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Is weight gain a reason to leave your SO/spouse?

mom2dolls

Shiny_Rock
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A friend of ours told his wife she needed to lose weight or he was leaving, he was no longer attracted to her due to her weight. She lost weight, they are still unhappy. I think it is often one of many things when this is used as the reason for a split. For many people, weight gain is a result of underlying issues.

I would never leave my husband for weight gain, just as he would not leave me for the same reason. However, we do have honest conversations about getting healthier and wanting to live a long life together. Our favorite activities are outdoor - hiking, the beach, bike riding etc. We got together later and want as much time together as possible. We try to be each other's support system instead of sabotage the other.

One thing to remember is confidence is attractive at any weight for both men and women.
 

Wink

Rough_Rock
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We have been married for nearly 48 years, and we have been together now for more than 50. There has been weight gain for both of us, but not to the point of being morbidly obese. There have been health issues dealt with and tender care offered by both of us when needed.

I was very lucky in my marriage. I married the right lady and we are still incredibly in love all these years later. I cannot imagine either of us ever leaving the other, no matter the health or weight issue.

Wink
 

LLJsmom

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I don't think so, not because of the weight. But isn't the weight usually just a symptom of much bigger personal issues? I gained a ton of weight during my first pregnancy, way more than I should have, because I was so depressed. I just ate everything I wanted, the second I wanted it, was disconnected and angry and withdrawn. Those are things that would turn a partner away. The food was just self-medication, and the weight gain a result, which could make a person more unattractive to a partner (other than being angry, disconnected and withdrawn). The weight gain is an obvious physical attribute that is easy to identify, but it is likely the other issues would drive my partner away. But no, I don't think either of us would leave, regardless of what was going on.
 

Alybetter

Shiny_Rock
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I vote YES. Sexual attraction and a healthy sex life is a fundamental component of most healthy romantic relationships. Once that attraction wanes, especially if it’s one-sided, trouble starts to creep it way into many facets of the relationship. If a partner started abusing alcohol or drugs, or began to gamble, or took on traits their partner was turned off or even repulsed by, it’s reasonable to expect ramifications. Obesity is no different.

Also, unfortunately obesity can be a physical manifestation of underlying emotional issues in many instances, which in itself may be a turn off. I imagine it can be equally frustrating and painful for the partner who is no longer attracted. Things like this can be extra compounded if the non-obese partner lives a healthy and somewhat active lifestyle. Inevitably these two partners would begin to grow apart.

I come from a family of quite heavy people. Some of them are the loveliest people you’d ever meet. Size of a person doesn’t equate to value. But I’ve seen extra weight take its toll on a number of marriages, including my own. This qualifies my YES vote.
 

Rhea

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Maybe yes.

Like @LemonMoonLex outdoor activities and fitness activities are a huge part of our life together. The ability to do those activities would become limited at some point. If he was active and just carried an extra few kgs, no big deal. If he wasn't active, that's the deal breaker whether that be at his current weight, with an extra few kgs, or a lot of extra kgs.

DH's parents are away mountain biking and they're in their 70's. I want that to be us. We regularly meet other rock climbers, cyclists, and canoeists in their 60's to 80's. Diving certification is still on both of our to do lists. I'm thrilled by the idea that in our 80's we have the potential to still bel on each other's belay, setting out down new biking trails, or riding the rapids in a canoe together. Those things are much more difficult to do when substantially overweight. I don't know how or if weight gain would affect my physical attraction to him, my concern is the things we enjoy doing together would no longer be possible.

In the interest of full disclosure, I'm about 3kg (6.6 pounds) heavier than ideal. I love my sport but I also love my cake. I'm obvs not talking about that extra few kg we sometimes carry.
 

Made in London

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I love my Husband no matter what his size. He did gain a lot of weight about 15 years ago but he gave up drinking beer & lost all his excess weight. Now I have gained weight (wine is the culprit) & I still walk around the house naked. DH has never commented about my weight gain (he better bloody not) but we have been married for 51 years so I guess we're in it for the long haul:bigsmile:
 

123ducklings

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Jamba I am enjoying your discussion starters! I have no judgment about what other people do in their relationships, but I think within a marriage commitment the decent thing to do is make sure both parties are on the same page from the start. If physical attraction is foundational to the marriage and weight gain is going to be a deal breaker, that should be known and discussed and not come as a surprise.

