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Old 07-20-2007, 08:50 PM   #1
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Obesity affecting my relationship

Over a year ago I joined this message board to discuss different issues of my relationship. Some of the opinions and advice I did not agree with but it was always nice to hear complete honesty.

As a prelude her and I have talked about this. She knows how I feel. It is not like I am sitting around thinking these thoughts to myself and wishing for change.

I have been with the same girl for 3+ years now. When we met she described herself as chubby and I would say that is a accurate description. She is 5'1" and when we met I guess that she weighed about 145 lbs. We feel in love and had a very rough first year or two in our relationship. Though now things have smoothed out. After about the first year she gradually starting gaining weight. I wished I had noticed but honestly didn't notice until one day that she brought it to my attention. She told me that she was at 190 lbs. They say love is blind and I knew she gained weight but not that much.

I feel that we have worked out most of our problems except for this. We fit together great but we both know that I have lost some attraction. She thinks that it shouldn't effect my attraction. I feel that she is a hypocrite because if I was her BMI I would be 5'9" and about 240 lbs. She would NEVER date a guy like that and I do believe she would lose quite a bit of attraction if my body was in that shape. My body is not in that shape. I am not a professional athlete or have a models body but I am in very fit shape. I am 5'8" and 140lbs. I have got some muscles and I do a ton of cycling (about 1000 miles since March).

What causes some of the loss of attraction is not just her appearance. It is her lack of trying and motivation. I try to encourage her and let her know their is only one healthy way to lose weight and that is through a good diet and way more exercise. She does not want to put any hardly effort in that exercise area. She just wants to try and lose the weight in the unhealthy ways and she has been failing for almost two years. She made a little head way when she bought a bicycle a few weeks back and we have been doing that one or twice a week. Her and I have conflicting schedules and hasn't rode the bicycle without me. I am willing to put in what ever effort I can to help her. I would get up an hour early at 5:00am everyday to exercise if she would also. I would try to be at her every step of the way.

What is also concerning is she still thinks she is chubby. I can't tell her that she is actually dangerously overweight and according to a BMI calculator she well into the obese weight class. I don't want to break her down and go listen you are really obese because that would be just way too much to do.

I want her to lose the weight. I am not wishing her to be a 110lbs at 5 foot 1. I would be EXTREMELY happy if she could get to 130lbs. I want to marry this girl and have kids. Yet I really don't feel that it is healthy for someone who is obese to be having a kid. I would not plan for a situation like that. I would like to be able to pick up the bride at my wedding. I would like her to lose the weight so she had more self confidence. I believe that if she wasn't with me she would be trying 3 or 4 times as hard. I feel that she is in a rut and feels a little to comfortable and that is why she won't put in a honest effort with good diet and exercise. It also scares me because she is 23 years old. If she is taking care of her body in this way in her mid twenties I wonder what things would be like in her mid 30's.

I just don't know what to do or to say anymore. I feel like with this subject her and I are just going around in circles. I feel like she doesn't really understand my point of view and honestly I don't understand hers when she won't even exercise.

edit: I did a search on this subject. I will say that it is true she has to want to lose the weight for her. I feel like as long as she is with me she will never truly want to lose that weight. I am so frustrated. I can't give her an ultimantium because when you love someone that is not the right thing to do. I will say that I am losing almost all hope. Is it fair for me to stay with her even if I love her but am not as attracted to her.

Last edited by orion_81; 07-20-2007 at 09:30 PM.

 
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Old 07-20-2007, 09:41 PM   #2
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Lightbulb Re: Obesity effecting my relationship

That is a really tough position you are in. Girls are very odd when it comes to weight issues. I think the best thing to do is be very up front about and don't dance around it. She'll be ****** at first, but she'll get over and start to see that you are concerned more then just un-attracted.
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Old 07-20-2007, 11:59 PM   #3
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Re: Obesity effecting my relationship

Losing weight is like quiting smoking or going to AA and stopping drinking. It's something you can only do when you're ready to do it, no one else can make you want to do it, and you have to do it for yourself.

