Obesity and Infidelity

In a world infatuated with physical beauty, it’s little wonder that so many people are unable to remain faithful to their partners when their physical attributes diminish. The two most commonplace examples of this physical degradation are weight and age. Whereas aging is an expected outcome that takes a gradual toll on our bodies, weight gain can and does occur at any point in our lives. Most people choose their spouses based on a number of factors such as compatibility, love and chemistry. Physical attraction to your mate, which is the main part of chemistry, is one of the primary components of this selection process. If your partner is physically delectable at the beginning of the relationship, but changes over time, you may struggle to feel an attraction to their new appearance. It goes without saying that diminished attraction afflicts both parties in a relationship. If this decrease in attraction is serious enough, your sex life is likely to suffer, causing infidelity in some cases. You or your partner may still love each other and wish to preserve your relationship, and thus decide to satiate sexual urges with another, more physically desirable partner.

When one person in the relationship gains a significant amount of weight, their partner can experience a strong emotional response. The partner may feel that this is not the person they fell in love with, feeling “duped” or cheated that the person they initially chose is not the same person occupying their bed every night. Often the partner feels anger towards their mate for harming their “happy sex life” by not staying in shape. If one partner gets to the point where they feel repulsed by the sight of their significant other, the relationship will not last. Either you are able to love your mate enough to see past their physical form, or the overweight partner must work on getting into shape.

A spouse can speak to their partner about their concerns in a loving supportive way. Not talking it through with your partner is what leads to resentment, disinterest and infidelity. Perhaps you could suggest that you both start a diet and exercise regime. Be creative and innovative with your outdoor excursions, and patiently introduce healthy recipes to your standard fare.

If you are the one with the surplus weight, a little perspective is required. You must want to lose the weight to look good for yourself. Changing yourself strictly to please someone else will only make you resent them.

Reflect on the changes caused by the significant weight gain. People are often driven by emotions to over indulge, eating whenever they are depressed, bored or nervous. Pay attention to what emotions you are feeling when you eat. Develop healthier eating habits by recognizing genuine hunger versus emotional substitution. Realize that a healthy body and lifestyle makes you feel better about yourself and lessens the potential for future heart problems, blood pressure and diabetes.

There’s no excuse for betrayal. The cheater in the relationship is ultimately always at fault for destroying the relationship, but the infidelity can be avoided if both partners are honest with one another about their needs before things get out of hand. Either the two of you want the relationship and are willing to do the necessary bodywork, or you move on. However, it’s good to remember that those “love handles” you made no effort to lose will follow you into your new life, and very likely limit your prospects for a new relationship.

(Bonus: Regular Columnist Eric Leech Offers Practical Tips!)

A Few Notes to the Disinterested Partner

You have a right to desire that your partner take reasonable care of themselves, and want to be attractive for you. There’s nothing wrong with that. The key to this dilemma, however, is the way in which you go about asking for change. The first order of business is to cease and desist all criticism and food policing, and try to encourage better eating habits by example. Research suggests that leading by example can be a very powerful tool when trying to change a partner’s bad habits.

Never threaten a spouse by withholding sex until they lose weight, as that will always prove more damaging than therapeutic. Discuss any feelings of disappointment with your partner, gently, using the word “I” (I feel your weight is becoming a detriment to your health), rather than “you” (You are becoming obese and unhealthy.)

For the time being it may be helpful to concentrate on other features of attraction, such as personality, voice and smell. Research suggests that some men withdraw further when women attempt to change or please him, suggesting that many of these problems go much deeper than they may at first appear.

Look to the Inside Before Blaming the Outside

In more cases than not, there is a stressor in the relationship that is causing one partner to gain weight. He may be moving away because he is falling out of love, and she may be gaining weight from the depression that has resulted from his lack of attention. The end result is the convenient excuse to blame their marital problems on, yet the real cause lies somewhere else.

Ultimately, a partner will only lose weight when they are good and ready, which means you can influence (but never enforce) change. While attraction is important to good relationships, its importance is dependent on other emotional factors, as well, so before you start blaming weight gain on your ability to remain faithful, examine the inner workings of your relationship. There is a good chance that the real root of the problem is a lack of intimacy and bonding coming from one or both sides of the partnership.

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17 thoughts on “Obesity and Infidelity

  1. John

    Those saddle bag thighs filled with mashed potatoes and that frightfully obese rump that looks like two bags of cottage cheese (“soggy bottom”) swaying back and forth when she waddles around–what’s a poor red blooded husband supposed to do with that?!

