May 2, 2016

Ask Me Anything: Wife feels Undesirable Due to Weight. {Advice Column}


*Editor’s Note: Elephant Journal articles represent the personal opinion, view or experience of the authors, and can not reflect Elephant Journal as a whole. Disagree with an Op-Ed or opinion? We’re happy to share your experience here.


Dear Elephants,

Welcome to this week’s Ask Me Anything, where no question is out of bounds! To submit questions for next week, please email me at [email protected]. I look forward to hearing from you! ~ Erica


Dear Erica,

I recently got married to a wonderful woman. We have been together for a year, and although she makes me feel loved, I don’t really feel desired.

I have been various degrees of overweight all of my life and despite that, I’ve always been told  I’m “a really cute girl” and that I have a “great personality.”

My wife constantly, even while we were dating, would say that what matters is people’s personalities and not their looks. She however, is very vigilant of her own appearance. She is beautiful, really fit, active, and health conscious. In fact, I have lost some weight since we met because with her I tend to eat better and stay more active. So even though she tries to reassure me that she loves me for who I am and not how I look, I feel that how I look actually does bother her.

I have shared these concerns with her. I have been painfully open about how, despite feeling loved, I don’t feel physically wanted or desired. Although we do have sex, it is quite sporadic and not all that passionate.

I am a really sexual person and my weight hadn’t been a problem for me with other sexual partners. Now I am even finding myself dreading having to undress or share my body with her because I feel so unwanted and ashamed.

I have also communicated this concern and I always get the same response, “Im sorry you feel this way. I love you,” and, “It’s what’s inside that matters.” But still her touch, the way she looks at me, the pitch black room, and the fact that it is mostly her body that gets attention, is heightening my insecurities and increasing my need for passionate sex where I feel desired as well as loved.

I have started working out and losing weight, but even this option scares me, not only because being fit seems an unattainable goal, but because I fear that my body will never be desirable to her no matter what I do. (I know I’ll have loose skin, saggy breasts, and with age things will most likely not improve, so I’ll never have a “hot” body.)

I love her and she loves me, but I dont know what to do with these feelings and I fear they’ll start to take a toll on our relationship, especially since they are present so early in our marriage.


~ Undesired

Dear Undesired,

It sounds like, despite your wife’s reassurances, you are sensing something deeper going on between the two of you.

You say that your weight has never been an issue in the past. What has changed for you that makes it an issue now? Is it your wife’s commitment to her own physical fitness? Is it insecurity about being in a permanent, committed relationship? Is it your evolving views on what you want for yourself health-wise or in some other realm? Or is it something else entirely?

These are the questions you must seek to answer.

Your wife married you as you are, and one can therefore assume she loves you are you are. Your feelings of shame and fear might be a bigger problem than your weight itself, driving a wedge between the two of you that is equally frustrating and perplexing to your wife.

This is an issue best explored with the help of a licensed therapist. You might try seeing one together and/or alone to get to the root of your concerns.


Dear Erica,

I am a 16 year old girl from London.

I don’t know if you’ll read this but I’m in dire need of advice.

For some odd reason I find myself continually lying about myself to guys. For example, I lie about my name, my age and what I do. I tend to always say I’m a lot older than what I am.

Anyway, I simply cannot bring myself to tell the truth about what I’ve said, however I really would like to start a journey based on telling the truth.

So the way I see it (correct or not) is to break off any “friendship” I may have brought about with my lies and start clean.

I am just so confused and the guilt is overwhelming.

In case you’re curious, this has probably stemmed from my extreme lack of self confidence and while losing my dad not too long ago, I felt I had to hold on to any male I could get.

~ Liar


Dear Liar,

I think you’re onto the truth when you say your lying is a result of a lack of self confidence. Whether it is due to the loss of your dad, or some other perception about yourself, the result is the same. You feel compelled to lie.

Obviously you recognize that this behavior—while making you feel better in the moment—ultimately causes you to feel even worse about yourself. That and the fact that it prevents you from making true, authentic and healthy connections with others are the two reasons you should stop.

Stopping would certainly be a lot easier if you simply cut the people out of your life to whom you have lied, and that is an option, but you might have a greater feeling of healing and pride if you are brave enough to come clean to those who deserve to hear the truth.

You can say something along the lines of, “I have something I need to tell you. I haven’t been truthful about X,Y and Z. I feel terrible that I lied and am working on figuring out why I did. I know that it is unacceptable and I hope you can forgive me.”

Then you must accept whatever response you receive. Some people will be forgiving, others might not. Be willing to let those who can’t be empathetic towards you go. Know that though you have done something “wrong,” you don’t deserve a lifetime of punishment for it. All that’s required is that you try to do better now.

The fact that you wrote this letter tells me you are highly motivated and ready to change. Once you get as clear as you can with everyone (including yourself) about your new attitude, things will become much easier. Not incidentally, your self esteem will rise as you realize you are strong enough to take on this challenge.





Author: Erica Leibrandt

Editor: Travis May

Image: Flickr/Mushpa

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