Somewhere between my first and second marriage, I lost a lot of weight (around 125 pounds) and gained a lot of insight about myself and how to treat my partner.
At the age of 20 years old, I weighed about 300 pounds and was newly married to a young man that I thought I loved. He was one of the first boys to ever show me positive attention and affection. The marriage lasted less than a year and I waited nine years to remarry.
Here’s what I learned about myself during that time:
1. Losing weight eventually increased my own self-worth so that I could attract the right spouse to me.
Because I grew up chubby, I was picked on frequently. I never developed good self-esteem and had many body-image issues. Naturally, I accepted positive attention any way that I could get it — even if it was from someone that I wasn't attracted to.
When I was obese, I felt like it was impossible for a man to actually love me the same way that I adored him. I was miserable being in a relationship with someone I had very little in common with.
Because I lost weight and eventually gained more respect for myself, I was able to direct my attention toward a partner I could actually have a good time with. Losing the weight made me realize I could stop settling for less than I was worth.
2. Changing myself helped me realize that I did not have the power to change anyone else.
In past relationships, I always attempted to control and change my partners in some way. Some of them had terrible hairstyles while others listened to awful music. I wasn’t happy with who they were because they were not a good fit for me, and I hated that.
I recognize now that no one is perfect and refining who you are is damn hard. When you lose a massive amount of weight, you know just how difficult change is.
Changing has to be something the other person wants to do for themselves and not for anyone else.
3. Sexiness and intimacy improved.
After shedding over 125 pounds, I felt so much better about my physical body. When you are comfortable in your own skin (at any size), you are more open to being intimate with your partner and exploring new things. When I weighed 300 pounds, that wasn’t happening!
Being able to be intimate with your spouse is important for having a long-lasting and satisfying marriage.
4. I stopped blaming my spouse for the difficulties I was having on a given day.
In the past, anytime I had a rough day at work, I took it out on my partner when I arrived home. I didn’t know how to handle my anger or frustration. It’s really easy to point the finger and blame the person who is closest to you.
Losing weight taught me that I am in control of my life and there is no one to blame but myself. Losing weight means taking responsibility for your own actions.
Now, before I get angry and blame someone else, I ask myself what I did to create this and what could do to make the situation better.
5. My husband’s dreams and goals became more valuable to me.
It’s hard to support someone else’s dreams when you haven’t had any success in reaching your own. When you’ve failed so many times at achieving your goals, you might feel resentful and jealous of your partner’s ambitions in life. This obviously leads to some marital strife.
Now that I know what it’s like to have goals and be successful in attaining them, I can better support and encourage my husband in achieving his goals. Being supportive is a valuable quality in any marriage.
Did losing weight improve your ability to be a better partner, too?