How can I rebuild my self-esteem in the wake of his porn addiction?
July 18, 2015 5:02 AM   Subscribe

My husband appears to prefer porn as his primary sexual partner. I'm not against porn, but I thought part of the agreement couples had was that porn was an appetizer and sex is the main course. It's killing me. I know I need to leave, but I live out of state from my family and friends and don't have anyone where I live with whom I can ask to stay. How do I remember his intimacy problems/porn addiction are about him (per my therapist) and not internalize all this more than I already have until I can cut the cord?

I haven't had PIV sex with my husband in nearly two years. We've been married for five. However, I have never been satisfied with the frequency when we were having sex - the most it's ever been in our dating relationship has been weekly - once we moved in together, it fell off and once we married, the frequency fell off even more.

He won't admit it to me, but I know he doesn't need/want me sexually anymore. He doesn't deny it, either, but he does nothing to make me feel desired beyond telling me I look pretty that day or maybe grabbing my ass or breasts. (The grabass never leads to anything.) I have gone down on him a few times in the past two years; he also refuses to touch me with a finger or tongue. I am female and early on in the relationship he established I smell and taste bad, even though my gynecologist disagreed with his analysis of how I smell.

I don't look at his browser history, but there are other signs he's masturbated around the house some days. When I bring up the masturbation to him, he says that he can't get it up to have sex with me due to his obesity. (We've both gained a lot of weight during our dating/married life.)

We've had a lot of shit come up in the past two years, though. I don't want to get into specifics as people I know read AskMe and I don't want to out myself.

I know I need to take a stand, but I can't leave at this very moment because I have nowhere to go except my parents' home out of state. I am in therapy (he has refused couples' counseling) and my therapist has explained repeatedly that his sexual preferences are not about me.

But what the hell do I do in the meantime? As I've said before, I've gained a lot of weight and look disgusting, so I can't try and get anything on the side. I do masturbate when I feel the urge, but it's so fucking lonely. I want to be sexual with someone else. When I try and diet, I am just reminded of all this and how disgusting I am and how shitty he is and all it does is make me want to eat again. Talking to him doesn't help. I've looked at the deadbedrooms community on Reddit, but there are no new relationship breakthroughs there.

I'm just done, but I have to build up emotional defenses to get me through the day, you know? Thank you for your help.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (31 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
You've already ruled out (in your head, and in this post) 1. Leaving him, 2. masterbation, 3. Sex with someone else, 4. Weight loss for better self esteem, 5. Talking to him, and consider those non-solutions...

I'm sure that folks here will have some suggestions, but I just stopped by to encourage you to consider the fact that at least a couple of the solutions you've said no too might solve the problem. Back in the day of Transactional analysis we called this "Yes, but....". It's hard to resolve anything when you're in that mode...

Also, the part of this saga that's missing is: are there any good parts in your relationship, are there pieces that are worth saving???
posted by HuronBob at 5:11 AM on July 18, 2015 [17 favorites]


It may help to plan, depending on your temperament. Lay out how you're going to get out, establish (sorry for the horrible phrase) interim goals and long-term ones.

Prioritize yourself. Go to the gym not because you're disgusting but because you are caring for yourself.

Save some money.

When the shit hits the fan you and he will be extremely emotional and having a plan means having made decisions ahead of time so that your high emotional state doesn't interfere with what needs to be done. Planning can also help you to feel more in control and that may also help in general.

Good luck. Please get out. Trust me. There is so much better out in the world.
posted by Medieval Maven at 5:28 AM on July 18, 2015 [24 favorites]


I have been exactly there and I know exactly how soul killing it is. You can MeMail me if you need someone to correspond with.

It's great that you're in therapy. Keep going.

It sounds like you don't have kids--and I know it may seem perverse to say this since you guys aren't having sex, but things happen--but whatever you do, do not have a child with this man.

