My wife and I were 26 when we met, and had an intense mutual sexual attraction. We have been together for six years and now she has stopped going to the gym and let herself go. (We both have pretty busy schedules with work.) I love her very much but I am not attracted to her the way I used to be. Hurting her feelings and make her feel insecure is the last thing I want to do.
When a partner gains weight or otherwise changes appearance to the point where the spark of attraction is diminished, it would be a loving gesture to do something to help them get back on track. Weight gain often negatively affects a person’s personal body image, which in turn can impact their own sexual desire.
Of course, it must be handled with great delicacy, but there’s nothing wrong with gently acknowledging the obvious and offering to help. But, first, it is most important to understand the reason for the weight gain. Factors such as stress, overwork or eating on the run can be at the root of weight gain, and so can some serious physical or psychological health issues.
Affirm your love for her, and reframe your desire to help her regain a healthy body as loving concern. As well as offering help with stress management, reevaluate your joint lifestyle in terms of healthy eating, exercise, rest and fun.
• Pamela Stephenson Connolly is a psychotherapist who specialises in treating sexual disorders
• If you would like advice from Pamela Stephenson Connolly on sexual matters, send us a brief description of your concerns to firstname.lastname@example.org (please don’t send attachments).