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Author Topic: how can I be honest here?
grumpy
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I have a problem that I'm not sure how to solve on my own...I've been with my boyfriend for almost a year and known him for several years. I really love him a lot and care deeply about him, and eventually we were attracted to each other.

But since that time he's put on ~20-30 lbs and I'm finding it harder to be physically attracted to him. I don't think bigger people are disgusting or anything like that, I just don't find it sexually attractive in men at all. I feel shallow and horrible but I'm having trouble changing my feelings about it...he just looks totally different from the person I was initially attracted to.

A lot of times he's pledged to lose some weight and stop eating junk food, start exercise, etc, but it never really works out. He used to be in really excellent shape, but now he gets sick a lot and I worry about him (I'm in Canada, he's in the USA atm so he can't really get help easily from a doctor)

I'd never consider braeking up over something like this after all the tough things we've gone through, but I feel botehred because I'm not being 100% honest in my feelings...and I know it'd probably hurt him a lot if I said anything. He already seems to cycle a lot between accepting his appearance and hating how he looks...I don't want to make it worse.

I need some advice, i'm not sure what to do to spare his feelings but be truthful at the same time. [Frown]

Posts: 7 | From: Canada | Registered: Mar 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Ecofem
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Hi cc1201!

This is tricky: on one hand, we want to be accepting of partners in the good and bad times. On the other hand, we're also attracted to what we are, and a change like this often means something else could be going on. I mean this in terms of something negative like depression or something positive like coming to terms with one's body.

It sounds like he's in a hard place and I can understand not wanting to add to that but he's responsible for his happiness with his appearance and it's also important to be honest. I think you could explain your feelings an honest but thoughtful way: it's probably going to hurt either way, but lying isn't so good either for the long-term.

I think that seeing a doctor for other issues, like seeing a counselor for body image stuff, could be good. However, it's really up to him to make lifestyle changes -- or not make them. To be honest, I'm not seeing him make these changes here so it's probably going to be up to you to accept him as he is now -- or not. And seriously if you were to want to break up with him, you can: it may feel bad to do, but it's always our choice to be in a relationship or not and it's important not just to stick with someone out of pity or a sense of duty. I think you're aware of all this but I'll mention it anyway.

I think it could help to start by telling him that you're concerned about him and his health and lifestyle, that you love him but it has affected how you feel about him in various ways. Does he not have health insurance? Perhaps his Canadian insurance has some coverage in the US? If not, he could look into a free clinic or check out student health, if he's a student. However, *he* is the one who has to make all these decisions; it can be hard to watch but it's ultimately his choice.

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grumpy
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hi Ecofem, thanks so much for your advice.

I think what you're telling me now is what my intuition was telling me, but it's easier to accept when someone else says it...

As soon as it comes up i'll just try to tell him as gently as possible that his health worries me and his weight is starting to affect my attraction to him. I'll also tell him to look into the health plan his college covers. thanks again!

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Ecofem
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Hi grumpy [Smile] ,

You're welcome, and I'm glad to hear that is what you were already leaning towards. Yes, if he's at college, then he probably has some form of insurance or access to health services. For example, many colleges cover a certain number of visits to a counselor. And that's really where I'd start, because it sounds like your boyfriend is going through a lot of emotional challenges. Good luck!

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silke
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Such situations are always hard to handle. I can understand you quite well. You have to accept him otherwise you can't truley love him. What I mean is that you can motivate him by doing sports together and to help and support him on this way. Isn't he unsatisfied with himself? To loose waigth isn't that easy and I think if he hast to go this way by himself alone, it would be a lot harder for him.
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[ 02-28-2013, 04:14 PM: Message edited by: Jacob at Scarleteen ]

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grumpy
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That's true. He does sometimes feel unsatisfied with himself...I try to be really supportive whenver he tries at it, though. I think it'll work out ok if I motivate him and do things with him.
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Lilerse
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I would recommend exercising/cooking etc. with him. If you enjoy going on bike rides, running, dancing, making healthy food, etc. invite him to join you. He is the only one who can really change his lifestyle, but this can be one way to encourage him without criticizing him or making it all about him. It would be a fun way for you guys to enjoy each other's company.
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Martie
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Just remember that the guy you fell in love with in the past is still there on the inside, he just has a couple of extra layers on.
Posts: 12 | From: florida | Registered: Mar 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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