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1066198 tn?1333309028

sexual/emotional needs in marriage .....

        I have come to a realization, I believe, about myself. I have gained 30 lbs in the last year. yuk, i know. Some I attribute to the psych meds I take. But I've been looking hard at my eating habits lately... you know that's the 1st thing you have to change to start losing weight. It came to me that I get the hungriest, and eat the most- and most junk foods, when I am less frequently engaged in frequent good sex and intimacy with DH... My hunger goes unsatisfied- no matter what I eat- or how much..

        The reason, I believe is because i am NOT hungry for food-- my body is craving-- starving for the deep bonding, intimacy and physical satisfaction of a good healthy SEX life.

        So I eat in effort to my body what it is starving for-- emotional/physical/sensual/physical intimacy and sex.

        Thus I gain weight, and become even more depressed and- still can not satiate the hunger.

        ok... so general problem identified. Now, the hardest part--


        Moreover, how do I go about talking to my Husband about this-- and getting him to understand that ONLY HE can give me the things I need to feel complete and satisfied. ...... ? ? ? ? ? ?
7 Responses
13167 tn?1327194124
I agree that a lot of people over eat not because they're hungry for food,  but because they have a need that's not being met.  Some call it Mind Hunger.  

I also think that if you're on medication that's known to make you gain weight,  that's probably a significant cause also.  

I think you need to separate these two things into two different pieces.  Instead of saying I think I eat because you're not giving me enough sex so let' have more sex then I'll stop eating so much,  I think you should pull these two things apart.

Learn to stop eating for other reasons than physical hunger,  and learn to recognize when you are physically hungry vs.  not physically hungry.  This website might be helpful:


I don't know what's going on with your marriage and differences in sexual desire but that can be worked on separately.  I think telling your husband that you've gained so much weight because he's not giving you what you need won't come across as very sexy - and will be off-putting.

Best wishes.
973741 tn?1342342773
It is very common to use food to comfort and cope with emotional distress.  A therapist would be helpful in helping you come up with strategies for better coping.  I wouldn't say that just having sex would make you eat less----  it is during periods of getting along better, feeling connected, desired that you are not emotionally distraught (as much :>) )  and have a healthier relationship with food.  When things aren't great, you eat to comfort yourself.  Some people drink.  Some people shop.  OR they find healthy things to do.  They get an endorphin rush from exercising, etc.  

So, I would say that your weight gain during lower marriage points is common and more indicative of inability to cope with your emotions than just replacing the sexual intimacy you desire.  Does that make sense?  Yep, I put it right back on you because that gives you control.  You have control over how you cope.  You can't control your marriage or all the things that happen in your marriage but you can control your reaction to it.  

Otherwise you are left with your husband controling your weight by his ability to connect and have sex with you.  When you ask how to get more of this, you ask him for it.  But if he can't come through all of the time, you have to have your plan in place to cope that doesn't include food to pacify you or punish him by subconsiously doing things to gain weight.  

I know marriage counseling is one of those things I keep recommending but I still think it would really help.

We all deserve to be loved and have our needs met and I want you to have this.  but when it is dependent on things we can't completely control, I would hate to see self destructive patterns become the way one deals with it.  

I think that it is WAY too much to put on someone to say that only THEY can give you what you need to feel satisfied and complete.  You need to convey to him that you are happiest when you are getting along and sexual and that you want to work on the relationship so that both of you are satisfied.  Get him on board with that and come up with a plan to stay connected as a couple.  good luck dear-----  I know it is hard and wish I had a quick and easy answer for you on how to make this happen.  
Avatar universal
RockRose and Specialmom have given great advice; totally agree.  
1066198 tn?1333309028
Yes...very valid points. I do accept that it is my problem... abd yes-- the 2 do have to be separate... Gotta start from my own self image/internalization...

