Emma, writing from Plymouth, said her boyfriend’s weight gain (35 lbs) was beginning to turn her off. She just doesn’t know how to bring up the subject as he is very sensitive about his appearance and most likely would get very annoyed.
I can identify with her boyfriend’s feelings, to a point. My wife has mentioned my expanding waistline in the past. I would get defensive, and not want to talk about it. I realise she was not making fun of me, but just making an observation, and it should be nothing to get annoyed about.
Emma’s problem is more complex. She has seen her boyfriend’s weight rise so much until she can no longer stand his physical appearance. She says she still loves him but is now finding it impossible to respond to his advances in the bedroom.
Her boyfriend loves Indian and Chinese takeouts, burgers and beer. He also spends a lot of time watching tv. When they do go out together it will usually be to a fast food restaurant followed by a visit to a bar.
I have written back to Emma saying she should convince her boyfriend to cut down drastically on all the takeout meals and the fast food restaurants, and the money saved go to something they both would enjoy – a holiday to somewhere they would love to visit, for example. She has said she is willing to cook more healthy meals at home, that’s a good start.
She could also mention that she wants to join a gym, and that if he joined too, they could motivate each other. The exercise would do them both a power of good. Getting fit together will sharpen them both up to take on other pursuits, as well as reviving their bedroom antics (he will like that idea). This way they would make changes to their lifestyle together, without mentioning his weight gain outright. Cut down on his 7 days a week beer drinking gradually as he may react against too many sudden changes happening all at once.
Emma’s boyfriend does take her for granted and they do need to talk about the state of their relationship. She cares too much about her boyfriend to leave him, so she has decided to do something positive. She is getting actively involved in the changes she wants her boyfriend to make. In her latest email she is now cooking at home for her delighted boyfriend as she cooks just like his mum!