Why Is This Okay for Men but Not Women?!?

Updated on July 08, 2010
C.R. asks from Olathe, KS
21 answers

Why do men think it is okay to let their weight go after marriage, but women can't even after having two kids. Why should they expect us to stay the way we were, when they don't watch their weight. My husband has never said that he minds my weight gain after the girls, but his actions say it all to me. He just is not as affectionate as he was before I had my two younger girls. I know that I'm at the biggest I have ever been, but I just have not had the time or motivation to do something about it. I guess I'm just frustrated about this tonight for some reason. Oh well, just thought I would throw this question out there because it was on my mind.

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answers from Houston on

Girl...I am fatter than I ever have been in my life....does my husband love/desire me? YES. It is NOT body parts...its love.... do I want to be thinner? yes, but my husband has absolutely NOTHING to do with my weight. Its just me.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

My husband does not mind that i have gained a little weight. He says he likes a little belly. I guess i am lucky...

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answers from Anchorage on

It could just be the stress of the kids causing his lack of affection. Talk to him about it. I thought just like you, and than when we went to councling it turned out it was a ton of other stressors, not my weight at all, that was causing him to be distant.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

If you are not happy with yourself, then why do you think someone else will be?

2 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

I have to throw this out there, this is all your perception. It is your perception that he is less affectionate, it is your perception that it is due to your weight gain. It could very well be he is the same guy you have always known but changes have occurred because you have two children.

Children are the biggest wet blankets in the world. Who wants to pull their wife, who they still find beautiful into a passionate kiss just to hear a chorus of eeeeewwwwwww in the background.

If you are having self-esteem issues due to your weight gain then deal with that. Explain to your husband that you need help with things because it is important to you that you lose weight. Ask him if he wants to exercise with you, bring the kids and make it a family event. Just don't blame him for your issues. This will only make matters worse and him less likely to want to help.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

I had a cousin who when she got married she gained 5 lbs. Her hubs, who by the way was huge, told her you gain 5 lbs more and I'll divorce you. She said your as big as a house how can you say that to me? His response "I know what I like and I know what I don't" Needless to say she didn't wait to gain more weight she lost about 330lbs by dumping the loser(lol). Like all the other posters it might not be your weight that is bothering your husband. When you are unhappy with yourself, body image, you project low self esteem , self loathing and probably say mean things about your weight in front of your hubs, that is a big turn off. I have a friend who is a little on the heavy side and even when she gets bigger her hubs is crazy about her. She's always told me , I might not be happy about the weight I have put on now but I have always been secure about my sexiness!!! All men, that we have been around all have little crushes on her because of how she carries herself and projects her confidence. Do what makes you feel good and I can assure you that happiness, confidence whatever you want to call it will shine through and you and hubs will connect again.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Austin on

I often wonder this myself, I have the same issue. There's little or no intimacy between me & my husband since having a child. I developed hypothyroidism during pregnancy so now I'm considerably huge compared to pre-baby. My husband used to work out a lot & take pride in his appearance, was very muscular & now he's got a small paunch & lost muscle tone, just looks like an old man. I try to encourage him to exercise more to no avail. He eats a LOT more than before so he eats things that are 'quick & easy', unhealthy. I really don't have an answer for you but would suggest just sneaking exercise in your routine which includes your husband. Try saying something like "Hey babe, let's go for a walk, get some fresh air". Hope this helps, good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

I don't think it's OK for gain to gain weight and not for women.
I believe that men respond to visual cues. If my husband would turn fat, half bald, with big eye glasses or whatever else comes to your mind, I would still be attracted to him because I see behind this appearance the man I love.
Men are more visual for sexual things, so they need to get "warmed up" by some attractive/sexy images.
I read somewhere long ago that a man can appreciate a porno movie without the sound track while for women they enjoy more listening to the sound track without the images and let their imagination go wild.

I think another part to this issue is us, women, competing with each other and especially with the models in the magazines. We are constantly pursuing the "perfect" body either openly or not. This is why magazines are full of unrealistic photoshop-retouched models. They sell because we buy. And men see these beautiful women all day. So their expectations grow regarding of the physical appearance of their mates.

