resorting to making someone feel bad

United States
May 13, 2007 2:33am CST
I have a friend who is over weight considerably. She has been married since she was 18, and has three children by him. She usually feels yucky about herself, and her weight, but when she does feel good about herself, he tells her she is fat, and tries to put her down. It usually happens when she starts feeling good about herself. Why would he be doing this to her. He says he loves her, but that isn't showing love. Love is making someone feel better about themselves, not making them feel worse. What would you do in this situation. Any suggestions on what she can do? She loves him but she doesn't want to divorce him. Other then that one issue, he is a good husband and father.
8 people like this
21 responses
@gabs8513 (48710)
• United Kingdom
13 May 07
He is not a good Husband if he does that to her He is Mentally abusing her and believe me I know all about that in this respect and lots of other ones It took me a long time to get out of it But I wish really that I would have done this Ignore his Comment if she feels good then keep feeling good Ask him if he has looked in the Mirror Latley and why is he still with her if that is what he thinks If I would have been as strong then when I was married like I am now believe me I would not have taken any of the Sh*t that I did and totally loose confidence in myself
2 people like this
@charms88 (7540)
• Philippines
13 May 07
I'm sorry to hear about this. gabs. Although, I haven't heard any negative comments from anyone about my looks, but I know it can degrade one's self-esteem. I have a friend who ballooned to 180lbs whilst pregnant and was down to 160lbs after giving birth. When her husband saw her, the first thing he said, "you must lose weight right away or else, we can't sleep together." How utterly disgusting. It happened 9 years ago. Until now. my friend who is back in shape constantly told me she is fat. See what her husband did to her confidence.
• United States
13 May 07
I agree. I have kept my mouth shut because I don't want to interfere, but I think the time has come where I am left with no choice. He is being verbally abusive, and what comes next? probably physical.
1 person likes this
@gabs8513 (48710)
• United Kingdom
13 May 07
Charms the thing was I was only a size 12 I was not to heavy at all but he said I was and that body was deformed from having my Children who would have me and I believed him I lost so much weight in the end and my Doctor was very unhappy There was a lot of thimngs I was to scared and I believed everything Cricket I actually suffered the Physical side in the first Year till he hurt me so bad I ended up at the Doctor and told the Doc I had fallen down the Stairs as my Ex was Army that scared him
2 people like this
@PunkyMcPunk (1477)
• Canada
13 May 07
I'm not going to slama this ladies husband like a lot of people on here. She is with him and they are together for whatever reasons they have. I'm not saying I like the idea of someone getting put down but.... She just shouldn't listen to him, she shouldn't ask for his opinion like "hunnie, do you like this shirt?" or "Hunnie, do these pants my my bum fat?" She should just depend on her own judgement. Beacuse you are her friend you can be a great self esteem booster for her. Don't flatter her needlessly though or it will be fake and the compliments won't help her at all. If she is overweight and not happy about it, don't suggest anything as it may hurt her and she may think that you think she is FAT. But if she wants to do something, why not say yeah, lets go for a walk and chat, or if you are out shopping why not avoid the fastfood restaurants. I'm not saying that she doesn't exercise or that she eats bad food, these are just small suggestions I thought might help. I had a friend and instead of sitting at home having coffee we would get together and go for a walk and visit each other while we walked. We were out exercising but still enjoying a chat. I lost over 24 LBs that 2 month period and my friend and I got closer because we were getting toegther 3 times a week. I was forced to move away from that area otherwise I think I would still be there doing that.
2 people like this
• United States
14 May 07
Yeah, we do talk a lot. I mainly do listen, and try not to get involved past a certain point, as I don't want to make anyhing worse for her. Regardless what happens, she has to make the final decision, and stick with whatever decision that is.
1 person likes this
@rosie_123 (6118)
13 May 07
Well it sounds to me like your friend's husband is a typical control freak. He wants his wife to be totally dependant on him, and not have a life or views of her own, and the best way to do that is to rob her of her self-respect, so that she doesn't feel "worthy" to meet other people or contribute to society in any way, apart from as "his" wife and thr mother of "his" children. Maybe he feels that if she starts to feel good about herself, and maybe take more care of her appearance and lose weight, she will attract other men,, and deserves better. If I were her, I would not put up wth that kind of treatment at all.
@MsTickle (25051)
• Australia
14 May 07
I also am overweight but I'm tall and have a large frame so it's not terribly noticeable. People are stunned when I tell them how much I actually weigh. Folk say, "you're not FAT, you're big, but you're not fat" "Wow! Do you really weigh that much? You don't look that big" etc. My father on the other hand criticises me and mentions my weight in a way that makes me self conscious and embarrassed. I've told him that it doesn't help when he says those things and that it doesn't make me feel better about myself but he still does it...knowing that it hurts me. I think he does it to shock me into doing something about my weight...as if I choose to be like this with all the discomfort and self image issues that go along with it. Your friends situation sounds horrible. I would recommend that she see a counsellor or asks her GP to recommend someone she could speak to. Her situation will never improve under these conditions and she will more than likely become depressed.
