Recent Letter to the ElderWisdomCircle™
DATING/RELATIONSHIP: Boyfriend Keeps Bringing Up My Weight
Hello, My name is Jasmine I have been in a relationship for a year and a fee months now. We are very happy and currently living together. We have only been living together for a few months but recently my partner has been bringing up my weight frequently. He keeps saying I should work on getting healthy. When he says it that way it doesn't bother me but when he says things like 'why are you sitting on the couch you should be out on a walk or jog', or 'Are you really going to eat that?'. It does hurt my feelings and considering I'm an emotional eater it doesn't help the situation. I don't know how to talk to him about it, it's always been a hard subject for me to even discuss with my family. So my question is, what should I do?
I'm sorry, Jasmine. I wish I could say things will improve as to your partner being more considerate about your weight. But my experience has shown that people who think it's OK to talk about another person's weight continue to do so, and typically they escalate in their comments. In my view, it's a form of bullying. I wish it weren't like that because each person is different, looks different, eats differently, etc. They should be accepted for who they are, as is. However, there are those who think everyone should be like them, and that way of thinking rarely changes. Also, they think it's all right to berate and condemn others, which causes great distress to the people demeaned. That's a character flaw in those who berate, at least in my opinion.
I know it's a difficult subject to bring up to your partner or family, but I think you're going to have to do so at some point. Weight is a difficult thing to talk about, I know. I've had my issues with it at various times in my life too. I found the best thing to do is take it head on. Tell the other person that talking about your weight or your health is your own private issue, and you'd appreciate hearing nothing more at all. Now, that said, the person will respond with something like they didn't mean to hurt your feelings, they just want what's best for you. Then you tell them that you appreciate that, but it does hurt your feelings and you don't want to hear it any more.
And then comes the hard part. That is your reaction when they do say something again because they will. My advice is for you to be on guard for such comments and stop them in their tracks. You might want to print up some 3x5 cards that say something like, "My weight is not open for discussion," and then hand them a card when they say anything about your weight. Say nothing to them. Don't argue about it. Don't talk about it at all. If you do, an argument will start. After you do this, then it will be up to your partner, or family, or whoever, to make the next move. My hope is that your partner will prove to have good character, where he will respect your wishes. I just don't know if he will. Only time will tell.
Beyond all of that, if you would like to take off a few pounds -- your choice, of course -- consider talking with your doctor so he or she can establish a weight management program for you. Also, I found groups like TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensibly) and Weight Watchers to be low-cost and effective. Again, ask your doctor about them and any other weight-losing ideas you might have. I believe it's not wise to try to lose weight on your own because it's just too hard and too lonely. Being with others who are going through what you are helps so much.
Take care, Jasmine, and always stand up for yourself. It will serve you well in the long run. My good wishes to you.