How Do I Cope??

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-19-2003
How Do I Cope??
Sat, 07-19-2003 - 4:28am
Hmmm...where to begin?

Ok, let's start here.

I am a 32 yr old, divorced mom of 1. Presently, I am struggling with trying to lose weight and since February I have lost a total of 25 lbs. (Yes, this is an accomplishment I am extremely proud of =) )

However, I went from being a young, slender, popular, attractive early 20s something to marrying an extremely verbally abusive man who suffered from manic depression. I was never a conceited person although I was confident. After divorcing my husband, I was just a shell of my former self. My self esteem took a major "sh!t kicking" and I came out of the divorce feeling I have failed miserably. I remained single for 6 yrs after the divorce....3 1/2 years by choice. During those 3 1/2 years, I engaged in "casual" relationships because that's all I wanted. I trusted no man.

I went back to school, became more self sufficient and independant. I also quickly landed a really good full time job.

Then one day I was ready to start another serious relationship so I decided to start really dating again. This was a disaster.

For 2 1/2 years, the only men I seemed to meet or attract were either married and wanted a a fling on the side or men who just wanted sex and nothing more. I even had men be really rude to me because of my size. I had gained a lot of weight with my pregnancy and was still carrying it.

Fast forward...

A few months ago, I met the most wonderful man. He is nothing like the men I use to date. He's extremely affectionate, caring, thoughtful, doesn't drink much, doesn't do drugs, family oriented, great sense of humour and, most importantly, to me, monogamous and honest.

He totally and completely fell in love with me, no matter my size. He was able to look past my outward appearance (although he's told me many times he finds me very attractive)and fall in love with who I am.

I am very happy.

However, I recently discovered that my perfect sweetheart has a "fetish". Now, I'm a very open minded and easy going woman but because of my low self esteem, I am finding it very hard to cope with his fetish. I found porn on his PC but it's not the porn that's the's the specifics of the porn that's bothering me.

He seems to have an obsession with women who are very big chested and have small waists. Slender women. Now, I have no where near the bust size these women have, but that's not even the issue. My issue seems to be the fact that his preference is slender women. Something I'm not. I reacted really badly to finding this (it was websites in his history) and we almost broke up over it. He has reassured me that this is just a fantasy for him and the only time he looks at it is when he is feeling "frisky" and I'm not there.

He has also reassured me that he really loves me and finds me physically appealing as well but honestly, I don't understand this. How can he find me, 4'10'', 160lbs, only a C cup, attractive as well as women like that?

I feel like he has settled for me as he use to be a lot more slender, has gained 30 lbs, and has some esteem issues himself but isn't as bad as I am. He even walks around naked in front of me. I am always covering myself up. But, yes...I feel he has settled for me because A. He feels he can't attract the type of woman he REALLY finds attractive. B. He's not getting any younger. and C. He's not getting any richer. See, I am a very accepting person and he's been having some financial struggles so I think he feels that because it's not an issue to me that he's not rich, that it's better than nothing.

I realize that if I don't get help and learn how to deal with my insecurities that it's going to tear us apart and I sooo don't want that. I love him. But how do I handle the feelings of hurt when I see this on his PC? I don't care that he pleasures himself when I am not there or that he looks at porn. But I feel like the porn he does look at, he looks at because I am not attractive enough and he has to "compensate". Does this make any sense?

Can anyone help me? I want to have more self worth. I don't want to get angry or hurt because he is just being a "man". If I didn't have a major hang up with being fat, I know I wouldn't have an issue with the women he seems "addicted" to.

How do I get past this? How do I stop making myself hurt and angry? How do I gain more self esteem.....more confidence? How do I learn to love the way I look, at least, to the point where him looking at another woman won't hurt me?

Sorry for dragging this on. I realize the post is kinda of long. =(


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 07-21-2003 - 3:00am

It seems like you've found a man who is caring, who really loves you. I know your self-esteem took a beating in your first marriage, but you were strong enough to leave that marriage instead of continuing to accept your husband's abuse. You were also strong enough to know that you needed time to heal before opening yourself to the possiblity of starting a new relationship. A lot of women who go through a bad divorce want to immediately dive into a new relationship as a way of repairing their self-esteem. You were strong enough not to do that. Don't blame yourself for meeting selfish men who only want to use women. Unfortunately there are plenty of men like that and, as the saying goes, a good man is hard to find.

About the prono. If you take a look at women in playboy the women that you describe are a typical male fantasy. It pretty much what men are taught to fantasize about. But it is a fantasy. It really has nothing to do with a man's real life relatiohsips and expectations. Your boyfreind loves you for who you are. Not many woman can say that they have found a man like that. You say that you have lost 25 pounds, but that is a goal that you achived for yourself not because your boyfriend demanded it. Your boyfriend has not settled for you. He trully loves you.