Out of the many, many, many books I've read to help me get out of a similar situation, the best I've found are by Steven Stosny. I think his title Living and Loving After Betrayal could really help you. Really good, practical, grounded ways to build up your internal understanding that His Shit Is His Shit And Not A Reflection On You; really good ways to rebuild your sense that you're capable of moving past this. Because you are and you can.

One day at a time, sister. Focus on loving yourself first--take care of your body with healthy food and exercise out of loving kindness. Think every day about something you love about your body--something that looks good, something that feels good, gratitude that it works! Make a space in your house that is clean and lovely and beautiful, with maybe some pictures or little totems of what you want your life to embody--a little altar, even a little subtle one, just a place to focus your attention, a little seed that can germinate into the way you want your life to be. Make it, tend it, keep it fresh, add to it, let it inspire you.

Life is a long game. You're not where you want to be right now, but you can get there. One step at a time. You can do it.
posted by Sublimity at 5:40 AM on July 18, 2015 [21 favorites]


Ask your parents if they can help you get a place. I'm really sorry that this is happening to you.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 5:46 AM on July 18, 2015 [5 favorites]


I am female and early on in the relationship he established I smell and taste bad, even though my gynecologist disagreed with his analysis of how I smell.

Maybe look at it as, you are not sexually compatible and-- for whatever reason-- neither of you saw that is the big red flag that it is. He doesn't respond to your smell/taste/pheromones the way you should to a sexual partner. Your sexual relationship was pretty much bound to fail for that reason, and there is no reason to blame yourself or let it do a number on your head as far as your worth as a sexual being. People might say you should never have married, being aware of this issue, but people do it all the time. You both just need to find someone you are compatible with.
posted by BibiRose at 5:56 AM on July 18, 2015 [6 favorites]


I was once trapped in a loveless sexless marriage, too. I also had gained a lot of weight during my marriage and thought I was doomed to wander the earth alone once I separated. But actually, once I made the decision to separate from my husband and SAID THAT OUT LOUD, I started to feel so much better and happier and clearer that overeating as a coping mechanism no longer seemed so necessary. So there's one piece of anecdata for you, and maybe a reason to go ahead and have the breaking up conversation even if you can't move out just yet because of logistics.

Also being overweight does not mean you can't find a sex partner. Women are socialized to believe this but it's simply untrue. So stop telling yourself that lie.

Your marriage with this man has traumatized you, and it will take time to recover from that. Try to make a habit of treating yourself lovingly, as others have already suggested. You are deserving of a partner who loves you and wants to have sex with you. Your husband's problems are no reflection on you. I hope you're able to transform this pain into a new life for yourself. I am sad I wasted so much of my life in my first unhappy marriage because life is seriously short. Don't be like me.
posted by little mouth at 6:40 AM on July 18, 2015 [24 favorites]


You need to start planning how you're going to get out. No, it will not happen today, but depending on your financial circumstances, it could happen as early as August 1st or within a few months.

Do you have an income of your own? (I'm going to assume you do because if you didn't have a job there'd be no reason why you couldn't go to your out-of-state parents' home.) If you do have your own income, you can rent a place of your own to live in. It doesn't have to be any place very grand, and it needn't be permanent either. Look on Craig's List for a bachelor apartment that you can live in for the time being. Save money for the first and last month's rent that a landlord will expect, with some extra for the expenses of moving and buying whatever new things you'll need. You can either rent a furnished place or figure out what furnishings you can take with you and what you'll need to buy. You can take a fair half of whatever the two of you have. If there are two beds in your home, take the one from the guest room. Book a mover if you need to. Also see a divorce attorney and find out what you'll be entitled to and what your financial circumstances/obligations will be.

I know all this might seem overwhelming, but people do it every day and you can too. It sounds to me like you're emotionally worn down because of the way your husband has treated you, and you feel helpless and immobilized. You need to start building yourself back up and believing in your own competence and worth so that you can start writing a new chapter in your life. Start dreaming about all the things you want to do once you're free of your husband. Write a description of your ideal life. Then make a list of the practical, immediate things that need to be done and try to do at least one item every day, even if that one item is only "call a divorce attorney and make an appointment". While you're working on your exit plan, keep seeing your therapist and go to the gym, or just take a brisk walk every day, and try to call or spend time with your parents or friends who will be supportive. Avoid spending time with your husband. At this point, he's basically an unpleasant roommate whom you're looking forward to leaving behind.

