Donate Now
Post New Topic  New Poll  Post A Reply
my profile | directory login | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Got Questions? Get Answers. » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Bodies » Body Image and Boyfriends

 - UBBFriend: Email this page to someone!    
Author Topic: Body Image and Boyfriends
StarHallie
Activist
Member # 27531

Icon 1 posted      Profile for StarHallie     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Hi everyone, haven't been around for a while but I'm having a problem and this is the first place I always turn.

I have a lovely relationship with my guy, he's been with me through some really tough stuff, we've been together for 13 months. But recently I've noticed I'm having some problems with body image double-standards.

Background: I weigh 136. I'm a small size 4. I LOVE my body. My breasts, my hair, my legs, my calves. All of it!

He tells me one day that he loves my body and that I look great. But the next day, he'll grab my midsection and ask, "whats this?" playfully, but I know it's NOT playful. It upsets me...and I've told him that. MANY times, because he's done it a few times. He gives me kudos whenever I tell him about skipped meals or small portions. He's starting to make me insecure. How do I know this? Because I was VERY secure with myself before I started dating him. Now I just don't know how to talk about it with him. I've been having bad dreams that he'd dump me for someone really thin. He commented the other day how his ex-girlfriend is "really skinny now", saying it in a positive tone.

When I tell him that I'm affected by these things, he asks me where all my insecurity is coming from.

How do I tell him that it's coming from him, and how do I make a rebuttal when he defends himself?

I want him to be happy with the way I look...because I think ongoing attraction is very important in a relationship. I WANT him to love my body. But when does it get destructive? Has it already gotten destructive? I'm already getting scared that he may, you know ...start looking elsewhere.

[ 07-28-2006, 01:47 PM: Message edited by: StarHallie ]

Posts: 231 | From: California, USA | Registered: Feb 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
wilddove
Activist
Member # 17112

Icon 1 posted      Profile for wilddove     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
This is emotional abuse, he is making you feel insecure and bad about your body. You mention you skip meals and eat small portions. You are a normal size and seem happy with your looks but he is changing that.

This could lead to emotional problems and even an eating disorder. Tell him he is making you insecure and and upsetting you and making you feel conscious about your body image. A loving caring mature guy should not be doing this.

If he defends himself tell him there is no excuse for making comments negative about someone they are supposed to love, tell himhe now knows you do not like it and he had better stop.

If he continues to make you feel this bad it is him who will lose you not the other way around.

He has no right to make unhelpful negative comments about your body, and encouraging the skipping of meals and and grabbing you where you have flesh(which is 100%normal we need it to be alive) falls into this category, his negative behaviour.

Dont let a guy turn a beautiful self confident secure young lady into an unhappy insecure confused woman you deserve to be treated with love and respect.

Posts: 112 | From: Ireland | Registered: Mar 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
StarHallie
Activist
Member # 27531

Icon 1 posted      Profile for StarHallie     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Thank you for your help. You are very kind.

Another thing I forgot to add: when we were talking about my weight, he once said something like this to me: If you got fat, I'd still love you, I just wouldn't be attracted to you.

Should I worry about that?

Yes, I'm becoming confused. You nailed it.

[ 07-28-2006, 02:13 PM: Message edited by: StarHallie ]

--------------------
"Sex without love is an empty experience, but as empty experiences go, it's one of the best."
-Woody Allen

Posts: 231 | From: California, USA | Registered: Feb 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
daria319
Activist
Member # 19692

Icon 1 posted      Profile for daria319     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Yes! You do need to worry about that. Attraction between partners who consider themselves serious and "in love" shouldn't just be physical. He's being a jerk.

--------------------
"You owe me two lifetimes and a pair of perfect blue eyes."

Posts: 407 | From: Georgia | Registered: Aug 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
DarkChild717
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 139

Icon 1 posted      Profile for DarkChild717     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
StarHallie...Wow. I'm sorry that he is saying these things to you.

Honestly? Other qualities he may have aside, slowly erroding your self confidence is not okay. I'd say drop him, or at least let him know that if he continues to subtley insult you, despite your contiuned efforts to inform him how it makes you feel, you will not hesitate to go solo and find people who DO love you for you.

