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I suspect my husband is embarrassed by me.

What would you do in this situation? I'm addressing what I think is the cause (my weight), but it takes time. In the interim, what would you do?
I have thought about trying to dress better for my current weight (although I already dress well), or change up my hairstyle. I'm sick of pretending not to notice the way he shuns me in public and tries to hide me from his friends and colleagues.
I may be overweight, but I'm a lovely person.
What can I do for NOW, to make him happy, or should I just end the marriage now. Thanks ladies.


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Answers (16)

You can shift alot of weight over night! How much does he weigh? There's your number.

 Hahaha thanks for this 😂
I guess I could lose 105kgs overnight if I wanted to. But alas, I love him. He's an a*s, but my stupid heart still wants him. What kind of voodoo shit is this? He treats me like shit but I still want him around? Fu****g ridiculous, I know.

helpful (0) 
 ^ I totally get it. He's an asshole but he's your asshole. Good on you babe ❤
helpful (1) 
 This was my comment and I get it. You love him. Can't just turn that shit off. Sounds like you need to have a good chat to him about respecting you. Good luck!!
helpful (1) 

That's disgusting. What a shallow piece of shit. You may have a weight problem but you've also got a husband problem, I'd take fat over asshole any day.

I'm not sure you can fix shallow. Is he youngish? I've noticed men that are younger tend to be afflicted with this unsavory trait, they care what their mates think alot more than when they're older. Some unfortunately will take it to the grave. Most peoples weight will fluctuate or change the older they get. You may lose weight right now but what happens when you get older is he going to love you when packed on a few pounds when you're 55 & have wrinkles? Or is he going to be the kind of guy that trades you in for a 20 year old? Is this really a guy you trust to have your back until the day you die? I'd be less concerned about your physical changes & more concerned with the personality & ingrained values of your husband.

 We're both in our early 30s. And the thing that really pisses me off is yeah my body has changed from when we met, but I no longer am a teenager only eating once a day (that I was when we met). I've birthed him 4 kids and his own body has changed too, but I never complain about it. It seems exactly as you say, shallow. And unfair. His father is embarrassed by his mother. But his father takes it the other way and likes to humiliate his wife when he can. I really thought my husband wasn't like that, but maybe he is. I hope not.

I wish I could see this from his perspective. I love him and don't want to be a burden on him. I don't want to embarrass him or make him. If I didn't love him so much, I'd have left him already.

helpful (1) 
 *or make him the subject of ridicule
helpful (1) 
 It sounds like he's learned it from his biggest role model his father.... that's really sad. I don't know what to tell you other than you are so much more than your appearance but you know that. Make sure your kids learn that & break the cycle. One thing I would be doing just in case is future proofing your life. Make sure you can stand on your own financially if it all goes south down the track. If it doesn't then financially it can only be an added bonus.
helpful (4) 
 That's some good advice. Thank you. I've been looking into online study lately (thanks to the pandemic, loads more stuff is available online).
Future proofing is a concept I'm going to sit on for awhile. If he makes any further morphings into his father, I think I'll be reevaluating our marriage.

helpful (1) 
 No worries. Good luck 👍
helpful (0) 

Iv been going through this currently with my husband.
It’s definatly not a case of just drop him. And it shouldn’t be.
He’s being an a*s about it but he can’t help how he feels. He can however help how he acts on those feelings.

I had suspected it for a while and a few months ago it all came out.
He’s not as attracted to me and wants me to be healthy, both to be healthy and also for ascetic purposes.
He never dated big girls as he’s never been attracted to it.
I’m currently about 75 /78kg and that’s pretty big for me. I could comfortably lose 15kg at least.
17/18 if I really did well.

Him saying it out loud has helped us both to start working through it and working hard.
I’m working harder on my health.
He saw how bad it hurt me and has been more sensitive

Your a partnership you have to work through these sort of things together and be willing to be hurt/hurt the other in order to have honesty.

A long marriage is rainbows and butterflies and perfect choices.

You have to work out the messy together.
As long as both of you are working on your marriage it should never be left , expecially when there’s a family involved.

I say bring it up. Have the hard conversation and be willing to hear things you don’t want to.
Then find a way for both of you to grow. Find a solution together

 Oh goodness. That sounds like you're a very brave woman to be able to have that conversation. Weren't you terrified he'd say the worst things you're worried about?
I'm scared that he'll say all the things I'm most insecure about. That he'll immediately go for the jugular. That it would be too much for me to get past. Or that he'll not even want to have the conversation and will just call it quits straight up.