In my marriage weight gain would not be a deal breaker for either of us. (For context, I have always been a healthy weight.)
 

Lisa Loves Shiny

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I love my husband and find him attractive. I would still find him attractive if he gained weight. He's my guy, my number one and I only want him. We have been married a long time. For a few years I got chubby which bothered me but not him. He would say "bring that big butt over here for a slap." Naught guy. I lost the weight and kept it off but he actually prefers me chubby because he thinks it looks healthier on me.
 

MamaBee

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I love my husband and find him attractive. I would still find him attractive if he gained weight. He's my guy, my number one and I only want him. We have been married a long time. For a few years I got chubby which bothered me but not him. He would say "bring that big butt over here for a slap." Naught guy. I lost the weight and kept it off but he actually prefers me chubby because he thinks it looks healthier on me.

Haha! I love this @Lisa Loves Shiny!
 

elle_71125

Ideal_Rock
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For me, weight gain in itself isn’t a good reason to leave your spouse.
Having said that, I can understand the logic behind some people leaving.

I had a rough patch with my SO a few years back. He gained a significant amount of weight and, though it may sound selfish, I’ll admit it was difficult for me. I could no longer wrap my arms around him when we hugged. He had a beer belly that got in the way. He would sweat just putting on his shoes. It seemed like he was just giving up. As you could imagine, our sex life took a hit...and the intimacy that goes along with that did as well. We stopped doing all the activities that we loved (like bike rides, swimming, hiking, etc) because he wasn’t up to it. We weren’t connecting, on an emotional level, like we used to. I was worried about his health and about our marriage. Still, I understood that he was going through something. He was depressed and angry at everything... and he ate and drank to deal with those feelings. It was an emotionally draining time for both of us. I’m thankful that he eventually decided to turn things around and I was there to support him to the best of my abilities. It wasn’t an easy transition but I like to think our relationship is stronger because of it.

All of this to say...leaving your partner “because of weight gain” is usually about more than just weight gain.
 

HollyJane

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Without having read through others' responses first in this thread, I'll offer my thoughts.

I don't mind a man who's a little overweight. What I'm more concerned with is having a partner who can enjoy and participate in the lifestyle I enjoy - camping, horseback riding, etc. So, if he's so overweight or unhealthy that it impedes that, I will not want to seek a relationship with him. Now, if I am already in a relationship with someone, I will want him to try to stay healthy for me so that we have the best chance of having a good, long life together. And, it's only fair that I try to do the same. I believe it would breed resentment if either he or I were not dutiful to each other in our relationship. Things will happen, accidents etc, but that doesn't preclude us from trying to be there for each other. That's what is most important to me.

I've had a super hot body, and I've been fat. It's just a fact that I have gotten a lot more interest from men directed at me when thinner.

A friend of mine is morbidly obese. That's the medical term. His wife told him she left him because she couldn't deal with his weight. But, he saw her draw away long before that.
 

telephone89

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I’m going to say no, and I’m going to say I don’t buy pps excuses for answering yes.
Enjoying active activities as the only reason is BS, because your spouse could be in a car accident and not able to hike or swim or whatever. Would you leave them then? No? It doesn’t sound like it’s ACTUALLY about not being able to do the activity then. So much for in sickness and in health ‍♀️ Personally my relationship is based on so many more aspects than weight, looks, or ability to mountain climb. Those are all deeply shallow, surface things to me.
 

LemonMoonLex

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I’m going to say no, and I’m going to say I don’t buy pps excuses for answering yes.
Enjoying active activities as the only reason is BS, because your spouse could be in a car accident and not able to hike or swim or whatever. Would you leave them then? No? It doesn’t sound like it’s ACTUALLY about not being able to do the activity then. So much for in sickness and in health ‍♀️ Personally my relationship is based on so many more aspects than weight, looks, or ability to mountain climb. Those are all deeply shallow, surface things to me.

