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THE HUSBAND FACTOR...

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

First let me open up this blog with saying, my daughter will be four weeks old in a few days and I gained 45 pounds in my pregnancy with her. Most of it was water weight in the last two months (and she weighed 9lbs 8oz) and I am now back to only 2 pounds above my start weight.
I was 300, I'm now 302. I'm pretty proud of that. Most of the water weight came off pretty fast but there was some definite actual weight gain in there and that's not been so easy to get off.

Now onto the topic that I actually wanted to talk about. Husbands. Let me say this, I'm going to try to make mine and my husband's positions both very clear in this blog. I will not appreciate anyone bashing my husband.

Most heavy women who have a thin husband must know how I feel, year after year. Even if he never says anything, you can almost feel the disappointment in the air. People always say that you should lose the weight for yourself. That the weight-loss will never be permanent if you are doing it for someone else. Well, why not? People use all kinds of different things for motivation. Why can't I be doing it for myself and for my husband and for my children?

Why do I want to lose the weight for me? Because I want to be healthy and not leave my family behind because I die an early death. But honestly, a lot of it just has to do with how I feel about myself. How I feel every single day when I look in that mirror. Especially when I step out of the shower. There I am, staring at myself with nothing to cover the ugliness. And you know what? Why should I think that my husband has to like it when I don't like it? I don't accept myself the way that I am. I don't like looking at it. I don't feel confident. So why should I expect him to accept this body the way that it is? Why should I expect him to like it? Why should I expect him to accept it as beautiful when I cannot? It is a double standard, pure and simple. Should I expect him to love me? Yes. That's not what we're talking about here.

Right now I'm speaking out for all the women who live in silence. Those who don't want to say anything about their husband even though they feel terrible that he can't accept the way that they look.

I've been on this journey with my husband and his own demons for 17 years now. I know that men are very visual. I know that they like something pretty to look at. And if they want to look at it somewhere else, that's their fault. Not ours. But it hurts. I know that it does.

I hate walking past skinny women in their pretty little dresses and knee-high boots and wonder if I will ever look that way. Wonder if I looked that way would my husband love me more than he does now? When he finally be able to accept my body if I look like that girl? I hate thinking that way. I hate being paranoid. I hate comparing myself to people that I'm not sure I could ever even look like anyway. Am I setting myself up for failure?

Without giving too much detail, I keep thinking about how things were before we were married and when we were first married. This was 15, 16, 17 years ago now. He weighed about 155 when I met him. Yep, pretty scrawny. Lol. I weighed about 165 but was really struggling with my weight at that time. In the two years that we dated I gained about 35 pounds and quickly lost 15 right before our wedding. That put me at 185 we got married. I was not happy weighing that much, but my husband reassured me that he it never did like a girl who was skin and bones and that I was beautiful to him. In fact, that was his nickname for me. Beautiful.

(Edit: added after 2 comments)
{My husband and I had a lot of rough years of marriage. Part of those were the issues that he was having in regards to how other women look. I knew that I didn't match up and him looking at them (I won't go into detail but I'm sure you can figure it out) proved it. And when we would fight or there would be trouble in a relationship, it always got blamed on my weight too. He would ask me how I could possibly expect him to be attracted to me when I was no longer the person that he married. Now, don't jump to conclusions. He never just came right out and said cruel things. It usually took a little prompting from me, but it usually got boil down to he was not happy with how I looked or my weight. Now, years later, his approach to me and my weight is finally different. It is a breath of fresh air. But you have to understand, I had 14 years of feeling like I was the one destroying our marriage. Rather, my weight. He admits, now that he is seeking help for his issues, that he was very unhappy with himself and allowed that unhappiness to be used to project blame on to other people. But 14 years worth of words cannot be un-said. They are still in my head.}

Fast forward 15 years until now. A few nights ago we were laying in bed and I asked him,"I know that it's going to take a while for me to lose the weight and get to my goal weight. But, what can I do in the meantime to make myself more sexy or appealing to you?"

He shocked me by starting off with several things that had nothing to do with my body or my weight. He told me that the other day when I walked into the living room and brought him a drink and a little treat out of the blue, it was very sweet and made me appealing to him. He told me that lately I've been a much softer and gentler person and that was extremely appealing to him. He told me that he is in awe over how well I'm dealing with the addition of the baby to the other four children. How well I've handled healing from the C-section in addition to having a three-year-old and two babies by myself every day. He even told me that he's been kind of bragging to other people about me. He told me that when I follow through with something that he specifically requests of me, like making the bed every day or getting a specific chore/errand done on the day that he requests it, that it conveys respect to him and that is very attractive.

When I asked him if there was anything I could do to make myself physically more attractive to him, he really couldn't think of anything. Pretty much just losing weight. That was difficult to accept. He said that he could see that I like to do my hair and makeup and put myself together well pretty much every day. That I always like to present myself as a very "put together" person. Well, that surprised me. I figured I was putting myself together pretty much for myself. He never says a word about how I look. I asked him if he ever thought that I looked cute or pretty. He said yes, but he never says anything because he doesn't think of it. Why? Does he not think of it because he would only think I was truly beautiful if I had a beautiful body too? I have to admit, it's the same reason why I don't think of myself as beautiful. I see a girl who has a nice face and can pull herself together. But I want the total package.

