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Old 07-16-2011, 08:30 AM   #1
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Default WLS may kill my relationship but get me closer to my ex-wife

As evidenced by the fact that I am at this forum, I like heavier women. I decided a few years back to not be secretive or ashamed of that. It's just a preference, just as dark hair, smoky voice, spaghetti straps, or anything else a person might like is a preference. The only thing it says concretely about me is that I like heavier women.

I also would like to be in a relationship where I could really, truly say whatever I feel / think about a subject and the relationship not be at risk for doing so. I have come far closer to this ideal with my male friends than I have with my female friends or female lovers.

My wife and I eventually split because of me feeling there was no room to be me and no respect for me, that what she wanted mattered and what I wanted was lucky to be an afterthought, although from her perspective it was because I wouldn't give in on her and her mother looking for a new house to live in without me being involved in the process.

At any rate, shortly thereafter I met another woman who happened to be a BBW and we developed a relationship. Fast forward to now, where she decides for the sake of her health to have WLS. She tells me about this and I am less than ecstatic. She asks me why and I say honestly that I am unsure that I will still find her attractive.

This, of course, is not what she wanted to hear. But she also turns this into I am not being supportive. She today told me not to contact her until after the procedure is over and that she finds me an obstacle to making this work.

Thing is, I am not against her doing this. I understand the medical reasons for it. I am willing to help her with any part of it. I'm just not happy about it and I don't think it's fair to insist that I be.

My guess is that after the surgery is over that we'll be officially done, but we'll see. My biggest fear about the surgery beyond the complications of surgery itself is that she would change and not want me anymore. That I like fat women has turned into (in her mind) that I want to keep her fat, and so it seems to be coming to pass.

Meanwhile the ex-wife, also for medical reasons, is also having WLS. She's scared about it and has been coming to me (on the phone) for support. Because we're not together anymore, my likes don't play into it. And so she's seeing me as being supportive. I guess in the end, it all depends on what you think support is.

I don't know that there is anything to be said about this, although if you want to comment, please feel free. I just needed to talk about this and I don't have a lot of options that aren't connected to either of these women. Thanks.
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Old 07-16-2011, 12:10 PM   #2
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You have every right to share how you feel about your partners decision when she first talks to you about it but beyond that if you say you support her decision that means putting aside your feelings and making sure she feels as supported as possible.
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Old 07-16-2011, 06:59 PM   #3
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You have every right to share how you feel about your partners decision when she first talks to you about it but beyond that if you say you support her decision that means putting aside your feelings and making sure she feels as supported as possible.
By pretending to be excited? I have never told her not do to it. I have driven her to doctor's appointments. I have nursed her after preliminary procedures. But her problem is that I don't share the excitement she has for the surgery. If supporting her means pretending that I am excited for this to happen, then I guess I cannot support her.
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Old 07-16-2011, 09:56 PM   #4
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At any rate, shortly thereafter I met another woman who happened to be a BBW and we developed a relationship. Fast forward to now, where she decides for the sake of her health to have WLS. She tells me about this and I am less than ecstatic. She asks me why and I say honestly that I am unsure that I will still find her attractive...

My biggest fear about the surgery beyond the complications of surgery itself is that she would change and not want me anymore.
Seems to me you're basically concerned about keeping your options open and not having the control taken away from you, via your wife deciding she doesn't want you before you can ascertain whether or not you'll still want her.
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Old 07-16-2011, 10:45 PM   #5
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Seems to me you're basically concerned about keeping your options open and not having the control taken away from you, via your wife deciding she doesn't want you before you can ascertain whether or not you'll still want her.
Perhaps I wasn't clear, Tina. My wife left and divorced me. It is my present girlfriend that was first having the surgery. There are no options to be open.

