Spouses Who Fear/Resent Your Weight Loss

My wife and I both needed to lose about 35lbs or so. I have done that the past 8 months, while she hasn't. There are various "reasons" why she hasn't seen the progress that I have, but the net is--and this came out during an emotional talk we had the other night--that she's freaked out that I now only weigh 20lbs more than her (I'm 8" taller), and said she hates her body, feels like a failure, etc. What triggered this was the fact that I was planning on getting up to run, and she was concerned that I'd lose even more weight and close that gap even more. (That's not my goal, btw.)

Needless to say, this is really disconcerting for me on many levels, and I'm not really sure how to handle it. I want to be supportive, but am not really able (willing?) to hide my new devotion to nutrition, tracking, exercise, the lifestyle change I've undertaken, etc. I don't judge her for what she eats/doesn't eat, or the various approaches she's tried while I've reached my goal. I know she's happy for me and enjoys her new "thin" husband, but at the same time it's rough.

Has anyone else experienced this, and if so, how do you balance not pushing your spouse too much while naturally being excited about the positive changes you are experiencing? How does your "success" not become a daily, visible symbol for their lack of progress and a source of frustration (and despair)?



  • cathipa
    cathipa Posts: 2,992 Member
    Weight loss is a personal decision. You can't let her decisions affect yours and vice versa. When she is ready to make the commitment be there to support her. Keep making good choices and she may eventually follow, but remember you married her before you decided to change to a healthy lifestyle.
  • mwillder1
    mwillder1 Posts: 24 Member
    kmhawker77 wrote: »
    Is she on MFP? Invite her to read blogs, connect with other women who are also on this journey :)

    She's not, but that's a great point. Thanks!
  • fitoverfortymom
    fitoverfortymom Posts: 3,453 Member
    Her journey has to be her own, but you can nudge her towards the tools. I got a jump start on my hubby to the tune of 80lbs before he really engaged on his own to lose weight. He did "get with the program," although he doesn't track as closely as I do on MFP--he has still mentally kept track of calories and the CICO concept (fact). I think hubby got grumpy with me a few times when I was excited about hitting weight loss milestones, which also made ME grumpy (but not deterred).

    Let her know you will support her any way you can as soon as she is ready, but also let her know that your goals are important to you and your own health. Ask her if there is anything she needs you to do to help her and see what the answer is.

    Directing her to connect with us on MFP is definitely a great place to start!
  • dsboohead
    dsboohead Posts: 1,900 Member
    Don't hide or sneak or give up your aspirations! Do what you do and keep letting her know this is for you NOT to insult her.
    Please don't stop your dreams to appease anyone else.
    All you can do is kiss and hug her on your way out.
  • Lora2380
    Lora2380 Posts: 193 Member
    edited June 2018
    I understand that this is extremely difficult. My husband has joined me many times over the years on my fad diets and he always lost way more and way faster than I did so I can understand that your wife would feel insecure in herself for not having the same results. It is discouraging to say the least. We have switched roles a bit this time around and I have lost the most weight and I think he is feeling a little left behind this time around.

    Insecurity is the big part, I realized in the past that I needed constant reassurance that my husband still loved me and was attracted to me, whether I was loosing or not. When I didn’t feel so self conscious or like we were competing, it became more about how I wanted to look for me and I finally made the realization that I don’t need to diet to look better this summer but that I wanted to be healthy and have made the lifestyle change that so many talk about and that I used to role my eyes at. He has supported me fully but his job is busy and he doesn’t always have access to clean eating and time for exercising so I let him know that I love him as he is and support that it is taking him longer this time around and that I still find him attractive and praise him for what he does when he can. It’s hard to rein in my enthusiasm on the days he’s down as I’m so excited about this and how far I’ve come. But he also knows it’s important to me so often asks how I’m doing and that he is proud of what I’m doing for myself.

    I think it really is a give and take on both ends. She needs to feel she’s still loved for her but you need to feel she’s proud of your accomplishments as well. Instead of thinking about pushing ( even if you feel it is positive) think about building her up, compliment her on things she has done right, ask her to go for a walk with you even if you feel like running by yourself. Make healthy dinners for the both of you. And hopefully when she starts feeling better about herself she will start to not feel threatened by your loss or that is a competition she can’t win and focus more on what she wants to better for her.

    Ps congratulations on your loss and I think that is wonderful that you want to share this with your wife.

  • ashleyrebekah392
    ashleyrebekah392 Posts: 50 Member
    I think you should just reassure her that she has nothing to worry about. And also that if she would like to get into you would love to help her on her own journey. I still weigh more than my hubby. We are the same height but he's just built smaller. I weigh 25 pounds more than him. He has a lot of muscle and all that and I have more fat to lose. But he doesn't work out, but I try to get him to join me sometimes and he does some. But he always is encouraging with me and he eats healthy also now. But that's taken me about a year to get him to do lol just ease her into it but don't force it too hard. She will start when she's ready, just make sure she knows you are there for her.
  • kristingjertsen
    kristingjertsen Posts: 238 Member
    cwolfman, I am glad you and your wife are in a really good place. This gives hope to folks who are opposites in health, fitness, and eating habits. It can be really frustrating dealing with extremes of behavior. Sometimes you just have to keep your mouth shut and let your partner figure out how to solve the problem alone. Once a person decides to make a change, all you need to do is get out of their way and let them do it.
  • Lounmoun
    Lounmoun Posts: 8,427 Member
    If she has always been smaller than you even while overweight finding out you are the same weight or less than her could be a shock or drive home her status. I think many people have to come to a poing where they are afraid or angry before they really get serious about managing their weight. This may be her moment to take a hard look at what she really wants and how she wants to progress.
    I would point her to the forums so she can find some buddies with similar stats and goals to her instead of comparing to you.

    Hating and beating up on herself is not productive. She isn't going to think she is attractive just because you say it. She needs to find the positives about her body for herself. If she is really bad she might need professional therapy to help her.