Husbands Should Be Allowed to Call Their Wives 'Fat'

Husbands who call their wives fat are pretty much universally reviled in our culture. After all, what kind of sexist awful man would possibly suggest that a woman needs to lose weight in order to be with him? The nerve!

In theory, anyone would agree. But, in practice, there are a million different kinds of relationships and ways of communicating. For some, being called "fat" is just the kick in the pants they needed.

My husband and I have always been very active. He was a star athlete in high school and college and I love to run (marathons and half-marathons), do yoga, dance, hike, and bike. It has always been a part of our marriage and has usually meant that we are fit people with pretty athletic bods to go with it.


I am attracted to his body when it's fit and tight. Obviously, I love him for other reasons, too. His height, for instance (just kidding). He is smart and funny and witty and loving and I would still want to kiss him even if he were 300 pounds. But he isn't. He is a fit guy and I like him that way.

When he and I were first married, I was softer, but I gradually became pretty hard-bodied. Even after two kids, the whole washboard abs thing was still happening thanks to my marathon running and constant movement with my kids as a stay-at-home mom.

But then I went back to full-time work. And even though I have maintained a 30 mile a week run schedule, I put on about 7 pounds and started to inch toward a size 6 (I have always been a 4). I know I am not "fat," so it has been easy to ignore. But I also know I am not like I used to be.

My husband and I have always prided ourselves on our openness. I tell him anything and he does that same. He has also always made me feel ridiculously attractive, which has often led to me mocking him over his "standards." After all, how could he possibly have found me hot when I was nine months pregnant, full of waddle, and angry at everyone? But he did.

Still, when he started to put on a few recently, I told him he was getting jiggly in the middle and he worked it back down. And, about a month ago, while we were in bed, after much coaxing from me, my husband finally admitted I looked "different, less tight, a little softer."

He also said how attracted he is to me and blah, blah. But I needed to hear the truth, hurt and all. And he gave it to me.

Somehow, hearing it from him was the kick in the pants I needed. For months, I had been complaining of a waning sex drive and never wanted him to touch me and it was all because of how I felt about my body. To hear it from him made it all clear. It wasn't just me and my crazy paranoid body nonsense! He could see the weight gain, too! It lit a fire under me and I wouldn't have done it without hearing it from him. 

In the month that has followed, I have managed to lose all the weight. But more than that, I FEEL good. I am back to biking more and doing yoga. Even though I had been running all along, it wasn't enough to maintain my physical form.

I am very grateful to my husband for risking my wrath in order to tell me the truth. I am 100 percent certain he would love me and be attracted to me at any weight. But I needed to feel like me again in order to let him. Now, I do. I hope he will have the courage to always be honest with me.

Do you think men can tell women when they have gained?


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