How did you breathe again after he told you that?

helpful (0) 
 This sounds very one way? Wife pleasing the husband? What is the husband doing for the wife exactly?
helpful (3) 
 Then you missed the part that wasn’t convenient for your veiw point.

I’m working harder on my health.
He’s being more sensitive when he saw how his actions were hurting me.

helpful (3) 
 He knows the worst things about me. We’ve had many hard conversations and hard seasons. So no. I’m not scared. I know him well enough to knows his thoughts so it’s actually more comforting that he says it out loud. Even when it hurts.
We are still together after 22 despite all the crazy and despite many things that others would have left over.
We are both complicated in our own ways.
Has he done that before or is it just a fear?
Recently I voiced to my husband it really hurts me when he says I’m too loud or to not yell, as iv been told that my whole life.
He has stopped saying it now.
He only needed to say what he said about my weight once. He won’t bring it up again, and I trust him not to, because he’s proven himself over all this hard times that he never throws things in my face.
I’m actually the one who’s guilty of that if anyone is.

helpful (4) 
 At the end of the day if my husband calls it quits, though it will deeply hurt I’m ok on my own, and I’ll wish him nothing but happiness. How did I breath? I cried for about 5 hours, then sporadically for 2 weeks while making sarcastic jokes and hashing it out with friends. We had a second blow up where I told him how it’s effected me, and we just keep working. He’s beeen more affectionate and looking for things to help to some of the cause of my weight gain. My husband cried when he saw my pain and re assured me he still loved me and our life. Look. I respect his attraction. Just like I wouldn’t be too thrilled if he gained 30kgs, our line is just different. However being completely embarrassed by you is out of line, but how much of that is real or your sensitivity to what you know he thinks? They don’t always equal one another ...
helpful (3) 
 For example after this all went down I very much felt he felt embarrassed by me.

A new mutual friend, I beknown to our situation randomly mentioned something he said about me that was along the lines of how proud he was of me and how he knows no matter what iv got his back, and how I’m so good at what I do (professionally) and that I’m a really really strong mother.
This is out of character for him to talk freely to people like this, and was completely contradictory to how I was feeling he thought of me around people (I was feeling he felt embarrassed too.)
He’s a great looking guy, and iv always had a great body until the last 5 or 6 years.

I realise most (not all hehe) of it was my projections. Not the reality.
I’m not saying this is the case. But it’s possible.

But was anger and resentment are born in darkness.
You sound like you’ve got nothing to lose putting it all on the table anyways.

helpful (3) 
 Wow. You two sound like a great couple for communicating so well.
He's said some very hurtful things to me in the past but I warned him if he said them again, that'd be the end for me. And he hasn't said them since. I think I'll have to just boss up and ask him outright whether he has any respect for me or not. Although, someone else said to give him a taste of his own medicine. And tbh that sounds so much easier than using my big girl words. I'd never do it to the extent he has, but maybe just a couple of times to show him how it feels.
Maybe I can do both. Treat him how he's treated me, then once he's felt the sting, sit down and talk about how we each like to be respected.

helpful (1) 
 Don’t do the same back. Tit for tat is for 7 years olds. It feels good in the moment but will do more harm to your relationship than a hurtful truth with ever do.
Ha we definatly don’t have great communication! It’s what usually gets us in a fight in the first place! Then it all blows out of our mouth.
On paper we have a messy , and complicated relationship that goes against many people “rules and boundaries”
But that man has my back and I have his.
He would never let anyone attack me in any way.
If we are together for another 40 years as a couple that’s great. If we break up next month, we will always be a family. I will never not support him.
When you allow the truth to be said, even when it hurts, you can start to heal YOURSELF and your relationship. On both sides.

My projections of him feeling embarrassed were largely my own embarrassment of weight.
That may not be your case. But it was/is mine.

helpful (2) 
 (Not op), but thanks for sharing your story- so insightful x
helpful (1) 
 No, I didnt miss the part that was convenient for my viewpoint. The whole idea is about the wife having to please the husband. Him being 'more sensitive' about how he critiscises you is still all about you pleasing him. That sounds like a one-way relationship. If you said you wanted to lose weight for your own health and he supported you that would paint a very different picutre.
helpful (1) 
 The word embarrassed doesnt exactly imply concern about health. It implies the woman is the mans object to show off to others. Its really not reading like this is about health. Whats the relevance of him dating 'big girls ' or not? Does he keep some kind of score card or something.
helpful (2) 
 I didn’t say about her husband saying for health I was talking about my experience.

