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How to talk to spouse about weight

Discussion in 'Married Couples' started by Dylan J. James, Sep 7, 2017.

  1. Endeavourer

    Endeavourer Well-Known Member

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    Consider these articles while you are strengthening your connection with your wife.

    They describe that every relationship has a love bank, where meeting emotional needs makes deposits and behaving poorly makes withdrawals. For a marriage the love bank account balance needs to stay above a minimum threshold for a couple to remain in love.

    The Love Bank

    This article provides some discussion about the several most common typical emotional needs your spouse may have:

    The Most Important Emotional Needs

    In researching over 10,000 couples, it was found that physical attractiveness is actually an emotional need of some people. Specifically, when their spouse was not physically attractive to the spouse, it caused the spouse to have frustration and the frustration would withdraw love units from the love bank. In some cases rather steadily depending upon how often the spouse felt frustrated.

    This research was based not on anyone's values or how we "should" feel; it researched the actual results among many thousands of couples when this need was not met. Based on these findings, a very successful marriage counselor advises both spouses to take care that they do not become unattractive to their spouse.

    Physical Attractiveness

    I would not advise addressing the weight issue until you have ensured your emotional connection is strong and her love bank balance is high.

    Eliminate withdrawals completely. You can absolutely do this if you decide to behave strategically towards your goal of a great marriage instead of reacting emotionally.

    Love Busters

    If you have an overall "average" relationship, three months of diligent attention to building her love bank without making any withdrawals should bring you to a point where next steps can be taken.
     
  2. Dylan J. James

    Dylan J. James New Member

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    Thanks a million for this. I even reading up on MTHFR and I think we will look into it. Some folks in her family have had those same symptoms.
     
  3. Dylan J. James

    Dylan J. James New Member

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    The policy is a great idea. We are probably at 10hr/wk but could do more - and do it when we both have energy left (not after kids bedtime). We've been together since we were 18 and pretty much do everything but work together.
     
  4. Dylan J. James

    Dylan J. James New Member

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    Wow! These are all great. But they are also predicated on somewhat rationale behavior (e.g. Behavior not driven by something that is not apparent).

    For example. On Tuesday's after work I used to pick up little kid from school, take kid grocery hopping, then come home and cook dinner while trying to keep kid engaged in cooking. Note that I picked up kid every day and cooked most every day and did all the shopping. But only on Tuesday's would I do all three - and Tuesday's were becoming huge love bank net withdrawl days. Why?!?

    On Tuesday's (and largely only Tuesday's) My wife said that me coming home and only partially engaging the kid while I cooked was selfish. Now, there is "Selfish demand" love withdrawal item - but I am not sure this fits. There is also independent action - but not sure about this either. I am not exactly sure which one it fits - but she doesn't like it and sees it as taking from her. Fine. New plan was to both cook with child and have alternate project set up for child if they get bored with cooking.

    My point though is that there is / was something else going on that makes me feel like there will never be a time with no love bank withdrawals. And, based on reactions, my "selfish action" in the scenario completely outweighs any of the other things I was doing. She even said as much.

    It took a while to figure out that she felt unable to care for child and so being put in position of having to do so while I cooked (without me asking her to care for child) was seen as me not recognizing her difficulty walking . Ok. Got it. I can see it after the fact as a possibly lack of empathy.

    But if I don't shop then I'm not helping with her eating plan. And she doesn't walk well enough to get kid from school (or shop). So when she says "what you are doing is good but you aren't doing x", I'm left with still having to do the good things and somehow make the never ending x's fit in. Don't' get me wrong - I do and 80% of the time gladly because I love her. But something has to give and when it inevitably does, I make bank withdrawals.

    I'd be interested to know your thoughts on the above?

    Interesting that physical attractiveness can be an emotiinal need. I might rather say sexual attractiveness, which is more encompassing. I won't get into it, but we are ok there.

    I think we are about 15-20% above ok on most days with many more +50% days then -50% days. But I can commit tomupping the mean. Those articles are really inspiring . Thanks!!!
     
  5. Paidiske

    Paidiske Bodily member Staff Member Supervisor Supporter

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    Parenting demands put strain on both parents; it's not as if you were expecting your wife to care for the child while you kicked back with a beer or something; you were juggling caring for the child while doing something else that is necessary!

