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Old 01-23-2008, 06:18 PM   #51
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I believe we're all hard-wired for what we find sexually attractive, be it tall, short, blonde, brunette, dark skin, light skin, fat, thin, or whatever other variation you want to throw in there. There seems to be an attitude, however, that if a spouse has a major physical change that is the opposite of what their partner finds attractive, the partner is "supposed" to be fine with it and be able to look past the physical to find the inner beauty, etc., etc. For a loving friendship, which is part of marriage, sure. I can buy that. But the physical attraction? You can't force that. Inner beauty does not equal sexual attraction.

Fachad, you're not a bad person for not being able to force what you find attractive. If sexual attraction was truly a choice, then we could all be straight, or bisexual, or sleep with only our friends, or whatever else would seemingly be easier. Your wife is fundamentally changing her appearance. Doesn't mean that you will love her any less, but you can't force yourself to suddenly be attracted to a body type that doesn't do it for you. That is part of the consequences of her WLS decision and seems to be more a reflection on her than you.
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Old 01-24-2008, 09:43 AM   #52
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Just an observation about what compromise means. It really jumps out at me that you've repeatedly used this phrase, that she gets 100% of what she wants and you get nothing...

But about compromise. A close relative of mine who's been happily married for many years after 2 shorter and very unhappy marriages has said about compromise "If I'm cold, and you're hot, we don't agree to open the window halfway." Or from another perspective, if I want to go rock climbing and you want to go to the opera, we don't just pick a third choice, because the ultimate outcome is that nobody is getting what he or she wants. I think that's what happened in your attempt to compromise on your wife's size: She wasn't fat enough to satisfy your sexual urges and she wasn't thin enough to shop in regular clothing store. In essence what you did is agreed that neither of you would be happy.

Compromise is not always about meeting halfway. It's been said if you try to walk the middle of the road you get run over.

So what you have now is a real compromise. One of you is happy and the other isn't. But that's part of any relationship, no different from the above example in which I'd go to the opera and shut up about it because I knew it was what you wanted to do.
Ack! Ouch!!!!

Ok, LOVEBHMS, you get the prize for most insightful answer on the root of the pain. I won't say you found THE root - as if there were only ONE - but I think you have, with tremendous insight, found a very deep root and the one that is most impinging on a raw nerve.

What you said about compromise is very true and I do realize exactly what you're talking about. In most situations between two people that require compromise, it means one person gets what they want and the other person does not. As you said, you have to either go to the opera OR go rock climbing.

I’ll work a bit with your rock climbing/opera analogy. Now in this analogy rock climbing represents me getting my way in matters and her compromising for my sake. And going to the opera represents her getting her way in matters and me compromising.

AND HERE'S THE RUB: For the duration of our relationship, we have been going to the opera every nearly weekend, and never going rock climbing, not even on the weekends when we miss the opera. I think I've forgotten how to rock climb, or even how to ask how to go rock climbing. And she's forgotten that I even like to rock climb, because we've been going to the opera every weekend for so long.

I’m the kind of person who would rather please the other person rather than insist on my way. I was that way with other people long before I ever met her. And long before she met me, she was the sort of person used to getting things her way. You could say we have interlocking, complementary personality traits. Over the years, I’ve loved spoiling her, I mean really loved it, even though I do sort of miss rock climbing. But I’ve never missed it so much that I choose to do it rather than going to the opera with her. And not just because of the snacks at the opera. Because I WANTED to take her, I WANTED her to be happy and enjoy herself.

Besides, I don’t even feel like I’m missing out on anything, because when we’re at the opera, her tummy spills over onto my seat, and I touch it, and I get all warm and fuzzy and tingly all over, and I completely forget all about rock climbing. And although she knows this instinctively, I’ve also told her it explicitly thousands of times. I've come right out and said - many times, in nearly these exact words - "you can have EVERYTHING your way, ALL the time and all I ask is please don't ever get thin". And she responded by saying, “THAT will NEVER happen"; and "it's impossible"; and "dear, you have NOTHING to worry about." So there was two-way complicity in this questionable arrangement.

