Savage Love Letter of the Day: After 15 Years, Her Husband Still Looks Like A Child & She's Not Into It


"I fell in love with and my husband because he was so goddamned kind and friendly that he touched my young, naive heart. He then supported me through severe depression, weight gain and multiple other personal issues, and is still with me despite my not being attracted to him and never having sex with him now that I'm older, more jaded and full of regret about my life choices."

Sounds like Hubby's been a stable, understanding, available rock in IAMHORNYDAN's life, but she now finds all of that boring and is ready for some goddamned drama already, or she can't handle that he hasn't joined her on her physical and emotional roller-coaster ride, maybe even to the point of resentment.

He's put up with you and your drama for years, do him a favor, stop treating him like your doormat and grant him the "it's not you, it's me" divorce so he can find someone else who will appreciate all the positive attributes that you find such a turnoff. There are countless 30-something women wondering where all the "boring" young-looking, kind, good, stable, supportive and understanding guys are.
There are no children in this situation, so I don't see a reason that IAMHORNYDAN and her husband should try the Hail Mary of sexless relationships and stay together in a sexless marriage while having sex with other people. IAMHORNYDAN seems to have a lot of issues and untangling those threads is going to be fair bit of work. Opening her marriage means adding complexity at a time when IAMHORNYDAN could use more simplification in her life. I'm not entirely sure IAMHORNYDAN is entirely in ready for a relationship. I would suggest a divorce now, then take the time work through some of those issues with having some casual sexual relationships.

I think that is probably best for Mr. IAMHORNYDAN too. He's described as nice guy, youthful, and in-shape. He's in his 30's and is still young enough to find someone else with whom he is more compatible.
A more charitable version of #1 is that many relationships don't survuve recovery from an illness. He became a care giver, not a lover, and your brain switched gears on him.

Let's be clear: this relationship is ending because he treated you well when you were ill and now your relationship has changed as your health improves.

I have seen this in the context of cancer.

It sucks. He will be very hurt. But dump him when he is back home.
Honestly, I cannot for the life of me understand how Dan could suggest divorce as an appropriate response to this letter.

This guy isn't abusive, or dangerous, or disrespectful or even unpleasant to be around, but just because she's just not into twinks anymore physically, she wants to break up with this guy who has been there for her through some really hard times and supported her through some really difficult shit.

Just what kind of a horrible, selfish, shallow jerk would break up a marriage over this? This is how Donald Trump treats spouses.

I got news for you: no-one gets to stay young and hot (or manly and hot or whatever). Old age is coming for us all, and it ain't pretty. LW's husband has already proven he's got the chops to last.

Get your priorities straight, LW. Spouses aren't things that exist for your pleasure. And there are a lot of other things more important than sex.

That's how life is: you can't have it all. Make your choice and make it a wise one.
Corydon, If she doesn't want to have sex with her huband or even flirt with him, and he's not into non-monogamy, then she should end it as gently as possible. It does suck for him but he deserves to be with someone who appreciates him.
The issue is not that they're not young and hot anymore, it's that she doesn't desire him. And it's not inevitable that desire dies over time, and doesn't have to be accepted. And he really deserves better.
@4: "Just what kind of a horrible, selfish, shallow jerk would break up a marriage over this? This is how Donald Trump treats spouses"

Trapping him in an affectionless marriage while she's miserable with herself isn't really analogous at all to Donald Trump and it's bizarre why you would compare the two.

He isn't getting older and uglier, he's still hot, she feels unhappy with her own body issues and sees them reflected in how youthful he looks.

Thats... nothing like Trump.

Yeesh though, she needs to speak to a professional whether she stays with her husband or not. She needs to stop being cruel to herself and her husband both.

Will she be happy with a "manly man" older-looking and more hirsute? Maaaaybe yes, maybe no. But from the sounds of it, the husband was there and he was nice but appreciation is not love. And fear of loneliness is no reason to stay where one isn't happy.
I'd start with something like this:

>> I've been fantasizing about sex with a bigger guy. It has been so long since I had any kind of sex that this seems like a hopeful sign to me. Is it okay with you if I buy some cute outfits, get some sexy photos taken of myself, build a casual-sex dating profile, and see if I can find a bigger guy to satisfy this urge?

>> Maybe once my body remembers how fun sex can be, that energy will come back into our marriage. I don't know, I'm not promising. But it seems like a reasonable place to start.

>> And if the idea of me fucking someone else upsets you so much that you would end the marriage over it, then let's talk about that. I love you and think you are a great person, but we don't have sex any more and we can't continue like this. >>

But realize, IAMHORNYDAN, that this is your main issue: "I'm really not attractive at the moment and I'm still pretty shy. I can't see myself finding anyone...I'm getting too old to find someone new." Work on your insecurities. Find a way to see yourself as sexual and desirable. Plenty of old, shy, plain people find sex partners with whom they enjoy having sex.
@5: Yup, her stating that she never was very into the guy, just "naive", a huge insult to the guy who was told it was love and appreciation. But as she describes it a complete waste of her time, an inconvenience.

I'll never understand the codependency that leads readers to demand that a couple never get divorced when one party is miserable and is staying with the other not even out of "loyalty" but because they think they're ugly and would be lonelier single.

That sounds horrid, not an opportunity to "rekindle" something that wasn't good and right from the start.
" He sometimes asks for reassurance that I find him attractive and I say that I do, but I'm lying and I feel awful."

Here's a novel idea: STOP LYING TO YOUR ADMITTEDLY WONDERFUL HUSBAND! Lay your cards on the table. Tell him that you're not attracted to him, that you're not sure whether that's coming from you own body images, your lingering depression, perhaps meds for you depression, the lack of sexual experience when you married, or his body type. Tell him your fantasies. Include him in the solution to a problem that affects both of you.

Maybe the solution will take you to marriage counseling or to an open marriage or to divorce-- or to some fantasy play with your husband where he acts less kind and friendly and caretakerish in bed. Whatever it is, you at least owe it to him to consult with him.
Couples therapy, stat. But not necessarily to save the marital relationship. Find a counselor that they both feel comfortable with and throw out some emotional baggage and leave it on the floor. She is def harboring some resentments, (caregiver, @3), or maybe it's just really annoying to be with a twinkie man that runs marathons, whereas she eats all the Twinkies. If they can both move on fine. Or at least they can have some supervised meltdowns and he won't feel so confused/hurt when it's time to divorce. Either way a ton of work but it would be better for both in the long run.
@ 4 - Her husband has clearly demonstrated that he deserves better than a horrible, selfish, shallow jerk. That's why she should leave him.
What about you ask him to grow a beard? I mean you really have nothing to lose.
You all are missing the big big piece here.

