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Why does major weight loss in partner seem so traumatic? (long)

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Active Member
Jun 26, 2007
Hi everyone. I'm a LONG time lurker here at Dim.

I know that others have shared stories of their SO going on a diet and the anxiety it generates. I am in a situation where my BBW wife of 18 years decided very suddenly to have WLS. She's known I'm an FA, and the depth of FAness to who I am for 17 of those years.

We've had a happy compromise about her weight (lower than I wanted, higher than she wanted, but where she felt OK and had no health problems) for many years, but now, suddenly, she wants to lose massive amounts of weight - far beyond the point of our mutually agreed compromise.

She decided to have WLS after a routine Dr. visit on Dec. 21 where he suggested it. She made her appt with the surgeon right after she got home. (no thinking about it, no researching it or talking it over) Her initial consult was set for Jan 7; and then she had her surgery on Jan 17 - so as you can see this did not allow me very much time to adjust to such a sudden, drastic, unilaterally decided, massive life change.

She does not understand why this upsets me so much. Even though I act supportively, she can see right thru me and she can tell that I am very sad and anxious about her impending massive (probably about 100 lbs) weight loss.

She keeps telling me that it was for medical reasons (not current problems but anticipated future problems - only current problem is high BP); that she is not doing it "to" me; that I should not feel like she is doing something hurtful (not that I've said that, but she can read my mind); that she won't love me any less when she's thin; that she won't change, etc.

But she cannot understand why I am so upset, and I don't really understand it myself either.

She asks me:

Is it just a sexual thing? Partly, I guess.

Do I want her to look a certain way despite the health consequences? I am ashamed to admit that is somewhat true, but it's just a feeling, not an action, and more importantly, it's not the WHOLE truth.

Am I jealous because she gets to achieve her major life goal, while some of my goals have gone unaccomplished? No, I don't think so. I've failed at some of my goals, but succeeded at others. I don't think it's "success jealousy".

Am I afraid she'll leave me when she's thin? No. Not for a second.

Do I think she'll change when she's thin? Well, most people DO undergo significant personality change as a result of major weight loss, but she won't. I'm sure of that.

So then WHAT is it? Why does it bother me so much? Why can't I just be merely "disappointed" that she does not (nor will she ever again) look (even close to) the way I like and just accept that she is doing this for herself and will be happy?

She understands why I might feel some disappointment, but she can't understand the degree of distress and upset about something that is "just looks, not really a big deal". She cannot understand why it is "still" (after 28 days from deciding out of nowhere to coming out of surgery) bothering me. She (and I) would like to know - if it's not just "looks" or "sexiness", why does this upset me so deeply?

At this point I have to accept it - I think that's partly why she did it so suddenly and so fast - to force me to accept it. But I'm still at a point of suffering over it, and because we are very close emotionally my suffering is spilling over into her. She knew this was going to freak me out, but I don't think she anticipated this outcome (i.e., that I would not leave her, that I would be (outwardly, at least) supportive, but that I would feel anxious and miserable and she would see this in me would that make her feel bad.) Nor do I think she anticipated that it would last this "long" and that my sadness might go on or get more acute as the weight starts (and keeps) comes off.

Any ideas?

Anybody have similar stories? Anything from simple anxiety about an SO's weight loss to coping with WLS and it's aftermath would be great. And does anybody have speculation or insight into the FA psyche as to why this seemingly "surface issue" is such a big deal for FAs?

Any comments, suggestions, stories or whatever would be very appreciated. Even supportive thoughts would be appreciated - I am drowning in and somewhat overwhelmed by negative feelings right now.


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