When it comes to our health and longevity, being overweight or obese can have serious consequences. But perhaps more troubling is the impact it can have on our relationships.
Approximately one-third of participants listed weight as the number one physical trait they wish they could change about their partner.
It should also be noted that two-thirds of respondents were unhappy with their weight and wanted to lose weight themselves.
The Influence of Partners
It’s not surprising then that spousal partners significantly influence each other.
This influence can be a good thing and sometimes a bad thing.
On a positive note, married couples have been shown to positively influence each other when it comes to healthy behaviors. And long-term relationships are correlated with longer lifespans and better health outcomes.
The closeness that comes with intimate relationships means that comments said to one another can be taken more to heart than they might otherwise. This can be great if these comments are helpful and supportive, but it can also negatively impact if they come in the form of criticism or warnings.
Suppose one partner is constantly teasing the other about their weight or trying to get them to change their eating habits through negative comments. In that case, it can have a detrimental effect on the relationship. This also tends to lead to insecurities and eating disorders.
How To Be More Helpful
Communication is always important in any relationship, and this is especially true when it comes to health and lifestyle choices.
If you want your spouse to be healthier or to lose weight, choosing the right time, place, and approach is critical.
Instead of criticizing, making negative remarks, or trying to control their behavior, share your thoughts and feelings about how you can work together to improve your health. This could involve doing activities together, cooking together, or simply being more supportive of one another.
Another less direct but more practical option may be to focus on intimacy first and foremost. When two people are close and connected, each wants to become their best self. And when you feel loved and supported, it can be much easier to make healthy choices.
Discover new ways to bond and connect, new hobbies to share, and new ways to appreciate one another. Making your relationship a priority will help make healthier choices seem like a natural and easy part of life.
Whatever approach you take, it’s important to remember that being overweight or obese is not just a physical issue but a mental and emotional one as well. When it comes to our health, and the sustainability of the relationship, both partners need to be on the same page.