My wife has no interest in coming back to me. Because we were granted custody of my granddaughter, I still have contact with her. It was in discussing what should happen to my granddaughter if the surgery should not go well that she brought it up to me in the first place

There is no issue of control here. I am afraid that my girlfriend won't want me when she's thinner. I also cannot honestly say that I will find her attractive. But I am not trying to argue her out of the surgery or anything else.
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Old 07-17-2011, 11:21 AM   #6
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I admire your girlfriend for taking care of her own emotional health by asking you to not contact her right now. Doesn't sound like there is much of a point for either of you to be talking right now. Your fear is that she will leave you, and even though you shouldn't have lied and said you were excited for her and your attraction would stay the same...she has now heard those words and might very well choose to leave you rather than be with someone who is not attracted to her. Maybe it's not just " in her mind " that you want her to remain fat. In your mind, her remaining fat means she won't leave you. You were honest with her about the attraction thing...maybe you need to be more honest with yourself? This just seems like a ' no win ' situation for all involved.
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Old 07-17-2011, 12:05 PM   #7
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I'm a little confused by the original post. So your girlfriend is having WLS, asked your opinion, you gave it and she's upset about that, right? If she knew you prefer larger women, she probably would have guessed at your reaction, but I suppose that she's going through a lot of anxiety right now, and somehow felt burdened by your expressing your feelings. Am I reading this right?

Apparently, though, right now she can only bear to have wholly supportive people around her, and your ambivalence toward her decision is something that she can't tolerate. I can understand that, as someone who has gone through the procedure. It doesn't mean you're wrong or she's wrong; as Mossy said, she's taking care of her own emotional needs right now.

It's you, frankly, that I'm concerned about. I'm concerned because it seems you've ended in two relationships now where you feel unable to express your feelings without recriminations. I think that's interesting, that you're choosing strong minded women who need to be in control; it's not a bad thing, but it is interesting. There may be a way, with future relationships if this one doesn't work out, that you can find ways to be "real" about your feelings without feeling chastised or denied a say in things. Or maybe you're choosing the wrong women. Hard to say.

Another thing that concerns me is that you fear she'll leave you if she loses weight. Does that mean that you think she's with you because she can't do better? If so, that doesn't speak well of either of you, because it means you don't trust her, and it also means that perhaps you don't think YOU can do better either. Unfortunately, insecurity follows us from relationship to relationship and can affect all aspects of our lives -- work, home, friends, intimate partners. It would behoove you, if you've a mind, to look at this and figure out why you're so insecure and maybe work on it. That way you won't feel so buffeted by the actions of others and will feel better about yourself to boot.

Hope this helps a little. Good luck to you!
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Old 07-17-2011, 12:23 PM   #8
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I'm a little confused by the original post. So your girlfriend is having WLS, asked your opinion, you gave it and she's upset about that, right? If she knew you prefer larger women, she probably would have guessed at your reaction, but I suppose that she's going through a lot of anxiety right now, and somehow felt burdened by your expressing your feelings. Am I reading this right?
Yes, you have read it correctly.


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Apparently, though, right now she can only bear to have wholly supportive people around her, and your ambivalence toward her decision is something that she can't tolerate. I can understand that, as someone who has gone through the procedure. It doesn't mean you're wrong or she's wrong; as Mossy said, she's taking care of her own emotional needs right now.
Yes. In both cases I understand the underlying medical conditions that have drawn both she and my ex-wife to this surgery. I am not mad at her for wanting it or even being excited about it. I'm mostly discomfited by her insistence that I have to be excited about it as well.

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It's you, frankly, that I'm concerned about. I'm concerned because it seems you've ended in two relationships now where you feel unable to express your feelings without recriminations. I think that's interesting, that you're choosing strong minded women who need to be in control; it's not a bad thing, but it is interesting. There may be a way, with future relationships if this one doesn't work out, that you can find ways to be "real" about your feelings without feeling chastised or denied a say in things. Or maybe you're choosing the wrong women. Hard to say.
This is a very good point. My therapist and I have noticed the pattern as well. She and I have developed a theory about this and a plan of action therefrom.

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Another thing that concerns me is that you fear she'll leave you if she loses weight. Does that mean that you think she's with you because she can't do better? If so, that doesn't speak well of either of you, because it means you don't trust her, and it also means that perhaps you don't think YOU can do better either. Unfortunately, insecurity follows us from relationship to relationship and can affect all aspects of our lives -- work, home, friends, intimate partners. It would behoove you, if you've a mind, to look at this and figure out why you're so insecure and maybe work on it. That way you won't feel so buffeted by the actions of others and will feel better about yourself to boot.

