I was reading through an eHarmony Advice article that highlights what it believes to be the top 5 questions that strike fear in the hearts of men. They are as follows (from 5 to 1):
5. “Where Do We Stand?”
4. “Why Didn’t You Call?”
3. “How Did You Like [my all-time favorite chick flick] I Just Forced You to Watch?”
2. “Do You Think [insert the name of a mutual female acquaintance] Is Attractive?”
and NUMBER ONE (the one that I am going to talk about in this post)
1. “Does This Make Me Look Fat?”
My wife, over the last several months has lost about 35 lbs. Before beginning this journey we never had a weight related conversation unless she brought it up. I know my wife, I knew that she was self-conscience about her size, but I was not going to give her an answer that would allow her to wallow in her insecurity. My answer was always the same, but truthful: “I am extremely attracted to you at your current size, and I will still be extremely attracted to you if your size changes”. We always encouraged each other not to let our health/weight get out of control, but I always assured her (or attempted to, at least) that my level of infatuation will never drop.
When my wife lost the weight I saw a change in her. Her level of confidence raised. I always told her that she was sexy but that she needed to realize it and use it to her ‘advantage’. After the weight loss she began to ‘act sexy’ – she began to say and do things that showed me that she was not as self-conscience and that her level of self-esteem was growing.
I like this ‘new’ person! I liked what it did for her, and I LOVED what it did for me (LOL)!!!
Then it hit me…in order for me to benefit from this forever (yes I admit, I was thinking selfishly for a moment…lol), she would have to maintain what she accomplished. The problem is that if I ever mentioned anything about maintaining, then I run the risk of her feeling like I was not truthful in the beginning – that I really wasn’t comfortable with her at any size.
Since I am a firm believer that a married couple should be able to discuss EVERYTHING, without any arguing, or without either person leaving the discussion feeling ‘less than’, I decided to test it out. Right now she is about 7 lbs over her goal weight, so I sat her down and discussed it. I told her that I think that she should do what she needs to do to get back to her goal weight. I asked her to be honest in her reaction (I knew what it was going to be), and she was indeed skeptical about the truthfulness of my earlier comment about being ‘content’ with her at any size. But, we were able to talk about it, the conversation had some humorous moments and I believe that she felt re-assured at the end of the conversation that I was still head over heels for her. Long story short…the point is that we were able to discuss this taboo topic, this topic that ‘puts fear in the hearts of men’. We were able to be open and honest and neither of us felt diminished in any way.
sidenote: let me clarify something for those ladies with stones in their hands ready to throw…I am working on my health/weight as well and have lost 12 lbs so far…so it is not a one-sided thing)
As a married couple you should be able to discuss everything! If you have to ‘tiptoe’ around your spouse’s feelings to the point where you cannot be honest, then your marital communication needs work! Do you have to use common sense and tact? Of course you do. But you can have an honest discussion without being rude or disrespectful to your spouse. If you are not sure that this can happen, pray that God will soften the heart of your spouse before you engage in any discussion that you feel may be ‘taboo’.
Take the fear out of your hearts and when asked that question “Do I Look Fat”? say YES!!!
(take that last piece of advice at your own risk…LOLOL)
Oliver & Denise Marcelle are the founders of Denoli, LLC (speaking, facilitating, and mentoring/coaching). They have been married for 20 years and have 3 children.
Through seminars, a podcast, videos and social media posts, they offer a candid look into their own marriage, with the goal being to encourage couples and help them explore, grow and learn together.
It is their belief that all relationships stand a chance, if given the right tools.
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