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Help not physically attracted to wife anymore

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Listen I know this sounds childish but I don't know what to do about it.My wife and I have been together for 18 years.We met in high school at 15 yrs old.I was a running back and wrestler and she was in modeling school soo beautiful.we had a child at 16 and another at 17 young and dumb. She gained a little weight after the boys and I understood that I dont ask for perfection and I am not perfect myself. I left for the marine corps when I was 18 and when I came back I literally walked right past her,I didnt know who she was.shes 5'2 and 265 lbs.now. I love her as a person, shes funny and fun and i love her dearly, I can't really imagine life without her.I put the weight issue aside for many years(were 33 now)but it seems now I have just had it, It almost seems to me that she is punishing me with this weight, I try to work out with her, I get rifd of junk food and Ive made healthy lunches for her to take to work.She dosent care she just makes excuses for why she cant do it, I even tried bribing her she wanted this really expensive ring and i told her if she lost 50 pounds in a year I would get it for her.Our sex life is suffering I cant really complete the act im completely turned off by her sexually. I feel like a selfish @#$ but thats just how i feel.To me this is not the person I started out with at all,What can I do to prevent a divorce I don't want?

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Well....I would think that intamacy with the one you love would be extremely important.As far as punishment goes, when we were teens I cheated on her and she really never got over it, she wasn't exactly an angel either but i wrote it off as young kids being young kids.We have been completely monogamous since but again i think she still holds that grudge.

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Wow, your feelings are very understandable. This situation is not only affecting your relationship, but also her physical (and in all likihood her mental) health.


I had to learn the hard way that we guys, once mentioning our concern over our female partner's possible decline in attractability, can begin a snowball amassing of both negative self-worth and other difficulties which only compound our and our partner's problems.


This sounds like a situation which will require extraordinary love and sacrifice -- faith -- patience -- time. And some rethinking.


I do not think she is trying to punish you. Overeating and inability to take steps to control habits which negatively impact physical health and vital relationships stem from deep things in the brain that science is probably not yet clear on. In my view you should not take this personally. In my view she does not have the control that seems like she should -- although it is her elbow bending her forearm to her mouth with unproductive food.


She may even think she has more choice in this than she really does. Yet in the end, it is only her choice (as you well know) which will pull her back.


She is deep into this. Handle her with kid gloves. She is gonna need to pull herself up by her own bootstraps.


I know you have tried to find other ways to respect and love her. She will continue to need that from you in order to have the elbow room to pull herself up. That is all I know that you can do.

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Lets just all leave and divorce our partners and because they will get older and become less attractive then, shall we?


Why get married? People change and don't stay the way we were when younger.


You married for better, for worse......and not until your partner gets fat.

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I think your feelings are very understandable. You've come a long way with someone you've been with since you were teenagers. I think a positive thing that stands out in your message is that you still truly love her.


The thing is, you can't really force her to change her habits (bribing?? that will certainly get you nowhere). Most girls are thinner when they are 16 than when they enter their thirties. Maybe in conversations about this, try to focus on the health aspect rather than the weight aspect. The only one who can turn around and start to live a healthier lifestyle, is HER. The only thing you can do, is set a good example.


Are you still as toned as you were in your younger years? I imagine that like most humans, you're not. This is not really about weight, it's about her not CARING about it, and that makes her less attractive. Maybe you can change your routines and start to be active together in weekends?


I do agree with posters above that love should not depend on how someone's physical shape changes during the course of life. But I know that my parents still find each other attractive even if there are more pounds and wrinkles. But your question is about feeling (sexually) attracted, not love in the broader sense.

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I dont think im being clear shes five foot two and 265 lbs according to a body mass index she is morbidly obese. I would be completely happy with her at 180 lbs. Should I just watch her eat herself to death and then marry again after shes gone shes 33 yrs. old not 83. theres really no excuse to be that overweight when you have a family that wants to help you every step of the way. i think arwen was right I think more of my anger is that she just dosent care about herself anymore.

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Thank you..I understand ....then get her to a doctor to be checked . If thats all clear then she may need to see a psychologist to see why she has let herself go. The body tends to follow what the mind wants.

You are both young so definitely get help to help her get back to normality for her health and your physical relationship..

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theres really no excuse to be that overweight when you have a family that wants to help you every step of the way.

She has a physical disease for which there are only questionable medical cures. The only solution, for better or worse, is a spiritual/emotional one.


I do relate to your lack of attraction. And your frustration. I do agree that you should not be expected to just hang around and idly let someone kill their self. That alone is unattractive on both your parts.


What I want to express is that if she can't control herself, then you definitely can't. All you can do is back-up and love and respect her.


This means completely refraining from any negative communication of any kind whatsoever, period.


Another person here mentioned an intervention of the sort where you threaten to leave her. The only way that will work is if you really do it. It doesn't seem like the thing that one can fake. Leaving her or the threat of it might make her situation worse. So be certain of this action before you take it. And don't mention it unless you really plan to do it.


Personally, I do not recommend that.


