Because My Triumphs Are His Also

That Husband sat me down on the couch for Family Cow (aka Family Council, a time where we sit down together and talk about schedules, different problems we are facing, etc). He had warned me that we would be discussing some difficult topics and I tried to prep myself because I knew what two of them would be: School and Weight.

School discussion time was painful, since I hadn’t done anything in weeks. But the next topic, my weight, was even worse. I don’t like to feel like I’m failing at something, and losing weight is a constant battle for me. It’s a slow, long process that requires constant dedication that I don’t always feel like I have time to give. But right after my surgery while I was still in the recovery room my surgeon sat down with That Husband and told him that if I didn’t strengthen my core and lose some weight my chances of a spinal fusion were very high.

“What are we doing to do about your weight?” He asked me.

And instead of reacting defensively, asking “What do you mean we? This is my body!”, I paused and thought about how my weight affects him. I subscribe to the belief that men are hard wired to place more emphasis on physical appearance in romantic relationships than women, and losing weight could help us grow closer together. He would be more attracted to me, and I would feel more comfortable about my appearance. A WIN-WIN for both of us.  But even more important than appearance and comfort is my health and the future of my health. A spinal fusion is the last thing I want, and if there is anything I can do to prevent that, I need to be giving it everything I have.

So we sat down together on the couch and worked out a plan. I twisted my hair around my fingers, stared off in the opposite direction, leaned in close so I didn’t have to look him in the eyes. I was willing to work something out but I wasn’t going to make it easy for him. My dear sweet husband put up with all of this, worked to break down the barriers I was fighting so hard to put up and together we worked out a plan for how I was going to lose weight. (Calorie counting, the BodyBugg, and daily reports to him were what we decided on.)

We did it together because when I decided to get married I joined my fate with his. My ups and downs are forever going to be shared with him, and if there is anything I can do to increase the ups and prevent the downs I’m going to do it.

49 thoughts on “Because My Triumphs Are His Also

  1. I loved this post. I love that you’re keeping it real with us about this issue in your life. And your problem solving ways (no matter your reluctance) are an inspiration to me. Thanks for sharing :)

  2. I appreciate your honesty on this issue and your weight loss struggle is very similar to my own. However, I have to strongly disagree with your concept of “men being hard wired to place more emphasis on physical appearance”. (And the implication that thinner = more physically attractive.) My fiance not only barely noticed that I was losing weight until I had lost about 20lbs (I think a factor of seeing me every day), after I had lost 20lbs, he asked me, worriedly, “how much more weight are you going to lose?” He was legitimately afraid of me being too skinny, and he likes women who are a little…softer :). (I said a little. He didn’t ask me to weigh 300 pounds.)
    I think it’s great that you have a plan together, because especially for people who live together, losing weight is never just about one person – but how is the “daily reports to him” going? I personally would find that extremely irritating, no matter how well meaning he was about it.

    balebusta Reply:

    I agree…I couldn’t do daily reports to my hubby to be….it would feel too much like he was an authority….the balance of power (for me) would feel shifted….since I am doing Jenny Craig, I check in with a counselor there, and I report my progress weekly to my fiance…I know that I want to be successful for me and for him and that I want to look absolutely stunning for him so in that sense I feel accountable to him for completing my weight loss mission….but I don’t think I could check in with him every day about what I was eating!!

    Cristin Reply:

    This is really interesting to me. First, I use my husband as an accountability partner on most of my goals. He’s not my boss, but I know that I will do a better job studying for a test (I’m in grad school), going to the gym, planning for Christmas presents, finishing a book, etc when I have a buddy to hold me accountable. Even in my small group bible study, I have an accountability partner from the group, and we check in on each other on how we’re doing with quiet time, serve as someone to go to church with, etc. Its not about someone being the “boss” – just cutting down on my opportunity to lie to myself (“its ok that I haven’t written that paper that’s due tomorrow… I’ll just get up early and do it then).

    Its also interesting that Elli commented she disagrees that men are hard wired to place more emphasis on physical appearance. Jenna didn’t say that she thinks men need skinny-mini women, just that men notice this and appreciate it. Ellie’s husband noticed, but disagreed that she needed to shed more weight. So I think we’re saying the same thing – just saying that men don’t all desire the same kind of woman (thank goodness!).

    I love your posts, Jenna. I love your honesty.

