As I put my clothes back on, I thought about whether we needed to talk about what just happened, or if I should just chalk it up to an “off” day and ignore it. As I sat at the dining room table and he wandered into the kitchen, I just blurted it out.
“You really didn’t seem into it today. Is everything ok?”
I expected something along the lines of being stressed or tired, but he thought about it for a moment, and I watched him as he carefully chose his words and managed to say the LAST thing I would expect him to say.
“I feel like some of the attraction is gone.”
I felt like I got punched in the stomach. My husband of three years, together for six, was telling me that he wasn’t attracted to me anymore. I managed to stay calm and ask him what he thought caused this change. Was there someone else? Is he falling out of love with me? He denied both, and I believed him, but I could sense there was something he wasn’t telling me. After some insistence, he finally spilled it. “I just worry that you don’t take care of yourself anymore.”
Ding Ding Ding! He wasn’t attracted to me anymore because I was fat.
My first reaction was anger. Rage, actually, and I let him know that.
See, my husband was fat too. Throughout our entire time together he was a heavy set guy, at one point getting close to 300 lbs on a 6’2 frame. When his blood pressure became an issue and he had to be put on medication, and then once he got sober, his weight plummeted. When this incident happened, he was only 15-20 lbs overweight, having lost almost 50 lbs. I was super proud of him and glad he was healthy, but on a physical level, it didn’t matter to me what he weighed. I loved him at 200 or 300 lbs, and just wanted him to be healthy and happy. In 6 years I had gained 30 lbs, going from a 14 to an 18, the first 20 lbs gained in the first year. Did I change physically? Sure, but I had no health problems whatsoever, I was and still am healthy. So to tell me that you aren’t attracted to me anymore when I’m the same weight I was on our wedding day, and to arrive at this revelation only when you’ve lost a significant amount and not when you weighed 280 lbs? REALLY?
When I called my therapist, bawling, she simply said “Eves, just because you were ok with his weight, isn’t a promise that he will always be ok with yours.” And she was right. Our attractions and desires change over time and just because I saw past the weight, doesn’t mean he can or should. I understand that men are visual, but I also believe that he had these feelings months or even years prior, and just didn’t want to tell me because he was heavy too.
We split a few months back (for different reasons) but one thing I learned from that experience is that there is a HUGE double standard when it comes to men and women with weight. A husky guy can be with a thin, fit girl, but if a curvy girl is with a thin, fit guy, it gets all kind of looks and reactions. Even when both parties in the relationship are heavy, the pressure on the girl to lose weight or and not “let herself go” is much more than for the guy.
I’m sorry, but it’s total bullshit.
I have a friend that’s plus size and was dating a personal trainer. They ended it because he didn’t want anyone to know that he likes curvy women, and didn’t want to introduce her as his girlfriend to his family or friends. He felt that he has a certain image to uphold, and being seen with someone that doesn’t “take care” of herself would look bad on him, even though he was very attracted to her and personally had no issues with the way she looked.
Unfortunately, I know my friends story isn’t unique. There are many men out there that prefer heavier set women, but are afraid to be open about it to friends and family for fear or being ridiculed. A recent article in the Village Voice talks to men that are only attracted to plus size women, and the judgement and issues they face. Sadly, this just adds to the double standard.
I’m in a new relationship now, with someone that I know is proud of me and is attracted to me no matter what, but if that ever changes, then I love you, but see ya sweetie! Not only do we have to love ourselves no matter our size, but we need to make sure that we are with someone that feels the same way, loves us and desires us for who we are and not our dress size. They are out there lovelies, trust me