Tap the Fat and Ride the Wave?

Weight gain.  This is an enormously sensitive and, possibly, painful occurence in many marriages.   You married them at 120 lbs.  Now they’re 220 lbs.  It’s not just the gain.  It’s the way you feel about it.  The problem is how you both feel about it.  How are you suppose to feel about it?!

Many have written to us about this issue.  The explanations start off with how much the spouse loves their partner, how good they are to them and/or the children, yada yada yada…  Then, there is the turn…’but’…   We then read the impact of weight gain on the mood of the marriage, image perceptions on either side and, of course, the impact on the quality of sex.  How is one suppose to feel about these developments?!

One senior man reports that over a 50+ period of marriage he has seen his wife’s weight rise and fall.  Marrying her at 140 lbs., she reached a sustained weight of 240 lbs. at one point.  Currently, at 145 lbs., he reports that his love for her and his attraction to her remained strong throughout.  Both his love and attraction to his wife, he says, has been driven by who she is…not what she is!  So, how is one to feel about a dramatic weight gain in their spouse?

Here’s the argument we make.  Chemical love, a complex physiological response to visual stimulation and other temporary reactions between two people, wanes.  It is NOT enduring.  Any marriage, including its sexual dynamics, that is reliant on a ‘feeling’ of love and attraction which is driven primarily by what is seen…has a likely very short shelf life.  Our devotion, affection and commitment is to the ‘person’.  Our spouse, weight gain and all, is the personality and character that won our heart so long ago.  Our husband or wife secures our commitment because of who they are and not what they are. 

While weight gain can poses health issues, our concern for our spouse should be on that basis.  It should be rooted in wanting them to experience longevity of life…for our sake.  When our perception of weight gain is that it is a barrier to our desire for our spouse, it belies a dangerous truth that we have objectified them as a means for our pleasure.  While that may seem to be sort of the role of our spouse, it is not.  In sexual intimacy, specifically, a husband or wife is a collaborating partner with whom we share a dynamic and selfless exchange.   While selflessness is the ideal, the difficulty in achieving it should not preclude us from trying.  The pursuit of virtue is its own reward.

Okay, yes this is high brow stuff.  Yes, we’re bloviating.  So let’s bottom-line it, shall we.  If your partner’s weight gain is affecting quality of life, figure out how to have that conversation.  If the weight gain is affecting you visually, examine yourself.  Why do you love the one you love?  Get over the bulge(s).  You can regain that sexual attraction by loving the person.  Learn to tap the fat and ride the wave!

About ThePureBed
Welcome and thanks for giving us a once over! Our blog celebrates and honors sexual intimacy in the context of marriage.

3 Responses to Tap the Fat and Ride the Wave?

  1. km says:

    Good luck to any who attempt to broach this subject with a spouse. You’ll need it.

  2. eawaitt says:

    Another aspect is that when your spouse gains weight, they can be self conscious about it and it can change their behavior and attitude towards sex. As much as you are still attracted to them, they might be the one who’s having a problem with it. I think you really have to be open about the weight gain and loving and work towards weight loss together because it can end up having a huge effect on your relationship in more ways than you would imagine.

  3. initiator says:

    What if you have BOTH gained the weight? My hubby and I have both put on weight. When we were first married, he could not get enough of me. Now he almost always turns me down. It is painful and depressing! I am afraid to lose it, now. What if I lose the weight and he is all of a sudden all interested in me again? That would mean that his love for me is not unconditional, that the fact that I need him and want to be close to him is not enough of a motivation to simply give me the intimate affection I crave. That would be devastating.
    But then what if it is something else? His drive has changed, he is depressed, or is having a midlife crisis, etc… Then here I am, thin and suddenly FAR more attractive and desirable to other men. IF he does not give me the physical affection I CRAVE, then that might leave me in a very vulnerable position: Ignored by the man I love, but vigorously pursued by someone I don’t love. I value my marriage, I want my husband. I would NEVER advise a woman to withhold from her husband (unless there is infidelity and a risk of disease or something like that), because I know what it is like to be unwanted. I know what it is like to be absolutely clear about my intentions, and have the one I want to be with avoid me. It is heart-wrenching. I have tried to talk to him, and he offers me no explanation, and I know that there is not a case of infidelity. He simply is not interested in me -at all. what can I do?

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