My husband said a bunch of hurtful things about my weight -- what should I do?

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Registered: 02-25-2013
My husband said a bunch of hurtful things about my weight -- what should I do?
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Mon, 02-25-2013 - 12:17pm

I went to a Zumba class this weekend for the first time. When I got home, I told him that it was hard, but I would go again, because it was a good workout. Then, he said, "good, you should." I then said "what does that mean"? He said, "well, you must be noticing how you gained a lot of weight in the past three months and your clothes aren't fitting well." I said, "I know I have been gaining weight recently, but I don't appreciate you pointing it out like that," pointing out that I have been trying to eat healthy and I got injured after I started running again. He said he didn't believe I was working out enough or watching what I ate, and then said, "When should I point it out -- when you can't fit through the door anymore?" BTW, our 6-year-old daughter was in the room at the time, and she thought that was funny and started laughing, but my husband insisted she didn't know what she was laughing about. I then just walked away and took a shower. He came and apologized, saying he now remembered that I was sick and that I haven't been able to work out lately. I just said, "ok." But I was still mad and hurt. I was still upset the next day, and he chastized me for holding a grudge. I said that even though he apologized, it still doesn't take back the fact that he said it. He then said I am too sensitive and need to get over it because he apologized. He then said, "I just don't think you care what you look like." I then used some very choice words on him and left for the rest of the day. He is trying to be nice to me, but I am just tired of this emotional abuse (this is just one of so many instances). We have been married for over 10 years, have one child and I have been a size 12 for most of those years -- still am. What should I do?

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Registered: 09-06-2010

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iVillage Member
Registered: 09-06-2010

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iVillage Member
Registered: 09-06-2010

Sorry, double post.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-20-2009

If this is only one instance of emotional abuse, and you say there are many......then you need to think long and hard about your marriage.  He's not likely to change on his own.  He may be purposely cruel. or mabye he has no empathy for others.  Is he a perfect 10?  Do you criticize him for anything?  If so, how does HE react? 

YOu have a couple of choices.  Learn to live with it, and allow your daughter to grow up thinking a woman being verbally abused by her husband is normal, which she already has learned.  Or, you can suggest counseling, which he will probably refuse.  Then you go on your own to learn how to handle the snarky remarks, or when to stop handling them and get a lawyer.  I've been thru major surgery which left me with breathing problems, and I've gained a LOT of weight.....and my partner says he's so happy that I survived and there's just that much more of me to love and cuddle with!    That's how a man who loves a woman handles her weight gain.

Avatar for xxxs
Community Leader
Registered: 01-25-2010

 Many people do not have a good way of telling their partner that they are gaining weight.  It is not a eazy task.  i had a friend whose weight was going up due to a medication she was taking.  But to get on the other med took a expensive test that insurance would not cover.  She became very unpleasent but would spent money on every thing except her problem .  But She whined and complained constantly. 

     Many women have the same problem partner is packing on the pounds but eats a big dinner, big lunch, huge breakfast and can't see himself as others see him.  These are difficult communications.

dragowoman

Avatar for mahopac
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Registered: 07-24-1997

Well, here's my take on it:  loving spouses care about their spouse's feelings.  They would NEVER say things like, "You must have noticed you've gained a lot of weight" and use sarcasm such as "When should I point it out, when you can't fit through the door?"  The very fact that he would say it at all, and in front of a child, means he doesn't care about what he says or what example he sets.  So let's just admit that he is thoughtless.

I'm with you that apologizing does not erase an offense.  If someone commits a crime, we may accept their apology but that doesn't mean they don't serve a sentence.  The fact that after he apologized and you expressed that you were still hurt, and he responded with more nastiness ("I just don't think you care what you look like anymore") proves he really is a jerk.  Let's call a spade a spade.

I am not of the camp that thinks that weight gain shouldn't be a subject of discussion and that spouses should just accept each other's appearances, especially if the changes are harmful.  I don't think pregnancy is an excuse to gain 70 lbs or that motherhood means it's ok to let yourself go.  However, there are positive ways to go about helping a spouse become healthier, and then there's just being selfish and controlling.  Your H falls into that latter group.