Of course I know that I should never have lived in this way – it that indicates a problem with me. But I also think she might have - especially when hearing me say it explicitly –said something like, “hey, wait a minute, maybe I should go rock climbing with you once in a while, or at least encourage you to go with buddies or by yourself. It’s not right for me to expect you to keep coming to the opera every weekend". But, alas, I think she’s forgotten that I was ever into rock climbing. But who would object when everything is going their way? To ask for that would be like asking an FA to help his wife lose weight when she’s not complaining at all about it, and there are no visible signs of any problems from it! Fat chance – it’s just too seductive for either party to keep letting things go your way (weigh).

This has been going on for close to two decades – it has come to be seen as “the way things are” and “how things work with us”. And we’ve both been pretty happy with things and felt quite lucky with how things worked out. At this point in our lives, we’ve been going to the opera for so long it seems like that’s just what we do, and how we do things. In her eyes, I would have to be some kind of jerk to upset that balance at any time. But to do it right now, that would seem like I'm trying to "get back" at her. She’d be left wondering, “why did you change...why can’t things just be how they used to...we’ve been so happy for so long...are you just doing this to punish me?”. And she’d feel hurt or angry or both.

It's my fault for investing too much in this; it's also her fault for not seeing the lack of give and take and taking steps to remedy it. Who can blame her, though who doesn’t want to have someone who does everything you want? Not many people would be strong enough to resist that, especially if it seemed to come naturally to the other person (it does come naturally to me)

So all that talk about “now she gets 100% and I get 0%” is not just hyperbole. It DOES actually feel like she's getting 100% - because she was ALREADY getting 99% and I was sitting there just with my 1%, and LOVING it, because to me that particular 1% was worth more that the other 99% combined. But now that she has THAT too, what’s left for me?

This SEEMED like a sort of implicit “quid pro quo” that ran for nearly 20 years. But the thing is, it was NEVER REALLY was a quid pro quo. It was more like, “I’ll give you everything you want and do things your way because I love you... but PLEASE don’t ever lose weight, cause that’s my Achilles heel and it would crush me.” But it seemed to both of us like a quid pro quo...until she got the WLS. Now it's painfully obvious to both of us that there was never any real threat of my leaving or of me insisting on having things my way after all. It was just, “I’ll do anything for you” with a wish (not a condition) attached.

And there's the reason for the "100% - 0%" talk, the resentment, and the vulnerable feeling I now have that she can get away with ANYTHING – and she knows it, and she knows that I know it, and she knows that I know that she knows it.
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Old 01-24-2008, 10:17 AM   #53
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You're da man, Stan!!! You love your wife and prioritize
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example to follow.
There is nothing wrong with Fat Admiration.
EVERYTHING is wrong with fat obsession.
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Old 01-24-2008, 11:50 AM   #54
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Default her fat is actually not the main issue

Sorry to tramp all over with yet another view, but try this.

In a relationship we make compromises all the time. We do things we might not otherwise do because we want the other person to appreciate us, to find us attractive, and just because we want to please them.

The sudden decision made by Stan's wife is not just an issue of changing the compromise, although it is, or of his finding her less attractive, although he might.

The primary issue is that he feels threatened by the fact that the desire to be attractive to him and to please him has been reduced in comparison to other factors. His anxiety is that in his deepest heart of hearts he suspects that more changes are coming. He has real concern (although he denies it) that the lower priority for being attractive to him is only the first step in his becoming less important overall.

Further, he can't give credence to her assurances that he is still important and loved, because she made her decision without discussion, abruptly and without forewarning, so he knows in his heart that if more changes are coming she will not be warning him of those either.

What a miserable, painful, unsure position to be in.
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Old 01-24-2008, 01:04 PM   #55
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Sorry to tramp all over with yet another view, but try this.

In a relationship we make compromises all the time. We do things we might not otherwise do because we want the other person to appreciate us, to find us attractive, and just because we want to please them.

The sudden decision made by Stan's wife is not just an issue of changing the compromise, although it is, or of his finding her less attractive, although he might.

