Weight gain - whether it is your own or your spouse’s - is unfortunately one of the most common contributors to divorce. Weight gain can cause a variety of problems in your marriage, ranging from a change in physical attraction to other issues. The following information will help you understand how weight gain can put a strain on your marriage and what you should do in order to make sure that a weight gain problem doesn’t put added stress on your relationship.
How Weight Gain Can Impact Your Marriage
Weight gain can impact your marriage in a number of different ways. One of the most notable ways that weight can impact your marriage is by reducing the physical attraction between you and your spouse, which can make it difficult for you to feel interested in romantic intimacy and sex. Weight can also impact your health, which can lead you to feel stressed and worried about your or your spouse's future.
When either or both of you are overweight, it can make your sex lives more difficult for a variety of reasons. Being out of shape can cause problems with sexual stamina. You might find yourselves making more excuses to avoid sexual contact, such as your being too tired or you might find yourselves more limited in the types of positions or ways to be intimate. Or one or both of you want to avoid sex because you are overly self conscious about your body and don't think you're sexy enough for your spouse.
There may also be feelings of lower self worth or a lack of love when a spouse is perceived as having "given up" on their looks. Where before when you were dating you put a lot of effort in looking good for each other, now it's just assumed to not be important.
Over time, these types of issues can cause significant strain in your marriage, which is why it is a common contributor to divorce.
How to Deal with Weight Gain Putting a Strain on Your Marriage
If you or your spouse has gained weight, it’s important to know how to handle this in the proper way so that you can deal with the strain that weight gain has put on your marriage. This is a delicate topic. On the one hand, being overweight can cause a lot of issues as have been discussed, not to mention the overall health toll it may be causing. While on the other hand, weight gain can be hard to avoid and can be harder to escape as we get older. We don't want to be superficial or treat our spouse differently and we need to remember that when we marry we promise to be together through all the ups and downs of life. But we should also acknowledge the negative affects of being overweight and the many benefits of getting our weight under control.
The following are 2 key factors that you should consider when dealing with the problems that weight gain has caused in your marriage.
Confronting the problem in a constructive way
First, it’s important that you confront the problem in a sensitive yet constructive way. People can be very sensitive about weight gain, especially if they have any personal hang-ups regarding weight, food and appearance. It’s important that you approach the issue in sensitive manner, but still in a way that results in a constructive conversation. Make sure that you avoid using any harsh language (such as "fat") and focus on how the weight gain has changed your marriage, rather than focusing on you or your spouse’s appearance or weight. For instance, if the weight gain is causing health problems, bring this up as your concern.
Encouraging weight loss and healthier habits
You need to help each other deal with weight gain by encouraging weight loss and healthier habits. Again, make sure to not be too blunt in your language here - telling your spouse they just need to "get to the gym" is not constructive and likely to just increase tension in the marriage. Instead, look for natural ways to improve you and your spouse's health, such as starting to go on daily walks or looking for ways to eat healthier. This tactic can be a much better way to get yourselves involved in healthier habits such as daily exercise without being accusatory. You can also encourage healthier habits by revamping the household diet, such as limiting fast food, eating more fruits and vegetables, and switching out processed grains for whole grains.
Remember, weight gain can negatively impact your marriage, but you can manage the stress that weight gain puts on your marriage if you follow the above steps to handling the problem in a sensitive and constructive manner.
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