And, lastly, despite years of feminism, we are still conditioned to be wives before being individuals. Thanks to centuries of machist culture, most people still think that the crime is bigger if the wife is cheating than the contrary. Men can always go fool around if they are not satisfied at home, so their wives make lots of efforts to keep them. Women, and especially mothers, are often considered as granted by the husband, tied by the children. If they are SAHM, the opportunities for cheating are lower with the children always around. By bringing food on the table, men contribute and often think that it is an enough contribution. Taking care of their weight is just not needed to keep your wife around.

Things are changing but it takes time.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

I've always heard men are much more visual than women- it's like our animal instincts. Not right, but it is what it is...

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I lost a bunch of weight during my pregnancy, and after. YAY! Then I gained it all back in the year and a half I have been home with her. UUHHGG. I too am at my biggest, and I have found that it was more ME then HIM. I was uncomfortable with my body and because I felt that way it sort of pushed him not to initiate anything. We simply just made it a priority to get back to where we were. He did see me at my worst, so the extra pounds now don't bother me while being affectionate. Although....they do bother me, and I am going to start to do something about it. I hope you feel better soon!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

It shouldn't be okay for either party to 'let themselves go' after they marry. To keep a spouse happy, do the same things you did before you got married. This goes for both sides. Date nights. Flirting. Holding hands. Kissing. General 'wooing.' Keeping yourself groomed. Staying healthy. Etc, etc, etc.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I think it is a bigger issue here. First of all COMMUNICATION is key in a relationship. You and hubby need to be talking about how you feel.

I pride myself on maintaining my body for the last 25 yrs and my husband's eyes beam with pride when we are out together. The most I ever weighed was 140 at 39 weeks preggers and I was back in my denim in 2 weeks.

My hubby kept his body nice as well. Just because you marry is not a ticket to let it all go. We have self respect, keep ourselves in shape, take pride in our appearance. Go on weekly dates, make time for each other.

Bottom line is if you are unhappy, no self esteem, then you will not get positive feedback from others.

Try to smile, do something for yourself daily, shower, wear a little lip gloss, do your hair, nails, little things can help your self esteem. Start one step at a time.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Alot of people, both men and women after marriage tend to gain weight. Weather it be from stress or having children and just not loosing the baby weight. As long as you are happy with yourself and your body and your husband knows this everything should be fine. Maybe unknowingly you are giving off signals that you are uncomfortable with your body and your husband doesn't know how to react so he remains distant. Show your husband that you love your body and are not afraid to show it off and im sure he will start to be more affectionate like you want him to be.
Trust me, this has worked for me and it fixed my marriage that I thought was falling apart!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Topeka on

Sometimes a marriage goes through slow patches. Stress from having 2 kids can sure cause this. When life catches up to you, try to take a break. Have someone watch the kids and plan a special date night with your husband. You might even surprise him with it. I could be wrong, but I get the feeling that your weight gain is probably not the main problem. Take the first step and show your hubby some romance and maybe he will follow your lead ;)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

it doesn't sound like you know for sure that it's your weight that is the problem. but it definitely sounds like you have issues with your body. often before kids things are WAY different than after kids, in the bedroom department. it may have NOTHING to do with your weight. he didn't marry your body, he married YOU. try spicing things up, having a date night, maybe even talking honestly to him about your fears. don't be too hard on him for his changes, or on yourself for yours. he probably isn't being as hard on you as you think, but you'll never know if you just let it eat at you and never communicate with him.



answers from Detroit on

My hubby and I have been married 6 years and have a daughter that will be turning 3 next month. I'm almost 38 and he's almost 43. I've gained some weight since getting married, a little more since becoming a mom, but so has he. I'm not too heavy by any means, but I'm not happy about how I look either. It's all too easy to compare yourself to models in magazines, but I also find myself comparing myself to other moms, who have kids too, and are still skinny as rails. I decided that I wanted to lose some weight and get in better shape and it meant making a commitment to myself, no more excuses. I've been more careful about what I eat, I've put more effort into exercising. I've lost a little weight, but more importantly, I feel better about myself and I've found that on the days when I make the choice to exercise (even if I don't feel like it), I have more energy.

