to be reevaluating everything in an otherwise ok relationship after these comments?(41 Posts)
My thoughts are all over the place at the moment so would appreciate others' insights right now.
Background: Met dh at 21 (7.5yrs ago) was 11st (on 5ft 4inch frame) so chubby but not hugely so. After 2 more dcs (my eldest is from another relationship) I am now 17st, so a whale. Self esteem low, on anti ds but attempting to sort things out-attending cbt soon, starting exercise and trying to manage my over eating.
It came out in a frank discussion with dh last month that he no longer finds me very attractive. We still have sex regularly but it's me who instigates it and it more often lately it involves me giving him sexual favours.
We've had a disagreement this morning. I told him how upset I was after last months revelations about his opinions on my appearance and he reiterated those opinions again, with him maintaining that he wasn't setting out to hurt my feelings but simply being "honest."
Now the rational part of me accepts that my appearance has changed dramatically and that objectively I am not attractive anymore. But my idealistic side and my heart just feels well...slightly broken. "True" love is supposed to be unconditional right? A phrase he used keeps repeating itself in my head again and again- he said he had "lost some respect" for me.
I just feel like withdrawing from him and the relationship entirely. Separate beds, not answering to him anymore, making more decisions independently and pleasing myself and the children more with less input from him. I feel hurt and rejected and disgusted with myself. I guess I want to claim back some dignity and distance after this. And I don't want to define myself by him anymore. He has said he doesn't want us to split and financially it's not viable for us anyway. But I want to emotionally cut off from him. Am I wrong?
It must have hurt like hell OP
But he hasn't said he doesn't love you. He said he no longer finds you very attractive, so there is a difference there.
Mind you I'm not sure how he thought a comment like that, could possibly help or encourage a depressed person to lose weight
This is very hard. Does he still love you, but not fancy your body? (Ie would it help to think of it that way). I am overweight and dh has never commented on it, but when I lose weight I can see he fancies me more - and I feel more confident and keener on sex in general. I doubt I would fancy him if he were very overweight, which is hypocritical I know.
Honestly? I don't think either of you WBU.
You have depression and are taking steps to deal with it and improve your diet etc. He should be supportive and respectful of that.
That said he is entitled to feel as he does. That's a very large weight gain and I know for a fact that I wouldn't fancy my DP if he gained 6 stones. I would love him but wouldn't fancy him.
yes,I think you are wrong.
Perhaps you are angry at yourself for the weight gain and are taking it out on him. He is just being honest.
Concentrate on getting healthy, losing the weight and regaining your self respect
Sounds like he wasn't being deliberately mean or setting out to hurt you. You asked, and he answered honestly. He still loves you, but doesn't find you attractive.
I don't think I would still find DP sexually attractive in the same way I do now if he was 6 stone heavier.
It is truly unrealistic (naive) to believe that a partner "should" be indifferent to very significant weight gain.
Taken by itself, finding it harder to be turned on by you isn't a huge issue on its own. Libido within relationships does tend to wax and wane with age, life events etc.
I can't blame you for feeling crushed by his comment that he's lost some respect for you. You've clearly been going through a stage when you've felt vulnerable and he's thrown that back in your face.
Even more worrying is the fact that, whilst saying he finds you unattractive, he's quite happy to allow you to jerk him off, but doesn't attempt to give anything back. That's pretty abhorrent, tbh. However you fix this relationship, if it's fixable, that needs to come to an end.
That must have been very hard for you to hear, and hurtful as well.
It does sound as though you accept that your appearance has changed, and sometimes those closest to us do have to be honest about things like this, even though they may not be telling us something we don't already know, or saying something that upsets us.
But it sounds like he's handled this very badly and really hurt your feelings. And the issue isn't your weight or the change in your appearance, it's the downright nasty way he has spoken to you about it.
He's lost respect for you because your body has changed? He will let you perform favours for him but he doesn't return them because he doesn't find you attractive? That does sound like sex without love to me, and it can be soul destroying.
I don't know what to say to you OP, I have no advice. You say you want to withdraw emotionally from him, and to me it sounds like he's already done that to you. He certainly doesn't sound very loving or emotionally warm towards you.
I'm sorry I can't be more helpful. He could and should have been more gentle and kind, if he had to say anything at all, and instead he sounds like he has been cruel and distant. I hope you will be okay
He still loves you, op. He's just obviously not very aware of how much his words have hurt you. Most relationships hit a bit of a rocky patch once the 'lust' wears off.
For your own self worth pick yourself up and go for it with the weight loss. Don't shut him out - you need him on board. Get positive about it and that alone is an attractive quality!
How did the frank discussion come about OP and who instigated it?
Perhaps a little more background/context is needed?
Presumably he knows you are being treated for depression and that you are taking steps to address your issues? Perhaps he feels that you are not sufficiently motivated, or he doesn't understand that your weight problem s a symptom of your wider emotional state.
If, as you say, things are generally ok between you, ask him to stand shoulder to shoulder with you so that you don't feel that you are tackling a major issue that affects both of you alone. You will need support to make the lifelong, very substantial changes you need to make, and those changes are going to impact him - if nothing else his diet will change!
You may actually benefit from his tough love if fundamentally you trust him to have your best interests at heart.
That said he is entitled to feel as he does.
This is true. However, we can make choices about how we respect our partners, and his words were not kind or respectful, and since the OP is on anti depressants, not helpful and constructive. Yeah, we all have a right to feel what we feel but we have choices about what we do with those feelings.
I think, OP, you need to concentrate on your recovery and children and put him and what he thinks or doesn't think to one side right now. He's not working with you so maybe it's not the right time to worry about all that. Do make your own plans. Work in independence. Concentrate on what makes you feel whole and your children happy without taking on his stuff as well. Leave him to look after himself - he's a grown up and you have other priorities right now.