IAMHORNYDAN doesn't want a divorce because she is selfish and doesn't want to be alone, which she almost certainly will be, because she's both fat and a selfish drama-seeking basket case.

So yes, the right thing for her to do is #1, but she won't.
Also, as a male member of the late 30's crowd, who is employed and stable and nice and supportive and relatively young looking, I can assure anyone in a similar position, like IAMHORNYDAN's husband, that there are LOTS AND LOTS of options out there.
I married very young, to a wonderful man. And I had a ton of issues from childhood abuse. We stayed together for four years, and I ended the marriage because I couldn't find a way to open up and talk honestly with him about my feelings. I was ashamed - I felt damaged and unworthy, although I would not have been able to frame it that way at the time. I've done s shit-ton of therapy since then, and ridden my own little roller-coaster as I've worked through that ton-o-shit. I've often wondered what would have happened if I could have just talked with him. Maybe we still would have divorced, but maybe not. There was a lot of good there.
Shame is crippling, and I sense that in the LW. I can relate to her sense of pressure and desperation, and also the lack of clarity as to what's really bothering her. My best advice would be to get some distance - maybe take a trip by yourself, and see if you can gain some clarity before making any big decisions. Then whatever you decide you'll have some trust that you're doing what's right.
All the best --
@15; Vera, good idea. LW. Go on a retreat or something similar.. maybe a health camp.. and be with yourself for a bit. Nothing like silence to make oneself look inwards and get some clarity . And re the weight, diabetes type two is a big big problem so having some time away/ alone might help you face the work you need to do on yourself.
Corydon, what do you read in this relationship that is so wonderful it must be saved? That's for "our relationship is great, we're so happy, except I resent having sex only once a week since the baby came."

This one isn't even primarily about sex. I don't think she loves him. We got the single statement of love like we do, but even that was "I love my husband, although it does feel platonic." That has to be clung to? You want to live the rest of your life on this track?

They can both be happier than this.
Bravo EricaP@7. That's good advice if they both want to stay together.

I'm of the opinion that they're flogging a dead horse. Not all marriages work...this one doesn't (at least on the sexual level) and who knows what other issues there are, but if its anything like my marriage, once the sex died everything else pretty much went to hell in a handbasket in short order.

Do both of yourselves a favor and admit the obvious. Divorce doesn't have to be traumatic if you both can say, "We had a good run, but we'll make better friends than spouses. Let's go out on a good note before we start to hate each other."
I do get the feeling that OP would find problems with a manlier man too. But it's also pretty clear that constant rejection will do an increasing amount of damage to her husband. She'll be better off suggesting an "it's not you, it's me" trial separation so that they can try to remain on good terms, than to let their relationship die of sepsis.
I'm slightly saddened by the lack of empathy in some of these comments. It's natural to take the side of the lovely husband, who is clearly the wronged party here, but sadly, you can't force attraction to another person and it's understandable that the LW doesn't want to dump him and risk having to give him the real reason. She has some serious issues she needs to address, most likely without his help. Perhaps she should try therapy first, but she definitely shouldn't stick it out for years on end while the poor guy suffers in sexlessness. I agree with Dan. She owes it to him and herself to be as honest as she can without being cruel--accepting whatever blame there can reasonably be--and end it.

Oh and @13 and @17: not helpful. For anyone.
@15 Thanks for sharing your story. I think your advice is sound.
Good Grief, IAHD, it sounds like you've had a tough time, but it also sounds like you're taking it out on your husband. I met a new dude when I was 45 - you can certainly do it at 34. Or better yet, at 35, after you've done at least a year's worth of quality work on yourself with the help of a therapist, spiritual leader, or whomever. Let your hubby go.
Hey, LW. You were with a "manly man:" he showed serious strength helping you through what would have driven many others away, but now you're impugning his masculinity simply because he still looks like he did when you first met him.

Do one selfless thing in your life and set this guy free. What he needs is a "womanly woman," and I don't mean that as any kind of physical description. He needs a woman who-- no matter what she might look like-- has interior strength and decency and doesn't majorly use people for years, then dump them because they don't measure up to some stupid ideal.

Let's flip the genders in the letter for just a second: if LW was a man who got fat and depressed, his wife helped him through all his tough times, and now he's saying she's just too skinny and he needs a "real woman," would anyone be calling him anything other than a total creep? I'm not sure how LW's situation is all that different, particularly with her "manly man" garbage.
IAM, sincere congratulations on getting through your severe depression alive. A lot of people don't. No shame in having scars from it, or even in losing a relationship to illness if that's sadly what happens.

The bad news is you've still got work ahead of you. The flip-side good news is if you do it, you can be happier. Truly. Even possibly in this relationship, if you actively love each other and both want to. I have seen, um, call it one and a half couples rekindle their relationship from a badly broken start. But don't try it by default, only if you deeply want to -- it's the hardest path and pretty likely most painful for both of you.

But that's for later. Now, you need to be clear with yourself -- writing Dan is a fine start on it -- and with your husband. I'm not trying to add more shame on, but you owe him honesty, and it will benefit you too. I third the idea of getting away by yourself for a week, if you can swing it.

Thirty four is younger than I met my wife. You absolutely can find someone at 34 and fat and shy, if you want. Or be single and find hookups, which might be fun. You can be a sexy single for a few years and then settle down, if you want. (I do acknowledge the issues of age and children, if you want children, which you didn't say so this may be irrelevant. If you do, please let me say, do not get pregnant in this relationship thinking this is your only chance, which it's probably not. Even, frankly, if it is. It's not fair.) You have a lot of life to live.
I'm with EricaP @7. The major issue isn't the husband. It's not even LW's view of the husband. It's LW's view of herself. She doesn't want to be angry at herself for all the hurt she is feeling and has been feeling, because that type of shame feels very close to depression. So, she is probably transferring all of her hurt onto him. She hates the way she looks but she can't give in to that, so she hates the way he looks. He's skinny and cute and young looking, and his physical fitness and attractiveness is making her feel like shit for getting older and fatter.

This section is pretty telling: "I gently floated the idea of non-monogamy once but he's very against it. Monogamy actually turns him on. And even if we agreed, I'm really not attractive at the moment and I'm still pretty shy. I can't see myself finding anyone." She didn't suggest non-monogamy for HIM. She was suggesting non-monogamy for HERSELF. He's all "I want to fuck you." And she's all "Hey, how about non-monogamy and you could fuck some other woman. " But, really, she meant to say "Hey, I want to be fucked a big fat hairy lumberjack; your exact opposite."

