My husband is obese and I’m disgusted. He eats constantly. Sometimes he even gets up in the middle of the night to make French toast or other treats. He snores so horrifically that I can’t sleep. We have been married for over two years and have a 3-year-old (I got pregnant, so we got married), but I can’t remember what attracted me to him. He is a doting father and good provider, but I do not want to be near him. The last time we had sex was six months after our honeymoon. How can I tell him to sleep elsewhere? Should I sleep in my daughter’s room? Should I stay married for the sake of my daughter?
It never does a child any good to see their parents in a strained, unhappy relationship. It simply teaches that child to mistrust marriage and to believe that intimate relationships lead to misery. The real problem here, though, is the belief that getting pregnant is a valid reason to wed. It can work, of course, but more often it doesn’t. So while both adults may treasure the child, neither adult has matured in their commitment to the point where they cherish each other. That means each adult’s focus is only on the children, not on their spouse and the children. It’s a recipe for marital malaise.
So is a lack of self-care. Compulsive eating has biological and psychological components. It’s imperative that your husband meets with his physician and secures a referral to a therapist trained to assist those suffering from eating disorders and to a doctor-approved weight-loss program. It is also vital that you pull the deepest compassion from your heart for this man you once believed that you loved. To discover that your union is not what you hoped and that your spouse is repulsed by you is devastating. You must see this experience that you have created for yourself as an opportunity to love what you consider unlovable. Imagine the Buddha or the Christ in him in those moments when he tenderly cares for your daughter or when he generously provides for your material comforts. Let those moments of seeing his beauty expand until you can appreciate who he is under the layers he attempts to hide behind.
Now, to your questions about changing bedrooms: I am a great advocate of sleep (at least eight hours, preferably 10), and I believe that it is easier to handle the emotional hiccups and hurricanes in life when rested. However, I don’t recommend that you sleep with your daughter. You can sleep in a bedroom separate from your husband or on the couch temporarily but should join him in bed in the mornings for a chat and perhaps coffee. It’s a way to rebuild the emotional intimacy that your relationship hungers for. As for a divorce, I wouldn’t advocate it until you have integrated the lessons that this marriage holds for you.
I dated a co-worker (we were talking marriage), she cheated on me, we broke up and it’s really awkward now at work. We both agreed not to talk to other co-workers about it but it’s clear that people have taken sides: I neglected her so I deserved it or she’s a slut. I’m in a career position and can’t leave. Any ideas how to handle this mess?
Channel your creative (OK, sexual) energy into something effective for your career. The more distracted you are by office gossip, the less attentive you are to the really important stuff. Remember, gossip is all opinion; it’s not the truth. So show that you’re a real pro by transcending the drama, treating your ex politely and taking on a major work project that allows you to shine.