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Husband doesn't want to have sex due to my weight gain :(

(345 Posts)
Edwarrior Sat 22-Oct-16 05:08:45

My husband and I have been together for 5 years. For most of that time I have had an eating disorder. In the last 5 months I have been in recovery and have gained a lot of weight as a result. Nearly 30kgs, and I think I'm still gaining. This is very hard for me, but it's a process that I need to go through to regain my health obviously. (Often what happens is that the body stores a lot of extra fat at the beginning of recovery until the body learns to trust that food is readily available again. So although I have gained a lot, it is likely that my weight will slowly taper back down to my natural set point within 2 or 3 years. I'm not sure what my natural set point is but I think about a size UK 10-12)

My problem is, that although my husband is very loving and supportive of my recovery, he has become unattracted to me physically and doesn't want to have sex with me anymore (for the past 6ish weeks he has felt this way. Before that we were still having sex). He will still kiss and cuddle me and is otherwise affectionate. I was a size 8 most of our time together and am now a size 14. I don't quite know what to make of this. It makes me feel very self conscious too. I swing from thinking he's a shallow bastard to thinking 'well he can't help what he's physically attracted to'. He says he loves me and is 100% committed to me, and is happy to stay married forever - without having sex. This doesn't seem right to me and is not what I want. I'm only 29 and him 28! We can't call it quits on sex at such a young age!

He understands the recovery process and says that he will want to have sex again when my weight tapers back down eventually. But this makes me feel like his love for me is conditional on my weight. Is it unfair of him to not have sex and be unattracted to me? What if my weight never tapers back down? Should I just wait this process out and see what happens? I do love him very much, but this makes me question his commitment to me. Don't actions speak louder than words sometimes?

Please, no suggestions to 'stop gaining weight' or 'just go on a diet'.

Thank you.

FluffyFluffster Sat 22-Oct-16 05:20:09

flowers this sounds awfully difficult for you. Tbh, I think he should have kept his mouth shut because this attitude is without doubt going to negatively impact your recovery.

I'm not sure what the solution is exactly. Personally, when I'm in love with someone I'm always attracted to them. I wonder if the journey is just taking its toll on the relationship.

Regardless of this all - prioritise your health because it's the right thing to do. You'll be happier and healthier in the long term. If you don't, I think you'll end up resenting him for the inevitable relapse. Good luck.

Oblomov16 Sat 22-Oct-16 05:26:02

What has your husband actually "said"? Specifically? What did he say, verbatim? Has he actually said he doesn't want to have Sex with you? shock

pugsake Sat 22-Oct-16 05:27:23

I've gone from an 8-14 off new antidepressants. Your a healthy size. If your anything like me I bet you look a lot healthier too.

I think you need to put your recovery first and I agree with pp that he shouldn't of said that to you while your in recovery.

Well done on it by the way flowers

Edwarrior Sat 22-Oct-16 05:29:52

He didn't want to tell me. But I asked him directly, and he answered honestly. It would be hard for him to come up with an alternative reason for not wanting to have sex without it being obviously false I think.

Nothing can make me relapse at this point. I am 150% done with this illness and there is no way I will ever go back to it. It is a merable existence that holds no appeal to me whatsoever, no matter how big I get.

But I'm sure you're right that this process is taking its toll on us sad

Edwarrior Sat 22-Oct-16 05:35:03

*miserable. Sorry for the typo in my PP.

Oblomov16, we hadn't had sex in a while and I was not getting the vibes from him like I usually do, so I asked him straight out, has my weight gain made me unattractive to you? He replied with something along the lines of 'yes, I'm so sorry, I didn't want to tell you but I can't lie to you. I just can't help it and if I'm not attracted to you I'm worried I might not be able to get it up or keep it up. I still love you so much etc etc'

Tootsiepops Sat 22-Oct-16 05:44:38

Congratulations on your recovery! I'm full of admiration smile

A few things. husband is...supportive of my recovery...

He's not.

...He understands the recovery process...

He doesn't.

...but this makes me feel like his love for me is conditional on my weight...

It is.

In the nicest possible way, your husband is being an absolute arsehole, and if I were you, I'd tell him to fuck off.

You were unwell. You're getting better. How DARE he mess with your head by telling you he was only attracted to you when you were smaller? Has he any idea how much of a headfuck that is for someone with an ED?

Well done for not letting this derail your recovery. Do you have a counsellor? Have you told them what's going on?

I'm really quite pissed off for you OP. So much so that I'm finding it rather difficult to form sentences.

I think it's fine to say that we all have our physical preferences when it comes to sex, but you haven't been well.

Pretty ridiculous of him to suggest he's happy to stay married to you but without the sex if you continue to inconvenience him with your insistence on getting better. How gracious of him hmm

Fuck that shit. Be well, be healthy and be loved fully and completely (no matter what your weight).

P.S I have gained and lost five stone since getting married in 2012 as I suffer from an eating disorder too. Not once did my husband comment on my weight or withhold sex or make me feel bad about myself or my body or my weight.

pugsake Sat 22-Oct-16 05:59:03

An 8-14 isn't a ridiculous amount.

14 to me is still slim (although could depend on body type)

My husband isn't arsed about my gain as I need the antidepressants to stay well.

I've no experience with ED's but overcoming any mental health problem is a brilliant, brave and hard thing to do.