The primary issue is that he feels threatened by the fact that the desire to be attractive to him and to please him has been reduced in comparison to other factors. His anxiety is that in his deepest heart of hearts he suspects that more changes are coming. He has real concern (although he denies it) that the lower priority for being attractive to him is only the first step in his becoming less important overall.

Further, he can't give credence to her assurances that he is still important and loved, because she made her decision without discussion, abruptly and without forewarning, so he knows in his heart that if more changes are coming she will not be warning him of those either.

What a miserable, painful, unsure position to be in.
Gawd, I think you are right about that.

Some have said this thing invalidates my world view, which is true, but I have know in my heart that the thing which is the most hurtful is that her desire to look better (which is the real MOTIVE behind it - her medical concerns may be 100% legitimate - that is not the reason she WANTS it - nobody WANTS a mastectomy or a by-pass, they are FORCED to have one) - what is most hurtful is that her desire to look better to the general public, contrasted to her minimal concern about being less attractive to me - feels like a slight. Like I am less important than other people.

I know that when she looks at her thinner self in the mirror, she is going to be happy - NOT because her BP is lower, but because she thinks she looks better to "other people” (besides her husband). I feel like I'm taking a back seat to the rest of world, that that she wants to please strangers in the mall is more than she wants to please me, and that how she looks to the people in the grocery store is more important than how she looks to me. And that part IS true, even though the all health aspects may be 100% valid and true. And that does not make a person feel very important or valued.

And you are right about the blindsided/rammed-thru quick aspect of it. It does make things that formerly felt stable and secure seem subject to sudden, dramatic, unannounced change. Like the ANYTHING could happen at ANY TIME, without ANY WARNING. And that is not a secure feeling. I think that has what has been driving the restlessness and relentlessness of the feelings.

Very harsh things to face, but it does explain the feelings I’ve had of somehow being put-down by the weight loss (even though I’m not one of those evil pseudo-FAs who feels good BECAUSE his BBW feels bad) and it also explains the feelings of insecurity and vague anxiety, even though our marriage has been very stable.
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Old 01-24-2008, 01:06 PM   #56
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Sorry to tramp all over with yet another view, but try this.

In a relationship we make compromises all the time. We do things we might not otherwise do because we want the other person to appreciate us, to find us attractive, and just because we want to please them.

The sudden decision made by Stan's wife is not just an issue of changing the compromise, although it is, or of his finding her less attractive, although he might.

The primary issue is that he feels threatened by the fact that the desire to be attractive to him and to please him has been reduced in comparison to other factors. His anxiety is that in his deepest heart of hearts he suspects that more changes are coming. He has real concern (although he denies it) that the lower priority for being attractive to him is only the first step in his becoming less important overall.

Further, he can't give credence to her assurances that he is still important and loved, because she made her decision without discussion, abruptly and without forewarning, so he knows in his heart that if more changes are coming she will not be warning him of those either.

What a miserable, painful, unsure position to be in.
Why are you trying to speak for people? Are you some kind of know-it-all or something? The person you presume to speak about, as if he were some kind of an alter ego of yours, doesn't strike me as particularly miserable. How is it any of your business, or ours for that matter, what really goes on in people's heads? With all due respect, why not put a sock in it?
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Old 01-24-2008, 01:12 PM   #57
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I know that when she looks at her thinner self in the mirror, she is going to be happy - NOT because her BP is lower, but because she thinks she looks better to "other people” (besides her husband). I feel like I'm taking a back seat to the rest of world, that that she wants to please strangers in the mall is more than she wants to please me, and that how she looks to the people in the grocery store is more important than how she looks to me.
Remember that one of those 'other people' is likely herself. It sounds like maybe she's never viewed herself as attractive while fat, at a fundamental level.

It is like....I can accept how I look, being mostly bald. But I'll always think I looked better with hair. If there was some reasonably process that gave me a full head of hair again, and I went through with it, it would be more about how I feel about how I look than about how others felt.

And no, baldness is not like being fat, just giving an example of for own opinion on looks versus other's opinions.
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Old 01-24-2008, 01:13 PM   #58
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Very harsh things to face, but it does explain the feelings I’ve had of somehow being put-down by the weight loss (even though I’m not one of those evil pseudo-FAs who feels good BECAUSE his BBW feels bad) and it also explains the feelings of insecurity and vague anxiety, even though our marriage has been very stable.