I've been struggling with the whole weight issue myself for the last few years. I'm about as tall as your girl, 5 feet even, and weight almost 160 pounds. I have a mirror and eyes, and I knew I looked bad, I felt bad too, but my brother, who's a personal trainer (ha!) my friends, my parents, well, my mom, and everyone hounded me to lose weight, they told me all the things I already knew, it's bad for my health, I'm not getting any younger and it will be harder as I get older, I would be more attractive and my pick of dates would be wider if I were slimmer, etc. But none of these things made me want to lose weight. If anything, it only made me more depressed and more hopeless that I was awful, looked a mess, felt a mess, and just didn't have the ability to do anything about it, and worst of all, all the nagging from these people who were supposed to love me made me feel like I wasnt' worthy at all, like I didn't even deserve love or friendship until and unless I lost weight. Then one day I just got tired of not liking what I saw in the mirror, not liking how I felt or how my clothes fit, etc. and I stopped whining about it and did something about it. Got back to exercising and not dieting but eating much better. That was not quite a month ago and I'm down to 149 now, and I intend to keep at it, but again, it was only when it was MY choice to do it was when I had any kind of success at it.

Having other people hound me about it just made me feel like I wasn't worth anything, I wouldn't be worthy of love, friendship, companionship, happiness, until and unless I lost weight, and that only made getting started even harder. I think your girl has eyes and a mirror as well. She knows how she looks, and more importantly, she knows how she feels when she tries to get up and walk, run, dance, or any of the things she used to do. I'll agree, weighing almost 200 pounds for such a small girl is very dangerous, you have a right to worry about her health. Unfortunately, I just don't think there's much more you can do except be COVERTLY supportive by not taking her to eat out at places where it's easy to make poor food choices, like fast food or greasy fried chicken or burger places, etc. Avoid bringing home pizzas, ice cream, that kind of stuff. And give positive re-enforcement when she does make any kind of progress.

I commend you for staying by her side and wanting to work this out with her, and I do hope she can make the choice to get healthier soon. But when she does, remember, you are NOT her coach, her trainer, her father, you are her supportive boyfriend, and there is a huge difference, so do try to keep that in mind as well. Good luck.

Last edited by Larrylou'smom; 07-21-2007 at 12:02 AM.

 
Old 07-21-2007, 07:29 AM   #4
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Re: Obesity effecting my relationship

There is nothing that YOU can do to MAKE HER lose weight. If you cannot be comfortable with her gaining weight then you need to break up. Just assume that she will most likely get larger and larger. Her size is very unhealthy...she will have health issues and much leg pain as she ages. That's great that she's biking but once or twice a week isn't going to do much if anything. This is the same as any issue in a relationship...you cannot change someone...we always want to change the person to be what we want them to be...it just doesn't work like that.

 
Old 07-21-2007, 08:26 AM   #5
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Re: Obesity effecting my relationship

Why havent heard of anything pertaining to her going to see the dr. yet?

Did you think that maybe she has other issues that need to be addressed like why did she gain the weight in the first place?

You are thin but that is you. She was never thin and depending on her bone structure wont ever be. you like bicycling she doesnt.

I am 5'8" usually about 145 lbs. I am currently 153lbs and my youngest is almost a year old. I am a big girl and even when when at 140 lbs I look like a beast(amazon they call me lol) because I have mucles in my arms and a flat stomach for having 4 kids. BUT i also have hyperthyroidism. I am currently in remission thank God and now can loose weight if i go on a diet. But 4kids and a poor diet i am not. that is hard for me to do but so happy its not trying to keep the weight on anymore at this point. THat is also hard.

She needs to go in for a anual physical, hvae them run a cbc, and most importantly a thyroid panel. they can check her for diabetes as well.