Hope this helps a little. Good luck to you!
Thank you, Vickie. There is more than a little insecurity on my part at play here, as you guess. There is also my observation that some people change a bit personality-wise once the weight comes off (or down). Usually their personal confidence increases and so their behavior is different.
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Old 07-17-2011, 12:29 PM   #9
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I admire your girlfriend for taking care of her own emotional health by asking you to not contact her right now. Doesn't sound like there is much of a point for either of you to be talking right now. Your fear is that she will leave you, and even though you shouldn't have lied and said you were excited for her and your attraction would stay the same...she has now heard those words and might very well choose to leave you rather than be with someone who is not attracted to her. Maybe it's not just " in her mind " that you want her to remain fat. In your mind, her remaining fat means she won't leave you. You were honest with her about the attraction thing...maybe you need to be more honest with yourself? This just seems like a ' no win ' situation for all involved.
I don't think that her remaining fat means that she won't leave me. Frankly, she's dropped me once before in our relationship without anything to do with weight loss.

And while a woman's weight is a factor in my attraction to a person, it's not a deal breaker. My first girlfriend was, in fact, a recovering anorectic.

And while I too believe I should have answered the questions honestly, I agree that she would be within her rights to want to drop me. I could see where, for instance, she might be afraid that I would try to sabotage her recovery. I wouldn't, but I realize there is no way for me to convince her of that.

Thank you for answering.
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Old 07-17-2011, 12:36 PM   #10
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Yes. In both cases I understand the underlying medical conditions that have drawn both she and my ex-wife to this surgery. I am not mad at her for wanting it or even being excited about it. I'm mostly discomfited by her insistence that I have to be excited about it as well.
You know, I went through this with my husband. I wanted WLS, he initially forbade it (as if ), but I encouraged him to come along with me to my consultation appointment, read the things I had read. Over time, his concerns about my safety were set at ease when he was able to talk to the doctor who was going to do the surgery, and he knew I had done a ton of research. I never asked him to be excited about it -- but to understand that this was a decision that I was making for my own health and not try to talk me out of it. He's been my biggest supporter -- something I never thought would happen!

OTOH, he and I were high school sweethearts, had been together for a long long time before this was an issue, and so we had already weathered big issues. It's difficult when you're in a new-ish and untested relationship to face something like this.

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Thank you, Vickie. There is more than a little insecurity on my part at play here, as you guess. There is also my observation that some people change a bit personality-wise once the weight comes off (or down). Usually their personal confidence increases and so their behavior is different.
Hey, I'm the queen of insecurity, and still feel convinced that there a dozen women my husband would be better off with than me. You mention a change in people after WLS, and yes there can be an increase in confidence. The change that's happened in me since WLS -- and graduating nursing school which happened shortly before having WLS -- is that I know that if he did leave me, I'd be okay. If I never found another guy, I'd have a great and full life. My sense of worth is no longer dependent on whether a guy finds me attractive, and so I guess you could say I'm more confident, although I'm still quite insecure about my looks. That being said, I guess I've just come to a place of peace about them, and that ultimately the fact that I'm not cute doesn't matter in the long run. My sense of identity, rather than being linked to how I look is, more than ever, linked to my skills as a nurse, my role as the mother of children and yes, a wife.

I hope that you're able to work on your confidence. That insecurity just hobbles us and makes us, ironically, less attractive to people, so in many ways it's a self fulfilling prophecy.

Good luck!
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Old 07-18-2011, 10:26 AM   #11
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I realize that this is a shift in the conversation, but often when I read about how WLS changes, or threatens to change, a relationship, I think about my friend who is a cancer social worker in a huge hospital in a major city. She has seen it all: close calls, positive diagnoses, successful treatments and death.

And she says it's extremely rare for any of the relationships between partners to fall apart during the course of the time she knows any specific patient. I'm sure she's seen 1000 patients by now, and worked relatively closely with the majority of them, and she can't think of more than a very small group of people who have ended a relationship (or had it ended on them!) during the months they're going for cancer treatment that will most often change their physical appearance (this is true for relatively new relationships and long-term ones). They may lose hair, they may grow very thin, they may look sickly and weak (b/c they are!), they may lose 1 or both breasts (sometimes by choice in terms of preventative mastectomies) or testicles. They may lose limbs.

