Q&A: A strong marriage can survive weight gainWritten by George Stahnke
Question: Since our wedding five months ago, my husband has gained several pounds. I’m worried I’ll stop being attracted to him. Does that sound shallow?
Oh, how I can relate! The weight gain you describe is a common side effect of marriage. When my wife first looked into the refrigerator of my place several months before we were married, all she could find was half a jar of peanut butter, three potatoes and some stale bread! No wonder I was so thin.
After several months of eating three great meals a day, I began to fill out. In no time, I had put on about 10 pounds. I have seen this same phenomenon in the majority of men I know. The change of lifestyle and the aging process take their toll on all of us – male and female alike.
Attractiveness beyond the surface
You mentioned that you’re worried you’ll lose your attraction to him. I have heard the same thing from men about their wives: "Since her pregnancy and the birth of our baby, she’s not the same."
Let me ask you a few questions to help identify what you love about your husband that goes beyond the exterior: Is he a man of integrity? Is he loving, kind and gentle? Do you feel safe and protected in his arms? Is he a good provider? Do you enjoy emotional, spiritual and physical intimacy together? Are you convinced he’ll make a good father? If you were able to answer yes to even half of these questions, you have an extraordinary husband.
As the two of you build your life together, you will both experience some unwanted external changes. Hair loss, weight gain, age spots and wrinkles are all a natural part of life. But these external changes do not define your true self. Who your husband is on the inside – his personality, character, faith – is the man you fell in love with. As you focus on these inner qualities, the changes to his outward appearance will seem more and more trivial.
George Stahnke was a counsellor in the pastoral care and counselling departments at Focus on the Family in Colorado at the time of publication.
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