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Relationship Troubles
April 25, 2001
9:22 am
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Sharon39
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Hi everyone!

I am looking for some advice about my relationship of nearly 4 years. I am very overweight and have been for all my life. This has always been hard for me. It has affected my self esteem, especially in intimate relationships. I'm the kind of person who tries hard not to be very judgemental, so I have tried not to be hard on myself about my weight even though it does make me feel bad. I have been working on loving myself just the way I am, and focusing on both my positives and negatives as I think this is what makes a person whole.
Throughout my relationship with my partner I have noticed an imbalance in our sexual relationship. When my partner wanted sex I would always work hard to satisfy her, and I think I did a pretty good job. But she would not always reciprocate. I have been asking for a long time if this had to do with my weight but she always said it didn't. Then last night she finally told me that it was the only thing she could think of that would effect our sex life like that.
I thought I would feel better to hear the truth but I feel so hurt and unloved. A part of me says to myself that I need to move on from this relationship if I am with a person who cannot love me and accept me exactly as I am. Another part of me feels that I don't deserve to be loved and accepted the way other people are because I'm not like everyone else.
I'm afraid that I will be losing the love of my life, but I don't know how to remain intimate sexually in this relationship without feeling like she has to force herself to be with me sexually. She says it's not that way, and told me that my weight matters, but not that much. I am not sure where to go from here.
Does anyone have any good advice or suggestions? I would really appreciate hearing some objective feedback. Thank you!

Sharon

April 25, 2001
11:35 am
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Molly
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I have a heavy partner, and it doesn't get in the way, butt.... The side effects of the weight do. Not in every case, but often the overweight person is depressed, low energy, and this is far more signifigant than the appearance. You may have been pushing for her to respond, and like she said that was the only thing that she could come up with. Be care ful what you ask for. don't dwell on this, she may just not have the drive that you do, or is far more passive sexually. Usually one is the initiator. Believe me, sex is not as important as communication, and compatibility, friendship and trust. She trusted you enough to be open in the conversation, don't act out because you didn't like what you heard. don't give it signifigance, just strive to be a good partner. Ask for what you want, and hopefully she will deliver. True it is good to love our selves for who and what we are, but there is nothing wrong with trying to be healthy, and weight definately can cause complications in the long run. My mates weight ultimately effected sexual function, hypertension, and diabetes, not to mention back and stomach pain from movement. Aging takes its toll, and thinner seems to be almost an antiaging remedy. Funny, with my mate over 300lbs, it was my 40 lb weight gain that effected our relationship, even when I had tolorated the disfunction of obesity for years, go figure. Be in the present, be grateful, be healthy, don't look for trouble. I have been pitching a book called Relational Rescue by Phil McGraw, you might try it, the course makes you look at you as a mate vs all that is wrong with the partner.

April 25, 2001
3:02 pm
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ginnie
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Sharon39,
First of all you do deserve to be loved and accepted just like everyone else deserves the same. It doesnt matter if your big or small, short or tall, or black or white. The point is every one is different, and everyone deserves love. Alot of people struggle with being able to love there selves they they are, but i think you are on your way to good self esteem. As far as your partner and your sex life, some people can just plain not be into sex, now this might not be the case, but for me personaly i dont get into it know matter how hard my partner tries. it has nothing to do with him, infact for a long time i didnt know why i didnt get into sex. but the important part is that i know that it doesnt have anything to do with my partner. i hope that things work out for you, its important to be open and honest in a relationship and dont forget to be honest with yourself

April 25, 2001
3:58 pm
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Sharon39
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Molly,