The anti depressants cause weight gain in a lot of people. Coming off them is made much easier when you do it alongside exercise and eating less white carbs.
Your dh might of thought he was giving you a wake up call. He didn't say he doesn't love you but he may have been concerned that your weight was causing a lot of your self esteem issues.
Focus on getting yourself better.
I swear by eating healthy. Not necessarily to improve weight but it just helps the brain in ways that eating processed food doesn't.
Your comment regarding 'sexual favours' makes me inclined to feel you would benefit from withdrawing and gaining some independence, which will help your self confidence
I agree his comments are hurtful. I do hope you are trying to lose weight for yourself and your health rather than to please your DH.
Poor you - I feel upset on your behalf . It's hard and whether right or wrong I'd feel differently about him if my DH said this about me - ever. It's all in your power to turn the situation around though - and if I were you I might be tempted to go right ahead and do that and then fuck him off to the far side of fuck.
Hope things get better for you
Thanks for your thoughts, everyone. I think the clincher for me is actually the comment on respect. If my dh can't respect me, why should anyone-why should I? Maybe it's a chicken/egg situation?
I'm totally at rock bottom really-this weight needs to come off. I guess that now it feels like I'm doing for him, when really I'm hurt by him and feeling pretty angry at him for not realising how hurtful (although honest ) his comments were.
When I reflect on the sexual side of things I'm feeling even.more disgusted by myself and feeling stupid and pathetic and used. It feel likes a betrayal to use someone like a wank sock. The last time we had sex he didn't "engage" with me at all-no kissing, caressing or eye contact. He's taller than me and my eyes were level with his chest throughout the whole thing. God, I'm pathetic aren't I?
I think pp are right, he's already emotionally "gone" isn't he?
If my dh can't respect me, why should anyone-why should I?
Well, I wouldn't take your husband's attitude as law here. Frankly, I'd be pretty inclined to let him off deciding whether you deserve respect - there's a good chance that his opinion does not deserve that much weight.
What Worra said. Men are visual. Its something primal to do with certain shape/symetry (sp?) signals health/fertility and future survival of the breed. BBC 1 prog. recently - those we view as 'attractive' have symetrical features and bodily, are in proportion. The only famous person who didnt match the symetry theory facially when they measured, was Marilyn Monroe.
From my own exp. It is a vicious circle the more depressed you are the more you eat. You need to let the anti d's work/kick in then try re food and exercise. Maybe he was trying to shock you into action? Sometimes people can be really rubbish at what they think is motivation or an incentive...
You should respect yourself because you can leave partner who doesn't respect you, but you're stuck with yourself for life
And, even if he doesn't respect you, why shouldn't you? You don't need anyone else's permission to respect yourself. Ever.
It feel likes a betrayal to use someone like a wank sock.
^Yes it does, and yanbu to be totally put off from your h after he's treated you like that. The bloody cheek of someone saying they don't respect you, but don't want to split up!! "Oh so you'd like me to hang around for your convenience and financial security (and occasional sexual favours) while you've disengaged emotionally and are blaming my looks, whilst still fucking me)? Great, where do I sign up?!!" What a knob. I'd want independence too.
Don't feel pathetic or ashamed, it's not you who should feel that, it's him.
Totally separately, with the weight thing, good luck - you CAN do it and you will feel amazing when you do. I lost nearly 5 stone in a year (after having my ds). It's hard, but you just have to keep going, and when you balls up (which you will) don't give in, just go back to it and keep going. It will come off. x
Sorry, am a slow typer on my phone so have switched to laptop.
worra I did ask. I guess they were leading questions. After a row so not the best time to ask him. I think I knew his opinions before he answered but the respect thing took me by surprise. I think part of me wanted to find out if he would tell me how he felt even though he would have known it would hurt me. I'm feeling pretty self destructive at times lately.
I really want to do what far and apocalypse suggest but I'm not sure I'm strong enough. I don't want to be me anymore, whoever that is. I moved to a big city (DH's job necessitated it) from a small village 2.5 yrs ago, just after my youngest was born. after the move I got down to 12.9lbs but it's all gone back on plus more. I don't work as childcare is too dear and have made literally no friends. I have actually been at uni for the past year but not really clicked with anyone. I'm lonely.
I know I'm rambling but DH is a strong personality, I met him young after recovering from pnd with my first child-he was like the sunshine after clouds. I don't think I knew who I was when I met him and he kind of swallowed me up. And now I don't know who I am but at least I thought I might be someone he liked, even if I, or no-one else did. But that's all been blown up now hasn't it?
I'm sorry, I haven't really responded properly to anyone have I? Thanks everyone, I have taken it all in though.
From your OP, you talk about your weight gain as something that just happened, and an inevitable part of having children, rather than something you chose to do.
If you stop thinking of your weight gain as something external or that you didn't have a choice over, then perhaps it's easier to see his 'respect' comment in relation to that - you made choices that lead to you going from being "a bit chubby" to "obese", it could be more he doesn't respect the choices you have made.
I'm afraid I'm another one who would struggle to find my DH still sexually attractive if he gained a large amount of weight taking him to obese levels, a few kgs, a bit of extra padding wouldn't make a massive difference, but a dramatic change would mean I'd not find him as attractive, although I'm sure I'd still love him no matter what.
just reread my post, it's not a big city, as far as cities go. But big for a small town girl.
More info. We met at college, on the same course-Access to HE. We were equals then. He went to uni after the course finished and we moved in together-whilst I went to work as I was scared of uni at that point. He is now fully qualified and doing very well in his chosen career. I've had two more children. I guess I haven't grown but he has. There's a bigger disparity in our situations now-him breadwinner, me sahm.
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