What issues does she have that made her gian the wieght , is she just lazy, sits around all day and eats? or not lazy but eats junk food? or active and eats junk food? or active and doesnt eat junk food but still gained weight? Why didnt you notice that she was getting large? Do you not have sex, did you just not notice or not have enough time during sex to take your time to look at eachother? Was she abused? Does she think you are verbally abusing her?

These are not answers I want but answers you need to ask yourself and ask her.

You do need to tell her how you feel and that you want to marry her but wont marry a women that has potential to kill herself down the road. You dont want a mother starting at an obese wieght. You will only wind up with a pregnnat wife with health issues throughout her pregnancy then get very upset after baby and so on and so on.....she will only continue to gain weight and then what will you do. YOu dont seem to have that much in common if she isnt as healthy as you or do the things that you do. You two seem to just share living space and you do your thing and she does hers. sorry tosay but just oging by what you said.

good luck with this, you are going to need it. She might get po'd but at least you put it out there for her. It is not wrong to tell someone that you love that you fear for them and therefore can not go further in the future if they do not try to help themselves. Remember if she doenst have an undrlying problem like thyroid isues and tries to loose weight and does it doesnt mean she will keep it off. why does she eat if she does eat? anger, sadness what? All issues you have to find out from her.

THe other poster is right, if she doesnt want to then she wont. and no mater what you say it wont be squat. But at least she'll know where you stand and take it from there. her choice and that is all you can ask.

 
Old 07-21-2007, 01:04 PM   #6
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Re: Obesity affecting my relationship

Thanks for the honest info. I agree she should go to a doctor and get a physical. She puts in a lot of effort when it comes to her diet. She really really tries hard. Over the past two weeks she has tried to stop eating late at night. Which is hard for her because she works until 11:00pm. She really doesn't eat much and eats somewhat healthy. But without any exercise nothing is ever going to change.

***here is my main question*** What do about her not wanting to lose weight as long as she is with me? She has to want to lose the weight for her and I truly believe she won't want to while she is with me. I believe she would lose the weight if she was single but as long as she has me she has no motivation.

If she came out and said I am not going to ever lose the weight than at least I would know where we stand. It would seriously put me in a thinking position and a difficult position. Yet she doesn't say that. She says she wants to lose the weight but her actions speak otherwise.


What is upsetting is it is like she can't understand my position. She is absolutely enraged when she starts to realize that I find her less attractive. She thinks because I love her that none of my physical attraction should change. It upsets her but never enough to motivate her. She called me scrawny a year back. In the past 7 months I lifted weights and gained muscle from 130lbs to 140lbs. My abs shows a little, I have peck muscles and large arms. I feel great about myself.

While having sex the other night she said "I love you". I said it back. She said another phrase which I don't remember. Than she said "I only find you attractive". I didn't repeat it back and she started crying right in the middle of sex. It turned into her getting very upset. We have not spoke in a day.

I don't understand how she can't understand that her being 23 and having stretch marks across her stomach and sides with rolls of fat REALLY CAN EFFECT MY ATTRACTION. No we don't have kids. I don't understand how she can't understand that yes I love her but can be less attracted to her. If I didn't love her I wouldn't have stuck next to her for the past two years through this weight struggle.

Plus something I didn't mention in my first post. It feels insulting that after she gets with me she throws in the towel and gains a bunch of weight. It effects my self esteem. I start to wonder about myself When we met she probably had about 15lbs to 20lbs to be in a healthy lifestyle. That 15lbs to 20lbs would have been 10x easier to overcome than 60lbs to 70lbs.

If she was single I am almost positive she would have a different perspective. She tells me that guys flirt with her all the time. As they should because she is an incredibly beautiful girl. Though I do think most guys that would want to start a relationship with her would also be overweight or obese. I don't think she understands that. She thinks in shape guys with muscle are going to be knocking on her door. I am not trying to sound "better" than her. It is just very upsetting when she has so little motivation and I almost feel like the reason why is because she is in a relationship with me. It is very upsetting to here her say she is a little chubby when moderately obese is more accurate.

