Partner doesn't find me attractive - how to deal with this? AIBU?(475 Posts)
I am six months pregnant and I've put on a bit more weight than I would have liked over the last six months. I've gone from a size 10/11 to a size 12/13 and obviously I have a decent sized bump to go with that too. I'm only 5ft4 so being almost 11 stone now doesn't look great on me.
My partner seems to love me but I don't think he finds me attractive at all. He has a very (media influenced?) idea of what's attractive in a woman: very slim, very fit, very young and very pert. Basically an ideal that's really hard to live up to.
He's no spring chicken himself. Late 40s, and is a bit overweight. I'm in my early 40's and currently also a bit overweight. I wasn't when I met him, I was 9 stone.
This would all be ok except for four things:
1 He often comments how unattractive women are who look like me or perhaps even a bit slimmer or younger than me, he even says 'ugh' at them. We see a topless sunbather on the beach who isn't totally slim but more pert than I am right now and comments things like 'I don’t think she should be topless. It would be ok if she was 19'. He used to talk all the time about how attractive very young women in their late teens or early 20s are (this was until I said how upsetting it was) he still makes comments about older (say over 30) or fatter (say size 12/14+) women being unattractive, and says how attractive much younger (less than 20) and much slimmer (size 8 or less) women are.
2 He loves to cook, he loves to eat, he loves me to eat what he cooks, he needs my approval for the things he cooks, it's a way he shows love and he has a vast appetite and expects me to match it. His entire day revolves around what he's cooking for dinner or lunch. He wants to impress me with his cooking and loves to cook big meals for us and our children. He gives me portions that are the same size as his, he weighs 1.5 times as much as I do and is 6ft.
3 He has stopped complimenting my physical appearance utterly and completely since I started putting on weight (a few months into our relationship) he continues to say zero complimentary about my appearance as I grow steadily more pregnant. Nothing, not one word. Nothing positive springs to his mind about how I look whatsoever. He used to compliment me when we first met.
4 His ex wife is a size 6-8 and has the body of a teenager. Very fit, very toned. She's older than me and frankly looks incredible. They were together for 15 years, clearly her metabolism could cope with the overfeeding and when he complimented teenagers in the street in front of her, she probably felt 'well I look like them too so no problem'.
It is eating away at me that he doesn't find me attractive. It's a fundamental female need as far as I'm concerned, that your partner communicates to you that he finds you attractive. Not only is there nothing forthcoming in that direction, I get a clear picture from his comments on other women about what he does find attractive. I don't feel our relationship has much long term potential at all if he loves me like a sister but doesn't find me attractive. I'm projecting a little in that sentence, but it's how he makes me feel. I have spoken to him about it a couple of times, and he apologises but nothing changes. I wish I was with someone who just found me attractive. I don't think I look too bad at all but he makes me feel so ugly and self conscious. I have been desperate to lose weight while pregnant but feel faint when I don't eat enough. I have asked him to stop cooking so much for me but he just gets offended. I don't know how to deal with it. It's breaking my heart.
I’m sorry to say this but he sounds like an absolute douchebag. Are there some redeeming features?
Have you spoken to him about it?
I'd pull him up on disparaging comments about women on the beach because it's offensive - he's hardly a spring chicken himself. Women aren't sunbathing on the beach for his entertainment. If it's OK for a pert 19 year old to go topless it's OK for a 45 year old with some extra ballast too.
I'd also explain, in a non accusatory way, how you feel RE him not finding you attractive. You can explain you're feeling insecure with your new body and could do with his reassurance from time to time.
In terms of the food surely you can just explain you'd rather not put on too much weight so you'll need a smaller portion. If you say this as a general point before the food is served he can't take it as a criticism of whatever he's cooked surely? If the portion is too big just remind him you can't eat that much and you'll save the rest for lunch tomorrow.
