Marital Revelations

In the last couple of weeks, as I said in the previous post, my marriage seems to have done a total 180 – for the better!

My hubby and I are talking more, laughing more, and having a lot more sex. I can partly thank the people in the LiveJournal group fatshionista. Since joining over there (I’m MrsNoName1999 over there; somebody hijacked my username, dammit!), they have opened my eyes so that I’m seeing myself in a totally different light. It started with the clothes, but it’s gone so much deeper than that.

A few weeks back, I posted some pictures, asking for some advice. I’d bought some tops on a whim, off a clearance rack, and could have taken them back if I’d wanted to, but I needed somebody to tell me if it looked good on me or not first. I had absolutely no idea. I’m a complete idiot when it comes to dressing myself – I’ve been hiding in Omar The Tentmaker clothes for so long that I just don’t even know what kinds of things I should be wearing or not. Thus the reason I joined fatshionista in the first place. In doing so, I got a lot of remarks about how the one top I was the most concerned about was the best one for me, because it showed my shape a whole lot more.

That literally blew my mind. Shape? What shape? I have no shape! I’m just…. round. …. aren’t I?

But after having several people say the exact same thing to me, I took a step back and tried to look at it objectively. I stared at the photos for a while, and I realized they were right. I still have the hourglass shape I had when I was a teenager – it’s just a little bit different on the bottom now, because I’ve had children. But it’s still there.

Those comments sparked something in me, and were really the catalyst that got me back over here.

Sometimes I seriously wonder if I don’t have body dysmorphia. Because for as long as I can remember, I’ve seen myself completely differently to what others tell me they see. I look in the mirror, and I see someone who is twice the size I actually am. My “problem areas” seem much more pronounced to me than they do to other people (apparently; I’m just going by what people have actually said to me). But, just as hearing that I was fat, ugly, and worthless got tattooed on my brain, having people tell me that I actually have a nice shape and have body parts that should be flaunted and not hidden away has started to imprint on my brain just as much.

It’s like counter-brainwashing. I needed to hear (or read) people tell me that I’m not what I think I am. If they can honestly see me that way, then maybe – just maybe – I can start to see it for myself. And so far, it’s working. I can feel myself, bit by bit, becoming more and more accepting of myself – and even more than that. Not just accepting, but almost to the point of liking myself. For the first time in my life, I’m almost to the point where I can say that I like myself. I’m 32 years old – better late than never, I guess.

But all of this has had a knock-on effect on my marriage. A wonderful effect. While things had spontaneously started getting better between my husband and I, what’s happening within myself is making them even more better. (Mo’ betta?) We’re communicating about what my self-loathing has done to our relationship, and realizing that we’re much better together when I like myself. And in this communication, he’s told me things that he’s never really told me before. But now things are starting to make sense.

When we first got married, I felt as if I were living in a dream. I couldn’t believe that he actually wanted to marry me. ME?! I seriously thought I’d never get married. Why? Because I was fat. Who would want to marry a fat woman who already had 2 children, one of whom was disabled? My disbelief was so bad that I unconsciously started a fight the night before our wedding, pretty much opening the door and telling him that he didn’t have to marry me, because I didn’t feel worthy of him. Of his love. Of his promise to spend the rest of his life with me. (I honestly didn’t realize that was what I was doing; it is only in hindsight that I can see it.) But even with all of that, he still wanted to marry me. And marry me he did.

All throughout our marriage, I felt that he had settled for me. I always worried that he married me because he felt he ‘had’ to; that he wasn’t willing to renege on a promise, even if he didn’t really love me as much as he said he did. I would look at other, better looking (to me) women and wonder why the hell he ever settled for me. And it would just make the self-loathing even worse.

In the beginning of our marriage, he would try to tell me that I was good-looking. I would brush off every compliment, just like a good fatty would, and tell him that he was wrong. After taking so much of this, eventually he gave up and just stopped trying. And so I deducted that I was right; I wasn’t any of those things. I was an ugly, worthless fatty that he had simply settled for.

I specifically remember one argument we had gotten into, because he felt that I was comparing him to the men in my past. I wasn’t, but he had taken it the wrong way. The problem was that every single man before him had mistreated me in one way or another. But they weren’t all alike, either. One took me for granted, one physically abused me, one fucked with my head – all of it was bad, but it wasn’t all the same. So I took from that that there was something wrong with me, something that made men want to mistreat me. And that’s why I feared him doing the same to me; because while he wasn’t like the men in my past, I was still me. And since I so obviously drove those men to mistreat me, then the same thing would happen to him. Just one example of how my self-loathing was threatening to drive us apart.

And it got worse after he had the affair four years ago. That, too, reinforced every negative thought I’d ever had about myself. Because, in my mind, if none of that was true, then he wouldn’t have had the affair. Never mind the fact that we had both made mistakes in the marriage itself, and had pretty much driven ourselves apart. Before the affair ever happened. Nope, in my mind, it was all my fault for being the ugly, worthless fatty that I was.

But he loved me enough to not only try to fix our marriage but to prove to me that it wasn’t anything I had done – or been – that had caused it to happen. He had made the choice, and he tried to fix it as best he could.

