I want a divorce because you're fat.

I had lunch with a friend yesterday. A year ago his wife gave him an ultimatum, lose 100 pounds in a year or I'm leaving you. When he told me this last year I told him, oh, she doesn't mean it. She's just saying that because she loves you and wants you to get healthy. He told me then that she was serious.

It's been almost a year and she was indeed serious. It's been a year of hell for him. All physical contact cut off, even touching or kissing, until he lost weight. He's about 150 pounds overweight. He hasn't lost an ounce in the past year. My heart broke for him as he told me how hard he tried to lose weight, but that he didn't do well under pressure. His wife has found an apartment and is moving out with the kids (13 and 15). After 19 years of marriage, he says it's over.

I told another friend about this, that I just didn't understand how a wife could do this to her husband, an otherwise kind and gentle man. I was really surprised when he said he totally understood this guy's wife. He said if his own wife gained 100 pounds he'd consider it a breach of contract and would consider divorce if she didn't make a concerted effort to lose weight. What!? This shocked me. As a person who has been 100 pounds overweight more than once in my life, I just couldn't believe my value as a person and a spouse would ever be based on my weight.

What do you think? Is it a breach of contract? Would you ever consider divorce if your spouse gained 100 pounds and didn't lose the weight? Most likely if you're reading this, you have a weight issue yourself and can't even imagine such craziness. From what I'm hearing from normal sized people who have never experienced being overweight, this breach of contract seems to be a common thought. I know there's two sides to every story, especially divorce stories, but seriously, I don't understand this line of thinking.

Note: I gave him a copy of The Love Dare and he promised to read it and try the love dares. His wife sounds like she's totally opposed to a reconciliation, but you never know.


spunkysuzi said…
I cannot believe anyone would give someone they love that ultimatum!! And then have left him. Wow honestly i don't even know what to say.
I can't believe someone could do that. Fat or thin a person is who they are underneath it all. The only way I can even process this is that there had to be other underlying issues that haven't been discussed. Is it really just about the weight?

I can understand her wanting him healthy, but leaving just because he's overweight...it's sick. And I'm sorry, but when I got married I vowed to love through sickness and health, being overweight is a disease of the mind, heart, and body. There is no breach of contract. I don't remember signing a certificate guaranteeing I'd stay a certain size or weight throughout my marriage.

What a horrible thing to do and say!
twinkelydots said…
Wow. I think there's more to this than just the weight. She's using it as an excuse. If he was to lose the weight she'd find another excuse to leave.

My husband read your blog today. "What happened to 'in better and worse'?"
Tony said…
I dunno. I think there are a lot of factors besides the shallowness of it all that goes into a decision like that.
Squishy ! said…
Personally, my marriage vows said "for better or worse", not "for as long as I keep a 'normal' BMI". The "contract" that people enter into through marriage has nothing to do with weight.

I'm not speaking in support of letting one's self go. I think that we should always try and keep our spouses in mind, and work hard to have the best relationship with them that we can have. Let's face it- sex has a lot to do with that too, and that gets a lot harder when either or both parties are significantly overweight. Does that mean that I think a person should leave their spouse because of their weight issues, absolutely not.

Maybe they made different vows than I did, but I said that I'd stick with my husband for better or worse, in both sickness and health.
antgirl said…
I would not divorce my husband for weight and he didn't divorce me for it. Love is not supposed to be conditional.

I would have to say other factors come into play. Or else the basis of marriage is based on factors ours isn't. Shrug. It's a lame reason to leave a marriage though.
Kimberly said…
Wow! I agree with the other posters - there have to be other issues going on. With that being said, I do not think the vows "for better or worse" are a pass to let yourself go. I will always love my husband no matter his size...but I am certain that my level of physical attraction would decrease if he became morbidly obese. And I would expect the same of him.