And, I kind of get it. Being depressed/coming out of depression means you kind of want to feel security. Part of that feeling includes things like big strong body hugs and putting your head on a big chest. It's kind of like those a human version of those hugging machines for autistic or asperger's people. And, its harder feeling secure when the other person is half your size.

So, LW, regardless of whether or not you let your husband go, you need to work on yourself because you have a shitton of work to do, primarily you need to either get your weight under control or get comfortable with your new body size. And, whichever you do, you need to figure out your damned emotions (TALK THROUGH THEM WITH A THERAPIST OR AT LEAST A FRIEND!!) and then communicate them to your husband. Because, the way your letter is written, you're being selfish and shitty to him and, if he's as good a person as you say he is, you need to let him figure out his end of the relationship.
DTMFA, the MF in this case being you, IAMHORNYDAN.
And he's 35, fit and hairless? Send him my way for the sex he deserves.
And yeah. You are 34? I am more than a decade older than you and meeting new and interesting people on a frequent basis. You don't mention kids, so there's nothing other than your terrible self-esteem preventing you from finding someone you are attracted to. For both your sakes, cut your husband loose so that he can do the same.
Corydon @4: What?? You've read Dan before and you can't understand why he'd advocate the people in this dead relationship going their own ways to find satisfying sex lives with others? I can't see him possibly advising her to stay with a guy and continue denying him sex. "There are things that are more important than sex" is about as far as you can get from Dan's philosophy.

Biggie @13 / Geo @24: Right on.
LW, please DO.NOT.HAVE.CHILDREN until you can really love and want to spend your life with your husband. Right now you don't. If you were to meet your manly-man (I don't really know what that means to you, because why do you think an athlete who runs marathons is unmanly?), and he was interested in you, it sounds like you'd leave without much regret. So you should get a divorce, because how much longer can you hide from your husband that the only reason you're staying with him, is because you don't think anyone else would want you?

I think you might owe it to your husband, to tell him your true feelings. He hasn't just been a good spouse, he's been a tried and true friend to you. If you stay, and he discovers that you've been using him, that will be all gone. Men come and go in romantic relationships all the time, there are always others if things don't work out. Real friends who are there for you through sickness and bad times are much harder to find.

Talk to your husband. Go to counseling so you can build confidence and learn to love yourself as you are - then you can see that your husband isn't a weak, throwaway man because he loves your fat, depressed, and shy self. People are not just physical appearance, there must be something in you that your husband loves, and that's why he stays with you even though you no longer look like you did before. Also have your meds checked to see if they might be causing the weight gain; ask your doctor to try different ones if they are. Then start exercising, and eat healthy. Exercise will help a lot with your depression, gives you more energy and improve your health. You'll lose some weight which will increase your self esteem too.

Maybe you could even start running with your husband, then you might start seeing him as more manly than you do now - because running marathons isn't easy - and perhaps become attracted to him again. Then you can actually stay in the marriage and not feel guilty about using him.
My god LW, please divorce this poor guy so he can cut himself off from the dumpster fire that is you.

It really sounds like he deserves to be happy, and you are dead set on making him suffer because you hate yourself.

Because you are the problem. 100%.
Hi y'all, LW here. I'm kind of surprised at the vitriol being thrown my way because literally the whole point of my letter was that I realise he's amazing and an amazing catch and he's my closest friend and I WANT to be attracted to him but I'm not. Obviously I don't think manliness has anything to do with looks but it's a short hand, type wise, for someone non-twinky. I WISH I could find him sexy but that is out. Of. My. Control. I haven't said anything to him because if it can be fixed I really want to fix it. Obviously a shit ton of therapy would be useful but I'm starting a job in a developing country; on the plus side, I'll only see the husband 1 week in 4 so at least I get some space. Anyway, thank you to those of you who offered constructive advice.
Average @32: "I WANT to be attracted to him but I'm not."

I don't think there's anything you can do about that. You've offered him an open relationship, but he doesn't want it. So you either need to have (frequent) sex with someone you're not attracted to -- which sounds awful -- or end the relationship. If you think he's so great, don't deprive him of sex with you or a new partner.

Am I correct in reading "so at least I get some space" as "to find other guys to fuck"? If so, I don't think the vitriol is unwarranted.

Let this guy go. Hopefully you can stay friends, as it seems you basically only see him as a friend anyway.
Holy shit, BiDanFan, FUCK you a thousand times with a rusty implement, that was not what I meant at all. Nothing I said implied that. Other commenters who are less judgey assholes suggested space might help me clear my thoughts.

And FYI I offered the open relationship when I was depressed and had zero libido because I know he deserves to go and have great sex. That offer remains open to him which isn't a long term solution but I realise it's the least I can do while I see if this is recoverable.
Average @34: Okay, overreaction much? I said "if." You have to admit, the picture you've painted of yourself isn't looking very good here, particularly if (another "if") you picked the sign-off IAMHORNYDAN.
Asshole @35, if you think everyone invents those sign offs you're an idiot. And I should know better than to get drawn into a fight with a stranger on the internet but you're being unnecessarily cruel. I know I'm undeserving and he deserves someone better than me but I am doing the fucking best I can. I am sorry I cant control my emotions and libido and sexuality.
Also, I don't see the word "space" in any comments up to yours.
And you're the one identifying yourself as an idiot. Do you not know what "if" means? It means maybe you did AND MAYBE YOU DIDN'T.
We can only read the words that appear.
We can only read sentences like
"I want to be with a manly man!"
"I wish I'd played the field before settling down."
"I really really wish I could fuck someone who turned me on."
along with your suggestion of opening the relationship, and come to the conclusion that you want to be having sex, just not with your husband.
None of us can control our emotions or libido or sexuality. That's the point. The fact that you're not attracted to your husband isn't something you can fix. It's not being "cruel" to say that it's in both your interests to walk away.
Anyway, I didn't mean to pile on. I know you're in a painful situation, and I hope you can both find new partners you are attracted to, and remain friends. Like I uncruelly said.
Three people suggested going away/time alone. I thought in context the meaning of "space" was clear but failed to account for deliberately unfair interpretations such as yours.
I think part of the advice should be to stop lying to your husband.

