"Yes dear, you ARE fat"
Emily says . . .My first child, Henry, was just hours old when I noticed my husband Tim’s adoring gaze shift from our beautiful baby boy to the ruinous state of my body. As I sat up in bed in Furness General Hospital, Tim’s eyes slid to my tummy — and he did nothing to disguise his shock. ‘Gosh, you really did put on a lot of weight, didn’t you?’
Other women will probably argue that I should have slapped him. It was a devastating thing for a husband to say to his wife in those hormonally charged, vulnerable first moments of motherhood.
Luckily I knew this wasn’t Tim being malicious. He is simply someone who speaks his mind.
But, that said, this was a particularly low point. After all, he must have known how much his comments would hurt me. I needed to hear that my husband loved me and was proud of me, not that I’d run to fat. Not least because I already knew it.
I did nothing but eat throughout my pregnancy. I got away with it while I was pregnant, but once I’d given birth it was immediately obvious that I’d piled on masses of non-baby weight. My thighs were huge. My hips vast. My entire body had the consistency of blancmange.
But it wasn’t as if I was in denial about it. In the shower after giving birth I looked down at my body and my first thought was: ‘Look at the state of me, I need to sort this out!’ So why did Tim have to point it out to me? I do have eyes!
Tim and I started dating when I was 28 and a slender size 12. [Didact: Only in the corpulent, bloated West would a size 12 be considered "slender".] I worked out several times a week at the gym and was always very toned. Tim was always complimenting me about my sexy 5ft 9ins body.
Of course children changed all that. I accept that it’s important for my marriage that my husband finds me attractive. It works the other way round too — I would see it as a lack of respect towards me if Tim ballooned and refused to do anything about it.
Tim is 50 now and losing his hair, but I don’t give him a hard time about it. I simply see him as an older version of the man I fell in love with.
Nine weeks after Henry was born I was in the gym and walked for miles every day with the pram. Within three months, I was back in my pre-pregnancy jeans.
My weight followed the same pattern with my subsequent two pregnancies. I would go up from 10st to 13st and spend two months working hard after each to shift the weight.
But each time Tim’s reaction was the same. He was always quick to point out a roll of flab, or a thigh bulge, and make ‘useful’ suggestions about getting back to the gym.
I’m a size 12 now, but I have a flabby belly which neither of us likes. We’re currently building a new house in France complete with a gym which I’ll be hitting with gusto in a bid to banish my fat stomach.
So should a husband ever tell a wife she’s fat? For me, the answer is a resounding no, even if a wife asks the awkward question. It’s humiliating and, frankly, downright cruel. It’s also pointless. A woman knows if she has put on weight.
She just wants you to tell her you adore her, fat or thin. That she’s gorgeous, regardless of her dress size. And, most of all, she wants to believe you.
Is it ever OK for a man to tell his wife that she’s fat? I’d say it’s essential. I like attractive, physically fit women and I’ve always appreciated Emily’s figure. She’s got a great bum and gorgeous, willowy legs, but there have been times when she’s filled out.
After she’d had Henry, I wasn’t overly careful about hiding my horror that she suddenly had rolls of fat everywhere. Still, if anyone else dared comment negatively on Emily’s figure I’d be the first to leap to her defence. Her body has given us four great children and her flabby tummy is the price she’s paid.
Look at the first couple. The husband is clearly fitter, better looking, and has higher socio-sexual status than his wife. He also apparently has no fear of what his wife thinks, but is also an ardent defender of his wife in front of other people. Because of this, when he tells his wife that she is fat, she is appalled and angered by it- but does something about it even so.
The second couple appear to be about equal in socio-sexual status; if anything I would argue that the man is actually slightly lower in rank than his wife, but it's about even if you squint. With this one, frankly, it could have gone either way, but if the article is to be believed, the moment that the husband managed to summon up the balls to tell his wife that she was fat, she snapped at him- and then did something about it.
The third couple is textbook Delta male behaviour. According to the wedding photo, at least, the husband is definitely lower in socio-sexual value than his wife- and his nagging her to lose weight is a perfect example of how NOT to convince a woman to do something she doesn't want to do.
There are enough relationship game lessons here to write a small pamphlet, so I'll just mention the most obvious ones- not that they need much spelling out, to be honest.
First, never be afraid of your woman's emotions. Halfbreed's advice on this subject is pure gold- you are a rock, immune to the tantrums and lashings of any woman's tempestuous sea of emotions. The moment you become afraid of what your woman thinks is the moment that you surrender control of your relationship. You lead, she follows.
Second, never underestimate the power of Dread Game. I know this sounds like something out of a D&D manual, and to a certain extent that's kind of unavoidable- the Manosphere has more than its share of nerdy, introverted shut-ins who just happen to be avid RPG players- but a truth, once uttered, does not lose its impact or its power when expressed by someone else. If you are having trouble in your relationship(s) with a woman (or several women), the single fastest way to get the results you want is to make it very clear that you have options that she does not. If you start going to the gym, losing weight, and learning how to fight or at least spar, you're already making it clear that you have potential options. It doesn't matter if you are actually actively looking for someone else- all that matters is that she thinks you are. Manipulative? Not really, given that all you're doing is letting her psych herself out.
Third- and this is the most important one- DO NOT act like a little bitch. Nagging and whining are female behaviours, and rather ugly ones at that. Nagging is what your bratty little sister does. You should not tolerate it from her; you certainly should not tolerate it from your wife, girlfriend, or LTR. The moment you start acting like a bratty little girl, do not be surprised when your significant other's respect for your opinion goes into free-fall.
In the final analysis, a man should never, ever be afraid to tell his wife that she is fat. And a woman should be expected to keep herself in decent shape. She doesn't have to look like a supermodel- let's face it, most women never will, and the sacrifices that a woman has to make to be a top model are simply insane. However, it is entirely reasonable to expect a woman to stay in shape for her man- after all, a man who marries a woman expects to be having sex with her, and her alone, for the rest of his life, and very few men in their right minds are going to want to go ploughing a field when it looks like a replica of the Moon's surface made with soggy goat cheese.
The men who learn these lessons will be the men who prosper in marriage. The men who fail to learn them will generally end up as bitter Gamma males, divorced, angry, and far poorer for their foolishness.