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Friend's partner says he's 'repulsed' by her figure/weight

(56 Posts)
MumfordandDaughter Sun 19-May-13 14:58:23

My friend knocked on my door around 11pm lastnight. She'd had an argument with her partner and wanted to stay with me.

Basically, (and i'm trying to be vague because i can't be annoyed with name changing) they had been in bed. She was making a move on him and he was rejecting her. They've not dtd for months and she had it out with him as to why.

He said that he doesn't find her attractive anymore, he feels disgusted when she tries to cuddle him, and he's worried sick that she's destroying her health sad

Off course, being her friend, i told her i thought her partner was an insensitive prat and that she deserved better, but on reflection i somewhat agree with him in regards to her health.

She isn't healthy and she isn't happy. She knows this. We rarely talk about weight (as i know it's an issue for her), but on the occassions she's brought it up, she's made it clear she wishes she looked differently, but doesn't have the confidence to seek help. And her partner has always been on at it her about it. When we go out together for lunch or each other's houses, he's always commenting on what she's eating/drinking. He dishes up for her, rather than let her help herself to a portion. He comments on her figure, clothes and things. I've pulled him up for it a few times, but this upsets my friend and she said she'd rather i just ignored it like she does.

This morning her partner came round with a bag of her stuff (toothbrush etc) and asked if she was coming home. I gave them some space for an hour and when i came back, they had made up and were off home together.

She gave me a call around lunchtime saying that he has agreed to make another go of things so long as she promises to go to a doctor for weight/nutritional advice.

I'm a bit uneasy about this tbh. Surely she should want to change for herself, not for her partner, otherwise it won't work?

Is this emotional abuse or just a man showing concern for his partner?
Apart from this weight obsession he seems to have with her, he's an okay guy.

They've been together almost ten years. They have no children.

docket Sun 19-May-13 15:04:43

Well, it sounds as if she does have issues with her weight but that's for her to deal with. I would say he is being abusive and controlling. Making comments, especially in front of others is plain mean.

Lweji Sun 19-May-13 15:06:53

One thing would be showing concern, quite another to reject her and say he feels repulsed.
That is abuse. Or he does feel repulsed, and then should leave, not make her try to be his ideal weight.

TBH, I wouldn't be surprised if his pressure doesn't add up to her weight problems.

Finally, she should only agree to make another go if he promises to stop talking about her weight and stops being repulsed by her weight.

GoingUpInTheWorld Sun 19-May-13 15:08:25

I think regarding the health issue, it depends how over weight she is.

If shes excessively overweight then he might be mentioning it because he is genuinely worried about her health.

But on the other hand, if he is worried about her health only then he would still find her attractive.

This tells me its not just based on health reasons why he is doing this.

kotinka Sun 19-May-13 15:10:06

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MumfordandDaughter Sun 19-May-13 15:13:10

Thanks for replying. I'm feeling a bit ill over it, like i should be doing something. This can't be a good environment for her to be living in, especially if she's attempting to completely overhaul her diet/lifestyle.

She keeps going on about how much she'd love children, but that her weight is holding her back. Maybe this would be a better incentive for her rather than changing just to please/keep her partner.

I can understand he's worried. But he does tend to treat her like a child when it comes to food. He'll decide what shopping they buy, or what they'll eat that day. When he comes back from work, he'll ask what she's eaten. IMO, he's definitely worsening her food issues. And he's the main reason behind her lack of confidence.

But i also think he believes he's doing the right thing. He doesn't seem to know he's being an arse.

I just don't like the idea of her being back there with him. I wish she would have stayed with me another few days and we could have talked more. What am i supposed to do? She doesn't have many friends so i feel responsible.

A1980 Sun 19-May-13 15:14:28

How serious is the weight gain? Is it endangering her health?

As much as we say its abusive of him, I have to ask myself how I would react if a male partner put on shed loads of weight and ended up with a huge beer belly etc. I would probably be put off.

kayfish Sun 19-May-13 15:14:39

I grew up with parents like this as a child. My dad was very similar and it was obvious to me what the problem was. I ended up resenting her for it because of her refusal to address the problems underneath the reason why she ate badly and punished herself. She used to go from extremes of "accept me as I am" binge eating and vomiting from overeating in front of us - to crying, little girl "victim mode." My father tried to help her in every way, but she refused to address anything. She used to take out her low self esteem on us - through anger,
Impulsive behaviour etc.

I personally don't think it's abuse.

GoingUpInTheWorld Sun 19-May-13 15:14:55

How big is she, and what size was she when they met?

MumfordandDaughter Sun 19-May-13 15:15:32

Sorry guys, i wasn't clear. It's not that she's overweight. It's that she's underweight. Not sure what she weighs, but she's a size 6 (and this is baggy on her) and the same height as me (5'7).

