For better or worse, richer or poorer, in sickness and in health. The vows we make in marriage are ultimately a lifelong commitment to our partner no matter what. Life is full of ups and downs, many of which are out of our control but what about the things that are within our control? Foolish financial decisions, laziness around household chores, poor career choices, irresponsible drinking or gambling habits, domestic abuse?
We could debate each one of these subjects from now until next week but a subject that is often a problem for our clients at Motivation is that of sexual attraction when a partner is overweight and their spouse does not find him or her sexually attractive anymore. I guess this is part of the better or worse scenario and one might automatically dismiss this as having no relevance in how successful a marriage is likely to be. I feel the opposite is true.
In Ireland such subjects are taboo and dealt with by brushing under the carpet but let’s get real here. We are all sexual creatures with needs and desires. Despite what we might be taught from so called religious leaders, this is not wrong or anything to feel guilty about. But we are loved by our partners for our heads AND our bodies.
As Dr Larocque says“I think you must have your head in the sand to believe you should be loved for your mind alone, and not for your body as well. It is as if you feel you could exist without your body”.
So for those of us who, since embarking on a relationship or marriage, have increased in shape and size is there a moral responsibility to our partners to work at regaining the body he or she was attracted to at the beginning? I don’t question this lightly as have seen at first hand the hurt and devastation caused by rejection and hurtful remarks, never mind adultery.
However, within the context of a LOVING relationship I believe the physical attraction and sexual compatibility is too often taken for granted with the assumption that there is no need to work at it. Sex and love are different, the love remains but the physical connection can easily be lost. This often cannot be helped, the appetite has gone, and it is not a conscious decision.
I, like many of you would have been horrified by the idea that there could be conditions attached to a relationship, as we all yearn for unconditional love, warts and all. It has taken a long time, but I now realize that the body is as important as the mind, and none of us has the right to neglect or mistreat it. Think of it this way. How quickly would things go pear shaped if your partner gave up a good job to become an unemployed drunk? Marriage has conditions, once that is accepted, you’ll work harder to make it work.
Weight Management Programme
I recount many clients over the years, who having embarked on our weight management programme are amazed at the improvement in their sex life as a result of taking responsibility for losing weight and regaining leaner bodies. For some, this had never been an issue, for others, embarrassment, fatigue and low self-esteem had resulted in years of zero intimacy with their loved one. Now, the idea of being sexually attractive again is real and vibrant.
Don’t let your preference for food and lack of exercise take one of the best aspects of marriage away. Don’t throw your sex life away for the sake of comfort food. Love and lust can both be enjoyed. Don’t be a victim, you are not helpless. The sooner you take action, the sooner you’ll make progress and the happier you AND your partner will be.