All of this information is anecdotal, yes, but I trust what my friend has to say about her more than 10 years working with cancer patients.

Do relationships in which people look drastically different very quickly due to cancer have a better shot of holding together than ones in which bodies change b/c of intentional weight loss?

Is it b/c partners may feel too guilty to leave someone with cancer though they may find a suddenly single-legged man sexually unappealing?

If so, is it b/c you can't help getting cancer, but you CAN help losing weight by choice (either by diet or surgery)? What if that weight loss IS due to a life-threatening illness that is caused by weight or can be alleviated by weight loss?

Is it because the average partner understands wanting to fight cancer but doesn't understanding wanting to fight being fat or being unhealthy and fat?

I know that it's normal for partners to fear what a cancer patient's body might look like (just as it's difficult for the patient. We've all heard of a woman saying she dreads looking at herself suddenly missing a breast, and all of the emotions that entails). What partner hasn't had the panicked: Will I be able to make love to a partner who is missing a body part, or has horrible scars, or who no longer has hair of any kind? thought.

But my friend tells me most of the time, these are isolated thoughts (that may, of course, repeat) but not what the partner leads with. Not thoughts that are, and remain, at the top of the list of What's Important Here.

Do we view cancer as much more immediate of a threat, as opposed to obesity, or just the fundamental comfort level and basic necessities of a fat person's body and mind?

I would be curious to know what people think, here. If, for example, your partner didn't want (and want can include: feel it was necessary for quality of life/longevity) WLS but, instead, had cancer that would require removal of a body part and chemo treatments that would result in significant weight loss, would you see those things as different? Would you react the same way, assuming from the outset that it would more than likely signal the end of the relationship? Would you be more consumed with the outcome than with the health and happiness issues at stake?

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Old 07-18-2011, 04:31 PM   #12
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If so, is it b/c you can't help getting cancer, but you CAN help losing weight by choice (either by diet or surgery)?
This seems like a possible answer here. It would be like me getting my face tattooed or starting to dress as a woman. While I truly may believe that either of those is essential to my life I couldn't possibly expect my wife to accept those things. Losing weight for purely cosmetic reasons doesn't feel any different than those would. Something fundamental to the relationship would have changed and not every relationship can survive it.
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Old 07-18-2011, 07:42 PM   #13
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This seems like a possible answer here. It would be like me getting my face tattooed or starting to dress as a woman. While I truly may believe that either of those is essential to my life I couldn't possibly expect my wife to accept those things. Losing weight for purely cosmetic reasons doesn't feel any different than those would. Something fundamental to the relationship would have changed and not every relationship can survive it.
I've thought about this too, but I do wonder...how many people get WLS for purely cosmetic reasons? Cosmetics can/do play into it but I'm guessing that the average person has other things going on. MOST reputable doctors and insurance companies don't want to pay for surgery for a 200 lbs woman who is healthy. Right? I mean yes, we here lots of stories about shitty doctors and all of that, but I also read many posts from people having to wait for WLS, having to lose weight before a surgery, hoops to jump through, etc.

Anyway, if you're 500 lbs and you have major health issues that you think might be helped by weight loss and you want to lose weight through diet or surgery, how is that so different from having a disease that you want to treat? Like, for example, chemo.

Your example doesn't take ill health (incl. ill mental health) into account. Looking like a member of KISS or wearing garters isn't about health. Health is fiercely individual--the weight someone can, or wants, to carry varies significantly between people.
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Old 07-18-2011, 09:15 PM   #14
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I've thought about this too, but I do wonder...how many people get WLS for purely cosmetic reasons? Cosmetics can/do play into it but I'm guessing that the average person has other things going on. MOST reputable doctors and insurance companies don't want to pay for surgery for a 200 lbs woman who is healthy. Right? I mean yes, we here lots of stories about shitty doctors and all of that, but I also read many posts from people having to wait for WLS, having to lose weight before a surgery, hoops to jump through, etc.

