5 Signs Your Weight Loss Is Damaging Your Relationship

Posted by Nigel Jeal | Posted in Articles, Fitness, Information, Relationships | Posted on 20-02-2013-05-2008

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Losing weight can be a frightening time, particularly when you are in a relationship. Naturally, most of us fall in love because we share common interests, like watching the same things on TV, heading out to a restaurant, playing pool or video games together. But when somebody in the relationship changes their Monday night TV programme for a run instead, chooses to order grilled chicken and vegetables because it’s a far better alternative than a curry, going swimming instead of playing pool or decides that Wii Fit is more fun than Mario Cart? I sense trouble is a comin’.

Weight loss and adjusting to a healthier lifestyle requires a great deal of change? Change that your other half is probably not ready for at the moment. The truth is, it’s easy to see that weight can play a heavy part in your relationship.

If you think your relationship could be under strain due to your weight loss plans, there are several common warning signs to look out for during this time. Usually, most of these actions are part of something larger than the direct problems, so it’s essential to understand them fully to be aware of exactly where your partner’s or even your feelings are coming from. Usually, the “why” of a behaviour stems from deep-seated emotion of which you or your partner may not even be aware. For just that reason, I’ve included an “emotional why” to each warning sign exploring the emotion that might be behind these behaviours. Because we know how important support is to reaching your goals, I’ve also included some action tips on “how to improve the situation” you may be facing. This way, you can find a way to maintain your healthy lifestyle without sacrificing the health of your relationship.

Here’s 5 signs your weight loss is damaging your relationship.

1. Your partner makes negative statements about you changing

You start losing weight and becoming healthy but you still get comments from your partner and their family that you’re “skinny” and need to stop losing weight. Your significant other may make other negative comments about your weight loss or changing body because it signals change. And change is scary for your other half.

Emotional why: Fear is behind this type of behaviour. Your partner is afraid of losing you and life as they know it. While you may be ready to change, your partner may be afraid and reluctant to take the first step, and may be insecure that you will leave them, so they comment negatively about your changing body in the hope that things will go back to the way they once were.

How to improve the situation: Create new rituals together so that your loved one is involved with your new lifestyle. You don’t have to give up Friday date night. Try dinner at a restaurant with healthier options, or when you go to the movies, order a smaller size of popcorn (no butter) and a diet soda. See if they will walk around the block with you (take the kids if you have them) to catch up after dinner. Be sure to include your partner in as many ways as you can, and reassure them that you love them for who they are. If the behaviour becomes overwhelmingly negative, do not be afraid to talk to your partner about how those comments make you feel. After all, a relationship is a two-way street and open communication helps prevent a head-on collision.

2. Your partner makes you feel guilty

Does your partner make you feel guilty about the success you’ve had with weight loss? Do they complain that you’re not around as much or give you the guilt trip when you skip cuddle time or dessert to hit the gym? Whether your partner makes you feel guilty on purpose, or you just feel guilty for taking time for yourself, it’s not a good feeling to have, and it can be detrimental to a relationship if it goes on too long.

Emotional why: Nostalgia. Your partner loves you and wants to spend time with you. They may miss what used to be rituals in your household and relationship. These comments may also reflect some of the fear of change mentioned above.

How to improve the situation: Compromise. Don’t be afraid to compromise when you can! However, remember that you deserve to be healthy and happy. If your loved one is putting a guilt trip on you, encourage them to join you. Couples workouts allow you to spend time together and exercise at the same time. And if it’s just you feeling bad, then remind yourself that being fit is what you worked for and you deserve to feel good about your accomplishments.

3. Your partner tries to sabotage you

Sabotaging behaviour can run the gamut, from your partner picking up your “favourite” fast-food burger on the way home (even though she knows you’re trying to cut back) to begging you to sleep in when you have a date with that Spinning bike at 6 a.m. One very common example is having a partner who brings junk food into the house and then eats it in front of you, especially if the junk food is your favourite and one you have trouble avoiding.

Emotional why: Jealousy and fear. Although it may not seem like it, your partner may actually be very jealous of your progress and is sabotaging your efforts to keep you exactly as you are. He or she may be afraid that if you lose weight, you’ll get more attention from the opposite sex and possibly leave the relationship for someone else.

How to improve the situation: Reaffirm your partner that you’re still the same loving person you were before.

4. Your partner starts gaining weight as you’re losing weight

If you’ve noticed that your partner has gained a few pounds during the time you’ve lost weight, this could be cause for concern. Your partner may be upset with your weight-loss success and may be rebelling against you by eating more, higher-calorie food. If this is the case, tread lightly. This will probably be a very touchy subject for your partner. They may also be eating emotionally for comfort as a way to deal with the deep-rooted emotions (fear, anger, jealousy) about your positive changes.

Emotional why: Resistance and guilt. Your partner is probably feeling resistant to change and guilty about his or her own body and unhealthy habits. They may even be worried that as you get healthier, you won’t love him or her as much anymore. Especially if your partner has been self-destructing and views all of your positive changes are threatening to them.

How to improve the situation: If you’re in this type of situation, talk to your partner openly and regularly. Your partner may be very, very sensitive about this issue, so you may not want to bring the weight gain up directly, but rather ask how they are feeling during this time of change. Reassure your partner that you’re still the same person and still love them. And invite them to join in some of your small changes.

5. You look down at your partner

If you’re a few pounds into your weight-loss journey and overhauled your lifelong habits, yet can’t understand why your partner hasn’t done the same, then honestly ask yourself: Do you look down on your partner? Do you feel like the changes you’ve made are going to create lasting friction between the two of you? Whether you indicate these feelings to your partner (directly or indirectly) or keep them to yourself, they can probably sense how you’re feeling. Everyone wants their partner to be proud to be with them. When you stop being proud of your other half, it can really hurt your relationship.

Emotional why: Pride and fear. Right now, you may be very proud of yourself for your changes—and you should be! But it’s important to respect everyone’s journey and realize that you can’t force someone else to change. You may also find yourself being harsher on your loved one because they may remind you of where you started (a place where you don’t want to return).

How to improve the situation: You may not agree with all of the choices your partner makes, but try to be as understanding as possible. Remember how hard it was for you to change in the beginning! Remember how you had to decide to do it for yourself, not for someone else? Revisit that time in your past and treat your partner how you would have liked to be treated then. Recognize the reasons for your emotions. You don’t have to encourage unhealthy habits, but try to be as understanding and encouraging as possible.

If you’re faced with many of the issues above, don’t despair. A relationship may get rocky from your new dedication to a healthy lifestyle, especially in the beginning of your weight loss journey, but many couples say that getting in shape and eating right actually helps their relationship in the end.

At the end of the day, your partner should be one of the biggest and most supportive allies you have in getting healthy. Even so, you can’t expect others to change overnight. Becoming healthy and losing weight is an incredibly personal journey, and it has to start with the person wanting to change and not by telling someone what to do. So be as nice and supportive to your partner as you’d like them to be to you. Follow the tips above and recognize what’s really behind you and your partner’s actions to continue on your weight loss journey and keep your relationship strong. After all, leading by example is one of the most powerful ways to influence others in a positive way!

Dedicated to your success,

–Nigel

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Okay folks – Tell us your stories!  Have you had relationship problems during your weight loss journey? What did you do about it—let’s get 20 COMMENTS, and we’ll be back soon with another awesome post.

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