I had been in a relationship with an army officer for the last five years. He was my senior in school and we got into a relationship after two years of just being ‘friends’. But we had our fair share of struggles such as my weight gain relationship problems. Yes, you read that right. My weight gain caused changes in our relationship dynamics tremendously.
The way we loved each other when we were younger, I thought there was no way something like this could ever turn our relationship sour. I thought we loved each other immensely for who we saw each other as people and outward appearance was not accounted for. But that was not the case.
How Gaining Weight Affected Our Relationship
He was always very sure about me, would talk to my mother about marriage, and introduced me to his parents within the first few weeks of our relationship. I have seen him go from being a jock and a student body representative to serving in the US Army. We have really seen each other grow and evolve. Ours was a perfect love story, with a few problems now and then which we managed to get past. He was adored by everyone in my family and me by his. What else do you need, right?
But who knew we would then run into weight gain relationship problems. Our problems began when I started to gain weight due to medical issues. He began asking me to lose weight, sometimes politely, sometimes rudely. I would try, just to make him happy but personally, I was not very bothered.
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His brother’s wedding
Then came his brother’s wedding, I was to meet his whole clan and all of his extended family ‘with my weight’ and was very nervous, but he calmed me down saying everyone will love me for the person that I am and will overlook my weight.
On the D-day, everyone showered me with immense love and blessings… I was on cloud nine. He made me feel so special throughout the ceremony and I slept dreaming of our own wedding that night. Weight and relationships hardly seemed like a real problem to me then.
Our weight gain relationship problems started…
The next day, he was supposed to leave the city to be posted down in Florida. I was still in my happy bubble, but he came and said the words that burst it completely. He fought with me over my makeup that day, he said I looked really huge. We got into a huge argument but like always, everything settled down and we were back to normal.
A few weeks later, we decided to get engaged and since then we have been fighting. He has said things which haunt me day and night: things about my weight, about how makeup doesn’t suit me, how my family is not willing to splurge on my wedding, and how all his relatives were saying that I am overweight and no one liked me.
I couldn’t believe my ears and told him to postpone the engagement. I said that now we will get engaged only if I lose weight and when and if his family finds me good enough for him! He shamelessly agreed. Who knew gaining weight in a relationship could make someone say such hurtful words to someone else?
Now, we are not fighting but we don’t talk like we used to. We have both changed, I am making conscious efforts to not get involved in his life deeply and to be indifferent. He is somewhat the same.
What I miss is the ‘I love yous’ before hanging up. It has stopped for the 1st time in five years.
He also doesn’t talk as much about marriage and ‘our’ life after marriage as he used to. He still calls up as much as possible but it is not the same now.
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Weight and relationships made me lose my confidence
I have lost my confidence, self-esteem and self-respect. I am ashamed of myself for going back to someone who ridiculed me and my entire family, has shown no remorse, and yet I find that I can’t break up with him. Probably because I have given five years to this relationship. I have lived like a wife without marriage, taking care of his family when he was posted away, listening to his over-possessive mother’s taunts and accusations without responding.
I have given too much to move on and not regret it instantly. I fear that I won’t be able to get over him. I fear that our families will be shattered if we break up. So, I try to make him end this relationship but he won’t even do that, he says that nothing has changed. But everything has changed for me.
I am unable to go on or to end it. I am trapped.
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I considered breaking up with him
Every morning, I wake up and decide to make myself strong enough to break up with him, and every night I sleep with the thought that maybe I should give in and lose weight to please him. I know that the thought, ‘Should I lose weight for my husband or boyfriend?’ is problematic. The problem is not my weight, it is the relationship.
I thought that if I don’t marry him, I feel like I am losing a big portion of my life which is him and his family. If I get married, eventually I will forget this phase but I know that in doing so I would be giving up my individuality. I am standing at a crossroad, where whichever road I take I will have to struggle a lot to survive; whichever road I take, I will lose a lot. If only I could decide what is worth giving up – this relationship or my voice.
Expert Advice On Weight Gain Relationship Problems
Dr. Falguni Vasavada-Oza is Professor of Advertising Strategy at MICA. She is a speaker, Social Media influencer and a fashion blogger advocating Body Positivity and Women Empowerment.
First and foremost, three cheers to this girl who penned down her dilemma as I can see so many young women pass through this cycle of wanting to continue and wanting to quit a relationship. This is an interesting narrative as the couple knows each other as “individuals” for the last 5 years and their relationship has progressed over time.
In relationships that gradually progress to the next level, there is a higher expectation of maturity and appreciation of each other as human beings. This is clearly not a case of love at first sight so the boy did not fall for her beauty or face or skin.
Now when the stage has come to give a name and a serious commitment to this relationship, how come he has started focusing on her so-called flaws. The things that did not matter when in love all of a sudden are becoming serious concerns now and that too after so many years?
Respect comes before love
In my opinion, “respect” comes before “love” in any relationship, if you want to grow with the other person and live happily ever after. Respect means you believe in equality, you give space, you accept the differences, you acknowledge the fact that both are two different individuals.
Understanding among couples is an outcome of respect for each other. I strongly would advise that the girl should happily quit and treat the accusations and insults as a strong signal of what life ahead is going to be even if there are weight gain intimacy issues. Love cannot bloom without respect and hence this is the right time to call it quits and strongly move on!
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As far as losing weight and self-grooming is concerned, do it for yourself. Lose weight because you want to not because someone has body-shamed you and you are giving in to the societal norm of how a young woman should look like? If you’re one of the women who feels ‘husband makes comments about my weight’ and want to change yourself to make him happy, that is the wrong reason.
Body shaming is a big evil and it kills the confidence of young men and women at a very young age. We need to accept ourselves and raise our self-esteem in order to make the world see us beyond our physical appearance. And such a lovely life you have ahead of you, do not ruin it by marrying the mistake of your life and letting weight gain relationship problems overcome you!
It is possible that there are some stressors, arguments, conflicts or insecurities that are making you binge-eat your way through the relationship. But you should know if it is your relationship making you gain weight or some other reason.
Yes. Relationship stress can make you eat to deal with the pain.