How should I tell my wife without upsetting her?

We've been together now for about 9 years. Within the past year or so, she's started to put on a good amount of weight. She's basically stopped exercising and her diet is terrible. She's always been a little on the chubby side, but I actually prefer women with a little meat on their bones. She's about 5 ft 3 inches and for the longest time probably weighed around 150. Now she's up to about 200 and is showing no signs of being concerned. How can I tell her that this is bothering me on a number of different levels without upsetting her or making her think I don't love her? Ladies, I'm especially interested in your suggestions.


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Most Helpful Girl

  • You don't need to tell her, honey. She knows, I guarantee it. Whether she sees it and/or acknowledges is the real question. I believe before you talk to her about it see if you can figure out WHY is she gaining it. I get that she doesn't eat well and has stopped exercising, but there's a reason for that. (You don't mention her age, but most of us as we age have a tendency to put on weight even if other activity/eating patterns stay the same) Is she depressed? Is she on some medication that is causing the weight gain? Has she changed birth control methods? Does she have other health problems, such as joint pain that is keeping her from her normal activities? Have there been any changes in your relationship or other life changes, such as loss of a loved one that could be causing her to eat due to emotional issues?

    I ask because I've lived these things. I've always carried some extra weight and I am an emotional eater. I gained when my both of my parents had cancer and then again after they died. I gained when I lost my job suddenly. I gained when our daughter left for college. I have struggled with depression off and on and when it's particularly bad, all I want to do is eat and sleep and my weight explodes! Medication I have taken FOR the depression causes weight gain too. I have old knee injuries that required surgery and the pain/stiffness get worse the older I get, thus keeping me from being as active as the years go by.

    Unless you want a confrontation causing her to become defensive, the last thing you want to do is point out the obvious. As I said, I'm sure she is aware of the gain. What she needs is help to stop whatever is causing it. When my weight starts to get out of hand, my husband is very quick to ask me what's going on. He shows concern for ME, with no mention of the weight gain. He makes it about my health, my happiness, my welfare and his concern for me to get the most out of life. He encourages me to get out and do things with him. He'll suggest trying out some new recipes that he will tell me sound good to him. I'm not stupid so I know it's his way to get my diet balanced, but he does it without making me feel badly. You know your wife, and I'm sure you can figure out how to approach her and help her explore what is going on without making it all about the weight. You may even know what the problem is if you really think about it. Chances are if you DO make it all about the weight and how she looks, she will just become defensive and upset. Just speak from your heart.. with love and concern but not judgement. I hope things go well for you and for her. She's lucky to have a man that cares enough and loves her enough to not want her upset by using the "I don't want a fat wife" route! If you stick to the positive reasons that it's bothering you she'd be foolish not to try to get back on track. I hope she appreciates the way you approach it. Best of luck to you both. *S*

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    • The key part of this answer is "with love and concern but not judgment". Well stated. :)

What Girls Said 15

  • In my family, my Mom and Dad had a similar problem, my Mom was overweight about 200 or so, and she's a short Asian lady. My Dad is a wiry tall man and he wasn't sure how to go about this as well.

    Firstly congrats to you for wanting to be a gentleman about it and asking for advice as to how to break it to her. In this situation, offer to go out for a walk a while after you eat dinner or lunch. Take her to go walk around the city and go exploring or sight seeing, anything like that with mobility. And then take a look at the foods you two are eating. I'm not saying cut everything and go on a diet, but once or twice a week make a salad or something light.

    Tell her that you want to plan for the future as you two grow older and the best way to start the new year would be to make and set goals so that you can be in good health. Be gentle, this was always a touchy subject with my Mom, but my Dad and her go walking together for about a half an hour each day and it has improved their relationship (because he's working with her) and because she has that support.

    Best of luck!

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  • Yikes. That is a rough one.

    I was blessed with height, I am 5'11, 150lbs.. but I look thin. When I met my boyfriend I was 125lbs.

    People put on weight when they are committed. It happens. For me, I would like it if he would join a gym with me and help me to get in shape. He is already in shape but I know that he can always get better too ;)

    Also, look at yourself. Have you gained weight? Have you let yourself go a little too?

    You are married so the things you do need to be together. Just start buying healthier foods. Tell her that your worried about your cholesterol. Make it seem like it is about you as well. You want to get healthier together. You want to have her around for a long time and that means you both need to be healthy. Sorry if that was a little jumbled.

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  • I'm not sure what the answer is yet. But I have questions... How involved are you with the grocery shopping? How involved are you with the cooking? You said that HER diet is terrible. So what are you eating? Are you both eating the same meals together, and she snacks a lot? Or do you eat separate things due to food sensitivities or some other reason?

