April 18, 2009,
E.R. asks from Milford, PA on April 13, 2009
My husband and I are married 12 years. We've dealt with family illness, death, infertility, his cancer etc. and through all that we've been supportive of each other. However, when it came to his friends he's been terribly unsupportive. Early in our marriage there were many instances where I complained of a lack of respect etc. and it was not taken seriously. They're very loyal to each other though and there's plenty testosterone to go around when they're together. We've all learned to tolerate each other and things have changed with his friends but for one thing. My husband has made hurtful comments to me on several occasions throughout the years. The one that keeps coming up periodically is jokingly referring to me as a "dog" (as in the unattractive kind)to his friends and in front of me. I've called him on it but this weekend he did it again. I've discussed it with him and have tried to explain to him how wrong it is. He doesn't seem to get it and I don't know what to do. It's really eroded any kind of trust, I have no desire to be naked around him, let alone have sex. I know I've gained some weight and quite frankly I don't find myself attractive but I thought if you loved someone the whole idea was to act as if they're gorgeous even if they're not...or just keep your mouth shut. How do you stay married to someone who you feel no longer finds you attractive?... or should you? What kind of message is this for my little girl? I don't know what to do.
A.H. answers from New York on April 14, 2009
I don't find my self very attractive anymore.. but my husband still loves me.. we both have aged.. he has a pot belly but I still love him.. and I have saggy breasts. Recently he told me I should dress up more often..my feeling was oh no.. i have to buy a bigger size to dress up... that makes me feel bad buying bigger.. but Easter I wore a beautiful skirt and top and high heels which I haven't worn in a long time.. Wow my husband couldn't keep his eyes off of me.. it made me feel good and him great. I vowed just then (two days ago) to get in shape.. so he would always keep his eyes on me. I love him, he loves me.. but he would never make fun of me in front of others.. we joke.. with each other. he calls himself the beached whale and I'm the hippo.. not nice.. but we laugh... We both have aged.. but we are now taking walks, I bought more fruit into the house.. and I want to look better.
I would talk to him.. tell him he really hurts you.. see what he says.. you also said he said things in the past to hurt you.. It has to stop.. Go for the manicure, new haircut, even get your makeup done.. (FOR YOU) and call a friend or sister and go out for lunch or dinner.. take your little one too. Then try to get healthy.. FOR YOU not for him.. make yourself feel better about you... someday you'll look back and be happy you made yourself healthy and if he doesn't say things to be nice.. then distance yourself.. also do his friends come over your house? if so.. don't cook. don't make snacks.. and go out when they are around.. don't go out with them.. he can go.. but you shouldn't go.. go out with your little girl.. make it a day.. enjoy yourselves.. don't go with them so they can make fun of you.. it's not right. Try to look good again.. to make you feel good. Do it for YOU. Smile,,, enjoy your little girl.. take long walks with her, run around with her and enjoy her.. shut him out a little.. make him know that until he changes, it's you and your little girl and he is on the outside.. when you start feeling better about who you are and how you look --- you'll be in charge. Take each day.. but enjoy life and love yourself and your little girl. good luck..
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D.S. answers from New York on April 14, 2009
First of all I think you know the answers you are going to get here because you already know this is terrible behavior on your husbands part. There are times when I myself am having an ugly day and my husband will always say you are beautiful and reassure me of his love. I have had kids and have the stretch marks to prove it, I am going to be 50 years old and take very good care of myself. However, I am not what I was at 30 I know it he knows it and would never think of insulting me or making me feel unloved. The one concern I do have is your daughter. Girls and boys watch us very closely in everything we do we are their role models. If this is how daddy treats mommy this is probably the type of man she will attract when she is older. So, yes it is up to you to not tolerate this for you and mostly for her. I am sure you want what is best for your family. I would take the credit card go shopping, get your hair done, get a pedicure, a manicure, and whatever it takes to make YOU feel good about yourself. Then hand him the bill and go out for a nice dinner with some close friends. Obviously talking to him isn't getting through so he needs to see action so take action. Take control of your life and get out of the rut you are in move on. If he is not a part of it then so be it. Do whatever it will take for you and your daughter to feel better. I know if my husband were that insensitive I wouldn't want to sleep with him either. As long as he beats down your self esteem he will always have you right where he wants you. So empower yourself, join a gym, and get healthy for you and trust me you will have a whole different attitude towards your husband and he may open his eyes to the beautiful, strong, and empowered women he is married to. My husband has gained about 50 lbs since we are married and his health is suffering as a result with high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Instead of insulting him I am helping him. I have always eaten healthy so I am making sure he is. I belong to a gym but every night I have started walking 3 miles with him. In 6 weeks he has lost 22 lbs (I HATE HIM. WHY DO MEN LOOSE SO FAST!!!). Point is we are supportive of each other not hurtful or insulting. Your husband sounds immature, and as you said insensitive. As far as how do you stay married to someone like him I don't have the answer for you but I know I couldn't. I hope things work out for you but only you can change things!!! Good luck!!
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K.G. answers from Jamestown on April 14, 2009
I can not believe someone would tell you that you must keep in shape for your husband... that's ludicrous. Please ignore that advice, as it's not realistic whatsoever, and you'd spend all your time trying to be someone you aren't for someone else. I would never dream of telling my daughter something like that, why would you want to listen to it yourself? Would you tell your daughter something like that?
People gain weight for many reasons.... many times, it's not just that they are lazy slobs... unfortunately some people don't understand that.
If YOU want to lose weight, do it for yourself, not your husband. Otherwise you will most likely fail or be miserable anyway.
