Loving All of Me

Posted by Beth Darling on Oct 19th 2022

Dear Beth,

I’m in my early 40’s and have been married to my husband for five years. We’re pretty happy together and have had a good sex life. Lately things are changing.

He’s always struggled with his weight which I thought was part of the reason that he wasn’t bothered by me being overweight. Lately, he’s lost weight and is looking really good, while I’ve gained even more. I’ve always been uptight about the way I look and can’t stand that I look so fat next to him now.

I used to be really excited about sex with him and we’d make love a couple of times a week, but that’s changed too. We can go weeks without sex because I’m afraid he’s looking at me and thinking I should lose weight like he did. I know I should just ask him if my size bothers him, but, we’ve never talked about our sex life before. It feels even harder for me to do it now. Plus, I don’t know what I’ll do if he says he isn’t turned on by me anymore.

Please help me! I don’t want to lose him!

Feeling Too Fat for Love,


Dear N.T.,

I get how scared you are, both about your weight gain and about whether your husband still finds you attractive. I give you kudos for having the courage to reach out to me! That’s a big deal and says a lot about how much your marriage means to you. I hope you take a minute and give yourself a pat on the back for taking action instead of playing ostrich.

That being said, I’m guessing you already know what I’m going to suggest… I think you need to have an awkward, but honest conversation with your husband sooner than later. In part because he’s probably making up all sorts of stories in his head about why YOU don’t want him anymore! Wouldn’t you feel even worse if he thinks he’s being “punished” for losing weight? Isn’t that just as painful as what you’re going through? Plus, once you start talking about this, you can go further and tell him you’d like to be able to talk about sex generally so that neither of you has to worry what the other is thinking in the future, and you can both start asking for what you want instead of just hoping the other one figures it out.

While it’s hard to start these kinds of conversations, it gets easier with practice and the benefits are huge. Given that you want your marriage to last, learning how to talk openly together now can save you years of worry and second guessing. As for what you do if his desire for you is diminished by your weight, I can’t help but think that if you approach things with kindness, curiosity and respect, you’ll be able to work together to find a mutually pleasurable way forward.

What I’ve learned from working with thousands of couples is that weight gain is rarely the reason for decreased sexy fun. The key is usually how each person feels about themselves. It’s common for people to start judging themselves for weight gain or loss, and to assume that others are also judging us harshly. Sometimes we stop wearing clothes that flatter us. We subconsciously make ourselves look as bad as we feel. I’ve known people who stop getting their hair and nails done when they gain a few pounds because they feel like nothing matters, or they don’t deserve to be pampered and care about their looks.

So while it’s important that you talk to your husband, I hope you also have some loving conversations with yourself about how you deserve to love yourself regardless of what you weigh. Self-acceptance is a crucial piece of healthy, happy, sexy fun in your relationship overall. If this is too big of a struggle for you to resolve on your own, I hope you’ll find a therapist or coach to help you. I’m rooting for you and look forward to hearing good things from you soon.

Hugs and love,