I was in a relationship once where I lied to my partner saying how I loved him and would never leave him all the while feeling trapped and wanting the relationship to be over. Later as I thought back on this I realized that maybe the reason he wanted the reassurance so often was because he knew I was lying. I think that so long as the LW is lying to her husband things will never change.
Hi @36. Please don't call yourself an idiot.
And Fan it was suggested by Vera @15 that the LW have some time out aka some space.
I used to fall in and out of finding my husband sexually attractive over the yrs I was married, so I'm not so sure attraction is such a fixed thing.
LW, it is not fair to your guy to lie to him, you know that, right? Maybe this time away at your new job can give you the room to do some deep inner work. Even if you have no access to a therapist, then take some reading material with you which may help you unlock your issues, and in your week at home you could start seeing a therapist. Either alone or with your husband or a combination of both.
@40: Your responses on this thread make it even more apparent how toxic you are. Please please please divorce your poor husband today, and do not start a relationship with another human until you have had years of therapy. Anything else is just irresponsible and cruel to your next potential hostage.

Of course I don't want to keep lying to him, but I didn't want to hurt him unnecessarily in case this feeling passed or if it was salvageable. I didn't want to blurt out something hurtful without thinking it through, so that's why I've not done anything until I realised the feeling was staying, hence the desperate measures like 2am stream of consciousness letters to sex advice columnists online. Which I kind of wish I hadn't done because even though Dan's and some people here's advice has been helpful I forgot that your every word will be parsed and you can't open your mouth on the internet without someone being horrible.

I know this is screaming into the void but everyone calling me toxic/horrible etc, you do realise there are two real people involved here don't you. I am an actual human being, trying to navigate a difficult situation, and avoid causing unnecessary hurt to someone I love? Actual person here, with real feelings, capable of being upset by flip comments online.

Lava @42: Ah, yes I see Vera's suggestion of a "retreat," and your reply.
Average Idiot: Please be advised that I am never "deliberately unfair." I added 1+1+1 and got 4, but in the context of the statements I quoted @38 and Dan's possibly "deliberately unfair" signoff acronym, it was a reasonable between-lines reading.
IF (there's that "if" word again) there was no such intention on your part, then I agree that some other commenters' vitriol was unwarranted. (Or perhaps I would have agreed, had you not attacked an "if" statement so viciously. Now I have far less inclination toward sympathy.)
Average @45: You're fortunate I do have such a large sympathy gland.
It seems your problem here is how to tell him the attraction to him has gone and you want to leave. Those words will be hard to find, and there really is no way to break it to him without hurting him. But what will be more hurtful: ending the relationship as kindly as you can, or dragging things out for how many more sexless years?
I'd attempt to come up with some words, but I've spent too much time on someone who's called me an idiot and an asshole and wished me physical harm. So instead I'll say, good luck, you'll need it.
I feel for you, LW. I've been in relationships before where it seems like everything's going right, and you have no reason to be unhappy; but you are unhappy and you feel terrible for it because you feel selfish for a feeling you can't really help having. Surely it doesn't help that you're fat and husband is thin... but you can be with someone you like, who turns you on, while still being fat. Some guys are even into that; although they might feel sheepish admitting it, just as you feel sheepish admitting your husbands body type isn't your type. So you can find someone to be with whom you actually find attractive, and you shouldn't let fear of being alone make you stay with this guy.

I have to wonder if your husband notices this too. Marathon training might be a way to get himself out of the house, to bury that sinking feeling that your relationship is on the wane. And I know from bitter personal experience that the longer you drag this out, the harder it's gonna be. He's a good guy and I can tell you care for him - I think the kindest thing to do would be to let him go while it's still amicable.

Oh, and plz ignore the fat shaming idiots, in this thread and IRL. They're trying to grind down your self-esteem by impugning your size, and it's poor self-esteem that got you in this mess to begin with.
32- Hi Average-- If you're surprised by the amount of vitriol, you haven't been on internet comments sections long enough. They're all about vitriol. Worse around politics and the possibility someone is fat, but plenty of vitriol all around. Still, I think the regulars on Savage Love are a pretty compassionate bunch. Maybe I'm just optimistic- or naive- but if you read through the comments with an eye towards ignoring the worst of them, there's some reasonable advice here.

(I wrote @9 above. Several of us said to stop lying to your husband.) You originally mentioned a major depressive episode that you're now over, but when I read your letter I see evidence of ongoing less-dramatic depression that's been with you before and after the dramatic event. Allow me to list:
Really low self-esteem
Cripplingly shy
Put on a huge amount of weight
Lost confidence
Lost libido
Disordered eating problems
Lying, feeling awful about lying, continuing to lie
Regrets about earlier decisions
Out. Of. Control.
Paying more attention to and engaging the "cruel" commenters than to the kinder ones.

And this last one sums up the whole letter: A sense that every avenue out, every choice you could make, is equally bad, a catastrophe. Look at the things that you've decided can't work: Leaving your husband, cheating on your husband, finding someone new, having sex with the husband you're not attracted to, opening up the marriage.

I'm not suggesting that any single thing on my list defines depression, far from it, but add them up, and you sure get a picture of someone who could benefit from therapy. Oh, but you're taking a job that won't allow you to get the therapy you agree would be useful. No wonder so many of the comments seem cruel to you. You've already decided that anything anyone suggests can't work and would be horrible and is the end of the world. (Sure sounds like depression.) When someone suggests something, it's like they're punishing you by rubbing your nose in the impossibility of your situation.

My advice? Choose something. I'd suggest engaging your husband in the solution, start telling him the truth about how you feel, seeing if he has any ideas, but if you don't feel like you can do that, choose something else. Figure out a way to get therapy.

And for what it's worth, I do feel some sympathy for you. What you're going through is tough.
@48; it's not fat shaming if the health of the person is at risk and diabetes is a big risk. Accumulated fat around the internal organs contributes to this disease.
LW, there is a book by an English Guy, Dr Michael Mosley, called the eight week diet.. check it out. It's about helping to deal with being overweight and helping people shed this weight around internal organs.
your low self esteem is caught up with your sexuality. Maybe if you spend time on these issues, your sexual feelings about your husband will change.
I hear that you love him, the work is to now learn to love yourself.
@26: "Part of that feeling includes things like big strong body hugs and putting your head on a big chest. It's kind of like those a human version of those hugging machines for autistic or asperger's people"

I don't know what being skinny and fit has to do with that, she didn't want to touch him, sounds as if he gave her plenty of hugs. Perhaps she saw it as disproportional in size, but I don't know if I've met someone completely incapable of giving a bear hug because they weren't a bear themselves.