• United States
15 May 07
I struggle with my weight too. I know how hard it can be. The worse thing anyone can do is make horrible comments, or say things that are rude. Sometimes, they don't even have to say anything, it can just be a look on their face that will do it. I think, that can even be worse. You just feel like you want the ground to open up and inhale you.
1 person likes this
@MsTickle (25051)
• Australia
15 May 07
I'm fortunate to live in a small country town where 99.9% of people don't care what they or anyone else looks like. One young woman has screamed at me calling me a something fat old something and my friend who is also over weight has been called similar although not the old part. Both the name callers are not exactly slender themsleves. People who are nasty like this are the last people who should be throwing stones.
@cipher2004 (1183)
• United States
13 May 07
How sad.Some of my friends are overweight and they seem to be the happiest people I know.I don't think anyone should be made fun of.It is what is inside that counts.Maybe he is jealous of her and he is trying to make her insecure so she won't leave him.They say that people who are insecure about themselves often put other people down so they look good.As for what she can do.I would just continue to give her encouragemant about herself.I don't think I would get in the middle of her and her husband.But if she does ask for your help I would tell her to ignore him.Or maybe she could jokingly pick on him back.Like saying "So you have a big nose" or something like that.That way maybe he will think that she thinks he is kidding about her weight.And maybe he will stop.I don't think that a husband or anyone else should make fun of anyone.
1 person likes this
• United States
13 May 07
I like your suggestion, however, he probably would come back with, well your weight you can change, I can't change my nose without going through surgery. But I am sure she could find something to say. The problem with doing some of that, then they find something else, and before you know it, you have the "war of the roses" going on.
• United States
13 May 07
You are probably right it might start a war.Maybe you should just tell your friend to ignore him he is just jealous.
1 person likes this
@whyaskq (7531)
• Singapore
13 May 07
Does your friend ever find out why the husband put her down only when she feel good about herself? I am not trying to defend the husband but in my opinion, the husband could be taking the chance to 'motivate' her to slim down since he professes to love her, is a good husband and father. Alternatively, he could be suffering from some inferior complex when he compares himself with his peers, or he could be unhappy someone is making fun of his wife and he is taking it on his own. Man are always proud of their wives, especially if the wife is pretty and sexy even after giving birth. He could have misgivings when she puts on weight after childbirth, but does not want to hurt her directly by telling her off. It is only when he finds the wife is feeling good, he just cannot stomach it, and speak his mind. That explains why he "puts" her down only when she is feeling good about herself. May I suggest to think over it from another angle and understand from the husband directly before seeking a divorce.
• United States
13 May 07
Well I am not sure exactly where it is coming from. However, the way he is doing it, it is making it worse. Instead of trying to lose, she eats more.
1 person likes this
@whyaskq (7531)
• Singapore
14 May 07
She could be one who eats when she is unhappy.
@charms88 (7540)
• Philippines
13 May 07
The husband was tactless and not considerate enough of his wife's feelings. There are some people who said things that they never really meant to. Her husband may uttered those words without thinking because that's what he saw in his wife. Tell your friend to calmly talk with her husband and be straight about her feelings. It is not easy for some women to get back in shape after having their children. She might like the idea of urging her husband's support to start a diet and exercise regimen together.
• United States
13 May 07
Bringing it up is a good idea, she has kind of let him know, but he still does it. I just have a hard time when someone does that, how they could not know that effect, it will have on someone. Happy mother's day my little bunny
@charms88 (7540)
• Philippines
13 May 07
I don't know too, crickethear. There is a saying that a word can become our weapon. I think it is what was happening to your friend's husband. I can't say what his true intention for doing so. I hope he will learn to realize his callousness. Happy Mother's Day to you too.
@sweetsue (759)
• Philippines
14 May 07
Well, that is very disappointing to have a husband like that. Of course, his wife will feel terribly bad because that doesn't show any love at all rather a discouragement about his wife's image or personality. What can we do? I think, better advice your friend to diet so that his husband won't be bitter about how she looks. But even so, that wasn't fair for the wife at all. A loving husband should accept and appreciate his wife regardless of how she looks.
1 person likes this
• United States
15 May 07
I agree. If it were reverse, I am sure he would want her to accept him. He needs to be encouraging, not discouraging.
@golfproo (1841)
• Canada
14 May 07
It seems to me that when people insult others it is usually to make themselves feel better. It is a form of bullying. The husband's self-esteem is probably very low and he is compensating by passing that on to the wife. She may not want to leave or seek a divorce, yet the problem should be addressed head on. After that, serious decisions need to begin to take place based on the reactions and changes (or lack thereof) cheers,
1 person likes this
• United States
14 May 07
That is exactly what he is doing, bullying her. She is darned if she does, and darned if she doesn't in that area.