You know fachad, I guess it seems to me it's out of your hands at the moment. I sympathize that you're feeling anxious. I've been through anxious moments, as we all must sooner or later. I don't sympathize with your position, as I don't see how you can legitimately expect that you're entitled to control your wife's body. But I do empathize with your angst as angst.

And all I can say is that it will pass, as anxiety always does (not talking about people with anxiety disorders, obviously.) It will pass and you will feel better and your marriage will begin feeling less unstable again. Or the crisis will worsen and come to a head and then eventually that will pass.

Everything passes.

Good luck.
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Old 01-24-2008, 01:14 PM   #59
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Read his reply Fascinita

Why are you so irate? Hit to close to home for you?

And now the second point, there is not one place in his posts, or in mine that suggested that he had the right to control her body. You own that, not him or me. I was able to put myself in his place and understand, and it is not what she did so much as how she did it. And that has nothing to do with control of anyone. It does however have to do with trust, consideration, and security in a relationship.

Everything isn't about men controlling women and women aren't the only ones entitled to feelings.

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Old 01-24-2008, 01:34 PM   #60
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I know that when she looks at her thinner self in the mirror, she is going to be happy - NOT because her BP is lower, but because she thinks she looks better to "other people” (besides her husband).
I think you need to stop that sentence after the word "happy."

I've said, and you said SHE said, this is not about you. It's not about your hierarchy in her world. It's not about your tastes or preferences. You are interpreting her desire to look better and to be more mainstream as meaning to "not wanting to look the way you want her to."

This is oversimplified, but we often site the conventional wisdom that women are judged by looks and men by accomplishments. Suppose you received a job offer for a very high paying job. If you accepted the job, you'd be able to pay for a round the world cruise, fancy clothes, and new jewelry for her. She'd love to have those things, BUT the job would be doing something you didn't like. Now let's say you don't take it; you'd LOVE to be able to take her on that cruise or buy her a pricey designer handbag, but the job would make you unhappy. Does she have the right to say "He doesn't care about what I want. If he did, he'd take that job. He clearly does not care about what's important to me."

Also Chad, take a spin around some posts on here in which women talk about the trevails of being fat. Check out the Clothing/Fashion board and read about the frustrations of not being able to find certain clothes in their sizes. Read a thread about how miserable some women were in high school when they were ridiculed or bullied for being fat. I think you need a better understanding of what it's like to live in, not just look at, her body.
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Old 01-24-2008, 01:37 PM   #61
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Read his reply Fascinita

Why are you so irate? Hit to close to home for you?

And now the second point, there is not one place in his posts, or in mine that suggested that he had the right to control her body. You own that, not him or me. I was able to put myself in his place and understand, and it is not what she did so much as how she did it. And that has nothing to do with control of anyone. It does however have to do with trust, consideration, and security in a relationship.

Everything isn't about men controlling women and women aren't the only ones entitled to feelings.
I don't care what you have to say about what I'm entitled to think or not. I'll take your opinion or leave it. I'll get angry when I want. And I don't have to explain to you why. Any functioning adult realizes that. Sorry I have to be the one to point this out.

As for what fachad said in response to you, that is his business. Frankly, I'm not interested in your opinion of his opinion, or of my opinion, or of anyone else's opinion.

I will repeat the gist of what I said before: I'd appreciate it if you didn't try to speak for other people. By all means, feel free to state your own opinions (I will continue to feel free to disregard them) without having to make them sound as if they are coming straight from the heads of others. That is all.
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Old 01-24-2008, 01:37 PM   #62
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Why are you trying to speak for people? Are you some kind of know-it-all or something? The person you presume to speak about, as if he were some kind of an alter ego of yours, doesn't strike me as particularly miserable. How is it any of your business, or ours for that matter, what really goes on in people's heads? With all due respect, why not put a sock in it?
i actually thought the comments were pretty on target and i'm glad someone finally voiced them.