Therefore, we made sure before we wed to commit to keeping each other as healthy and fit as possible - we see it as an investmet in our future and our marriage.
Ida said…
I can't think it was much of a marriage if she left him because of his weight. Personal experience? When we got married (37 years ago) hubby weighed 185, I weighed 125. I love my hubby as much (even more) than I did then. My love doesn't depend on his weight, and fortunately, his doesn't depend on mine (I got up to 220) Like you, I don't understand how someone could treat some one they supposedly love that way. There are much deeper issues here than weight, I am afraid.
Caitlin said…
Oh my God this pissed me off so much. Like I want to knock her in the head!
IRJessica said…
I have been 'normal' weight almost my entire life, though always wanting to be smaller. (The last few years I've been a bit bigger.) I would never ever ever leave my husband for gaining 100 pounds. That is insane. That silly lady! Just wait until she is lonesome and see what else awaits you out there in the 40+ singles market (assumption based on length of marriage).

Now... if my husband was slowly killing himself by overeating- I might might consider some kind of ultimatum. But not one with divorce- you never put divorce on the table! (Not never, but being overweight isn't cheating.) I hope this man's situation works out for the best!
bbubblyb said…
Well this happened to me but it went a bit different. My first husband said he wouldn't marry me unless I lost 100 lbs. Well it was definitely just an excuse. I lost the 100 lbs and it was clear he still didn't want to marry me. But eventually he did and of course it was a huge mistake for both of us. 5 yrs into it I found out the real issues and it had nothing to do with me or my weight. It's definitely an excuse I say for this woman to leave her husband. If she really loved him she would stay.

On the flip side of that my husband (second one) and I have discussed me losing over 100 lbs and how it has affected him. That he met me large and so now that I've changed he feels like he has to. I've made it clear that it's all up to him what he does that I'll love him regardless.
MizFit said…
that shocked me and yet it shouldnt any longer.

My husband gained about 50 pounds and without getting too too into it I KNEW that he must be unhappy or working too much or SOMETHING and that the weight was a tiny symptom & emblematic of a bigger problem.

So we worked TOGETHER to figure out how to solve the problem.
Anonymous said…
This is amazing to read. My husband just informed me that he is no longer in love with me and that he plans to seek a divorce because of my weight. I am over weight 150 lbs. I have been married for 10 years and was told that he now wants out.
His actions and his words do match, I just need to find the strenght in me to accept it.
Diana said…
Anonymous - I wish I knew who you were, I'd love to talk to you. I'm so sorry. I don't understand it.

I think men think more like this than women, because I've actually heard other women friends say their husbands told them don't you ever get fat because they don't like fat women.

It's so wrong and so warped to think like this. Obviously there's a reason we gain weight, it's not like we choose to do it. I consider it similar to alcholism or a drug addiction, but even more difficult to overcome because we can't stop eating cold turkey.

