Thursday, March 23, 2023
HomeRelationship AdviceMy husband is acting like someone I don't know.

My husband is acting like someone I don’t know.

My husband and I have been together for coming up on 20 years. We have been married for 4 years. We have no children. About a year ago he brought up that I had put on weight, which I responded with “yes I’m very aware, you don’t need to point that out”. I had been putting on weight for the last 4 years so it was nothing new. From then on he’s ALWAYS making comments about it in a joking way but he’s serious. He does this constantly. Mind you he has always been very heavy since we met. I mean he’s been over 300 pounds heavy. I love him that way, the weight doesn’t bother me. I on the other hand had always been average size since we met. So me being chunky wasn’t something he was used to seeing. So he’s just been all over me about my weight. About a month ago he said “I’m going on a diet” and he has only been eating one meal a day and dropping massive weight. He has always been unhappy about his size but would complain and never do anything about it. I’m happy he’s losing weight for health reasons but when he started this weight loss thing he also started treating me completely different. I say “I love you” and he won’t say it back. I ask him where he’s going or what he’s doing and he’ll just ignore me. I have to ask him a 2nd time for him to answer me. I try to have a normal discussion about something mundane and he’s completely disinterested in having a conversation with me. I don’t know what to do. I don’t know this person. He’s never acted this way with me. I have always loved him as he is and I want someone who will be the same way with me. I just don’t know where or why this whole change happened so fast, is this a midlife crisis? Its causing me major depression. Any and all advice will be helpful. Thanks

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  1. I would say a superiority complex and that he’s starting to compare himself to you, maybe thinking he can do better now that he’s fitter. It’s not a good look, but again we can only guess until he explains himself.

  2. I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest ED is the problem behind why you know he isn’t cheating.

    That doesn’t mean he’s still attracted to you. Or that he’s even a decent person.

    Sometimes people just grow apart.
    Plain and simple.

    Right now you’ve described him shutting you out, being rude, and being secretive. On top of that he’s disparaging your looks and or willpower. And he doesn’t want to discuss things.

    Ask yourself if you still love HIM or just the idea he represented?

    Give him the ultimatum of couples counseling or quits. No one needs a ghost marriage where they’re walking on egg shells wondering why the massive personality change.

    I had that with my ex. They had a massive personality change after 18 or so years. It wasn’t cheating- they had zero interest in sex. But alcohol and mental health were involved. It took me longer than it should have to realize I needed better and deserved better. Got rid of the dead weight and life is so much more enjoyable now

  3. Next stage will be updating his wardrobe and changing his cologne. He’s probably having an affair or is interested in someone else. You should join him in his diet and see where that leads.

  4. I had a friend who had her gf do this to her once she lost serious weight. The friend was ow and the gf was too until she lost weight and became extremely toxic. I’m not sure what causes it, but I’d say have a chat w him about it. There might be a reason he just hasn’t expressed

  5. It’s spite-fueled disdain. Now he can do it bc he sees her as heavy and equates her with it. So he’s losing weight *despite* her. And when he reaches his goal, he’ll finally feel justified feeling maybe what he’s felt for a while: that he’s too good for her, and she’s holding him back.

    It’s not OP’s fault. Her husband needs to talk it out. But he’ll be protective of the feeling (of disdain) bc it’s the *only* thing that’s motivated him to change. So if she pushes back, he’ll dig in harder. If she wants to keep him (IF) then she should silently also start losing weight. Not talking about it, just doing it. IF that’s what OP wants to do. That way, the husband doesn’t lose his motivation (disdain) but sees that he’s supported (a lifeline to his marriage) without being held back (trapped in his old habits). If OP wants to continue this marriage, digging into this weightloss thing is still a way through, but on the other side of this is a giant hill of communication that needs to happen. Ultimately, her husband wants to feel good about himself and he can only do that himself – he’s using disdain as a crutch. Which sucks for OP.

  6. I read your update. You two should head to couples counseling. You need a neutral person to help you communicate and figure out whatever he’s not telling you is going on. Whatever is on his mind definitely includes some amount of judgement against you even if the main issue is unrelated. Because he is so easily able to bring up and let you know you gained weight while he’s upset over something. Not a great way to be in autopilot and that’s the more generous interpretation of his behavior.