My husband, on the other hand, has been sporting a beer belly for the past several years, and whenever he happens to do any grocery shopping, comes home with Little Debbies and donuts. He knows it's not good for him but doesn't seem to care. He talks about losing weight but doesn't really change anything about his life. He joined a gym but never goes. He brought home an exercise bike that someone was giving away for free but has yet to go on it. He would rather sit and watch TV or goof around on the computer. It's like he expects the weight to disappear without any having to change the things he's doing now. It drives me nuts. I've pointed this out to him and explained to him that I'd like to still have him around in 10 or 20 years, but I've learned that nagging does no good. A person can't change unless they actually want to change and decide that it's in their own best interest to stop being in denial.

Once in a while he will make a joke about the weight I've put on but I don't get hurt or offended. I just throw it back at him and remind him of what I am doing and what he is not doing. Our relationship is great and we still have a healthy sex life, even if the sex is not as often as it used to be. I think that sometimes that's just the reality of having kids, having jobs and often having a lot of other things on our plate. Sometimes you are just too damn tired and somethings gotta give.

I think as woman we tend to take everything personally, and if there is something we are more sensitive about (like our weight) we tend to assume that's what must be his problem with us, and it probably isn't that at all. He could be stressed out about something completely different and you won't know unless you try to talk to him and get him to open up a little. And if you are not happy about your weight, then do something about it. Get motivated, make a commitment to yourself, and decide to make some changes. It doesn't have to be about looks, but about embracing a healther lifestyle, because you want to be a good role model to your daughters. Hopefully it will be make a positive difference in how you feel about yourself and some of that will rub off on him. And I would agree, it might just take you asking him to go on a walk together with the kids. :)



answers from Minneapolis on

Talking about this is good. As others have said, you don't know for sure that your weight is an issue for him. Making efforts to keep the spark between you is good - and challenging with young children.

But, if you are both overweight, and if you do the cooking for the family, put both (all) of you on a healthier diet. It's not really about how you look, but about health. And being positive healthy role models for your children, in both your marital and physical health.


answers from Rochester on

My husband and I both gained weight after we were married, but he has always been on the heavy side. I have never minded as I am not attracted to thin in men. That said, I am not attracted to ill health, but I adore him for himself, thin or overweight. He gets depressed about it and complains sometimes and is trying to make better eating choices, but he is busy looking after two kids, working part-time, and going to school, so working out dilligently is not really an option.

He was so great to me when I was pregnant and disgusting looking with my first and has only ever complimented me after I've lost weight, not made me feel bad while I had it. (He is also trying to force protein on me every day since we found out I'm pregnant again and he is worried I might try to lose weight since I recently started jogging again--I'm trying to remind him that I am supposed to be active). I have heard of some men keeping a double-standard about weight, but it seems like there is a lower standard to begin with. Men are not defined by their body at first glance, while women are. (Not saying this is good, just stating that it seems that way.)

Sometimes extra weight can make intimacy uncomfortable, or maybe he is not comfortable with himself, either. Maybe you can motivate each other to try to be a more active family--I always shift things onto my kids (kind of like walking the dog--we have to take the kids to the park, etc.). Sorry you're feeling down right now... :(



answers from Washington DC on

I know how you feel. I think that most women go through this at one point or another with their husbands. I actually just had this talk with my husband yesterday. He hasn't let himself go but he certainly doesn't make quite the same amount of effort. I do believe that the problem comes from both side like a vicious cycle. I'm nowhere near as thin as I had been before my daughter. So I'm upset because I feel that I look bad, he's just feeding off the feeling. Try to find time to do things together that take you back to that time. I know for me it's been a matter of getting back into the grove of being flirtatious again. The weight, I still have to work on for me. But once you get past that. It's all gravy...



answers from Wichita on

I have been wondering the same thing for a while. I have 5 kids and my youngest is 1. I am also at my heavest then I have ever been. I am also takeing the depo shot because the last was not planned and we rather not have anymore. I was told that the shot is known to not let u lose weight. So I am tring to get hubby to get a visectomy. I mean I did have 5 kids and the last was a c-section (which I dont believe u ever bounce back from). So anyhow, I think its the media telling our hubsbands we r too look skinny all the time and perfect cuz that is how they r on tv. JMO> C.


answers from Jacksonville on

Not all men are like that. Mine is in better shape than he's ever been. And very supportive of efforts that I make to improve mine, without ever harping or changing how he behaves towards me when I was on the bigger end of my weight fluctuations. The only thing he has ever said to me, was that he wanted me to also be healthy so that we could enjoy our old age together too. :)

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