So Sick of Husband Making Comments on My Body!!

Updated on June 13, 2008
D.M. asks from Eden Prairie, MN
19 answers

I am really frusterated- I weigh 135 lbs and am 5 feet 3 in, I weighed the same when my husband met me 5 years ago. So heres what happened. I told him oh ya I ate 3 cookies today and then later this evening he saw me eating another cookie ( he was waiting for his ice cream to thaw) and he said didn't you already have 3 cookies today. Ugh so what I thought I would have another one. I am pretty good at controlling my sweets. But he has always been on my back about - why don't I lift weight so I can tone my arms, why don't I tone my stomach and my butt. He acts like he wants a model. Like Madonnas arms, Jlos butt and Halley Berrys stomach. I mean I have had 2 kids and I just dont get why he gets on me when he doesn't even like working out him self. He plays raquet ball occasionally. He doesnt like to lift weights he says he has a basketball figure. And he says that teasing is good once in a while hinting that maybe I will get the point. I walk 2-3 times a week with the kids, and I don't just devour everything in sight. I take things in moderation. I am so frusterated with him and I have repetedly told him so. He says that I am too sensitive and that I AM the one that needs to chg. I am ready to buy a plane ticket and leave and see how he feels when his fat wife that does everything for him, cook, clean have sex with him -leaves- ugh can you tell that I am so feed up of him saying things to me like he is not happy with how I look when I haven't even chged- how can he say things like that to me ??? Help??

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So What Happened?

Thanks for all the replies, I sure appreciate all the advice. We are still on nonspeaking terms. I think we def need to seek counseling. In the meantime I am going to treat myself or better yet he is treating me to a pedicure. I will stopo making or buying sweets- I made those cookies because he told me to. ( he has a real big sweet tooth and always needs something sweet after dinner.) I might even make meatloaf for Fathers day- ha he hates meatloaf. I am taking the kids out to enjoy a fun day- on his tab since it is payday.( he hates it when I spend) Oh and I think I will def start to work out at our community gym as soon as he gets home from work. And I will have veggies for an entire week- he is not really into that stuff- he pushes them to the side of his plate. Well thanks ladies- I am sure he will eventually get the point- even if it means I do buy plane tickets for somewhere fun!!

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answers from Grand Forks on

Here's what you do...use reverser physcology! Play along with his game and but get on step ahead and win! So he thinks you are "fat", then the next time he wants sex hand him a "magazine" and lubricant and let him know this is all the lovin he is gonna get! Be bold and straight forward. He will get tired of "handling" things himself after awhile. In the mean time enjoy a GQ magazine at his expensense! Good Luck!

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answers from Omaha on

I'm with Anne-Marie-- other response needs some serious help!

You not only have the RIGHT but the OBLIGATION for your childrens sake to tell him up front that you will not be spoken to in that manner.

If you have girls - they will let the men in their lives treat them the way you let him treat you.

If you have boys- they will think it is acceptable to speak to the women in their lives that way-- including you!

With putting the emphases on what you will not tollerate you are not demanding he change but at the same time you are making very clear that you are fine the way you are and you have no intention on change either.

If he thinks you are putting an ultimatum down just tell him- no, I am merely stating a fact. You may continue to speak that way if you choose but I and the children have the right not to listen to it and we will go and do whatever it is we fell neccesary to remove ourselves from the sound of it.

need any more advise--- email me-- i paid lots for therapy over the yrs LOL!

