How do I talk to my wife about her weight?

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Hi Meredith,

I've held off sending this letter for a while. I just don't know what to do.

I love my wife and want to be with her. But I don't know how to address her weight problem. She's heavier now than when she was pregnant with any of our children, and I know she hates it (as do I).

She talks about it now and then, but I know it's fresh on her mind.

For the tomato throwers out there, I'm not Tom Cruise ... but I'm not asking her to be Kelly McGillis either.

How do I support my wife and address her weight at the same time?

Thank you so much!

Wrote this a while ago, but never hit send

– Send


Sometimes we get frustrated when a letter writer doesn't give us their age, but mentioning Tom Cruise and Kelly McGillis counts. Welcome, Gen-X reader.

Your wife is upset about her weight – maybe concerned about her own health – and that's where the support comes in. Ask her what you can do to give her more time for self-care.

If you do more around the house, would it give her a break to take a long walk? I don't know your division of labor, but giving someone an extra hour can be the best gift.

You can also ask her to try activities with you that will get you both in better shape and give you more energy. Would she be open to taking a class together? Virtual exercise? Please, don't get pushy about it, but the truth is that she's frustrated (based on what you've told us), and you'd like to make this easier. I don't think it's about "addressing her weight" as much as it is about showing your support and giving her a way to care for herself.

If you're really worried about her, you can tell her that too. A lot of this is about wanting her to be happy and healthy. That's a good way to frame it.

But start with paragraph two. The weather's getting nicer in a lot of places. It's probably easier to do new things. Ask her if she'd like to try a healthy activity – on her own or with you as company. Showing you care is so much different than judgement.

Also, don't punish yourself for feeling this way. It’s honest – and the fact that you want to help her is a good thing.

– Meredith

Readers? How would you talk about this, if at all?