You don't deserve this.

--------------------
Caylin, Scarleteen Volunteer
Love Scarleteen? Donations keep us around for you. So give a little! (Or a lot. Whatever works for you.)

Posts: 2789 | From: The Evergreen State | Registered: Jun 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
-Lauren-
Activist
Member # 25983

Icon 1 posted      Profile for -Lauren-     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
How long has this been going on for?

You need to buckle him down and tell him straight out that these comments and actions are not only completely out of line, they're just not something that somebody says about someone they supposedly love.

Your insecurity IS coming from him; I don't know who in the world wouldn't be hurt by hearing things like that. Let him know, and set your own terms for how/when he needs to straighten out his act.

If he can't, boot him to the curb, and go back to your strong, confident self.

(Good to see you back. Did he ever quit smoking, by the way?)

Posts: 4636 | From: USA/Northern Europe | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
StarHallie
Activist
Member # 27531

Icon 1 posted      Profile for StarHallie     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Thanks, you guys.

This has been going on for a while (not constantly, only on occasion), and I've told him to stop. That's why it's now a big problem, because I've told him that it's destructive before.

I talked to him and told him that he's stripping my self-esteem in the things he's saying and doing. I told him that if it continued I wouldn't want to be with him anymore. He blamed that on my parents, who don't approve of our relationship (for reasons I don't agree with: they like him, but they think he won't be sucessful in his life). He thinks that now it will be easier for me to break up with him because of how my parents feel about us.

He appologized about the things he said and did.

He said that he was only trying to encourage me. I've been trying to healthfully drop a few pounds by cutting down my portions, out of my own will. But I told him, once you start encouraging me for eating less, soon it will turn into an eating disorder. He understood that.

Unfortunately, now he's saying "Well I guess I shouldn't say ANYTHING about how you look, good or bad". He missed the point and it's almost like he said: "Well since I can't judge or criticize your body, I won't compliment it either".

Anyways, he seems sorry...and I think the fact that our relationship is threatened makes him more serious about it, with the exception of the parents thing.

As for the pot thing, we agreed that, as long that I never heard about it or saw it, I was okay with it, but made him understand that I hugely disagree with it for health reasons.

[ 07-28-2006, 03:30 PM: Message edited by: StarHallie ]

--------------------
"Sex without love is an empty experience, but as empty experiences go, it's one of the best."
-Woody Allen

Posts: 231 | From: California, USA | Registered: Feb 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Same guy as last time Hallie?

I gotta say, this sounds in line with the previous control-type behaviours.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68260 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
StarHallie
Activist
Member # 27531

Icon 1 posted      Profile for StarHallie     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Yah, we're both type A. We usually see eye to eye eventually though and that's why I'm not ready to say we're through. Do you think it's dangerous to be with someone like this? Do you think that throughout our relationship I'll have major problems?

I mean, really, I don't even WANT to lose weight anymore for MYSELF, because it would feel like I would be "giving in" to what HE wants. (You know, I almost want to say, screw you, I'm going to gain 20 pounds!) I feel like that may be a really bad thing that I feel that way. What should I do about those feelings, and are they normal?

[ 07-28-2006, 04:12 PM: Message edited by: StarHallie ]

--------------------
"Sex without love is an empty experience, but as empty experiences go, it's one of the best."
-Woody Allen

Posts: 231 | From: California, USA | Registered: Feb 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I don't think Type A = controlling OTHER people. Those two things are different issues.

And what you're describing here is about a form of control, of you.

How to get out of that? Is he able, for instance, to recocgnize -- and then work to change his behaviour regarding -- how he is applying his beauty standards to you? That HE is responsible for HIS ideals? That maybe he can find ways of remarking on how you look that aren't about what he finds attractive, per se?

I mean, I don't know why we'd say anything bad about our partner's appearance unless they looked plain unwell, unless it was about their health. I don't know why we'd yank at your partners bodies in the way you're describing. And there's a difference in compliments like, "You look great in those pants," or "your hair looks really shiny today," than, "Yay, you ate less!"