I'm surprised to hear "striving to be a good partner" offered as a solution to this problem. What makes you think I have not done so? The fact of the matter is I have worked very hard to be a good friend, companion, and confidante. I think I have been very successful, and I think if she ever read this post, she would agree with that. With regard to sex drive, I guess I should have explained that her sexual needs are met by me regularly, as often as she wants. But after she gets what she wants she always has a reason why she can't reciprocate. If it was a matter of her sexual desires being less than mine, she would not be getting sex from me 2-3 times per week. I guess reading that first response made me stop and think about how one-sided this relationship has been in lots of ways--I love her son, but she can't tolerate mine; I am the one responsible for initiating sex, but she will rarely make love to me; I am the one who is expected to love, understand, support, and accept, yet often times I can't be honest with her for fear of retribution; I am expected to be loyal and faithful while she flirts with and sometimes fondles her co-workers and others. I blamed a lot of things on alcohol. But now that problem is resolved. Yes, I did push her to answer me, but that does not negate my right to feel hurt by the compilation of issues in our relationship. And making a decision in my own best interest or at my own level of personal comfort is not necessarily "acting out". Also, I find it hard not to give this issue significance when it is seriously impacting our ability to maintain healthy sexual intimacy. I do believe it's important for me to look at myself in all of this--my level of health, activity, and energy, as well as my confidence, self-love, and self-esteem. I do see this ultimately as a positive experience, whether or not my relationship with her lasts. I guess this is just the time when everything is coming to a head, and it feels more painful than I had anticipated. Thanks to you & Ginnie for trying to help me see another perspective.

Sincerely,

Sharon

April 25, 2001
4:18 pm
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malaikau
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Sharon,

You have a right to feel hurt by what is happening in your relationship. At the same time, your partner has certain preferences and she has a right to her personal feelings around what kind of body type, personality, etc. she prefers. I do think that if you don't fit the description of what she desires, then she has an obligation to be upfront and honest with you about that. Also, if you are aware that she has these preferences, and you can't live with you relationship as it is, then you also are able to make a choice based on your own needs, desires, and preferences. I know it must be hard not to feel down on yourself about your weight. Society is very hard on overweight people. It seems like you are at a point where you need to make some serious personal decisions about how you want to live, and how you want to look. Remember, when you leave this world, your body will stay here. The things you carry with you are the things you already have inside your heart. It's alright to continue investing in that, just take the time to be in touch with the fact that your weight might be a spiritual obstacle for you if it keeps you from loving yourself!

Sincerely,

Mal

April 25, 2001
7:05 pm
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ginnie
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Sharon,
It seems to me that you are giving way more than you are reciving. For one that is not healthy for you or your relationship. If you cant talk to your partner for fear of retribution then tell me what your relationship is based on it sounds like its all about sex, more for her than you. If you cant talk to your partner then how do you expect your needs to be met and if you do talk to her and there is no give and take from both of you mabe you should concider how valuable this relationship really is . there has got to be comunication or someones going to get hurt. And maybe there was some truth to what she said about your weight, if there was thenshe doesnt seem to love you for you, and how can you expect to love yourself the way you are if the love of your life cant love you for you. just some things to think about i hope you can find a way to not be hurting any more i know from experience how hard it is when you dont feel excepted.
ginnie

April 26, 2001
2:26 pm
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lisa78640
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Dear Sharon,

It sound to me like you may be the one doing most of the giving in this relationship. You two should have what I and my husband call a family pow-wow. This is where you can air all of your grievences without reprocations. You might just be able to find out what may really be bothering your partner. There may be something more other than your so called weight problem. I personally don't think weight should be an issue in a relationship. Either they love you for who you are and all your glory or they don't. I am very fortunate my husband doesn't care what I weigh. He says that my weight is on my shoulders. He loves me for who I am and all my glory. I hope that your partner is the same way and if not there is someone out there that is. Don't stay where you are hurt and unappreciated. We all need to be happy. Life is to short to be unhappy. Enjoy life to its fullest we are only here for a short time. To be completely honest I think that heavy people are some of the happiest people because they accept things with grace where thin people are too busy running around worried about how much they weigh and how much they eat and how much exercise they get. That is too much worring for me. I plan to enjoy the time God has given me. I hope your relationship works out but if it doesn't don't worry there is someone out there that will love you for who you are. I mean really love you for who you are.
lisa

April 27, 2001
4:20 pm
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damaged
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Hi
I am the girlfriend. I really don't want to do my girlfriend wrong. I have many problems that I have been trying to focus on latley. I know that isn't a reason not to pay more attention to her sexual needs or emotional ones. In our relationship of four years I have been pretty much a drunk and I went to rehabe got a counselor (she got me) and starting going to AA. However, now I am dealing with pain, emotions and just getting to know me. I don't know who I really am because I medicated myself for so long. I want the relationship to work, however we can't go to counseling together because we live in a small town and we don't want to bring more attention to our selfs for the kids sake. As we all know it't a [email protected] curl world out their. Yes if anyone has anything to say to me or my partner I will listen. Thanks

