Because I’m obsessed with relationships and marriage and love to research everything and anything related to these topics when I found this study; Marriages More Satisfying When Wives are Thinner Than Husbands as a member of this marriage tribe I had to chime in and cry FOUL. Although, I get it because for a certain period of time, I lived it.
When I met my husband- he was definitely on a mission to keep me thin- he admits it, I admit it and perhaps because I was so much younger than him, and slightly impressionable at 22 years old I allowed him to wield this power over me and more specifically my weight.
When we got married I was a cool 95 pounds… and if I remember correctly- ANGRY and hungry as hell. I was always in a foul mood, waiting, thinking, contemplating the next piece of food I’d allow to pass my lips, keeping copious lists of the foods and calorie counts I’d amassed over the course of the day and saying no to so many sweet treats and foods I wanted. I was going to be the skinny trophy wife, despite how bad it made me feel. Why you ask, would I endure a continual diet and deny myself the sustenance of life’s pure pleasure?
I was raised in a house where my mother was always on some diet- and my two sisters obsessed over their weights- they’re still two of the thinnest women I know post kids– and yes their bodies are OUTRAGEOUS, ripped, thin and they look KILLER in bikinis.
I wanted that too- or at least I thought I wanted that ideal body image- and with a husband- who seemed to want me to stay as thin and ripped as possible( despite being four feet eleven inches tall- with not much room for any weight to go except directly to my bum and belly)sustaining a 105 lb. weight proved to be just another chore to add to my list. Did I mention that I was always HUNGRY, angry and that my skin took on this horrible pallor and was stricken with acne?!
And then after I had my daughter, right around Sept. 11th 2001 something in me clicked. I remember it as vividly as if it happened yesterday- she was just a few months old, swinging in her baby swing and I was drinking my umpteenth cup of coffee desperate to lose the baby fat I’d accrued over the course of my pregnancy (when I ate with abandon and loved every second of it) I watched with horror, shock and a deep hole in my heart as those towers came down, and life and everything I held sacred and thought I could trust changed.
But something in me changed that day too- the idea that this life, this time, these moments, are fleeting- they are not guaranteed, and so, short of becoming a candidate for that ABC reality show Extreme weight loss– I decided starving myself, being a pin thin figure- was not in any way improving the quality of my life or marriage- in fact it was just making me bitter and it wasn’t the way I wanted to spend whatever days I am afforded on this planet. And now 17 years later- my husband has finally come to the point where he realizes this body of mine- and how I treat it is my responsibility- it is my choice- and if he gives me a disapproving look as I go in for that second chocolate chip cookie-well-he’ll get the same disapproving look shot right back at him.
Marriage is an affair of the heart and mind– long after our bodies become worn, old , saggy, bloated, and some illness seizes us– (because eventually as Woody Allen says “There is no getting out of here alive.) And so regardless of this study which finds; Marriages More Satisfying When Wives are Thinner Than Husbands – if my inability to stay stick thin is what causes my marriage to falter-well then our affair was never more than skin deep- and no amount of diets, pills and surgery can keep our union afloat.