@45: "I know this is screaming into the void but everyone calling me toxic/horrible etc, you do realise there are two real people involved here don't you. I am an actual human being, trying to navigate a difficult situation, and avoid causing unnecessary hurt to someone I love?"

You can't stand to touch him, I don't think you mentioned anything in the letter that you enjoy about him but that he's always there when you need him. But even that came with the caveat that it was what you needed at the time but not what you want (because you're no longer "naive")?

If you want to save this, do it because you want to save it not because you're deathly afraid of dating again and how you view yourself physically.

You really need to unravel this codepdency. Even if you opened up the relationship it wouldn't make you feel better about yourself. Please talk to a therapist about the bouts of self-loathing and they can help with either reconciling your feelings about your marriage or ending it so you both have a better chance at happiness, which is not the exact same thing as security.

@48: "it's not fat shaming if the health of the person is at risk and diabetes is a big risk"

It absolutely can be.

As with many things in life, it's not what you say but how a person says a thing. If you're pointed, your "true" statement can be cruel and only making yourself feel good at the expense of another. Attacking another person is not a mercy, even if you have your personal reasons for concern.
@50 knock it off. You're not the LW's doctor and you don't know her health situation, and even if you did, she's not asking for weight loss tips, she's asking for relationship advice. Pushing diet books, fat camps (or "health camps") and suggesting the LW's about to contract diabetes is fat shaming wrapped in a (perhaps well-meaning) concern for health.
@53: IIRC her family member had chronic health problems due to her weight.

That is of course no reason to bludgeon others when they are well aware of their size, it is no mercy and usually counterproductive to take that tact. Especially when the person is chronically depressed and self-loathing.
For the LW, I would work on the self esteem issues, first and foremost. You should also regularly exercise, and eat right. The regular exercise will help your depression, the eating right will follow suit. I understand you are unhappy and feel you are living a lie with your husband, but you are going to be very unhappy and living a lie with anyone if you don't take care of yourself. Heal and maintain thyself first..

I sort of see your Letter as there grass is always greener on the other side of the hill. I think you can have a loving and physical relationship with your husband, but you have to work on your self esteem issues, and find ways to maintain your self esteem. Much like you can lose the weight, but the tough part is to keep it off.. Even if you can't lose the weight, you should force yourself to do some sort of exercise every day to help your depression, which will be there, no matter if you are with your husband or someone else.

If your husband is training for marathons, (which means lots and lots of training, and lots of time away from you) he should be supportive in helping you exercise, and eating right. However, you have to take the first step in that you want to change. You can do it, but it will take some time and some work.

Once you feel better about yourself, then I feel you can make a judgment call about a trial separation, possibly a divorce, an open marriage, or keep the status quo. I do think you will have a different opinion once you work on the self esteem issues.. Also seeing a therapist can help you to do down the right path on your working on self esteem... Good luck..
@48 plz ignore the fat shaming idiots

Please ignore the Fat Acceptance Idiots. Morbid Obesity can be fatal.
Idiot@34, 36, 40 etc... Good God woman, take a pill! I guess you never realized that there might be diverse reactions to your situation in the comments section. Here's a tip. Read them all and take from it what you will. Realize that some of the comments are going to be stuff you don't want to hear, but need to. A few will be from insensitive assholes (welcome to the real world) but I don't read BiDan's as being in that bunch... you obviously have anger issues on top of everything else.

DON'T reject the counseling you so obviously need because you're "starting a job in a developing country." That's an excuse not a reason. And for Pete's sake, don't get all bent out of shape by "flip comments online." These are people (me included) you don't know at all and will never meet. Who gives a fuck what we say? If it's helpful, you're welcome. If it's not, move on to the next comment.

I stand by my comment@19. I think you're flogging a dead horse. Move on for everyone's sake.

But that's just my opinion.
50- Lava-- Lindy West has a different take on what's fat shaming and what's merely looking out for someone's health.…
@56: "Please ignore the Fat Acceptance Idiots. Morbid Obesity can be fatal."

Literally nothing indicated "morbid obesity" and plain "obese" persons can live a perfectly healthy life so this false evenhandedness is as much disinformation as the body shaming troll-posts.
It's not the blunt and confrontational advice I got upset by (what else can you expect writing to Dan) but the ad hominem remarks which had nothing else to say. And the suggestion I wanted space so I could fuck around etc - I still think was pretty offensive. And I do realise my skin is excessively thin but it's also not particularly helpful to post a comment just to call someone toxic. No, I haven't spent any time in Internet comments sections before today, but yes, I should know better.

I totally agree I need therapy and I intend to get it but it is in fact a practical issue to be overcome since I can't go back to my old therapist when living in a new country with a rate of 0.02/100,000 psychologists. Not a reason, I agree, but more like "oh fuck, they're right, and that's going to be logistically difficult". That's all.

Anyway I am grateful to anyone who offered actual constructive advice, whatever it was.
@57: I mean someone who dislikes herself and is lashing out at and projecting self-loathing onto her husband's very being, personality to body is I'd say... rather likely to lash out at anyone else.

She may argue from the position of being "surprised", but you shouldn't be.

I do have empathy in that this is all very self-destructive, she just needs to address the self-improvement directly and not couch safety and inertia as some sort of misguided guilt/"loyalty" to her husband.

And sure, her worries will not be solved by the temporary geographic "cure" of leaving for a volunteer gig, but hopefully the change of scenery, time to herself, and doing something for herself will give the headspace to move forward towards productive therapy.
Late to the discussion, my apologies if repeating others.
Seems to me like LW is very unhappy about her life in general, especially her body.
Some people in that situation may transform their unhappiness and low esteem to an intentional harm, whether they’re aware of it or not.

As such LW may be loathing her seemingly loving husband since she doesn’t really know what he still finds in her, and doesn’t think he deserves her.
She may be craving sex with a “manly man,” and I’m afraid part of the allure is because she also thinks/hopes/dreads that at some point manly man will tell her she’s fat and ugly and he doesn’t want to fuck her anymore.

That line of thinking/behavior is also the answer to Sargo Bighorn@ 17 in regards to, “Why don't depressed people ever get buffed and in great shape? Hitting the gym instead of hitting the food locker? Why food? What is that all about?”
Our animalistic selves often retreat to existential instincts and over do them in a self-destructive way. Food is one recognized behavior and in somewhat “acceptable.”
I think so is sex, at least the over doing aspect of it and also the urge fuck things up even when you’re doing well (because you “know” you’re a piece of shit and don’t deserve the success.)
This is a gender-swapped advice letter, right?
@62: "She may be craving sex with a “manly man,” and I’m afraid part of the allure is because she also thinks/hopes/dreads that at some point manly man will tell her she’s fat and ugly and he doesn’t want to fuck her anymore."

