Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Why women in relationships may put on weight

(left photo, 2019, right 2013)
There's a notion, which may or may not be a myth, that women in happy relationships gain weight, while men don't. The idea is that a gal who has "caught her man" doesn't need to try so hard and gets lazy. Besides being ignorant and gender profiling, these suggestions are hurtfully wrong. 

1) People gain weight for a list of reasons, and laziness is not at the top: medications (esp. antidepressants), depression, health issues, age, physical disabilities, grief, trauma, abuse, emotional issues, sedentary jobs. Women have an extra set of issues beyond their control that cause weight issues: menstruation, PCOS, endometriosis, childbearing, miscarriage, birth control,  hormone imbalance, menopause,

2) Social mores have taught women some really sick things about relationships. How we need a man to complete us. How we should amend ourselves, our habits, our beliefs and very lives so that we will be worthy of that man. Basically, we've learned we're not good enough alone and that as we are, we're not good enough to snag that man who will make us complete. So we constantly seek to look better, smaller, prettier. You would think that I was writing this in 1965, from the content. Sadly in 2021, these dangerous ideas still persist. 

3) So is it any wonder with that thinking, women who have achieved that man-catching goal, look forward to relaxing a little? Is it so strange that they expect that their man who promised to love them for better or worse, could handle them going without makeup, wearing flats and baggy pants instead of heels and skirts, enjoying eating and show it, without shaming and even (gasp!) gaining some weight=\ Again, you think this was just a thing of the 60s? Hell no. Would that it were. More on that in the next post. 

4) Worst of all are the men who, despite being overweight themselves, fat-shame women. It's not uncommon to hear obese guys complain that their wives have "really let themselves go." This seems to be more of a generational thing among men of 40 to 70 or so. And it's disgusting, not only that they are so hypocritical but that they could be so unloving. It's also counter-productive. Humiliation and insults aren't very good motivators to do anything, let alone lose weight. Love, support, care, honesty, kindness work much better. 

I've been married for 32 years and I put on a lot of weight. My husband never once complained about my size. He says he never even noticed. His unfailing love was part of what gave me the courage to lose weight. If you've gained weight, and most of us do with age, you can change that if you want to. But do it for yourself, not to conform to someone else's selfish, stupid expectations. 

Love you all!! --mar

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