Wow OP. His behaviour is really vile, bordering on creepy. He’s eyeing up very young women when with you. He makes you feel ugly. Yet he expects you to eat his rich food daily.
I hate to say it but I would end the relationship as he seems to have no respect for you, or any interest in making you feel good.
What was it that attracted you to him in the first place! Doesen't sound like he has a lot going for him. I would also point out to him that he is no male model, maybe he should be loosing the pounds too. You have an excuse, you are pregnant, what's his.
No, thanks for your comment, I'm starting to think so too!
Yes, he's a devoted father and he is mostly attentive to my needs and a dedicated partner, albeit pretty slow to realise when he's being an idiot sometimes.
He is naturally much more sexist than I am used to so it permeates these conversations we have and I find it so unattractive that he doesn't find normal women his own age attractive. And I really hate his attitude to women's bodies. But mostly it just devastates me that he can't think of any nice comment to make towards me.
“I have been desperate to lose weight while pregnant but feel faint when I don't eat enough.”
You can’t be doing this when you’re pregnant.
I totally agree with the PP. He sounds like an utter bellend.
You’re pregnant, of course you’re not going to be the same size you were when you met.
Plus, as you say so yourself he’s no oil painting himself.
He is a creepy middle-aged man who peers at teenagers, and you want to be with him? Seriuosly, why did you let yourself become pregnant to him?
What sort of example is he setting to his children if you have any with him, or with your future child. What if you give birth a girl, he is the example she will have to model her future relationships with men!
I would be more worried about how his attitude to women would affect my child. LTB.
He sounds thoroughly unpleasant. Making those kind of remarks over women, especially much younger one, just smacks of being a creepy old perv. Regardless of how that made me feel I couldn't find a man like that attractive. And what about when your children start to overhear?
And why’s he so desperate to feed you but then criticise you.
Such strange and awful behaviour.
Ugh. He really does sound horrible.
Any man who makes comments like that is just toe curlingly vile
You have a very sexist unpleasant partner, who was probably attracted to your small size and has now gone off you. He leers at other women and comments on them (why do you let him do that? One remark and I'd go home). Honestly- do you think this is going to get better after birth and as you go through the menopause/age? You've picked a dud, I really don't know where you go from here.
Try spelling it out 're the food? As in "DP, you know I can't exercise off excess calories when pregnant, so can you dish up about two thirds of what you serve yourself for me? It'll be gorgeous and I'll eat it all and I'm worried about how much weight I'll gain."
Agree, if he makes comments about woman on the beach say things like "do you think you look perfect?" Or "you know they probably don't give a shit what you think."
As his ex is thin, perhaps she did reject his food. Perhaps she didn't look as she does know when she was with him- and perhaps his constant trying to undermine her diet while at the same time making it clear only thinness is acceptable lead to their relationship breaking down?
Perhaps you need to start making comments about his appearance and how attractive other men are to you....................
Yeah that one I can't answer. He's a feeder but likes his women very very slim and fit.
It's the worst of both worlds.
We have three kids already (2 of his, 1 of mine) who would be very disrupted and disturbed if we broke up.
I am expecting a daughter - and yes it deeply concerns me the subconscious messages his attitude to women's bodies will be giving her. I presume he'll tell her she's fine but it's the pervasive attitude she'll pick up on. He devotes most of his parenting energies to his son and his sons activities (sport etc) already. He forgets about his daughter's activities and sports most of the time. Although he has been very sweetly supportive of my daughters activities.
He's a better man than I'm making him sound, but when it comes to judging women's bodies and a fair attitude to both sexes, yes it is this bad and it drives me crazy.
Urgh he sounds absolutely disgusting. Don’t stay with him long enough for him to start embarrassingly perving at your child’s teenage friends (when he’ll be 60!). Get rid now.
I feel bad for your child. He sounds ghastly and by association, so do you. It's super creepy and inappropriate for your partner to comment on teenage girls. LTB.
Does he have any daughters op? I really hope he doesn’t.
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