SECRETS’ CORNER – Be frank with mate
AS PEOPLE AGE, they usually gain weight. These additional pounds can affect their health and general quality of life.
Foremost among these quality-of-life issues is the likelihood of overweight and/or obese individuals developing chronic non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, some cancers and heart-related conditions.
Weight gain can also affect some people’s self-esteem and lead depression. What sometimes happens is that as people gain weight, they can become less attractive and often tend not to socialize as much.
Another negative side effect of weight gain is the poor body image that some people develop of themselves. This can lead to a lack of interest in lovemaking or being with a partner who has gained a lot of weight. This can also cause major fractures in relationships and lead to infidelity and even divorce.
This week’s three-pronged question seeks to look at this issue. It asked: How would you handle a situation in which your partner has put on so much weight that lovemaking is not the pleasurable experience it once was? Your partner doesn’t like to exercise, and their eating preferences are not the best. How can you convince them losing weight is in the best interest of your relationship?
Most of those who commented said they would emphasize the health concerns to their partner and work with them to achieve some measure of weight loss. But others said if the partner was unresponsive to these gentle nudges, they would leave the relationship.
With obesity being widespread in Barbados, this is obviously a thorny issue. My suggestion for concerned couples is that you should speak honestly and frankly to your partner on it, and, where possible, try to work together to effect meaningful change.The following are the edited versions of comments:
• “I would explain to that partner how I’m not feeling the desire for them anymore or not getting the satisfaction as before due to their weight gain. I would also show him/her the results of weight gain, mainly focusing on the health complications that can occur.”
• “Communication of feelings must be done effectively where there is no aggression or purposely aimed statements that would inflict pain. There are simple ways that you may provoke weight loss – one is not viewing exercise as a task geared toward satisfying your sexual desires, but rather an activity both of you can engage in to strengthen your bonds with each other. Love and patience are key.”
• “I would say how I feel in the nicest way possible, and even suggest that we exercise and eat healthy together. But if that person isn’t willing then, sad to say, I’d leave quietly.”
• “I wouldn’t mention the sex part as a relationship is not only about sex. I would try and find out why they eat so much and seek ways how together we can modify this to help them lose some size.”
• “I would tell him to go to the gym, run on the beach, start a diet, or hit the road Jack and don’t come back.”
• “I would cook healthier for my mate, as eating healthy is no longer boring. I would also ask my love to take long walks with me on the beach and a swim afterwards. All this can be done while lovingly explaining to your partner the risk and diseases that can come with being obese. Lay it on easy without being superficial.”
• “I would encourage him/her by accompanying them to the gym or on early morning walks so that they wouldn’t feel bad about themselves – which could lead to depression. If you eat healthy, you can suggest that the person try your food.”
• “I would kiss them passionately, then say softly but firmly, ‘Honey, you need to lose some weight fast or I might consider leaving you . . . . Love you’.”
• “I would say something long before it got to this stage. As I’m a healthy food fanatic I would have talked to him about the effects the food he’s eating could have on his health and the need for regular exercise. If he ignored all my advice and became obese, I would think there must be some kind of emotional/mental cause and try to encourage him to see a doctor. But we can only do so much, so if all my support and encouragement failed, I would seriously consider our future because it takes two to work at a relationship.”
• “I would tell him/her if both pleasure and partner are equally important, then keep the equation balanced by losing some weight.”
• “If you want him/her to lose the weight, get another man or another woman. That would make them get their act together.”
• “My reaction would probably be how the husband of Mo’nique of the Mo’nique Show on BET handled it. He asked her if she was happy with her weight; then told her that he loved her and wanted her to be around for as long as possible to share their lives together, as well as their children.”