Lol if you actually read through my replies you'd see that I would stay with my partner if they were Injured and couldn't do those same activities anymore. I would only leave if the weight gain was excessive (meaning double his current weight) & after five years of encouraging him and being honest with him he refused simply due to laziness. Now if there was an underlying condition that caused the weight gain then that's a whole different story and no I wouldn't leave him. It's actually a really reasonable response. I don't shame you for yours so have some dignity and don't shame others. Some people aren't attracted to laziness.
 

Jambalaya

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A friend of mine is morbidly obese. That's the medical term. His wife told him she left him because she couldn't deal with his weight. But, he saw her draw away long before that.

That's so sad! If he lost the weight now, I wonder if she would want him back.
 

Jambalaya

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I must admit, I do wonder how far it is reasonable to expect unconditional love in a romantic relationship. I don't think any of us like to think about this. In this case, the subject is staying with a spouse who has severe, longterm weight problems which have no roots in illness. I think loving someone through thick and thin, no matter if they are 400 lbs because they just enjoy eating...well, isn't that more of a parent/child thing, or a biological relative thing? I was reading some marriage advice once from marriagebuilders.com, I think it was, and it said not to aim for unconditional love because then you end up putting up with too much, and it's just unrealistic, anyway. It said the love SHOULD be conditional - conditional on not being abusive, on doing your best to show up for your partner, to nurture all aspects of your relationship including the health and physical aspects, etc.

I also read something in a marital advice article once that said, "Most of us realize that unconditional love is really only possible between parents and children." That has always stuck with me.

Ultimately, human beings have desires, and needs, and sexual appetites, and I do wonder how far it is reasonable for someone to be OK with their only sexual relationship being ruined by needless, longterm, massive weight gain. I DO NOT LIKE these thoughts. I don't like this reality. I wish I lived in an ideal world where my inner beauty can be seen whatever my size. (I am 227 lbs.) But I don't think we do live in a world like that, sadly.
 

yssie

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Expectations and deal-breakers change over time, as do people and relationships. My deal-breakers used to be cheating and if we were an old couple sleeping in separate bedrooms. I figured why bother being married? Well, my husband can't climb the stairs without pain, so he sleeps downstairs. And I enjoy the extra space, tbh.
No one has cheated. I know he adores me. In fact, when he awoke from his coma, one of his first comments was, "I love you more than life itself." That keeps me from killing him when he's annoying. :lol-2:
Sometimes you read something and your mind just... Stops for a moment.

There is so much more to this post than what was said... It sounds like you and your husband have been to hell and back, and to hear that you’re still enjoying your lives together is incredibly heartwarming. Thank you for sharing your happiness with us ❤️
 

Ionysis

Brilliant_Rock
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824
I can totally understand the women who stays slightly chubby to avoid being tempted to flirt with other men. When your partner doesn’t give you attention, affection, physical intimacy etc. it can be very frustrating and upsetting. There must be a temptation to accept attention and admiration from outside in those circumstances. And the more attractive you are I guess the more “unfair” it would feel if your husband doesn’t even seem to notice you. If you are extremely attractive and get a lot of attention from other people it would also hugely highlight what you don’t get from the person you love. In those circumstances, if you want to try to minimise your unhappiness and the chances of being tempted to stray - even if it’s only seeking attention - making yourself less attractive actually is logical. If deeply sad.
 

telephone89

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Lol if you actually read through my replies you'd see that I would stay with my partner if they were Injured and couldn't do those same activities anymore. I would only leave if the weight gain was excessive (meaning double his current weight) & after five years of encouraging him and being honest with him he refused simply due to laziness. Now if there was an underlying condition that caused the weight gain then that's a whole different story and no I wouldn't leave him. It's actually a really reasonable response. I don't shame you for yours so have some dignity and don't shame others. Some people aren't attracted to laziness.

