When my husband and I first met, he had just come back from taking his master’s degree in the United States. He is older than me, and although our families were acquainted, he didn’t really know me.
He didn’t know that I was a popular campus figure and have appeared on TV and magazine commercials. I found him very mature and quite different from the boys who pursued me in college. My parents convinced me that he was very good husband material and will give me a comfortable life.
We got married after a courtship of less than a year. He built me a house in a gated community, had kids in succession while he pursued a career in banking.
Despite his prominent position, he didn’t socialize much. And despite my past popularity, he didn’t seem proud to bring me to company events or introduce me to his friends. He didn’t seem interested to know more about me.
I began to seek out my college friends and retreated in my own space at home. When he bought a condo near his office to make his commute easier, we started to see each other only on weekends, when he’d spend most of his time with the kids.
I started to put on a lot of weight, such that I was almost 300 pounds. In one reunion, friends hardly recognized me. I was so embarrassed I even had to introduce myself. They all envied my looks in college! The most humiliating part was seeing the boys who used to be crazy about me—they couldn’t place where they met me!
I have been terribly depressed and unhappy. I tried to kill myself once, but I just slept it off without anyone knowing what I had done. My husband stays in his condo with the kids now that they are all in college and prefer city life.
I look in the mirror and I see this fat old woman. I try to find traces of the beauty boys swooned over and wrote romantic letters to. My husband, who couldn’t take his eyes off me when he first met me, wouldn’t even look at me to say good morning. My life has become so depressing!
Pull yourself together! Your world is not collapsing because of how you look. And it’s counterproductive to feel self-pity.
It’s never too late to improve yourself and save your marriage. You may think that your husband’s eyes can’t see anything beneath the skin. It’s now in your court to show him that your weight doesn’t define you; that whatever it was he found in you when you first met is still there, waiting to be rediscovered by him.
There are still interesting conversations you can have with him, untapped activities you two may discover together. He may not want to socialize, but you two can find a moment to share a laugh or discuss the day’s events intelligently. Plumb each other’s sensitivities to restart your marriage, if you so wish.
Don’t wallow in how you look. Do something fantastic that will make you forget your miseries. Volunteer in a hospital or in places that need help. Join organizations with your friends for charity work.
Put down all the suffering you’re undergoing on paper and see how cathartic that is.
Do you like reading books? Discover what an escape they can be!
Call friends who you think can mentor you into becoming a better person. Everybody needs help—whether young or old. Sometimes we just need to find that hidden switch to light a very dark room.