Will Weight Gain Doom This Marriage?

Dear Pink Lady,

I've been married for 20 odd years to a military man who is a Promise Keeper and a fundamentalist Christian who rules our household with an iron fist. He once told me that if I got fat, that would "be a deal breaker." Now that our daughters are growing up and beginning to move out of the house, I'm afraid the 50 pounds I've packed on will be the death of our marriage. Help?

—More to Love

Dear More,

Most people gain weight as they get older. That's a fact of life—our metabolisms slow down, making it that much harder to keep off the extra poundage, exercise or not. You don't mention if you husband looks the same as he did when you married him, but I'd bet money that he does not, so it seems unreasonable for him to expect you to stay the same.

But he may not still have those expectations. You say he "once told you" that weight gain would be the end of your marriage, but you have now gained weight and he hasn't said anything. It's quite possible he no longer feels the same way as he did when he issued the ultimatum.

The bigger issue, perhaps, is whether or not you still want to stay married to your husband, even if he still loves you as you are. You say he runs the household with "an iron fist"—perhaps your weight gain is one way of rebelling against him. It may seem scary to think about, but perhaps you'd be better off without such a controlling person in charge of your life, leaving you free to sip "Señor Playboys" and flirt with men who don't find your middle-aged paunch unappealing. In any case, I'd suggest counseling might be order—both solo and together—to help you figure out what promises made at the beginning of your marriage your husband intends to keep.


The Pink Lady

Señor Playboy

1 1/2 oz. tequila

3/4 oz. brandy

3/4 oz. Cointreau

3/4 oz. lemon juice

3/4 oz. orange juice

Combine above ingredients in a large mug. Fill with crushed ice. Float 1 teaspoon of grenadine on top. Garnish with slice of lime. Serve with straw. Serves 1. Proceed with caution.

This week's drink is from The Cook's Book (Calvary Episcopal Church, Cleveland, Miss., 1972).

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