again, to the OP: can you frame this as your wife wanting to look in the mirror and look better to HERSELF? Don't put yourself into some competition with her, or with all of the people at the grocery store or in the world. She's not married to the people at the store, nor are you. She's picked herself over you, but not the grocery store shoppers and strangers over you. I think this sense of fear really IS what's driving this, and I get that. Believe me, I do. maybe you can turn it to your advantage. She trusts you enough to do what she wants to do and know you'll still love her. She trusts your marriage enough to know she can alter herself in a way she wants to, and she feels sure the love you share will stay strong. You've said those things to us already, in an early (or the first?) post. Do you believe them? If not, then that's what you need to focus on, and not a surgery (that she's already had. I mean, that ship has sailed).
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Old 01-24-2008, 01:39 PM   #63
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This is oversimplified, but we often site the conventional wisdom that women are judged by looks and men by accomplishments. Suppose you received a job offer for a very high paying job. If you accepted the job, you'd be able to pay for a round the world cruise, fancy clothes, and new jewelry for her. She'd love to have those things, BUT the job would be doing something you didn't like. Now let's say you don't take it; you'd LOVE to be able to take her on that cruise or buy her a pricey designer handbag, but the job would make you unhappy. Does she have the right to say "He doesn't care about what I want. If he did, he'd take that job. He clearly does not care about what's important to me."
I agree with your general point, but to be fair, the proper analogy would be more that he decided he did not like what he was doing now, came home one day and announced that he was quitting, and was going to start work helping children with learning disabilities, at barely above minimum wage.
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Old 01-24-2008, 01:53 PM   #64
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i actually thought the comments were pretty on target and i'm glad someone finally voiced them.
Jes, I wouldn't want anyone here taking something I wrote and reinterpreting it in their words and tacking my name on it, and then the upshot is that "Fascinita must lead a miserable life," when I've never said that. Because that is what nottobig did, using another poster's name. Let him state it as his own opinion.

I thought you were for not pathologizing people?

That's where I'm coming from.
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Old 01-24-2008, 01:57 PM   #65
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well, i'm not saying the manner in which the message was delivered was necessarily appropriate and certainly, no one can diagnose anyone on the internet, but i stand by what i said: i think that this message really hits at the heart of the issue the OP is having and that he feels threatened, deeply invalidated and threatened, and I'm glad someone just came out and threw the idea on the table. I personally think he's right, so of course I'm glad he said it. Whether I like the terminology used is another issue and one I'm not addressing.
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Old 01-24-2008, 02:14 PM   #66
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well, i'm not saying the manner in which the message was delivered was necessarily appropriate and certainly, no one can diagnose anyone on the internet, but i stand by what i said: i think that this message really hits at the heart of the issue the OP is having and that he feels threatened, deeply invalidated and threatened, and I'm glad someone just came out and threw the idea on the table. I personally think he's right, so of course I'm glad he said it. Whether I like the terminology used is another issue and one I'm not addressing.
Good enough!
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Old 01-24-2008, 02:18 PM   #67
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Gawd, I think you are right about that.

Some have said this thing invalidates my world view, which is true, but I have know in my heart that the thing which is the most hurtful is that her desire to look better (which is the real MOTIVE behind it - her medical concerns may be 100% legitimate - that is not the reason she WANTS it - nobody WANTS a mastectomy or a by-pass, they are FORCED to have one) - what is most hurtful is that her desire to look better to the general public, contrasted to her minimal concern about being less attractive to me - feels like a slight. Like I am less important than other people.

I know that when she looks at her thinner self in the mirror, she is going to be happy - NOT because her BP is lower, but because she thinks she looks better to "other people” (besides her husband). I feel like I'm taking a back seat to the rest of world, that that she wants to please strangers in the mall is more than she wants to please me, and that how she looks to the people in the grocery store is more important than how she looks to me. And that part IS true, even though the all health aspects may be 100% valid and true. And that does not make a person feel very important or valued.

And you are right about the blindsided/rammed-thru quick aspect of it. It does make things that formerly felt stable and secure seem subject to sudden, dramatic, unannounced change. Like the ANYTHING could happen at ANY TIME, without ANY WARNING. And that is not a secure feeling. I think that has what has been driving the restlessness and relentlessness of the feelings.

