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My Husband is No Longer Attracted to Me

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I am really in a crisis.  My husband is really withdrawn from "us".  We still sleep in the same bed but he doesn't touch me at all - no hugs, kisses, nothing.  He finally opened up to me yesterday and told me that he's no longer attracted to me because of my weight.  It's been this way for a long time but he's been in denial.  I have been a somewhat overweight most of my life, am almost 39 years old.  We have three small children at home and the pregnancies have really put the weight on within the last 6 years.  I'm currently 5'4" and 242 pounds.  I'm not happy at this weight but I have a really tough time staying motivated.  I love to cook and bake and especially love to eat.  I also eat a lot because of stress and, as you can imagine, with three small children there's a lot of stress.  I feel like I've lost my best friend and am so scared.  I'm angry that this man I love would be so cruel, but also don't want to lose him (but maybe I should).  I'm going to really try and lose the weight this time but am just so lost.  I'm hoping to find some weight loss buddies out there to help me through this and give me the support I'm not really getting at home.
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Hi micrand!
I'm sorry to hear about your situation, but I think you'll find that people on this site are friendly, supportive and helpful in general. There are always people ready to answer your questions, and listen if you need to vent. I'm fairly sure I remember seeing posts from people in the same situation, try a search in the forums.
Good luck losing weight, and I hope you work things out at home.
Have you read Dr. Laura's "The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands"?  I think she mentions a case just like yours.   Do you and your husband do things together without the kids?  Is he supportive of your weight loss?  Try to cook healthy things, and not keep junk around the house.  I am sure that everyone in your family could benefit from eating better.  If you are religious, try talking to your pastor or praying together.  Remember that you love him, and hopefully he love you.  Your marriage, and health, and children, are worth working through this.
That has to be a very painful thing to have to deal with.  I will say one thing though - you have to decide to lose the weight for yourself not do it for anyone else.  I know about stress eating.  Maybe try to find an overeaters anoymous group in your area.  Take care of yourself and once again do this for YOU.
Hi micrand,

I am 39, divorced, raising my son.  I haven't really experienced the same situation that you are faced with, but I wanted to tell you that this site really works.  I have always considered myself an athlete, but after my child was born, I gained weight and had severe problems with Plantar Faciitis in both feet and knee troubles.  I felt horrible about myself first, because I was gaining weight, and second, because I could no longer do any of the atletic things that I enjoyed.  I got depressed and did not have a good self-image.  I left my husband for various reasons and yo-yo'd up and down with my weight for many years.  Sometimes I'd gain or lose 30 lbs in a year.  NOT GOOD!  Then I found this site after I had my feet fixed and my knee surgery.  It taught me all the things I needed to know about losing the weight, eating healthy, and maintaining my weight loss.  I'll be 40 in September and I haven't felt this good in 15 years!  :-) 

One piece of advice I will pass on to you is that you must do 2 things.....count your calories and be aware of the combination of proteins, fats (healty ones only!), carbs, sugars, etc that you consume, establish and exercise routine that works for you and that you can stick with basically for the rest of your life.  I have tried doing one or the other and I always put the weight back on.  Now that I am doing both, the pounds melted away quickly and I can easily maintain even if I don't work out 5 days/week.  I now know enough about foods and nutrition to make it easy to keep the weight off and working out regularly reminds me of all the work I put in to losing the weight, so I am not as tempted to binge or get off my diet for a long period of time.

As for working out.....I know that finding a time when you can work out is tough with young children.  You just have to do it!  Give up some of the time baking for exercise, or pick a time when the kids are napping or sleeping and have a backup time if things get thrown off the normal routine for that day.  Sometimes the best times to work out are those times when you are tempted to binge or sit down in front of the TV.  Invest in equipment if you can't leave the house, it's worth it. 

Hope this helps and good luck!

My heart goes out to you. It is a frustrating position to be in! I have been there and still am to a degree. I have six children. When I lost weight years ago, his attitude didn't improve. I realized then that he had his own problems- and they didn't involve weight, but probably more serious personality issues. I have since had my last three kids and put more weight on and am back in the fight again. For ME. In YOUR case, you haven't been overweight that long. Whether he emotionally comes 'back' to you or not, you will be happier at a healthier weight. I know how hard it is to focus on a whole different eating/cooking/activity lifestyle while you have small kids underfoot. BUT it CAN BE DONE!! Weight Watchers is a fabulous supportive atmosphere, as well as a great way to learn to eat healthy. This site can be used in conjunction with that or any other good weight loss program. I guess I am saying that I know your sadness and your struggles, and you WILL feel better when you begin to give your body the respect it deserves. Then along the way, maybe you can get your husband to go with you to your minister or a family counselor, and help him understand how devastating  his attitude is and how much you need him. Good luck! You are in my prayers.
Hi micrand,

I am so sorry that you are going through this.  As much as it hurts, though -- at least he is being honest with you and that has to count for something.