Why is it so wrong now days to please your husband? I wear my hair certain ways sometimes that I know he likes, I wear his favourite dress on special occasions. I do a lot of things to please my husband.
My husband does a lot to please me, gives me massages without expecting sex. Makes me tea all the time. Works hard at the gym on his triceps cos he knows that’s my favourite. Shaved his beard most of the time cos he knows I think he looks sexy with stubble more so than a beard.

It’s such a shame it’s so negative now to want to appeal to your partners likes. If it’s detrimental to yourself that’s another story.

If my husband stopped brushing his teeth, I would be embarrassed by him. Expecially if there was no actual “reason” he couldn’t brush his teeth.
If there’s no reason to have put on weight and you husband prefers more slender figure why not make a bit of effort.

helpful (3) 
 I just know there a things my husband could do to have me be a little embarrassed by him around friends.
Just because his lines are different it doesn’t make it more of an asshole.
I would be embarrassed if my husband stopped showering properly or slumped in his hygiene by a 20% margin.

I also said it could possible be her own projections. And I made it clear than might not be it but from my own experience which my situation was so similar someone actual mentioned that on this thread. MOST of it was my own projections. I’m not happy with my body or weight. I see the vast difference between he and I. He looks incredible, and takes great care of his body.
With ME it was two fold, he wanted me to be healthy and he prefers me when I’m not overweight, which I prefer me not overweight too!!! I personally can be a little embarrassed by my weight too!

helpful (1) 
 It’s all good. I was just sharing my own similar experience and I was just saying they need to TALK!!! Her thoughts may be dead accurate half accurate or completely wrong and something else is going on.
Only way to find out is to have hard conversations.

helpful (1) 
 Nobody said it not ok to please your husband, we said that the example initially given seemed to be all one way. you added the other things afterward.
helpful (0) 
 Also the OP has clearly stated many times she is working to lose weight and nobody said that was wrong - but YOU seem to have chosen to ignore that in order to twist what I said around.
helpful (0) 
 I’m so confused. Why are you getting upset? At who? Moving on.
helpful (1) 
 Ok you’re really reading the whole thing wrong and either taking from others comments and putting it on mine or your own feelings effecting the interpretation of my words.
Iv read back all my comments and wouldn’t change a single line.
It was my own similar experience.
OP says she FEELS like her husband is embarrassed, she doesn’t know how he feels cos they haven’t spoken about it.
It might be the case but she doesn’t know. So she has to be willing to have the conversation knowing that knowing the truth not just suspecting it could hurt a lot.
But she’s hurting anyways. You can fix unsaid hurts.
My husband always has a right to his feelings and thoughts and will always have a safe space with me to express them. Even if it hurts. Same goes for my children.
I would never want my husband to have to censor himself to spare my feelings. BUT that’s because we’ve built trust over the years through all the shit. I know he loves me deeply even if his attraction wavers.

helpful (2) 
 Nobody has said that his thoughts and feelings are not valid, just that they are not more important than the thoughts and feelings of his wife. Partners should be equals.
helpful (0) 

Why are you trying so hard to please him? The problem is with him and not you

Oh my goodness this must be so hard for you!! Having no less then 4 kids to him is bound to wreak havoc on your body, internally, externally and mentally! Obviously no one knows your situation better than you but I have to say one thing...... RESPECT is single most important sentiment in relationship and if he jokes like that with his mates that have never met you.... that’s not cool. At all. I would be sooooo pissed off with my partner if he ever did that and he’d bloody well know about it. Do you really want to live your life suspecting your partner is embarrassed of you? He’s playing on your fears and that’s just cruel, you deserve much more than that. It sounds to me that you love him so much that you’ve inadvertently given him all your power to go with it, which is what most of us women tend to do. No need to make any rash decisions but I would; loose weight, regain my confidence and....... leave his sorry a*s and take kids with me.

