Good poll el!
I think you have all kinds of people in the world. Some-------- from the very begining--- you know that they value looks to an extreme. I had a friend that married a man that actually told her prior to marriage that he'd be unhappy if she ended up being heavy like her mother. She had kids, gained weight and they divorced. No surprise there. Some are definately caught up in the superficial and can't get past it. The visual appeal of their partner HAS to be there for them to be sexually attracted to them.
Others have relationship trouble in general and the bedroom activity suffers. They haven't really put two and two together to realize that if they are not connected elsewhere in the relationship, it is hard to come together in a physically intimate way. They complain about the bedroom, spouse's use of porn, etc. but those are just symptoms of deeper issues that are even harder to face.
Now, I will tell you that when I gain weight . . . I feel less sexy. My dear husband doesn't seem to notice and has never once mentioned the changes my body has had since we met in a negative way. But feeling sexy for me comes more from within. I have to eat right and work out and it makes me more prone to being romantic. It helps if my husband does the dishes or laundry too. . .
As to being attracted to my husband. Hm. I just am. I've fed him well over the years . . . and while he isn't overweight . .. he's gotten huskier. Whatever. He's still the same man I married.
Just my thoughts on it.
Color me shallow.
One of the first conversations my wife and I had when we first got married, was about weight gain. "Please don't get fat" is what I said to her, and she basically said the same thing back to me.
Were we BOTH shallow? I'd argue NO. I'm not attracted to heavier women, period. Different strokes for different folks, and at least we were both honest with each other.
Marriage ended for reasons other than sex... purely financial (she was a scrounger, I am not).
I think it is ridiculous to think that someone's outer appearance will stay the same especially if you marry young. Appearances don't keep a marriage strong and healthy. Good examples are stars and celebrities. Perfect outer appearances and they are always in and out of marriages or relationships.
Am I supposed to leave my husband because he loses his hair and I don't care for bald men? Or find him not sexy? I think that is extremely shallow. Plus, I didn't marry my husband for his six-pack or hair. To be honest, his intelligence does it for me. A man that can speak 5 languages and tell you that he loves you in 5 languages, now that is sexy. Stupidity is a BIG turnoff. I have dated some "hot" guys in my past, but they were too stupid for me.
And God forbid your mate or you get seriously sick. I work as a nurse and have seen many patients' appearances change for the worst, 80 lbs r/t chemo, 200 lbs r/t steroids, hair loss r/t chemo, loss of limbs r/t Diabetes, etc. That is the point I see "real" and "true" love between a husband and wife or a boyfriend and girlfriend.
Looks are just looks. Sure my husband's outer appearance played a part in my attraction to him, but a smaller part than his intelligence.
My two cents worth.
"Beauty fades... dumb is forever" eh?
I too am attracted to intelligence, and well-traveled, well-read people, well-educated women. HOWEVER, I've found that as time passes and the weight gets put on, I find myself less & less attracted. It didn't happen in my married life, mind you, just in my dating life.
Like I said, I'm shallow, but at least I'm honest and up-front about it. I take care of my body, and have for my entire life. I don't think it's too much to ask of my partner.
I do agree with Londres70 and Specialmom, that it isn't so much about looks, but who the person is. I do believe that beauty does fade as time goes on, getting wrinkles, weight changes, and so on, but it's not something that changes the actual person. My fiance has lost weight since I met him, but I have always loved him no matter what his weight is and it would not bother me if he gained weight again. I've dated "hot" guys prior to my fiance and while they may have looked great, their personality and character was nothing special. I could never stay interested in someone for purely physical reasons, as there has to be much more to it.
It's one thing to gain 20-40 pounds over a full lifetime, from a youthful thin body shape to an adult fuller shape.
That's different from people who gain very significant weight and change their whole appearance, going from a healthy weight to very obese in 10 years or so.
I think you expect your spouse to remain about the same person - physically and personality wise - that's the deal. You don't marry someone and then expect in a couple years that they would be unrecognizable from the person you chose.
There is NO ONE that I know looks the same at 18 years of age and 41 years of age (weight gain, wrinkles, sagging skin, gray hair, balding); that is impossible unless you are going "under the knife." Has NOTHING to do with a deal, but Mother Nature herself. I am certain my husband's views are not the same from 18 years of age till now. I know mine aren't. I used my age group as an example. Everyone will age whether they like it or not and everyone ages different.
As a nurse, I can tell you sometimes we don't have complete control over our bodies. I have seen a patient go from 160lbs to 260lbs r/t steroids. Should his wife have left?
Yes, we should take care of ourselves; not just physicially but also mentally and spiritually, which ALOT of people don't do. They ONLY connection to someone shouldn't be how he/she looks.
And I don't expect my husband to "stay" the same. Interests and likes change over the years. So what, if he puts on some weight, fast or slow. Once again, I didn't marry him for his looks, though we our, if I may add, an attractive couple. I do expect my husband to have growth in his life and not be stagnant doing the same things over and over. My husband and I are achievers and put more emphasis on that. We love learning new and different things.
The French are not so obssessed with weight and aging. Most of us are thin, so maybe that is why we don't make it any issue. We love our bicycles and walking. So are lives are very physically active. I ride my bike to work and so does my husband.
Yes, I guess my motto is beauty fades and dumb is forever until one decide to pick up a book and learn. I have always put intelligence before looks.
Of course, everyone in here is entitled to her/his opinion. "Different strokes for different folks."
THAT'S precisely my point. If an individual gains an abnormal amount of weight, and doesn't make any effort to work it off, then obviously my attitude is going to change towards that [person, whether I love them or not.