MumfordandDaughter Sun 19-May-13 15:17:01

She was a size 14 when they met. He's always saying to her how much he wishes she was that size again. I've only known her for three years though, and she's been really thin since we met.

skyeskyeskye Sun 19-May-13 15:17:33

it does sound like he is bullying her. I have always been overweight and my XH never had a problem with it, but he was concerned about it for my health's sake and for the fact that we had young DD. But he never ever had a go at me about it and he always wanted sex hmm

but he was overweight himself, so not obsessed with size

if your friend's H is quizzing her on what she eats etc, then he is wrong. he should be encouraging her to be more active, going to the gym together, walking together, swimming together, etc , not deciding on all the food shopping etc.

she wants to lose the weight for herself, then lose him.....

scaevola Sun 19-May-13 15:18:00

It could be both - genuine concern but badly expressed.

You say she has said she wants help about health, not just size/appearance. He might find her appearance unappealing right now, but still be genuinely concerned if her health is at risk.

If there are no other long-lasting problems in the relationship, then finding the right way to encourage her will lead to a win/win. You probably can't do that much about whatever might be going on in the relationship (other than being a listener), but you could take a more active role to support weight loss and improvement to fitness.

scaevola Sun 19-May-13 15:19:22

X-post - I wrote before the size 6 post appeared.

Lweji Sun 19-May-13 15:19:22

Regardless, his pressure cannot be good for her.

Does she acknowledge she has a problem?

kotinka Sun 19-May-13 15:19:26

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

skyeskyeskye Sun 19-May-13 15:20:22

ok, so vital information missed from your first post, as everybody assumed that you meant overweight!! anyway..... if he thinks that she is underweight and has issues with food, then him quizzing her etc is not going to help at all. If he fears that she is anorexic, then he needs to seek professional help with her.

a size 14 is deemed to be overweight, so if she doesn't want to be a 14, then he cannot force her. If he fancies "cuddly" women, then that is his issue.

But if she is seriously ill, if she is not eating etc, then he could have a point.

Coffeeformeplease Sun 19-May-13 15:22:18

I would find it extremely controlling (and would never tolerate) if my dh would dish up for me instead of letting me choose what to eat.

If she is happy the way she is, under or overweight, then it should not be an issue.
If she's not, then she should find some help. But a controlling partner won't make her eat more if she doesn't want to. Sounds like there are some underlying problems there she might need to address. For herself, not so her partner finds her more attractive.

countingto10 Sun 19-May-13 15:25:56

For comparison, I weighed 6st 10 when a size 6 was baggy on me and I am 5' 1" so I would imagine she has some eating issues. He sounds controlling and maybe the only thing she can control is her weight. The relationship sounds dysfunctional and she needs help one way or another.
The GP appointment sounds good but her DP is probably not helping her.

CajaDeLaMemoria Sun 19-May-13 15:26:16

I think everyone posted before reading glasses that she's actually underweight.

So she needs to gain weight, and he's prompting her to eat more and serving food for her, etc? That does seem a bit different.

I do think that it was very mean for him to say that he was repulsed by her, but having been in an eating disorder centre, it can be horrific.

How often do you see her?

Mumsyblouse Sun 19-May-13 15:29:59

No public comments on your partner's weight are acceptable, nor is controlling her food, nor is telling her she is so unattractive he can't bear to have sex with her- all of that is horrible. She may have an issue with food, but his behaviour won't help it whatsoever. Also- I find it very surprising he doesn't fancy her now, my husband and me have both put on weight over the years, I'm sure we both wish we had the figures we did 10 years ago, but we still find each other very attractive. It can't be very solid if you only fancy your partner if they look a certain way for 40/50 years, everyone will end up very wrinkly and old looking, it's a cert!

Mumsyblouse Sun 19-May-13 15:30:58

But- do encourage her to seek help, her weight loss is dramatic and needs checking out.

MumfordandDaughter Sun 19-May-13 15:31:46

Sorry, i'm an idiot. I though i'd wrote her size earlier .

I don't think she was overweight when she was a 14. I've seen pictures and she looked fine. Nor has she ever mentioned being overweight before.

She does have some strange eating habits, but does actually eat as well. She has one big evening meal, and porridge for lunch. And drinks tea constantly throughout the day. Don't know what her exercise regime is.

She told me once a few months ago that if she wants a treat (and this is where the 'strange eating habits' part comes in), she'll go somewhere private with a bowl, chew up the food for the taste, and then spit it out. She says it's not dangerous because she gets her vitamins through her normal meals, and she's not battling cravings because she gets to taste things like chocolate/cakes, without taking in any calories.

Her partner discovered her doing this thing a year ago, and this is when his behaviour started getting really obsessive. She's constantly reassuring us she doesn't have an eating disorder, because she eats.

I don't think leaving her to it is the answer, nor do i think her partner's approach is helping. I also don't believe she's going to go ahead and make that doctor's appointment.

She's not gotten any thinner since i met her, i think she's pretty much stayed the same. So if she's not losing weight, is there cause for concern still? I've only ever seen her with clothes on, so obviously her partner will have a better idea of what she looks like than i do.

A1980 Sun 19-May-13 15:35:37

Chewing food and spitting it out is what my anorexic sister did for.years.

She has a serious problem I'm afraid.

Coffeeformeplease Sun 19-May-13 15:36:26

Your last post sounds like she does need help, but she has to take the first step. No one can do it for her.

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