She is physically sick, albeit in a way that appears to be initialized by conscious, willful choice.


In my view, the worse one suffers from these compulsions, the less choice and willpower one has. If you leave her you are essentially leaving her because she is physically sick, in my view.

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I think I know where you're coming from. It's hard to feel physically attracted to someone that doesn't feel they are worthwhile. Obviously, with your wife's specs, she is morbidly obese. You actually do sound like you love the woman and you've been together for a long time. Trying to talk to her about this, I can only imagine how difficult it is. She's already suffering from extreme self esteem issues.

Have you thought about suggesting some marital counseling? A good therapist will pick up on her issues immediately. Her weight is self destructive, dangerous and some people would even say selfish. She needs to take care of her health otherwise she is burdening you taking care of her or worse yet, making you a widower at a young age.

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I'm a bit surprised at some of these responses. There's a huge difference between gaining a typical 20 - 30 pounds during adulthood, and gaining 100+ lbs. I'm guessing she barely resembles the person she once was.


I know love isn't based on looks, but to be truly happy in a relationship, physical attraction is pretty darn important. The OP obviously loves his wife. He wouldn't have stuck around for 18 years if that wasn't the case. But unfortunately it takes more than love to make a relationship work.


Obviously you can't force someone to change. But you can sit your wife down and put all your cards on the table. Tell her everything you said here - what the problem is, how you feel about it, and why it needs to change. Offer her the support and help she needs. After that... well, you'll have to decide what's important to you. Ultimately it's your choice to stay whether or not she decides to take control of her health, but I can't say I'd blame you if you decided to leave. How can she expect you to spend the rest of your life with her if she doesn't even put in the effort to make sure that's possible?

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Wow, 5'2 265 was it? That's insanely overweight and I don't blame you for loss of attraction. It's not all just about physical attraction, but it's just plain unhealthy. You can't (obviously) force her to lose the weight. Bribing her will get you nowhere. Try planning activities where you're both active, keep junk out of the house.


Is there a medical reason for her weight gain? A thyroid problem? Is she depressed? Does she just not care? Surely, with such a huge gain, she's totally aware and not feeling so great about it herself but is just lost at where to begin.


Maybe join a gym together and make a pact to go a few times a week. Have her talk to her doctor about healthy ways to lose weight.


At this point, I would be more concerned about her health than anything else

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You can only affect your own actions and feelings. I agree--anything said to her at all will result in a domino effect of negative feelings for herself and you. I understand your point of view completely, but I also understand her's since I was in her shoes for many years. Not as overweight, but overweight enough that it affected our relationship and my husband's attraction to me. I felt that he should accept me and love me for who I was, regardless of how I looked. I knew that wasn't fair, but that's how I felt anyway, and it fed into a cycle of resentment building up between us. Chances are that the weight gain is not about food. Your wife may feel depressed, unfulfilled, unappreciated (not saying you don't appreciate her), or overcontrolled. The only thing you can really do is love and support her. Try to find things each day about her which you CAN find attractive--her face, the way she did her hair, how she takes the time to do things for you and the kids, how she listens when you've had a hard day, how she laughs at your jokes...etc. Just, in yourself, find something each day and then tell her about it. Maybe it will shift things for you both.

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Wow that's too heavy man. That's a bigger BMI than me. I am overweight too. I understand your feelings. But why doesn't she listen to you? I mean, if the guy she loves says something, I think she should at least consider it. If I had a girl by my side who would help me with my weight problem, I would definitely take steps Seriously you have been together so many years, I think she should at least consider your viewpoint. No excuse for this, man.

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You sound admirable to realize that deep down you still love your wife but lets face it... morbid obesity is a killer.


I would imagine at that weight it is very hard for her to keep up with her kids activities.


The problem is sometimes you can get to the point of giving up and not trying for the fear of failure itself. Perhaps deep down she is very conscious and aware of what state she is in and the lack of self esteem perpetuates the issue.


However the only one who can motivate her to weight loss is herself.


And - as awful as it sounds many of us want a good active sex life with our partner. I know I crave it. Unfortunately attraction is part of that sexual connection (and of course what one person finds attractive is not what all people find attractive - but the bottom line is that it is attraction that drives us...) If my partner gained 20-30 pounds I would not be much put off... I'd still love him and vice versa BUT I'd have to say if my partner put on 100+ pounds I'd want to understand why... if it were a health problem or physical ailment... but a complete lack of respect for one's body then I too would be turned off... (its just like when your partner works out and gets in really good shape and looks good... that you are equally turned on... )


The OP is in a predicament and a tough one. Sounds like he has used kids gloves in trying at this point to make changes in her routine that are positive. At some point he is becoming exhausted over not getting much in return. I would be equally turned off by such a large partner if I worked hard to keep myself in shape.


Its a tough call and I don't have good advice other than I completely understand!

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Gosh, is sex really that important to you?

You're asking a 33 year old man if sex is important to him?

Lets just all leave and divorce our partners and because they will get older and become less attractive then, shall we?

I beieve that your problem is not the physical but something in your head. Why isnt she beautiful to you as she is.