 I think you're right about giving him all the power. But how do I start getting it back? I've already started going to the gym and making changes to how I eat. But is there any more immediate way?
I haven't ruled out leaving him in the future if he continues to treat me like this. But honestly I'm hoping it doesn't come to that. I love him. And I want him to love me the same way.

helpful (1) 
 Taking your power back slowly but assuredly. Be confident about changing your mind every once in a while. Start by fostering critical thinking; is he always the decision maker? Assert your own opinions in areas that you’d normally be accepting, whether you liked it or not. Stand your ground at times when it’s important to you but you know he won’t like it. All of this needs to come from a good place not as a power play.

At the end of the day; relationships are hard. But only you can weigh out pros and cons of your own relationship. At some point it boils down to who’s pulling most weight and doing all the legwork. If it’s even and based on basic human needs, great but if it’s lob sided ultimately the supporting spouse will burn out and call it quits.

I have no doubt that you love him but sometimes you need to make a contious (spelling??) decision to stop loving in order to look after yourself and your own happiness long term. Not all people we love are good for us.

helpful (1) 
 Apologies about my rambling answer last night I was tired after full on day with my kiddets. What I should have said is to pluck up the courage, get brave and find words for you both to talk, rather than doubt/question festering in your mind. He might just come back and realise what a douche he’s been. It’s never too late to start working on your communication. You just need to try to get out of mindset of “what can I do to make you happy”. Both of your opinions, needs and feelings are equally valid here.
helpful (1) 
 (Not op), Whatever you wrote both times were good- :)
helpful (1) 

The only problem I have with your question is the what can I do to make him happy part. He sounds like an a*s. Make yourself happy don’t compromise yourself if he treats you this way.

 ^ Yes yes yes
helpful (1) 
 So it's as bad as I initially thought? I have difficulty guaging whether I'm over reacting or whether his behaviour is as rude as I think.
helpful (0) 
 It’s rude if he is bagging you out to his mates it’s also very disrespectful. Yeah he might have a whinge once in a while but not a flat out bag esp about your weight. Please find happiness for you and be confident stand up for yourself and let him know there are lines he shouldn’t cross. Maybe once your glowing and radiating he will realise what an a*s he’s been and he might change. If not then it’s his loss
helpful (1) 

If YOU want to change your weight, your diet, your hair and clothes then do it for YOU. He should love you for the amazing person you are. For the fact you take care of him, his kids and do your best. Men dont understand how much pressure is on us and how much they actually hurt us as well. So my advice and Im taking my own advice here too is do it for you!

 Thanks for your response. I have really been enjoying my recent changes to my exercise routine. And I'm on a new dietary alignment. It's going well I think. As much as the effort is for his benefit, I'm also enjoying the journey.
helpful (1) 

If you're going to better yourself, do it for you and no one else

I may be going against the grain of the other advice here, but is it worth trying to lose weight, as you are in your thirties, which is the ideal time to do so.

Once you hit forty, take it from me, it is much much harder to lose weight.
And your skin will no longer bounce back, leaving it saggy.

I am not suggesting you do this for him, I am thinking more for yourself.
He sounds like a lost cause, and I agree with the other comments here about him.

Sometimes even children can become embarrassed and judgemental about their parents weight, as other children (especially of slim mothers), can be very cruel.

Excess weight causes all sorts of physical complications as you get older, in increased risk of heart attack, stroke, knee and hip problems, higher risk of getting most types of cancer, and reduced energy.

I wish I had understood this when I was younger, as I have learnt it the hard way.

And if you do end up on your own later, men on dating websites do not ask in the list of attributes, for women who are overweight.
Men of all ages are judgemental about female physical attractiveness, and are looking for fit and slim, up to average.
That's just how it is.

There are lots of different ways of losing weight, you just need to find the right one for you.
Portion size, and eating the kids leftovers rather than seeing them go to waste, have been my danger areas.
So they have gone to the other waist (mine).

I hope this response does not offend you, it is certainly not meant to.

 Thanks for your insight. I am working on losing weight with a combination of dietary changes and exercise. It just takes time. I've made halfhearted attempts to lose weight before, but I often lose focus and don't stick to it.
I feel different about it now though. This time feels more important to stick to it than the other times. And I'm finding it easier to go to the gym. As much as I am losing weight for his benefit, I'm really enjoying the process as well.

helpful (0) 
 OP dating sites arent the only way people meet partners, just sayin
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 OP didnt actually ask about losing weight either, she already said she was. The quesition was about the poor attitude of her husband.
helpful (0) 

Ask him directly. He may not be aware he's doing it (sometimes their crazy brains can't function properly) or you might be overthinking it. I'm sure you are lovely and that he adores you. True beauty shines from the inside out.