Very harsh things to face, but it does explain the feelings I’ve had of somehow being put-down by the weight loss (even though I’m not one of those evil pseudo-FAs who feels good BECAUSE his BBW feels bad) and it also explains the feelings of insecurity and vague anxiety, even though our marriage has been very stable.
fachad, how sure are you that this is REALLY how your wife feels? Some of what you've written seems ridiculous. Who would go through a major operation, one with extremely painful & uncomfortable side effects, so that they can look more acceptable to strangers in the supermarket? That's an incredible thing to say, and to project onto your wife.

I've gone to my share of WLS "support" group meetings, and yawned through many vapid accounts of how "people are nicer to me now! Golly gee, my life is FANTASTIC!" ... but even the shallowest of the lot rejoiced far more in restored mobility & freedom from other serious and/or crippling health conditions & yes, even the ready availability of cute, cheap clothing (hey, we're WOMEN) than in how good they looked. And the truth is, not many of us escape the inevitable march of time, far less the reality of what rapid weight loss does to our bodies. I can remember listening to an older woman gush on and on about how much better she looks, sans 100 pounds, and I was ... incredulous. She was skeletal, with a great deal of loose skin all over her body, which gave her a very lumpy appearance. Her hair was thin & limp, she was bald in places, her face was gaunt and deeply wrinkled. I can remember thinking that a year ago, she was probably a very pleasant-looking woman, with round apple cheeks and a gleam in her eyes (not to mention, wrinkle-free skin). Beauty, eye of beholder, blah blah.

If your wife truly had surgery because she thinks that she'll look better ... she's very likely in for disappointment. No doubt, the surgeon would have explained to her that she'll lose a lot of hair, what remains will become dry and brittle, and she'll have to live with folds of loose skin and surgery scars. She will look better, to the general fat-phobic public, when she pours her skin into clothes. She will NOT look better when she stands naked, in front of the mirror, with only herself as an audience. For the small percentage among us who think that the opinions of strangers matter more than how we view ourselves, that may be some consolation. However, most of us live in the *real* world, where the opinions of the people that we love and respect (including our own) matters far more.

I see a lot of ownership & control issues in what you are writing, despite your assertion to the contrary.
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Old 01-24-2008, 02:34 PM   #68
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Fascinita, I am deeply saddened and hurt that you were unable to take my original post as the helpful attempt to explain how I understood his feelings to be. I thought, and still think, he was being criticized for some very normal feelings. I try to understand others, by putting myself in their place and listening to the undertone of what they say.

I did not indicate you were not entitled to have and express your opinion, rather you attacked my right to do the same and began to attack.

I believe you started with "Why are you trying to speak for people? Are you some kind of know-it-all or something?". Followed immediately by your opinion "The person you presume to speak about, as if he were some kind of an alter ego of yours, doesn't strike me as particularly miserable."

His response was (and I am glad I understood him correctly, and perhaps helped) "Gawd, I think you are right about that."

You immediately provided your guidance that I think amounts to "get over it". (your actual text here - "You know fachad, I guess it seems to me it's out of your hands at the moment ... And all I can say is that it will pass, as anxiety always does")

So you proceed to insinuate I am not an adult. ("I don't care what you have to say about what I'm entitled to think or not. I'll take your opinion or leave it. I'll get angry when I want. And I don't have to explain to you why. Any functioning adult realizes that. Sorry I have to be the one to point this out.") although I never did any of the things you accuse me of in that diatribe.

Inform me you don't care about my opinion. ("Frankly, I'm not interested in your opinion of his opinion, or of my opinion, or of anyone else's opinion.") So my question would be, why should we care about yours? I thought the purpose of this was to exchange ideas and opinions.

You once again attempt to misrepresent what was clearly my understanding of how he felt and label me a troll to boot. ("I will repeat the gist of what I said before: I'd appreciate it if you didn't try to speak for other people, **edit**. By all means, feel free to state your own opinions (I will continue to feel free to disregard them) without having to make them sound as if they are coming straight from the heads of others. That is all.")

I would like to thank you for insight into what I intended as well as your friendly, kind, understanding guidance. Take care!

