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Is it ever OK to tell DH I would fancy him more if he lost weight?

(97 Posts)
sleepychunky Sat 14-Sep-13 20:57:57

I don't know. I've read so many threads on here where the OP's partner has made a comment about her weight and I know that if DH told me he'd fancy me more if I was thinner then I'd be really upset.
But, DH has put on over 6 stone in the 16 years we've been together. He does no exercise at all (drives DS to school when it's an 8-minute walk), smokes 15-20 a day and mainly eats junk food. He does shift work which has an irregular pattern (he's on nights this weekend) so I do see the difficulty in eating properly.
But the bare truth is that I don't fancy him as much as I used to. We don't have sex very often - partly because of his shift work so there often aren't many times when we're actually at home together, partly because once I am in bed I want to sleep and I always go to bed before him if we're both at home, but also because I don't get hugely turned on by him like I used to.
I've lost a fair bit of weight in the last 18 months (about 3 stone) but I did it for me and because I wanted to - he never made any comments at all other than I was looking great. I guess I was hoping that seeing me change my eating habits, do more exercise etc. might spur him on to do the same, but it hasn't.
Aside from the physical attraction I'm also really worried about his health. He is quite often (a couple of times a week at least) sick for no reason I can tell (ie. not food poisoning or too much to drink) and I'm sure it's got something to do with his weight and eating habits, but every time I mention it he tells me not to worry.
Do I need to just come out with it and tell him that I would fancy him more if he lost weight (and so we'd probably have more sex, which is an issue for us), or do I put a health spin on it (but I've tried that before) or do I just do nothing because I don't want to upset him? I really don't know what's best.

ageofgrandillusion Sun 15-Sep-13 10:27:39

Personally i think we owe it to those we love to be honest with them. If you dont tell him that him turning into a heffer is off putting sexually, then how is he supposed to know? He is in the dark about this.
Secondly, why on earth wouldnt the children call him fat? He is fat fgs. They shouldnt have to watch what they say just because this guy has chosen to put on loads of weight.
I actually think he is being very selfish given that he has young children. Unless he is very thick, he will know the health risks and he will also be aware that being so fat limits the physical activities he can do with his children. And yet he does nothing about it.
Personally i'd have stern words, tell him he needs to change his diet and start doing more exercise or else.

WhoNickedMyName Sun 15-Sep-13 10:35:56

I think you do need to mention the attraction issue, alongside your concerns for his health. Honest but kind.

I know if my DH gained a significant amount of weight, as much I would still love him, I wouldn't fancy him. I'm not physically attracted to overweight men.

6 stone is a significant, appearance altering amount of weight.

And the same goes for DH if I gained a load of weight.

The OP has lost weight herself, she's gently mentioned/hinted about health issues to him already, MIL is dropping hints about concerns for his weight/health and the children are doing what children do and have told him he is fat, in an innocent childlike way - and he STILL isn't doing anything about it.

So maybe an honest discussion with his wife might be the kick up the bum he needs. Nothing else has worked so far.

Vivacia Sun 15-Sep-13 12:01:52

So, to summarise, if your partner is over-weight and you no longer find her attractive you owe it to her to be honest and tell her, "you are over-weight, I no longer find you attractive, you are sexually off-putting" otherwise she will be in the dark about her weight. Once you've informed her about her weight gain you should encourage her to lose weight, use stern words in case they give her the kick in her over-generous behind that she needs. If she won't lose weight, you need to consider leaving her and taking her children away from her. In the meantime, if her children call her fat, that is ok, because ffs she is fat. Also, it's ok to use terms such as heffer (sic).

ageofgrandillusion Sun 15-Sep-13 12:09:10

What's the alternative vivacia? Tip-toeing around the issue while this bloke quietly kills himself and/or you slowly lose any semblance of attraction or respect you ever had for him?

Alanna1 Sun 15-Sep-13 12:15:49

I've not read all of the above but I can relate. I'm managing a similar issue by making time for DH to exercise - he has mates who do stuff together - they are happy for him to come too - needs me to take the kids then. Etc. what exercising did your DH use to do? Could you do anything together (walking/ running?)

TondelayoSchwarzkopf Sun 15-Sep-13 12:18:11

If someone has put on 6 stone, eats junk food, vomits regularly for no apparent reason and smokes heavily - male or female - they need to be told that they are damaging their health and potentially their relationship.

It's a lot different to saying 'you're fat' / 'I don't fancy you' - context and kindness is everything.

SparkyTGD Sun 15-Sep-13 12:22:02

Definitely push the health issue.

I've put on about 2 stone post DC and I would feel absolutely awful if DP said anything to me about my weight. DP had put on weight also and I would never have said I didn't fancy him because of the extra weight (but now he has lost some weight I tell him how fab he looks).

