Is Your Weight Destroying Your Relationship?

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by Lisa Myer

Jenny's diet plan was driving Jim around the bend. After the birth of their first child, Jenny didn't lose the 40 pounds of baby weight she put on during her pregnancy. Caring for an infant precluded her ability to zip off to the gym, and disruptions in the couple's schedule made for a lot of fast food dinners. Instead of seeking the advice of a dietitian, Jenny designed her own plan that limited her to salads and liquid diet supplements that seemed to keep her on the verge of starvation.

When her excess weight didn't melt off quickly, Jenny became depressed and inhibited, eschewing Jim's amorous overtures. To cheer his wife up, Jim hired a sitter and took her out to their favorite Italian food restaurant. But Jenny picked at her garden salad listlessly, occasionally eyeing Jim balefully as he scarfed down his fettuccine alfredo. There was a weighty silence on the drive back home. Jim didn't understand what he'd done wrong.

Eileen's relationship with Jack -- and their respective relationships with food -- was a reversal of the old nursery rhyme. A binge eater of all things sugary and fried, Jack could literally eat no lean and at 5'11 tipped the scales at 250 pounds. Jack made half-hearted attempts at weight reduction, relying on fad diets that lasted only a week and left him fatigued, cranky, and even more despondent.