Weighing the options on March 23, 1998…
Dear Breakup Girl,
Frankly, I am losing interest in my husband; he is not the man I married. We have known each other for a number of years and have been married for about two. The passion is gone. We rarely see each other because of his job and mine (about 12 hours a week if we are lucky). We have had numerous discussions and he leads me to believe he is no longer attracted to me because I have have gained weight (30 lbs.) since we married. The reasons for my weight gain are numerous: #1 would be the period of unemployment prior to my current job and the fact that there is absolutely nothing in the town we live in and I have no friends here. My true concern is how do I keep the flame alive? I have tried seduction, homemade meals, talking, time alone — frankly I am fresh out of ideas.
Hard to say whether the weight gain is the problem — sad and shallow fact is, ever since the waning of the Rubenesque glory days, men and women have been conditioned to not be attracted to plumpitude — or the scapegoat. I’d like to think, anyway, that your marriage / passion was based on more than your figure. Or maybe it wasn’t, which is why it’s shaky now. In any case, clarify what you really want. You say you’re losing interest in this guy who isn’t the man you married, but also that you want to keep the flame alive. Is “the flame” really code for “your pride” — do you actually want to prove, in light of what he implied, that you’re still attractive? If that’s the case, then no amount of homemade meals or Saran Wrap (around you, not the homemade leftovers) is going to work some kind of overnight magic. In any case, you don’t need to lose weight; you need to gain — as you seem to understand — friends, quality time, a social life, maybe even a marriage counselor. Easier said than gained, I know; start with the counselor. Also take some solace in the next letter.