You can do this. You're a worthwhile, lovable person who deserves better from life, and you're going to get to that better place step by step.
posted by orange swan at 6:59 AM on July 18, 2015 [13 favorites]


I worked with a woman, Jennifer McFarlane, a counsellor in Walsall, England who created a program with her brother which is a therapy guided fitness class. Participants are assigned a therapist who assists people to grow their physical and emotional confidence. The therapist does not always get involved with actual exercise (done with a trainer) but there is a session with him/her before and after the training. Suggest this to your husband and your therapist. I am sure Jennifer is on LinkedIn, she could provide anecdotes about results.
posted by parmanparman at 7:23 AM on July 18, 2015 [2 favorites]


It sounds like you're working from the assumption that your self-esteem and feelings about your body should be predicated on your desirability as a sexual object for someone else (or for yourself).

Granted, that's completely understandable, given the culture we live in, but also seems like an unhealthy, soul-destroying thought-pattern to get into in your case. Also really irrational (think about it: "I hate my body because this person doesn't want to stick his penis into it"...?). Your body, which perfect or imperfect is still fending off countless would-be invaders, walking, running, lifting, sensing, processing, creating and destroying, your little island of beautifully organized, delicately balanced, impossibly complex material substance that belongs to you alone in this whole universe, and you think it's disgusting, based on... whether somebody else wants to rub up against it?

There's lots of great advice upthread about dealing with the marital-relationship aspects of this, but w/r/t the body/self-esteem issues, could you maybe try finding ways to value your body that have nothing to do with your appearance or sexuality at all? Find a competency it has, nurture and appreciate that competency. Try to make it healthier, sleeker and stronger. If you had a dog you were responsible for, you wouldn't overfeed it tons of junk food, then call it "disgusting," then obsessively track whether other animals wanted to hump it. Surely you can try to give your own body at least as much respect and nurture as you would the body of an animal entrusted to your care. And the more you like and enjoy your body in itself, the easier it's going to be to see the entire irrelevancy of whatever fucked-up sexual thing your husband's got going on.
posted by Bardolph at 7:36 AM on July 18, 2015 [25 favorites]


lots of fat people have satisfying sex lives. you don't have to lose weight. eating healthier and exercising in a self-loving way doesn't have to be your priority right now either if that is overwhelming. one thing i find helpful personally is following fat acceptance tumblrs for images of fat people who are happy and not ashamed of how they look. here are some http://fuckyeahfatpositive.tumblr.com/otherblogs
posted by katieanne at 7:37 AM on July 18, 2015 [9 favorites]


Get that word "disgusting" out of your mind. You do not smell, taste, look, feel, or sound disgusting. No part of you is disgusting, nothing you do is disgusting. If a piece of ground is disgusting and you walk across it, the ground becomes undisgusting at the pressure of your smallest toe. If some air is disgusting and you exhale into it, the disgustingness of that air is measurably decreased. You are the opposite of disgusting. By being in the world, you reduce the quotient of disgusting in the world.

You must forget that word. Forget it first of all because "disgusting" is a meaningless value judgement with no place in contemporary discourse and it needs to die howling in a thermonuclear blast. Next forget it because your husband is already saying it. The job of saying it has been completely done already by him and then re-done, multiple times. No need for you to repeat chores your husband has already taken care of. Cross it off your list.

Do this instead: read stuff about health, like stuff about not sitting for long periods to avoid deep vein thrombosis, eating a lot of phytochemicals and fiber and vitamins and all suchlike in order to make your sleep better and your lungs deeper and your bones stronger and your days brighter. Immerse yourself in that stuff. NOT Dove soap bullshit about how every woman who doesn't think she's physically beautiful is fucked up and needs to "work on herself" by buying more pricey health-'n'-beauty-aide ooze and diet books and pricey zumba-blah-blah-blah. Just read the emerging-science of health stuff. The BBC has a thing and NYTimes has a column. Consumer Reports likes to spout about health--there's reams of this stuff all around. Don't try to think your way through this, in other words. Find stuff by smart people who are thinking about it and just see what they say.

