How Much You Weigh Affects Your Marriage


happy coupleThinner women are happier in their relationships, according to research from the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science. But it's not just "thin women" in general. It's relative. Meaning if a wife has a lower body mass index (BMI) than her husband, he's supposedly going to be more satisfied initially, and she's supposedly going to be "more satisfied" over time.

Ooookay. Well, given society's standards of beauty and gender roles, it makes sense that most guys want to be with a woman who is smaller than he is, especially before changes (pregnancies, menopause, etc.) that cause women to gain weight. But what about the idea that we're happier in the long-run if we're thinner than our guy? Could it be that if a woman weighs less and thus considers herself more attractive than her man -- the person she's closest to and likely spends the most time with -- she feels better about herself in general?

Like how having a less attractive friend around all the time makes some women feel better about themselves? Or maybe it's that we think we're doing our guys a favor by staying "skinny" and that makes us feel better about ourselves and our relationship? Either way, the conclusion feels wrong ... and off to me.

What this study really seems like it's driving at and should have taken a magnifying glass to: Women with healthier body image and self-esteem -- regardless of weight -- are obviously happier in their relationships. If you feel beautiful, healthy, and confident, you're probably more likely to be comfortable in your own skin and feel like being affectionate and/or having sex, which I'm sure we can all agree is a big factor in keeping a relationship lovey-dovey. And if your husband makes you feel beautiful -- i.e. he actually tells you that you are and/or you just feel gorgeous and glowy around him -- even better!

And what about women who are much skinnier than their husbands and who are MISERABLE in their relationships? (I know plenty of them.) Or women who are technically larger (weight-wise) than their husbands and who have been over-the-moon happy ... forever!

They're the reason lower weight -- or geesh, more specifically, BMI!?! -- doesn't deserve any credit for bolstering happy relationships. The way this study has been covered so far makes it seem like women should be consciously seeking out men who are chubbier than they are! As if that somehow will lead to true, lasting love. Can you say wacko? We should be encouraging our partners to be as healthy as they can be.

Although, I will say there is something about being a 4'11" petite woman and having a guy who is 6 feet tall with a "strapping" hockey player build. But sorry, researchers -- most women being attracted to taller guys is anything short of news.

What do you think of this study -- is there any truth to women who are skinnier than their hubbies being happier in their marriages?


Image via Gareth Williams/Flickr

love, marriage, body image, obesity, self esteem, turn-ons, turn-offs


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Samal... Samallama

You can never trust these "studies". It's all about taking a few statistics and twisting them to say whatever outlandish thing you want them to say. 

nonmember avatar Blue

I don't generally trust "studies," either. I do think this particular study, kind of makes sense. I don't know a woman who is overweight and truly happy with her appearance. Being unhappy with your appearance, makes you unhappy with yourself. Being unhappy with yourself, is never good for a marriage. I think woman get very insecure (I know that's a blanket statement, but I think it applies to a majority of woman. Personally.) when their weight starts to become more then their husbands.

mumma... mummajenni

Could this be a chicken and egg scenario? Did she get fat because she is unhappy? Or is she unhappy because she is fat?

nonmember avatar Christine

When my hubby and I met back in 2004 we were about equal weight wise. Right now I am quite a bit heavier than he is and we don't care! We love eachother for who we are, not what we look like....PLUS....when you are in love, the person you love ALWAYS looks hot (at least that is how it is with us!) Study??? BLah ;P

Darkl... DarklitFaery

Well I was happier when I was 125. My hubby was happy and I just felt good about myself. Then I gained up to 140 when I lost my job but I was still good. Then I got pregnant and went up to 190 and I've only lost 20 pounds :( so no I am not happy, but it has nothing to do with my marriage.

nonmember avatar Cynthia

My husband and I were about the same size when we met. Over the last 14 years, I've gained, and so has he, but not as much as me. I've had 3 children with him as well. Do I have weight I should/could lose, Yes. But, I also have a wonderful husband who tells me he loves me all the time and that when we met I was almost too small. He loves me for me and my body is a result of having 3 kids and making them the priority over dieting and excessive exercise. Given the very active lifestyle I lead with my kids daily, we aren't too concerned!

hutch... hutchfam2007

I think it is all about how your weight affects your self-esteem. When I met my hubby almost 8 years ago, I probably weighed about 165. I have ranged and went all the way up to about 210 and am currently about 150. I honestly do not feel like it affected my marriage at all. I felt good about myself at all weights and still do. My hubby has found me attractive all along and still does. So, really didnt affect us. Its the person we are after not hte weight.

alexs... alexsmomma06

I agree with you that its more of a "women who have high self esteem" are happier in relationships. When will people wake up and realize that just because a woman is bigger doesn't mean she's not happy? I know plenty of women who are plus size and LOVE their bodies-along with their SO/DH. And yes, there are men out there who prefer women who are bigger(my SO) to thinner women.

KiniArt KiniArt

I'm plus size and have been all of my adult life.  I wouldn't believe anything just because one study says it's so, but I'm wondering if there is any truth to the greater number of "happy" women with heavier husbands theory, but think if there IS, it may be more from a greater sense of security rather than a sex/weight issue about herself.   For instance, if a husband is significantly overweight, could it be possible that the wife may feel "happier" from a sense of security that he's less likely to run around (or run away) with another woman?  I don't know for sure but I'm guessing it would take some of the pressure (self-imposed or not) off of HER weight issues... Just wondering.

fatca... fatcat0908

I think women who are thin just naturally have more confidence and self esteem which makes for a happier person overall thus making a better partner/lover out of them.

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