Is that why your up so early worrying about it?

Edwarrior Sat 22-Oct-16 06:02:31

Yes, I do speak to a psychologist. I told her about this but she is very 'soft', in that I didn't feel like I got any real guidance from her about this issue. Hence, I wanted to get some more opinions on here.

I should also probably mention that my husband has bipolar, which makes matters difficult at times. As a result, he sometimes doesn't have much tact. And he's fighting his own battles too, so he isn't able to completely bow down to my needs in all areas all the time, nor am i able to give him all the support he needs. It's give and take. So as much as I really do wish my husband was as amazingly supportive as yours, the situation is different and complicated sad

I do believe him when he tells me he will love me and stay by my side no matter what my size, but the sex thing just throws me off and makes me feel shit and confused :-/

Edwarrior Sat 22-Oct-16 06:09:31

I'm in Australia, it's 4pm here haha

pugsake Sat 22-Oct-16 06:22:31

It's 6am here which is middle of the night for me grin

There might be posters about later in the morning with more experience in recovery.

It must be hard living and supporting someone with their own problems when you need to help yourself as well.

daisiesinherfootsteps Sat 22-Oct-16 06:39:01

I have no experience of eating disorders but bloody well done on how well you are doing.

Your DH's behaviour is appalling. Even if your weight gain had been for a less difficult reason it would be unacceptable, but knowing how hard it has been for you he should be nothing but supportive. And his love and attraction being conditional on your size is not love. Even if he does feel different during the act, this is one of the few times where telling your partner the absolute truth has no place or benefit.

So sorry he is being such a prick. He sounds deeply shallow. At the start of your post I thought perhaps you were much larger and it was causing physical restraints on bedroom activities which would (almost) be more understandable.

For perspective, and I guess it may be hard for someone with an eating disorder to see, size 14 on most people other than very tall or short is probably just the top end of normal weight/maybe a tiny bit overweight.

Only you know if this is indicative of a bigger problem, but this would make me seriously question my future with this man.

itunscrewstheotherway Sat 22-Oct-16 06:39:20

I absolutely don't want to be insensitive, but what are people expecting the husband to do? Have sex when he doesn't want to? Is that what you'd advise a woman to do in the reverse situation? It sounds like hes trying to combine supportiveness and love with honesty - not sure what his other options are. It just sounds like a very difficult situation.

flowers OP, I hope your recovery continues.

daisiesinherfootsteps Sat 22-Oct-16 06:40:56

I somehow missed your last post about DHs mental health. Doesn't excuse anything but perhaps explains a bit. Take care, I hope you can work through this flowers

Dozer Sat 22-Oct-16 06:41:28

Sounds like a sexual relationship is, for him, contingent upon your weight. That's not great for you, and a long term sexless marriage would be crap. Sadly you might need to separate to focus on yourself.

TheTattoedHand Sat 22-Oct-16 06:41:55

What an absolute bastard.

AndieNZ Sat 22-Oct-16 06:44:41

What tootsiepops said X 1000.

I'm actually silently raging on your behalf that he is treating you like this.

Believeitornot Sat 22-Oct-16 06:45:45

Well I wouldn't like having sex with DH if he put on loads of weight...

It sounds like your DH only told you because you asked? Is that right?

Is he gettting help for his bipolar?

Dozer Sat 22-Oct-16 06:48:44

The DH told OP very clearly by withdrawing sexual attention, then stated it in words.

LyndaNotLinda Sat 22-Oct-16 06:55:41

Believeitornot - the OP isn't obese. Is your husband currently underweight?

Penfold007 Sat 22-Oct-16 06:55:52

Congratulations on your ongoing recovery. Both you and DH have ongoing issues of your own and , sadly, you may not be the right support for each other. Is he getting support for his bipolar?

Bubbles1986 Sat 22-Oct-16 06:56:51

30kg is 4.5 stone which is a rather big weight gain in just 5 months. On my body that would make me a size 18-20 (which I have been) vs my current size 12 at 9.5 stone. When I was that weight I lost all self confidence, never made any effort with my appearance and my confidence was very low, my husband never implied I was anything other than gorgeous at any weight I've been but I've noticed he's actually a lot more physical with me at my current weigh. Thinking about it analytically though i believe its actually down to me having more confidence and wearing things that accentuate my figure, and feeling sexier in myself, having nails and hair done nice etc because I'm proud of how I look now rather than wanting to hide away. So what I'm trying to say is that on the face of it he may say its the actual weight but it could really be less that and more your overall attitude and possible lack of confidence in yourself at the moment that is turning him off iyswim. Sorry if I'm explaining badly. Basically what I'm trying to say is that if you arnt feeling confident and sexy (which is understandable considering what you have been through and well done for being in recovery BTW) then he may be picking up on that, and that's what's turning him off, not necessarily the weight

Believeitornot Sat 22-Oct-16 06:56:56

He's normal weight but if he put on weight, I'd not like it. Doesn't matter if he wasn't obese.

LyndaNotLinda Sat 22-Oct-16 06:58:13

Anyway Ed I'm not surprised you're upset. I'm not sure there is a long term future for your marriage, sorry.

Your husband seems to have some very rigid conceptions of what women should look like and I think they are incompatible with your mental health

IamNotDarling Sat 22-Oct-16 06:58:18

OP you deserve better. LTB and move on with your recovery.

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