Cut nothing out of your diet that you like but add some deliberately healthy stuff in. Only stuff you like. I like to eat me some pineapple, for instance. If you take fresh pineapple and freeze chunks of it and then grind it up in the blender with whipping cream and Goslings? You will have the most insanely good-tasting drink you ever put in your mouth and it will fill you up and make you feel like Trump it's so rich and luscious, but it's full of fiber and potassium and what all. Then after a while you can quit blowing all your cash on cream and Goslings and just eat some fresh pineapple every day--with mint it's awesome and with cinnamon it's awesome. Get into food--easy food that you like that's got a vitamin in it.

Next find free ways to move more that are fun. Walk in the sun for the vitamin D. Pour all your effort into your physical body. Your body wants to move. It wants to pick you up out of this ditch where you are and move you up where you can feel the sun and the wind. Don't try to think your way out; turn it over to your body and walk out. Run out. Climb out. Swim out. Your body is good and strong and it knows best what you need. It loves you; you start loving it back. You'll get out. Start with that pineapple thing--or any yumble tropical fruit'll do. omg you cannot beat it. Much much props to you, and thanks for this question: it was exactly the question I needed to see today.
posted by Don Pepino at 7:37 AM on July 18, 2015 [41 favorites]


Actually taking concrete steps to leave may make him change his ways, and if it doesn't then anyway you'll be on your way out of the marriage. So taking steps to leave is the key thing you have to do now. Everything else will follow.

As for what you believe you look like, that's never as simple as we think, and personally I'd leave struggling with that for a later day. Get yourself untangled from your spouse first.
posted by aestival at 7:44 AM on July 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


Check if he's sabotaging your diet - mine was which was part of a pattern. Throw yourself into cooking delicious food for yourself, gourmet meals for one because food is sensual and physical and is a way to tell your body that you love this body and care for this body, when your partner is rejecting the body. Buy awesome scented moisturiser to slather your body with every day after a shower. Get scented candles for the bathroom and enjoy your time bathing - it doesn't have to be sexy time, just enjoy it. Go for walks or garden - do stuff that reminds you that your body can do strong and capable things too.

And it helps to refuse to be naked in front of him. Like no open bathroom doors, refuse to share a bed - buy a single bed if you have to, or sleep on the couch. Get your own physical space and boundaries back. Don't be surprised if he pushes back hugely and calls you selfish or uptight or prudish. Just go ahead and hold onto a sense of modesty around him. If he won't share his body and intimate emotions with you, then don't expose yourself to him.

I wouldn't go for a hook-up just yet, although seriously, weight isn't an issue for hook-ups, it's about confidence and desire. Feel awesome about yourself first and in this case that's going to be leaving your partner before you feel confident and secure, not anything to do with numbers on a scale.
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 8:34 AM on July 18, 2015 [10 favorites]


On the subject of self love and being kind to yourself. If you're not used to sex toys that might be something to look up and try out. You might be surprised. Giving yourself a really good orgasm might do wonders for your low mood. You may find your attitude to your husband changes from 'He doesn't like me because I'm undesirable' to 'Damn that fool, if only he knew what he was missing.' At any rate getting to know your body and your responses better, appreciating them and having confidence in them, is like credit you're laying up for the new relationships you're going to have.

Exercise is important because your body needs it and loves it. An exercise that suits you really lifts your mood but you have to try a few things to find what you like. Swimming is gentle on the joints and a good place to start.

If you might move to be nearer your family, can you research local jobs online, to get a feel for the job market there? Start saving as posters have said already.