Possibly, self-validation doesn't only swing positive and having someone who isn't "obligated" perhaps as she feels to be body-positive with her is an excitement. Or just looking for someone in less "marathon" condition to remind them of their own issues.

But enough guesses, much less appropriate when the LW posts alongside.

@60: Best of luck to you, channel your time there into self-development and try to remember that you deserve love and not to beat yourself up, the better you treat yourself the better you'll be able to decide what you want from life.

Even if this was intended to be a distraction from what ails you, it's an opportunity to be alone with yourself and take a more honest appraisal of everything.
@63: No, but feel free to score some imaginary zero-sum gender war "points" in your head for claiming so.
@32 you should not be surprised at the vitriol. You don't respect someone who has sacrificed essentially their entire adult life to be with you, and you're lying to him about your love and respect for him. Why wouldn't someone see you as the villain of this story?
@66: Because beating up someone who's already beating herself up is masturbatory and not helping the husband any.
Why not talk to your husband honestly about the possibility of you seeking out sex while you're away?

Maybe he refused non-monogamy because he thought you were pushing it out of self-loathing ("Go find a sexy woman to fuck, not miserable me.") Does he really understand that you have a returning libido and are curious about sex with someone else?

You can be honest about that without telling him you don't like his body. Yes, the rejection will still hurt, but that's already happening. You're already rejecting him for sex.

Trying to jump-start your sex drive with casual sex, in that context, seems within the realm of what's reasonable to me.
60-Average-- Try this as an exercise or an experiment. Get a pencil and a piece of paper, and go back and read all 65 comments in this thread. Jot down every time someone has said something helpful, supportive, sympathetic. Take note of any advice you think is good or at least something that you could keep in mind as possibly useful or kindly meant. Ignore anything you find ad hominem, off topic, unnecessarily cruel or vitriolic. While you're at it, note the screen names of the people in the column that seem friendly to you.

Don't necessarily post here with your results, though you're certainly welcome to if you choose.

My point is that when people are depressed or just in a sour mood, looking out and seeing the good around them is an impossible task. All the bad stands out and overshadows the good. It applies to damn near everything. So give my assignment a try just to see if you're capable of doing it at the moment. The results might be illuminating.
Sargon @17, "Why don't depressed people ever get buffed and in great shape?"

Because then they wouldn't be depressed. 6 weeks of regular exercise is as effective as 6 weeks of anti-depressants (and you're in better shape). Whether you're depressed or not, popping a pill is easier than hitting the gym/trail most days of the week.

So if you're still depressed, you (1) didn't do anything for it - likely because you're fucking depressed and it's really tough to do anything, (2) anti-depressant(s) didn't work for you or (3) you didn't exercise, or you did and it helped a bit, but not enough, easily enough and you backslid on the exercise and the depression deepened because now you failed at yet one more thing.
Average@60 – that's going to be logistically difficult
Facetime. Skype.
Donny @57: Thanks for the support. Also agree with your suggestion @71 of Skype therapy sessions.

Undead @65: *high five*
I saw it as a looks-swapped letter, actually. Normally, someone is writing in to lament that their partner has put on 50 lbs and they no longer find them attractive, not that their partner is still just as lean and fit as they were at 20 and they no longer find them attractive. Truly it takes all kinds.

Sportlandia @66: Average Idiot does respect her husband, she just doesn't desire him. I guess her taste in men changed, but her man didn't.
@17 & @70 - why don't depressed people ever hit the gym?

Have you noticed LW's husband?? Eating your emotions when depressed is a bit of a trope, but I have to wonder if the husband isn't running marathons as a way to bury his own feelings under a heap of exhaustion and endorphins.
@73: Yup. And the idea that mental illness is one monolithic thing that everyone experiences the same, however they were raised and socialized to be/feel... that's a mistake.
@67 welcome to the club! This is one of those "if you can't stand the heat stay out of the kitchen" moments. If you don't want your actions analyzed, don't write in to a nationally syndicated advice columnist and then jump in to the comments section. LW doesn't deserve any special consideration that you wouldn't give any other LW, and you've "beat up" numerous past LW's.
I was roughly the same age as IAMHORNYDAN's husband when I started to run. My now-ex-wife was not clinically depressed at the time but she was certainly overweight - and so was I. Once I started running, though, I lost a lot of weight.

Physical reinvention is a very common theme among new, middle-aged, long distance runners. So are marital breakups. I think that when one partner undergoes a cosmetic transformation it can be really threatening to the other. I suspect that IAMHORNYDAN is feeling left behind because of his change and also because marathon training can be hugely time consuming. He's probably now spending a huge amount of his free time training in the company of a new group of friends.

I'm just not into him. Especially now I'm fat I hate feeling like I could snap him in half.

I don't buy it. Yes, he weighs less and his old clothes are probably baggy on him but he's probably super toned and has tons of endurance, to boot. It sounds preemptive, as if she doubts her ability to keep him interested and she'd rather cut him loose than have him dump her.

@32 Average Idiot - I'm not sure if you're still reading, but just in case you are... I honeslty believe therapy is what you need, regardless of what happens in your relationship. You need to be okay with you. You mentioned that you don't think it's possible because you'll be spending a lot of time in a developing country for work - IF there is decent internet access there, an online therapy option might be viable. One of the podcasts I listen to has been advertising one that I think is called Talk Space???? And if exists I'm sure there are others. Get good with you before you make any more huge life decisions. Best of luck.
@75: I'm not saying that anyone needs to walk on eggshells. The LWs I'm harsh with are more on the narcissistic end than depressive and self-hating. And still my advice is generally more productive than insulting for insulting' sake.

Essentially I've been in a few situations closer to her spouse in the past, and what I wanted was honesty and not to be patronized out of some false "kindness" more about codependency than my greater happiness. I really didn't want anyone to insult the ex for me, and I still hope those exes find a greater contentment with themselves.

Anyway, I'm not tone trolling over anyone's concept of politeness, but the vitriol here is for your benefit, not his.
LW - If you're still reading, talk to your husband. Antidepressants can screw with libido. The pill, if you're on it, can screw with sexual attraction. And even if neither of those things are actually contributing factors in your case, you can lay it on them during your discussion so you won't make him feel like utter shit.

