I’m sitting here trying to work out the best way to put this — because there is no right way.
There’s certainly no good way. It’s not something I want to say, but if I’m honest with myself I’ll say it.
I’m not attracted to my wife.
It’s not the sort of thing you can share with people generally, is it? I know I can’t, because I’d feel disloyal. I’d feel like I’m belittling my wife and that’s the last thing I want to do. And it’s not what she deserves. She’s a good woman. A wonderful woman. A much better person than me.
I know the reason why I’m not attracted to my wife and there’s no good way of saying this either.
My wife got fat.
I look at my wife and I can’t see past the double chin. I want to see past the double chin – Lord knows I have tried to see past the double chin, but it’s like a mark on a clean shirt; once you see it, you can’t ignore it. It’s there.
In the past three years my wife has gone from a size 10/12 to a size 18, and there is no U-turn in sight. Yes, there are reasons for it. No one chooses to get fat. But by now the original reasons seem to have dissipated. It’s now a chicken-and-egg situation — my wife got fat because she started to drink. And she started to drink because she was unhappy. And now she’s unhappy because she’s fat.
I’m not blameless in all of this. I’m sure I’ve contributed to her unhappiness, but most of her unhappiness has been related to external forces. Work, family, friends – it hasn’t been easy.
But at what point do you look at yourself and say ‘I’m fat and I’m going to change it’? Actually, not say you’re going to change it, actually change it. Start to change it and stick with the program.
There have been gym memberships and diet programs and exercise plans and any number of other strategies but my wife hasn’t stuck with any of them for more than a fortnight. It’s all too hard, she says, and I’m sure it is — but there’s no other way.
Is beauty truly skin deep? Am I shallow beyond all redemption? Or am I just human?
I’ve been jumping from one to the other for what seems like forever. Isn’t there an unwritten rule in relationships that you both do your level best to stay not just attracted to one another but attractive to one another?
I’m not attracted to my wife and our marriage is suffering as a consequence because there’s no flame; there’s barely a flint.
My wife knows how I feel. I’ve never told her, of course. I mean, how on earth do those words ever come out of your mouth? But she can sense it. She can see it in the way I don’t look at her. She can hear it in the words I don’t say. She can feel it in our empty embraces. She can read it from the pages of our diminished, one-dimensional, very occasional, sex life.
It’s not a sex life. It’s a near sexless existence. And we’re both too young for that.
I want my wife to lose some weight. You can’t help how you’re hardwired. I want my wife to be healthy, feel good about herself and take pride in her appearance.
I don’t care if that sounds shallow but, then, I do. I hate myself for feeling like this. I hate myself for not being bigger than this. I hate myself for letting it get to this.
My wife deserves better. Better than me. I wish I could be the man she thought she married. But I’m not. I’m me.
And I’m not attracted to my wife.
This article was originally published at Debrief Daily. Reprinted with permission from the author.