Sunday, March 26, 2023
HomeRelationship AdviceI (m40) am concerned at my wife’s (f38) recent weight gain. She...

I (m40) am concerned at my wife’s (f38) recent weight gain. She had a mommy makeover in June and has put on around 20 pounds.

I know that a man talking about a woman’s weight almost always makes him the villain but please hear me out.

In June my wife had a tummy tuck, 360 degree lipo, lipo on her thighs and fat transfer to her breasts and hip dips. I fully supported her choice to have the surgery even though I didn’t think she needed it. She wanted it and I want her to be happy so I have two thumbs up. I have always been a huge fan of my wife’s body and she has always been a very beautiful woman with a large bust and bottom. The surgery cost an ungodly amount of money and left her bedridden and in pain for the entire summer. Before the surgery she weighed around 165 and she stands 5’9”

Now, three months after the surgery she is no longer in pain and has no restrictions on what she can do. She weighed herself today and she is at 189. Much of the contouring and flattening of the surgery has been undone.

The issue is this: my wife is extremely frugal. She agonizes over every dime she spends and feels guilty for it. It took her ten years to talk herself into spending the money on the surgery. I think the weight gain and the loss of her post operative figure is sending her into a spiral of anxiety and depression.

Twice I have gently tried to talk to her about it after she brought it up but both times she immediately became furious with me and we had the two worst fights in our 19 years marriage.

She said that she will not talk about the topic without a counselor present but every marriage counselor I have called isn’t talking new couples so we are in several waiting lists of unknown lengths.

I am so lost and I hate seeing her suffer, I have no idea what to do.

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  1. That’s a lot of surgery to do at once. Her body isn’t going to be back to “normal” for many months. Post surgical swelling and bloat (including temporary weight gain) is common and it can take 6-8+ months to really go away completely. Probably should focus on reassurance while she continues to recover. She’s been through a lot. Just because she’s not stuck in bed anymore doesn’t mean she’s recovered from her ordeal.

  2. Hi, I had full body lipo for my bbl and can tell you I was swollen like a balloon animal for at least 6 months.

    It takes more than 3 months to heal from surgeries like this. Now that she’s mobile, she needs to be eating healthy and at least walking daily for exercise to see her true results, I would give her at least a year to determine if the surgery was successful and even so, fat transfers can die and your body may not look as voluptuous two years post surgery, but should still have more volume in the places she added fat to than she did originally.

  3. If she was bedridden for months it’s no wonder she put on a bit of weight. Start by focusing on her being healthy and getting stronger, and worry about the weight only if it becomes a continual issue. Bringing it up now right after surgery and recovery comes off as an “I told you so” of sorts, even if you didn’t discourage her from the surgery. Try your best to be supportive, and revisit the issue in a few months.

  4. I had a similar surgery, and was in a FB group with other women who had it around the same time.

    Three months out, we were ALL still dealing with ungodly swelling. Huge fluctuations in water weight within really small time periods. Sometimes it was worse after working out, which it seems like you two do a lot of.

    Book her in for a good lymphatic massage every couple of weeks for the next three months if you can.

    Definitely get thyroid checked, seems like she’s on top of that.

    Give it some time. Seriously, that swelling was truly unbelievable…

  5. If you can’t get a marriage counselor, can she get solo therapy for now? If I’m reading this correctly what you‘re saying is that she’s an attractive woman who agonized for ten years about whether or not to spend a significant chunk of money into surgically altering her body because she wasn’t happy with it. In a serious surgical procedure that left her disabled for months. She’s gone through a traumatic experience.

    Your point of view is so carefully worded I can’t tell if you’re being sympathetic to her or not. You think she’s depressed because of the weight gain. You’ve tried to gently talk to her about it. Talk about the weight gain, or her feelings? She’s at a low point right now and she doesn’t need meal plans, offers to work out together or discussions of her weight. She needs your love and support.

  6. Bruh…

    She was basically immobile for a couple of months… She’s going to gain a little weight.
    And you can’t “undo” lipo. Fat cells are finite, they just increase and decrease in size. The ones that were removed haven’t come back.

