There are countless reasons why couples choose to divorce. From lack of communication to lack of money, infidelity isn’t alone. But what about weight gain? Are a few extra pounds a big enough reason to call it quits? New York Magazine interviewed eleven couples in long-term relationships to see how much a thicker waistline truly mattered. The opinions ran the gamut, but they all had one thing in common: staying healthy requires a team effort.
For couples like Camilla and Ross, staying physically fit is a mandate for a lasting marriage. Camilla admits that being so direct with Ross about getting “flabbier” wasn’t her shining moment. She had been deployed to Iraq. When she returned, she noticed the change in his appearance. “If you can’t be responsible enough to take care of yourself, how are you going to take care of a family?” In their relationship, it’s a mutual understanding and expectation that “Significant weight gain is grounds for divorce.” It works for them. Ross even says it makes him feel “empowered by what we share.”
Other couples may not consider themselves to be as “vain” as Ross and Camilla admit to being. They do, however, admit to feeling more free with their bodies when they exercise and make smarter food choices. For couples that had gained and lost weight together, there was a significant increase in sex when they were healthier. And a healthier sex life is usually the product of a healthier marriage/ For couples like Jane and Mark there was an enriched closeness because they got healthy together. “It’s a great time for the two of us,” Jane says of their three mile walks. “I have him all to myself, no distractions.” For Jane and Mark, their substantial weight loss was less about physical appearance and more about health. As Jane describes it, “I’ve got a shot at spending more time with the person who makes me happy.”
Before weight gain causes thoughts of throwing in the towel, do some serious soul-searching. Physical appearance is important, but is it really a deal breaker? Also remember that like infidelity, weight gain is often a sign that something else is off balance. Work as a team to find the reason for the change in lifestyle and work together to encourage a healthier way of living.