Eating for comfort is a really basic, accessible way to self-soothe and I think it's a pity it's demonised so much. But if you have nothing else pleasant going on in your life that's a sign you're being deprived in some areas and it's really important to look for other ways to nourish and support your own happiness.
posted by glasseyes at 8:58 AM on July 18, 2015 [2 favorites]


I can't leave at this very moment because I have nowhere to go
Right now, there is someone in your vicinity looking for a roommate. Getting away from the husband who has mentally and physically checked out of your marriage will do miracles for your self-esteem.
posted by sageleaf at 10:30 AM on July 18, 2015 [6 favorites]


I am female and early on in the relationship he established I smell and taste bad

What, no. He told you this? And this is your partner?

I agree with sageleaf above - find a roommate, get out, and start living a life where your husband, the one who you forsook all others to be with, doesn't put down your perfectly normal and I am sure beautiful body.
posted by chainsofreedom at 10:42 AM on July 18, 2015 [3 favorites]


I am female and early on in the relationship he established I smell and taste bad, even though my gynecologist disagreed with his analysis of how I smell.

this is so cruel and in my experience is a thing that selfish guys say to cover up their own issues with women. if there were a medical issue, then of course your partner should let you know but if there's not and he thinks that? that's 100% his hang up. do not let that influence how you feel about your own body. the solution is to not be with him anymore. start putting aside money, start looking for roommate situations, start protecting yourself. this guy isn't going to become a good partner for you. i'm so sorry he's been so damaging to your self esteem. you don't have to live like this.
posted by nadawi at 11:08 AM on July 18, 2015 [17 favorites]


I think that cheating will make you feel worse and even lonelier unless you have moved out of the house or at least have a concrete plan to do so. When you are with someone else you may feel like "my husband should be the one making me feel sexy, not [random person]."

I think you should leave; if he really thinks you are disgusting (assuming you are bathing regularly, then this internet stranger can assure you that this NOT TRUE), it's not something he can be talked out of. It's an irrational belief and you can't reason with it.

Your weight is not a thing that will keep you from a happy, sex-filled relationship. I am thin but I know lots of self-identified fat people in happy partnerships. Take care of your body for you, not for anyone else.

I think you should tell a trusted family member what is going on - you can be as vague as you need to - and ask for help with a security deposit/first month's rent somewhere. Divorce will suck, financially and emotionally, but being on your own is SO MUCH BETTER than being with someone who finds you "disgusting."
posted by desjardins at 11:10 AM on July 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


He is a fuckhead. Like, wow. You are not disgusting, and you don't smell or taste bad. When you recall him telling you this, ask yourself WHY he would have married someone he thought had a stinky vagina. He is being an asshole to you to keep from admitting - even to himself - that HE has a problem with (1) either getting it up or (2) from interacting with a human being with a shred of compassion and decency.

I can't leave at this very moment because I have nowhere to go except my parents' home out of state.

Then unless you have a career you absolutely love and cannot replace and / or a kid, then leave him and go to your parents' out of state. You have got to put yourself first and take all the steps possible to get yourself out of this muck you've been sucked into.

My marriage had lots of sex problems. Part were mine, but part were definitely his. He never offered me anything except a boob honk or an ass grab and thought that should make me feel "wanted," but that had the entirely opposite effect. He also degenerated into terribly poor hygiene (which was my fault of course, because why bother to shower if I wouldn't sex?) and that made it even less likely to happen.

The long and the short of it is that we divorced and, when I think of him at all, it's usually to be grateful that I never have to deal with that bullshit again. Sex is a hard thing to think about and talk about, and you have a long way to go towards reclaiming your identity and self-esteem from this fool before you should put yourself out (while you're this hard on yourself, you're very vulnerable to getting sucked in by the next fuckhead who will abuse you and mistreat you).

Ask your parents for help if you don't feel you can physically relocate right now. I made the mistake of listening to my ex's attempts to alienate me from my family, so when the bombs finally dropped I felt I had no where to turn because I believed that they hated me and it was all my fault. Don't make that mistake - you have people who do love you and don't think you're disgusting who will do what it takes to get you back into your own.
posted by mibo at 11:44 AM on July 18, 2015 [7 favorites]


I am female and early on in the relationship he established I smell and taste bad, even though my gynecologist disagreed with his analysis of how I smell.

