I am a big woman. I will take that into consideration as I write this post and I will acknowledge right up front that I may be feeling a bit defensive.
Having made that disclaimer, I now ask you this: What in the heck is wrong with some people?
I just spent an hour talking to a really nice woman. She's as kind as the day is long, looks out for and loves her child, works hard, and takes care of her family. Her husband is a super nice guy to everyone he knows, who works hard, takes care of his home and family, and would do anything for a friend at the drop of a hat.
But guess what? Her husband isn't happy with her weight...no, he's "disgusted" because she is in a size 6 instead of her former size 2 (mind you, he is no super model...he carries a beer belly that looks about like 7 months gestation). And because he isn't happy with her weight, she is restricting herself to 900 calories a day. Her hair is falling out. She's tired, pale, and not feeling well at all. He also wants her to go to a tanning bed because he prefers tan women (I have to ask why he married a red-head).
I am just furious at both of them.
First, what gives him the right to belittle his wife for her weight? If he has concerns about her health, he can find a way to tell her other than saying he is "disgusted". I will never, ever understand men who make their love for their wives conditional on her looks. I do understand that we are all programmed to be attracted to certain body types and that it is reasonable to expect our spouses to take care of themselves. What I don't get is holding back affection, sex, or kindness because of pounds. I don't get cruelty that results in a woman doubting her worth. I don't understand.
I am just as angry with her for putting up with it. If she isn't comfortable in her body and wants to get in better shape, great. But NO ONE gets in "shape" by starving. Why does she tie her value to his opinion? How did she let the first comment go by without stopping it in its tracks? Why is she harming herself for his gratification?
I have answers for some of these questions. I know full and well that part of my self-worth is tied to my husband. I know that I care what people think about the way I look. I know that I am more physically attractive when I am healthier, and that I am more physically attracted to my husband when he is healthy.
But I also know that my weight does not change Chris' love for me. I know that he loves my heart and my brain and my humor and my body. I know that regardless of the package I am in, he values me. But if he didn't, I also know I would leave. I would not allow him to belittle me into harming myself. I know that I would not let him teach my kids that it's okay to emotionally damage your wife. I know that I would not teach my kids that they are only beautiful if someone else thinks they are. I know.