Question: I love my husband and always will but I no longer want to make love to him because of the way he left himself. I know it’s a sin not to want to be with my husband because of his weight, but I can’t help it. What do I do?

That’s a brave question. In our day of emotional counterattacks against the superficial standards of beauty pushed to us by television, magazines, and movies, you risk being reprimanded for not accepting your husband as he is, without any regard for his appearance. No wonder you feel wrong.

It is true that we have an innate need to be loved for who we are and not for what we look like or what we do. We long to be loved without ever earning it.

It is also true that the superficial beauty standards imposed by our world are ridiculous and unfair, leading some to do foolish things with their bodies or with their souls. A fellow guest on a TV talk show in Los Angeles told me she’d had fourteen plastic surgeries and was scheduled for more. Although she is so polite that I felt sad that she has to be completely remade to think she is lovable.

However, none of that means that what you feel is wrong. You say that you love your husband the way he is: you just don’t want to make love to him. I assume this is either because you are no longer attracted to him, or you are actually bummed out by his extra weight. Interestingly, if he was heavy when you fell in love with him, you wouldn’t feel that way now. You’ll find its extra weight a turn on rather than a turn off. But that’s not the case with you, and that’s okay. What you feel is not wrong.

Whether we like it or not, a person sometimes loses physical attraction to their spouse as an emotional response to a change in the other’s appearance, such as a significant weight gain. This does not happen with everyone whose wife becomes obese, but it does happen. It is not an act of will, but an emotional reaction. Part of that comes from feeling disrespected. You might think, “If he loved me, he wouldn’t let this happen. It’s not like he has a physical problem that he can’t help. He can control this. Why wouldn’t he do it for me?”

Also, part of it may be the way you uniquely combine. Some things attract you physically; Some things repulse you. For example, if your husband comes home muddy, smelling like fresh fish, and wants to make love, you won’t feel guilty for rejecting his advances and demanding he’s clean and odorless before lying down next to you. This same principle is why you refuse to make love because he is overweight. Your love and care have not disappeared, but just as you will be repulsed by the smell of your filthy hunter, so will you be repulsed by the sight of his body, which no longer has any semblance of its former tone and form. You’re still in love, you just don’t want to make love. It is not your heart that is holding you back. It is your physical senses. The traits you were passionate about are gone, and your disrespect drives you away.

Because you react in this way, other factors may negatively affect your marriage. Your spouse may feel rejected and unloved. The further away you are, the worse his negative feelings will get and he may treat himself to more food. He doesn’t feel loved, so he eats. You don’t feel respected, you may even feel repelled, and therefore emotionally distanced from him. I suspect you are in a cycle that will only get worse until you do something to stop it.

so, what are you doing?

First, reassure your husband several times each day that you love him just the way he is and that you are committed to staying with him for life. Second, open your heart and explain how you feel about his weight. Be honest about all of your feelings. Third, ask him if he will stick to a diet and exercise for your sake as well as for his own well-being. Help in whatever way he will allow. Encourage him to seek reputable professional guidance.

If you work on this together, with honesty and openness, you will bring passion back into your marriage.

Joe Beam
LovePath International
© Joe Beam. All rights reserved.

Categories: overweight


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