Anyway, if you're 500 lbs and you have major health issues that you think might be helped by weight loss and you want to lose weight through diet or surgery, how is that so different from having a disease that you want to treat? Like, for example, chemo.

Your example doesn't take ill health (incl. ill mental health) into account. Looking like a member of KISS or wearing garters isn't about health. Health is fiercely individual--the weight someone can, or wants, to carry varies significantly between people.
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Old 07-18-2011, 10:27 PM   #15
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I've thought about this too, but I do wonder...how many people get WLS for purely cosmetic reasons? Cosmetics can/do play into it but I'm guessing that the average person has other things going on. MOST reputable doctors and insurance companies don't want to pay for surgery for a 200 lbs woman who is healthy. Right? I mean yes, we here lots of stories about shitty doctors and all of that, but I also read many posts from people having to wait for WLS, having to lose weight before a surgery, hoops to jump through, etc.

Anyway, if you're 500 lbs and you have major health issues that you think might be helped by weight loss and you want to lose weight through diet or surgery, how is that so different from having a disease that you want to treat? Like, for example, chemo.

Your example doesn't take ill health (incl. ill mental health) into account. Looking like a member of KISS or wearing garters isn't about health. Health is fiercely individual--the weight someone can, or wants, to carry varies significantly between people.
I agree with you completely, but I have a few theories about why some F/FAs get so upset by WLS and partner weight loss. I should preface this by saying, I'm not one of those FAs, I lived for a long time with a man who was thin for half of our relationship (off and on over the years, fat and thin) and it didn't make any difference. But I think there are some differences in fat admirers in terms of how being a fat admirer impacts their sexuality, for lack of a better term "how they're wired." Some of us are bisizual or close to it (like myself) so I have more leeway if a partner loses weight. But for some fat admirers, they simply cannot be aroused at all by someone who is below a certain weight. They can't. And I think for those fat admirers, there's a feeling of a rejection of who they are that they don't admit and that is one of the real reasons they get so upset. It's like someone is rejecting your sexual identity. I think for that type of FA, it's more akin to a partner having a sex change; they may need that for their emotional health, maybe even to save their lives (I've known people who felt suicidal living in the "wrong gender"), but as their partner, you feel like somehow a big part of you has been rejected. Doesn't mean you don't love them, doesn't mean you don't find them physically good looking, but sexually arousing is a different matter. I get the impression that's how some FAs feel. I am hesitant to "speak for them" though, since it's not my reality, but from what I read that's how it seems. It isn't a rational feeling, is my point. Even if they know that their partner needs to lose weight for health reasons, there is still the sting, I think of feeling like a part of themselves is rejected and I think that's why so many panic in advance. I also think FAs active in a community like Dims may view their FAness as a bigger part of who they are, they identify with that part of themselves more than an FA like myself, for example. This is where the inter-FA "sexual orientation versus preference" debate comes into play.


I also suspect that the cancer issue is different because people immediately associate cancer with imminent death and an FA in denial about the reality of a partner's health could feel that the health risks aren't imminent, even though that's not true at all. Do you see what I mean? One thing that I always wonder is the following, if your partner was about to have a mastectomy, would you feel that it would be a good idea to tell her as she's facing the surgery that you're afraid you won't be attracted to her without her breast? I'm guessing most men would say no, but for some reason a lot of fat admirers think the time to discuss their feelings is the worst time possible, when their partner is about to undergo a scary and life changing surgery. It's not just scary because of risks, there's fear of a painful recovery or even just the fact that life will be different from now on, which even when it's a good thing is scary. I'm guessing in the breast cancer scenario, the man would talk to a counselor about it. Although, to be fair to FAs, the mental health care community isn't really pro-FA and our feelings a lot of the time.

Another possibility, is that sometimes when a loved one is about to undergo surgery, the partner or other family members can get a bit self-centered as a self-defense mechanism to avoid thinking about their fears about actually losing the person during surgery and things. I wonder if for some FAs all the angst tones down after the partner has successfully made it out of the hospital with no complications. People have different coping mechanisms and they aren't always pretty, believe me, recent events in my family have shown me that. Doesn't make it right, but it is another possible explanation. Again, just theorizing, since I don't personally feel that way. I don't think it makes me better, just different. I just find it hard to believe that FA after FA who has these feelings are all just jerks. I think there's a lot more to it than that. Some of it is what Vickie has said, but I also think the sexuality issue is part of it.