And then, if he's on board, spend a year trying to fix this. Switch methods of birth control (go on hormonal birth control if you're not on it, go off of hormonal birth control if you're on it). Switch antidepressants. Go to the gym and lift weights together. As has already been suggested, ask him to grow a beard. Try some light BDSM with him in the dominant role and you in a blindfold. Try swinging. Adjust the above list as needed, based on what you're into.

And get your butt onto a therapist's couch.

I don't know if any of this will help. But you say you want to stay with him, so put in some time exhausting your options before you give up. And if you can't get there, hopefully you'll both be able to be at peace with it when you part ways.

Good luck!
@78 you're kidding yourself if you think your judgement about who it's OK and not OK to be vitriolic about is in some way more appropriate than anyone else's (say, mine), but it's obvious that you believe your shit don't stank. But you're just like everyone else from the dawn of humanity until now: You stand up for people you identify with and you slam any member of an out group. How progressive of you. And frankly, we're all commenting for our own benefit - because we enjoy commenting and reading other people's comments. If you view your commenting as labor assisting LW's, well, good on you, but I doubt that's the case for you, me, or anyone else.
What about trying to make your husband NOT look like a child? He could dye his hair gray, put on some weight, even try make-up. It sounds like this relationship is worth at least an attempt at salvaging.
#32 I'd like to address this: " I WISH I could find him sexy but that is out. Of. My. Control."

I actually think this is not true. I believe that if you are completely open and honest with him about what you want and need, this can change. Obviously he can't get taller, or look older, but he can certainly change his behavior vis-a-vis you and your marriage and sex life. What that will require is you drilling into what it is you REALLY want. Do you really want someone bigger, or older looking? Or is what you really want someone more aggressive, more dominant? What would happen if your skinny, baby-faced hubby came home one day and engaged in a little dominant role play? Is this something that has been broached before? And if so, and he was not open to it, does he now understand the stakes of coloring strictly within the lines? That may help him re-evaluate.

In addition to being completely honest with yourself and your spouse about what you really want, it's also possible that you have talked yourself out of being attracted to your husband. If that's the case, you can certainly talk yourself back in. Focus on the things that are right, instead of the things that are wrong. There's a lot that's been written about rekindling the real spark between the two of you - which is bigger than sex - so hit the Google and put some of those techniques into play. That, coupled with better communication and connection in the bedroom, could possibly do the trick.
Beard. Seriously. My husband was one of those "I look super young" types until he grew a beard. Aged him up. He was clean shaven until we had been dating about seven months and then he grew it. I loved it so much he has kept it for more than a decade.
The depression got cured

Was it cured with medication, medication that you're still taking? Changing libido is a very common effect of SSRIs, and of course the entire point of antidepressants is to alter personality (the depressed part, but that can't really be neatly separated from everything else). It may be the case that only the version of IAMHORNYDAN that is depressed is attracted to her husband, or it may be the case that the particular meds she's on impact her more in that way than some others might. She mentions birth control but not antidepressants, and I would look at revisiting that side of things before giving up entirely on the relationship.
@80: "you're kidding yourself if you think your judgement about who it's OK and not OK to be vitriolic about is in some way more appropriate than anyone else's (say, mine), but it's obvious that you believe your shit don't stank. But you're just like everyone else from the dawn of humanity until now: You stand up for people you identify with and you slam any member of an out group. How progressive of you"

...well that was certainly a mess of angry gibber.
I was a little surprised by the vitriol as well, since LW seemed genuinely distressed and not wanting her situation to be what she described it as being. (And I am no stranger to blasting LWs with vitriol in these comments on occasion).

Ultimately, though, she is in an untenable situation that will not change on its own. She won't magically rediscover attraction for him, and she has a lot to unpack and deal with. She needs to pick a path out of this soul-sucking quicksand, difficult as it is, and stick with it. As do many others, I recommend honesty with her husband and therapy. The honesty gives her husband the agency to make his own decision about what to do moving forward. The therapy may help her understand herself better and work on some issues. Certainly, from a clinical perspective, her changing view as to what makes a sexually desirable partner as her own body has changed is fascinating and could lead to many interesting discoveries. LW, I'm not saying that to dehumanize you. I feel your pain. I understand your inertia. But you are not a gazelle in a lion's mouth. The end of this relationship, if it happens, is not the end of your life. And you may feel a little better about yourself by doing the right thing and being honest with him, even if he takes it badly. Personal integrity is hard. But you can do it.
@58 Fichu. I know my motivation was not about fat shaming, so thanks but no thanks on your authority's version.
In our country overweight/ being fat/ obesity is a problem for many people. And our health system.
Since the Change I've put on weight which is hard to lose and after being a slim woman all my life until then, I do find it has changed my self image a lot. And I really really don't want to find myself with diabetes in my sixties so I'm about to do something solid about losing the weight. And the book I mentioned, is what I'm using to get the process going.
Great idea Donny @71 re using Skype for therapy.
Misc Kitty @79. I thought too that setting a time line for facing the issues head on and putting in the yards to see if the relationship can be sorted. I'm sure LW's husband knows on some level, even as he asks for reassurance, that her sexual feelings for him are weak.
She needs to own some of her confusion to him so they can both work on their marriage.
Corey @73: "I have to wonder if the husband isn't running marathons as a way to bury his own feelings under a heap of exhaustion and endorphins."

Fair enough. But if exercise is his reaction to the situation, I suspect his mind set is one of frustration and possibly some anger rather than depression.
As someone who has had a letter published in this column, I will say that some of the very regular commenters, seem to have a bit of an ego trip going on, and a very elevated sense of themselves and their opinons. Dan is never cruel or nasty, even if he's sometimes blunt.

Some commenters however think this column is all about them being witty and sarcastic, and fail to recognize that yes an actual person, with feelings, has maybe had to use all their courage to write to Dan. Sometimes people are really isolated in a terrible situation and writing to this column is their only outlet.

For myself the majority of the comments on my letter were very kind and helped me immensely, but the nasty, unecessary ones just plain hurt.

With a little effort it is entirely possible to get your point across without being destructive and hurting the LW.
@lava. Does lw know she's fat? Yes. Did LW write in asking for weight loss advice? No. Did lw say she had diabetes or any other associated risks? No.

Then your decision to bring up some diet (because diets totes work -not) is the epitome of fat shaming.