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answers from Duluth on

huh. i really sympathize with you - thats a terrible thing for him to do :( just keep doing what you are doing. remember, "no one can make you feel inferior without your consent" - (it was in the princess diaries even! but i think it was elenor roosevelt who said it) so as much as it hurts, (and i know it does) you can only let someone walk on you if you LET them. LOL. my mom had that problem, where she didnt have any boundaries, people could treat her however she wanted, and she just let them walk all over her. it ended up with her being depressed, seeing a counselor, and me and my sister growing up in a unhappy emotionally abusive home. they are fine now, they never separated, never divorced, but they found their way back to each other, and my mom just doesnt let those things bother her.

it starts to become a method of control. im not saying your husband is trying to control you in a direct way, but hes trying to keep you down (for some reason) - maybe he sees in himself the aging and lack of "fitness" that he used to have and he feels bad about it - so to make himself feel better, he puts you down. im not saying thats the problem, and dont use that against him, but it might have something to do with it, even if he doesnt realize it himself.

however, you may need counseling too.. from a trusted pastor or counselor. there is a book that my mom read about boundaries. i know the name of it but i cant find it under that name, so i will try to get back to you if you are interested. just send me a note if you would like it.

but anyway, just do what you can to try to ignore the comments. most of all dont comment back at him cuz that wont work. theres a fine line between wanting you to be healthier and wanting you to be something you may never be, so make sure you are understanding on which side of that line his comments are coming from. my husband says little things to me like this, but as we have discussed many times he just wants me to be healthy and fit and happy with the way i look just as much as he does. im a little overweight, have that flabby mommy tummy going on, and i suffer from lots of stretch marks. however, he NEVER makes me feel like i am worthless as a desireable wife because of it. theres a fine line there. so maybe sit down with your husband and talk (or talk while driving) to see if its just that he wants you to be healthy, or if hes really meaning what he says. let him know his comments hurt you, and are not going to help you get healthier.

if it could be something you can do together to both get fit, maybe with the kids (giving them a healthy attitude about fitness) that would help you all grow together. even if its as simple as taking a family walk after dinner. :D

anyway, let me know if you want that info on that book.
and good luck

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answers from Minneapolis on

I think your husband is inscure about his own body and wants to then make you feel bad to make himself feel better in away. I would sit down with him and try to talk to him about how this really makes you feel and tell him you have thought about leaving him. If this is not the ONLY issue that is makeing you so upset I would find a good marriage theripest to talk to. It is really hard to find that same kind of love for your husband after you have been married for awhile and you have children that take the focus away from your marriage maybe a weekend just the two of you will help you both remember why you married. Good Luck and Please Know you are a beautiful women :)

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answers from La Crosse on

This isn't about you, it's about him. I don't think he's being honest with you and he is projecting his feelings of inadequacy onto you. Too often men equate beauty with thinness. They are two totally different things. Anyway, it sounds to me like your weight is perfect for your height. Are you happy with how you look? That is the only question you are responsible for answering. The jabs about what you eat are coming from your husband who is unhappy with himself.

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answers from Omaha on

Dear D.M.

It seems as though many of us have had this same issue. Here is my solution, which was helpful in oh so many ways. IF my husband would complain that I needed to go to the gym, I would schedule my gym time right at dinner time..."Really honey, it's the only time they offer this class!" and then I would go to the gym. If you don't have a gym membership, find a walking partner and schedule the time to walk at that time. If she can't go, start without her and have her catch up. I would always say "Hey, by the way, while I am gone, please feed the children and get them bathed and to bed. I started dinner, but you will need to finish it." And then I would be gone. Sometimes, I would stay extra long at the gym just to make sure that he had time to get everything done. If I was tired of the gym, I would stop at the bookstore (where I can spend hours) or walk around the mall (also good exercise!) I would also very quietly get rid of all sweets, junk food, ice cream, etc. that seemed to cause the problem in the first place (according to him) so that when he went for a snack, there would be fresh fruits and veggies waiting for him. Make sure that when you come home, you are just plain pooped from such a great workout, take a quick shower and off to bed as you have to get ready for the day tomorrow. DO NOT under any circumstances, do the dishes, or clean up the kitchen or the house when you come home. Very sweetly say "Honey, thank you for giving me this time for myself and my health...and thank you for taking care of things at home while I am working on it!"

