What To Do About a Fat Spouse

June 25th, 2007.

“Can I ask your advice about something?” Chris asked me last night at the bar, “How do I tell Stacy she needs to lose weight?”

Over the years, I’ve learned that people rarely go to their friends for advice because they’re actually interested in an alternative opinion. Instead, they usually want validation for whatever fucked up thing they had already made up their mind to do. This annoys me, so I generally refuse to adopt the comforting role. My friends have learned this the hard way and the end result is they rarely come to me for advice. But when they do, they usually want to know what I really think. Either that or they’re hoping I’ll give them permission to be mean to someone.

The story with Chris and Stacy is that they’ve been dating for 6 years. Stacy has really been pushing the idea of marriage, but Chris has been dragging his feet. Stacy thinks that Chris has issues with commitment, but the reality of the situation is Stacy has gained about 80lbs since they first met.

“Why do you think it’s your job to tell Stacy she’s overweight?” I asked Chris.

“Because her body literally makes me sick. It’s gotten so bad that when we’re having sex, I have to close my eyes or I’ll lose my hard on. Right now she really wants to get married, but if she’s gained this much weight for no reason, I shudder to think about what childbirth is going to do to her.”

That’s the only reason you’re not marrying her?”

“That’s the only reason. She physically repulses me. So….how do I tell her this without hurting her feelings?”

I realize on this site I do pick on women a lot. And to be perfectly honest, any other day I would have been first in line to criticize Stacy for letting herself go like she did. People have a right to be physically attracted to whoever they wish and if Chris dug fat chicks, he would have dated one right off the bat instead of picking a slender girl and hoping she would balloon out. Chris should not be demonized because he prefers a woman with a healthier physique.

With that said, he’s still a fucking moron. In fact, anyone who has the audacity to ask me ridiculous fucking questions like, ‘How can I tell my girlfriend she physically repulses me without hurting her feelings’ is a grade A, 100%, fucking idiot.


I ran across this site a few nights ago called My Fat Spouse. It masks itself as a sort of support group for people who have spouses who have gained a lot of weight and gives them advice on how they should go about ‘helping’ their significant other lose a few pounds. Here are a few pearls of wisdom from the site:

2. Create a screensaver or an image on the desktop, which is a collage of overweight females, or males (depending on your spouse’s gender), place the word “YUK” in the middle of it, and leave it on the computer.

Clever, huh? I especially like the way they misspell the word ‘Yuck.’ Apparently, you cannot communicate enough disdain to your spouse unless you leave out the letter ‘C.’

1. “Accidentally” take unflattering pictures of your spouse when out. Make sure if he or she asks if the picture makes her “look fat” that you do not soften the blow.
2. “Accidentally” buy and outfit or piece of clothing a little small and suggest that the sales lady said it was for “smaller women” or for an “athletic man.” The suggestion that you believe she/he is a “smaller” women or he is an “athletic” man perhaps will motivate your husband or wife to achieve that goal.
3. If she wears an outfit that she has outgrown tell her that you “don’t like how that outfit looks on her anymore, this should play on his or her insecurities.

These methods all fall into the category ‘mild hints,’ but to me it just sounds like some manipulative bullshit. I mean, I suppose it is a tad difficult to create an atmosphere in ones home where their spouse can lose weight positively. So, rather than do that, one should surf the web looking for subtle ways to make her feel shitty about herself, right? RIGHT?

Not only is that wrong, but it is so wrong that it defies common sense. Seriously, just think about it for a minute. Why do morbidly obese people generally overeat? Because they feel crappy about themselves. So what should one expect to happen if they instigate those feelings of inadequacy in their partners? Diet and fucking exercise?

Does. Not. Compute.

The fact is the more you degrade you spouse and treat them with disgust and disdain about their weight gain, the more likely it is they’ll run to food for comfort. Except in very rare circumstances, people gain weight when they’re treated like shit.

In other words, blame those thunder thighs on yourselves, assholes.

But hypothetically speaking, let’s say you’re not a prick and you sincerely want to help your significant other lose weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle. What should you do?

First of all, you should realize that you don’t need to tell your girlfriend/boyfriend/spouse/whoever that they’re fat. They know they’re fat. People don’t yo-yo diet without first realizing they have a weight problem. They don’t need you to play like you’re the information police. Personal enlightenment will not come after some half-baked heart-to-heart where you threaten them with divorce.

Secondly, create a home atmosphere that is optimal for weight loss. Throw out all the junk food. Disconnect the cable. Start eating healthy yourself. Adopt the same exercise plan so you can do it with her. If you have kids, ignore their tears when they ask you why they can’t have pop tarts anymore and must eat oatmeal for breakfast instead.

Adopting a healthy lifestyle should always be a family affair. Would you use a little heroin in front of a guy who just got out of rehab and expect him not to partake? No? Then why the hell would you expect your significant other to easily lose weight in a house where she is surrounded by hot pockets, frozen pizza, and ice cream? Hell, I know from personal experience that 95% of the reason I don’t eat more chocolate cake is because I do not allow chocolate cake in my house.

The problem with most people is they want they want their significant others to lose weight without inconveniencing their lives. Chris is no exception. He expects Stacy to have nerves of steel even after he takes her to the bar and orders a gigantic plate of cheese sticks to eat in front of her. Sure, she might resist temptation once or twice. But very few people have the self discipline to resist it consistently, every hour of every day, for the rest of their lives. Sooner or later, she is going to break down and grab one of his cheese sticks.

He also refuses to exercise with her. He’s tired, he complains. He’s had a long day and all he wants to do is veg out in front of the TV, he insists. He doesn’t realize the conundrum this poses for Stacy. She is forced to choose between going to the gym and killing herself on the treadmill alone for a couple of hours, or snuggling on the couch with her boyfriend and enjoying his company while they watch their favorite TV show. Obviously, this is no choice at all. If Chris really wanted to make it easy for Stacy to exercise regularly, he’d exercise with her.

The last thing you should try to do to help your significant other lose weight is attempt a little positive encouragement. Tell her she’s doing a great job. Let her know she looks fabulous. Let her overhear you bragging to your friends about how tone she’s gotten since she started working out every day. People make positive lifestyle chances when they’re inspired, so inspire her by helping her to recognize her own successes….even the small ones.

If you’ve tried all of this and none of it has worked, either accept her or divorce her. Some people don’t want to change and no matter how many years you spend needling them, they’re going to stay fat. At that point, you have to realize the weight issue is solely your problem. You’ve got to decide for yourself whether or not you can live with it. If not, end the relationship as quickly as possible. Do not stick around for years, tossing around insults while you wait for something better to come along. That’s just slimy.

Above all else, do not ever sit down with me and ask me how you can tell your girlfriend she’s repulsive nicely. Because I can guaren-fucking-tee you’re not going to like what I have to say.

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