You're lying

Men aren't slammed like this when they gain

Yeah, but men have to make more money so it evens out

I don’t care about a man's money

You all say that but you're all secret gold diggers

You must be ugly and make close to minimum wage and get rejected all the time

I do not. I am a (insert high profile, high wage earning profession)

You're just like all men/women…so (insert derogatory adjective here)

Well _you're_ just like all men/women…so (insert derogatory adjective here)

Insert anecdote about parents/sibling/friend who have a relationship that beat the odds (i.e.. Ugly poor dad married hot mom, rich friend married plain and poor yet sweet overseas bride, etc)

Insert anecdote about parents/sibling/friend who have a relationship that confirmed opposite gender sucks (i.e.. Dad beat the crap out of mom, ex wife is a junkie hooker who still retains custody of kids after getting chance after chance to shape up, etc)

B*%^&

@##h*le
Polarity

Washington, DC

#8 Oct 29, 2007
Anonymous me wrote:
Last year I lost 60lbs with out really trying.
Congratulations on your weight loss, Anonymous me.

The key thing is that your lifestyle changed. And your new, improved lifestyle led you to eat less and exercise more.

The fat cells in your body don't know or care how happy or sad you are about your life or anything else. They only know and care about how much energy your body is consuming and spending.

As long as your lifestyle leads you to expend roughly the same energy as you're taking in, your body will maintain its newly-found equilibrium.

Congratulations again, and enjoy your improved health.
The Truth

United States

#9 Oct 29, 2007
The husband in this case should spend some time reflecting on what in his wife's life is making her so unhappy that she uses food to soothe herself.

Maybe he's not as wonderful as he seems to think he is? Maybe he is not good in bed? Maybe she hates her job? Maybe she is retaliating against his nagging? Maybe he is a slob who does nothing around the house?

Lots of possible variables here...
Steph

United States

#10 Oct 29, 2007
Well done, someone! You made me laugh.
Sammy

United States

#11 Oct 29, 2007
Ann wrote:
"200 lbs'? Unless she is around 6 ft tall so she would only be overweight by her BMI, then she is a disgusting pig with gross rolls of blubber.
All the feel-good babble about how he should love the person and not care what she looks like is simply untrue in a biological sense. People are sexually attracted to someone because of their looks.(Excluding hiring a hooker or a one-night pickup where the criteria is 'will they.')
Her failure to control her weight and allowing her self to look like an over-stuffed sausage, is at least in part a way of telling her huusband that he is not important. She deosn't care what she looks like even though she knows that he finds her bugling blubber unattractive and a sexual turn-off. She doesn't care enough about him to do something about it.
Studies reported in the BBC have shown that fat people marry fat people and thin marry thin. ALl of this garbage of 'love he as she is' is just a justification by fattties to excuse their own lack of self-control and self-discipline and blame others for 'not accepting them.'
From the letter, it sounds like she has gotten fat over the 25 years. He is turned off by the rolls of lard and she doesn't care. May need to rethink the marriage if the effect of her behavior on him matters so little to her.
I think your head is full of over-stuffed sausage......that's the only excuse I could find for such a rude post. I hope you like what you see when you look in the mirror. Remember, beauty is only skin deep.
annie

Columbus, OH

#12 Oct 29, 2007
ugh, again with the fattie and the fit partner. yes you should stay trim for yourself and your own health but remember that in a marriage it isn't all about you. sometimes we have to lose weight for "shallow" reasons too.
as for blaming the other partner for weight gain, that's just stupid. you only have one person to blame for ballooning up to 200 lbs....

“I'm Proud to be RIGHT”

Since: Oct 07

Born in Higley, Arizona

#13 Oct 29, 2007
How many pounds will she need to lose in order for her to be acceptable in his eyes.

What's worse, the over-weight women or her self-absorbed husband?
420 sheriff

United States

#14 Oct 29, 2007
biggens need luv too
Polarity

Washington, DC

#15 Oct 29, 2007
Marc Johnson wrote:
What's worse, the over-weight women or her self-absorbed husband?
From a medical perspective, the answer is obvious:

It is far worse for the woman's health for her to remain obese.

Her husband may or may not be self-absorbed, but even if he is, this is no reason for her not to lose weight to improve her health.
someone

United States

#16 Oct 29, 2007
A hypothetical

A guy who gets turned on by fat woman marries one. She is at least 50 lbs over average weight when they get married. He loves the fat, thinks his wife is sexy (men like this do exist…look around internet porn fetish sites).

About 10 years into the marriage she goes to her doctor and the doctor tells her she has to lose some weight to be healthier. It is NOT a dire need. Let's say if she doesn’t lose it she lives to about 70 years old with some moderate pain in her older years. However, if she loses it she will live 80+ with mild to no pain in her older years.

She starts to change her eating habits and exercises. Slowly the weight comes off and her husband's sex drive starts to dwindle.

