How do I tell my boyfriend he’s let himself go?
August 22, 2012 | 11:00 am
(Updated: February 22, 2013 | 3:46 pm)
My partner of 10 years has been gaining weight and it’s getting harder to stay sexually interested in him. I keep slipping these hints that I’m going to start working out or eating healthier, suggesting he could support me by doing it too. So far it’s not working – he just says “that’s great” and stuffs another slice of pizza in his mouth. He complained about what he thinks is my lack of sex drive. Then one night he caught me masturbating on the couch after I snuck out of the bed. Now he’s really angry because it was just an hour after I told him that I was “not in the mood.” I don’t think I can avoid it anymore. Is there a nice way to say, “I’ve lost interest because you got fat?”
Of course there are nice ways to deal with this situation. We all change over time in a variety of ways – our physical appearance, interests, family issues, health concerns and life choices. When we are in committed relationships, there are times when our partners change in ways that may not be pleasing to us. For that matter, sometimes we change in ways we aren’t happy with either – we might not totally like ourselves when we look in the mirror, and the phrase “love is blind” is not always true.
Body shape is one of those things that tends to fluctuate over time. Our focus and interest in maintaining an eye-catching physique can decrease as we get more comfortable in our relationship or focused on other things. Life can definitely get in the way of some of our past goals. Sexual interest tends to go up and down in relationships, too, and doesn’t spell the end – but it can absolutely be impacted by each partner’s sexual attraction to the other. Like with any situation where resentment, dissatisfaction, and a lack of honest communication are present, this could drive a wedge into your relationship.
It doesn’t sound like you are just putting your feelings and concerns directly on the table; you’re pussy-footing around them. I’m assuming that part of you is concerned about hurting his feelings, but there is also most likely a part that doesn’t want to have this discussion because it’s an uncomfortable confrontation. There are only so many times where you can claim to have a headache or pretend to be sleeping.
Your technique of offering support for both of you to begin eating better and getting in shape is admirable to some extent, but it seems to be more geared with getting your partner motivated to get in shape. What is stopping you from taking the initiative to begin getting ripped, or coming home from work and cooking a more healthy meal? This may be a good time to stop thinking about how unhappy you are with the situation and take steps to begin having a positive impact on it.
Your subtle hints may be too subtle. There are times where hints may be perceived as simply chitchat or off-handed comments. Couples can get comfortable in their relationships and easily fall into ruts. If you have been together for 10 years, hopefully you have established a strong feeling of respect and love between both of you. This can be a strong ally when having these types of difficult conversations. They aren’t brought up out of being judgmental or mean-spirited.
This may be a good time to sit down with each other and have a conversation about where both of you are in the context of this relationship and what you hope to see in the future. I’m curious to hear if your partner is as attracted to you as he was when you first started dating. There may be aspects of you that your partner is not feeling positive about either. There is nothing that says that he will have any feedback, but it could give you an opportunity to get this process rolling.