Husband claims wife’s ‘too fat’ for sex
Welcome to Relationship Rehab, news.com.au's weekly column solving all your romantic problems, no holds barred. This week, our resident sexologist Isiah McKimmie tackles a woman whose husband says her weight and snoring turns him off, a husband who blames his wife for his penis problems and a man upset that his girlfriend doesn't like cuddling.
HE WON'T HAVE SEX WITH ME AND SAYS I'M FAT - WHAT SHOULD I DO?
QUESTION: Should I leave? My husband and I have been together for 23 years and have two kids but we haven't had sex in nearly five years. It's the elephant in our bedroom. There is an invisible Berlin Wall down the middle of our bed and neither of us have crossed this line in so long.
My husband says he is not attracted to me anymore because I'm fatter than before we had children. He says I snore because I'm overweight and this disrupts his sleep. He gets angry saying I'm purposely not able to breath at night because of my weight.
He is fit for his age while I'm average size (12-14). I think it's all in his head. I have no trouble breathing at night or catching my breath. I am a nose breather not a mouth breather. Yes I do snore, but not always. Even as I write this I think WTF I deserve better. Even if I try to touch him on the arm, he pulls away. I try to hug him, he pulls away. I'm so lonely. Please help.
ANSWER: This sounds like a difficult and painful situation to be in.
What I hear clearly is that there's an underlying feeling that you can't keep doing this. That you deserve a happier, more respectful relationship. I agree with you. You deserve to be happy, loved and accepted for who you are.
Being lonely in your relationship is a clear sign that something is wrong. It sounds like your relationship is suffering with many challenges.
Should you leave? Maybe. Although there are other steps that you might like to try before you do that.
I know that your husband is saying awful, hurtful things to you now, full of blame and criticism. These will be difficult to move on from, but there is a chance that you can. There's also a chance that with support, your husband will be able see the situation (and you) differently.
It sounds like your lack of physical intimacy together is a symptom of a lot more going on under the surface of your relationship - and internally for him.
With just this snapshot, it's difficult to guess what that might be. I do suspect that your husband is unhappy within himself and he's projecting some of that unhappiness and dissatisfaction onto you. However, I'm also wondering if there's something else going on (or has been going on) in the dynamic between you that may be contributing to this.
Ask your husband if he's willing to see a well-trained couples therapist with you. By doing a full assessment and hearing more about his point of view, they can help you uncover what is going on under the surface and support you to find a happier relationship, where you both feel connected and have your needs met.
If he's not willing to do that, it doesn't leave you much choice. It's clear that you can't stay in this situation the way it is. It will slowly erode your confidence and your happiness.
HE BLAMES ME, BUT DID I CAUSE MY HUSBAND'S PENIS PROBLEM?
QUESTION: My husband has Peyronie's Disease and I'm struggling to talk about it with him. My husband has accused me of causing it and I don't know what to say back - could I have caused it? Also, do certain sexual positions make it worse?
ANSWER: Peyronie's Disease is due to a build of up scar tissue or plaque within the penis, causing a curvature or bend, particularly when erect. It can also cause erections and sex to be painful.
It's suspected to be caused by trauma or injury to the penis, though this is not certain and other factors such as genetic conditions may be involved.
It certainly doesn't seem fair for your husband to blame you, it's very unlikely you're the cause. I'm wondering what led him to believe this.
It may be difficult for him to talk about due to feelings of fear and shame. However, it would be helpful for you to talk through the underlying resentment he seems to have and find ways to move forward to a healthy relationship and sex life together.
HELP! MY GIRLFRIEND HATES CUDDLING
QUESTION: My girlfriend and I have been together for 10 years but our intimacy levels are so different. It isn't stereotypical, but I'm a man who likes cuddling and kissing while my girlfriend doesn't really want to engage in that kind of activity.
I know she loves me a lot, but it hurts me when I just want to cuddle up on the couch and she'd prefer to sit without touching, or I want to kiss her a lot and she just wants a quick peck. Any suggestions on what we can do?
ANSWER: This is something you need to talk about together. It's common to have different needs for intimacy and affection in a relationship, it's how you navigate it that's important.
There may be reasons that your girlfriend struggles with or feels uncomfortable with intimacy. For example, because she didn't experience it or witness it as a child, or because she has experienced physical or sexual trauma.
There may be ways that you can find to feel physically close that work for each of you, but you'll need to talk about it to better understand each other and find common ground.
Isiah McKimmie is a couples therapist, sex therapist and sexologist. For more expert advice follow her on Instagram.
Originally published as Husband claims wife's 'too fat' for sex