Here’s what happened to me last night. I mentioned to my husband that my weight seems to have gone up (my clothes don’t fit – big give away) and that I didn’t really know why. It was more a pondering than anything else. I eat better than I used to and I’m as active so to be bigger seems a little contrary to me.
So anyway, silly old me thought I might get some reassurance from my husband but sadly no. Apparently I just need to exercise. This isn’t the first time we’ve had a conversation along these lines. In fact, every time I mention that I’m not feeling that great about my body I get comments about needing to eat a calorie deficit or start exercising.
I haven’t once been reassured that my body is actually fine just the way it is.
The thing is, I know my body is fine. I’m at a place where I’m quite happy with my body. Outside of my marriage that is. My husband and I have had a few problems over the years that left me feeling very insecure about whether he’s attracted to me. So feeling like he doesn’t like my body is a big issue for me.
But I’m digressing. I’ll come back to that in a mo.
As my husband was off to the shop I asked him to get my standard treat. Sweet and salty popcorn. I’ve given up sugar and am currently off alcohol (as I’ve been having trouble with IBS) so there’s not much I get to enjoy at the moment but popcorn is my favourite go to indulgence.
When he came back he asked me something he’s never asked me before.
“Shall I weigh you out a bowl of popcorn?”
Here’s how I interpreted that comment;
- I can’t be trusted to eat a normal portion
- I’m overweight and need to lose weight by controlling calories
- My husband thinks I eat too much
- My husband thinks I’m not good enough as I am so need help to be slimmer
Needless to say I was both hurt and furious. I wasn’t sure whether to cry or hit him with a frying pan.
Now, I’ve got training in psychotherapy. I know I was probably projecting and reading my own fears in his comments. His comment might have even been well meaning and harmless.
But yet, it was an unusual comment even for him and has been on my mind since then.
You see, as I’ve said, I mostly feel like my body is fine. But I don’t know if my husband thinks that too. It’s been a long time since he’s given me a compliment or told me he likes the way I look.
When I’ve told him I’m feeling insecure I just get met with comments that I don’t tell him that either. I never actually get the reassurance I’m looking for.
I suspect that my comments about my weight to him are subconsciously aimed at getting him to tell me he thinks I’m good enough as I am. Inevitably, though, I end up crushed when he doesn’t.
So here’s the real problem.
It’s not about the popcorn.
It’s not even about the comments that I need to eat less or join a gym. No, the fundamental problem is that I’m feeling like my husband doesn’t like my post-baby body as much as he used to.
And that really really hurts.
I don’t know what the solution is. I’m not writing this as a ‘here’s how you feel good and love your body’ post. I’m writing it as a ‘vent my own feelings and show you that I don’t always have it worked out’ kind of post. I write this so that if you are in the same position as me you know you’re not the only one.
And if you aren’t and you have a supportive husband – I’m writing this to help you to be grateful for that as I’d give a lot right now to have a husband who told me I was still as sexy as I was when we met.
At some point I’m going to have to talk to my husband (and you can read my post on why I haven’t yet here on Selfish Mother). But right now I don’t think I’m in the right frame of mind to do it. I’ll either be heartbroken or charged with murder…
(PS. just because I’m feeling a bit sorry for myself today doesn’t mean you have to if you’re in the same position. Here are 5 important questions to ask if you feel your partner doesn’t find you attractive that will help you figure things out).