About the big breasted women who you thinks your boyfriend desires. I had a friend like that and it was always hard for her to find clothes that fit because her brest were so out of protion to the rest of her body. So having bigger breasts do not always mean having a better life. And as for your breast size. I'm sorry for getting personal, but having C cup breast is nothing to feel inadequate about. Having a C cup breast is actually considered to be a fairly large breast size. I have friends who are barely a B cup who would kill to have your breasts. Another thing to remember is that the breast size of most prono pin ups really are a fantasy. Most of the women in those magazines breast size are a result of breast implants not natural endowments. Other the other hand, what you have is REAL, and is something to value (although it's unhealthy to measure the worth of a woman by the size of her breast) not to increase your feelings of being inadequate.

Your boyfriend's behavior is common male behavior. The only thing that you should really worry about is if he feel compeled to visit the websites when he is with you. Does he sneak to look at the website when you're around? If as you say, that he only visits the sites when you are not available then his use of the sites is pretty typical behavior. Men are very visual. They often need to have visual images to trigger they experience of sexual arousal. When you're not around he is aroused by the pictures of these women. When you're around and are accessable then he is aroused by you. He doesn't need a fantasy. He loves and is atracted to you.

Please continue to beleive in and value yourself. Your boyfriend already values the unique person that you are. You should too.


iVillage Member
Registered: 07-19-2003
Mon, 07-21-2003 - 9:13am
Thank you for taking the time to reply, Renee.

I have discussed this, at great length, with my boyfriend and I even suggested seeing a "professional" about my self esteem issues but he doesn't think it's sever enough to seek professional help.

He understands that I have suffered some major blows to my self esteem and he's trying to be patient with me but when I blow things all out of proportion, like I sometimes do when I am feeling bad about myself, he can't take it. He says he'd rather be alone than in a miserable relationship and I completely understand this.

I have no doubt in my mind that he loves me and when I am thinking rationally, I know that he wouldn't be with me if he didn't find me attractive as well. I just can seem to control how I feel when I see the type of women he looks at online. It's just like it overwhelms me and I realize this is my issue that I have to work on. It's got nothing to do with him. I just wish I could figure out a way to deal with these feelings.

He doesn't look at the porn when I am with him. In fact, when we are together, he doesn't even go online. So, no, it's not like I am being neglected or that he's even sneaking peeks while I am at his place. I know, it could be a lot worse and I am very grateful and appreciative of him. I also know it's not fair to him for me to let what other men did to me affect our life together. He's completely trustworthy and honest. If he's not with me, I know exactly where he is. He's not cheating on me.

It's just funny how I know all this but still seem to get upset about some picture of a nude woman. It's ludacris, I know. This is why I feel so bad after I get angry and upset.

I am trying though.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-05-1999
Mon, 07-21-2003 - 9:35am
First off I'm sorry you went through a divorce and were in an abuxive relationship. No one should have to go through that. The good news is you are out of that relationship and eeling etter about yourself.

Wow, I'm not sure how to answer you as I've never been in this position. If this is the only you've 'bad' or 'alarming' thing you've found about your guy I'm not sure if it's that bad. I think most men have this hour-glass figure fantasy about women and let's face it, the majority of us don't have hour-glass figures. I think most of those women are surgically enhanced. Let's back-track a little. If this was 20-30 years ago and your guy didn't have a computer don't you think you would have simply found some Playboy magazines? I think today's porno web-sites are the equivalent of that.

Regarding your breast size, I'm more or less a B cup and pretty content with that. If you are a C you are WAY ahead of many women. A C cup is nothing to sneeze at in my opinion. Sure, maybe your aren't a double D like the ladies on that porn site, but would you really want to be that big? Just think of the sore back you would have. (LOL)

You might want to seek a therapist to talk over your insecurities. Did you see a therapist when you were going through your divorce? That would probably be a good place to start. A therapist might be able to tell you if your worries are more imagined than real.

Come back here and visit with us. We'll try to help you through this period in your life.



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Avatar for loritemp
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Mon, 07-21-2003 - 9:51am
How funny you posted this, i was just talking about a similar topic this weekend! I will share with you some of the thoughts brought up about it. First, of all, my girlfriends and I were talking about men, previous relationships, etc. Seems in general, most women think the men they like are out of their league. I said I thought my ex was and my friends jaws dropped,they said I was nuts for thinking that and if anything I was way out of his league! But every one of ym friends named a guy they dated and said the same thing, and I didn't htink any of them were right! So take comfort in knowing a lot of women think like you, that we arnet' good enough, pretty, petite, in shape enough. I by no means have a perfect body but I work darn hard to stay in shape. I am proud of my body, it is strong and healthy and there are men out there who will apprecaite my body.