    Another thing to think about... it's New Year's resolution time. Perhaps if you suggested that you want to be more mindful of your health this year. Have either of you had health issues recently? You could use that as a primary reason for your motivation. Say that you need her help to try to stick with it, want to be healthier together. Maybe both of you try a new activity this spring. Maybe hiking. Summer maybe try kayaking. Fall try ice skating. Make it so she has to participate.

    I hope that helps.

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  • That's not chubby, that's overweight to the point of obese especially for her height.

    I think telling her directly would hurt her feelings a bit and she 'd point out that you're also heavy too. I suggest you two find a fitness routine that you can enjoy and do together. Say walking for half an hour around your neighbourhood a few times a week, would be a start before you get her eventually interested doing for herself.

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  • As a husband, it's important for you to tell her the things that are bothering you. just as she should do the same. Maybe you could say something along the line of 'we should go to the gym together so we could both get fit' or something like that. But I suggest you first figure out the reason behind why she stopped exersicing

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  • I think it's awesome that you care in the first place. I agree, offer to work out with her and maybe request healthy dinners (expressing how good you think it will taste). Whatever she likes doing the best; swimming, walks, bike rides - exercise can be really fun. You obviously are concerned which is sweet, so help her feel attractive and desirable to you.

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  • As some mentioned, start working out together. Or just tell her you're worried about her health. Being overweight can bring lots of problems.

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  • I'd say approach it from the side that YOU want to lose weight/get healthier. Maybe she will follow you

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  • Ah you're a sweet husband. Perhaps just saying you want both of you to start living healthier and get a diet a d work out together. I think that's a good idea and brings you two together.

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  • Tell that bitch to lose the weight

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  • join a gym together and motivate her to work out

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  • take her to the gym and workout along with her! that should be a good motivation!

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  • Part of the problem is that women with a little meat on their bones put on weight easily.

    Tell her straight out that she is not looking very good at all. OR just tell her you are interested in healthy eating now.

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  • you could suggest you guys go to the gym together. there's nothing wrong with wanting to better yourselves together, but asking your wife to work out probably won't go down very well...

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  • well, how heavy are you? (out of curiosity)

    if you haven't kept yourself in shape, why should she stay relatively thin, ya know?

    But if it really bothers you just say "babe your fat, lose the weight"

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What Guys Said 5

  • I had no idea my wife had a twin that was 20 years younger! Seriously! You just described my wife and wrote was going in my head years ago.

    I've experienced what you're going through, and I still am. I wish I had an answer for you, but I don't.

    My wife was around 140 when we met and exercised a couple times week. Within 8 or 9 years of being married she had put on weight, gone on a diet and lost some, and then put it back on. We've been married 25 yrs. now. Not sure what she weighs but it's over 200, so maybe 220 or 230. She's about 5'4", and really doesn't eat all that much. Hasn't given birth to kids, though we have 2 children. I'm 5'9", 175 lbs. Her mother and sister are thin. Her dad was average size.

    Like you I prefer some meat on the bones, but that's just too much. I now she doesn't like being so heavy, but she hasn't said anything or done anything about it in almost 20 years now. Like you, I don't know how to bring it up without her thinking I'm insulting her. We can talk about anything, but I'm afraid that will be a sore subject. She really doesn't have much time to devote to exercise, and with young kids she doesn't have much energy either. Then of course, carrying around extra weight drains energy. A Catch 22. I know some people are more prone to be heavier for whatever reasons, some have lower metabolisms, and so on. I just don't know right now. Sorry.

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  • Sometimes weight gain can be brought on by other issues in ones life. From what your describing I would guess there may be some other underlying issue that she may not be dealing with. Sometimes neglecting ones own health is symptom of something else. You may need to try and connect with her on an emotional level and try and make yourself available for her to open up to you. You can also plan things that require more strenuous activity. Walking, running, bicycling in a park is an example. Eventually you may have to tell her how you feel. Keep in mind that you need to talk about how you feel and not directly confront the problem. I'm worried about you.. I feel that... etc. Try and remind her that you love her. If you talk about this issue, you will upset her but in all honesty, it's better to have her upset then heading to an early grave.

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  • Oh wow! Your story is a mirror of mine... Even the numbers are identical. And I have no clue how to tell her that it bothers me. Oh.. The only difference, we hv bn married 15+ yrs. Nobody in the family finds it politically correct to tell her she is "fu@@@in overweight". If I give a hint, I get the response "deal with it; you have enough hot chicks at work to look at". Not sure about you, but WE have no chemistry. We are not the fighting, whining, screaming couple... But no chemistry at all.

    Good Luck !

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  • I would try leading by example and see if she starts catching on.

    If you start working out and refusing junk food, maybe she will start catching on.

    Or even better, make a New Years challenge with her to see who can become the most fit. Whatever happens, everyone wins.

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  • It's time to fill the house with healthy unprocessed food,

    and throw out all the junk food.

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