Dear Prudence: I'm a healthy woman standing 5-foot-5. Before I got married, I weighed 115 pounds. I didn't gain a lot of weight during pregnancy, either. But since our daughter was born (she is now 3), I've had little time for exercise or looking after myself. I now weigh 145 pounds. My doctor says I'm still in the healthy range of BMI and I feel OK. The problem is my husband, who constantly tells me I need to lose weight. At first he tried to say he was worried about my health, but later admitted that he's not as attracted to me as he once was. I am hurt and angry by this, and I am even more determined not to lose weight to please my man. We've argued a lot over my weight and appearance and now neither of us is attracted to each other. Should I lose my weight or should he change his attitude?
Prudence says: I can't tell you how many husbands (maybe yours!) write to me about this problem. They first try the "I want you to be healthy" route, to no effect. Then, usually after their wives press them, they "admit" that a large weight gain is a turn-off.
I'm also concerned that your reason is that you say you don't have time to look after yourself or really care about your appearance anymore. Are you depressed? Are you so wrapped up in your daughter's life that you have lost a sense of your own autonomy? Ideally, your husband loves you no matter what your size, and vice versa. But I think it's fair for him to note that he married someone slender who no longer is and doesn't seem to care. You need to figure out for your own sake why you think being a mother is incompatible with keeping yourself in shape.
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