I've never had a partner have WLS, but I did have a partner go through major, major surgery unexpectedly early in our relationship and it did make us stronger and closer. For me it was pretty simple, sitting in that waiting room, waiting to hear that he made it through OK was pretty much the only thing I cared about from the time I found out he needed surgery until he was safely at home (a period of several weeks, by the way). And there was a chance that after the surgery, he might be paralyzed (he wasn't) but I'll tell you, that just didn't enter into my mind. I just wanted him to get through it alive, you know? It was the only place my brain could go at the time. It was very intense. Some things can really shock your system and change your world view in an instant and a loved one's major surgery is one of them, in my opinion. I think that might be the cancer phenomenon your friend is talking about. The problem is when people are in denial about the health risks to a fat person, they don't see it as the same life and death struggle that cancer or some other disease represents. Again, I don't think it's right, I just think it's the truth for some.
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Old 07-18-2011, 10:41 PM   #16
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I've thought about this too, but I do wonder...how many people get WLS for purely cosmetic reasons? Cosmetics can/do play into it but I'm guessing that the average person has other things going on. MOST reputable doctors and insurance companies don't want to pay for surgery for a 200 lbs woman who is healthy. Right? I mean yes, we here lots of stories about shitty doctors and all of that, but I also read many posts from people having to wait for WLS, having to lose weight before a surgery, hoops to jump through, etc.

Anyway, if you're 500 lbs and you have major health issues that you think might be helped by weight loss and you want to lose weight through diet or surgery, how is that so different from having a disease that you want to treat? Like, for example, chemo.

Your example doesn't take ill health (incl. ill mental health) into account. Looking like a member of KISS or wearing garters isn't about health. Health is fiercely individual--the weight someone can, or wants, to carry varies significantly between people.
I wasn't speaking of WLS for health reasons, just purely cosmetic nonsurgical weightloss. Of course there are other issues at play when WLS becomes an option. I should have been more clear.
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Old 07-19-2011, 04:24 AM   #17
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I agree with you completely, but I have a few theories about why some F/FAs get so upset by WLS and partner weight loss. I should preface this by saying, I'm not one of those FAs, I lived for a long time with a man who was thin for half of our relationship (off and on over the years, fat and thin) and it didn't make any difference. But I think there are some differences in fat admirers in terms of how being a fat admirer impacts their sexuality, for lack of a better term "how they're wired." Some of us are bisizual or close to it (like myself) so I have more leeway if a partner loses weight. But for some fat admirers, they simply cannot be aroused at all by someone who is below a certain weight. They can't. And I think for those fat admirers, there's a feeling of a rejection of who they are that they don't admit and that is one of the real reasons they get so upset. It's like someone is rejecting your sexual identity. I think for that type of FA, it's more akin to a partner having a sex change; they may need that for their emotional health, maybe even to save their lives (I've known people who felt suicidal living in the "wrong gender"), but as their partner, you feel like somehow a big part of you has been rejected. Doesn't mean you don't love them, doesn't mean you don't find them physically good looking, but sexually arousing is a different matter. I get the impression that's how some FAs feel. I am hesitant to "speak for them" though, since it's not my reality, but from what I read that's how it seems. It isn't a rational feeling, is my point. Even if they know that their partner needs to lose weight for health reasons, there is still the sting, I think of feeling like a part of themselves is rejected and I think that's why so many panic in advance. I also think FAs active in a community like Dims may view their FAness as a bigger part of who they are, they identify with that part of themselves more than an FA like myself, for example. This is where the inter-FA "sexual orientation versus preference" debate comes into play.
This is very insightful and explains a lot of the arguments I read on Dimensions. Your reference to sex change is a good analogy, I think.
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Old 07-19-2011, 06:45 AM   #18
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I also suspect that the cancer issue is different because people immediately associate cancer with imminent death and an FA in denial about the reality of a partner's health could feel that the health risks aren't imminent, even though that's not true at all. Do you see what I mean? One thing that I always wonder is the following, if your partner was about to have a mastectomy, would you feel that it would be a good idea to tell her as she's facing the surgery that you're afraid you won't be attracted to her without her breast? I'm guessing most men would say no, but for some reason a lot of fat admirers think the time to discuss their feelings is the worst time possible, when their partner is about to undergo a scary and life changing surgery. It's not just scary because of risks, there's fear of a painful recovery or even just the fact that life will be different from now on, which even when it's a good thing is scary. I'm guessing in the breast cancer scenario, the man would talk to a counselor about it. Although, to be fair to FAs, the mental health care community isn't really pro-FA and our feelings a lot of the time.
I think you really hit the nail on the head here. The risks of being fat are downplayed by some in this community -- not unlike how they're exaggerated by some in the medical field as a scare tactic. But for some, being fat is every bit as dangerous as having cancer (the men in my family being a prime example, whereas my mom was able to tolerate much higher weight and ended up dying early of a non-weight related illness).

