by Diana Hendrix
My partner and I are both in our late thirties, own a house together, and have been in a committed relationship for over six years. For the most part, everything’s great. Lately, however, my partner has put on about 25 lbs. and it’s starting to turn me off. Not only is it physically unattractive, but also makes me think he doesn’t care about himself. I’ve even found myself checking out other men. He never has a problem telling me when something doesn’t meet his standards but gets very defensive when I do. How can I bring this up without seeming shallow and insensitive?
Dear Concerned Partner,
It isn’t necessarily shallow to want to be attracted to your partner. Excessive weight gain can be a sign of low self-esteem, depression and lead to serious health concerns. Ask yourself this: Are you concerned about your ego or his health? Is this an excuse for you to wander? How would you like to receive this information if the tables were turned? Considering his defensiveness, you should probably wait until he brings it up and then ask him how you can help. Until then, taking walks together, preparing healthier meals and portion control can contribute to your health as a couple.
What you really need to address is your feeling that he can dish it out but can’t take it, as this will do far more damage to your relationship than a little back fat. That is the weightier issue.
I am a gay man who’s always been comfortable with my sexuality. I enjoy playing the field and always loved the chase. I’ve never wanted to settle down or commit, at least until now. Here’s the problem, I’m in love. This past year I’ve been involved with a guy who’s gorgeous, successful and extremely generous. He’s also married. He told me he got his wife pregnant when they were teenagers and stays in this loveless relationship for the sake of his daughter whom he adores. He’s promised me he is going to leave her so we can finally be together. When I threaten to end it, he begs me for more time. I feel like my life has become a cliché, but I know he’s the one. Help!
The “Other Woman”
Dear “Other Woman,”
Let’s bottom line this, shall we? The fact is that he’s married with a child. Are you romanticizing the future and ignoring reality? Is he strong enough to come out? Leave his family? Would you have to deal with the aftermath? The guilt? The resentment? Could you? Why do you go for the elusive types? Is it ultimately safe because you know you’ll never have to commit or be truly intimate? Are you emotionally available? Until your lover is ready to be true to himself, he will continue to hide behind his marriage. Should it be this hard?
Diana is a practicing life coach and lives in the Nashville area with her husband and two daughters. To book a session or e-mail your questions contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.