When Your Husband Turns into a Couch Potato



Dear Dharma,

I’m not attracted to my husband anymore, and he knows it. Over the past year, as his weight continues to climb and climb, we’ve had many discussions – that have lately turned into fights – about this weighty issue.

When we met, my husband and I were both very active. While I’ve worked hard to keep up my fitness and health, he quickly settled into a life of eating junk food on the couch and avoiding the gym. I’m starting to think that he only kept up his good looks long enough to land a suitable mate.

I do the cooking (and cleaning, and chauffeuring of the kids) and he just eats. I can’t take this anymore! In addition to being overworked and stressed out, I have this third “man child” to deal with that is eating himself into an early grave.

Make no mistake. This is neither emotional eating, nor a medical issue. This is just laziness. As his wife he says I’m supposed to love him no matter what – but I just can’t.

He says if I leave him he will tell our family and friends that I left because he got fat, and that makes me shallow.  He points to the extra 10 pounds I carry from having two kids and says it doesn’t bother him, so clearly I’m the one with the problem.

Enough! How can get through to this man?

Frustrated with Fat and Lazy Husband

Dear Wife of Fat and Lazy Husband,

Let’s be clear about something right out the gate.  If you leave, it will not be because your husband got fat.

It will be because your husband has decided to be a non-partner in this marriage.  The fact that he’s threatening to tell people differently should be a red flag all by itself.

Also, this “supposed to love him no matter what” is a crock.  I mean, really, he’s saying he should be able to do (or not do) whatever he wants with impunity?  In what world does that fly?

At the minimum, it’s blatantly disrespectful to you and the life you’ve built with (or for) him.

I don’t know how you’ve approached him about this, and I sense it wouldn’t really matter.  He’s digging in his heels for whatever reason and I don’t know that you can get through to him if he simply refuses to take part in his own life.

Counselling.  For the both of you, or on your own.  That has to be your next step.  If he wants to take part in saving this, he needs to go with you.  If he doesn’t, let that be part of the message he’s sending you each and every day.

He also needs to understand that you won’t be bullied into staying in a marriage that is crumbling on the risk you’ll come out looking “shallow”.

At least, I hope you won’t…?



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  • I am curious as to how long they’ve been together (she mentions driving children around) and how long the non-participatory behaviour from the husband has been going on. She says the weight has only been going on in the last year, which is making me wonder what’s fuelling this change… is it really just that he’s ‘landed a mate’?

    Counselling is definitely the best bet, and divorce if he isn’t able to start taking a more active role, but it does sound an awful lot like depression or similar.

    • Dharma says:

      Hey there Suzie – you bring up a really good point that I should have addressed as part of my answer… the possibility of medical issues and depression really need to be factored into this, and has been brought up by other readers as well…

      It does sound like they have been together for a solid amount of time (school aged kids) – and the “landing a mate” mind set would have kicked in shortly after the wedding bells had stopped ringing…

      So hopefully the LW comes backs to this post and takes this into consideration. The problem will be if he refuses to address this as a possibility…

      Thanks for the comment, Suzie…

  • Irene says:

    If a partner in a decaying marriage isn’t interested in counselling then they are not into saving a marriage.

Whether you agree with Dharma or think she missed the mark on this one, leave a Comment!

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