Life Advice

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Health & Spirit

Admitting you can't fix a partner's weight problem

Carolyn Hax on

There is something to that. It's so easy to take on other people's problems as our own that we sometimes fail to see how stressful that is. "I can't fix this" is a small step with big impact on your to-do list.

Cross off everything that isn't part of just being healthy yourself. Buy and prepare good foods, be active, invite him along.

And, explore your revulsion at his eating habits. Why do they annoy you? Can you train yourself to respond differently? If not, can you accept occasional annoyance as part of life with anyone? If not, can you recognize that he deserves to know what actions of his might alienate you?

New relationships are about having what you love. Settled-in ones lean toward loving what you have -- helpful to keep in mind no matter what you do next.

Re: Weight:

In a lot of cases, health is just a convenient, politically correct pretext when they really mean "you're no longer hot." And focus on appearance doesn't bother me nearly as much as the self-delusion. Applause to "Talking" for being brave enough to type it out loud.

-- Deeply Suspicious

I agree this is common. However, it is not "political correctness" or self-delusion to cry "health" when there's a mobility crisis in progress.

Re: Weight:

It's usually not so much about my husband's weight as annoyance that he talks about wanting to look better and eat healthier, but then follows a healthy dinner with a junk food snack. I think it's fine to bring up that disconnect.

-- Anonymous

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Email Carolyn at tellme@washpost.com, follow her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/carolyn.hax or chat with her online at noon Eastern time each Friday at www.washingtonpost.com.

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