    I think, rather than seeing it as a competition over who gets to "switch off" parenting, it's better to see that as an opportunity to work together. "Doing it this way doesn't work, how might we do things differently?" Whether that's allowing child to watch TV at that time, or cooking double the night before so dinner is ready to go, or whatever creative idea you come up with, it's about the two of you working together to find a solution that works for both of you.
     
  6. Endeavourer

    Endeavourer Well-Known Member

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    This is actually a very great update and gives you a much stronger platform to effectively address your original question.

    You are here because she is not filling an emotional need you have, which is causing your relationship to suffer. Recreational companionship and domestic support are two other types of typical emotional needs.

    For a temporary season, let's say three months, ignore the unkind tones of her requests (or even demands) and do your best to address the content of the complaint while also prioritizing and pursuing 15 hours per week of undivided attention with each other (without kids and pets; outside of the home on 3+ hour "dates" is best).

    During these three months, praise her attractiveness particularly during times you are making love, but also specifically other times, too. You want to build up an unshakably solid confidence in her that you do find her attractive in her current condition. Women can tend to doubt their bodies and attractiveness all day every day, but you want her to have a certain knowledge that you have no doubts.

    Once you have purposefully solidified her certainty of your attraction to her, then you can approach her about your desire to be able to share your recreational pursuits with her and your strong desire for her ambulation to improve so you can keep doing things together.

    You can affirm that you are attracted to her the way she is - as is evidenced by your sexual performance since men have a hard time performing if there is no attraction - and this has NOTHING to do whatsoever with her appearance. You can assure her that you find her sexy and attractive.

    You can also mention that it has come to bother you that she is unable to participate in parenting the children along with you due to her limited abilities to walk. In this, focus on recreational things you do with the children together as a family rather than she can't help with the children you while you cook. Don't get her thoughts distracted into "he is demanding more help" because that will take you on an unproductive goat trail.

    If 20 pounds would make a difference in her ability to walk, just focus on 20 pounds at that time (after the three months) - don't wrap the whole 150 pounds into this request as that would be enormously discouraging to her, may feel impossible and would cause her to doubt your sincerity about her attractiveness. Ask her how she would feel about losing 20 pounds to see if that helps her ability to walk. After the 20 pounds is lost, if she cannot walk much better, the two of you can consider another 20 pounds, etc. Take it in small chunks that feel more achievable.

    If I were a homeopathic professional, I would consider having her start with a detox cleanse for 7 days. You could actually do this together. Maybe the professional would have her start with a 3 day detox if a 7 day period seems unachievable.

    What this also does is demonstrate that to a person's self is that you can control your appetite and what it feels like to do so. It allows you to know what it feels like to say no to the cheat meal - and that it will be ok. Often someone in her situation will lose 10 - 15 pounds during a detox week so it will give her an enormous boost towards her goal. It also weans off the cravings that serve to so effectively defeat weight loss attempts. After the detox it is much easier to say yes to healthy eating and no to foods that are no longer so strongly craved.

    If necessary, the homeopathic doctor could have her visit every day to gauge how she is doing during this detox so she has a lot of support (aka accountability) to make it through to the end.

    Or, if in your judgement she'd be willing to do this with you without a professional, it certainly is likely to be safe for the two of you to do it on your own. My concern with this is that it puts YOU in an accountability role moreso than a third party, and that is a role you do not want to assume.

    A homeopathic professional may have more or better ideas than starting with a detox - that's just from my personal experience. I find it to be a great start to realizing that an appetite CAN be controlled if you choose to do so, as well as a great head start towards eliminating cravings in support of weight loss goals.

    A detox can be repeated periodically, particularly when the cravings start erupting again which are serving to defeat weight loss goals.
     
  7. Endeavourer

    Endeavourer Well-Known Member

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    Quite often "selfish demands" result from a person feeling their giver has given too many times and their taker rears its head - usually in rude and demanding ways. For this reason, when you negotiate solutions to different needs, the two of you always want to negotiate with the other person's taker.

    Neither of you should accept acquiescence from the other's giver. Your taker is always most pleasant during the time of upfront negotiations and you do NOT want it jumping out at the other person after the fact.

