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Confessions: My husband is obese, I feel embarrassed when people stare


In the last two years, my husband has put on a lot of weight and grown totally out of shape. He now has a big and ugly pot belly that hangs loose, his breasts have blown out and he has too much body fat on every part of his body. The situation is so bad that he cannot put is socks on or tie his shoes without help. This is disturbing because everything has changed including our sex life which is now dead. I don’t even enjoy going out with him because people just keep staring at him wondering what is wrong with him. I feel bad for him and would really like to help. Before, he was fit and had an awesome well-built body. I want to help but don’t know how. Please advise me.


What the readers say:

Bancy, Help him deal with this by encouraging him to stay fit and to eat healthy and he will go back to his normal weight. Understand his situation and know that there are solutions for this. Stand by him as he is your husband regardless of his body shape and size.

{Mary Muthoni}

The problem does not start at the stomach but rather from the kitchen. I hope you are in control of your family member’s diet. Get him to enrol in a workout program to get him back in shape and take care of your health as well.

{Lillian Nyamweya}

This will all depend on what he feels about his size. First find out what is this all about. Share with him proven facts on why he should regain his former shape and size then hit the road with him through the process. There are several ways of cutting weight, without side effects; choose the one more comfortable for him. Make sure you maintain your cool through all these, else we have had broken marriages for issues as petty as snoring at night.

{Tasma Saka?}

It is unfortunate that you now loathe your husband now that his body has ballooned. Gaining some kilos can be attributed to several underlying problems like disease, stress and unhealthy eating habits. Get him when he is in the right frame of mind and ask him to see a doctor who will advise appropriately. Meanwhile give him all the love he desires and do not drive him away with your snide remarks.?

{Dennish Ogal}

?Sorry for the sexual part which is of great concern. In such a case, you can practice various sexual acts to keep the fire burning. But for the time being advice your husband to reduce his intake of fats, proteins and carbohydrates. You may also interest him in physical exercises such as jogging, evening walks or gymnasium activities. Otherwise you married your husband for better or for worse why should you feel ashamed what if it was you that was obese would you expect your husband to be embarrassed for you?

{Onyango Outha}

Boke says:

Dear Bancy,

Put yourself in his position and think of what you would have wanted him to do for you. Our body weight is determined by a number of factors ranging from, eating habits, metabolism rate and even genetics, but with a proper lifestyle it can be managed.

We all would love to have a healthy body weight. Therefore he must be feeling twice as bad as you feel although he might appear okay he probably is just holding strong. So this is not the time to highlight the changes or to be nostalgic about his previously trim body.

Have you ever thought that you could have played a part in this? Think of the menu at home. Could it have contributed to all this weight gain?  You can bring up the topic of healthy living without sounding critical. The best way to do this is to be part of it. First rule out any health complication especially related to thyroid. Suggest a healthy diet and lifestyle for both of you. Start by taking walks around the neighbourhood, you could also enrol in a gym.

There are many healthy diet you can adopt in your home which can be obtained from the various health sites or you could talk to a nutritionist but most importantly be part of this process. Be his inspiration along the way and celebrate even the smallest step in the right direction. This also is what marriage is about, walking together.

It will give you so much joy and a feeling of accomplishment when his weight improves. It will also create a dimension of bonding that you did not have before. So please do not watch the situation get out of hand because it could work against his self-esteem and the effects of this are unpleasant.

Hilda Boke Mahare has a background in Counselling Psychology and loves to share her knowledge in matters of life and relationships

Simon says:

Weight is never a good thing and it is surprisingly much easier to put it on than to lose so we are all encouraged to keep it down as opposed to struggling to shake it off once it sets in. From my understanding matters to do with weight can be rather complex as they may be triggered or facilitated by many things that include genetics, lifestyle, current social and/or psychological conditions among others.

The first step in such a situation is getting him to accept that there is a problem. When he does, it will set him on the right path to addressing the problem. It will be essential to try and understand what could have brought this about. It appears that initially he was relatively fit up to a certain time when things changed. Understanding the probable cause/s is crucial in developing a strategy to deal with this. Identifying the probable triggers of this will help you address the root cause which is much more effective than dealing with the effects.

The services of a nutritionist will also be essential in shaping his diet which could be a critical factor here. A careful reflection on his lifestyle and day-to-day habits will also provide some leads that could help to deal with this. It is highly likely that the nutritionist will assess these factors and design a suitable feeding plan that will be of help to him.

However, even with a nutritionist, he will have to make adjustments to his lifestyle to ensure that he burns off excess calories and keeps healthy. It would be helpful to enrol in a health facility or adopt healthy living habits. These may include regular workouts, frequent walking or jogging plans among others. These are usually fairly easy to design but hard to implement to completion especially when one does them alone. I would also encourage you to join him in this. Your partnering with him on this would not only give him invaluable moral support but will also be beneficial to you. You will need expert advice on this to get a solution that will work for him.


Simon Anyona is a relationships counsellor

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