Reader Sexless Skinny writes,
So over the past year, after 10 years of marriage, I've lost around 50 lbs and my marriage seems worse for it. My wife has also lost about 15 lbs , but she seems way more focused on competing with me than enjoying her success.
We are both competing in races regularly, but she seems to gauge her progress by comparing it to mine. We were both athletes, so are both very competitive by nature, so I kinda get it, but our relationship is not improving.
Our sex life was much better when we were fatter; we fought a lot less. I'm unsure of how to rectify the situation, I don't have any physical attractiveness issues with her, but her attitude is becoming a major turnoff. I never guessed that losing weight and getting in shape would improve my relationship with my hand to the extent that it has. Any advice is much appreciated.
I empathize with you. It would be great if your wife was happy and gushing over your hot new bod. And congrats on your weight loss. But, my congratulations do nothing for your sex life so let's turn to how your wife may be feeling.
I feel for your wife. I mean, here she is trying her damnedest to lose weight, everything this guy wishes his wife did, and she's still not losing weight. Probably because as I note in that article, running races can make women hungrier, and life isn't fair and screw you and your 50-pound weight loss, you jerk.
Sorry! But hey, you can see how your 50-pound weight loss makes anyone remotely insecure about their looks, including probably 90 percent of mothers, feel. FRUSTRATED AND ANGRY. And that's of course not due to you, unless you're parading around nude singing, "Look how much hotter I am than you!" (Don't do this.)
You're going to need to tame your own competitive streak, at least as it affects your wife, before you can have a close marriage again. Do not compete with her on anything, because, hey, you already won, in this area at least. And competition can often ruin marriages, even when it's not as obvious as competing over races and weight loss.
Make a list of the things your wife does better than you, and it should not include eating. Give her compliments about all of these things regularly. Make sure that you're not invalidating or criticizing her, because she feels really insecure right now. She probably had a secret fantasy that she was going to drop 50 pounds and you would drop 15, and then she would be super hot, and you'd be all jealous of the other dudes checking her out at the races, and she could assuage your insecurity with hot sex. And now she's the insecure one in the scenario. Much less hot.
Also, tell your wife that if you've been acting like a jerk about losing weight, you're sorry. This can open up a dialogue where she can tell you if in fact you have been prancing around like Triathlete Ken and making her feel awful in comparison. Your wife may even have some issues coming up from her childhood, if she never felt good enough, or had a sibling that was always better than her, so that is something to think about too, but don't bring it up unless she does, because don't analyze your spouse.
Thanks for writing in, and I hope you can make sweet non-competitive love really soon, if you become Super Empathy Man. Till we meet again, I remain, The Blogapist Who Says, I'm Sure Lots Of Guys At The Races Think Your Wife Is Hot Besides You; This Isn't PC But If You Act A Little Jealous Of Them, It May Do Wonders For Her Self-Esteem.
This post was originally published here on Dr. Psych Mom. Follow Dr. Rodman on Dr. Psych Mom, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. Order her book, How to Talk to Your Kids about Your Divorce: Healthy, Effective Communication Techniques for Your Changing Family. This blog is not intended as diagnosis, assessment, or treatment, and should not replace consultation with your medical provider.