I didn’t tag anyone or call out anyone on purpose - I was responding to the general idea rather than each persons specific reasons. I went back and re-read your answer and you didn’t mention if an injury prevented them doing the activity, only if an injury or something caused weight gain. Personally I don’t really care what other people do in their relationships, it doesn’t impact me whatsoever. But I will point out what seems like flimsy reasoning. If you (general) don’t want to date or marry or stay married to someone overweight that’s fine, at least you own it. Pretending it’s because they won’t be able to mountain bike and that will catastrophically ruin your lives together, ehh not buying it.
 

LemonMoonLex

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I didn’t tag anyone or call out anyone on purpose - I was responding to the general idea rather than each persons specific reasons. I went back and re-read your answer and you didn’t mention if an injury prevented them doing the activity, only if an injury or something caused weight gain. Personally I don’t really care what other people do in their relationships, it doesn’t impact me whatsoever. But I will point out what seems like flimsy reasoning. If you (general) don’t want to date or marry or stay married to someone overweight that’s fine, at least you own it. Pretending it’s because they won’t be able to mountain bike and that will catastrophically ruin your lives together, ehh not buying it.

It actually sounds like you didn't comprehend much of my earlier post.

I thought me stating that I'd stay with my SO if the weight gain was due to injury or any illness, that it would obviously imply I'd stay if he just became injured without the weight gain. Lol

I just wouldn't be too quick to judge others or as in you put it "point out flimsy reasoning" when you really have no idea if their reasoning is true or not.
 
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telephone89

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It actually sounds like you didn't comprehend much of my earlier post.

I thought me stating that I'd stay with my SO if the weight gain was due to injury or any illness, that it would obviously imply I'd stay if he just became injured without the weight gain. Lol

I just wouldn't be too quick to judge others or as in you put it "point out flimsy reasoning" when you really have no idea if their reasoning is true or not.

Since you edited this post I will respond in more detail.
It is absolutely flimsy reasoning to say you will leave because (ex) they are fat and can’t mountain bike, and not mountain biking is detrimental to your relationship BUT if they were in a car accident and weren’t able to mountain bike it’s totally fine and no longer detrimental to the relationship. Obviously it isn’t about the mountain biking. I’m not sure why you think I didn’t ‘comprehend’ this, it’s pretty straight forward. I’ll say again, if you don’t want to date, marry, or stay married to someone overweight that’s your prerogative. But at least be honest and don’t hide behind mountain biking as the excuse lol.
 

Jambalaya

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^^ I had a conversation with a guy friend about the exact thing that Telephone and LemonMoon are discussing above. He said that weight gain that's NOT related to illness or injury is completely different from weight gain that can't be helped.

He said the reason is that in the first scenario, it's such a turn-off because the partner is choosing food and unhealthy choices over the romantic and sexual relationship, which seems to him like taking him for granted and not putting the relationship first.

But if the weight gain is due to a physical issue that can't be helped, he does not get the same feeling of him and the relationship being disrespected and put as a lower priority than food/unhealthy habits.

So I wonder if that's more a part of it than literally not being able to do activities bc of weight.
 

LemonMoonLex

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^^ I had a conversation with a guy friend about the exact thing that Telephone and LemonMoon are discussing above. He said that weight gain that's NOT related to illness or injury is completely different from weight gain that can't be helped.

He said the reason is that in the first scenario, it's such a turn-off because the partner is choosing food and unhealthy choices over the romantic and sexual relationship, which seems to him like taking him for granted and not putting the relationship first.

But if the weight gain is due to a physical issue that can't be helped, he does not get the same feeling of him and the relationship being disrespected and put as a lower priority than food/unhealthy habits.

So I wonder if that's more a part of it than literally not being able to do activities bc of weight.

I'm glad most people understand that it's not about the weight or just not being able to do those activities, but about much more which boils down to letting oneself go and not caring to a point that they not only put their health at extreme risk but their relationship.
 

telephone89

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^^ I had a conversation with a guy friend about the exact thing that Telephone and LemonMoon are discussing above. He said that weight gain that's NOT related to illness or injury is completely different from weight gain that can't be helped.

He said the reason is that in the first scenario, it's such a turn-off because the partner is choosing food and unhealthy choices over the romantic and sexual relationship, which seems to him like taking him for granted and not putting the relationship first.

