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The Issue Of Weight Gain. Who's To Blame?

Apologies if this is the wrong group to post this in but I have seen another story in here on a similar topic. So I think this post might be relevant to that particular post as well as to other issues pertaining to sexless marriages.

Bear in mind that this is coming from a single man. I only wish to express my opinions on the subject and would be interested to hear what everyone else thinks.

So if no one objects, I shall begin. :-)
This response was in reference to another post - Why Females Gain Weight After Marriage

My response:


I do not think that the writer of this piece is asking for perfection, just attraction. I like women in all shapes and sizes including women with full figures, but full can become fat in an instant. Is it shallow of me to not be so attracted once that happens? One thing you need to realise is that men are visually stimulated creatures. I believe women are more verbally stimulated. For this reason it might be difficult for a woman to comprehend why looks are so important to a man.

Think of it this way. If a man used to say the nicest things to you, and then stopped making the effort to do so once you got married. How would that make you feel? Betrayed?

It's not as simple as it may seem. It is not a simple matter of exercising. Issues of self esteem and the individuals mental health must also be taken into account. A lot has to be asked of the man in the picture. Did he stop complementing and encouraging his woman. By encourage I do not mean telling her she needs to lose weight. I mean taking her out to places where she would have to put the effort in to look good. Restaurants, places where formal dress is expected, the beach or even the gym (less subtle perhaps).

Before a woman puts in the effort to want to maintain the flames in the relationship, there has to be a flame worth keeping alight. And both parties are responsible for keeping this flame alight. Sometimes fault lies with one party more than the other, but often times blame can be assigned to both parties.

Openness is definitely essential in any relationship. If you do not feel comfortable or competent enough to maintain this openness then it would probably be wise to seek professional help. Sometimes all you need is an unbiased opinion to hear both sides of the story. To interpret how both parties feel, and to help the other understand what his or her spouse feels.

That's just what I think.
Scorpio1987 Scorpio1987 22-25, M 8 Responses Nov 16, 2012

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Food has become my sex, so yeah...I have gained weight. So has he. I am sure he doesn't find me as attractive as when I was model-thin, but he hates scrawny women. He likes boobs and butts and curves...he's been into women bigger than I. I think I am in danger of becoming fat, because as I said, food is my one sensual pleasure. When you feel empty and unfulfilled, running to the gym just isn't satisfying in the way a big, gooey cheeseburger is.

I don't think weight is a major issue. Thin people can also have a SM.

I did gain about 20 pounds after I got married, but have stayed at the same weight for the past 9 years. My H only lost interest in sex 4 years ago. I do fix my hair, put on make up, keep up my mani-pedis, and try to wear nice clothes (love Clinton and Stacy on What Not to Wear).

On the flipside, my husband put on a few pounds as well and that hasn't stopped me from desiring him.

Maybe for some, weight is an issue, but I don't think for many.

Many people in this group have done countless things to improve themselves in the wake of sexual rejection, including losing weight, to no avail. You have hit a cross section of people many of whom have tried and tried and tried again to make things work before even finding this group, so whereas your theory may hold true for some people, it equally doesn't for many others.

There is an additional issue here that weight gain is a very common excuse given by men who need an excuse for not wanting to be sexually intimate with their wives. Weight gain for women can be a touchy subject and knowing this, passive aggressive personalities will happily wield the stick of weight because they know it will have a huge negative effect on their partner. In these cases, once the weight is lost, there will be another excuse and another... and another but the weight one will be thrown in for additional effect.

It is easy to say that once you truly love someone, superficial things like weight don't matter, but until you truly do love someone 'warts and all' and accept your own flaws as part of that, it won't mean a thing.

For Better or Worse, Part II: Why Does Marriage Pack on Pounds?Exactly why is it that married people get fatter?

Published on June 18, 2010 by Terese Weinstein Katz, Ph.D. in Thin from Within - Psychology Today

Exactly why is it that married people get fatter? Last week I explored one piece of the problem, looking at how our mates' feelings, and our perceptions of those feelings, can sabotage diets. The marital weight issue reemerged two days later, this time in The New York Times' "For Better or Worse, for B.M.I." Citing statistics on the partnered vs. the single, this item detailed how the partnered indeed gain more weight over time than singles. It noted, though, that those who are actually married gain even more than those in unmarried relationships. This holds true for both women and men.

Researchers tend to explain these differences in terms of lifestyle. They speculate that those with partners become more sedentary, contend with post-pregnancy weight, perhaps eat out more often. Commonly, also, they point to incentive. (This reminds me of a cartoon with a jubilant bride kicking up her heels-"Hurray, no more weight watchers!!") What's implied, of course, is that we try harder to look good when we haven't landed a mate. "Why try so hard afterward?"

I think a better question is "Why is it so much harder to care for yourself after marriage?" For a healthy diet and a weight bring more than just mate-landing good looks. They also support better physical health, longevity, vitality, and self-esteem. Lifestyle factors and reduced incentive certainly can contribute to marital weight gain. But as the sabotaging partner issue makes clear, there's a lot going on in relationships that can complicate things. And shouldn't having a partner make self-care easier, at least in some ways?

Sometimes, caring for oneself and attending to others feels fundamentally incompatible. And for many this remains true even without practical issues to solve-like finding time to exercise when you've got kids.