    As a small aside, if you gained more than like 25 pounds in four years or gained a significant amount quickly four years ago, please head to the doctor and get your thyroid checked and anything else the doctor might come up with. If you’ve been an adult for a long time at about the same weight and then it changed, it’s very likely to be a symptom of something else going on. And go to your regular doctor that knows you or a good, not fatphobic doctor so you get real diagnosis right away – I gained 80 pounds in under a year and doctors told me to just stop eating but had clear lab results that I have Hashimoto’s and it went undiagnosed and untreated for a decade, during which time I struggled to lose anything and sometimes had short bursts of more weight gain. Don’t want anything like that for you.

  7. I read your edit and i wonder if there was a death in his family or friends/collegues that gave him this scare? Like he is afraid that this also happens to him and maybe to you. Or did he had a medical check-up?

    I really think that it is cruel and selfish that he doesn’t speak with you when he sees how much it affects you and you even think he wants a divorce. He doesn’t need to tell you everything if it is hard for him right now but a little bit? I mean after 20 years. To change like this and leave your partner in the dark all this times. You really need couple counseling. That he can’t be open to you and talk about his thoughts to his life partner…. I guess therapy just for him would also help.

  8. I like how everyone always assumes the worst.
    Most likely he noticed your weight gain and has been bothering him so thought maybe if he
    made better life decisions he would be followed but sucks at communicating it.

  9. He has lost interest, and found someone he wishes to impress, or is already seeing. Probably someone who is encouraging him to lose weight. OP, he is done with you. He will have you divorce papers the moment the weight is off, and you’ve helped pay for any skin removal surgery he needs. It sounds like your weight has been his double standard for a long time, and he has slowly been losing not just interest, but any love he had for you.

    You need to confront him and just find out, because if you don’t, you will be blindsided. Start thinking about anyone new in his life, or any new routines. Hell, you could probably follow him one day and you’ll see for yourself. This isn’t going to end happily for you.

  10. He’s working on making himself better. You can join him or get left behind. There has to be more to this story, because the unwillingness to interact with you doesn’t make sense otherwise. I doubt if he’s had time to be seeing someone else if he’s only been losing weight for a month. However, he could be thinking about it. Get ahead of it now, if it’s what you want. Maybe you don’t.

  11. After 20 years he suddenly decides to lose weight and makes mean remarks about your body? He’s either cheating or hoping to. I’m very sorry, you do not deserve to be in this position, but he seems to be trying to leave you behind (changing his lifestyle, not telling you what he’s up to) and you have to confront him before it goes any further.

  12. Join him in the exercise and healthy eating. Alright hubby! We’re in this together. Let’s make meal planning and taking walks together a team effort! Then in a nice jokey way also tell him he’s got some nerve being a little bitch about a few extra curves when you’ve been diplomatic about his fat ass for over twenty years. But make this a thing you’re doing together. The two of you as a team against the common enemy which is bad health. Let’s get healthy together . Planning out the exercise/walks in the park together schedule can also take care of any free time where he thought he’d be meeting his middle life crises affair lady of his imagination (I don’t think it’s necessarily true that he is cheating, yet)

  13. You husband sounds like his acting like a dick but I also want to point out it sounds like complacency found it’s way into your life at one point. This is big relationship killer and sounds like your man is try to take a grip on it but also seems like he’s a dick about doing it.

  14. I know most people believe in a “mid-life crisis”. I think it’s a excuse to treat someone poorly. If he is loosing massive amounts of weight he could be seeking someone outside of your marriage. Go to counseling and stop trying to please him.

  15. I wouldn’t just jump straight to “He’s cheating!”, it sounds like this started in the last year ever since he brought up your weight. You say he’s never acted this way before, and it all conveniently started once he started losing weight/making comments about your weight. He’s making changes to better himself and wants the same for you. Maybe he’s turned off by the fact that you’re not trying to lose weight like he is. It could potentially turn into cheating once he starts feeling himself. But I don’t think he’s cheating at this point.

    It could be a midlife crisis in the sense that he lived his whole life heavy and finally wanted to make a change that’ll last him into his older years. Only he can tell you what’s up.

  16. Weight loss journeys often result in relationship dynamics changing. The person loosing weight has no choice but to change every aspect of their lives for a chance to live a healthier life.

    A lot of divorces happen because one person is loosing weight and they feel that their spouse isn’t supportive or is actively trying to sabotage the weight loss. Some people even fetishize being overweight.

    Taking a more active role in his weight loss journey might help with your connection issues.

