Ask Scary Mommy is Scary Mommy’s advice column, where our team of “experts” answers all the questions you have about life, love, body image, friends, parenting, and anything else that’s confusing you.
This week… What do you do when your husband has put on a few pounds and your physical attraction to him feels lukewarm? Have your own questions? Email [email protected]
Dear Scary Mommy,
My husband is chubby. He hasn’t always been chubby, but he’s gained weight and stopped working out during quarantine and he has a big, round belly now. I’d be lying if I said it didn’t bother me. I know this is a delicate subject, and I don’t know if there’s a way to even bring it up without making him upset, but I am not physically attracted to him like I used to be. I love him still, but I would want to have sex more if he was thinner again. Is this something I should bring up with him? Or just let it go and hope I get over it (or he loses weight after life goes back to normal)?
Oh. Ouch. Yikes. This is…well, this is pretty fatphobic TBH, and it’s a bummer to read.
Imagine a man writing this about his wife—he would rightly be chewed up and spit out. We can all agree that if a man can’t roll with the changes in his wife’s body, it’s cool to threaten to throw away the whole husband. We are collectively no longer here for unrealistic body expectations for us ladies.
There are very few times when I will take this stance, but in this particular case, what’s good for the gander is, in fact, also good for the goose.
Your man is allowed to be chubby, girl. You have to get right on over it.
On the one hand, I do understand that it can take a little adjusting when your spouse’s look changes. My husband once shaved his head without warning me. He came out the bathroom looking like Mr. Clean, and I was unprepared. It took me a few days to get used to his new, shiny head when he came around the corner. It didn’t quite look like him to me yet.
But on the other hand, what you’re saying is that your husband gained some weight because he has wisely been avoiding the gym during a deadly pandemic…and now you don’t want to bang him.
Which is a little different than my aforementioned haircut adjustment period.
Could you bring this up? Sure. You could. He’s your husband. If you want to make an issue of his body to his face, and risk making him feel like shit, go on and do that, I guess. There’s no law against it.
I just think the man you chose to spend your life with deserves more respect and kindness than that. Your husband is your partner, not your property. He doesn’t owe you a thin body during a pandemic or any other time.
Your husband is not the only person who has put on some weight this year. Plenty of us have gained a few pounds since COVID hit. This is stressful AF. As Kourtney Kardashian once wisely reminded us, “There’s people that are dying, Kim.” I think maybe if a perfectly healthy dude has gotten a little round in the middle, that might not be an actual problem right now.
A lot of us will see some weight leave our bodies when we are free to resume our usual activities. It is normal and totally fine for a person’s weight to fluctuate in response to a drastic change in circumstances.
I would venture a guess that when our world is no longer a viral hellscape, and his life feels normal again, your husband’s body will go back to its typical shape. You said he isn’t usually chubby. If he resumes his previous gym routine, his body will likely reflect that.
If you absolutely have to address it, for the love of God, wait until the pandemic is settled down and he can even safely go the gym. It’s not worth risking a deadly virus just to trim a few inches off his waistline.
Ultimately, you need to consider that his round belly might be here to stay. If you love him, it’s your job to make peace with his body—not his job to shrink to make you happy.