In that conversation I really thought that he might tell me if I bought some new lingerie it would be nice. But he didn't. He told me that stuff doesn't mask what's underneath. He already knows what my body looks like, even if I try to cover it. Now, don't start judging. He wasn't saying it in a mean way at all. In fact lately, when I start to get self-conscious and pull the covers over me when we're together, he'll tell me not to worry about it. I feel very exposed, but he said that he wants me to not worry about how I look and think about what's actually happening in the moment. He told me that I would be more attractive to him if I was less self-conscious about me. I can understand that. This is something that two people are doing together, and yet one is very focused on self. I don't want to be selfish.

Where is this long, rambling blog leading to? Here it is. I've not been able to get his words out of my head since he said them. In fact, I tear up every time I hear them in my head. My husband reminded me that I was not a skinny girl when we met, nor when we got married. But he let me just the way I was. Including my body. He said, "I used to be able to press my lips against any part of your body that I wanted to. And I loved it. And I really miss that."

So this is for all of you women out there, like me, who struggle with the fact that your husband is at a much healthier weight (and better body image ) than you are. And you beat yourself up over it. There are people who may tell you that your husband is a jerk because he can't accept you the way that you are. Just think of the words of my husband. Maybe it never crossed your mind to really think about the fact that he misses that person too.

My goal?
To lose this weight for myself. And for the husband that I love...



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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • _RAMONA
    Again... BEST blog. Your willingness to be forthright and honest without apology gives me hope and JOY! You WILL do this, and all of the reasons will be right!

    {{{{{{{{{{ HUGS }}}}}}}}}}}

    2327 days ago

    Comment edited on: 7/14/2014 6:26:16 PM
  • no profile photo CD14554190
    Here are my thoughts from the beginning of your blog through the end:

    Your reasons for wanting to lose weight are your own. No one should dictate your motivation. What works for you works for you. Roll your eyes when anyone tells you otherwise & do it for whatever reasons you want.

    I think a lot of people probably have the same thought that you do. I thought about how sad it was that you feel bad about yourself - but - I think everyone, no matter what their size, has things about themselves they don't like. Even though this is the first time I've come across your Sparkpage (I think), reading your blog made me like you. I want to hug you & make you feel better!

    When I got to the part about you asking hubby what you can do to be more appealing - his response - wow! I loved that. My heart melted. I'm sure you already know this but I'll say it anyway - there are people with perfect bodies & that's all they have going for them. Who wants to be like that? Not me.
    I have some body issues as well and reading what your husband said makes me feel better. What he said is probably what most men would say. Your blog has helped me today! I'm going to think about special things I can do for my hubby & stop worrying so much about what he thinks of my big thighs & little boobs.

    Anyway, I admire your courage to write out something so personal. Thank you. I think it just helped me.
    2438 days ago
  • no profile photo CD14466082
    I too think the way you do. My husband was in the Navy and physically in much better shape than me. I bought a new scale last friday and like an idiot tried it at the store and then asked him to get on and I was in tears. I weigh SEVENTY pounds more than him That's HORRIBLE! I was so embarrassed, upset, and sad. He hugged me and said that it's ok that its never been about my looks that he loves me deeper than that. The he likes curvy girls and finds me very sexy. I like you don't know how he can love all this and think it's sexy when to me it looks very ugly. I'm with you. I want to loose weight and keep trying to loose weight because I dont want o feel envious of these skinny women looking all cute in clothes. I want to look and feel like them. I do this for him, my son, and lastly for me. I do it so that I don't have to put up with ugly looks from people because of my size. I hate having a cute face but not a cute body. WE'RE GOING TO DO THIS! I want to work with you on this because I too want to weigh less than my hubby ;-)
    2438 days ago
  • KATHY-FREDERICK
    I actually think his answers were very thoughtful. My husband often calls me beautiful but I know it's because he loves me, not because I am currently his ideal size. It's been a struggle since we had our little one 4 years ago...actually it's only been the last 3. I did very well after I had her, I almost got down to my goal weight when I changed jobs and lost focus. Now it's so hard to get back on track. Maybe soon :)
    2438 days ago
  • KALTSCHWAGER
    I agree with what 1crazydog said, completely. All I saw from what you wrote is how much your husband loves you. I thought it was so sweet, actually! I'm jealous, actually, because my husband doesn't say such sweet things to me. I know he loves me no matter what, but I want to hear it!

    Feel blessed, today.

    emoticon
    2438 days ago
  • 1CRAZYDOG
    My dear, from what I have read, your DH really ISN'T that centered on the physical aspects of your relationship in terms of how you look weight-wise. Now, you have to understand I am in maintenance and have been where you are 4 yrs. ago. I had all kinds of assumptions about how DH felt. BUT I learned through conversations with him, just as the one you had with your DH, that my assumptions were incorrect! My DH's focus when I started on this journey was for me to be healthy (because I had health issues directly related to my weight -- 200 lbs. on a 4 ft. 10.5 frame. Not healthy!)

    Here's the deal. You need to take the time each day to find at least 1 or 2 things you love . . . I mean LOVE . . . about yourself (I love my eyes). Focus on that! Realize you are beautiful! The weight we are at doesn't determine our beauty!

    So much of this process . . . and it is a process . . . is mental, emotional and spiritual, besides the physical. Until we really analyze ourselves and love ourselves, the physical changes we desire might lag.

    AND the other thing to remember is this. We didn't get to where we're at overnight, so the changes we desire won't happen overnight either. So . . . that means we have to take it day-by-day, step-by-step. It IS slow, but that means the changes will be lasting. But it has to START with that first step of loving yourself.

    Think of how much your baby loves you as Mama! And your DH from what you've written really loves you too! That, my dear, is fabulous! Revel in it. Feel it.
    2438 days ago
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