  7. You need marriage counseling. I would look into telehealth options since you can’t find a local therapist. There are many virtual options.

    You should not be encouraging her to lose weight. Your wife obviously has body image issues that she needs counseling for. You talking to her about losing weight only reinforces those issues (based on your title, I’m assuming you spoke to her about losing weight when she broached the topic of feeling bad about the surgery cost.) The money was spent and then she had a difficult recovery that kept her from being active. She’s feeling guilty for spending the money and her body image issues still didn’t get “fixed.”

    Perhaps the counseling will help and she can get her issues addressed and not feel the need to have any additional surgeries.

  8. I think she just needs more post-op time. It’s still pretty new. Maybe a personal trainer? That might be easier to hire than a counselor just now.

  9. Anyone who says she must have big psychological issues is just making assumptions. Anyone would be sad if they spent a bunch of money to do something they thought would be good, and then it was all undone by a side effect of the procedure itself. It sucks! This sucks! Not because you want her to be thin, but because her big plan was painful and expensive and didn’t work out right. But that’s ok! It can still work out. Maybe this is something the doctors should have told her about or something that sometimes happens to other people, so she can find support. If you find a way in to the conversation, maybe try telling her that even though you love her body before and after the procedure, you can imagine that it might be really frustrating to go through so much and then have it undermined by the healing process. But be sure to pick your words around words she has aready used. That will help you show that you’re being honest about not wanting her to be thin. If she doesn’t want to talk without a counselor, maybe that’s all you can do. It sucks, but you don’t want to violate a clear boundary. Just wait for the counselor if you have to

  10. Until you’re able to find a counselor, just focus on validating her feelings, letting her know that you care about her. She doesn’t sound like she’s ready to talk about it and pushing her to do that or trying to help her lose weight is just going to make her push back at you.

    I think that you should tell her just what you said at the end of your post. “I hate seeing (you) suffer.” At this point the thing to do is to help her understand that you empathize with what she’s feeling, not to problem-solve.

    Also, maybe she could get a personal therapist? You could always see her therapist as a couple once she works through what she needs to say.

  11. It sounds like she’s asking you not to try to become involved with her weight gain or loss. Let her handle it unless she asks you for help. Twenty pounds is not a dangerous amount at her height and weight.

  12. Oh I’m in a similar boat as your wife! I had lipo in June and the recovery was rough! As others have commented, being bedridden for months often causes weight gain. Plus, lipo surgeries take 6+ months to really see results. Try to reassure her that this is normal.

    I’m also someone who was very active pre surgery and so going from regular rock climbing & swimming to being so exhausted I don’t want to move has made me gain significant weight.

    It is okay! As she feels better and gets back to feeling truly normal (it takes months!!! Unlike what the doctors say tbh) & reestablishing her active patterns, she will notice everything falling back into place.

  13. I’ve got nothing to advise because sometimes I think reddit is so toxic and not healthy, but i do see a concerned husband who truly wants the best for his spouse so I wish you luck

  14. TT and lipo patients need a lot rest, downtime, and no exercise.

    Patients also have a lot of swelling and water weight. It can take up to a full year to get the full results (6 months is more the average but not everyone is the same) Even if she cant start exercising it wont be full steam ahead yet. You said most of the contouring and flattening is gone, but most of it isn’t even fully seen until months later.

    You did not mention if she is eating the same as she was before surgery?

    Most dr.s will put you on a high protein diet after the surgery because it helps with the healing process. Is she following a diet? Yes, it could be her thyroid but blood work was done right before surgery and they would have seen it. Odd that it would come on in 3 months without being pre-diabetic first.

    Please take her back to her PS and discuss all of this with him.

  15. She’s been in pain and bedridden for months, so probably now that she’s recovered and up and moving again, a lot of it will just come off.

    If I understand the procedure correctly, neither of you need to catastrophize quite as much as you are. Those fat cells are still in their new homes. If she goes back to her original weight, I think she would still be the new shape created by the surgery. But she should ask her doctor to be sure.