April 27, 2001
5:23 pm
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Molly
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What I ment, was not to focus on what was lacking in the relationship, but to continue to be a good partner. In reading the last few posts, there has been much more detail. Alcohol abuse, can effect sexuality. It is very strange, and uncomfortable for the individual who is used to a buzz, or being blitzed having sex, to a new sobriety. Its intimidating. Your original relationship could have ben need based. The dependent, and the enabeler, now the dependent, is no longer drinking, and there are personality changes, thus changes in the dynamics of the relationship. It doesn't matter gay or straight, it is the same, I have worked with many through this process. Be patient with both of your selves. I am not an agressive woman, period, when it comes to sex, I could be real lazy, and get, and walk away, not that it happens that way. just like every thing else in a relationship things change, peak, and valley, individuals peak and valley, depending on how they feel about them selves, stress levels, anger, and pressure to perform. Why don't you give it a while, as many hetro couples do, during sexual difficulty, and make a real hunger for it. Cuddle, enjoy the company, but no sex for a couple of weeks. it will give the newly sober time to get comfortable, and the wait, will be worth it, you'll both be hungry, if you know what I mean. 🙂

May 2, 2001
4:14 pm
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Sharon39
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Just want to tell everyone that me and my partner are hanging in there, and just trying to talk things out and go with the flow. Thanks for all the help.

Sharon

May 4, 2001
9:18 am
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calico
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Sharon,

It is always true, no matter who you are or what you look like, that you deserve to be loved and accepted just as much as anyone else. I have been through the whole weight thing too. I've been everywhere from 40 pounds overweight to 10 pounds underweight and everywhere in between. Although I have not ever been extremely overweight to the point of obesity, even at 40 pounds overweight, I felt so lost and helpless. Regardless, weight issues are too hard in and of themselves to compound them with dealing with someone who can't accept you. That does not mean that your partner can't. I've been in relationships with overweight people before and I was very attracted to them sexually. In all honesty, it sounds like you are not talking about something where your partner can't accept your physical appearance, it sounds like you two need to focus on both giving pleasure as well as taking. What I've found is that specifics help. Rather than telling my partner that I feel something is amiss, I would ask that person to do a specific thing that turns me on or gives me pleasure. Talking can only go so far in this situation, I think you guys need to do more! Maybe make more time for sex or spice it up a bit. Make sure the experience is a mutual give and take. The biggest errogenous zone for everyone, no matter what people say, is the MIND. So, weight may be one factor, but it is not the end all be all. In addition, it sounds like you've given up on whether you will ever be a healthy weight. I know you said you've always been this way and it is good that you try to love yourself for who you are. But, always remember that being overweight can be very hard on your health and there are so many heartwarming success stories out there. Focus on being healthy and not on what your appearance is. It is the best way to love yourself. For example, my best friend is overweight but she is one of the most beautifull (and I mean physically) person I've ever known. Her skin glows, her hair shines and she is a barrel of fun all the time. People love her. As a result, she always seems to be beating the sex offers away with a stick! Ha Ha! I believe this is because she is so healthy and vibrant. The same can be true for anyone, overweight or underweight. Take care of your health, love yourself and others will love you too. Good luck and good mental health to you.

May 5, 2001
1:13 am
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Sharon39
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Dear Calico,

Thanks for your wonderful insight and support. I hope I haven't given up on losing weight or becoming a more healthy person. I'm not sure why, but a part of me feels that I must be able to completely love myself just as I am right now before I will be able to successfully become more healthy and lose some weight. Also, I have a lot of fear around losing weight. I have never been thin, and I have always felt protected from lots of the false pretenses that slender, attractive women have to encounter every day from men and women alike who are only interested in them based on their appearance. It terrifies me to think of having to deal with advances, attention, and the kind of "looks" that so often plague others. I guess this is an indication that I still have some spiritual and emotional work to do before I will be able to conquer this issue, and I want to be accepting of that. Hopefully this is not a tactic to simply avoid the issue all together, but I suppose that even if it is, as long as I keep myself aware of the issue, eventually I will be able to handle it in the way that's most healthy for my body and spirit. Thanks again for your uplifting words!

Sharon

May 5, 2001
7:33 am
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janes
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Sounds like you are all working hard to find yourselves and what will make you all content.

Keep working on it...it's never easy.

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