Might also be helpful to just draw a line in the sand per the two of your discussing this stuff, period. So, if you don't bring the "I ate a small lunch today" to him looking for approval, it might help a lot. That could be sending a very mixed message.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68260 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
StarHallie
Activist
Member # 27531

Icon 1 posted      Profile for StarHallie     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Yah, I realized that I WAS looking for approval, though, and that's how I knew I had a problem.

But that is all very helpful, thank you so much.

--------------------
"Sex without love is an empty experience, but as empty experiences go, it's one of the best."
-Woody Allen

Posts: 231 | From: California, USA | Registered: Feb 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
zeta
Activist
Member # 20185

Icon 1 posted      Profile for zeta     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Criticizing your weight and threatening you with not being wanted should you gain any?

This guy is a jerk. You need not wonder how to say things nicely, you're not doing him a favor either. He needs it pointed out right now, with a vengeance, that his attitude sucks and needs to change.

I once had a boyfriend bitching about my pizza -I was normal weight, he was just "watch that, I want my GF to look presentable". I *utterly* lost temper and did not get such comments again.

I also had one who'd criticize me, body, clothing or whatever when he just didn't feel like sex or wanted to ditch me anyway. I knew it to be garbage, yet the hurt is still there. Don't let anyone do that to you. You deserve better.

A nice person once said to me: "You have chicks who look good curvy, you have chicks who look good skinny. You're one of those strange chicks who look good any which way".

While I realize one's self-esteem is not to depend on others opinions on one's looks, that's the kind of opinion you want from someone who you're going to spend any longer amount of time with. Weight is fleeting and has nothing to do with love -if he cannot respect you as YOU, you'll never be happy with him.

--------------------
I don't get even, I get odder

Posts: 57 | Registered: Sep 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
StarHallie
Activist
Member # 27531

Icon 1 posted      Profile for StarHallie     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
That's so well-put. And completely true.

I gave him an ultimatum- and I DON'T see comments like this coming from his mouth anymore. I told him, you will ONLY talk about my body in a positive way, in the positive light that I see it in, and if you don't, it's over, because you're not WORTH my losing my self-esteem over.

Forgive me for being blunt, but....he's obviously attracted to me, he gets off 2-3 times a day to this sexy body...and I do too. He CONSTANTLY initiates sex with comments and actions conveying that he's turned on by my body, how great I look, and yes, it's a total turn-on to be complimented like that. So obviously, there's NO PROBLEM with mutual attraction here. And I asked him, are you attracted to me? He replied with an enthusiastic affirmative, and I said, then what are you bitching about?! And he replied with a remorseful appology about everything.

I think I got through to him.

The good thing is that we were able to discuss it, and he listened to me about vital things I had to get across, and I think it sunk in this time.

You guys helped MAJORLY and gave me the confidence I was lacking to say, "hey, this is NOT okay and if you do it again, we're through". Because when you're with your first love, saying something like, "we're through" is hard to conceive and I'm finally realizing, hey, we might break up someday, and I WILL live. Until then, things should be lovely and I'm looking forward to being at the altar with him.

:-)

--------------------
"Sex without love is an empty experience, but as empty experiences go, it's one of the best."
-Woody Allen

Posts: 231 | From: California, USA | Registered: Feb 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

Quick Reply
Message:

HTML is not enabled.
UBB Code™ is enabled.

Instant Graemlins
   


Post New Topic  New Poll  Post A Reply Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Contact Us | Get the Whole Story! Go Home to SCARLETEEN: Sex Ed for the Real World | Privacy Statement

Copyright 1998, 2014 Heather Corinna/Scarleteen
Scarleteen.com: Providing comprehensive sex education online to teens and young adults worldwide since 1998

Information on this site is provided for educational purposes. It is not meant to and cannot substitute for advice or care provided by an in-person medical professional. The information contained herein is not meant to be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, or for prescribing any medication. You should always consult your own healthcare provider if you have a health problem or medical condition.

Powered by UBB.classic™ 6.7.3