BTW I'm a size 12 at age 50.  Sizes have gotten more generously proportioned over the years, and the size 10 I wore in college would be a size 4 now, so I've really gone up 4 sizes, which makes sense as I'm about 4" bigger all around.  Getting older will do that to you.  But at 5'5" and 130 lbs I am by no means fat!  And I'll bet you aren't either.

If this is just one example, as you say, my opinion is that you propose marriage counseling.  If he won't go, get counseling for yourself.  Unless he changes dramatically, I would say this marriage should be over, or you will raise a daughter who thinks that verbal abuse is the norm.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999

I am somone who has a weight problem so I sympathize with you.  My 1st exH would think it was great to point out things like "you should really go to the gym to lose some weight."  Uh, yeah, at the time I was working full time & had a child too--he worked the overnight shift so it was convenient for him to go to the gym plus he would be in these baseball leagues--guess who was home taking care of our child while he was out having fun?  When was I actually supposed to have time to go?  10:00 at night after making dinner & doing all the housework too?  Plus you really can't motivate someone else to exercise & lose weight--it has to come from the person.  After we got divorced, I would go to the gym because I wanted to feel better, not because someone else was tellking me that I had to go, or basically sending the message that he wouldn't love me if I wasn't thin enough. 

so I think there are multiple problems here:  first you said that your DH is usually abusive--I think that is the big problem that you have to address.  Is he constantly criticizing everything that you do?  If so, then I think you would automatically take everything negatively--his first remark of saying "good, you should" was not really that bad.  I think things escalated because you are used to hearing negative things from him.  then he doesn't get to say something to you and demand that you get over it because you are "too sensitive."  if you know that your partner takes things too seriously, (in his opinion) wouldn't you go out of the way not to say things they could consider as mean?  Not that i think you should hold a grudge either.  I think the reason that it hurts (and it would be this way for me) is that you know that you're not looking as good as you want so it's more hurtful because you know partly that it's true.

I think you should tell him that you are overly sensitive to his remark because you know you gained weight and would like to lose it, but that you were already doing something to get there by going to Zumba so his comment was hurtful--he could have said something positive instead.  And that you don't find it helpful for him to criticize your weight--if he wants to help out, he could make a positive comment to motivate you or he could exercise with you, but otherwise, to keep those kind of comments to himself.

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Registered: 09-09-2008

You know, years ago a very wise therapist said something to me I have never forgotten.  My husband was really bad about telling me that I was "too sensitive".  That therapist told me she'd been counseling people for 25 years and had come to a conclusion about sensitivity:  there are two kinds of sensitivity - there's SENSITIVE....and there's INSENSITIVE.  I won't go into major details but my DH was beyond cruel when I gained weight, too, so I really do get how it hurts when somebody comments about it.  Even if their claim is they were just trying to be helpful or they are concerned, there are sensitive and insensitive ways to broach it, and yours really went about it badly.  Sadly, there are a zillion people out there who think they can say anything at all they please, as long as they apologize, and then you're miraculously supposed to just forget about it.  If it were that easy, lots of us wouldn't be using these boards!  You obviously already realized you needed to get healthier, hence the new Zumba class, so his comment was waaaay out of line.  It would have been plenty if he'd simply said he was proud of you and then not say anything else.  Once words have been spoken, there's really no way to take them back.  I understand - you were already out there, trying to get more exercise until you can run again, so of course negative comments would rub you wrong.  I can picture you coming home feeling great for trying Zumba and then getting shot down.  I've known quite a few men in my lifetime who were totally oblivious about the fact they THEMSELVES had put on weight, and yet they thought it was okay to nag their wives for doing the very same thing.  I'm not saying it's a guy thing, but I've known far more women who bit their tongue over the issue than men who did the same.  I think the two of you need to have a talk about this, even if he had the urge to say something - and clearly he did - his timing and esp. the nasty comment were unfortunate.  You are NOT "too sensitive", sensitivity is a positive trait, not a negative one, he should be appreciating it, not poking fun at it.  If this was a one-time event, it shouldn't be a deal breaker, but I still think it needs to be discussed.  Couples should be able to discuss anything, but fairly, not critically.  You said this is only one example on ongoing abuse, and if that's the case, you need some help from a pro.  They've heard it all and are usually good deciphering body language, so go, alone if necessary.  Why anyone thinks any kind of abuse is really okay, I'll never understand.  You don't sound "too sensitive" to me, if he routinely abuses, I'd say he's "insensitive".  It's likely up to you to take some action. 

