...I will tell you "my story." I have been married for almost four years. When hubby and I were dating, I lived at home with Mom, I was 23-25 years old. I had a full time job as a chef and I had a free gym membership. I used the membership 1 to 5 times per week, doing cardio and weights. I Weighed 135-140 lbs at 5'4 1/2" tall. At the time of our engagement, right after the New Year 2005, I weighed 148 lbs. I went down to 130 lbs in June2005. Then I moved out of my Mom's home and into our marital home. I did not have money for a gym membership in the new town (three hours away from my Mom's place). My responsibilities totally changed when I moved in with my Husband. His culinary tastes were (and are) completely different from mine. I ate a lot of vegetables, and enjoyed salads, and put extra vegetables in everything (sauces, pasta, etc). My hubby is a meat and potatoes kind of guy. His idea of vegetables are corn, peas, and maybe carrots. Since I wanted to be the perfect wife, I wanted to cook things he enjoys. So, his menu was in, mine was out. I was pretty stressed out about the wedding, and I wasn't exercising, so my hubby took me for an ice cream as a treat and to get my mind off the stress. That became a nightly habit for about a month. My weight crept up to 140 lbs at the time of the wedding (aug 2005). Hubby like to eat chocolate bars. He was nice and always split them with me. I kept eating vegetables and healthy stuff, but more and more, my eating fell in line with the unhealthy stuff he was eating. In marriage, there is really no compromise (at least not in mine); the person with the strongest will gets their way. As this was going on, he seemed to get bored of me. I am inferring here, but it was as though he had bagged his trophy, and now there was no 'thrill of the hunt' any more. The sex dropped off. That bothered me. After work, he would sit in front of the tv all night. He didn't want to be bothered. That bothered me. He criticized my cooking. Since I am a chef, that bothered me.
I didn't say anything though. I wanted to be the perfect wife. After growing up with a severely alcoholic father who abandoned Mom and I when I was eleven, in that kind of chaos and insecurity, all I wanted was to be normal. That was why I got married to my hubby. He is as steady as a rock. He has parents that are still together. Normal. Just what I wanted. So I didn't say anything, I just tried harder to do what he wanted so he wouldn't complain. I figured I needed to learn his preferences as his new wife. That's what usually happens with newlyweds, right? It was never enough though. There was always (is still always) something to nitpick. Then I got laid off from a job I really liked that allowed me to be home to get supper ready and shower and get dressed before hubby got home. That bothered me. I had to take a job that paid more, but the hours were such that I would only see hubby on three days of the week (this was january 2006). I didn't want to take the job, but we really needed the money to cover his truck payment, that, coincidentally was twice the amount of the mortgage. Nevertheless, I took the job as it was the only one that would earn enough to cover our costs. It was very stressful. The restaurant's kitchen (which I was in charge of) was in disrepair. It was the middle of the 'oil boom' in my province, hence workers for the kitchen were nearly impossible to find. The ones we did hire we incompetent. So, I had to pick up all that slack. That was very difficult and stressful. Added on top of that, I was still doing all the housework and cooking at home (still trying to be the perfect wife). Superstar chef and perfect wife. Impossible. The longer I stayed in that job, the more depressed I got. I have always struggled with depression, but the combination of new town, new home, new roles to play, and heavy responsibilities drained me and used me up. I really fell into a deep depression. I tried to talk to hubby about it. But like most guys, he tried to 'fix' the situation, by telling me he would 'go in there and fire those incompetent people himself,' or 'i'm going to go down there and tell your boss to pull her head out of her ass.' Heart in the right place, but not helpful whatsoever. I was alone in the situation. New town + crazy job = no time to make friends/develop support system. I started eating a lot. I think it was out of frustration, sadness, loneliness, anger. I would eat at work. I would eat at home, but only when I was alone. I hated people seeing me eat. Hubby and I didn't eat together anymore. I still worked out a bit, but it was hit and miss, not consistent. At that time, I also developed this habit if picking at my hair. It progressed to the point that whenever I was sitting still, I would pull out my hair, strand by strand. It got so bad, I had pulled out 1/3 of my hair. Almost the entire left side of my head was bald. I was out of control. I took up smoking to keep my hands busy and hopefully blunt my desire to eat. Smoking didn't help. the hair-pulling and smoking were always done in secret. I could never let hubby find out. I eventually cut my hair really short, so that it would all be an even length. That finally put an end to the hair-pulling. Guilt about keeping a secret compelled me to confess my smoking habit to hubby, and I managed to quit. But then the eating gained momentum. I was now up to 176 lbs (spring 2007) Things between hubby and I were terrible by that point. His constant nitpicking-and-ignoring routine had worn away my defenses and we fought regularly. I was distraught. I cried everyday. I could no longer carry on in the job, and I decided that a new career was in order, something that paid better and had better hours. I also knew that I couldn't stand living with my hubby anymore, but we couldn't divorce (because that would make me even more of a failure). I decided to go to school and learn a new career. This would give us some breathing room, and maybe the break would get me back in control of my emotions and eating. AT this point I was 186 lbs (january 2008). I went to school, but my eating patterns worsened. The distance from hubby made me sad and anxious because I wasn't 'pulling my weight' at home financially. That summer when I got home I was 200 lbs. We didn't have sex the entire summer. That crushed me. I should mention that over the course of all of this, I was continually rebuffed by hubby when I tried to initiate intimacy. Since 2006, we have had sex at most once per month. The longest stretch was 5 months without. I asked why the sex dried up. He said it had nothing to do with me. Maybe he was depressed, so he went and got antidepressants form the doc. That didn't help. It was time to start my degree in science, so I left back for school. My weight stayed the same. In january 2009. after so many attempts to figure out what was the impediment to our sex life ("affair? sick of me? too fat? What is it, please talk to me honey. We can't fix it unless we know what the problem is") he finally spilled the beans that it was because he was not attracted to me at that weight. So after 2-3 years of being unattracted to me, he finally decided to tell me what the problem was. He was afraid I would be hurt. He was right. I was devastated. I thought he loved me for who I was. Naively, I thought his attraction to me went beyond the physical. I was very wrong. I also should mention that all through this time, I was trying to eat better. I don't know why it is, but I can start the day healthy, eating good food in reasonable portions, but after work , I have an overwhelming need to EAT. Especially sweets and super buttery cheese sandwiches. It sounds, no, it IS selfish and stupid to put food above my health, above my hubby's needs. I get that. I got that when he told me why his attraction for me ended. Why can't I get a hold of myself when so much is at stake? I am angry at him that he was never an emotional support for me when I had no one else to turn to. I am angry that I am a fat unattractive woman at only 29 years old. I am embarrassed at my appearance, ashamed to leave the house. Angry that I have little influence over the decisions in our marriage regarding where to live, what we eat, how the household is run, how the money is spent, how our spare time is spent. I don't know where to go from here. We recently started marriage counseling, but stopped because we found out his mom has ALS/Lou Gehrig's disease. I have tried to be as supprtive as possible, making sure the house is as perfect as can be, being as pleasant as ever, just doing anything and everything I can think of to help him get through this awful time. Also, I am not going back to school. I need to be here to help take care of his mom, and be a support to him. Anyway. That is the scoop on my situation. I probably left some out, simply out of forgetfulness. If there is interest/questions, I will fill in any blanks.