Help! My Husband (or Wife) is Overweight and Flabby
If you are one of those life partners who feels angry or let down by the shape your spouse is in, this one's for you.
First, we need to know if being out of shape and overweight is a deal-breaker for you or an unmet expectation. If it is a deal-breaker, set a date for when you will leave if you don't get what you want.
If it is an unmet expectation, a problem of your own making, let's get to work on fixing this, because the resentment will kill your relationship.
Step one with any unmet expectation is to ask for what you want, and to do so with no hint of disapproval. If you have already heaped disapproval on your spouse about this issue, we'll skip this step.
Step two is to translate your expectation into a statement of why you want it: what's in it for you. You'll have to get brutally honest with yourself and maybe dig down a few layers.
Perhaps it's all about libido. You are turned on by muscles or by that can't pinch an inch look.
Or it could be about the respect you get from others when you are seen with your mate.
Or perhaps it affects what you can do together on your weekends and vacations.
It might be about your fear of fat or an unexercised heart bringing about an early death for your spouse.
Or you might discover you say it's about your mate's health when what you really mean is you want to protect your own health and you want your spouse to support you by dieting or running or going to the gym with you.
Be honest. You can't fix this until you are.
Step three is to find other ways to get what you need instead of telling your spouse what he or she ought to do. Do you have any friends who would exercise with you, or could you find some? Are there other things you can do to prepare for the possibility of outliving your spouse: life insurance? a strong network of friends? enough money in savings to take time off from work? better relations with your children or your siblings' children? Can you find other ways to boost your libido: new techniques? practice fantasizing? pay more attention to your mate's eyes or lips? become more playful? redecorate your bedroom? Are there other ways to earn respect as a couple? Are there things you have not tried yet for vacations and weekends that might replace the ones your spouse has opted out of?
Sometimes, there is a surprise step four, when your spouse sees you taking care of yourself and no longer feels dragged down by your resentment and nagging. Just when you know longer need it, you get what you thought your spouse owed you. That is because all of us really enjoy doing loving things far, far more than expected things.