    This feels like it’s really about both of you resenting the cost of the surgery, and not about her weight per se.

  16. How’s her diet? Her activity levels? Being bedridden for months can cause the weight gain and since it’s only been 3 months since the procedure it’s very likely that just going back to her normal day to day will get her back to her weight before. There’s nothing to “fix” here, and I suspect that attitude is what led to the massive blow ups you’ve had. And even if she gained 20 lbs there’s no way her body looks the same as before, if she had a tummy tuck that’s loose skin that is no longer there and that’s permanent. Her getting her breasts done how you described means they’re fuller and perkier. That doesn’t get undone with more weight? Sounds like some of this is also ignorance on your part

  17. You came to the wrong place for help lol. Every idiot in here so far isn’t listening to you because they think you care about her right. I can clearly see you’re concerned for HER, not her weight. You’re in a no win scenario. Say nothing and continue to watch the downward spiral or bring up her mental health and get accused of fat shaming. See if you can get a therapist that can help you walk through this.

  18. Getting weight off is a procedure. Keeping weight off is a lifestyle. To be happy, she needs to feel that her investment in lypo was not a waste. However, the physical after effects of her lypo has now been undone and I’m sure she’s not alone. What this means is that she has to gain something from her lypo experience that isn’t a physical payoff but rather a mental one. While it may seem like a financial waste, it’s not if she can use this experience to fuel her journey to build the body she desires on her own terms.

    As a side note, “she already works out and eats right” is not an excuse. It can obviously improve if she is putting on that much weight that fast. It will have to improve ten fold. It will be difficult but it will be her journey with a true payoff in the end. That feeling of being on a journey with a hard earned payoff is what should ultimately provide her happiness. Good luck.

  19. Give it time. She probably ate similar but was bed ridden. Now she’s mobile again it might take a few months but she’ll hopefully see those benefits eventually. Especially if they were stubborn areas.

  20. For what it’s worth I had a full abdominoplasty in 2009 and what was explained to me was that basically they cut all the lymphatic pathways to complete that surgery and you don’t/can’t drain excess fluid for up to a year. (That’s why I was discharged with external drains for the first couple of weeks) Given that she had multiple extra procedures that swelling and fluid retention will still be there for a long time, particularly in hot weather. My advice would be to find compression garments that are actually comfortable for everyday wear and wear them as much as possible for a few months. Its a hard thing to explain until you’ve gone through it.
    Also please reassure your wife that the permanent effects of the surgery aren’t ‘ruined’ by weight gain. I have gone up and down (and even had an oops baby) and my stomach is still flat because those permanent stitches in my abs are definitely doing their job! Hope any of this helps, she has had a major trauma to her body and the adjustment will take a long time but it’s so worth it!

  21. Just based on what you have mentioned, it sounds like this may be an internal war she has had within herself and no matter what you say, whilst well intended, it will go south. Therapy with someone who specializes in self love, body related insecurities and such can be beneficial. If she is frugal and she went for this surgery (which is probably not cheap) there must be a deep seeded issue within her that she needs to address. I hope it gets better. It’s a hard thing to deal with internally.

  22. The first thing she should do is see her surgeon. Any surgery can cause weight gain from the fluid, not sure how long it stays, though, but even for my knee surgery I was told there would be weight gain, because that is what the body does after surgery, retain fluid. Or there could be scar tissue? Something? Some medical reason for all this. Calling the surgeon and asking for an appointment or even just a telehealth visit could solve this problem quickly. She could be having lymph problems, another thing that can happen after surgery. Happened to my mom. Got lymphedema after surgery that she is fighting all the time with. This is what needs to be done as you wait for therapy, which you should get because of how she is reacting.

  23. For your wife to even consider such extreme and expensive surgery for cosmetic reasons means that she is obviously harbouring a huge amount of anxiety and is lacking in self-esteem. This isn’t necessarily anything to do with you but can be down to a whole host of other reasons, including her upbringing.

    I’m just going to throw something out there, surgery isn’t the answer if you have self-esteem or dysmorphic tendencies- therapy is.

