Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Help your man get weight counselling

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HEY THERE, MISS LONELYHEARTS: How do you tell someone tactfully they are really overweight when all has failed so far? Our sex life has dwindled as well, and I am not sure if he doesn't want me, or it's too strenuous. My boyfriend of five years has always been on the husky/plump side. However, now he's really fat! He's pushing 52 and worried. He's a great guy -- kind, funny, sweet and giving. We don't live together at this time, so it's not like I can alter the diet or actively encourage him to come out walking or to the gym. As long as I've known him, he's had erectile dysfunction issues. His family doctor, said to "lose weight." My honey resorted to buying Viagra online. I've tried warning him about belly weight and heart attacks/strokes. And, if he has a heart attack, we'll have to say goodbye to those little blue miracle pills! Nothing happens, except he says "Yeah, I know" and packs on a few more pounds. -- How To Get Through to Him? Winnipeg

Dear How: Just as some people buck authority and control by refusing to eat, others overeat to frustrate authorities like a mate, the doctor, the boss, or anyone who's critical. Your man really needs to talk to a psychiatrist to get at the root of his obesity, erectile dysfunction and the self-destructive behaviour. For some, eating is a reaction to stress of any kind. When did he start eating to the point of obesity? What preceded that? Could he have an ambivalent feeling about his sexual preference, and perhaps that affects his sexual desire? Your guy should see his MD and insist on a referral to a urologist and a psychiatrist who specializes in weight issues.

Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: Love your column, but did you ever give this gourmet girl with the fat partner the wrong advice when you told her to leave him if she couldn't stop fattening him up! She should be proud of herself that she can cook so well, and stay slim. He should learn how to eat properly! He should shut his mouth once in a while. If the food is bad for him, he can cook his own meals, or he is a moron. My husband is very obese, and it grosses me out. I make us eat chicken, fish, veggies, and all the good food when it comes to supper. Once a week we go to Smitty's for wings. That's my treat for the week. He's in construction and I make a healthy lunch for him. Unfortunately the younger single fellas he employs don't make lunch and go to McD's every day and pick him up burgers and pizza. That's his choice, No one's force-feeding him. It's all about the decisions we make on our own behalf. -- Completely Frustrated, Winnipeg

Dear Frustrated: Why do you stay together as husband and wife, which usually includes a sex life, if he grosses you out? You are both angry. Look at your roles right now: At home you're acting like the warden, holding the keys to the fridge and allowing a grown man to have chicken wings once a week. At your house there's a "choice" to eat healthily every day, but your husband chooses another rebellious eating to feel free of your control. If a person has a life outside the home, it's dead easy to double or triple calorie intake for the day. Part of this may be problems from his past, and then there's how he feels about work and you. Whatever it is, he has only one life to live -- and so do you. Counselling for the two of you is in order at this point. If he won't go, start on your own and figure out what you want to change. Time to work it out, or part.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 25, 2010 D6

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