    Here is a great article with a more detailed discussion about that:

    The Giver & Taker


    Here is a great article about negotiating until both spouses are in enthusiastic agreement with solutions. The idea is that you never want to do something in your marriage at the other person's expense, but if you brainstorm until you come up with a solution you are both in enthusiastic agreement about, you will both be happy with each other and the results.

    The Policy of Joint Agreement

    How would you feel about sharing those two articles with her and asking her if she would be willing to find a solution you are both enthusiastic about?

    But you are not enthusiastic about her difficulty with walking, so if you don't resolve this it will continue to erode at your love bank balance. I hope my suggestions in the previous post will get you started in your resolution of this situation.
     
  8. Endeavourer

    Endeavourer Well-Known Member

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    It would be great if you and your wife could be developing the skills of safely negotiating together until you are in enthusiastic agreement during these next three months so when you address the larger topic you already have some practice.

    The way I progress through a problem in my marriage is to frame a complaint in a positive way first.

    For example, if you're not enthusiastic about caring for a child while cooking you might ask "How would you feel about helping [child] with his homework while I cook dinner tonight?" This allows her to counter with a suggestion she likes better in a judgement free, neutral discussion.

    You know the sensitivities your wife would have to solutions you suggest better than I would, so start with a solution that she would likely appreciate and that you would appreciate as well.

    If you are not enthusiastic about cooking dinner while watching the child, and she is not enthusiastic about watching the child while you cook dinner, there are 100's of options the two of you can brainstorm, only a few of which are:
    - cold cereal for supper
    - takeout
    - no one is really that hungry for supper anyway
    - she might prefer to prepare supper while you watch the kids
    - going out to a restaurant
    - etc etc etc.

    Do not get locked into a specific idea ("I HAVE to cook supper - there are no other choices"), but brainstorm with abandon until you both are enthusiastic about the solution.

    Be sure not to pose any of your suggestions in a criticizing way, or else you're not negotiating, you're sabotaging.

    Always present good will and assume her good will, unless she specifically says otherwise. Don't judge her responses beyond what her words say. Take her words at their face value only.
     
  9. Dylan J. James

    Dylan J. James New Member

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    I can’t thank folks here (especially endeavorer) enough. These articles have without a doubt reoriented my mindset and approach. Explanations of The giver and taker personas were revelatory, and I mean that sincerely. Changed my life.

    Taking baby steps moving forward though. Coming up in three months of focused attentions etc and minimal love bank withdrawals. I think relating some of these articles may be possible, but after holidays.

    Also the suggestion of speaking with her doctor paid off big time. He’s looking deeply into hormonal and physiology issues of her weight and inflammation.

    I truly believe the lord lead me to this site and that he sent some angles my way. I was at my wits end.

    Even if no one reads this dead end thread, I had to put these words out there.

    Thank you all and praise be.
     
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  10. Endeavourer

    Endeavourer Well-Known Member

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    Thanks so much for the update! So glad you are seeing hope. GOOD for you that you were able to implement them in preparation for a next step on rebuilding your marriage. I'm thrilled to hear that.

    Those philosophies changed my life too! They make so much sense - and they work!

    That's why I'm on this board - when I had no understanding of those things, I would have been so greatly helped if someone would have pointed me in that direction.

    If you need specific coaching along your way, there is free a forum at marriagebuilders.com that provides coaching the the context of these philosophies. If you can sell your wife on the idea as well, she can get help from that forum whenever she has questions too.

    When both spouses post on the forum, it is fabulous training on learning how to state your requests in a respectful way because you know they are likely reading your posts. You have to be dare to be vulnerable to each other - and vulnerability is also at the root of a great marriage.

    When both spouses follow these principles, they fall in love again and the marriage becomes a beautiful, romantic relationships between soulmates and best friends.

    May God bless your efforts and your marriage!
     
  11. Almost there

    Almost there Well-Known Member

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    My wife was always around 105-115 at 5'5". Then menopause hit. I think she got up to about 170 for a few years. We both started a certain diet a few months ago and she's down below 130. For us it was simple. Because we have mutual love and respect for each other and are adults, I can tell her that, yeah, she's overweight (when she brings it up) and that it will probably kill her, but it's her choice.

    BTW, as she was gaining, she would say, "I know my body. I know what to do." Finally, I said to her, "Um, I think menopause has given you a new body that you need to get to know."
     
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