 
Old 07-21-2007, 01:58 PM   #7
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Re: Obesity affecting my relationship

I don't want to sound rude here, but I don't think it is just the weight that is an issue. From the sounds of it (and maybe I am wrong) it's seems that you have two totally different lifestyles. Maybe that is also an issue here?

I don't understand either how she thinks that her weight gain shouldn't affect how attractive you find her. If my husband all of a sudden put on all that weight (and had no desire to lose it for his own health) I would feel that same as you do.

I don't know what to tell you about her not wanting to lose the weight as long as she is with you. That could be possible. Only she knows for sure her motivations (or lack there of). Maybe you should put it all out there, but in a nice way (if that is even possible).

 
Old 07-21-2007, 05:20 PM   #8
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Re: Obesity affecting my relationship

In response to your question I would be very honest with her about your concern for her, for yourself. for your relationship, and for any children you might have in the future. You have a right to be with someone you're attracted to. She's changing the rules in the middle of the game by insisting that you should be attracted to someone who has dramatically changed since you met her. I think you have no obligation to stay with her if she has replaced the other problems you guys were having with a new problem - her obesity. Being 190 at 23 does not bode well for the future unless she "sees the light" and makes the healthy choice to get to a reasonable weight.

Last edited by Andrea84; 07-21-2007 at 05:21 PM. Reason: typo

 
Old 07-21-2007, 08:15 PM   #9
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Re: Obesity affecting my relationship

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Originally Posted by orion_81 View Post
What is upsetting is it is like she can't understand my position. She is absolutely enraged when she starts to realize that I find her less attractive. She thinks because I love her that none of my physical attraction should change.
She is living in cloud-cuckoo land. Love and sexual attraction are two entirely different feelings; they can and often do co-exist, but they can and often donít as well. I think it's likely she has the sense to know this, but just doesnít want to face it as it doesnít suit her.

Quote:
Originally Posted by orion_81 View Post
While having sex the other night she said "I love you". I said it back. She said another phrase which I don't remember. Than she said "I only find you attractive". I didn't repeat it back and she started crying right in the middle of sex. It turned into her getting very upset. We have not spoke in a day.
What did she want? For you to tell her bald-faced lies while you were inside her??? Personally I'd be more insulted if a man did that; he'd be better off doing what you did and keeping his mouth shut! I think the fact that she asked you that in the first place should tell you something; to my mind it's quite an odd thing to say while making love. When you're being that intimate with your man the sole focus of both people is on eachother; bringing the subject of other people into the equation is neither necessary nor advisable, and I think she did that to look for reassurance from you that your attentions are not wandering elsewhere. Now use your head - if she is looking for the reassurance that they are not it follows that it must have occurred to her that they are, which belies her assertion that it is unfathomable to her your attraction to her should have diminished.

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Originally Posted by orion_81 View Post
I don't understand how she can't understand that her being 23 and having stretch marks across her stomach and sides with rolls of fat REALLY CAN EFFECT MY ATTRACTION.
You can be sure that she DOES understand it Orion; she'd just rather close her eyes to it, as I said, because it is a reality that doesnít suit her.

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Originally Posted by orion_81 View Post
Plus something I didn't mention in my first post. It feels insulting that after she gets with me she throws in the towel and gains a bunch of weight. It effects my self esteem. I start to wonder about myself.
That doesnít surprise me at all, I think it's a natural reaction on your part. If a partner of mine let himself go to the wall after we got together I'd start wondering did he not think I was worth the effort of maintaining himself for. Maybe you're experiencing guilt or shame over feeling like this and maybe that's why you didnít include these feelings in your first post. Let me assure you that I for one donít think you have anything to feel guilty or ashamed about; I think your feeling offended here is entirely normal and I'm sure I'd feel just the same.

