Posted by: Nicky | 2006/10/30

Advice please

My gf of four years stopped smoking in July and since then she's just been putting on more and more weight, she doesn't want to go out anymore and has become quite depressed and I'm becoming more and more frustrated and worried, in a way I almost resent her for letting herself go like this and not being willing to do anything about it. She keeps asking me if I think she's too fat and I say no but I lie to try to keep her happy while the truth is that I'm not as attracted to her anymore. I really do love her but her attitude has become impossible, she's developed a complex about everything and my own world has become frustratingly small because of her because I don't want to go out without her. What to do?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageGay, lesbian and bisexual expert

Hi Nicky and thanks for this post - we already have a regular Nicky here so we'll call you Nicky II.

People seldom recognise the powerful addictive qualities of nicotine and stopping smoking can cause several short-term problems, including depression and weight gain.

It sounds as if the problem is more related to her current head space than her weight - if she were feeling more motivated, confident and energised she'd probably be more inclined to address her weight. She could probably use a bit of emotional boosting and you may want to reassure her of your love in spite of her feeling down. Tell her gently that you're aware that she's feeling unhappy and that you want to do what's best for both of you. Ask her if she has any suggestions of how you both can break out of that space. You may want to take some initiative and suggest a few changes to your routine - she may be adverse to exercise but suggest that you both go on a bit of a health kick which could include going running together every morning or evening, or even joining a gym. And suggest that you both follow a more healthy diet since you think it would be good for both of you.

If her depression is more severe you could suggest a few sessions of counselling to help her resolve the underlying issues.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Lettuce | 2006/10/30

I am an ex smoker, so I know first hand what it is like to want to eat all the time, just for something to do! And I also know that I now hate going out to clubs and bars, even restaurants where there is excessive smoke. So I have some insight into the other side of the story.

Telling a woman she has put on weight is a serious undertaking! You need to do it carefully, and in a loving way, especially if you have been lying up to now! If my gf was going to tell me that I had put on weight and it was making me unattractive, I would want her to do it when we are alone, and not on the way out somewhere - not while I am trying to get my arse into a pair of jeans! Not in bed; not over dinner; not when she has just watched me getting dressed. I would want her to sit down with me, tell me there is something that she wants to say that is not easy, and then frame it not only in terms of the weight. If I was your gf, I would want you to say that things have changed, that in your mind it seemed to start changing after I gave up smoking, and that you want to do something about getting our lives back on track again.

I would suggest alternatives for socialising if her problem is going to smoky venues (to the gym, dinner parties at home, picnics in the park, a walking club) and talk about her weight gain in the context of the bigger picture of change that has happened. Tell her that you want to make an effort, with her, to make your lives more exciting again. And then be patient, because these things take time!

Best of luck!

Reply to Lettuce
Posted by: Greek | 2006/10/30

Hi Nicky!

I think you should tell her that she is putting on a little weight. Its not gonna help if she is feels she is as thin as she used to be. How else is she gonna want to change if she doesnt see the need to?

There is nothing wrong with telling her the trueth when she asks for it, just do it tactfully.

I had the same problem with my mom, who is living with me since my father past away, she started to eat badly and gained weight, her health is not great and that worried me. I have decided to cook more often and when I do, made sure that its very healthy. I have started going to gym alot, running and being very active. I also told her how wonderful it felt after having a good workout. So without telling her what I think she should do I basically did by example. My mom is now healthier and clearly happier even her doctors said so, she walks with her friends occasionally and helps around the house, she said its good exercise.

Being very honest is important and there are various ways of encouraging your partner to live healthier, I choose to lead by example. Dont ask, just do and she will follow.

Hope this helps.


Reply to Greek
Posted by: Boyboy | 2006/10/30

Get involved in a fun activity with her... need to get both your endorphins going.
Hiking, learning to surf, horseriding, paragliding, cycling, rowing, gardening... the options are out there!
Btw congrats on her giving up smoking. Her tastebuds must be back in action... how about playing around with you, her, strawberries and whipped cream huh...? Maybe rekindle that spark?

Reply to Boyboy

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