To use the oft-used Metafilter terms, this is nope and I just don't even. How can anybody say that to a person whom they allegedly care about? He is demolishing your self-esteem. You deserve better. He deserves none of your companionship and time and energy. Leave him as soon as you possibly can. You can do this.

On preview, what Mibo just said.
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 11:48 AM on July 18, 2015 [5 favorites]


Do you talk to your therapist about your beliefs that you are disgusting because of your weight, smell, and taste? I'd start there. You will be much more able to make healthy choices for yourself once you confront those false beliefs. Your husband planted the seed for self-loathing when he told you that you smell and taste bad, but you've kept it alive--I don't mean that in a judgmental way, but rather to say you have the power to nurture your self-loathing or to break it down. He doesn't control your self-loathing, and he doesn't get to force you to keep it. Likewise, you've been socialized to think that being overweight makes you disgusting, but society can't force you to keep that self-loathing, either. It's hard to break down self-loathing, but it's not impossible and you don't need anyone's permission to get started.
posted by Meg_Murry at 12:30 PM on July 18, 2015 [4 favorites]


Please call your local women's shelter and ask them to help you determine if you might qualify for legal assistance or even to go to their legal clinic. Their support worker might also be able to help you. It sounds to me like you might be in an abusive relationship and thus eligible for supports. A lawyer, perhaps through the clinic, might be able to help you determine if you are going to qualify for spousal support, given sacrifices you may have made for the marriage. You may also qualify for a portion of pension, home equity, etc. This might give you more options than you think. If you think there is a chance abuse may escalate, the shelter may be able to offer you space in a safe house, while you get things together.
posted by Chaussette and the Pussy Cats at 12:31 PM on July 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


I think you should go to your parents' home out of state. This guy and this relationship sound horrible and they are dragging you down.

I was in a similar situation a while back and stuck around hoping my partner would "recover" from his addiction. In he decided in the end that he would much rather get rid of me than his porn addiction (and various other unpleasant behaviours that aren't relevant to this post) and gave me the boot. I was absolutely heartbroken but strangely enough I went from being 25 kilos overweight to running half marathons and wearing a size 10(uk). It took a while but I have started to enjoy sex and not see porn as competition any more. Strangely it is so much easier to look after yourself when you don't have some screwed up wally grinding you into the ground. You won't realise how much you needed to get out at all costs until you do.
posted by intensitymultiply at 12:45 PM on July 18, 2015 [3 favorites]


He thinks the smell and taste of a real woman is disgusting and prefers the company of images of people who are paid to play pretend, how sad for him. And he is not interested in changing. So, it's time for you to do you.

I have a feeling that if you make getting away from him your top priority-- hell, even subletting a place for a few weeks-couple months or going on an extended visit to out-of-town relatives--suddenly all your other obstacles won't feel so insurmountable.

One of the hardest most valuable lessons I have learned in my life is not to make my happiness contingent upon my weight. And wouldn't you know it, once I got myself into a situation that was not draining my soul, my physical health rapidly improved.
posted by kapers at 12:49 PM on July 18, 2015 [4 favorites]


If getting out of your shared place is truly impossible or overwhelming at the moment, I think it might also help to reclaim some of your shared space as just yours, even if it means sleeping on the sofa or something.

And finding your "you" spot that you can retreat to will help-- gyms are good for this but I completely understand if you don't want to do that--like a coffee shop, diner, library, or park that you go to to plan your future and think your thoughts.
posted by kapers at 12:54 PM on July 18, 2015 [2 favorites]


I am female and early on in the relationship he established I smell and taste bad, even though my gynecologist disagreed with his analysis of how I smell.

I realize people are jackhammering on this line, but it's because it's absolutely terrible. This is a level of contempt, distancing, and disgust that is 100% incompatible with a healthy adult relationship.

