"He Makes Me Feel Bad About Being Fat"

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His Turn

Taking Responsibility

"Why is it my fault that Liz can't stick with a diet? Why am I to blame for the fact that she won't exercise?" asked a clearly frustrated Seth, 54. "As for our fights about dinner, I'm reluctant to tell her what I'd like since I don't want to tempt her off her diet. But I detest the low-calorie food she makes. I don't cook, so it makes sense to go out. But do I twist her arm to order the super-rich pasta?

When I decided to stop smoking, 20 years ago, I threw out my cigarettes and never touched one again. Nobody helped me quit. Why can't Liz take responsibility for her weight problem and correct it?

"I've always been self-reliant. My dad died of a heart attack when I was in kindergarten. My sister was eight years older, and my mom worked long hours as a secretary, so I fended for myself from an early age.

"I first spotted Liz through the window of my favorite restaurant. I couldn't get through the door fast enough to meet her. She was beautiful, vibrant, and charming, and I felt I could tell her anything. By our second date, I knew I'd marry her. I knew my son Todd would love Liz, too. On our first outing, the two of them held hands as we walked around the zoo. It was clear that she'd be a fabulous parent. And she has been -- both to Todd, who's grown up now, and to our sons Sam and David.

"I Barely Recognize Her Anymore"

"Five years ago, I was thrilled when Liz lost 40 pounds on Weight Watchers. After I hit my goal, she said she was committed to continuing. So I was disappointed, but not surprised, when she quit. What bugged me, though, was that she blamed me! She said I wasn't supportive, that I should exercise with her. She wants me to walk around the track at her pace, which is way too slow for me.

"Liz has gotten so fat that I barely recognize her anymore. I haven't felt attracted to her in years -- a fact I've never revealed, because it would hurt her. But I still love her. She is the smartest woman I've ever known; she has stood by me in difficult times; she is a devoted mother and stepmother. I agreed to try counseling because we used to be great together. I just hope we can learn how to be great again."

Continued on page 4:  The Counselor's Turn


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