This is something we’ve stumbled upon very often, when helping people interested in weight loss. Whether at the gym, or our neighbors, or even family members, there is this common story that keeps showing up.
Husband doesn’t want wife to lose weight, or even actively sabotages the weight loss process. The latter case is rare, but we’ve seen everything from guilt tripping to forcing more food on their plate and so on.
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So what can you do when your husband doesn’t want you to lose weight ?
Well, this depends a lot on the quality of the relationship you have with your spouse, but here’s 5 ideas that we’ve seen some of our clients apply, and some ideas we know would work because we’ve seen family members apply them. So:
1. Talk to your husband, find out the real problem
Even if he’s against you losing some weight, there’s got to be a reason behind it. Try to find it out, and you can also check in the second half of this article some possible reasons he might be against the idea.
The point is, you can totally do this even if your husband doesn’t support you, but it will be harder. So it’d be much better if you both got on the same page.
It is very important to remember that your husband might have some preconceived ideas, as many people do, about weight loss. As in it could backfire, you could gain the weight back, it’s not worth the effort, he’s never seen anyone succeed, etc.
He could be trying to shield you, in a way. But you need to find out the root of the problem and work on it together.
If after talking to him he still insists that you shouldn’t lose weight, and you still want to lose weight, then proceed to the next idea.
2. Be independent, you can do this
If you’re on your own here, then it’s time to put the big girl pants on, and get to it. From this point on, think of your husband’s lack of support as a constructive obstacle, if you may. It’ll make the weight loss harder, but if you manage to lose weight and keep it off, despite all this, then you’re pretty cool !
However, be warned that some arguments might arise, from time to time. Those need to be dealt with gently and with care, because they can come up again in a random argument 10 years from now. You know what I mean.
So get your diet plan, get your exercise plan, teas, yoga mats, sweatpants, whatever you need. Arm yourself with lots of patience and a strong will, because this will take some time.
The silver lining in all of this is that you’ll be a great role model, managing to lose weight on your own. Your husband might even change his mind and declare that he likes how those new pants fit you. Who knows ?
Always keep in mind that your husband does have feelings, and might be a bit confused by the changes in you. You need to keep your emotions in check, and not be resentful towards your spouse.
You have a right to ask for support, but that doesn’t necessarily mean your partner will understand the need for it.
Make sure that you keep your relationship a priority, and avoid snapping at each other despite the tension.
3. Stand your ground when your husband tempts you with food
Or even when he teases you about it. Take it lightly and throw a joke back at him. Appreciate that he’s not outright replacing your unsweetened ice tea with soda, or feeding you cheesecake.
Again, this is part of seeing his lack of support as a constructive obstacle course. The harder the journey, the happier you’ll be at the destination.
Your husband might come up to you with some fries and cheese dip when you’re both waiting to pick up with kids from school, and you might be tempted just a bit, but you must be strong.
Remember why you started losing weight, and what you want to achieve. Your husband will lay off after a while, when he sees you’re serious about this.
Keep in mind that he might get the kids in on it, if you two have kids. This can be even harder, and we’ve seen a case where the mother was guilt-tripped into eating with the rest of the family, even after she was full. The family itself was overweight, and the mother was trying to lose the weight.
She did succeed, in the end, but standing up to her husband and children was very hard.
It’s always harder to not be influenced by those you love, so that’s why you’ve got to always remember what you’re trying to achieve. You might even have to turn down grandma’s cookies, and you know how upset she gets. All grandmas do.
But everyone does get used to it in the end, and they will stop insisting once they see you’re serious with the weight loss AND even managed to shed a few pounds.
4. Lay out the benefits for him
Try another approach, that might work specifically for him. There’s got to be some advantages with your weight loss, that are mostly for him.
Like, maybe he loves loooong walks but you get tired too easily, and once you lose more weight you’ll be able to keep up with him on those walks.
Or, maybe he’d look forward to being able to brag to his friends about that sexy lady draped on his arm. Oh wait that’s you ! What a catch !
Try explaining the massive difference in energy and general good mood you’ll have once you start losing weight, and how that will help the family in general, but also your relationship.
There’s the sex as well, we’ll agree on that. It becomes much easier and fun, and we’re pretty sure it might be something that’ll interest him.
Benefits for your husband will be easy to find, as long as you put yourself in his shoes and imagine what life would be like with a slimmer, more energetic version of yourself.
5. Give him time to adjust
Lastly, keep in mind that he will need some time. If you’ve been overweight for some time now, or the majority of your relationship, and didn’t do something about it until now, it might come as a shock to your husband.
You’re the same woman he knows, the woman he married, but you’re seemingly suddenly unhappy with the way you look. Even if this was a decision you took long before you started actually losing weight, he might be surprised.
So it might just be that he needs some time to adjust to the thought that you want to change the way you look. Be there for him and help him out with any questions he might have.
Don’t expect him to already know what you’re going through, he’s not the one trying to lose weight. He might ask silly questions like ‘why are you eating so much avocado ?’ or ‘aren’t you tired of that salad ?’ that might seem SO EASY to figure out for you but, they’re not. At least not for someone who isn’t trying to lose weight or eat healthy.
So remember that he will need some time, give him time and go easy on him. You’ll see him adjust just fine.
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Now that you know what you can do when your husband doesn’t want you to lose weight, we should be talking about why this even happens.
Why is your husband against you losing weight in the first place ?
Maybe not all of these reasons apply to your husband in particular, but they’re worth keeping in mind when you talk to him. It could be:
- He’s afraid you could leave him. This is a common fear, and needs a deep, honest talk between the two of you.
- You’re becoming too different from him. If he just does not want to lose weight at all, and then you go ahead and lose 40 lbs, that’s a difference in principles that can lead to big arguments. You need to figure out what matters the most to you.
- He could be manipulative. It ties in a bit with the first point, but your husband might want to keep you overweight because he thinks there’s less of a chance of another man courting you, or you leaving him.
- It’d mean HE’d have to lose weight. And he might not be ready to deal with the idea.
- He might not believe you. Maybe you’ve tried losing weight, several times before, and failed. In his mind it could just be another waste of time and money and you’d be failing again.
- He might actually be into chubby girls. Maybe he doesn’t even realize this is his thing, but it might play an important role in your relationship.
- He likes you as you are. And know the struggle of losing weight, and would maybe want to shield you. If this is the case, you’re good.
We hope this article was helpful, and whatever you discuss with your husband, it will be in your best interest. Good luck with your weight loss journey and stay healthy !
Feel free to check our other articles, maybe you’ll like them as well.