I can't believe these posts. She is 5'2" and 265 lbs. That is humongous. Is the problem really "in [his] head" or is it that her circumference is approaching her height?? As far as I'm concerned, the man is a saint for sticking around this long.

But why doesn't she listen to you? I mean, if the guy she loves says something, I think she should at least consider it. If I had a girl by my side who would help me with my weight problem, I would definitely take steps

Overweight women and men respond very differently to the subject of weight.


OP, I've got no real advice for you. There's nothing you can do but gently encourage her, which you've been doing, and which may or may not ever achieve any results. You are faced with a catch 22 - if you say something, you risk making her turn to food for comfort; if you don't say anything, she may not change anything. She is obese, and she knows it, but nothing will change until she wants to change. Maybe try subtly forcing her to recognize how overweight she is by taking pictures of the family and pictures of her with her thinner friends and putting them around the house. Sometimes it really hits home for these women when they see how fat they are compared to everyone around them.

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OK, just found the ENA member who your situation reminded me of: WhatThe. OP, look at his threads, you may find parallels to your situation.


Has anyone ever heard of a situation where a married woman this far out of shape has ever gotten back into reasonably good shape while staying married?

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Bribing won't do any good, it just builds resentment. Threatening to leave also won't do any good. This is not about you, this is not about her punishing you. This is about her own inner unhappiness. Have you ever sat down and talked to her about her hopes and dreams. Does she work? Does he regret having children that young..does she feel like she gave up her life and could have done other things, gone places, etc but instead she was raising children at a young age. How long were you in the military before you came back and found out how heavy she was? Clearly she was not so happy with her life at that point...raising children on her own while you were off in the military. Perhaps her state of mind is the key...find out what she wants and what she needs...what will give her a new lease on life, something to look forward to, to plan...a new life dream. Getting motivated in life and in future plans and dreams my help her get motivated to change herself as well and lose some weight. It has to come from her...not from the partner forcing healthy food down her throat and couching the disgust by saying "let's work out together etc". Yes, those tactics are what is often promoted on this forum..but the person who needs to lose weight knows damn well that the partner is doing it not for concern for their welfare, but really because they are revolted. The more revulsion the partner feels the more stuck they end up getting because they figure "what's the point".

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OK, just found the ENA member who your situation reminded me of: WhatThe. OP, look at his threads, you may find parallels to your situation.


Has anyone ever heard of a situation where a married woman this far out of shape has ever gotten back into reasonably good shape while staying married?


What? Like the loch ness monster? You don't think it exists? Um yeah, it's possible in or out of a marriage.


uugh. The OP is discouraged enough, don't you think?


Ok, sure the OP is in a tough place, I agree, But I think he can and should approach her-carefully...


He should tell her he loves her and wants a lifetime with her. He is highly concerned because her weight is unhealthy. Stress that he isn't looking for the 16 year old body, he gets that things change over time, but if she could even lose 10-15 lbs, she'd feel better about herself, and simply feel better.....


Then he should ask her what she needs from him for support/encouragement. What is supportive to one is destructive to another in this arena, so let her tell him what she needs. Then do it.


But my advice is to break down the weight loss into small goals. Don't talk about losing 100 lbs- focus on something she can achieve in a reasonable period of time. Help her set ONE reachable goal for herself, and then when she achieves it, grab that momentum, and go for the next 10 lbs.


100 lbs would sound to a 265 lb person like climbing Mount Everest...10 lbs is achieveable. Then she'll find her motivation in her own success...


Then, if she'll agree, go to the doctor with her & ask for assistance in developing a healthy plan.

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Why are we making the OP feel bad about himself for what he's not attracted to? 5'2 and 265 is very, very obese. It's not like she put on 10 or even 20 pounds. Sorry, but a lot of people would be turned off by this. He didn't say he wants a divorce, he said he DOESN'T want one.


OP, ultimately you can sit her down and try to have a nice, loving conversation about her weight and health. But you can't force her to do anything, she's going to have to make this change on her own.

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5'2" and 265 lbs is morbidly obese. right now she is putting herself at extreme risk for all sorts of medical problems, and with an unhealthy diet she is probably sharing with her kids who will probably in turn end up being just as unhealthy.


Her health is a serious issue here, her weight is effecting more than just his sex drive.

I dont blame him for being upset or concerned, this is a huge issue and intimacy especially is the cornerstone to a good and long relationship, along with good communication and trust.

What i suggest you do is start counselling if you can, if not then a sit down with her expressing all of your feelings. Staying away from naming her as a problem. Use the "I" and not the "you"

"I feel like"

"this makes me feel like"

and etc.

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What? Like the loch ness monster? You don't think it exists? Um yeah, it's possible in or out of a marriage.

Of course it's theoretically possible. I've never heard of a situation where a married women became obese to the point where her husband lost interest in sex with her, and then got into the kind of shape that re-sparked his interest in sex, all while staying married. Never read about a situation like that on ENA either. So I was asking if others knew of such situations because maybe the OP can learn what worked to turn things around.

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