DP makes time for me to exercise etc which is helping.

Vivacia Sun 15-Sep-13 12:34:01

What's the alternative vivacia?

Compassion, respect, support? Focusing on their health rather than their role to look sexually attractive for your enjoyment? Accepting that they've probably spotted their weight gain and ultimately it's their responsibility and choice to act on it when they choose?

Anomaly Sun 15-Sep-13 12:38:16

I think telling him you find him less attractive sexually isn't going to help. I expect he already feels less than sexy himself. Confirming it will just make him miserable. He does need to see a doctor about being sick. I expect the doctor will mention his weight. I would definitely push the issue as a health one. Just out of interest OP what prompted you to lose weight?

TondelayoSchwarzkopf Sun 15-Sep-13 12:38:20

It is their choice but in the meantime, you don't have to sit and wait for them to have this epiphany.

It's not compassionate, respectful and supportive to allow someone you love to damage their health and their relationships without ever pointing out the consequences.

TootiesFrootie Sun 15-Sep-13 13:04:40

I think the OP is obliged to say something. It is not fair on the kids for their father to be at risk of serious health issues. I think if you marry and have kids you have a responsibility to stay healthy'ish

garlicbaguette Sun 15-Sep-13 13:28:32

I also picked up on the health problem as a possible cause. Don't assume that obesity causes all the problems trumpeted by popular media and the NHS - it doesn't. Fat people live longer. We're looking at correlation, not causation.

It is true that certain common illnesses go hand-in-hand with obesity. Diabetes and heart disease are the main ones. Being a hormonal disruption, diabetes both causes weight gain and is worsened by it. Poor physical fitness can cause heart disease and, of course, weight gain. Obese people who are fit don't suffer increased risk of heart disease.

Being ill twice a week isn't normal. Is he tired all the time? He might have sleep apnoea, diabetes, CFS/ME, an ulcer, or any number of worrying illnesses that tend to cause weight gain. Shift work plays havoc with a person's metabolism. Get him to a doctor and stop thinking of him as some kind of failure. Hope it goes well, for him and for you.

GuybrushThreepwoodMP Sun 15-Sep-13 13:29:50

I would start with one thing which involves doing something together:

I've just realised we never eat our five a day. Shall we make sure we do every day for a month?

I'm not feeling very fit. Shall we start cycling / walking / whatever at the weekends?

I fancy training for a half marathon. Will you do it with me?

I know it sounds a bit condescending but I don't know what else to suggest. Just one lifestyle change can really encourage lots more. It would shock him if you said you don't fancy him- maybe enough to make him do something. But it would just be so hurtful.
Do you reckon he knows how big he is? I gained a lot when I was pregnant and it's taken me the best part of a year to lose it. I didn't know until I stepped on the scales just how big I'd got because I avoided mirrors for so long.

Your kids shouldn't think it's OK to call anyone names.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 15-Sep-13 13:43:47

"Compassion, respect, support? "

Is fine but there's an elephant in the room... and I don't mean the 20st bloke ... which is that the intimacy is disappearing from their relationship. Now you can be as compassionate, respectful and supportive as you like but at some point he's going to ask a straight question why they've not had sex for a long time and, whilst agreeing that weight is a sensitive subject, I don't think lying or making excuses is doing the man any favours either. This isn't about 'love'... the OP loves her DH. This is about honesty.

Shellywelly1973 Sun 15-Sep-13 14:02:24

I think some of the posters on this thread have no idea of thwarting complexities involved in ending up 6 stone over weight. I also feel if a man had posted, he would have recieve very different replies.

I have never been overweight so i didn't understand why my Dp would just keep eating. I told him so, so he then started to eat in secret. My Dp doesn't smoke or drink but I've said to him on a number of occasions he will end up having a heart attack/ stroke/ diabetes etc etc. Its made no difference.

The person needs to make a decision about their life & only they can do that.

Bumpstarter Sun 15-Sep-13 14:16:37

HEFFER ??????

You mean heifer, a female cow? I too question the appropriacy of using this term to describe someone.

garlicbaguette Sun 15-Sep-13 14:17:34

I had a 20-stone (and then some) boyfriend while I was a very slim 10st. His weight didn't bother me until I started going off him for other reasons.

Agree with what you said about 'complexities' of weight gain, Shelley.

garlicbaguette Sun 15-Sep-13 14:18:02

She was making a role-reversed point, Bump.

mammadiggingdeep Sun 15-Sep-13 15:07:31

Haven't read whole thread (sorry!)

However to answer the, it isn't ok to tell him you'd fancy him more if he lost weight. The health issue is another matter...I'd be concerned about that and encourage him to speak to the gp.