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Old 01-24-2008, 02:57 PM   #69
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I don't know TraciJo. I can see how you could see control issues, but what I hear from OP is hurt and fear.

Not so much that she should do as she is told, but rather that he is becoming less important. Not that she is losing weight, but rather, well lets be honest, that he is losing her.

Most of this is triggered not by her choosing to lose weight, but rather by the way she made that choice.

I hope that what he fears is not the reality, and often it is not, but I think the reaction is normal, and that most of us would feel the same.

I do think that many women, for good reason, see male control as a undercurrent in these situations. There certainly are jerks out there.

I am of the opinion (and have some unpleasant history to support it) that there are plenty of women who have the same kinds of control issues over men. It is difficult not to see control issues where they don't exist when you have experience with them, also out of fear. You may not be doing this, but I know I have been guilty of it myself.

In any case, I think OP loves his wife and we are being to hard on him and could be more supportive instead.

Hopefully, I won't be told to "shut up" this time! :-)
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Old 01-24-2008, 03:03 PM   #70
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Most of this is triggered not by her choosing to lose weight, but rather by the way she made that choice.

)
shut up this time.


*snicker*

I'd disagree with the above statement, personally. We only have his side of things, and we don't know if there was more to it than that. I tell my husband to take out the garbage 18 times before he hears it, so perhaps she said she was considering making some changes more than 2 weeks ago, or whatever it was in the OP.

And I don't feel that I'm being hard on him at all.
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Old 01-24-2008, 03:08 PM   #71
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I don't know TraciJo. I can see how you could see control issues, but what I hear from OP is hurt and fear.

Not so much that she should do as she is told, but rather that he is becoming less important. Not that she is losing weight, but rather, well lets be honest, that he is losing her.

Most of this is triggered not by her choosing to lose weight, but rather by the way she made that choice.

I hope that what he fears is not the reality, and often it is not, but I think the reaction is normal, and that most of us would feel the same.

I do think that many women, for good reason, see male control as a undercurrent in these situations. There certainly are jerks out there.

I am of the opinion (and have some unpleasant history to support it) that there are plenty of women who have the same kinds of control issues over men. It is difficult not to see control issues where they don't exist when you have experience with them, also out of fear. You may not be doing this, but I know I have been guilty of it myself.

In any case, I think OP loves his wife and we are being to hard on him and could be more supportive instead.

Hopefully, I won't be told to "shut up" this time! :-)
I liked your initial post, and thought that you had some valuable insight. I don't know if it applies to fachad ... only he can answer that ... but it certainly had a ring of truth, at least to me.

I didn't mean to *not* be supportive of the OP, although I do understand that it may come across that way. I am incredulous that he thinks his wife may truly care so much about what strangers thinks that she'd have a major, expensive, painful operation ... all without taking his feelings into consideration. I was hoping that he may see this from a stranger's perspective, and would maybe rethink some of those assumptions.

To me, the controlling aspect of things is in how he words things like "we've had a happy compromise about her weight", and "I would have thrown all the food away and forced her to walk until she cried so she'd lose SOME weight and not ALL of it" plus the nature of how & why his wife chose surgery, and the fact that he feels that this is something that she's done "to" him. I'm reading some ownership issues with regard to his preference and how that translates to his wife's body. I could be a gazillion percent wrong (it's been known to happen ), but it is my take on things, and fachad can take that free advise from a complete stranger for ... exactly what it's worth. It doesn't cost me a thing to dispense.
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Old 01-24-2008, 03:18 PM   #72
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Read his reply Fascinita

And now the second point, there is not one place in his posts, or in mine that suggested that he had the right to control her body. You own that, not him or me. I was able to put myself in his place and understand, and it is not what she did so much as how she did it. And that has nothing to do with control of anyone. It does however have to do with trust, consideration, and security in a relationship.

Everything isn't about men controlling women and women aren't the only ones entitled to feelings.
Thanks, nottobig.