    Reply
  2. John

    I am a man married to a woman who insists on carrying around 60-70 pounds of extra fat. These unsightly, repulsive globules of lard and cellulite are a a total turn off, both by sight and touch. Whenever we try to get together physically, the turtle pulls his head in its shell so to speak and refuses to come out again. She has a great personality, loving, loyal, faithful and a great mother, but her sickening layers of flubber (fat+blubber) are ruining our physical relationship. I do believe in fidelity and that marriage is for keeps. Yet, her repulsive body is leaving me high and dry and very vulnerable to temptation. I totally stay away from pornography but am constantly running into young attractive women who can tell this man is half starved in the bedroom. I do not believe her gross, sickening obesity is an excuse for infidelity, but when you constantly leave a man out in the cold by defrauding him in the bedroom, you are begging for trouble. I am praying for her everyday and going to take her to an endocrinologist to see if she can help her control her gluttonous cravings. Ladies, you do not help a man be faithful if you are walking around with a body that looks like Miss Piggy and the Pillsbury dough girl. Celibacy for married men is a recipe for marital disaster. I believe in Ephesians chapter five and am trying to keep loving her and remain faithful, but her piggery is not helping anything. A word to the wise…

    Reply
  3. becky

    I aminvolved wit a married man and I have been fo over 5 years. He cheatd on his wife 11 years ago an did the right thing and told her. They went to te priest for counseling an it didn’t work ut. She wanted noart of him AT ALL! She has her room, he has his. They have 2 grown ids and 4 grandkids they both love dearly. TYhye live under the sameroof, I believe it’s more about $$ at this point.
    He will not be the first to leave, neither ill she. I am ok with this. She knows he cheats, but does not think t is a serioud relationship, she would kill him, I’m sure.
    My question is this, why would you not care, She has gained like180 pounds in the 24 years they have been married.
    WHY??? would you not care???
    I don’t get it

    Thanks

    Reply
  4. Gina Rose ext.9500Gina Rose ext.9500

    Hi,
    Yes, I believe in the ” for better or worse ” clause, and ” in sickness & health ” clause…… I also believe the REAL beauty comes from within….

    …..but we still haven’t heard from the men out there on this….. which I find curious.

    Blessed Be )O(
    Gina Rose ext.9500

    Reply
  5. foxphoenix

    Okay?? Wow who does that? How can you honestly marry someone? and then cheat on them just because they gain weight? That is unbelievably shallow, and if your spouse does that to you, the first step isn’t to lose weight, but to file for a divorce, because that person obviously is shallow, demeaning and doesn’t truly love you. Someone who loves you, doesn’t care what you look like, the care about you, and who you truly are, and loves your body no matter what the shape, because they don’t even see shape, they see you. If u marry someone your expected to love and to be with them through sickness and in health, because marriage isn’t about your body, it isn’t even about your health, its about the true love that is shared between two people. Thats sad, and above all pathetic to want to continue to be with someone who showed that their love for you is only skin deep. If I were in that situation I’d turn and walk away and never ever come back.

    Reply
  6. diva02903

    I am looking forward to what the men are thinking as well. Although, I inadvertently learned what my ex-husbands thought about my obesity. It was pretty nor kind.

    Reply
  7. bbidatsch

    I don’t suppose it occured to those people who are so fast to abandon their spouses that they may have been a leading cause in the weight gain. Sadly shallow people. These are pathetic excuses that people use to cheat when they don’t want to be responsible for their own behavior. I once read in a great book that a woman needs to make sure she is sexually compatible with a perspective husband because if not she will become fat and cranky.

    Reply
  8. Jaclyn Morrison

    Excuse me, but you dwell only on the side of weight GAIN. I lost 75 lbs, remain physically active, and “recliner boy”, who is of normal weight won’t come near me.
    My infidelity is because, after 7 years, I choose NOT to be celibate.

    Reply
  9. mjk8201954

    I too went to the doctor who suggested a diet. One thing you can be certain, many heavy women do KNOW of all the diets. It is when I went to her for panic attacks, she suggested that their could be a thyroid problem. Synthroid does not help to lose the weight. It helps the thyroid become stable.
    I still need to watch everything I eat and exercise more than any of my friends. I am fortunate to have found a man who works out with me and we try to maintain together.
    As I have gotten older I see that size is a minor piece of the relationship. I know many overdemanding,
    neurotic, pety, bitchy skinny people. I would much rather be me. I pity the man who judges a woman just based on size. Love and attractiveness comes in all sizes

    Reply
  10. savanah123

    I usually would never ever be so quick to judge or so harsh but I implore anyone who is reading this to listen to what I am about to say. This article is the biggest peice of crap I have ever read (sorry it sounds so mean, usually I am not this harsh at all) I have seen several women get cheated on, and trust me, they were not overweight, nor did they gain weight, infact in most cases the woman they were cheated on with were heavier and/or less attractive. First off, if you are commited deeply to someone and you truly love eachother, not attraction which fades mind you (usually the chemical appeal lasts 6 months), but real love, though weight changes may or may not be an issue, that person is the same person, is loved by you and loves you back. If the weight was that big an issue they would just leave. Attraction has little to do with looks, I’m not saying looks aren’t a part of it, but pheremones and other factors tend to overshadow. My husband and I both gained weight after got together, him because I feed him well and myself from an underactive thyroid, we have never been more in love, he loves my body, and I love his. I think that a person’s opinion of themselves can interfere in a relationship, men love confidence. If someone is reserved because of weight gain, yes, that is a trait the partner will pick up on. Personally, I am not happy with my weight, I intend to change it which may warrant a change in meds and a long discussion with my endocrinologist, but my husband thinks I am beautiful even when I think I look my worst. I think after seeing so many people I love and care about be victims of a cheating spouse (ie my mother) and there was no weight gain. I guess what I am trying to say is that infidelity is a choice, everyone can get attracted to other people reguardless of changes in their partner, it’s a biological fact, it’s how they handle it. Though one’s veiw of themself may make them more reserved and less receptive to affection, this is between the couple and is something that can make or break a relationship depending on how they deal with it. Ladies, if you’ve packed on a few pounds, if he loved you then he loves you now, if he treats you differently because of the weight gain, get out, it isn’t love.

