Dear Ms. Vicki,
My husband bashed me for many years because I couldn't lose the baby fat.
I wasn't allowed to have fun at family events that involved food because he would monitor with disgust what I ate. He made sure I felt unattractive and ashamed because I was 5'6" and 230 pounds.
He would even withhold sex or any intimacy with me because I was too fat and, according to him, I wasn't attractive.
I had gastric bypass surgery and lost more than 80 pounds despite painful complications. Now, my husband has dumped me for another overweight woman!
I don't know why I'm so upset and crying my eyes out every night, begging him to come back. I have asked him to go to marriage counseling with me. He refuses.
Where do I go from here? Should I walk out on my marriage or can it be saved? Please help!
-- Fat to Thin
Dear Fat to Thin,
Maybe our marriage vows should read, "For better or for worse. For richer or poorer. For fatter and thinner."
I am so sorry that your surgery has been a very stressful event for you and very hurtful too. Your husband has been very emotionally abusive and callous toward you. Moreover, he has shown little support for what you have been going through. You put your life at risk to try and save your marriage.
I think your husband had left your marriage a long time ago. He was already checked out. That is why he could torment you about your weight.
Now that you have had the surgery and lost the weight, you emerged much stronger. Guess what? Your husband doesn't want a strong woman. He wants someone who will let him rule over her and make her miserable.
I'm not saying that overweight people allow others to use and abuse them, because that's not the case. Your husband has moved on to another victim and, to be honest, you should probably be glad he's gone.
What would happen if he returns? Would you relent and allow him to ruin your self-esteem about another issue? Suppose he becomes more abusive, what then?
The bottom line is that you can do much better. You deserve much better.
Don't misunderstand me: I don't think you should rush into a divorce or into the arms of another man. Instead, I would highly recommend you get therapy.
You have gone through drastic changes emotionally, physically and personally. You should process all of this with a good therapist. It doesn't sound like you are in a healthy place yet, and I certainly don't want you to put the weight back on either.
Check on base for the availability of counseling services. If none are available, then contact Military OneSource and they will connect you with a therapist in your local community. The services are free.
Please keep in touch with me and let me know how you are doing.
-- Ms. Vicki