But if the weight gain is due to a physical issue that can't be helped, he does not get the same feeling of him and the relationship being disrespected and put as a lower priority than food/unhealthy habits.

So I wonder if that's more a part of it than literally not being able to do activities bc of weight.

So I wonder if that's more a part of it than literally not being able to do activities bc of weight.

This very well could be! It's much easier (and perhaps more PC) to blame it on not being able to do these super speshul activities together when in reality it's not about the activity. That's kind of the double standard/excuse I was trying to highlight. Thanks for breaking it down, I like what your friend says.
 

Elizabeth35

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My DH has gained weight since we met. He is still the adorable and special man I fell in love with. He has struggled with weight since he was a child.
My commitment to him is through anything.
Would I be bringing him food in bed if he got to the My 600 lb. life stage--of course not.
I continue to encourage healthy eating and drag him out on walks every day.
For him, it will be a lifelong struggle and as his partner, I'm there to support him.

He had a devastating knee injury a few years ago that had him in a straight leg brace for 2 months. He didn't drive for 5 months and had a long bout of PT to get so he could walk without a cane or walker.
I can't imagine leaving him because I could no longer do a physical activity that I enjoyed. I changed my expectations based on his injuries and we enjoy what we CAN do. And if I wanted to do an activity that he cannot--he would encourage me to do what I enjoy without him.
 

kenny

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... I would only leave if the weight gain was excessive (meaning double his current weight) & after five years of encouraging him and being honest with him he refused simply due to laziness. ...

FWIW, some people's high BMI can be the result of things other than laziness, for example addiction

There are several forms of addiction.
Drugs prescribed by doctor, and illegal
Alcohol
Tobacco
Gambling
Gaming, including video - recently added to DSM-5 ... Medicine's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
Shopping
Plastic Surgery
Tanning
Exercise
Social media
Sex

When someone gives up addiction to one thing, it is usually replaced with an addiction to another thing.
Yes, and for some it is unfortunate priorities or choices.
 
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123ducklings

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He said the reason is that in the first scenario, it's such a turn-off because the partner is choosing food and unhealthy choices over the romantic and sexual relationship, which seems to him like taking him for granted and not putting the relationship first.

It seems like the subtext here is that he’s entitled to control his partner’s body as a condition of the relationship. “I am turned off that my partner eats what they want and does what they want with their own body instead of eating what I want them to and doing what I want them to in order to make their body sexually appealing to me.”

Doesn’t sound like much of a partnership if the participants don’t have body autonomy, but that’s just my two cents. If this arrangement works for both parties, more power to you.
 

Jambalaya

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I have VERY mixed feelings on this topic, ducklings. On the one hand, I'd liked to be loved for my inner beauty. On the other, I don't know if it's reasonable to become very overweight for no physical reason and expect your partner - who can't get their sex and romance needs met by anyone else but you - to be attracted to you the same.

I can tell you that as someone who's 5' 3.5 and currently weighing 225 lbs (down from 235), no one is loving me for my inner beauty! It's a great pity, because I have so much to offer.

ETA: I guess it depends on how much an individual places on the romance and sex and desire aspects of a relationship as opposed to being family together, having common interests, being friends, having history, etc.

I feel that this is going to vary HUGELY between individuals. I'm more of the latter, but I can see it the other way, too. Being so fat myself, I've read a lot of opinions about this online. It seems that for some people, being cut off from feeling sexually attracted to their partner but staying in the relationship feels very depressing. I think everyone needs different things, and although I'm not a big one for putting sex above other things, I don't think it's unreasonable for others to feel that it's a hugely important part of a relationship.

I read a relationship advice book written by a divorce lawyer, and in it he said that marriage is basically about sex!!! I was REALLY surprised. To me, sex is a small part of longterm relationships. But people vary. I don't think it necessarily makes them wanting to control the other's body; I think it means that the physical aspect of an exclusive sexual relationship is very important to them, and that they want to be attracted to their partner and have that sex and romance with them.

Edited.
 
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