Boyfriend getting fat

28 May

I adore my boyfriend of six years. He’s intelligent, accomplished, emotionally mature, kind, loving, and funny. But: He’s fat. When we first started dating, he was a very hot, very muscular mountaineering guide. Now he’s a lawyer, and most of the muscle has turned into fat. When he gets home from work, he sits on the couch, drinking beer and watching bad TV. He’ll do that for an entire weekend if I don’t persuade him to get out and do things. Our sex life has almost always been thrilling, but the laziness and fatness are enormous turnoffs.

I’m an athlete and go to the gym at 5 A.M. every day before my job (which we agree is even more demanding than his). Though I’m still madly in love with him, I find myself looking at in-shape men. Superficial, I realize! I drop hints, and it never goes well. Is there a way to tell him to shape up? I work hard to stay sexy; shouldn’t he? I don’t want to make him feel bad, but he can’t let himself go indefinitely! —My Sexy Man’s Gone to Seed

Dear sexy businesswoman,

Being attractive can be important to maintaining a relationship.  On a couple of levels I think it’s reasonable to sit down and have a conversation about his fitness and how it relates to you and your lives together.  I do think you shouldn’t drop hints.  If you want real change you have to state your case and make sure you are heard.  Second your “I work hard to stay sexy; shouldn’t he?” is a terrible argument.   You can’t justify change in someone else just because you have good behaviors.   Here are some things you can do.

You should tell your boyfriend how important it is to you that he remain physically attractive and healthy.  Make sure that he knows you are on HIS side.   You love him and don’t want to be a pain in the ass but also really want a strong vibrant relationship and body image does impact you ability to connect with him physically and otherwise.  Hopefully he will understand how his health choices are negatively impacting the both of you enough to make real changes.

There are significant health impacts from being even a little overweight.  Even a 20 pound increase in body weight doubles your risk of heart disease.   Starting the conversation from this angle might seem more neutral than a purely image focused argument.  My guess if he has changed body type significantly his lab scores might look a lot worse now than years ago.  You might encourage him to get a physical for comparison purposes.  This might enable you to enlist the help of his physician in the conversations about weight.

Couch potatoes often default to sedentary activity with the absence of other activities.  Perhaps you can research some trails or suggest he start taking you hiking.  Even if you aren’t terribly excited by hiking the replacement of couch/beer/TV with exercise will make a real incremental difference.  I know a lot of people have also had success with modern techy tools like myfitnesspal.

And if none of that works ask him if he minds you sleeping with thinner more attractive men since he isn’t willing to provide that experience for you.  Kidding… kidding…



One Response to “Boyfriend getting fat”

  1. aregularcupofjo May 28, 2013 at 8:38 pm #

    I had become very overweight once I started dating my girlfriend. She never said anything, but I was embarrassed. Since I started blogging, I started working out and being productive. Now, I can proudly say I fit back into my old clothes. Great post 🙂

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