Btw neing fat doesn't equal diabetes and we aren't debating the pressures of poor health or obesity on socialized medicine
@sandwich. Glad you had a mostly good experience. I will say that what you identify as a mix seems to equal the general number of jerks out there in the real world. Mostly nice people with a few nuts.... and we all take turns at being nuts and jerks.

I have a certain amount of sympathy for lw and her heart is in the right place. Let her change course now.

Her experience though is why confident people are attractive. Confident people usually know what they want and don't want.
From the clues in the letter, IAMHORNYDAN is projecting her own feelings of being ugly and undesirable, and her resentment at her husband for not losing his looks the way she did, onto him as if he is the undesirable one. She got fat, he stayed the same. He runs marathons, what does she do?

I don't see Dan's option #2 as being likely to fly. First, it's a shitty thing to do to your partner. It's one thing to tell your partner, "I'm sorry I have no chemistry with you any more. I can't help it. You can get an outside partner, if you think that will help you stay sane." It's another thing entirely to tell them, "I think I should be free to fuck other people because I don't find you attractive. I don't want to be responsible for intimacy with you any more, but I don't want to get dumped, because other than the sex, you provide me with too much to just give up. I guess you can fuck around too; at least that puts us on the same footing." Letter Writer is doing the latter. Second, her husband has already said nonmonogamy really doesn't work for him. Between First and Second, she should expect to get dumped unceremoniously and angrily if she tries to frame it as an ultimatum.
Sometimes we legitimately change as we get older, and want different things in a partner than we did when we were young. Sometimes though, there are other issues in the relationship that cause us to feel differently about our partners, and those things can be unearthed in couples therapy.

I see some similarities between LW's situation and my first LTR. He was baby faced, lanky and delicate, very sweet, sensitive, passive, and feminine in many ways. He was exactly what I wanted in a guy at that time. But towards the end of our relationship I was no longer attracted to him, I wanted someone who was quite opposite in many ways. Partially, I got older and changed, and I really do believe that we weren't right for eachother. But, the primary reason I lost my attraction to him was due to other problems in the relationship. He was lazy and unmotivated, totally unreliable, and his passivity meant he couldn't stand up for himself or for me when I needed him to. I lost respect for him, so his goofy, bashful, baby-faced femininity became associated with those negative traits that were ruining our relationship. So, of course the guys I sought out after our breakup were stocky, bearded, and assertive.

One commenter suggested taking some time away. I second this, because it worked for me. I took a trip with one of my friends and I realized that I didn't miss him at all. I felt relieved and free. It was really eye opening and drove home the fact that I needed to end the relationship.

All that said, I've been with my current SO for six years. We've been in couples counseling for a little over a year. We initially went to get help with some specific things, but we've kept going because of how much it enriches and deepens our relationship.

My reasons for breaking up with my ex were very clear, clear to everyone who knew us and eventually also to me. Based on what you wrote, your situation is not at all clear. So before you make a decision, please get some space and then get couples counseling.
@91. My opinion and response to the letter Dark Horse. The LW mentioned her weight.. being fat.. several times and I feel this is an important part of her low self esteem.
I realise Americans freak out
about "fat shaming"'or the like. And if I want to point to increased incidences of diabetes, which has a lot to do with unhealthy body weight, then I'll mention it. Don't need your permission to do so.
And the book I mentioned is not some fad diet..
it has helped some people reverse their diabetes type two status.
1. Then don't be shocked when you get called out on it.

2. Bariatric surgery is the only known method of reversing type 2 diabetes. And the mechanism isn't known. Of course weight loss will help control but does not cure type 2 diabetes. Your ignorance is showing.

3. Advising a person with disordered eating to go on another diet is irresponsible advice that has a thousands licensed psychologists, therapists, etc. groaning. It's dangerous.

4. Oh yes, we Americans are "too sensitive" over weight because we all are fat and lazy right? Except of course everyone in the developed world including the Aussies are getting fatter too. So maybe just maybe we have more experience with the intractability of this problem.

So unplug your ignorant ears: if it was as simple as going on some fad diet it'd be solved by now. The answer to fat peoples problems is often NOT just losing weight. Many lose weight and discover they are still unhappy. they've been sold a bill of goods through people saying "you'd be pretty if..."

@95: Where you veer into rudeness is offering unsolicited and bad medical "advice" and always assuming that "fat" of the LWs is always morbid obesity.

As it concerns most people, the health concerns you trot out are not present. This is not an issue of "sensitive Americans" but persons annoyed with incorrect advice being given.
LW it will probably be years before you can figure out *all the things* that are making you unhappy. But think of it this way: he likes things like running marathons that require a full time commitment. He presumably has a full time job. His way of interaction with you, even if he really really loves you, isnt working. You're not getting what you need out of this relationship. Neither is he. It sounds like he is more OK with it than you are, mostly because it sounds like he isn't as consumed as you are, he has lots of other things to do. You can spend some time trying to detach from your current unhappiness, and still stay married. Or not. You have to decide. In the end, you may be happier but still married to someone who is very different than you, and who you don't connect with, and things will be marginally better. If you truly believe that's what will happen, set him free and set yourself free. Let him love someone who will love him back. Let yourself love someone, and then worry about the loving back. Otherwise try to fix what you can (yourself).
DANG this is the FIRST time I have disagreed w Dan! Feeling bad about your body is nuts pervasive. It not only makes you feel not sexy/repulsed by guys who are smaller than you. Wearing the pants that are getting tighter and tighter can make you want to punch everybody in the face. The world can feel so fucking ugly. Of course the niceness and sexting don't seem appealing.

I super empathize with this woman. Her self awareness is admirable NOT self pitying/drama-making/overly-sensitive. If this rad woman has managed to get to the bottom of these comments and through the cruel bullshit posted above: I hope you find a way to feel good about your body. Know that you're not alone. Know that whether or not you choose to lose the weight, once you figure out how to feel good in your skin, your perspective is going to change. Feeling gross about yourself is going to make impossible to know what it is that's actually bothering you and whether or not those feelings of attraction will come back for your partner.
@91 What the LW wants is change. A good way to show change, help her self esteem, and help her depression is exercise, and make a goal in losing weight. If she wants to end her marriage, she better get in shape to get back into the dating market. If she is fine with her weight, which I doubt she is fine with, given her depression and self esteem issues, her dating pool is not going to be manly men, but other depressed, in denial, low self esteem people as well.

Being obese to morbidly obese, is a major health problem with Americans, it shouldn't be accepted as a norm, nor to push people to lose weight if they are obese to morbidly obese is not fat shaming.