As far as the porn goes, men are just more visual. In some ways, it is the same as women looking at a magazine with pictures of Brad Pitt or Ben affleck! We just dont' need the nudity to stimulate us, to appreciate an attractive person! A heathy fanatsy life can be good, just as long as it stays they way! There is nothign wrong with your bf apprecaiting another woman's beauty or admiring her body. Seems he has no intention of doing anything about it, as he is very happy with you! I firmly believe that if a person is going to cheat or break up with you or be mean to you,they will! It is part of their character! And it seems from what you said, this guy doesn't have that in him! And if he ever is going to do somehting like that, it isn't your fault and there is nothing you can do! So just love yourself, be proud of your weight loss and know he is with you beacuse he finds you attractive, inside and out!

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-19-2003
Mon, 07-21-2003 - 9:59am
Hi Ben =)

Thanks so much for the kind words.

I can honestly say that had this happen a few years ago, it probably would be the porn mags I would have found. Although, my boyfriend doesn't have any other kind of material in his house besides what is on the computer, so it's hard to say.

I didn't see a therapist while I was dealing with my divorce and you are right, I probably should have. At that time, I just wanted to be alone and deal with it on my own terms. I got through it, amazingly, well, I think, but no without the help from my child. Had he not been a part of my life, it would have been a lot easier to just give up but because he depended on me, I had to get my life back in order. It was a long, hard battle but I won the war. =)

All in all, I am pretty confident in WHO I am. I am outgoing, easygoing, friendly, trustworthy, honest and have no problems making friends. I have been complimented on my smile many times (I smile a lot so I think that's what makes me so approachable), been told that I have a great sense of humour and, honestly, do have more successes than failures in my life. Life, generally, is good and I'm, for the most part, very happy.

I just seem to have this one hangup (my weight) that I have to learn to deal with. I am presently losing weight but until I can look into the mirror and, truly, like who I see looking back at me, I feel this will be an issue. My boyfriend makes me feel very attractive and desireable but I shouldn't have to depend on his acceptance of me.

Somehow, I have to learn, not necessarily how to love myself, but love the way I look.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-19-2003
Mon, 07-21-2003 - 10:09am
I just want to say...

I think it's wonderful how the people here are all so supportive and how happy I am I stumbled across this site. =) I can discuss my issues without being judged or labeled and still remain "faceless".

I appreciate everyone's comments and suggestions.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-21-2003
Mon, 07-21-2003 - 11:34am
Sorry but I am the dissenting vote here. If you are already "upset" with this fetish, think how it will be down the road if you should marry. Yes I agree that men do

this but it does depend on the level of involvement. If he is well rounded and has

many other interests ok, but if this is the way he spends a lot of his free time then he may have more of a problem then you see. As to your feelings, I just don't see you setting yourself up in a negative situation from the start. It won't get better my friend, If as happens you gradually lose self esteem then your life will become even more difficult. You can't ignore the elephant in the living room! My best to you. m
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-21-2003
Mon, 07-21-2003 - 1:20pm
I think it's great that you have found someone who is good to you. However, I completely disagree with women accepting that men "are visual", or their other excuses, for looking at porn, going to strip clubs, whatever. I have yet to meet a woman who said that made her feel good, or even okay. Can you imagine women looking at nude pictures or movies of men who are more endowed and a man feeling good about that? It's not a necessity for him to look at porn - and since it bothers you, I think you would do best to ask him if he can abstain from looking at it. Your feelings about yourself should be more important to him. Don't let all the work you have done go to waste. Good luck!
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-19-2003
Mon, 07-21-2003 - 2:06pm
See, it's not the fact that he looks at porn that bothers me. I have even tried to include myself, as far as suggesting to rent certain types of movies, or sent him provocative pictures of women. I use to watch adult movies with my ex all the time, it wasn't an issue. To be honest, I even watch porn myself. I may be a woman but I am human as well.

The issue is my insecurities in not being able to cope with the fact that he has a fetish for women who, physically, are much different than me. I had a brief fling with a younger guy a few months before I met my boyfriend and he was attracted to large women.

I felt extremely comfortable being nude in front of this man because in his eyes, my body was exactly what he considered "perfect".

Having said that, my boyfriend loves my body as well but because his fetish is mainly of slender women with huge breasts, I feel insecure and hide my body. He hates that I hide my body around him but I can't help it. See, this is my problem.....not his. I have to learn to cope and let go of my insecurities. A confident woman wouldn't feel this way when he husband or boyfriend occasionally looked at porn.

I understand what an obsession is. My boyfriend does not have an obsession. When I was 18, I dated and ended up living with my boyfriend of 3 years. He was addicted to porn. He was obsessed with phone sex. Our phone bills were 3 and 4 hundred dollars a month. There were a lot of issues, much more drastic, than what I have to deal with now.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-21-2003
Mon, 07-21-2003 - 5:10pm
Would like to ask you a question. When you are out together do his eyes wander to the big chested girls? If you can handle that and still feel secure more power to you. It does get old, very fast. Think you should find a councelor and discuss this

particular problem. It is bothering you a LOT or you wouldn't be here asking for advise. You self esteem is being chipped at and you are in denial if you think this won't bother you if you marry. Think going real slow right now and seeking support from a professional would be in order. Just my thoughts. m