Honey, we need to talk
It’s the one question that a lot of men fear the most, ‘Do I look fat in this?’ Their minds plunge into despair as they quickly try to dodge treacherous terrain. ‘I think you are beautiful no matter what you wear’. His eyes start to sparkle as his inner feelings of pride in his wise response sets in. These feelings are deflated faster than a balloon is popped by a pin when his partner states ‘You think I’m fat don’t you’.
The weight issue for both sexes in relationships can be a hard thing to address. When we as individuals gain unhealthy weight we can be ultra-aware and tend to avoid this sensitive subject. We all have an understanding of this and I think it may be one of the reasons why we find it so hard to bring up weight problems with our partner. How do you address an area that we know will make people feel bad about themselves, especially when this person is your partner?
I believe the answer is: It needs to come from a place of caring. We need to make sure our partner knows that we are talking about it because we love and care for them. We also need to show that we are willing to support them in taking the steps to achieve a healthier weight.
So how do you support a partner in returning to a healthy weight? Here are some suggestions:
1. Remove your own behaviors that may cause them to be confronted with hard choices. It’s going to be harder for your partner to give up chocolate if every night you are sitting next to them eating a chocolate bar.
2. Find ways that you can make exercise a part of your connection time together. When you get home from work or after dinner go for a walk with your partner and talk about the day.
3. Plan your shopping together. We all know that we eat better when we can sit down and write a meal plan. Once you have your meal plan, go shopping - together.
4. Be there on the hard days. There will be hard days! These can create negativity which can lead to more bad decisions. When your partner has a tough day be there for them, listen first and then help them to get back on track towards the healthy path.
Many of us experience fluctuations in in weight and unhealthy weight gain is hard thing to confront in a relationship but if you care for you partner you can choose to bring it up. Although it’s a lot more than just having a conversation, it’s about doing everything to support them in a positive way through the tough journey that they have in front of them.