Did you lose your husband because you got fat?

From the divorce chat room
Filed in Divorce Support

Girls, you have to stay skinny to hold on to your husbands!

It seems a lot of women lose their husbands because they got fat. Just recently, a husband in India petitioned the court for a divorce on this very basis: his wife got fat, she had ballooned and he no longer wanted to be married to her. Thankfully, the court denied his petition. But the moral of the story is, that women around the world are in danger of ending up divorced if they do not keep up their youthful, slim figures. In other parlance, the divorce rate for fat women is alarmingly high especially when they became fat after marriage. Weight gain after marriage almost guarantees a divorce for a vast percentage of modern women.
In an issue of W Magazine, from a few years back, there is this article about the new “it” girl around town, Tracy (Traci?) Anderson–fitness guru extraordinaire to the stars, with clients that include Gwyneth Paltrow, Madonna and Penelope Cruz. Apparently Tracy is this really intense fitness aficionado and she is known to “re-sculpt” bodies and literally eviscerate pounds and pounds of fat and inches and inches of flesh in just nine weeks–if you have $900 per month to pay to join her trendy Tribeca gym in which Ms. Paltrow is a personal investor, that is.
I was reading the article about the wonders Tracy and her trainers can do for your body while I was browsing through a pile of discarded magazines at the neighborhood bodega on “main street” where I  purchase my lotto tickets after long walks across the Brooklyn Bridge on sunny afternoons–as I did today. And that is where I got to thinking about this post (and the fact that I really need to lay off the carbs!)
So here goes. Did you lose your husband because you got fat? It’s funny, isn’t it,  how one hardly ever hears of a wife who left her husband because he got fat (or old) but I have heard so many stories of men who got disgusted with their wives because she had gained weight and who even left her for a younger, tighter, firmer and more nubile and attractive woman–sometimes after many years of matrimony, sacrifices (on the wife’s part) and applaud-worthy shag sessions that the wife gave to the ungrateful bastard when she was in her prime.
Why is that? Why is there this global culture that is so obsessed with the way a woman looks? Why is a woman’s looks often such a deal breaker in relationships and marriages?
I did a post yesterday, or the day before, about how women should not have to pay their husbands alimony since the sexes are not “equal” and since financial support for husbands from ex wives would tend to “emasculate” men and further “confuse the relations between the sexes.” I knew when I said it it would be controversial and I said it anyway because deep down in my heart, that is what I really think and I was never particularly good at hypocrisy. Oh, I try it on all the time for kicks, and I try my darndest to hold my tongue. But in the end? I am probably going to tell you what I REALLY think about you, it, them, the whole nine and the heck with the consequences. And that was one of those moments when I said what I said about the alimony. It is how I really feel about this issue, personally. As a lawyer, I would advise my clients according to the law, obviously. But for me personally? Forget it. No alimony for any man. It’s just not in my wiring to do that. If I ever get crazy and got married, it is going to be to a man who would rather slit his wrists than get alimony from his wife. With that said, yes, I am aware that this viewpoint will go over like sulphur bitters to most people. I should caution you in advance that I make no apologies.
But. So.  This issue of “fatness” in women and how some men leave their wives or start cheating on their wives because she’s become a “big f#$%king girl.” (I’ve actually personally heard a man refer to his wife like this, I swear. And btw, he was a fat mess himself, way fatter than his wife.) It just goes back to my point about the inequality of the sexes and the fact that men should not get alimony. Yes, I know. Stop with the alimony already. But it is a sore point for me personally. It really is.
Look, there are some things that are deeply ingrained. Women have to look good for their men. Men have to “provide” for their women. This is nature. If women still have to watch their weight and avoid getting fat for fear of losing their men, then men shouldn’t want to flout convention and turn the script around and expect women to now take care of them financially after a divorce just because she makes more. This has not been the rule. Either we are sticking to the rules, or we are not sticking to the rules.  If gender roles matter in one context, they should matter in all contexts. Say Amen?
Because, my big thing is, nobody ever calls someone’s husband a “big f#$%ing guy.” Men are not “fat.” Husbands are not “fat.” Even if they are, it is immaterial. A man doesn’t have to be in shape.  In 99% of the cases, he is assured that he will not be dumped for any of the foregoing, least of all because he’s carting around 30 extra pounds of belly fat. But a woman who is with a man who married her when she was young, thin and hot, better watch out. And lemme tell you something: IT IS VERY HARD TO STAY THIN PAST THIRTY. IT IS REALLY HARD WORK!!! You know? Just ask Oprah. Look how hard she tries. And look at what always ends up happening. It’s unbelievable. And, I bet you Stedman doesn’t even work out. And look at him. Not for nothing. You know?
Is this sexist? Of course. But I don’t make the rules. I am just another “fat” woman trying to hang on to her girlish figure with all her might (and losing the struggle, btw). So don’t shoot the messenger. And that is exactly why Tracy and Gwyneth and Madonna work so hard at those abs of theirs. Of course, it didn’t exactly work for Madonna in the end, did it? (Did you hear she and Gwynnie are no longer friends because she used to flirt with Gwynnie’e husband Chris, allegedly? Wow, right? Hard to believe) Cause Guy wanted out anyway. He probably did reverse psychology on the poor girl, told her she worked out too much and now she was too buff. But you know what I am talking about, right? I am sure you know what I am talking about. And you know what? It’s not okay. It’s not fair. It’s not right. What is the solution? I don’t know. I really don’t know. But I would say a partial solution is for women to stand up and stand firm and say: no fat for me? No alimony for you. What do you think? Should men get alimony when women can’t get fat?
Orginally published April 20, 2009; last updated July, 2014