  3. I can understand where Ellie is coming from. Yes, what you’re working on right now does completely affect both of you but I know I would be bothered having to report to ANYONE, including my husband. Maybe even especially my husband.

    I know my diet has changed and I report to Alex about how things are going (since we spend Monday-Friday traveling for work) but I do it because I want to. Ilet him know what I had to eat, he doesn’t ask. If he was continually asking I know I would immediately get defensive, but that’s just me.

    Lisa Reply:

    I think it’s perfectly fine that she has to report to her husband. It keeps her accountable for what she says she will do. And of course reporting to someone is difficult, but isn’t that the whole point of disciplining yourself? It will be difficult in the present, but the future rewards will be worth it.

    Sophia Reply:

    Accountability has been proven in a lot of ways- from food journaling to having a blog dedicated to weight loss to going to Weight Watchers. She’s just chosen to go the closest route and report to her husband, who has a vested interest in her weight loss. He’s concerned about her back, they want to get started on children and it’s difficult to lose weight after *anyway*.

    Plus, Jenna has mentioned she’s gained 15 pounds since her wedding date. I think she looked gorgeous, curvy, and healthy on her wedding date (I think the same thing of how she looks now as well). The point is, Jenna 15 pounds lighter is not some twiggy ‘lil thing that we need to be worried about being too skinny :)

  4. What a great post. I think its so wonderful that TH is there with you through this and you both share the forward facing attitude about marriage. It’s very inspiring.

  5. I respect your reasons for wanting to lose weight. Hopefully this new plan helps you succeed.

    I also agree that men place more emphasis on physical appearance. Whenever I ask my fiance why he ever wanted to date me in the first place, he always says, “Because I thought you were pretty”. And that may seem shallow from his end, but it’s not. If he doesn’t already know me, then obviously physical attraction is going to be the first thing that happens. And I can’t just destroy my physical appearance after he’s “locked in” with me.

    By the way, as another reason to get in shape, keep your future children in mind. When you become pregnant, your body will become a [figurative] temple for your children. It will be their home for 9 long months, in crucial stages of their development. Wouldn’t you want to provide them with nothing but the best?

  6. I think it is great that you are disciplining yourself. It is SO SO hard to feel good in your own skin after having a baby (I cannot find a way to get rid of the excess skin on my tummy so I look like I have a pudge even though I’ve strengthened my core as much as I can). It is hard to feel attractive without that layer of clothing providing a barrier between you and the world (aka, in only my husband’s presence). I am glad that you have the discipline now so that maybe it will be easier after your baby comes to get back on track. Good luck!

  7. You are so much braver than I am to discuss things like that with your husband so openly. I’m jealous of the honesty you seem to have with each other! Thank you for sharing. :)

  8. I think it’s important to work on life’s issues together. I’m sure when That Husband has problems, he may be reporting to you as well. It’s a give and take, and I think his support can only help.

    T helps to encourage me with healthy eating and weight loss as well. It’s something we do together for the betterment of our future together.

  9. If you asked your husband to report to you on a daily basis about something, would he? I understand that you want his support and I understand that he wants the best for your health but making daily reports to my husband about my diet would shrink me down to a 5 year old helpless, untrustworthy child. Will he support you if you have a bad day and eat a cookie? Marriage is all about support but it goes both ways and in no way should you have to “report” to anyone other than your doctor. If my husband EVER asked me for daily updates on what I ate, I would ask the same of him.

  10. Wow Jenna, when I read your recent tweet about this post, I was expecting something a little different. The only thing that saved me from thinking your hubs was a jerk was his convo with your Dr. Obviously you Dr had the same convo with you and didn’t leave it only up to your hubs to “deal” with.