@deeds14 (815)
• United States
13 May 07
Find the number to your local domestic violence agency, and give her their crisis number. There are people at every domestic violence agency who answer the phones 24 hours a day who are there just to talk. I work at an agency like that, and the people there are specially trained and can give her some really great advice.
• United States
14 May 07
Thank you for the advise. Geez, I never even thought of that. I will do that. Maybe they can help her. They probably do know when it is a bad situation. Thank you again for the direction.
1 person likes this
@Karmalina (647)
• Australia
13 May 07
If she tells him that she knows why he says that and it's not going to work it will take a lot of the fun out of it. I can only think of a few of possible reasons for his behavior. He is either a control freak as stated before, he needs to hurt someone else to reassure himself or he's been hit in the head one too many times. If she laughs off what he says instead of reacting to it in a hurt way it will make him feel foolish for his behavior also. Good luck to you and your friend.
1 person likes this
• United States
14 May 07
Thank you. I am mainly trying to be a support system for her. I try to encourage her and just listen without trying to add fuel to the fire. I have learned in the past, saying too much can make it worse, when they go back and say so and so said.......
@steney (1418)
• Philippines
13 May 07
Well, I can sense insecurity on the part of her husband. Why would anyone put somebody else down other than to feel good about themselves? He might love her, maybe too much that he is afraid that feeling good about herself would create a sense of independence. Being independent and feeling good might mean expanding horizons, that would later separate her from her family, because she might not feel much need for her husband in this case. Maybe it's a fear that the husband has, and the only way to stop it from happening is to stop her everytime she feels good about herself. She should talk to her husband about this to know once and for all the reason for his behavior, as it may ruin their relationship in the long run.
1 person likes this
• United States
14 May 07
Yes she does, she needs to lay the cards on the table once and for all.
@wachit14 (3600)
• United States
13 May 07
People who themselves have very low self esteem, feel better about themselves when they put others down. Then, when that other person feels bad, they feel they have more power over them because they have the ability to control that person's emotions. This is a form of abuse. Since your friend is not asking for any suggestions, I wouldn't give it here, but she needs to get into some sort of counseling to find out why she stays with someone who is controlling and emotionally abusive.
• United States
14 May 07
It is a complicated situation. You feel bad, and don't want to interfere. He is over all a nice guy. I try not to say too much, because she had to ultimately do what she needs to do. I do think it would be a good idea if she would get counseling.
• India
13 May 07
She really need to talk with him clearly about what his comment make her feel.To live happy they both understand each other well . If she feels good about herself from inside then it just don't mind his comment .If he really loves her then he should accept her as she is.
1 person likes this
• United States
14 May 07
I agree with you. Unfortunately, it has fallen on deaf ears when she has talked to him, about how it bothers her.
• Philippines
13 May 07
the husband is insecure...that is why he always let his wife feel bad about herself
• United States
13 May 07
Yeah, that is what it sounds like to me too.
@bindishah (2062)
• India
13 May 07
Your friend's husband is probbaly insecure. He knows she is overly sensitive to her weight and so he uses that to make himself feel more secure. He is probbaly afraid that if she starts feeling good about herself, she may realize she does not need him. If you say he a good eprson otherwise, then maybe she just needs to let go - she needs to build her own confidence so that nothing he says will bring her down.
• United States
13 May 07
I agree, she needs to get more confidence in herself and not let him continue to do that. He never did that before she gained the weight, so I don't know. He is good to her in other ways, and is very helpful with the kids, he just is abusive with the weight and her appearance. He hates it, but on the other hand when she starts to feel good about herself, he goes back to putting her down.
@GardenGerty (115100)
• United States
13 May 07
He may be afraid she will leave him if she feels good about herself. Does he feel good about himself? She needs to ask him why he does this. Of course he will say he doesn't.
• United States
13 May 07
She has talked to him at length, and he still continues to do it.
@sweetsue (759)
• Philippines
14 May 07
Well, that is very disappointing to have a husband like that. Of course, his wife will feel terribly bad because that doesn't show any love at all rather a discouragement about his wife's image or personality. What can we do? I think, better advice your friend to diet so that his husband won't be bitter about how she looks. But even so, that wasn't fair for the wife at all. A loving husband should accept and appreciate his wife regardless of how she looks.
1 person likes this
@gaby_girl (157)
• Canada
17 May 07
Hmmm, he might just be trying to bully her into loosing some weight. Obviously thats completely wrong and he shouldn't be saying disrespectful things towards his wife, but it may be the only way that he know how to motivate her. Maybe he thinks that if he makes fun of her about her weight, that she'll be more determined to loose the weight on her own. Either way, he shouldn't be doing it. Just my two cents.
• India
13 May 07
this doesnt mean that u divorse with ur husband..... its the taste of life....