I'd be mortified if a partner told me weight affecting how they fancied me. I think it'd br the beginning of the end for me. I'd feel judged and too conscious about my looks etc to be fully relaxed.

Darkesteyes Sun 15-Sep-13 16:54:55

Agree with vivacia and mamma.

His throwing up could be an early sign of gallstones. Which will be exacerbated if he loses the weight too quickly.
If you start discussing attractiveness and pinning it on his weight (which i DONT think is the right way to go about it) you need to be able to think of every consequence that could occur and you also need to be sure that that IS the reason. DH and i havent had sex for years I know it wasnt my weight because i lost ten stone and it made no diffrence. I got gallstones and was in EXCRUTIATING pain and high on morphine for months and had my gall bladder removed. The surgeon told me it was because i lost weight too quickly A stone a month for seven months before it slowed down.When very near to my target weight i had an affair with someone i met through work. It lasted for 4 and a half years and during the affair i kept the weight off. When it ended i did comfort eat and although i am nowhere near 21 stone again i do need to lose weight again. So have been power walking and eat more protein lower carbs smaller portion sizes and want to lose steadily this time not at a rate of knots Extreme rapid weight loss is not healthy either.

TootiesFrootie Sun 15-Sep-13 17:04:22

My FIL died as a direct result of obesity. (He was extremely overwieght) He didn't even make
it to 60. Everyone tried to help but ultimately he had to decide for himself. His slow miserable undignified death was awful to witness. The fact he knew that he was slowly killing himself was particularly distressing for everyone.
It wasn't his fault he was 'addicted' to food but I felt he should have been more responsible for helping himself be healthy. He choose to get married and have kids - he had responsibilities.
I know it's not always possible to overcome eating disorders but I couldn't help but think he should have at least tried.

sleepychunky Sun 15-Sep-13 17:56:24

Thanks everybody for all your messages today. This is the first time I've been able to get to a computer to answer.
Strangely enough considering DH knows nothing about this thread, I was writing the shopping list earlier and when I asked him if there was anything he wanted me to buy before he went to work (he's on another night shift tonight) he said a Caesar salad! I ended up making him some sandwiches to take with him as well, so I'm glad about that (his shifts are 12 hours long at the airport as a security guard).
Some people have asked about eating together. The DCs eat before us during the week - we have one at school and one at nursery and they have hot dinners there. If we're all at home together on a Sunday, which happens about once every 3 weeks, I will cook a roast as DH and the DCs all love roast dinners. When it's just DH and me in the evenings, I try and cook something for us both to eat, but quite often he'll say that he's not hungry, or he doesn't fancy what I'm doing, so I end up just cooking for me. And there are times when I'm just so shattered by the time the DCs are in bed that all I'm really up for is making something like scrambled eggs on toast or soup (he doesn't do any cooking at all).
I am making a point of not buying any chocolate/biscuits etc. other than the things I need for the DCs, but there is loads of fruit as we always have tons in the house. I think with some gentle suggestions as some people have suggested upthread, and me doing what I can to encourage a healthier lifestyle then DH might start making some changes. Someone said that he already knows he's very overweight, and he has said that in the past. We have scales in the bathroom and use them regularly so he certainly is well aware of what he actually weighs.
One of DH's problems is binge eating. He'll often eat nothing all day at work, then in the evening eat a whole (family sized) packet of biscuits, or an entire 200g bar of chocolate in about 3 minutes. We had the ILs over for lunch a few weeks ago and MIL brought a trifle (serving 8) which was surplus to requirements so left it here. After the DCs were in bed that night DH ate the whole thing in 5 minutes.
I really do appreciate everybody's input as it's not something I can discuss with many people irl. Will see what happens over the next few weeks.

Darkesteyes Sun 15-Sep-13 18:09:55

Is he actually getting a lunch break at work OP My ex OM who i mentioned in previous post used to work for a car rental company and his boss would often tell him "you havent got time to sit and eat lunch today" you will have to grab a sausage roll or a burger and eat on the move.
Ive heard this happens in lots of workplaces unfortunately. And its not helping the obesity problem.

sits and waits for Jamie Oliver to tackle the employers like he did the schools.....oh wait

sleepychunky Sun 15-Sep-13 18:11:38

Yes, they have very strict break schedules so he gets 1 hour break and one half hour break in his 12 hour shift. Plenty of time to eat a "normal" lunch/dinner.

Darkesteyes Sun 15-Sep-13 18:15:00

Thats good sleepy It means he has time to pick and choose something healthy to eat.

Not all employees are so lucky.
I take it as he works at an airport there must be quite a few healthy choices he could make.

Ultimately though it is his body and his choice.

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