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No longer attracted to husband - bad hygiene and overweight

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  • No longer attracted to husband - bad hygiene and overweight

    I feel absolutely terrible for saying this but... I'm not sexually attracted to my husband. Whats worse is we've only been married just over a year. When we began dating three years ago, we we both overweight, him only a little and me quite a bit. He chewed tobacco and drank soda like it was water (which he conveniently 'doesn't like'). By the time we got married I had ballooned up to 230 and he to almost 270. Seven months ago I received a wake-up call when I changed primary care physicians and was told I needed to lose weight or risk serious issues, including diabetes and high blood pressure. Concerned with our health, I asked him to go on this journey with me, which included eating healthier, getting more exercise, quitting chew and soda. Several times since then I've caught him lying about chewing (saying he had totally quit, yet I would find receipts for it in his car).

    I began eating healthy and exercising right away. I've lost fifty pounds since April. I cook healthy meals, only keep healthy snacks in the house, and even pack my husbands lunch every day (which consist of a salad and healthy snacks). We have an elliptical machine in the house and a set of exercise bands (both of which I've found very useful). He practically laughs when I suggest using them. Despite seeing my progress, he has absolutely no motivation to exercise. He doesn't even do the simple exercises his physical therapist (he's recently been diagnosed with a herniated disk) told him to do twice a day, every day. She even told him to walk five times a week and he doesn't do any of it! His body is not attractive to me anymore.

    He used to bathe every day or at least every other day. Now a year after marriage, I'm lucky if he bathes twice a week. He has terrible body odor, wears the same underwear for days at a time. I tried to snuggle with him in bed a few nights ago and the smell of dirty butt (to put it bluntly) was so overwhelming I had to roll over and face the wall. I even shower with him when I can to encourage positive behavior but those two days a week that we shower together are the ONLY days that he showers. He's never had great oral hygiene habits - his teeth look terrible. He chews tobacco openly now because I've gotten so frustrated with constantly catching him lying that I just don't even care anymore. I suspect he's doing the same with soda (and probably sneaking fast food) because despite me making healthy meals and preparing salads every day for his lunch, he hasn't lost ANY weight. He brushes his teeth about the same amount, maybe twice a week. With drinking coffee, soda, and chewing tobacco every day and not brushing his teeth.... its appalling.

    I've had at least one conversation with him about his hygiene and several about is weight. For a while, he was paying attention to his hygiene then it just faded away within a month. The last conversation I had with him about his weight (which I try to do gently because the last thing I want to hurt his feelings), he became very defensive and said "Why can't you just be happy with me the way I am for a while??" Which made me feel bad, because he just started a new job three months ago so I know he's stressed out.

    I'm starting to resent him and obviously that's not something I want. I shower everyday, brush my teeth, spend a lot of time in the morning putting on makeup and fixing my hair. I always try to smell nice for him and I ALWAYS wear clean clothes. I make a point to make healthier choices and I exercise. Am I being unreasonable in wanting a mate that has good hygiene and cares about his health?? I'm becoming so repulsed by his laziness towards everything that our sex life is almost nonexistent. He's a wonderful guy, and I love him so much. I just don't know what to do anymore that doesn't involve me constantly nagging him (which isn't good for anyone) and losing my mind or having a sexless marriage.

    Any advice would be appreciated, even if I'm completely in the wrong here. I don't know what to do

  • It sounds a bit like your husband has a combination of low self-esteem & feelings of despair. When you started dating he may have thought that you (being overweight) were a safe choice and unlikely to draw a lot of attention from guys and, therefore, unlikely to leave him. In other words, he's thinking to himself, "I'm a loser, so I'll settle for this girl because she probably couldn't do much better than me."

    Now, suddenly, you are getting into shape, looking better and feeling more confident. Now he's saying to himself, "She's looking good and probably getting noticed. It's only a matter of time before she will want to leave a loser like me."

    Given his lack of confidence that he can follow through with getting into shape, rather than get off the couch and fight for you, he just wants (consciously or unconsciously) to hasten the inevitable (you leaving him).

