Dear Annie: Man wonders how to help obese wife get healthy without hurting her feelings

DEAR ANNIE: My wife and I have been married for over 15 years. I have a high metabolism, while she is considered obese. But she wears it well. After having children via cesarean section, her stomach has no muscles left to hold it together.

To me, she is beautiful, inside and out. I feel that she struggles with her weight and body image but doesn’t want to admit it.

I’ve done the husband thing and tried to be positive about it, but I want her to live her best life. In turn, I don’t know how to approach the subject.

There have been brief periods in her life when she has turned to exercising and eating better. When that happens, I will exercise with her, and I always try to be encouraging. I just don’t know where to go from here. — Quietly Concerned

DEAR QUIETLY CONCERNED: Being obese has all kinds of health issues associated with it, so it is understandable that you want the woman you love to be as healthy as possible. You mentioned that you have a high metabolism. Ask yourself: Does this mean that you eat junk food and don’t exercise and yet stay trim? If that is the case, the best approach is to start with yourself by looking at your eating and exercising habits.

Maybe you could propose health and fitness as a joint project, just as you do during those times when your wife is motivated to eat healthily. You might consider seeing a nutritionist together. A good one will advise you both to focus on good health more than a number on the scale. The fact that you see your wife as beautiful inside and out is the best starting point ever for a joint project such as this.

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DEAR ANNIE: I have been married for almost 42 years now, and I thought our marriage was great. My husband trusted me, and I trusted him.

But five years ago, I was shocked to learn he had been having different affairs ever since we were married. We are both in our 60s.

I found out after I came back from my brother’s funeral that something had happened with a woman I knew long ago.

I was busy with my family and not paying much attention, but then it hit me like a ton of bricks. I found out that my husband had been with this woman for 20 years right under my nose. Everyone in the area knew, including my friends. No one said anything.

I was so shocked, and I cried every day because I was so busy doing two jobs. I asked him about it, and he said it was for only two years. But then he went on the offensive. He claimed that I was the one cheating. He accused me of having an affair with a neighbor. He made this claim because the neighbor comes home just before me or after me. I have never even spoken to this neighbor. Now my husband gets very nasty and insults me all the time. — Betrayed

DEAR BETRAYED: Talk about having the rug pulled out from under you. What he did to you is terrible. Please don’t let him turn this around on you, pretending as if you did something wrong. Seek marriage counseling immediately, and if he doesn’t want to go, then it might be time to move on. Try to join a support group for women who have been betrayed like you were.

“How Can I Forgive My Cheating Partner?” is out now! Annie Lane’s second anthology — featuring favorite columns on marriage, infidelity, communication and reconciliation — is available as a paperback and ebook. Visit http://www.creatorspublishing.com for more information.

Send your questions for Annie Lane to dearannie@creators.com.

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