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Another possibility, is that sometimes when a loved one is about to undergo surgery, the partner or other family members can get a bit self-centered as a self-defense mechanism to avoid thinking about their fears about actually losing the person during surgery and things.
I think you're right on about this. I've seen this with my patients, and with loved ones. It's amazing, but it's just one of the many ways that people deal with fear. Doesn't make it wrong -- it just is. It's too bad that it could cause a relationship to end, when I think with good communication it could be ironed out. But early in a relationship, the ability to work through issues is like trial by fire.

The rest of your post was also right on, but I'm late for work and don't have time to comment. But I'll put out a big ol' "Yell yeah!" and hope that suffices.
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Old 07-19-2011, 08:22 AM   #19
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But I'll put out a big ol' "Yell yeah!" and hope that suffices.
It certainly does.
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Old 07-21-2011, 04:06 PM   #20
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I think you really hit the nail on the head here. The risks of being fat are downplayed by some in this community -- not unlike how they're exaggerated by some in the medical field as a scare tactic.
Yeah.

What if death killed your relationship?
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Old 07-21-2011, 10:08 PM   #21
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One thing that I always wonder is the following, if your partner was about to have a mastectomy, would you feel that it would be a good idea to tell her as she's facing the surgery that you're afraid you won't be attracted to her without her breast? I'm guessing most men would say no, but for some reason a lot of fat admirers think the time to discuss their feelings is the worst time possible, when their partner is about to undergo a scary and life changing surgery.
Not that you were specifically including me in this, but for the record, I was perfectly content not to bring up any of my insecurities. It was only when she broached the subject that I answered her truthfully. She said at one point that she realizes she should have never asked the question. I have always believed you should never ask a question you don't want an honest answer to.
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Old 07-21-2011, 10:19 PM   #22
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Not that you were specifically including me in this, but for the record, I was perfectly content not to bring up any of my insecurities. It was only when she broached the subject that I answered her truthfully. She said at one point that she realizes she should have never asked the question. I have always believed you should never ask a question you don't want an honest answer to.
I actually wasn't talking about you, specifically, I was responding to Jes' post where she was wondering why the cancer and WLS scenarios often differed. I was actually basing it on past posts I've seen by other FAs. I see your point about don't ask a question you don't want an honest answer to, but don't expect to be asked to stay around if you're not supportive, or sensitive enough to know when is the best time to tell that truth. I have known men whose wives/girlfriends were going to undergo surgery for cancer and not one of them ever told the woman in question about their actual concerns about finding her less attractive. They usually talked to their friends and or family about it, because they realized the woman was already facing enough fear and stress and they cared about her and didn't want to give her one more thing to worry about and wanted to stand by her. I'm an FFA and I don't think fat admirers should get a pass on being good and decent partners, because of what arouses us. Either you love someone and want to be with them and accept that over the long haul that may involve sacrifices, or - don't be surprised if a lot of things end a lot of relationships over and over and over and over again.
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Old 07-22-2011, 08:24 PM   #23
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I see your point about don't ask a question you don't want an honest answer to, but don't expect to be asked to stay around if you're not supportive, or sensitive enough to know when is the best time to tell that truth.
So is it your opinion that I should have lied?
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Old 07-22-2011, 08:57 PM   #24
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So is it your opinion that I should have lied?
Not lied. Just, perhaps, not gone down that road right now. It seems a little self-serving to me.