    It's kind of like you took off out of the starting blocks and, seeing how far down the track you already are, he's given up. Now watching your success, he feels more and more like a failure. Instead of being motivated by your success, he wants to get away from you (by being gross) and his own feelings of failure.

    He's certainly not being responsible for his own health and probably lacks responsibility in other areas.

    Does he have a history of being dumped?

    If you want to try another approach, focus on helping him feel successful and confident. Continue feeding him healthy food at home. Pack him healthy lunches, but don't go so far that he has to eat a whole second lunch to feel satisfied. Give him noticeable affection when he's clean and quietly keep your distance when he's distasteful. Invite him to walk with you. Let him know when you notice improvement.

    If I'm correct and he has such poor self-esteem, this will take a long time and he may need some professional help.

    Good luck.


    • Demanding a certain level of personal hygiene is a very basic requirement. Was your husband always like this even before marriage.? Can you imagine living with him the rest of your life? Do you even still love him? Is there anything about your relationship that still makes you happy?

      I think its time to put your foot down and demand that he make some basic changes like showering each day and brushing teeth. That is just common curtesy. If he makes an effort in those areas than you can work on diet and exercise. Those are harder to change. But if he is not even considerate enough to keep himself clean for you, is he going to make any effort for you and this relationship?
      Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose - Kris Kristofferson and Fred Foster (sung by Janis Joplin)


      • Thanks for the advice, Pollon! I feel like you hit the nail right on the head. He does have low self esteem, and he definitely has a history of being dumped by previous gf's. I talked to him last night and expressed my feelings of lack of attraction due to his weight and hygiene, and that I was concerned with his health. I know sitting down and talking with him probably seems like the most obvious solution. However, I just assumed that making subtle hints and suggestions would be easier and less abrasive than telling my husband that I'm not attracted to him in his current state. But when I said those harsh words, they seemed to sink in with him. He said he felt this coming on, but didn't want to face reality. To which I explained that I shouldn't have to drop subtle hints to be ignored and then stress out about telling him stuff he should already be doing to take care of himself.

        Regardless, he was very receptive to everything and agreed that he had let himself go because of pure laziness. He didn't make any excuses, like he usually does when I nag. He said he would start being more physically active with me, watching what he eats and definitely showering every day as well as brushing his teeth every day. Knowing my husband, I know he will do these things, they were just hard to say to him. I know he will stumble along the way (with the weight thing), but hopefully this was the wake up call he needed. He showered last night and I made sure to give him extra affection and tell him how great he smelled. He really like the positive attention.

        Before marriage, he showered every day or at least every other day. He was never on top of his oral hygiene, but he also didn't chew as much as he does now. So it was a little less disgusting... only a little. Before marriage, neither of us worked out or watch what we ate. We were both very lazy and I found him attractive because I felt that I was very heavy so I deserved a mate that was also very heavy. I think he felt the same about me. Our personalities were perfect together AND he could eat as much pizza and cake as he wanted because I did, too.

        So it may be wrong of me to expect him to change his weight now that I am, but he's always said 'someday' he'd lose weight, 'someday' he'd get in better shape. People always say 'someday'.... I was certainly guilty of it too. But now that I am working out, and eating healthy, I have a new set of standards for what I expect out of him. I guess that sounds incredibly selfish. But if I can get up and hit the elliptical every morning when I really don't want to, log my calories and only eat one serving at dinner, why is it so hard for him to eat one less helping at dinner or just do his basic physical therapy exercises? If I've been working my butt off for seven months to be healthier (and look sexier for him), I just didn't understand why he wouldn't want to do the same.

        I realize that unfortunately I'm going to have to give him a little nudge every now and again because he is a man, but I have high hopes for the future.


        • I'd suggest getting him to worry about the easy things first: Showering - who doesn't like standing under hot running water? Brushing teeth, washing clothes, combing hair etc. You don't need to tell him but probably other people have noticed his hygiene issues as well, and even though they won't say anything they may react negatively which can add to his self esteem issues. He may actually find that the world seems a nicer, more friendly place.

          Then later he can worry about the weight - that is much more difficult, but if he is feeling better about himself he can do that too.



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