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She tells me that guys flirt with her all the time. As they should because she is an incredibly beautiful girl. Though I do think most guys that would want to start a relationship with her would also be overweight or obese. I don't think she understands that. She thinks in shape guys with muscle are going to be knocking on her door.
Hmmm, another point she needs to wake up on I think. Some men are mad about heavier women, but in my experience the majority of men (at least in Western culture) are looking for a woman who's pretty lean and toned. Unattached desirable men are slim pickings in this world, and there are many women who spend their lives in the gym and are still scratching eachothers eyes out over men.

I hope I'm not coming across as being disparaging towards the woman you love on the grounds of her weight, but having been on both sides of the fence here I do think I'm at liberty to say that it isnít the biggest deal in the world to lose weight. It can be tough and certainly requires dedication and motivation, but it can be done. The weight I lost is nothing compared to the 65lbs a close friend of mine lost. In my opinion exercise is the key; I think it's even more important than diet. As I'm sure you know, (being athletic yourself) muscle burns fat, so as you increase your muscle mass the fat melts off much more efficiently than if you were simply dieting with little or no focus on exercise.

Some of the prettiest and cutest women I've ever met were in the same height range as your gf, but a woman who is small in height has a more serious job on her hands when it comes to her weight, because she simply has less body mass to spread that weight over as she gains it; therefore obviously a woman of 5.1 will look overweight at the same weight that would make a woman half a foot taller than her look slim.

I think the doctor really is the best bet. I'm pretty certain he/she will use the term 'clinically obese' and that this might just be the wake-up call your partner needs to find that essential motivation. I hope for both your sakes that she does.

 
Old 07-22-2007, 01:27 AM   #10
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Re: Obesity affecting my relationship

There are so many issues going on here around this obesity..I bet that in some ways it is an unconscious challenge from her to you to prove that she is lovable No Matter What. If she loses the weight and then you desire her more, that will just prove to her that she was right and that you cannot love her for her innate essential self. I have been there myself, and while Laylah for example can sit and talk about what every fat person knows (muscle fat burning energy calories obese bmi risks yada yada yada) the fact remains that in some ways most overweight people feel that they are essentially unattractive and unloveable people and having it dismissed as a weakness does not really help at all. I don't know what you can actually do, Orion, but I do know that any pressure, talks, advice whatever you hand out, what SHE will hear is "You are not OK, I don't love you, if I did love you this fat wouldn't make any difference". I have been fat and I have friends grappling with this and I know that no matter how unattractive you feel she is, multiply it by 100 and you are getting a glimpse of her self-image. If she tries to lose it for you, then she will be agreeing that you and anyone else only loves her for her appearance. I know it is not healthy, and I don't want to be beaten up for this, but that is what a fat person feels right or wrong. When you get to the point that you realise that, hey, you are a loveable person and an important person, ya might as well be a thinner person as well, then you never look back. Until then, whatever you do, you are still that fat freak in a thinner body, and still not loveable.

Last edited by Seraph; 07-22-2007 at 01:28 AM.

 
Old 07-22-2007, 06:58 AM   #11
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Re: Obesity affecting my relationship

Well, I take some of your points Sera, but if the OP's gf is one of the people whose weight is essentially an issue compounded or in parts even caused by the psychological issues you describe, then surely you'd advise him to encourage her to see a therapist? He has to do something; the only other option is to sit back and watch her grow larger and larger, and more and more unhappy and deluded, and that's not going to be physically good for her, mentally good for either of them, and may well spell the death knell of this relationship.

I think that’d be a pity actually, because it's pretty clear to me he loves her; men who'll stay with a woman when their attraction to her is diminishing by the day are pretty thin on the ground. Most men I've met would either have left by now or be off messing around with somebody else.

Whether it's a therapist, a doctor, alternative medicine, or a combination of all three; whatever it is, the OP's partner needs to do it, because sitting there at 190lbs and calling herself chubby isn’t going to help.