    Reply
  11. saphir

    I am 50 years old and overweight and never did my weight interfere in my love life.I still have a very sexual life with my partner.It what i am ,i have qualities i accept myself the way i am so if we talk about love sorry but obesity it not a problem.Love has nothing to do with appearences

    saphir

    Reply
  12. donna

    HI,

    Interesting article.

    Infidelity has many issues, weight may be one, but it is in no way an excuse to cheat on your spouse.

    The note that the other spouse may be feeling “Cheated, getting not what they bargained for”, is a mind that is confused and looking for any excuse to betray their partner. As we age, each of us grow change and especially in appearance.

    Appearance, I feel has little to do with the abuse of infidelity. It is shown when men have affairs they usually go for someone who is less than the one they are with. It has more to do with how the person who cheats feels about themselves. Looking for outside reasons to explain infidelity is an exhausting endevor. The answer will never be found outside of the person. The answers are all with in the cheater.

    It has to do with lack of love for themselves, when they lack love for themselves, they cannot love anyone else.

    If you love someone from the soul level and heart level, one tends to look for the positive aspects of the person.

    If you love someone for the physical, that is all you will ever recieve, is the shallow hollow empty shell.

    When loving from the soul, it opens a entire world that is beyond our physical earthly exsistance.

    Infidelity has everything to do with where the person is spiritually. Even though the earthly exsistance may be presenting the illusion of physical.

    Reply
  13. chrissiem

    actually I had a similar problem but he was unfaithful when my son was 20 months old, I hadn’t put on weight but had taken on a job(caretaker) which meant we weren’t together as much as we could have been, and he said he was depressed (actually he said he had post natal depression) as our son got all the attention. We are still together and will have been married 20 years this year He had cancer three years ago and lost four muscles from his upper leg and also the nerve, this has left him with numbness,swelling and quite bad scarring on his upper leg, and a destinct reluctance in the first year afterwards to make love, and as this coincided with my menopause left me with painful problems when we resumed relations, he then became even more reluctant, and as he’d been unfaithful before I worried he would be again, but I was fortunate enough to find something that helped, and so we seem at least to be ok but sometimes I wonder had we been younger would we have ridden all this out or given up because neither of us are as attractive as we were, and people say he looks as if he’s my dad, and he’s younger than me!!!

    Reply
  14. Gina Rose ext.9500Gina Rose ext.9500

    Hi,
    Yes, I agree with you Diva02903, there may be medical reasons for weight gain….

    Same thing happened to my brother Sean…..under-active thyroid…..and wow!!!! not only did he pack on the weight, but his hair started falling out.

    But aside from prevailing medical problems, I’m curious to hear what the men think about this topic.

    Blessed Be )O(
    Gina Rose ext.9500

    Reply
  15. diva02903

    This an interesting article. However, there could other unknown reasons for weight gain/obesity. I know from experience. When I got married the first time around, I weighed 160 lbs and steadly gain weight. I eventually ballooned to 315 pounds. At one of my physicals, I mentioned to the doctor that I am gaining weight. Doc told me not to worried about it. I did worry for years. About 3 years ago, I learned that I was misdiagnosed since 1986 and the problem was my thyroid and adrenal glands. I am on medication and have been losing weight and feels so wonderful to get back to my normal size and weight. Unfortunately, many doctors judge women overweight and just assumes we are overeating and not active. While my body was readjusting and healing, I have had several health/medical crisis and had almost lost my life because of judgements of obesity.

    It takes a strong loving spouse/partner to assist with advocating when something is clearly wrong and the doctors are not listening. My sister have similar thyroid and adrenal glands issues, she served in the Navy and she had unexplain weight gain and all the doctors kept telling her was stop eating and exercise, which she was already doing. Her faithful husband finally went to the doctors with her and strongly advocated that she was not overeating and was not lazy…something was wrong. It was then that doctors looked at other possibilites and ran other tests and learned that indeed something was wrong.

    Reply
  16. Gina Rose ext.9500Gina Rose ext.9500

    Hi,
    Alina fast became one of my favorite writers many articles ago. This article is fantastic and the topic is long overdue .

    I would love to read what, especially, the men out there think about this topic…..obesity and infidelity.
    I think it might be illuminating and interesting for the women out there to read their comments from a male perspective.

    Blessed Be )O(
    Gina Rose ext.9500

    Reply

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