 

Avatar for Kendahke1
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Registered: 08-09-2012

AZDragon7 wrote:
<p>I went to a Zumba class this weekend for the first time. When I got home, I told him that it was hard, but I would go again, because it was a good workout. Then, he said, "good, you should." I then said "what does that mean"? He said, "well, you must be noticing how you gained a lot of weight in the past three months and your clothes aren't fitting well." I said, "I know I have been gaining weight recently, but I don't appreciate you pointing it out like that," pointing out that I have been trying to eat healthy and I got injured after I started running again. He said he didn't believe I was working out enough or watching what I ate, and then said, "When should I point it out -- when you can't fit through the door anymore?" BTW, our 6-year-old daughter was in the room at the time, and she thought that was funny and started laughing, but my husband insisted she didn't know what she was laughing about. I then just walked away and took a shower. He came and apologized, saying he now remembered that I was sick and that I haven't been able to work out lately. I just said, "ok." But I was still mad and hurt. I was still upset the next day, and he chastized me for holding a grudge. I said that even though he apologized, it still doesn't take back the fact that he said it. He then said I am too sensitive and need to get over it because he apologized. He then said, "I just don't think you care what you look like." I then used some very choice words on him and left for the rest of the day. He is trying to be nice to me, but I am just tired of this emotional abuse (this is just one of so many instances). We have been married for over 10 years, have one child and I have been a size 12 for most of those years -- still am. What should I do?</p>

I think that you both need to apologize to one another. He has already. You still need to--and you need to drop the grudge unless you want more of this confusion and combativeness. He said what he said, he apologized for it. There is nothing that will spin the earth backwards to the moment before he said it, so you do need to quit giving it such crippling power over you. If you can't forgive him, then it's you who is locked in a prison of your own making--no one else.  Everyone else will just keep it moving while you stew (and overwork your adrenals glands, which are the stress glands, which will pump oceans of cortisol into your bloodstream, thus depositing fat around your midsection that's extremely hard to get rid of).

What is going on is your feelings got hurt over a remark he made and it embarassed you because your daughter heard it and laughed at the image the remark conjured.  Understandable and reasonable. (I do think that your 6 yr old has a better understanding of sarcasm than either of you appreciate... I find it interesting that her presence in the room didn't stop you from ramping up an argument in front of her.) 

He came to you and apologized and understood exactly why he was wrong, but it wasn't good enough--he needed to be punished further and because he balked at that, you went ballistic on him.  All you needed to say to him was, "I accept your apology, and I apologize for going off on you, but you need to give me some space to cool off. I'll let you know when I'm over this."

At any rate, I think that you need to make a decison and real soon whether or not to forgive him and let yourself out of that prison or to obsess about the remark until your home has been laid to waste from the fighting and recriminations.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-18-2009

Many women let themselves go after getting married or having kids and then cry later when husband starts noticing and making comments. Many husbands dont say anything initially and wait for the wife to take action ( no wonder there are so many men's boards where men ask how to ask wife to lose weight !) or start looking outside when wife doesnt do much to bring a change.

Your husband said what he felt , of course his way wasnt the way you would have wanted to hear but I figure there must have been times when he said it indirectly and you ignored .

Weight loss is not a days job while gaining is. If you have been trying for long with no result then you could probably have an underlining medical condition .