The bonus is two-fold: you get more time for yourself and your own health and he gets to help you out in achieving that goal. Tell everyone within earshot of your husband that he is doing such a wonderful job at this (and make him stick it out!)

Pretty damn sure the comments will stop.


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answers from Rapid City on

I come from a family in which men have been very critical of women's bodies. My grandpa was constantly on my grandma to not gain weight and eat the right things. In a way, it was good for her health, she even told me a couple times that she'd be a fat nun if she hadn't married my grandpa. On the other hand, their two daughters ( my mom and aunt) both have had eating and weight issues their whole lives because of witnessing this and the fact that my grandpa was overly critical of them too. My mom ended up marrying a man who did the same thing to her. I remember while growing up my dad constantly making rude comments about my mom's weight and telling their friends that she was too big. Now I look back on pictures of her and see that she wasn't fat at all - she was maybe a size 10 or 12. My aunt used illegal drugs when she was younger to stay skinny. Both of them have had problems all their lives with weight going up and down.
I think your husband needs to realize that this really hurts your feelings and is not a good thing for your children to witness while growing up; if they are girls they will have issues and if they are boys they will do the same thing to their wives.
If you agree with him and want to tone up more then maybe you could do something fun together, like join a racquetball league or something. If you don't have a problem with the way you look, then you should do something about his attitude now before it affects you and sends you into depression.
Best wishes, body image is a tough thing to struggle with, and to not have support and admiration from your husband, that's extra rough.

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answers from Cedar Rapids on

Your husband is full of it! I think it'd be wonderful to be 5'3" and 135lbs. He should feel darn lucky! I love the idea about going to the gym or for a walk after supper and leaving dishes. Go for it, and yes, be sure to tell him "thank you" for thinking about your health (sarcastically). Ignore the response about dressing up for him etc (sounds like it was written by a guy).--Following the suggestions from that e-mail will only make your husband think he's doing the right thing. Enjoy the meatloaf!



answers from Bismarck on


I think you need to have a heart to heart with dear hubby--before the heat of the moment makes you just say words out of frustration. Tell him that you weigh the same as when you were married; yes childbirth does change your body. Tell him his words hurt you. Ask him why he really says them. Don't let him use words to keep hurting you--seek some counseling if he doesn't put a stop to it. I think today's movie and internet world do put unrealistic ideas into men's heads.

I'm 5'4" and weigh a lot more than 135. Your husband is lucky!



answers from Milwaukee on

Oh my! I am so sorry. I have had two kids and would love to have your numbers!!! I would have a heart to heart with him and be firm and maybe you may have to find a place to leave to if he doesn't get it. Hang in there and take care of yourself and kids!



answers from Minneapolis on

When my husband says hurtful things to me, I usually just walk away slowly with my head down. He gets that he hurt my feelings and apologizes.

The other day he said something about his having to do all chores when he gets home from work (I was emptying the dishwasher when he said it). I put the dishes I was holding back in the dishwasher and walked away. I didn't even get out of the kitchen before he realized what he said.



answers from Minneapolis on

My ex did the same thing to me. It started with my weight and grew from education or lack thereof, my job, you name it.
This is just a basic lack of respect on his part.
I don't know how to get thru to guys like you can see since he is now my ex and I am now a single mom.

If you've already gone to him and had an adult conversation about how it makes you feel when he makes these comments and his behavior hasn't changed, then my only advice would be to ignore his comments as best you can. Don't sink to his level of making comments about him and arguing with him.
That is what I did and things went from bad to worse immediately. Plus, I looked like a jerk in the meantime and the fighting is super bad for the kids.
You can't control his behavior but you can control yours.

I don't know if this is the best advice. His treatment of you is abusive and this may just be the tip of the iceberg.
Believe in yourself and don't let his comments get to you.



answers from Minneapolis on

Dear DM,

wow. you're having a tough time. I have been there. I remember when my first husband said I looked like a beached whale when I was pregnant with our first child. I was so hurt I was speechless. I did tell him later how painful this was and he still didn't truly get it as far as I know. And...I think he loved me!

