Dear Carolyn: I have never been skinny, but have gone up and down in weight over the past couple years. I am fun, smart, have a good job, and am a size 14/16.
The problem? My husband of seven years, partner of much more. He always makes weight and exercise comments to me. And whenever I tell him how much it hurts or bothers me, he says I am scarred from my childhood and I am unable to have a talk about my weight or exercise without getting upset.
He says he only cares about my health, but he makes me feel like crap.
Am I being too sensitive? Should I leave? Otherwise, we have a ton in common and a great time. But I hate when he gets like this.
That kind of badgering is so unacceptable — especially in a marriage.
Have you asked him what purpose he thinks he serves, repeatedly telling you things that any sentient adult already knows? Identify an area where you’d enjoy some improvement in him, and ask how he’d like it if you reminded him on a daily basis that he was falling short of your expectations
Should he answer this with an “I’d appreciate it because I want to improve myself” (which will most likely be rhetoric, not truth), then you have an opening to request marriage counseling: “We obviously have different ideas of the boundaries between what’s our own business and what’s the other person’s. I’d like to go to marriage counseling with you so we can work this out.”
If he refuses, then you have a solid indication that this issue goes well beyond your weight and into matters of boundaries, kindness, arrogance and entitlement, and a decision to make. Is this a deal-breaker for you, those impending 30 years with him all up in your grill, thinking he has that right?