    Another thing to consider for rapid weight gain at this point in her life is hormones. She’s understandably gained weight if she’s been bed-ridden and not active for months due to discomfort but she could also be in or approaching perimenopause. I know I started gaining weight without changing my activity level or diet and it came as a huge shock to me. Yep, hormonal imbalances and perimenopause was to blame. You can be perimenopausal for a good 10 years or more before you go full menopause.

    This could also account for her anxiety and depression. Some women sail through it without any issues but others suffer astronomically. The list of symptoms associated with it is stupidly long and most would be surprised to read it all.

    It could well be worth checking out.

  24. 189 still isn’t terrible for her height…maybe you could help her focus on that? (I am the same height and look great at 189…which I am currently not…lol)

    Have you noticed any concerning shifts in her eating habits?

  25. Definitely therapy. The thing with our weight is that often it’s psychological. At a given time our subconscious may think it’s good to have this specific weight (i.e. protective padding). That would explain the weight gain right after surgery. The body wanted it‘s protective padding back.

    Reminds me of the story of a woman who was overweight and in spite of dieting and exercise couldn’t lose the weight. Then she went on a holiday in Africa where she interacted with locals and lots of men were hitting on her because her body type was very popular in that society.

    After that she lost weight without trying, because the protection the overweight had given her (to not be hit on by men, because she was afraid of relationships or something) wasn’t working any more. Her therapist wrote about this in a weight-loss book I read.

    Your wife needs to find out for herself what her real reasons are to put on a certain weight, and work on that psychological component.

  26. Wow, we may have different body types, but when I’m 165, I’m a size 6 and small or medium at 5’6. (I am more muscular so weight is hard to apply apples to apples for me). Sounds like your wife was already thin to me.

    Are either of you working? Look into your company’s EAP. They often have X amount of free counseling appointments. Also check the surgeon’s office for a therapy referral.

    What exactly won’t she talk about without a counselor present – her weight or her mental health or both? It’s fair of her to not want to talk about her weight with you. Tbh idk how you would even know how much she weighs unless she told you, which doesn’t really make sense if she’s not talking about it.

    She clearly has some body issues that she needs to work through on her own. Just being supportive that you’re still attracted to her and she’s still attractive overall probably helps.

    How recently did she give birth? Is it possible she’s suffering from postpartum depression?

  27. If she was 5’9 and 165 before the surgery i don’t even understand how she could have got lipo. I am 165 lb and 5’7 and there really isn’t much that they could suck out of me to be honest. I understand that everybody carries weight differently but that seems very intense and extreme. Are you the type of man that frequently checks out other women or follows a lot of fake females on social media? Is there a reason that she’s comparing herself to these other women? Or is it just her. It’s fully possible that she has insecurities and I’m not trying to accuse you I just want to understand if you’re playing some type of part in this. It sounds like she really needs a good therapist though. And like I said I don’t really understand how she could have even had much fat to transfer to begin with I’m 2 in shorter and I don’t have large boobs but I have a big butt and thighs and I just really don’t understand where they would be pulling the fat from. Unless she’s going for some type of fake Kim Kardashian physique

  28. This isn’t your problem. It’s hers. She wasted a ton of marital funds. She should feel bad about it. Tell her you won’t bring it up again but encourage her to get counseling. And don’t waste your money repeating this mistake.

  29. Go on a walk or to the gym together. Encourage her to do some physical activity with you without it being about her weight. Ask her to check with her OBGYN about her hormones. Menopause is difficult. I got mentally unbalanced and gained a lot of weight.

  30. Weight and health are not directly correlated. Discuss with her the possibility of hiding the scale and focusing on how she feels in her body – physically and mentally. Focus on what she can and wants to do – not what either of you think she should do. Her body will know more about what it needs right now than the scale!

  31. she might be frugal but she’s certainly neglecting her health. walking/jogging outside is free! eating less is also free! so being frugal isnt the problem, she needs to get moving

  32. 5’9” 165lbs there’s no way she had a lot to “make over” but then again I’m 1 1/2 inches shorter, same weight, and would definitely consider doing this if I didn’t have small children.

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