    I’ve had some weight troubles myself and am happy that I feel my weight is where I should be. But in past when I was dieting leading up to our wedding my hubby grew very concerned that I had lost too much weight-and I was only 10 pounds lighter then I am now (which hubs and I are both happy with)

    Jenna, I think you look beautiful and healthy (and slim!) as you are. If anthing, I would focus on MAINTAINING your weight – which I think we both know is a feat itself. And here I’ll tell you what my Dr told me about weight loss and TTC. When your TTCing you shouldn’t focus on weight loss (ie breaking down cells) when you are trying to create new like (ie create new cells) Having said that your weight loss activities don’t seem overboard ;)

  11. Do you really feel that “losing weight could help us grow closer together. He would be more attracted to me…”? Do you equate being thinner with having a better relationship with your husband? Because when I read that, it sounds like you’re either saying that you have a shallow husband or that your relationship isn’t very secure. I read that last sentence that I wrote and it sounds mean, and that isn’t my intent. It’s an honest question, is that really what you meant when you said that? Maybe that’s not even what you meant, and I’m hearing something that you didn’t intend. I understand the concept that physical attractiveness is important to men, and I agree, but I don’t agree that it is entirely confined to your weight. Your beautiful eyes or your face or the other lovely things about you are all part of that. And for your sake, I hope it isn’t all about your weight, because when you do have that baby you’re hoping for, I can fairly easily assure you that you’ll gain weight, your body shape will change, but I hope that even through all of that-even when you’re a little heavier and lumpier :), you’ll actually be closer together because of the important things that you’ve shared. Not because of your weight.

    Christiana Reply:

    I understand the feeling that losing weight will bring you closer. I met my fiance when I was heavier than I am now and I even continued to gain after we began our relationship together. While he has seen me at my heaviest and still loved me, was attracted to me etc. I did not feel comfortable in my larger body. It didn’t feel like me.

    I’d always make sure his hand didn’t touch my stomach, I lost a lost of desire to be intimate because I was so unhappy with how I felt in my skin at the the time.

    I can honestly say, losing the weight has brought us closer – not because he had barriers to break down in his acceptance of me. But because losing the weight helped me accomplish that for myself.

  12. It is wonderful that your hubby is supporting you through this. McDreamy, thank g-d never mentioned one word to me about my weight gain (a slow and steady addition of 20 pounds since we met 2.5 years ago) and I am glad because I seriously would have been devastated….he always said he loved me and I looked beautiful but I knew I wasn’t as attractive and I want to look good for him (and for me) and of course be healthy. Now that I have put myself head first into this weight loss effort in a real way, he has been very supportive and asks me “what can I do to help you with this?” It’s hard because I make him delicious home cooked meals (steak with wine etc) that I can’t really have right now….but I am making the commitment to US because, like you, I feel I am in a partnership and I am doing this for both him and me. Congrats on being able to be open with him and congrats to him for being supportive and not critical!!!

  13. i had typed something big & long but decided not to post it.

    with what you’re telling us, i would seriously speaking with a nutritionist and/or counselor. no one should have to do all the things you listed to eat healthy & exercise & be a happy, healthy weight.

    *sighs sadly* and you’re not going to be more attractive, by the way. you look exactly the same as you did on your wedding day – glowing, youthful, and fun to be around.

  14. blah blah. i retract the unsolicited advice from my previous comment.

    i’m just worried. but you’ll be fine! <3

  15. Sounds like a great plan. Good luck with the weight loss. :)
    I posted a question on Love and Marriage that you might be able to help with! Please take a look?

  16. That is so sweet that your hubby is wanting to help you succeed with your weight loss.

    I’m also trying to drop some weight. My hubby got us both the nike + system and took up running as a way to encourage me. He’s also said no to eating out, even though he wants to, just as a way to help me.

    It’s nice to be a part of someone else that loves you that much! :)

  17. I have been dragging my feet on my dissertation – I mean really, really dragging them. Sometimes my husband asks, “Did you get some writing done today” and I answer, “yeah, it was a good day” – when truthfully I didn’t get a sentence down. He wasn’t asking to check-in on me – however he knows I’m happy on productive days (which are few and far between) and miserable/guilty/sad on non-productive days – so not only does me not finishing this degree effect him, him seeing me be self-loathing effects him too. Jenna’s choice of wording “reports to him” may have set some people in a tizzy – but I read it as being accountable to the one that matters the most.

    Sophia Reply:

    Erin, that’s a really good point. You mention that you’re much happier on productive days, buy miserable/guilty/sad on non-productive days. He wants you to be happy, and if you’re happy, you’ll have a better relationship that will be more enjoyable for both of you.

    So many, SO MANY, of my friends gained weight after marriage or a long term relationship, and as a result they feel badly about themselves, they don’t want their husbands to see them naked, they don’t want to have sex, don’t want to go to the pool or beach anymore, on and on. None of their husbands or boyfriends have said anything about it, but they have changed their *personalities* a lot as a result of their self esteem.