She's not physically the woman he married. He doesn’t get turned on by her anymore. She pulled a "bait and switch". He cannot simply will himself to get hard when he's with her

Is it the same situation as the letter? What should he do? What should she do?
Franko

Coquitlam, Canada

#17 Oct 29, 2007
adifferentann wrote:
Wow, Ann, how compassionate you are. A woman of average height who works out regularly can be 200 lbs while wearing size 8 clothing (muscle weighs more than fat), so claiming that any woman below 6' who weighs 200 is "a disgusting pig with gross rolls of blubber" has no basis in reality. Even without significant muscle tone, 200 lbs for a woman is overweight, certainly, but not morbidly obese.
you're kidding right? Avereage height for a wooman is about 5' 6" ...

At 5' 6" the optimum weight is about 140. with 18% bodyfat (considered ideal for health)

200 lbs means 60 lbs excess fat .. pretty obese I'd say.

At 5' 9" the "optimum" weight for that height (18% bodyfat) is about 155 to 165 (depending on frame). 200 lbs still represents 35 to 45 lbs excess fat (because at an optimal 18% she already has some).. not quite discusting pig, but pretty dam big ...

I've been with women up to 40 lbs overweight, and to be honest, that is my limit ... more than that and I get really turned off ...

of course, that was in my 20's or 30's ... maybe when I am in my 50's or 60's I might be less interested in the looks?
Denise

Canton, IL

#18 Oct 29, 2007
Franko wrote:
<quoted text>
you're kidding right? Avereage height for a wooman is about 5' 6" ...
At 5' 6" the optimum weight is about 140. with 18% bodyfat (considered ideal for health)
200 lbs means 60 lbs excess fat .. pretty obese I'd say.
At 5' 9" the "optimum" weight for that height (18% bodyfat) is about 155 to 165 (depending on frame). 200 lbs still represents 35 to 45 lbs excess fat (because at an optimal 18% she already has some).. not quite discusting pig, but pretty dam big ...
I've been with women up to 40 lbs overweight, and to be honest, that is my limit ... more than that and I get really turned off ...
of course, that was in my 20's or 30's ... maybe when I am in my 50's or 60's I might be less interested in the looks?
18% body fat for women is underweight.
Polarity

Washington, DC

#19 Oct 29, 2007
someone wrote:
A hypothetical
Is it the same situation as the letter? What should he do? What should she do?
She should continue to lose weight until she reaches a realistic and appropriate level (determined with the help of her doctor). She should then strive to maintain that weight level, despite any other stresses or unhappiness in her life that may come up.

He should reexamine his own weight situation, and if he himself is overweight then he should use her example as an opportunity to lose weight himself.

If he becomes unhappy in his marriage, then he should get some counseling to see whether he can re-adjust to the (healthy) changes in his wife. If he cannot, his only choice may be to terminate the relationship. He should not, under any circumstances, pressure his wife to regain her lost weight.
Jennifer

Stamford, CT

#20 Oct 29, 2007
I'm 5'7" and I weigh 190lbs, I wear size 12 clothing that fits me properly too. Nobody that sees me would ever come to the conclusion that I was 'grossly overweight'. My husband who weighs 220lbs at 6ft doesn't even get called that.
They probably wouldn't guess that I ran my third marathon in 6 weeks yesterday either.
I think this husband is yet another of those men who has not yet realised that while sex is about physical attraction for men, it is more often than not an emotional attraction for women. I'm pretty sure this wife doesn't even really want to have sex with her husband when his main desire is for a hot woman rather than a woman who he genuinely loves with his heart instead of his trousers. The fact that she feels all her devotion and love are of less value to him than her dress size is probably the biggest obstacle in her weight loss attempts.
While the wife may need to lose weight for her own health, I think this guy is the one who needs some counselling.
Jenny B

Aurora, IL

#21 Oct 29, 2007
Absent a newly diagnosed medical condition that is linked to gaining huge amounts of weight, common sense will dictate that there is more going on here than meets the eye.
In marriages that span decades, it is not uncommon for one partner to chronically disappoint the other. In this case, the disappointment is fat related, but there are other ways either party can let the other one down.
Isn't that really the issue?
I'd lance the boil and ask the unspeakable question: if you met your spouse -- today -- right now -- for the first time, would you still be attracted? Would you still fall in love? Would you still want to spend the rest of your life together?
If the answer is, sadly,'no' because of weight, earnings, or whatever, then fact facts and get out. If, despite the weight or money or good looks or whatever, you'd still want to be married, then act like a grownup already and be a spouse.

Tell me when this thread is updated:

Subscribe Now Add to my Tracker
First Prev
of 17
Next Last

Add your comments below

Characters left: 4000

Please note by submitting this form you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Service and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator. Send us your feedback.

Orlando Discussions

Title Updated Last By Comments
News Barack Obama, our next President (Nov '08) 54 min Bam 1,681,982
News Sexual-related incidents at water parks prompts... (Jul '09) 4 hr Jayme 17
CASEY: Does the State Have the Goods to Convict? (Mar '10) 9 hr Mary NY 514,942
News Missing 5-year-old Florida girl likely was abdu... (Feb '09) Tue Never a tourest 98,659
News 2010 Florida Governor Race Election Results a "... (Nov '10) Tue The Peoples Media 3,079
News Once slow-moving threat, global warming speeds ... (Dec '08) Tue Into The Night 64,397
Inspiration Lane - Don't Quit (May '09) Jan 15 LizW 73,914

Orlando Jobs

More from around the web

Personal Finance

Orlando Mortgages