I would second the suggestion of OA.  I've been going and it is a source of great support for me.   I would love to be weight loss buddies with you, we are the same height and probably have similar goals.  I'm also a stress eater.

take care of yourself.  try to look at this as a wakeup call and a chance to do something to improve your quality of life (especially for your kids!) and your marriage -- but most importantly, your self-esteem.

Good luck and you can PM me any time.
Hi M!

You've gotten a lot of great advice already, so I don't want to repeat - but I do want to say one thing that I realized...

I love to eat too (not a surprise), love to cook, warm cookies out of the oven, love pleasing my husband with a nice dinner when gets home from work - it was DEPRESSING having to stop all that.  I go through a mourning process when I first start dieting - I'm depressed and sad.  Saying goodbye to ice cream every night, not cooking cinnamon rolls, no more donuts at work...  it took me about 2 weeks to get over it .  You'll need time too be sad and say good bye too - you can't just shut off your want for those foods.  It doesn't go away, you'll always want to cook and eat those good foods, but at least you'll be in better control.   I promise, two weeks and you'll be on your new eating schedule and routine that it will just be second nature!  And by that time you'll have dropped a few pounds and there's your MOTIVATION! It will feel wonderful - I promise!!! :) :) :)     

I've dieted before, but not to this level of success (lost 24lbs so far) and I keep telling myself NOT TO QUIT!  I've quit before and that set me back - so if I just don't quit, I never have to start over and go through the horrible first few weeks of starting a diet :)

BEST OF LUCK TO YOU! :)   Do it for yourself, and it will just be a bonus if it brings your DH closer to you :)  It's for YOU first!
I'm sorry to hear this.  I think this tends to be more important to men than we realize.  I remember my husband making a comment years ago... that so and so should lose weight for her husband.  I thought "how insensitive... she should lose weight for herself."  I realize he didn't mean for his love, but for his enjoyment.  That said though, I'm going to stick with what others have said... You need to do this for YOURSELF!  Think of how much better you'll feel about yourself which will make you a better person in general and therefore more attractive inside and out.  We all want that for ourselves, don't we?

In addition, I want to put emphasis on you and your husband need to see a counselor, because it seems there might be more to your husband withdrawing than your weight.

Good Luck to you and God Bless your marriage!
Hi M!!

You do have alot of great advice, and I am sorry this has happened to you as it did. I have a SIMILAR not exact situation where my hubby and I have a real open relatinship.... If I see a "cute" girl, I'll say wow lok at her..... type things. NEVER INSECURE... but I know men, they like to look so I go along with it, and TRULY it has never bothered me. My hubby has ALWAYS claimed he liked bigger girls. I met him weighing around 300 went up to 363.... WEll I went to his buddies house with them for a party. at this time we were married for 3 years, and i had started to gain additional weight because I had had our sone 9 months prior to this time... While sitting around the table, one of his buddies threw him a porno mag of "BIG GIRLS" Bigger than I ever was!!! He laughed it off, and said, man my wife is sittin here that not cool at all.... I played it off, typical show up more courage...

Final result, that haunted me for a long time... my hubby tried to be NOT EMBARRASSED, Im not sure if it was really my size, or the fact that they gave it to him and I was there... I dont know whats said when Im not around... What this long story has boiled down to is this.... I wanted to lose weight for years, never had the strenghth to do it myself... Then I got the feeling of proven others WRONG.. may not be  the best way to look at it, but everyone knows someone who is ALWAYS on a diet.. SO I thought like this," I will do what others can't and see who I prove wrong" Maybe not the right way to do it, BUT IT GOT ME STARTED... that was my original motivation..... It quickly turns over to GO IT FOR YOU once the weight starts to drop..... Funny part now, my hubby really seems jealous of me when around his friends, cause they are always complimenting me... A ggod feeling from the ones that had "BIG GIRLS BOOK"

Look at my pics, Ive lost 107+ lbs :-)

YOU CAN TO!!! I can tell you how I did it....since Jan 07, in 6 1/2 months :-)
I am sorry your husband feels this way. I've always heard men are more visual than us girls.  My hubby is pretty nice about it, but the truth is being out of shape impacts sex lives.    Whether it is b/c you are too tired or feel awkward about your body or merely b/c the other person's love handles etc. turn you off.  I know that my husband and I have similar issues, but he has put on baby weight too, LOL.