Possibly Fascinita did not see some of things I wrote but picked up the thread later and based her comments on personal experience or what others had written. But I can't believe how many people here have brought up the control/ownership issue. This despite - not just as you pointed out - an absence of statements to that effect on my part - but the presence of EXPLICIT statements in multiple posts that:

- I'm not trying to change her behavior - I'm trying to change mine;
- I'm focused on my feelings as the problem - not what she is doing;
- I'm trying to figure out why this is hitting me so hard, and causing me so much turmoil - not figure out how hook her up to a pudding IV in her sleep.

So I really appreciate posts where people put themselves in this position, and then verbalize why it feels bad. If I don't know what thoughts are generating my feelings, I'm going to keep spinning and suffering. If I know what I am thinking (even at a pre-conscious level) that generates and fuels these bad feelings, then I can work with what might be unreasonable or distorted and thereby get my feelings straight.

That's why multiple posts coming from multiple perspectives are so valuable. Because if there are aspects to this which I am not aware of and do not work thru, those things are going to come out later as sadness, or anger or resentment. I don't want to live like that, and I most certainly don't want to make her feel bad. (She can of course tell when I'm sad, even if I think I'm totally hiding it, so PRETENDING to be OK with things is not an option.)
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Old 01-24-2008, 03:22 PM   #73
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I wonder if we're all speaking at cross purposes here. I don't know how others mean control issues or being in control or being controlling. Personally, I don't think you're trying to control your wife or her behavior at this point, and I don't know about the past, so I won't hazard a guess. When I talk about control, I'm saying: I think you're feeling out of control. As if you're not in control--of anything. Of yourself, though having control over your wife (in that you wish she wanted to stay fat) plays into that too, somewhere. And no one likes feeling out of control. No one likes feeling threatened. Acting out of fear. And I think we've all decided that's what's happening to you.

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Old 01-24-2008, 03:24 PM   #74
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You might be right TraciJo. But don't discount the desire for acceptance ... especially if she thinks that he will eventually come around. People DO make quick decisions like this for superficial reason sometimes. This might be a case where the insurance companies insistence on the preliminary steps and delay is actually a good thing.

What is interesting to me is, from what he said, she was able to bypass all or most of the counseling. I have known some people who had WLS surgery, and the things you mentioned were all true. Next comes cosmetic surgery to remove excess skin, scars, all the digestive and nutrition issues. I would worry that she is not going in with eyes wide open.

Even though it is her body and her decision, she is going to want a lot of support from the husband she left out of all the discussions. Even though she didn't trust him to be part of the discussion, she expects a lot from him afterward. I have a hard time seeing the up side of this one. Tough times all around.

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Old 01-24-2008, 03:33 PM   #75
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Thanks, nottobig.

Possibly Fascinita did not see some of things I wrote but picked up the thread later and based her comments on personal experience or what others had written. But I can't believe how many people here have brought up the control/ownership issue. This despite - not just as you pointed out - an absence of statements to that effect on my part - but the presence of EXPLICIT statements in multiple posts that:

- I'm not trying to change her behavior - I'm trying to change mine;
- I'm focused on my feelings as the problem - not what she is doing;
- I'm trying to figure out why this is hitting me so hard, and causing me so much turmoil - not figure out how hook her up to a pudding IV in her sleep.

So I really appreciate posts where people put themselves in this position, and then verbalize why it feels bad. If I don't know what thoughts are generating my feelings, I'm going to keep spinning and suffering. If I know what I am thinking (even at a pre-conscious level) that generates and fuels these bad feelings, then I can work with what might be unreasonable or distorted and thereby get my feelings straight.

That's why multiple posts coming from multiple perspectives are so valuable. Because if there are aspects to this which I am not aware of and do not work thru, those things are going to come out later as sadness, or anger or resentment. I don't want to live like that, and I most certainly don't want to make her feel bad. (She can of course tell when I'm sad, even if I think I'm totally hiding it, so PRETENDING to be OK with things is not an option.)
fachad, I did read the whole thread. I've posted a couple of times, with what I'd hoped would be helpful comments. I think they were sensible and sage comments Maybe you will get around to reading them. If you can use them, great. If not, I still hope you are able to work through your feelings.

As I said previously, I empathize with your angst. I'll wish you good luck again.
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