    That being said, eating one meal a day is not a healthy way to loose weight and he is likely going to regain it all as soon as he feels like he has accomplished his goal weight. It happens that way a lot.

    I would suggest learning some healthy meals and calculating calories per serving and showing him a healthy way to control your weight rather than a crash diet.

  17. Even though he himself is obese, he doesn’t want to be with an obese person. He’d prefer you join him in his health kick. The better in shape he becomes the more discontent with your relationship he will be.

    It’s very simple. Join and support your partner in their new pursuit of a healthy lifestyle.

  18. He might not be cheating. But I think he is getting ready to move on, it does sound like he’s mentally checked out of the relationship.

    Pay attention to his actions more than his words. See if he starts working on the relationship with you or if he goes back to how he was before.

  19. OH MY GOD. I just have to say it sounds like your boyfriend is treating you like shit because you gained weight and that fucking sucks. Anti-fat bias runs deep…

  20. I don’t think anyone on Reddit is qualified to give you advice on a twenty year relationship with someone. You need to talk to him and find out how to get him to be honest and possibly get couples therapy. No one here will ever be able to provide any type of valuable advice because of how long your relationship has been.

  21. Have you tried consulting his family if this sudden behavior happened before? I mean you knew him for 20 years that’s half of his life, maybe he feels insecure about himself, but is reflecting the behaviour on you instead.

  22. He’s getting ready to trade you in because his ego is inflating to massive proportion

    Lots of men do this- they think they lose weight and they’re suddenly “desirable” and can “do better”; it’s a harsh reality when they learn it isn’t so clear cut, but they usually wreck their marriage before they have that realization.

  23. Eating once a day will make you act like an ass even more…he sounds “hangry” BUT with that said it doesn’t excuse him being disrespectful.

    Maybe him saying he’s going on a diet was an awful way to maybe get you to do it too.

    You can be okay with his heaviness and he can not want you to gain too much weight. Either way you both should get healthy.

    Loving someone the way they are is great but doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be healthy. What’s stopping you?

  24. Why is it that everyone INSTANTLY jumps to cheating in this sub! It drives me nuts. Not everyone is cheating bc they are acting different. Maybe the man found out he has some sort of medical issue. Like heart complications and is scared and doesn’t want to say anything right now.

  25. Yup, he’s sleeping around. That explains why he won’t say he loves you, and is always picking fights. He wants YOU to start a huge fight where everyone decides to split up, that way in his mind, you ended the marriage

  26. Oh I’m so sorry this is the way he is behaving.
    You’ve been together a long time.
    Can I suggest couples counselling before you assume he’s cheating?
    He may well be going through a midlife crisis. He may be interested in changing up the status quo. There’s no need for him to be a jerk to you in the process.
    I suggest therapy.

  27. He may be projecting his own insecurities onto you. Often times, when we are critical towards someone else about something (ie. weight) it is because our inner critic is focused on the same thing about ourselves. This does not mean his words and actions towards you are okay because they are absolutely not. However, it may provide some insight about his comment about “going through something”.

  28. Everyone’s jumping to affair but, if this is someone who’s been heavy his whole life and is now taking serious steps to change his weight I think it could be more complex. Maybe he’s never liked being heavier and he’s started judging you in the same way he judged himself since you’ve started becoming (noticably) heavier. Since he feels like he now has the agency to lose weight and you’re not doing the same he could then be projecting more of whatever he thought of himself pre-weight loss, onto you. It’s not kind, but it’s something people do.

    As someone with body dysmorphia, I know that I can sometimes judge people the same way I judge myself…it’s unhealthy and I actively work to counter the narrative in my head before I outwardly project my insecurities onto others.

    The most direct thing is to ask him what his honest feelings are about weight (his and yours), so that you both aren’t dancing around the issue. Sometimes people go through lifestyle changes and whether or not that’s compatible with their partner is honestly a very important discussion to have. Obviously that lifestyle change shouldn’t come with cold judgement and it’s totally reasonable for you to be uncomfortable with him treating you poorly.

  29. He has left the relationship and you in his head but has not moved out. Although he is still in the house, sounds like he has created a mental wall to keep you at bay while he is preparing for his new chapter.

    An adult would share their feelings and if they were planning on leaving, let their partner of 20 years know. This treatment is manipulative and selfish.

    This might be the beginning of the end of the relationship.