The good news is you have come to the right place.  I have three kids, love to bake, love to eat (can't name a food I don't like), and I have medicated myself with food for a few years now.  I am getting it under control now that I see how bad it has been for me.  I'm not going to be unhealthy or fat.  My family has lots of medical problems due to unhealthy eating and not exercising.  So, I feel good that not only am I going to be looking and feeling my best soon, but I'm avoiding a lot of problems that my family has encountered.

Use the food log and analysis and figure out how many calories you should eat a day.  You have to burn off 3500 calories (or create a deficit of that amount) by eating the right amount of calories and exercising to make the difference.  You shouldn't go below your recommended minimum calories a day (once in a blue moon you might when you are really busy or sick).  But if you do that trying to lose to fast you will lower your metabolism.

Also doing weights will help you burn more calories (increase your metabolism).  Another tip for you is to do a little cardio burst about ten minutes of it in the morning just before breakfast.  And drink about a half cup of lowfat milk just before bed.  This prevents your body from trying to keep itself from starving b/c of the whey protein?, I think in milk.  Also, you will have a jump start on burning calories stored before you refuel your tank again.  It's only ten minutes of like jog walk jog (assuming the jog part is you pushing your hardest).  Then enjoy a day of healthy eating and incidental exercise.

Incidental exercise is really good for those of us with kids.  I run the steps, I quit sending my kids up after things in my place so that I could get more exercise.  I quit waiting for opportunity to get to the gym (the kids' baseball, etc. interferes with that some days).  I take the kids on walks and try to go places where we will walk a lot, like the zoo.   Each night I take the kids on a bike ride either before or after dinner.  They look forward to this now.  The young ones ride in my bike trailer.  The oldest we taught to ride a bike recently and that was exercise running and holding his bike up for him. 

I also do a resistance workout at home with medicine ball, and cords.  I let my kids "workout" with me.  They stay on one side of the room and immitate me or do jumping jacks and stuff with one of them being the leader.  We run and play in the back yard more than we used to.  The kids are so happy I am playing instead of just sitting.  I started to fit in their swing seat again (woohoo).  In a few months the seat won't even hurt me anymore, LOL.

I've lost about 5 since starting calorie count about 19 days ago.  I'd love it to be faster, but simply takes time to create good habits and I have had days where I just didn't exercise.  Besides that's almost 2 a week which is the max recommended healthy weight loss.  If I keep at this rate I will be at goal in about 8 weeks.  I'm pretty excited about that.  I feel better and you will too.

I started being more careful and doing a little bit of exercise in May, since then I am down 15 lbs.  I was at a plateau until I started calorie count.  Now I can see what I was doing wrong.  I was eating too much and I was still running for junk when I got stressed.  Now I exercise when I am stressed.  I put that stress into the one thing I can control, my body.  I can exercise and I can stop putting junk in my body.  I feel so much better when I do a set of jumping jacks and crunches instead of going to the kitchen for some chocolate or a Little Debbie (she looks so innocent) to make me feel better.  There's always going to be stress, if I keep  handling it in the wrong manner I am going to be a mess.

Good luck, you will find a lot of support here.  I have to get moving now.  All this talk about exercise makes me need to exercise. gets really tiring to hear of wives gaining 100+ pounds after marriage and then getting pissed at the guy for not being attracted to them. 

And then.....saying how much they love food.  Oh!  The irony.  I have no sympathy anymore for this.
I love to cook big meals too and also to bake.  I still make some sweets for the kids, but now that I am into this I am not as tempted to eat them like I used to.   I really can have just one.  I used to eat a lot more. 

I've tried changing ingredients in favorite recipes, like carrot cake and zuccini bread so it is healthier.  The kids are eating less junk and we don't have a lot of junk in the house for them.  I also drink mostly water now days.  I was really hooked on Coca-cola.