Anyway, my heart goes out to you. I wish I could help in some way. Email me if you just want to talk. ww.lady@gmail.com
Anonymous said…
My husband is 125 pounds over weight and it is a turnoff. He looks awful, it is a bad example for the kids. It makes me look at men and wish he looked like that. It just gets old, I have put on a little weight but not like that. It is like alcoholism, how much must you endure? Plus he is an asshole when he doesn't eat and he hates the way he looks and makes us all miserable. I totally understand why she would say divorce. Sometimes you just get pushed to the end of your rope.
Anonymous said…
If a person doesn't care for themselves enough to eat right and actually get some exercise or recognise that they need to talk about the issues that are bothering them so they can loose the extra weight, why should I care? For better or worse does not mean that a person should put up with the side effects of being obease. Poor hygene, broken toilet seats, not being able to go out and enjoy the world, medical problems, incresed medical cost. So if I promise to overlook all of that and stay happily married is it ok that I seek sex elsewhere? When is enough, enough? I am male and by nature I am driven by visual stimulas, so she should be ok in saying, yep, I am fat and my husband just deals with it, he won't leave me and I am ok that he was honest and said he will be home in a couple of hours when he is finished with girlfriend or hooker or cyber sex or what ever? Take weight out of this discussion, is it ok that she would stay with me if I have the out of control urge to beat her every day? Absolutely not, she should leave me and never look back!
Anonymous said…
My best friend's father was obese (about 400 lbs) and I watched as his weight problem slowly tore his family apart over the years. Apparently he was thin and fit when he was first married to my friend's mother but he started packing on the pounds a few years in and did not stop until he died 10 years ago. As his weight increased over the years the family's happiness decreased. He got too fat to play with his kids in the yard. He got too fat to go on vacation because he couldn't fit in an airplane seat or ride in a car for too long. He got too fat to do a lot of things for himself so his wife, my friend and her brother had to wait on him hand and foot. All this time his family would beg him to try to lose weight. He would try for about a week and give up. When they begged him to go to family counseling he went twice and gave up. His wife refused to make meals for him so he would just order out. By the time we hit high school all her Dad did was sit in his lay-z-boy and watch TV. Mostly because that's all he could do because of his weight. He missed out on a lot of family things (i.e. school plays, soccer games etc.) because of his weight. He was not only a burden to his wife and kids he was also a disappointment. After witnessing all of this misery over the years I can't help but think that maybe my friend, her brother and most of all her mother would have been better off if there would have been a divorce or even just a threat of divorce. He died during our freshman year of college of a massive heart attack. A sad end to what turned out to be a sad life. A sad life for him, and because of his refusal to take personal responsibility for his obesity, a sad life for his wife and kids.
Anonymous said…
My husband just gave me the whole "I'm not happy any more" speech. We've been married 26 years and I've been overweight most of them. In his mind, he's been supportive and encouraging, but in reality he's been bullying and mean.

I know I have to gain control for my own health and I know that my unhappiness is totally on me. I never said anything when I put on that first 10 pounds and he started withholding affection. I just dealt with it. Twenty pounds later, he stopped even touching me unless we were having sex. When his father died, we stopped having sex entirely for almost 2 years. I thought he was impotent. No, it was just to punish me. Fifty pounds more and he decided I'd get the speech.

I cried and then I got mad. I've enrolled in a weight loss center to "save my marriage", but in reality, it's to save me. I'll never feel the same way about him again, but I do know I won't continue to suffer in silence any more. I'm not swallowing the pain anymore.
Anonymous said…
My husband told me to lose weight or he wants a divorce. I am about 40 lbs overweight! He says something to me about my weight every week and has for years. He told me about three weeks ago, start loosing it or get out. I moved out. Hurts so bad, because he is supposed to love me for me.
Anonymous said…
I just gave my husband the speech and implied divorce. He has 7 months. I am 31 he is 48. The children are 10, 5, 3, and 1. Every pregnancy HE gains 40-50lbs and he's already close to 300. The only time he really lost weight was when I was in the process of leaving him. He got to 245 from 320! He looked great then gained it all back. Long story short i am now pregnant with twins. I told him I will have 6 kids and be 32 and that it's selfish of him to want a young family but not take care of himself to ensure that he will be here. I've done the cooking supportive route and he's still eating crap. I've done the mean route, nice route and all in between. Now, I don't care. I told him if he wants to be so selfish he can get me a fat life insurance policy to care for these babies and I'll never mention with again, I'll even bake him a cake. Or he can think outside the box an lose the weight OR come July when the babies come, I'll file for divorce. Just by you love someone doesn't mean 'no matter what'. Two people here. I have lost so much respect for him bc of his severe lack of self control. I get it.
Anonymous said…
I am married to someone over 300 lbs. I havent left. But I feel close to it at times. Intimacy is gone and taking him out in public or to my work functions just doesnt happen. He gets mad when I tell him anything about it. He thinks fat is cute and funny. He loves all the fat comedians and uses them as a crutch. My marriage happiness is gone.
Anonymous said…
True love does not involve supporting any nasty, addictive, sinful behavior, and that includes gluttony and laziness.
Taylor said…
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