I need to learn to better cope with that particular "hunger"...but how? I do have good hobbies, interests, I work, garden, I'm taking classes on ancient history and continuing education credits for my nursing... all things I love.

and he does work long hours, 15 days on and 6 days off.... he can lose himself in online gaming and research and hunting forums for hours and hours...  while showing very little interest in sex... NOT saying he never does-- it's about 1-2 times a week on average that we indulge, and it's always great!

He just needs less, and i crave the physical bonding-- even if there is no intercourse involved; holding, petting, kissing, hugging, a back rub.... more often, the intimacy as well as the actual sex.

We have always had similar/same differences in our relationship.... but they are not 24/7/365.... just way too much of the time for me to satisfied with.

we've talked, we work on it often-- but then things tend to just slide back into the same general routine ....

I DO have lower self esteem ( not non-existent) but not what i call  'average', either... I know he finds me sexually attractive- that's never been an issue... i know he loves me.... my weight does not cause great concern-- I am NOW the same weight as when we met, fell in love and married...I had lost the 30-35 lbs...but have gained it back. I've always been within 15-20 lbs either side of 160, ever since we've been together. I have no hangups about my face, my hair, my body in general-- and neither does he- at least not negatively! LOL!

You're right-- there's no way I could ever tell him that " (I) you've gained so much weight because he's not giving you what you need""...... that much I do know would be just plain hurtful to him, and stupid of me. i have realized--that, yes-- this is a major contributor (cause) of my emotional eating- but not his fault...

I do need to learn 2 things:
#1--- how do I start wrapping my head around ways to CONTROL my reaction (eating) to my sense of physical/emotional/sexual needs not being up to my expectations and/or needs ???

and #2-- how do i ask him for, encourage more, intimacy/sexual gratification from him-- with out injuring HIS sense of self???

and perhaps find someway I can be more comfortable with things as is???
Avatar universal
i agree intimacy is very important....to feel needed and desired...to feel attractive.....
13167 tn?1327194124
for your answer to #1,  read the link I posted.

Best wishes.
973741 tn?1342342773
I feel like this is a complicated question.  You've married someone with different needs.  He seems willing to try to fulfil your needs--------  he may fall off the wagon and I'd give him a couple of days if he does that and then remind him that you are feeling a bit lonely.  

He spends his down time in ways that don't make you feel close to him.  Gaming and things like that.   I guess we all deserve to relax as we see fit but maybe he could temper how much he spends doing it and spend equal time with you.
But I will tell you that overall, I do see this as an extention of some of the mental health issues you have had and currently have.  Thirty pounds in one  year is pretty signficant-----  obviously some of that can be attributed to the medication and I'd talk about this side effect with your prescribing doctor.  I also think the usage of food here is another extention of the mental health issues and that too is something to discuss with your doctor (do you see a psychiatrist???  I assume so and they are well versed with this line of coping and could be of great benefit to help you.)

Then bone up on nutrition education.  Clear out the temptations and just don't have them at home.  I too can emotionally eat and that is my best way of keeping things in control.  I can't have doritos in my house.  Period.  I'll eat a whole bag if they are there.  My kids can live without doritos in their lives.  Anything that is a gateway food for me is just not in our house.  If fastfood is my down fall, I drive right by.  If I love sweets, I don't buy cookies.  Whatever the 'danger' foods are, they are not around.  And if you have a craving and the food isn't there, then you don't eat it.  If you are getting dressed at 10 pm and going to the store to get it, then you need to talk to a doctor for sure about it.  I give myself one free day a week in which I eat whatever I want.  The rest of the time I keep the trigger food out of my house and cook for the family but eat in moderation.  Portion control and that type of thing.  Add in some exercise and this should help you control weight.

However, I do have a tough question for you.  Do you emotionally eat out of a deep rooted anger at your husband?  Think about that question carefully.  I've found that sometimes we can be quite angry deep down and over eat, shop, gamble, etc. as a 'subconsious' way of getting back or having control.  That anger has to be dealt with.  Could that be going on?
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13167 tn?1327194124
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