I think my kids are realizing that fruit and veggies aren't just garnish and they taste good.

You can do it.  I was over 200 lbs after one of my kids.  I got down to 135 had another and got up to 185, got down to 135, had another and up to 185 again.  Then I got to 135 and this past winter I ate and ate and layed around and got 30 extra pounds on me.  Oof!  I've lost half of it!  You can do it.  I wish there wer a magic way to do it over night, but this is the only way. 

I look and feel better already.  Off to exercise.
Don't call your husband cruel. Cruel would be making fun of you for being overweight. Telling you he isn't attracted to you anymore isn't cruel, it's honest. 
I understand where you're coming from.  My significant other made comments about how he was less attracted to me (when I was a few pounds heavier) and it really hurt.  I was also angry - he shouldn't care what I look like!  But he's free to have his opinions.  I mean, if he decided to grow a mullet, wear really tacky clothes, or get 25 piercings on his face, I'd probably find him less attractive too.  Even though I would still love the guy inside, I imagine it might be hard to look at him and instantly feel the love.  That said, guys are even more visual than we are.

BUT --- If you're going to have any success at losing weight, you have to do it for you.  There are lots of reasons to want to lose weight - better fitting into your clothes, more energy for playing with your kids, increased sex drive, better fitness, healthier role model for your kids, etc, etc.  Find your own motivation.  If you do it only because of your husband, you're only going to end up resentful.

As for support, this site is great.  Add some people to be your "friends".  Start journalling.  I was so shocked one day, weeks after I had added "friends", when I was really frustrated and vented in the journal feature to see all the helpful and encouraging responses from people I had briefly "met" before.

Best of luck to you - with whatever you decide to do.
To fallingstars - your comments should have been kept to yourself. The original poster was not pissed at her husband, she was hurt and upset and I bet in her position you'd feel exactly the same.

Micrand was sending out a plea to say how LOST she feels but with a pledge to do something about it

. Surely anyone sensible would look to their spouse for love, care, acceptance and support and to have lost some of those things is a hard knock bit micrand is not whining (at least that's not how I read it)

Rejection is hard no matter where it comes from but from a spouse it cuts even deeper.

Micrand - you do need to keep somethig in your mind to focus on to motivate you. Rather than doing it for your husband (and he's not a bad person for telling you this. It probably hurts him to say it, too) do it for your kids. Do it for your health. For yourself. 

I agree with the person who posted that perhaps it's time to put the whole family on a healthier eating lifestyle. If they want to have junk, then will have to go OUT to eat it because the house will contain only foods that nourish - this is the only way I can ever stay on track - to have a complete ban on certain foods in the house. Total no-junk zone.

Discuss this idea with your husband. Get him in on the programme and explain that you'll need his support to do this. get the kids invovled by letting them help you with healthy foods. Since they are small it is possible to get them excited about the healthy foods.  God made them colourful and bright. My mother was creative and would ask things like: do you kids wnat green peppers, red peppers or yellow peppers with your [insert food of choice] and we'd shout out what colour we wanted (and complain bitterly if she got it wrong, haha). I remember at about age 4 watching my mother sit down and nibble on celery. I wanted some too because she was eating it (she ate it with salt though  - not that healthy) so it does rub off on them.

how old are you children?

Thank you to most everyone that replied to my post.  I have a 6 year old daughter and 2 year old boy/girl twins.  For those who thought I was whining, I should tell you that three years ago I was pregnant with triplets and lost one baby at 17 1/2 weeks.  I was on bedrest from then until 36 weeks when the twins were born. This took a real toll on my body and caused me to gain a lot of weight.  In addition, I developed pre-eclampsia with the pregnancy.  A few days after being released from the hospital with the twins I ended up in the ER with post-partum cardio myopathy (Heart failure).  While in the hospital for 6 days recovering from that, the doctors discovered a malignant tumor on my kidney.  So, a month later I was back in the hospital to have my kidney removed.  Luckily they were also able to remove the cancer, but my recover took about 6 months.

Needless to say both me and my entire family have had a lot to deal with.  I don't say all this as an excuse for my weight but more of a background of all the other things going on in my life. 

Since writing my original post my husband and I have started talking.  I've told him that I'm very unhappy at my current weight and do want to lose it.  I'm trying to recommit myself to doing that - not for him but for my health and for the well-being of my children.  I want to be a good example to them and don't want them to struggle with the same things I have all my life.  As hurt as I was about what my husband said, I do appreciate it because it will force me to face this problem I have.