    And yet, and I hope this doesn’t sound harsh, none of them have really tried anything, because they’re too embarrassed to talk to their husbands/boyfriends about wanting to lose weight, cut back on eating out, etc. I think it’s good that Jenna and TH can talk about these things honestly and openly.

  18. I like that he phrased it as a “we” question. By doing that, he’s saying he’s there for you. Instead of it being “what are you going to do about your weight…” which could sound judgmental.

    I like the idea of having a check in, too. It means there is a time set aside to talk about stuff, instead of going on for days without having a “real” conversation. How wise and brave of you guys :)

  19. Jenna I love your openness and honesty about your feelings and about your marriage. It’s always comforting to be able to know that there are others out there who struggle with things too. I admire your courage, strength, and determination. And I think you have a great husband! I think it’s great to have someone who loves you enough that they want to be helpful in whatever way they can for you to achieve your goals. Keep up the good work my dear, you will do great!

  20. Hey, weight loss? Me too. Want to know what I’m having for lunch? It’s a great recipe for weight loss! Black Bean Burritos.

    Take: 1 can of black beans, rinsed and drained. 1 can of diced tomatoes with green chilies, drained and 1 can of corn, drained. Mix and then heat on the stove and then slap in one of those high fiber tortillas-delish. Easy. Great for weight loss. And if you’re not trying to lose, you go ahead and add the cheese and sour cream. :)

    Good luck!

  21. I don’t think that husband is focusing on the physical appearance of Jenna, they are both just looking at it as a bonus. Who doesn’t want to feel fit and healthy and have their spouse extra attracted to them? I think he’s generally concerned about her health with the threat of a spinal fusion. He loves her for who she is. Plus, being held accountable for my actions (e.i. exercise and healthy eating) also helps me. My fiance asks me daily if I went to the gym. Not because he’s trying to change my appearance, but he knows that it makes me happy and I feel better about myself after I go.

    I know you can do it! just be your fab self and you can conquer school and your weight!

  22. I totally get what you’re saying, but the way you said it took me aback a bit, just because of the choice of words regarding reporting to the hubs. That said, I completely agree that when I’ve tried to lose weight, it is a team effort between my husband and me. He wants greasy Mexican food on our date-night dinner? I love it but I suggest sushi instead and a lightbulb goes off with him that sushi works better with my diet plan. Also, every Christmas, I tell him that I want him to kind of watch me because this year will be the year where I don’t gain 10 pounds and feel gross about myself. Of course, when he sees me stuffing cookies in my face on a random weeknight (I usually reserve treats for the weekend, which has helped me maintain my weight loss), I HATE IT when he says “I thought you wanted to maintain this Christmas.” I’m like, “Who asked you, buddy??” Oh right, I did.

    Regarding attractiveness, my husband often says he likes ladies with a little junk in the trunk, so he doesn’t mind when I’m a little dough-y. But for me, I *feel* so much better about myself when I’m thinner and my clothes look great on me. I feel far more confident and that makes me more attractive. It has nothing to do with my husband’s idea of prettiness, etc.

  23. Clarification: when I’m feeling confident and I’m taking care of myself, that’s when my husband thinks I’m hottest. It’s about what I exude, not necessarily how I look. Although I’m sure how I look plays a part, too :)

  24. Here’s my two cents – I love giving it!

    I think it’s great that you two can work together on this. Other friends of mine would kill for a husband who would help them and not undermine them (i.e. bringing home milkshakes and burgers all the time).

    You are very right that your ups/downs – struggles/joys – are all intertwined now as husband and wife. He’s not just saying that he wants to help Jenna to lose weight because then she can wear that cute dress from the mall for him…he wants her to be healthy, have a good back, and all those other positive things that come from being in the best shape you can. Her health SHOULD be of supreme importance to him and it directly effects his life as well. If TH struggled with something I suspect that Jenna would be very supportive and TH would want to be accountable to her. That’s just a good partnership.

    Is it wrong to place total, complete emphasis on your spouses appearance? Of course it is.
    However, is it wrong to want to be physically attracted to your spouse – not at all. We make guys feel like they are shallow for placing some emphasis on appearance, yet don’t we gals want to come home to a guy who’s trying to look good for us? If we are honest with ourselves (and cutting guys some slack), we’d realize that we place due emphasis on appearance just as much.

