phyiscal realtions problem

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-18-2003
phyiscal realtions problem
Sun, 06-01-2003 - 11:49am
I have an ongoing problem with myself regarding my hubby. We have been married over 10 years. I have several medical problems which limits my sex drive, and that makes sex painful....that is problem enough.

The other problem is, my husband has let himself go physically. His doctor told him that he is obese and needs to do something about it. He has tried on and off over the years, but never sticks to it. He makes absolute horrible choices. Along with that, he does not care about how he looks or some aspects of hygiene and good health. I do all I can to help him, I shop and cook healthy. I join in on exercise routines. I support and compliment. But at times he becomes very defensive and obstinate. I suppose sometimes out of embarrassment. Recently, when getting ready to go to dinner with our family, he puts on socks inside out, old faded sweat shorts and a T-shirt top that didn’t match. All I did was ask that he change because of where we were going, he needed to wear something more appropriate and he got mad at me. Then his anger sets me off because I should not even have to tell him things like this. This is a college educated grown man!

I have started off gently in telling him what I feel would make me more sexually attracted to him, but that didn't work. I stopped the mothering roles in getting him to seek care and I laid off on reminding him about dentist/doctor appts, because I am his wife not mother, plus I didn't want to be a nag. He seemed to improve on his own, then went back to his ways. We went on to more serious discussions, because the entire situation, and lack of physical relationship is a serious issue. We even did some counseling.

I need a man who is not overweight, and one who takes care of himself, and dresses and acts as if his appearance mattered. Not that this is the only thing that matters, but seems to be important to me. Just by doing that, I'm sure I would feel more attracted even if the weight problem is still there, because it shows me that he cares about himself, and how I view him.

I told him how serious this was, he is trying again. I really don't trust that he will stick with it, he hasn't in the past. When trying in the past, I also tried on the physical aspect of our relationship, we were intimate, and I felt at those times, it would all work out, and I was very positive. Then he lets things get out of control. I am so upset that it has come down to me not wanting have sexual relations at all. What can I do to help this situation become a better one? I just can't get myself to be in the mood. It's terrible, and terrible of me. When I turn him down, he becomes very upset, which I understand, but then he is in a bad mood all day, and all I can think is this is your own fault, so why be mad at me?

I ask myself how could I feel this way, when I should love him no matter what, I do love him, it’s just the physical part, so then I ask myself why is this so important to me?

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-23-2003
Sun, 06-01-2003 - 11:01pm
Please don't be hard on yourself - I don't think you're asking for anything unrealistic...All you want is for your husband to practice good personal hygiene and care about his appearance/health. You're not asking him to turn into Brad Pitt! LOL

Seriously, it is my belief that 99.9% of women would agree with you. It's hard to feel romantic about someone who looks slovenly and doesn't care that he looks unattractive for his wife.

You mentioned that you cook healthy foods - Does he then just eat lots of chips and junk food? Has he been to see the doctor in recent times, for a complete physical check-up? Do you have some weight to lose too, so that maybe you could join a weight loss program together? I don't know about your finances, but perhaps you could set a joint weight loss goal and once you attain it, you could treat yourselves to either a night out at a play/concert or something else you enjoy. Will he cooperate in walking together every evening with you? It would also help you recapture your closeness. I'm sure some of these are things you've already tried - He really needs to get motivated and I think you're going to need to be the cheerleader!

As for your medical problems, surely there is something that your gynecologist can recommend to make your intimate relations pain free. It's certainly not helping anything for you to associate what should be a special time with your husband, with discomfort.

I give you a lot of credit for trying to help your husband, instead of throwing in the towel. As you know, underneath he's still the man you love - He just needs a little spiffing up, for his looks as well as his health AND to help your relationship. Let us know your progress, please. Good Luck!

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-02-2003
Sun, 06-01-2003 - 11:53pm
i agree with sleepwalker - but i wanted to bring up one point in your message. you said that your husband dressed like a slob to go out to dinner, and was upset when you asked him to change. is it possible that your husband is depressed on top of everything else? its one thing to want to *dress down* a little, or to say *clothing is not so important*, etc, but its another thing to dress like a slob to go out to dinner. that is a flag - either he is being disrespectful to you or to himself. are there other signs of depression?

basically, i agree with you. I think that how our SO looks and acts is a big part of the appeal. it doesn't mean that they have to look like mel gibson ---- but they should be clean, smell good, and feel good about themselves.

OTOH - as someone who is struggling with my weight issues, I can tell you that it is VERY hard. you go to the doctor and the doctor says "you have to lose weight". well ---- duh!!!!!!! you go to your closet - and all your clothing is too small. and you feel like a slob. its VERY hard to get motivated to get on the healthy track, lose weight, eat properly, etc. I am there, and have been for a while, but it takes a loooong time to lose weight, especially the older you get.

perhaps couples counseling could help the two of you understand each other a bit better.