"He Makes Me Feel Bad About Being Fat"
Her Turn, continued
"I met Seth when I was a graduate student in New York City. I'd taken a waitressing job to help pay for school, and he was my first customer. We hit it off instantly, discussing politics, travel, and our love of Big Band music. Seth, who was newly divorced with a 5-year-old son, not only was smart, articulate, and funny but handsome, too.
"We got married six months after we met. We had a sizzling sex life, but as happy as we were, those early years were stressful. Seth shared custody of his son Todd, who's now 28, with his ex-wife, and the two of them were always wrangling about that. After I got my MBA, I had a grueling schedule, while Seth, a mechanical engineer, got laid off twice.
"We were both thrilled when, five years into our marriage, I became pregnant. But that's when my weight gain started. I put on 80 pounds with Sam and lost just 50. With David I gained 35 pounds and never dropped one. When the boys were little, I was too busy to diet, and over the years I packed on another 20 pounds."We Can't Do This Alone"
"Since turning 40, though, I've tried every diet known to man. One month I'm up, the next I'm down. Five years ago Seth, who had also put on weight, joined Weight Watchers with me. With his support I lost 40 pounds and started exercising. But after Seth lost 45 pounds, he stopped. I couldn't stay motivated to go it alone and I gained it all back.
"That's when Seth changed. He became hostile and began making nasty comments about my eating habits. If I reach for a piece of bread, he'll ask, 'Aren't you on a diet?' or if I manage to lose a few pounds, he'll say, 'You'll never keep it off.' It hurts my feelings, and it seems unfair, since he has regained a lot of his lost weight, too.
"I can't remember the last time we had sex. Seth rejects my overtures and never initiates. I feel so unloved and alone. Last year, when my dad died, I hit bottom. But his death reminded me that life is too short to be miserable. 'I love you, but I can't live like this,' I told Seth when I asked him to try marriage counseling. 'We need to change, but we can't do it on our own.'"