Thanks again for your help - I'm going to continue to need the support every day.  It's a long, hard struggle.
First off, I just want to say I'm sorry things are so rough for you right now (and for so long)/. I can only imagin e the stress of THREE little ones on top of marital and weight issues.  I don't want you to take this the wrong way, but try not to be mad at your husband for losing attraction to you.  He obviously loves you and is with you for that reason. He can't help it the your body has changed from what got him hot enough to make 3 babies. This isn't a knock on you at all. I just mean things change.

I like dark haired men. If my partner bleached his and shrank 4 inches, I'd be unattracted. You like what you like.
I gained about 70 pounds in the past 5 years without the aid of pregnancy, and no matter how much he denies it, I know my boyfriend was more attracted to the thinner me. We as humans can't help it. Plus, women want to turn their men on. Don't get down on him or yourself.

Just add it to the list of motivators. Being healthy and sexy are big things. Healthy for you first off, and esp. for your kids. My boyfriend is a little overweight, but he feels really out of shape. I told him no kids until we're healthy because he's not dying on us. I think the same should go for us women.

The one thing I would say in response to him is, "Well help me!" He's your life mate, best friend, and lover. He should help you and you should allow him. You love cooking and baking. Try substitutes and whole grains and fresh stuff. Cut your portions down little by little.  On this site, set a small goal to lose 20 pounds in like 2.5 months.  You can definitely do it if you focus on being healthier for the kids, more so than looking better. It sounds harsh, but I tell myself (my mom does it now too), "If I eat like this I'll die."  Scare tactics work for me, but maybe not you.

Whatever works, I wish you the best and hope you take this response well.
I started here in the exact same situation. My boyfriend of 3 years and I basically had no sex life at the beginning of this year. He was never interested anymore. He would never tell me why until one day I flat out asked him if it was my weight and he said yes. I was DEVASTATED at first. I was only 30 pounds heavier than when he'd met me. I remember spending the whole night crying and feeling terrible about myself. I should note that my weight gain was also caused by pregnancy, and then by the subsequent loss of our baby when he was a week old..this caused a lot of depression and I turned to food to comfort myself. I didn't know what to think when he said he wasn't as attracted to me. I did the "poor me" thing for a couple days, but after really talking about it with him I realized how much he really did love me and didn't want to hurt me. I asked him a serious question and he loved me enough to be honest. He told me that he didn't want me to lose weight for him, but that he thought it would help our sex life and he thought it would make me feel better about myself, which is what he felt was causing a lot of our problems.

Within the same week he told me that, I found this website and have lost the whole 30 pounds so far. I'm happier than ever and have never loved my boyfriend more. And I'm even motivated now to continue losing more, and try to get myself into the fittest body I can possibly be in!

And for the person who commented that they didn't feel bad for micrand and that they were sick of hearing it....that was certainly a comment that should have been kept to yourself. It's not supportive. We all have our own issues behind out weight and that should be respected.
Oh yes, I should also add that my boyfriend has been very supportive and helpful helping me lose weight. He always reads labels on groceries now and helps with a lot of the cooking. He used to always pack our shopping carts full of chips and pop and ice we don't even pay attention to those items! This is absolutely essential for your hubby to realize....I don't think I could have done it if Brandon was continuing to eat like he did before (My boyfriend is 6 feet and 155 pounds soaking wet, but he eats more than anyone ive ever met). It's like asking a heroin addict to stop shooting heroin while some one is sitting in front of them doing it. So if you're ready to do this thing..make sure he's ready too!

I bet fallingstar is NOT married and has never been PREGNANT! because she would feel differently about weight if she had gained 30 lbs from being pregnant, If she had to cook everynight for a family and work full time. So I will chalk it up to her ignorance to the subject (read your  MLK quote again). Anywho, I can relate and sympathize with you because fortunately for me my hubby has never complained but is has been me who is no longer attracted to me and therefore was not interested in sex. My hubby had a long talk with me a couple weeks ago telling me he knew my feelings and could tell just by my actions that I was uncomfortable and needed to do something about it. I wish he would have "complained" because I needed that push to help myself. Since then I have been eating right(struggling) and exercising to lose weight for us. I say us because my marriage suffered because of me not being the best me I knew how.
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