 Thank you. I'm too scared to ask him outright. But it's pretty obvious. I've overheard his mates taking the piss out of me, and him joining in. More than a couple of times. And in ways that are being downright rude, not just in lighthearted fun.
helpful (0) 
 ^ Wow. Really? If he measures your worth by the number on the scale, I have to question how much respect he has for you. Especially when he allows his mates to make jokes about you. And he joins in! Awful!
helpful (4) 
 They're all rough and "old school" tradies. I never even considered that it wasn't normal to some degree to joke about their wives. But it's gone beyond the point of a joke. He's currently working FIFO so I can't meet his colleagues now, and he's free to play up to them whatever he wants them to think of me. Because they've never met me before.
If they did meet me I'm confident they'd see I'm not as bad as he pretends.

helpful (0) 
 Maybe a taste of his own medicine. I bet hes not as hot as he thinks he is. Start picking faults with his body and see how he likes it!
helpful (3) 
At the end of the day if my husband calls it quits, though it will deeply hurt I’m ok on my own, and I’ll wish him nothing but happiness.

How did I breath? I cried for about 5 hours, then sporadically for 2 weeks while making sarcastic jokes and hashing it out with friends.
We had a second blow up where I told him how it’s effected me, and we just keep working. He’s beeen more affectionate and looking for things to help to some of the cause of my weight gain.
My husband cried when he saw my pain and re assured me he still loved me and our life.

Look. I respect his attraction.
Just like I wouldn’t be too thrilled if he gained 30kgs, our line is just different.

However being completely embarrassed by you is out of line, but how much of that is real or your sensitivity to what you know he thinks? They don’t always equal one another...

helpful (0) 

I wouldn’t bring it up- if he admits to it that will just be painful for you and could damage your relationship. Is it possible that you are quite self conscious, so you are projecting your feelings into his actions, which might not be because he is ashamed of you...Maybe he is just a bit rude and doesn’t realise you should introduce your partner to people you are talking to that they’ve never met... my Dad was always like that with my Mum wether she was fat or thin. He just has no social skills lol. Just keep working away (as long as it is for your happiness too, not just for him), and get to a point where you feel comfortable in your own skin.

 I've thought that maybe I'm just overthinking it and maybe it's just a misunderstanding. But things have happened quite a few times now and gone beyond the point of a joke.
I've never outright asked him whether he's embarrassed by me or not, I'm terrified of the answer. But I've asked him why he hasn't introduced me to any of his mates over here (we moved to a new state a few years ago, I had previously met and got along with his childhood and school friends). He just skirts around the issue. Again, I'm too scared to really PUSH for an answer. But he is well aware that I've noticed and would like to meet them. I can't say for sure he's ashamed of me, because I can't ask him. It would be the end of our marriage if he said he was. But my gut instinct, coupled with the way he's acted both lately and when he realised I was friends with his old friends independently of him, tell me that he's embarrassed by me.

helpful (0) 

So you lose the weight and he starts respecting you and treating you as you deserve again.

Won't you feel somewhat resentful that for him to treat you right, you have to be a certain weight? Or would you worry that if you don't maintain the right weight/image that he will start withholding his love and being hurtful again?

Something doesn't sit right about this with me. His feelings shouldn't be tied to conditions. I mean, I get that he may not like "big" women in general but you are his wife, not some random person. There is (or should be) so much more tied to you than your physical appearance that makes him attracted to you. What happens when you get older and start ageing? It will be OK for him (like the weight changes) but not you? What if he's embarrassed of the wrinkles you develop? We are all aware of our shortcomings and flaws without needing to have our partners disrespect us about them.

He should treat you with respect regardless of how you look. If he is genuinely not attracted to you right now I seriously doubt your weight is the single one issue causing him to feel that way. Maybe there are deeper issues causing this? If he really is embarrassed of you because you've put on weight he sounds like an incredibly shallow, immature person.

Is there any likelihood of getting some counselling together? Perhaps it will help whatever the issues are come to the surface. Its so much better to address things early on and not wait until its too late, and irreparable.

Actually, this question was asked before with a few details changed. Very suss...

 Oh it's you
helpful (2) 
 I think they may have been me. Ha . Iv also commented on this post saying I’m going through something similar
helpful (1) 
 Maybe.. Ive noticed a few old topics being re-raised again.
helpful (1)