My advice to you is to stay out of the line of fire. Hmmm. easier said than done. What if you asked him if he treated all his friends like this? Aren't you wanting to have a husband who is fun to be with and kind to you, like a friend?

Okay - although this is my typical route, I am following my intuition here, I want you to know that I agree with some of the other writers who say this is not about you. As difficult as it is to not take these icky comments personally, this guy is being mean because - who knows? Somehow he is trying to feel better by putting you down, and it is naturally pushing you away. Maybe he learned this from his parents. If you believe he can unlearn this bullying behavior there is hope for your relationship.

There are some amazing books out there. If you get a chance and have the desire, check out Greg Baer's books about Real Love [even check out his website] or 3 other excellent
relationship/self help authors are Susan Page, Don Miguel Ruiz and Louise Hay. I've found most of their books in the library.

Finally, Smile at yourself in the mirror, tell yourself you are loved and beautiful exactly as you are and be your best self! You are a smart, strong, smiling woman who deserves to be cherished.

K. C



answers from Rapid City on

Everyone's body changes as they get older... it is more noticable in women though after having children. It is more a control attitude for your husband to say all this. I would suggest two things.

1. don't tell him what you eat while he is gone. If he asks tell him that it doesn't matter. Keep with the walks and such.

2. Buy only healthy stuff for a while. No ice cream, no cookies, no sugar or chips. After his not being able to have his snacks, he will complain. With this just smile and say "oh, we both need to watch our weight so only healthy from now on.. here is some carrots" You could even say you notice he is getting a bit pudgy in the middle. It turns it around on him without fighting.

Doing this will keep your whole family a bit more healthy and you can still have sweets... while out walking, go have some ice cream for a special treat. It will also let him know that you don't piss off the cook! When I would get mad at my husband while the kids were growing up, I wouldn't fight or argue with him at all. I would cook things he doesn't like all week long. He learned real fast that he shouldn't upset who fills his It got to the point that if I was fixing roast beef (which he didn't like) the kids would come in and say "what did dad do now?" Roast can last all week and after being in trouble enough, he now likes If I hear "I don't like it" which he still does to me, I stop making his favorite meal (meatloaf) and told him when he asked for it "well, I thought we only ate what we like and I don't like meatloaf, so I am not cooking it anymore!" I haven't heard the "I don't like that" for a while. Remember, it use to be said that the way to a mans heart is through his stomach. I figured if that was true, quickest way to train a man is through his stomach too.



answers from Sioux Falls on

I was in the same situation as you, and I can tell you that the more he said things like that, the more I started to eat more, the heavier I became, and eventually it lead to the end of our relationship. I lost 35 lbs when I left him, I didn't realize that I had been in a depression because of the way he treated me, but I was, so I am very thankful that I left. As for the children we have together, I find it a lot better if they are not around negative criticism all the time, and they need to see their mom with someone who loves them for better or worse and that accepts them for who they are. We are only human, but we don't need negativity in our lives, I think I can speak for all mothers when I say we are our own worst critics about our body, no matter what size we are!



answers from Appleton on

He's an abusive jerk.
It doesn't matter if your body has changed or not. He is supposed to love you no matter what. He probably doesn't realize that he is being abusive. You could try counseling, but since he doesn't think anything is wrong, he probably won't go or it will take a long time. Have a frank no nonsense talk with him. Tell him that he is hurting your feeling when he talks to you that way and that it has to stop. Don't make comments about him and his appearance, two wrongs don't make a right and it won't help. Does he know that you are so fed up you are thinking of leaving him? Tell him, the comments have to stop or you are taking the kids and leaving.