Reverse the situation: You've been told that you have a health condition that, with treatment, may render you impotent. You ask your girlfriend how she feels about your upcoming surgery. Her response is that she's afraid she won't be sexually attracted to you anymore, if you are unable to perform. She's being excruciatingly honest with you. How would you feel about that? I see this as a similiar situation because you've already acknowledged that she's having the surgery for health reasons. But *why* she's having surgery ultimately doesn't matter, anyway. It's her body. You're either on board with the potential changes, or you're not. You can't expect for her to be happy with the first possibility. Her reaction is probably very self-protective, as what you said to her was no doubt very painful to hear, and especially now, as she's preparing herself for major surgery with the potential for a difficult outcome.

You probably wouldn't want to hear such a flatly honest response as you're preparing for surgery that could render you unable to satisfy her sexually ... even as you have to acknowledge that you've asked for her "honest" opinion. Would it make a difference to you if her response was: "I love you, I'm terrified of losing you, but I know that you need to have this life-saving operation. I have a lot of fears and concern, but the most important thing right now is that we get through this together. We'll figure it out as we go along." She's still being honest with you, but she's leaving out the self-serving bit about how she fears you won't be able to satisfy her sexually. That's something that may or may not be an issue, as time goes by, and if/when it becomes one ... you deal with it then. The relationship either evolves into something that both of you are OK with ... or it doesn't. Why borrow trouble on the front end and splay all of the ugly bits out there, and say things that can never be taken back?
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Old 07-22-2011, 09:41 PM   #25
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Not lied. Just, perhaps, not gone down that road right now. It seems a little self-serving to me.
I didn't volunteer this information. I was asked. So again, should I have lied? Should I have tried to evade the question?

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Reverse the situation: You've been told that you have a health condition that, with treatment, may render you impotent. You ask your girlfriend how she feels about your upcoming surgery. Her response is that she's afraid she won't be sexually attracted to you anymore, if you are unable to perform. She's being excruciatingly honest with you. How would you feel about that?
There are a lot of problems with this scenario. First of all, I wouldn't ask her. Next, if I asked her, it would be because I would want to know the answer and would be emotionally prepared for the worst answer. Finally, to directly answer your question, it would suck. But I would be glad she told me the truth.

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I see this as a similiar situation because you've already acknowledged that she's having the surgery for health reasons. But *why* she's having surgery ultimately doesn't matter, anyway. It's her body. You're either on board with the potential changes, or you're not.
Nowhere did I say it wasn't her body. Nowhere did I say I wanted out of the relationship if she lost weight. I answered a question. I didn't even say I wouldn't be turned on by her, just that I didn't know if I would be.

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You can't expect for her to be happy with the first possibility. Her reaction is probably very self-protective, as what you said to her was no doubt very painful to hear, and especially now, as she's preparing herself for major surgery with the potential for a difficult outcome.
So why ask the question?

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You probably wouldn't want to hear such a flatly honest response as you're preparing for surgery that could render you unable to satisfy her sexually ... even as you have to acknowledge that you've asked for her "honest" opinion.
If I wanted to ask such a question, it would be precisely because I would want the truth. But I am finding that I am peculiar in that regard.

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Would it make a difference to you if her response was: "I love you, I'm terrified of losing you, but I know that you need to have this life-saving operation. I have a lot of fears and concern, but the most important thing right now is that we get through this together. We'll figure it out as we go along." She's still being honest with you, but she's leaving out the self-serving bit about how she fears you won't be able to satisfy her sexually.
It's an evasion of the question. This answers my question.

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That's something that may or may not be an issue, as time goes by, and if/when it becomes one ... you deal with it then. The relationship either evolves into something that both of you are OK with ... or it doesn't. Why borrow trouble on the front end and splay all of the ugly bits out there, and say things that can never be taken back?
Why ask the question in the first place? Why ask me to tell you something you're not prepared to hear? This is really the question for me. Yes, I cannot take back what I said. Why was I asked to say it?
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