  30. I think the answer is extremely clearly laid out in your post, but maybe you just need to piece it together.

    1) The issue here is clearly about your weight. Given that he himself is overweight, he definitely has some (self) hatred for it. So to see you also start to put on the pounds means he is now projecting that hatred onto you. Sometimes people hold their partners and family at a higher standard. Seeing you put on weight is definitely affecting his feelings about you (it could be both, the self disgust being projected, as well as a reduced attraction for the way you look now).

    2) Yes, he mentioned the obvious about you putting on weight, which I’m sure you didn’t appreciate… But he waited 4 years to bring it up. Surely it was a slow boil that finally ate at him enough that he had to commit that cardinal sin of mentioning it to his wife.

    3) You say it’s “nothing new” but it’s only been in the last 4 years of a 20 year relationship. Relatively speaking, that is new.

    4) His sudden decision to go on a diet etc is a sign of how much this is bothering him. So note, that even though you found him attractive at 300+, it doesn’t mean he found himself attractive at that weight, and it doesn’t mean that he’d find you attractive at that weight either.

    5) If you’re willing to put some effort into your physical health, i think even just showing that initiative will yield positive results in improving/recovering your relationship.

    6) Weight is a sensitive topic, and even more sensitive when you’re talking to your wife abut it, and further more when you have your own issues with it. It’s very difficult to talk about because it’s so easy to have feelings hurt. I think if you think & admit that your gained weight is an issue, that will open the door for more honesty conversation.

    7) I’m sorry that this post puts a lot of the onus on you… But it’s the advice that i think puts the “saving your relationship” in your hands. I’m in no way saying that your husband’s behavior is right or acceptable.

    Good luck.

  31. Go to the gym by yourself and focus on you becoming healthier and dropping weight. Then you can see if it’s something you two can do together a little later. But either way you need to focus on you and start working out so you can feel better and be healthier. Set some goals for yourself.

  32. The comments are a bit out of order, if you don’t joke around with each other about weight I’d probably let him know that you don’t appreciate these comments, especially if you don’t joke around with him about his weight.
    Secondly, as someone who is frequently in the exact same position as your husband (I literally do the same exact thing you’ve described), he probably isn’t feeling the greatest, mood can be low etc, but that’s no reason to take it out on you. The best way would be to try and talk it through, if he isn’t great at communicating it’ll be tough, but letting him know seriously that you feel ignored in your relationship will probably be enough to kick-start him in sorting it out.

  33. I’m going through something similar though in this case I’m the husband.

    Not to get too deep into my own shit but it sounds like he’s spent years neglecting his health and something has shifted for him. I know for me, As I’ve aged, Ive just sort of gone along to get along, and made decisions that were good for everyone but me.

    It’s left me feeling unfulfilled in virtually every area of my life. I’ve had a series of health scares and interpersonal experiences over the past year that have really knocked thing loose for me.

    I’m spiraling right know and I suspect he maybe too. People are quick to say that an increase in exercise and the decrease in appetite are signs he’s cheating or planning to. That may be true.

    He could also be severely depressed.When you’re depressed you don’t want to eat and exercise actually does make you feel better. I’ve gone down to eating once a day because I feel like shit most of the time and I’m desperately clinging to an exercise regime because it gets me through the day. It’s literally the only thing that seems to be positively increasing my mental health.

    Ask him if he thinks he needs therapy. He could be really struggling. It’s the most confusing thing I’ve ever felt. My lizard brain is telling me to run and burn my marriage to the ground while my rational brain is telling me to just hold on and ride this out. Therapy is sort of helping to illuminate a lot of this stuff for me. Maybe it’ll help him too?

  34. Is there any correlation with you putting on weight for the last four years and you being married for the last four years? Are you willing to lose weight with him on this journey have you given up on yourself?

  35. A marriage shouldn’t take this kind of work. When people say that they mean keeping the spark alive, pulling extra hours when you lose a job, putting your emotions aside when they are ill. They don’t mean “I have to chase my husband around and drop the ‘divorce’ word just to get an ‘I love you’ back”.

  36. As someone who has been overweight for the majority of his life and is now starting to lose weight, it’s nothing to do with you. An entirely different world is opening up to him and he’s revelling in it. New choices are available which weren’t even conceivable before. He’s not necessarily disinterested in you but rather is starting to believe in himself in a way he didn’t previously. I won’t lie, this is a dangerous time for you, but if he picked you and didn’t just settle for what he could get, he’ll make that choice again.

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