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He wants to marry her, but is deterred by her steady weight gain

Detroit Free Press logo Detroit Free Press 3/1/2019 Carolyn Hax

Young African man touching head with hands and keeping eyes closed while sitting on the sofa at home © G Stock Studio Young African man touching head with hands and keeping eyes closed while sitting on the sofa at home Hello, Carolyn! I am in a relationship with a beautiful girl who has a wonderful personality. I think we would be able to get along together forever, and she would be a great mom.

The problem is, although I never see her overeat, she has continued to gain weight throughout our relationship. Although my attraction has drifted slightly, I never really talk about it to avoid hurting her feelings.

I’m at the point in my life that I want to be married, but I am self-conscious of her weight, keeping her away from my family and friends and questioning if she is the one for me. I feel guilty about doing this.

I’m caught between belief we could make it, and disappointment that she has not been able to tackle the situation. I’ve tried to help, but anything I do turns out wrong.

Should I move on and be heartbroken, or try to fix something out of my control? Am I a bad person? Are my feelings of shame unjustified, or is the expectation of good health valid?

Sometimes I think I need to move on and be with someone thin, but I never want to lose this woman – I want to have kids with her.

– Confused Guy

So, essentially, you’re ashamed to be with her and ashamed to break up with her.

That’s really where you’re caught. Shamed if you do, shamed if you don’t, by a culture too warped to allow all kinds to exist in peace.

And the answer is not – ever – to “fix something out of my control.” Your girlfriend is worthy and whole, which explains why “anything I do turns out wrong”: The very premise of changing her into someone more to your tastes is wrong. (Though, at the risk of negating my answer – unexplained weight gain/loss (equal sign) doctor.)

This is not to pile on shame, but instead to start your process of freeing yourself from it. To make lucid decisions, you need to stop attaching value judgments and merely accept what is present and real. That would simplify your choices as follows:

If you can’t envision spending your life with any other woman than this one, then propose marriage to her. People who judge you because she is fat are begging to be tuned out. What you find attractive is no one’s business but yours.

If this is not the woman you want to marry, then break up. People who judge you because they don’t like your reasons are begging to be tuned out. What you don’t find attractive is no one’s business but yours.

Plus, she deserves someone proud to love her. Come on. There’s nothing she’d change about you?

If you’re still not sure whether she’s for you, or you for her, then keep dating – but not stalling, and not in secret!! – till answers emerge. Weight and health and attraction are legitimately complicated, each unto themselves, even without society’s thumb on the scale.

If you can’t disentangle others’ opinions from your own feelings, then that’s not about anyone’s weight. That’s about your maturity. Being “at the point in my life” to want marriage is not the same as being ready. Taking time to grow up is a virtue, too. Especially if you use it.

She – you, everyone – deserves to be loved out loud, or freed to find someone else.

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: He wants to marry her, but is deterred by her steady weight gain

Related video: Why 1 bride went on a body-positive crusade just before her wedding (provided by TODAY)

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