This is completely his problem, and is generally evidence that he just doesn't respect you and is incompatible with you.

I realize other people have said essentially this above, but i really think it deserves a pile on. There are plenty of people out there who wouldn't be able to get enough of your smell and taste, and everything else about you.

You're essentially being kept at arms length by someone who doesn't actually like you but watns to keep you in that squished-down place. Fuckity FUCK that.
posted by emptythought at 1:13 PM on July 18, 2015 [18 favorites]


I don't see any evidence of a porn addiction here? Its possible to masturbate without porn and just because he doesn't want to have sex with you doesn't mean he's addicted to porn or masturbation.

Obesity can have a great effect, not just on his libido but also his ability to perform. He may simply be too unfit for PIV sex. I've been with a partner that got to a point where he was so unfit that he couldn't make it through, which was embarrassing for him and frustrating for me. So we pretty much just stopped having sex. Depression can also be an issue, and could be caused by or a partial cause of the weight gain. The masturbation is actually a good sign in a way - it means he still has a libido and "some days" doesn't say addiction to me.

I'm not trying to excuse him, he sounds like a selfish, inconsiderate lover. But I think you might find that his issues in the bedroom are more to do with disgust at himself than at you.

In the meantime, may I suggest taking up a team sport? If there is a team near you, I highly recommend roller derby. Its great exercise (my fitbit tells me a 2 hour session burns around 1200 calories for me - very obese 32 year old), most leagues are very inclusive and there are roles for all body types - we have skaters from 5ft to 6ft 4 and about 100lbs to 350lbs.

We did a survey of our league last year and body confidence increased 76% over pre-derby body confidence. While I haven't really lost any weight since I started 18 months ago (I blame the bake sales and post-bout day pizza!), I am so much more comfortable with my body - when you're >300lbs and have to wear skin tight sports-wear you either get confident quick or quit. I fell in love with it after my first session.

I know that doesn't help with the sex issue in the short term and if your partner isn't willing to work on himself, nothing will change with him but finding a sport you love with people who accept you will do wonders for your self-esteem, you may lose weight, you may not but hopefully you're realise that you are desirable and you can find a new partner, even if you're obese.
posted by missmagenta at 2:00 PM on July 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


Mod note: One comment deleted. Question isn't about helping the husband, it's about OP helping herself. Let's keep it constructive and not descend into debate-provoking theories about Women, Sex, Marriage generally.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 4:10 PM on July 18, 2015 [7 favorites]


I don't think this is your fault or that you're blaming him unnecessarily for issues you have. You're up to changing, improving, making things better---you can't do that shackled to this awful guy.

Breaking up and leaving a bad partner can open life up, and has, for many, many women. It will shock you later on why you were ever with a bad partner, and you wake up relieved and clean of the bad energy and criticism they brought into or induced into your life and sense of self.

It's not easy to leave. It's not a big rainbow unicorn picnic party. It's hard and it's difficult and it's necessary because you have to protect yourself and your dignity above all else to be happy.
posted by discopolo at 4:11 PM on July 18, 2015 [2 favorites]


This book may help _Beyond Addiction: How Science and Kindness Help People Change_
Addiction is required; it is just about practical techniques for making changes.
posted by egk at 6:13 AM on July 19, 2015


Call a local domestic violence group. You may not be subject to physical violence right now (and I hope you never will be), but they are experts at helping people find the resources and the personal strength to leave difficult situations, even -- especially -- when it seems like you have no choice.

You have so many of us pulling for you. No matter where you are, you have support.

P.S. I am both the survivor of a sexless marriage and a fat chick who isn't particularly fancy but has gotten love, sex and affection anyway. Because I am human and I deserve to be treated with respect and kindness, just like you. Trust me: even though it will be hard at times, there are wonderful, life-giving experiences and people waiting for you. Please don't hesitate to get in touch if I can be of service to you.
posted by St. Hubbins at 10:24 PM on July 19, 2015 [2 favorites]


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