Wait...Weight?!

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Last night my husband and I were having yet another fight in the on-going drama that I have come to refer to privately as our “state of the union” talks. He asked me what he could do that would make me feel more comfortable and more valued in our marriage. My response was that he could put me first, namely support me in front of our children, don’t undercut me or disparage me in public, and the like. I gave some examples of how he has not done that, and said that for me to know even if we disagree in public, to know that he has my back and that he is truly my partner would make me feel like he was putting some effort into our relationship and into making our marriage work. To date I feel as though he’s done nothing but demand that I change everything about myself in order to be his ideal woman—the Madonna in public, the whore in the bedroom.

He listened and opined that I was right, and perhaps he does need to do that more. Then I asked him the same question. His response? I could lose weight.

Now, I’m certainly not a twig like I was in my 20s and 30s, but I weigh LESS than when I got pregnant with our first child and I am five pounds heavier now than I was when I met him oh so many years ago. I am five feet, seven inches tall and I weigh between 135 and 140 pounds—higher if it’s before my period and I’m retaining water. My doctor tells me every year that my BMI is ideal. I wear a size four. I practice yoga regularly and I can run two to three miles at a slow jog without issue (cardio issue, that is, as if I did that, my bum knee would let me know just how unacceptable it is). I am fit and I am healthy.

My husband, on the other hand, who is considerably older than I am, is thirty pounds overweight and doesn’t take ANY care of himself—he doesn’t exercise at all, his diet is atrocious (not good for anyone, but especially bad for someone with diabetes), and his personal hygiene standards are lower than those of most of the population.

Which begs the question:  how will me losing weight contribute to anything other than his flagging libido and fantasies that I’m some nubile girl who has never had another lover but him and certainly never given birth to a child? I suppose all men want that to some extent, but isn’t it supposed to work that your spouse means more to you as time goes on because of what you’ve shared and what you’ve built instead of what you’ve left behind? Not to say that I don’t want to be my husband’s fantasy woman sometimes, but why must I rework my body—which has done amazing things in giving birth to and nourishing life—to suit that fantasy? Why can’t I just be myself and act like that fantasy once in a while?

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