In an ideal world, working toward your weight loss goals will have a positive effect on everyone around you. Your spouse will be encouraged to live a healthier lifestyle. Your friends and family will be inspired, and will set out on their own weight loss journeys. Reality, however, very rarely matches up with what the ideal world ought to be. Weight loss can cause friction not only with acquaitences, co-workers and friends, but even with your partner.
Here are some warning signs that your weight loss may be harming your relationship (and how to handle it):
- You start thinking negatively about your partner’s weight. Before we get into the negative reactions your partner might have, let’s start with you. It’s common for someone who is being successful in their weight loss program to want others around them to experience the same success. However, in some cases, that will turn into negative feelings about your partner because they’re not losing weight. Remember that your partner is human, too, and that if he’s not ready to lose weight it’s OK. Remember that your relationship isn’t based on whether or not one or both of you loses weight.
- You resent your partner’s habits. Another possible problem you might face is feeling resentment toward your partner. Perhaps you’re a bit jealous that she can eat chocolate cake every night, or you wish you didn’t have to order the salad when she orders steak. Here again, you need to remember that you’re working at achieving a goal, and that this is about your sacrifices, not your partner’s indulgences.
- Your partner sabotages you. Sometimes, the sabotage is innocent. Your husband might offer you a piece of pie for dessert, and insist that you can “work it off tomorrow.” Sometimes, however, that sabotage becomes almost passive-aggressive. Maybe your wife won’t quit buying Twinkies at the store, or she’ll buy whole milk instead of skim. If you see these kinds of behaviors, talk with your partner and try to come to some sort of understanding.
- Your partner makes negative comments about how your body is changing. Believe it or not, it happens. In many cases, this simply comes from fear. He’s afraid that you won’t look like you always have, or that you’ll lose so much weight that you’ll no longer want to be with him. Here again, communication is key. In many cases, this might even be a good opportunity to try to bring your partner along with you on your weight loss journey.