 
Old 07-22-2007, 07:44 AM   #12
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Re: Obesity affecting my relationship

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I bet that in some ways it is an unconscious challenge from her to you to prove that she is lovable No Matter What. If she loses the weight and then you desire her more, that will just prove to her that she was right and that you cannot love her for her innate essential self.
Just to comment on this issue also Sera, (and I'm not trying to be argumentative here hon, I just really dont like to think of women tying themselves in knots in this way); if the OP's partner believes this then I'd even more strongly suggest that she could benefit from seeing a therapist, as this is a real example of deluded thinking; a womans internal spiritual worth and her sexual desirability are not bound together, do not reflect eachother, and should not be compared and confused in that way.

One of the things I love about my bf is that he has a certain decency inherent to his character, a purity and an innocence that is rare among the men I've met in my life; I've seen him put insects out the window, nurse a sick motherless kitten, and other things like that. He doesnít see a justification for hurting a living thing, and when I am experiencing those feelings of love for what's inherent to his spirit I'm not thinking about his sexy arms or beautiful face. Similarly, and conversely, when a man is becoming sexually aroused he's not thinking about the finer elements of his womans character. To be blunt - a womans "innate essential self" just dosent get a look-in when he's getting a hard-on!

A woman who cannot differentiate between these two reactions, to the extent that she measures the worth of one against the other and finds herself lacking as a result, is a woman who (and I say this with sincere sympathy for the OP's gf) needs professional help in understanding the difference.

Last edited by Laylah; 07-22-2007 at 07:52 AM.

 
Old 07-22-2007, 07:48 AM   #13
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Re: Obesity affecting my relationship

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Originally Posted by Laylah View Post
Well, I take some of your points Sera, but if the OP's gf is one of the people whose weight is essentially an issue compounded or in parts even caused by the psychological issues you describe, then surely you'd advise him to encourage her to see a therapist? He has to do something; the only other option is to sit back and watch her grow larger and larger, and more and more unhappy and deluded, and that's not going to be physically good for her, mentally good for either of them, and may well spell the death knell of this relationship.
I certainly do recommend therapy, sorry, I should have said that in my post. It is like any unhealthy behaviour though, and the person with the problem has to accept responsibility for it. Therapy and dealing with her self-esteem issues is definitely the way to go.

 
Old 07-22-2007, 08:00 AM   #14
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Re: Obesity affecting my relationship

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It is like any unhealthy behaviour though, and the person with the problem has to accept responsibility for it.
This is true; I just hope it dosent cost the woman her relationship before she comes to that realisation. Sometimes it can take a lot, usually the loss of something precious, before we come to the understanding that the damaging elements in our lives and our own thinking are in urgent need of change.

 
Old 07-22-2007, 08:15 AM   #15
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Re: Obesity affecting my relationship

I have to agree with Laylah here sorry.

The thing is this guy should be commended here for being totally honest! should he just tell her he still finds her attractive, just because thats whats she wants to hear, just to keep her happy etc? No, cause that's a lie, I would hate it if someone just said nice things to me, just to keep me happy and in denial, cuase thats just plain right dishonest in my opinion.

Also on another point, this guy has not said he doesn't 'love' his partner due to her weight, he simply stated that he is finding it difficult to be attracted 'in a physical sense' because of her weight. He has said quite clearly here, that he loves her very much as a person, just finding the attraction a bit difficult at the moment. Which if we are all totally honest, I think we can all understand what his plight is.

If this guy was so shallow as to base his 'love' just on the physical appearance, then he wouldn't even be here asking for advice, he would be long gone.

Orion, there is NO excuse for being severely overweight, if she wants to have kids with you, the doctor will advise her to lose the weight first anyhow. Also on another point, when you do decide to try for kids, fertility may become an issue for her. Something else she needs to consider.

Take care, and don't feel guilty

 
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