Stephen from VT wrote:
Sean, I would like to consider myself an understanding person, but I am struggling to cope with my girlfriend of three years recently gaining over 40lbs. It wasn’t sudden, I know that last sentence may have made it sound like that, but it’s been within the last year. Her step-brother died in Iraq last September and she just changed. She eats like crazy, has stopped being physically active or working out, and it looks as if she doesn’t care. I am an “in shape” guy and don’t understand why she let things go this far. Our sex life is suffering, our relationship is suffering, and she is happy in other aspects of her life it seems, so why did she just let herself go? Is it wrong that I am turned off by her recent weight gain?
I am going to get some hate mail for this one, but I’ll just say this: You have every right to be turned off by her weight gain.
It’s not just the weight gain that I believe is the turn-off, I believe it’s also that you feel she’s giving up on her confidence, self-worth and self-discipline as a way of coping with her step-brother’s death. Sometimes things happen in our lives that are so powerful, they shake the very foundations of our “soul”. Some cope with these events by becoming stronger people and others simply give up. Loss of a loved one, loss of a job, a natural disaster, divorce, or even having children and dealing with postpartum depression are all events that can change people’s lives from the core on up. Have you tried to motivate her in a positive manner? Have you suggested she see a therapist? I’d start there and see what happens. She may be dealing with some grieving issues that she is unable to sort through on her own.
If you’re turned off, it doesn’t mean you should give up and walk away. If you love her, help her. If you’re turned off, don’t confuse that as a loss of love. Finding someone attractive is not the same as loving someone. Love goes beyond looks and superficial things. It’s time to show her just how much you care.