Have you ever walked past some colleagues for example and you overhear one of the men saying, “My wife wants me to lose weight because she’s starting to lose attraction to me. I was about 25kg lighter when we met and used to be really physically active. But ever since my job got a bit more demanding, I’ve definitely become sedentary and gained weight as a result. This never really bothered me…until I realized that it bothered her. So do I owe it to her to lose the weight, or can I explain that this is just the way my body is right now?”
Right after hearing this, you will probably be tempted to pat that round belly currently straining against your shirt or hanging over your pants and wonder if your wife is feeling the same way.
Here in Nigeria, many men attribute a pot belly to the good life but you don’t understand or pay attention to how it makes your wife feel.
WHAT SHE WANTS
Physical attraction is a very important part of any romantic relationship and I know we all like to think that everyone falls in love with their spouse for their awesome personality, but perceived hotness usually precedes that decision to become intimately involved. That said, you shouldn’t feel scrutinized for every bit of weight you gain or lose because bodies change, attraction shifts, life happens.
So on that front, do you really owe it to your wife to lose some weight in order for her to stay attracted to you? Nope. You should be able to define your diet, physical activity, weight and general appearance – not someone else. There are often cases where one partner’s appearance becomes a means of control and the time they spend maintaining or changing that appearance results in an abusive dynamic.
When an acquaintance or a friend makes a derogatory remark about your weight, that’s bad enough. But when those comments come from your partner, the harmful effects can be quite devastating.
It is not OK for someone you love to make comments about how often you order pizza, or whether you really “need” that chocolate cake, or where all those bicep muscles went. That is no good way to live or be happy.
While physical attraction is quite important as that initial spark in the relationship, as your love evolves, you start to grow more in awe of other things, like how supportive your wife is, how good a mother she is, how kind or patient she is. These intangible things are the glue that keeps you together and allows you to work through these kinds of issues. If the physical attraction was the only thing that has kept your wife in the marriage, then this relationship of yours was not built on a solid foundation.
BUT don’t completely rule out the possibility that she might really only be concerned about your health and might be asking you to lose weight simply over concern for your longevity and well-being.
So if it’s just something that she wants to work on, together, well why not?
WHAT YOU WANT
Do you want to lose weight in order to feel desirable? If you do then this is something that you can treat as a joint venture, especially if your wife is very enthusiastic about helping you with it. You can find activities you love to do together like long brisk walks or turning meal prep and healthy cooking into your “date night” instead of the usual wining and dining. Or perhaps something you used to enjoy back when you were much more active – doesn’t have to be the gym.
After all, exercise is healthy…and actually a natural aphrodisiac.
There are hundreds of opportunities to connect in a cool, healthy way that can make you a stronger couple.
You should also note that this is a two-way street. If you are caught up in a situation like this, ask yourself this: do you feel like your relationship has lost its spark? Do you have any ideas on how you can improve your bond with your partner, have more sex, and feel those butterflies again? It’s not a crime to make some suggestions too, you know.
But the bottom line is, if you truly feel good about the way you look, it’s okay to stand up for yourself.
Sit your partner down and tell her you feel happy and healthy at your current size (only if you truly aren’t overweight and risking your health) and that you will make decisions regarding your weight, going forward. Set the boundary, which she would fully respect, but open up the conversation to other ways you could reignite the passion in your relationship – be it a weekend getaway or learning a new activity together. But don’t completely throw out the idea of being healthy – it’s for your own good too and you don’t have to gain visible abs.
Another way to look at it is this, every marriage goes through struggles and changes, and if a change in your size becomes one of those struggles, never hesitate to communicate with your spouse and take the time to make a decision that is right for both you and the relationship.
All in all, there’s always a mutually agreeable plan of action that puts back the spark in your relationship and also keeps you healthy. Sexy or not, your wife will always be happy when she knows that you are taking care of yourself.