I recently explored this issue with 40-something businesswoman I'll call Rita. She'd spent several years during her teens and twenties caring for a very sick mother. She rarely took time to attend to her own needs, fearing that her mother would suffer in pain or feel unbearably bereft in her absence. Recently, Rita's older partner has suffered bouts of illness. During this time it has seemed nearly impossible for Rita to stick with a diet plan essential to her own health. When her partner is doing well, the food preparation and planning goes smoothly and easily. This is not a matter of Rita's partner insisting on fattening meals, bringing sweets into the house or demanding unreasonable amounts of attention. Rita is coming to realize that she simply doesn't, and sometimes feels she can't, focus on herself, when feeling vigilante about someone she loves.

While the conflict between caring for oneself and others may seem like a more feminine issue, it's not necessarily restricted to women. An overweight single father I know (I'll call him Brian), feels that he just can't keep good food in the house. His kids like the cookies and chips, he'll say. He feels he can't insist on more home dinners, even though he and his teens are all capable cooks. There's just too much else to do, he feels, even on weekends. He realizes that these explanations don't make perfect sense. But he says, "When they're at their mother's, it's just so much easier. When they're here there's just so much going on." It's been hard for him to grapple with how guilty he feels when he asserts his own needs in the presence of the kids, as if they'd really suffer if he limited the junk food at home or said "no" to eating out more often.

For some, weight clearly fluctuates with relationship status-weight rises when in relationship and falls when not. While many factors obviously contribute to this pattern, I often notice it among those who tend toward overresponsibility for their "others". These same people may gravitate toward, or attract, "others" who do less and need more from their mates. It's hard then, indeed, for any focus to remain on such things as carving out exercise time or experimenting with healthier cooking.

So we might think of maintaining one's weight after marriage as part of maintaining post-marital health. And essential to that is attending to how we care for ourselves day in and day out as we remain attentive to our mates. This could prove as important as keeping up with dental care and regular check-ups-things for which we often do maintain our "incentive" .

There is ongoing research on this issue. While this does not address the issue of attraction, the entire developed world is struggling with the issue of obesity.

Most of the women I have been with were big girls. One of the best lovers I ever had was about 300 lbs.

I suppose it is a matter of personal preference. I know plenty of men who stray from their women once they put on a certain amount of weight. Some may deem that to be shallow. I don't know. Is it?

Scorpio, my friend, your suggestions are fine where the relationship is a little bit off. But most of us are in marriages where the other person has some kind of deep phobic reaction to intimacy

Thank you for that explanation. I just thought I'd ask the question. Sort of like exploring every avenue in this very complicated situation. I do feel as though more often than not men are afraid of admitting that they've just lost that attraction they once had for fear of being attacked and being branded shallow etc. Not for the first time I've seen someone raise the subject only to be slandered. I think it is a topic worth discussing. However it is clear many disagree. Thank you nonetheless. :-)

we also see a lot of people comfort eating because of the consistent rejection - putting on weight BECAUSE of sexual rejection.

Elk, like ++++++++++++++++

I think you are so off the mark in terms of what is being discussed around here, you might want to just go elsewhere. It's like going to a group about anorexia and asking whether people like apples or oranges better. WTF are you thinking???

Someone raised the subject of weight being a possible issue with regards to how that might affect a relationship. I don't think it is ludicrous to simply ask the question. Could weight gain play a possible factor in sexless marriages? It's not merely about one's personal preference as far as size is concerned. It also has to do with the mindset of the person that has gained weight. Whether their self-esteem and image is affected by other underlying issues and whether that in turn could contribute to the lack of sexual arousal on both sides. I am asking the question; Is there no possibility that both parties could feel less sexually aroused in the event of such changes to the body? I think it's a fair question. If it is not please enlighten me. I'm only trying to understand.

If you are not attracted to women who are overweight (whatever that means to you), and you make that clear, and if someone becomes overweight you discuss with them and try what you said above to help them take care of themselves, and you are honest at all times, then you are NOT a person who is having the issues that are described in this forum.

If however, you decide you no longer like someone because they are overweight, and then you refuse to discuss it but instead refuse them sex or affection, leaving them blowing in the wind with no rhyme or reason, then you are likely passive/aggressive and your spouse is likely on this forum.

However, the VAST MAJORITY of the stories on here state: he/she wont' sleep with me NO MATTER WHAT SIZE I AM. he/she won't tell me WHY it's an SM, won't discuss the true issues. etc.

The issue you are talking about is a non-issue on this site. Someone with a preference for a certain body type, making it clear, communicating, etc., is not someone likely to end up in SM.

Might be wise to read a lot of stories and responses in a group - particularly this group - before you launch, Scorpio.

Maybe if you did that now, you might elect to return and modify your story somewhat, or kill it.

Tread your own path.

Thank you for that piece of advice bazzar. I know this is a touchy subject and I do not mean to offend. I'm just curious to hear people's experiences on this subject. I know I'll get some heated responses as there are many here who have suffered a great deal in such union. But I do believe that honesty in confronting the thoughts and mindsets behind a perceived problem can be helpful. I'm here to learn, so I'll see how that goes. Thanks for the heads up. :-)