Professor's House

When a Spouse Gains Weight

The wedding picture sits on the mantel. You and your life partner in the beautiful clothes with engaging smiles and preemptive giddy that says your life is perfect. The two of you may look like a picture from a bridal magazine and you can’t imagine that your life will ever be different. At this point, you are so happy, blinded by love, hope and dreams that you never consider the little things in life that may pop up and just ruin your dreams. One of those things, however shallow, is the realization that one day, some day your spouse may gain weight. When a spouse gains weight, whether because of pregnancy or due to the new lifestyle of playing house and eating starchy foods and snacks – it is easy to feel disappointed. The truth is that statistics show one thing for sure; marriage makes most people fatter both men and women and often what you see on the day of your marriage is not a realistic expectation of the next decade.

In the average first year of marriage, it is normal for partners to each gain anywhere from 5 12 pounds. This is chalked up to the fact that there is more time spent eating together than ever before. Where cheerios used to be considered a fine dinner meal, there is more cooking going on and you may find that you are using your stove more than ever. Additionally, the race is over so to speak and there is no longer any reason for the facade of perfect health to keep up. Essentially, couples tend to let themselves go a bit and may skip the gym. Unfortunately, this can lead to a negative pattern in marriage and can make either partner feel a little sickened by their partner. Many men and women have the unrealistic expectation that their spouse will stay a certain size for so long and as responsibilities and maybe children invade your life; there is less time to take care of yourself. Aging is part of life and often with aging comes differences in weight and appearance. If you cant get passed this chances are you are no where close ready to get married to begin with.

In the first 5 years, studies also suggest that women gain an average of 20 pounds from their wedding day size and men around 12 pounds. Blame it on having children or a drastic change in lifestyle but the truth may be that many younger women actually try to lose a ton of weight before their wedding to fit into ‘that dress.’” Since they may go about losing the weight in an unhealthy manner it returns pretty quickly and what you see a few years after marriage may just be their ‘natural size.’’ However, before we go crucifying women, remember that a flabby belly, hairy back and seeing your hottie husband in sweatpants every evening can be a turn off too! While men may not always pack on the pounds they tend to become lackadaisical when it comes to ‘impressing their wife’’ both physically and emotionally.

When a partner gains weight, especially if it is sudden you should try to address the issue. It could be a sign of illness or worse, unhappiness. It could also be a sign of great happiness and comfort with their spouse who they just believe will love them no matter what. If it is bothersome, trying to change lifestyle together and pursue exercises together is the best way to take care of it. This can bring the two of you back together and help you to gain your bodies back.

Obviously, many women gain weight during pregnancy and may not lose it as rapidly as men think they should. Given around 18 months and a lot of support, most women bounce back to a healthy weight. If ‘‘mom’’ syndrome begins taking over and they start eating brownies off the floor and preparing food constantly a tender husband can intercede without having their arms chopped off (or something else) as long as it is done tenderly. A woman’s body and metabolism change after pregnancy and with age losing weight is much more difficult. Patience and realistic ideas are necessary. If your wife has gained a bit of weight and doesn’t seem to be losing it it could be a sign that you need to chip in a bit more and watch the kids so she actually has time and energy left to exercise. Remember this is a partnership in disaster, fatness or good times!

Pretty much, this is a shallow subject – although one that most couples face. It is a true test of the degree of our love and commitment and it can be the beginning of the end or the end of warped thinking. After all, we love our spouses because of their personalities and not because of their appearance, right? Even so, chemistry and physical attraction is a necessary component for lovemaking and few men or women want to make love to someone who grosses them out. This doesn’t mean that they have full reins to cheat or stray, but that they should take conscious, thoughtful and helpful steps to rectify the problem. It is sad that women seem to be the ones most thwarted for gaining weight while men can end up looking like the Pillsbury doughboy without recourse from their wives. When a spouse gains weight it is truly time to realize that the rings of marriage are about something much larger than the way we look and the memories of the two people on the mantelpiece. Truth is, rarely do those people last long and true love and good marriages withstand things much more serious than weight gains.

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