Your husband needs to see a counselor or you need to talk to him. You need to let him know this is effecting your marriage and your feelings toward him. Tell him if he doesn't stop it could cost him dearly.. it could cost him you and your daughter...is he prepared to lose you both?
If you are not willing to deal with him and the way he treats you, you need to be prepared to do something about it. Let him know what you are prepared to do about it (whether it is leaving him or whatever you decide) and be willing to stick to it.
One thing I would advise and I know it's hard to do, but try very hard to not cry when you discuss this with him. Men think that women use tears as emotional blackmail, even though it's just a natural reaction for us when we get emotional. I have found though, that when my husband does something that hurts me, I get farther with him if I don't break down and cry. If I can sit and talk to him, without tears, or without as many tears, he realizes that I am more serious and not just trying for sympathy from him.
I am not saying to never cry in front of him, or not to show emotions in front of him, that's unrealistic. But, when you can talk to him the way men talk to him (without tears) he will get it easier than if he thinks you are just being emotional (like women are made to be but most men don't understand that.;) )
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T.A. answers from New York on April 14, 2009
Okay, first of all it's not your job to keep a fine shape to please and pacify your husband. To suggest that is insane!
If my husband ever called me a dog, in front of friends, alone, or anything, I would punch him in quite hard. That is disrespectful, immature, and totally uncalled for. If he can't respect you in front of his friends, or otherwise, he needs to have a serious talking to.
And especially because you have a daughter. I'd be all over that, because what kind of message is he sending? That a girls job is to stay fit and thin to please her husband?
Sit and talk to him. Explain that you feel totally disrespected and it's going to destroy your marriage if he keeps it up. Go see a counselor who can help you deal with this, whether you go together or on your own.
I'm so sorry he would say something like that to you, but please know that it's NOT true. He's immature!
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K.I. answers from New York on April 14, 2009
I think your husband is trying to tell you something.
Many things are said in jest, but are meant for real.
My husband is the opposite, he will not say how beatiful I am to me (he says my head is big enough), but he tells his friends. Men compare wives. One of his friends whose wife was once very attractive had her five kids like steps one after the other and she gain a lot of weight. Many of the wives that were so cute have gained or are gaining and my husband brags that my body is tight and I still look great and how he has to keep up with me - to his friends, mind you - not me. And I hear the guys saying, yeah my wife looks like a dog, but I still love her.
I don't focus what my husband says about my body and looks. I focus on what my mother told me as a young girl. When you get married keep your shape, so he knows that you will always be able to get another man if he doesn't treat you right.
The truth is you've lost the upper hand in this relationship and you're not going to gain it back by talking to him. Get back into the gym, men understand actions, not words. And when you get hot again, make him beg for it;)
But please it is a lie to think that you can let yourself go and the man has to pretend he is still attracted to you in the same way. His love is real, but sextual attraction takes work ask the French.
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M.G. answers from Columbus on April 18, 2009
Wow you have had some good and some interesting thoughts on here. I don't really know what to tell you. Calling you a *dog* is horrible and infront of you and his friends just makes him a total fool. You say you have discussed it but how does it go. Do you make time with just the 2 of you and tell him honestly how terrible this makes you feel, how hurt and how ugly you feel because of these terrible words. I would make sure you have a serious talk and give him the expectations -- I do not want you to call me any negative names, because this hurts me and it sends a terrible message to our child, etc etc, I want to be treated with the same respect I give you (hopefully you are not joining him and calling him names). Suggest that because of this act of unkindness and that you are left with no self esteem you need to see a marriage counselor. I would suggest seeing one alone anyway.
I have also gained weight and my husband has acted in worse ways. Sometimes I wish he would of just called me a name to clue me into why he was so unhappy. It was more of a lack of communication, he did have things about me that were bothering him and he didn't think I really cared, when I did and I was trying to get in shape... So anyway I am still overweight, I didn't try to loose weight just for him, but for our family, for me, to be healthy, etc.. But then again I never lost that desire to have sex with him so I am not sure how that would go.
I am glad we stayed married and am extremely happy now. A little counseling did help, good advice, encouraging us to talk, etc.
Good luck, feel free to email me if you need to talk.
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M.R. answers from Utica on April 16, 2009
Dear E., how are you doing today, good I hope. You seem to have a problem, and your Husband have a bigger problem. Mind him that 12 years with some one is not a mistake , but in today society a blessing. I am not going to tell you to act like him and lower your standards, lets say on a scale 1-10 to his of he is probably a 3, what you need to do is keep a clock close by the bed, and if and when he want to have sex, time him , and once he finish, say gee, you like having sex with a DOG in a short time, that will hurt his ego and super ego also, not throwing stones, but to let him feel how you feel also. I have been with my wife for 19 years now and we have been married for 15. yes there are going to be disagreement, but the name calling is what is in the heart. I always say if we think before we speak it could safe us trouble, but what the heart think the mind will speak. But if you truly and really still love him, and please don't used or put the children in the middle or the reason why to stay with him, hold your head up and moved on. After three lovely children with my wife , she refuse to take showers with me or let me see her take her cloth off, saying she is fat, but like I told her there is a reason for that, she give me, three plus reason to gain a little extra pounds to hold on to, and I am not complaining, I just want that is mine the family. I am still in the same weight class when we first meet, she has gain, lets say from 115 to 140 of what I still love and will always. So E. the choice is yours to stay or moved. M.. And tell him to be a man and not a mouse, and use poor excuse to run aways from his responsibility.
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