What I didn’t realize then was that when I would look at a woman that I thought looked better than me, what he saw was someone completely unattractive. Why? Because he’s always preferred big women. My husband has always been a chubby chaser, and I only realized this last night. I don’t know if he didn’t think I was capable of taking it in, but he never told me that before. (I do remember one comment he made to me, when I was actively trying to lose weight. He told me that if I ever became as skinny as he is [he’s 5’11” and 145 lbs.], he would divorce me. That blew my mind, and I never understood it until last night.) While I was panicking, worrying that he would find me disgusting because of my fat, he looked at me and saw a sexy, desirable woman.

But up until recently, I couldn’t have believed him. Not that I didn’t want to. I was completely and utterly incapable of believing it. It wouldn’t have computed. I needed to get to a certain place psychologically before I was capable of believing it. And I do believe him. Now, I do believe him. I don’t think he could fake the passion for me that he has had lately, ever since I started seeing myself in a different light.

What I regret are the lost years. All these years of arguments and iciness. All these years of me hating myself and thinking that he simply settled for me when in reality, I was exactly what he’d wanted all along. It literally brings me to tears when I realize that every time he told me that he thought I was beautiful and desirable and I just brushed him off, he was telling me the truth. The. Truth. How must it have made him feel, knowing I didn’t believe him? I cringe just thinking about it.

But at the same time, knowing that he loved me enough to stick by me and wait patiently until I got to the place where I could believe him? That thought brings tears as well – tears of joy and happiness.

Who would have thought that getting to a place in my life where I’m starting to like myself would make my marriage like new again?


6 Responses

  1. And they say that people can’t love us until we learn to love ourselves. I think your husband proves them totally wrong on that one. He’s a remarkable man, and I think he has a remarkable woman for a wife, even if it did take you a few years to figure out how sexy you are to him. I think it’s wonderful that you did figure it out, and that things are so much better for you.
    For what it’s worth, DH tells me the same things all the time (like “you know, blue turns me on” if I’m wearing blue, or “you know, purple turns me on” if I’m wearing that…….lol….whatever color I’m wearing turns him on, so I’ve figured out it’s not the color, it’s me in the color, and that’s an ego boost for sure).

  2. I’ve ALWAYS thought the “nobody will love you until you love yourself” line was bullshit. I’ve never loved myself until now – how would you explain all the boyfriends/fiancees (yup, been engaged more than once) and now my husband? Not that I disagree that people should love themselves – of course they should. But it always seemed to me a way of making people feel even worse about themselves. You hate yourself? Well, that’s bad. Here, let me make you feel even MORE like shit!

    I’ve been mentally kicking myself for the last two days over this. I probably shouldn’t be, but I can’t help it. I can’t believe how fucking blind I was not to realize that all those times he told me that I was beautiful, or I didn’t have to compete with anybody else because I was all he wanted, he was telling me the truth. What he truly believed. I always thought he just meant to make me feel better.

    Where’s my Dunce cap? *lol*

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  4. sorry, i know i have been commenting quite a bit on your blogs but I love all of them. oh my gosh, you should be a writer for a living. anyway, my husband is skinny and I… not, and i’ve always felt the same way as you, that he settled for me, and for some reason I’ve always thought that he thought of me as less than him because I was fat. I always *thought* there was a distance between us because of our difference in size. I have realized in the past 6 months that the only person making us distant is me because my lack of confidence and the fact that i keep pushing him away just waiting for him to make a fat comment. the truth of the matter is that he wants me for me. my weight honestly doesnt make a difference to him, like he says, he just wants me to be happy. i know that he doesnt find skinny women attractive, but i’ve always felt that even if he liked big women…maybe i was too big for him. I’m trying to change the way I view our relationship. I’m trying to help myself realize that I’m worthy of being happy and I’m worthy of him regardless of my weight. I’m trying to move away from the friends that are absolutely obsessed with diets and trying to be 90 lbs because I know that they arent good for my self esteem either. I just want to be around people that see everyone as just people and accept themselves regardless of their weight. I think that will do wonders for me. i love your blogs and I can tell from the way you write and of course what you write, that you are a very intelligent person.

  5. Thank you, Cate. 🙂 And please, feel free to comment as much as you’d like!

    You’re absolutely right – getting away from diet obsessed people is going to do nothing BUT good for you and your mental health. I hardly ever hear the words “I need to lose weight” or “I need to go on a diet” and it makes it so much easier for me to stick to my path of trying to ACCEPT myself, not HATE myself.

    And I have to say, what you said here:
    i know that he doesnt find skinny women attractive, but i’ve always felt that even if he liked big women…maybe i was too big for him.
    Oh yeah. I get that. I SO get that. (Hey, it’s nice to know I’m not the only one with screwed up thinking!!) What we need to do is completely tune out the rest of the world and just listen to our husbands. Because honestly, whose opinions mean more? The worlds?…. or our husbands?

    Methinks that’s a no-brainer. 😉

  6. […] with my husband than I ever thought I could have. This is another thing I’ve blogged about, here.  I’ve gone from thinking I needed an action plan for WHEN we got divorced (I had seriously […]

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