answers from Grand Forks on

Maybe you should move to another room and focus completely on taking care of the children and yourself. When I have been frustrated with my husband, I write a note about exactly how I am feeling and I make sure he reads it. It seems to be quite effective, avoids a screaming match and for some reason it sinks in better. I don't do it often because it might not be as effective-only when I am extremely frustrated. I have also noticed that a few nights sleeping in a different room is effective, too. My second husband was pretty critical of my figure-that is part of the reason he is my second husband!!He is now married to a very large woman who smacks him with a broom every once in awhile-hehehehehe!!There is justice in the world.



answers from Milwaukee on

I would be sick too. He married for better or for worse, and if he really wanted to be supportive, why isn't he going on those walks with you and the children or working out with you. Here's the thing though...if YOU are happy with your body the way it is, then he needs to accept that. If he wanted a model, then that's who he should have married (good luck with that).

However, I would sit him down and say to him, "I do not appreciate it when you make derogatory comments about my body or imply that I need to change. I am happy with the way I am, and you can accept that or not accept it, but realize I'm not going to be working out incessantly just to please you." Then give him a chance to respond. Listen to what he says and wait a minute before you respond back. Think about how you feel about what he said, and then communicate back how what he said makes you feel.

If he goes back to how he's just kidding or whatever, ask him if he understands that by teasing you about your weight, he's setting the example for the children. If he doesn't respect you and teases you like that, the children when they are older will think it's okay to do the same. If you have a son, that behavior will then transend when he's in relationships as he gets older.

The whole purpose of this conversation with your husband should be to obtain a better understanding of each other. You're not going to change him and his quest for a model. He's not going to change you and get his model, but you can come to an understanding of why he is the way he is and why you are the way you are and agree at the end to disagree. However, in the end, there should be a pact that he will not make nit picking comments to you, especially in front of the children. He's teaching them how to treat others. Above all, make sure he understands that this is not a sensitivity issue (you being sensitive). This is about respect and him respecting your wishes to live a balanced life and not obsessing over every calorie you take in. A balanced diet does have a little wiggle room for a few indiscretions.

Finally, 135 lbs at 5'3" is the cutoff for the normal weight range. If you were extremely overweight, then I could see his point of view from the persepctive of wanting you in good health and doing things to keep you healthy. And if that were the case, then I feel the conversation would go in a whole other direction, but I think as long as there are no health reasons behind his desire to wanting you to change, that he needs to either accept you or accept that you aren't going to change and deal with that however he wishes to.

Also, since you are ready to leave him over this, I feel it's really important that you make it clear to him the gravity of his actions if the understanding talks don't pan out. I wouldn't put it off as an ultimatum, but let him know that you feel that maybe you should leave sometimes so he can find his dream woman. He married you and he needs to understand that you don't marry someone thinking that you can tweak them later on. He needs to realize he married you for you and this is what he gots. He can take it or leave it.



answers from Milwaukee on

Hello, I understand your plight. But I am wondering do you just get offended and frustrated when your husband make comments on your body or do you honestly try to have a serious sit-down and point out to him that you take keeping yourself fit a priority and that he's not perfect himself. Have you explained to him how he makes you feel when he belittles you and that if it continues you are considering leaving. If I were in your shoes ( and I have been) I would make sure first of all that he understands this little thing we call respect and that respect is reciprocal that is if you give it you'll get it and if you don't odds are you won't. If you can try to get him to understand that your feelings are as important to you as his are to him and in a relationship these same feelings must be as important to each other. With this being the case just out of consideration for his own feelings then he should not say or do anything that he would not like said or done to him in return and that if he wants you to respect and honor his feeling then you expect him to do the same concerning yours. I know that this may seem a little simplistic but sometimes it works when you can make a person realize how insensitive he is behaving. This along with the fact that anytime we say we love someone it is a small thing not to say things that are unkind. Also, I would begin to disregard anything further comments he would make about your body and treat them with all the attention it deserves which is none. I believe that once he sees that his opinion is no longer of any importance to you he'll stop.

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