They would cease to be the person I married for the reasons I married them. I just don't think it's "okay" for either partner to just "let themselves go", and if you do that, you should fully expect your partner to either step out on you, replace you with something else, stop caring about you, stop caring about themselves.
I honestly think love is strong enough to overcome a lot of things, but if I lose RESPECT for my partner, as she's just letting herself go, I'm sorry... but that love is going to fade.
Again, just my opinion.
"Obviously my attitude is going to change"
No, not obviously. Maybe...obviously to YOU. But not obviously to everyone.
See here's the thing...you're RIGHT, it's definitely not "OK to let yourself go"...absolutely, positively right. But not because you're in danger of losing your partner...because it affects your HEALTH.
If a woman is keeping her weight low JUST to please her partner, that woman probably doesn't have a very good self esteem...vice versa for men as well. Yes, you SHOULD want to please your man/wife, and you SHOULD want to look good for them...but, let's face it, you should want to do it for YOU. and if you're putting excessive pressure on your partner to keep to a weight that YOU expect them to have, you're setting them up for a whole complex of issues stemming from inadequacy and anxiety surrounding a few lbs change in weight.
So....yeah. No one should let themselves go. it's gross. But would I leave my partner because I lost RESPECT? THat, to me, is laughable. I would tell them that their health was a serious concern to me and that while I realize life changes us all over time and I will always love them, I feel like it would be best for THEIR HEALTH to lose weight.
Chances are if you've gained a bunch of weight and your love life is suffering, you already know why your partner doesn't want to have sex with you. they don't need people ribbing them about it, just maybe gently encouraging.
So...is it shallow of you El? Well..not entirely. a little ridiculous, but not entirely shallow...because in evolution health=attractive. So it makes sense.
Is it a little ridiculous to demand that your partner keep their weight to a level that you like? Yes, I do think that is ridiculous...we all change over time, and just because someone gains weight doesn't mean A) they're not worthy of respect or even B) that they won't lose it...it probably bugs them a whole lot more than it bugs you!
Then again, if a partner does just "let themselves go", maybe there's trouble on the home-front that needs to be addressed?
I know from personal experience, that if I'm not doing the job I should be doing (caring, loving, providing, doing, etc), that a past partner just sort of "gave up" on the relationship after I lost interest.
That being said, I didn't lose interest because of her weight, and she was fit & thin for the entire relationship, up until 8 months prior to us breaking up. After she gave up, she gained 50 lbs in that 8 month period, and that tipped us both over the edge.
So, "letting yourself go" isn't always that person's fault... the blame rests firmly with BOTH (in the scenario I described above).
Ashleen brings up some good points.
I will agree with your last post el_em_en_oh. Yes, will agree with that one.
Most people have "let themself go" for others reasons than they are "lazy" and "slobs." I believe this. Perhaps existing problems in the relationship, i.e. depression, anxiety, too busy with the kids' needs or husband's needs, overworked, stress, etc.
If you know your mate has always taken care of him/herself and suddenly starts not caring and putting on weight I think I would be asking them what is bothering them, not badgering them about how "fat" and "gross" they are or how they don't deserve respect or you. Then, he/she should sit and watch you "step out" or you replace them. That is NOT decent. That is the time to really support and love them. I am so glad I have the man I have. He doesn't think that way at all. However, I am not overweight.
I think you people should be looking more inward than outward. Ending a marriage or a relationship based SOLELY on weight is ridiculous. It is NOT humane and decent. It is reducing someone's value to a weight or clothing size.
As I can remember, when you get married in the USA one usually says in his/her vows "for better or worse," "for richer or poorer," etc? Correct? Not YOU MUST STAY THE SAME WEIGHT FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE OR ELSE I WILL LEAVE.
I think some people just use someone's weight for a lame reason to get out of a relationship when there were really other issues. This is also the excuse for the porn, affairs, never home, no sex, etc. I think it is all a ball of crap myself.
"For better or for worse, in sickness and in health, for richer or for poorer"
Talk to my ex-wife about the "in sickness and in health" part. She stopped going to the hospital with me over 2 years ago, and her excuse was, "I didn't sign up for this".
I'm in the hospital a lot, due to kidney-stones, and in the 2 years that she didn't go with me, I was in 16 times.
I went through hospital stays, surgeries, and recovery, by myself (solo), as she was unsympathetic and angry about the situation. In the end, she said she was "Bored" by the prospect of going to the hospital every month or so, for the rest of our lives.
Yes, that is terrible. That is the time she should have been there for you. Unfortunately, people show their "true colors" when they are faced with challenges. Some hike for the hills and some conquer them head-on.
In life, we didn't "sign up" for alot of things so to speak. But, that is life.
If she treated you like that, then you all shouldn't be together. That is just not humane or decent.
Two years ago, I got very ill, which to this day no physician can really tell me what it was. I was off work for about 5 months with only enough energy to sit, bath and sometimes eat; I dropped to about 98-100lbs. My husband was a gem. I know this man really loves me and I know he didn't "sign up " for that.
It is so easy to say "I love you," giggle and smile when everything is what we consider "perfect." But, the true measure of love is getting through the "difficult" times when everything is falling apart and not so "perfect" together.
LMNO- Ha! I stumbled across this little gem and I'm still laughing!!
Naturally, I agree with everything you say because I know what you're talking about and exactly what you mean...
I'm pissed at your ex wife though!! She may not have signed up for what keeps happening with you but from where I'm sitting, the rest of you MORE than makes up for all that!!
It's like when a very drunk Mr.Churchill said to a very rude woman: " In the moning, I shall be sober. But, you Madam, will still be ugly".