    That doesn’t mean that my neither my husband or I will shake our fingers at each other for putting on a few pounds – I truly love him for the inside and the outside is only a wonderful cherry on the top. My husband has always told me that short of me being 400 lbs – he’s plenty attracted to me and that he only wants me to try with him to eat healthy and exercise so that I’m always in good health. He wants me to stick around for awhile! :) I feel the same way about him.

  25. I wanted to thank you for this post. I think you and TH are a great role model for how to operate as a true unit, as a married couple. I like how you take time to sit down and discuss problems together – setting aside specific times for that. It’s something my fiance and I are working on. I also think it’s a great idea to be held accountable – obviously this is a motivating factor for you, and I think that if this is what will work for you towards your goal to lose weight healthily, then that’s great! Especially since you are both on the same page with your goals. And I admire your reasons for wanting to drop some weight – the health of your back (you only get one!) and your future children. Also, your husband has a vested interest in the health of his future children as well, so of course he’s interested in the health of their vessel for nine months!

    All I can say is good luck with everything and keep your eye on those worthy prizes!

  26. I actually one hundred percent respect and admire this. It is very important to keep the one closest to you involved in your decisions. Weight is something that our significant others have a vested interest in. Ryan notices if I lose weight (even 5lbs) b/c he knows that any weight I lose is because I’m just not eating. Best of luck!

  27. This was a really great post and not at all what I was expecting after I read your tweet. After reading this, I respect you and your husband even more! It’s a relationship I hope to have someday with my future husband. A relationship that is open, honest, supportive and full of love.

  28. My DH and I have a very open, honest relationship. I just couldn’t have settled for anything less, however difficult it may have been to find. Luckily, I found him after only 2 years of college, so it all worked well. :) We always talk about our goals/problems/successes, etc. with each other, but ad much as I love DH, I would probably be in shock if he told me we’d be discussing difficult topics then brought up my weight. He will support me with my goals and help me along, but he’d never point it out as something I’m not doing well. I was also a little disturbed with an earlier post where you said that he told you that you guys could try to get pregnant when you finished school. He seems a little too LDS-male-dominator for me. I’m not you, and I’m not in your relationship, but I wouldn’t stand for that. However, I do love seeing how other people deal with things, and I like discussing things and comparing opinions. Thanks for sharing how you guys are doing things.

    phruphru Reply:

    Heh? Most people set goals before they embark on big life stages, i.e., saving money/paying off big debts before buying a new car, losing weight before a wedding or hey, finishing school before having a kid. I don’t see how TH is domineering to set a goal like that.

  29. This is the type of relationship I would want to have. I think it is very sweet of TH to include himself in your struggles. That he takes you that seriously to sit you down for a good talk, it shows how much he cares. And of course you pout, I would, it’s very confronting and hurtful to be confronted with your not so good site, shows even more how much he cares because he knew it would be hard and hurtful and he knew he would have to break through the barriers. Jenna, all the best in the battle, I know you can win, you not only have TH on your site, you have God as well!! I hope you can be strong in this all!! And I hope that as you are loosing weight you feel GREAT and it’s only a giving you more inspiration to continue!

  30. Thanks for sharing such personal information because you are not alone. I’ve struggled with weight loss and yo-yo diet plans for the last 7 years. I think the last time I truly felt beautiful was when I was 23 (I am 31 right now) and maybe on my wedding day Dec 2007 even though I felt like a big blob of hugeness. You’ve reminded how important it is to work together as a team in my marriage. Thank you.

  31. I had to think for a while before commenting on this post- my soon to be husband and I have been together for about eight years. We are partners. There is nothing that we don’t discuss, nothing that we don’t work on together- as a team.

    I think in this post it came across as if your husband is some sort of authority figure to you. You two sat down and he discussed something with you that you struggled to be comfortable with. It ended with your agreeing to report back to him on your progress.

    That is a concept that many women bow up against, myself included. I guess what I’m curious about now is: do you two discuss things that he needs to work on, does he report back to you on those areas where he needs improvement? Is this a one sided thing where he helps to dictate your behavior and you, because you feel like he is concerned for your best interest, allow it?

    I guess for me it boils down to this: partnerships are require give and take in both directions. If I were concerned about his weight and health, the conversation would be more my telling him my concerns and then us together coming up with something that we could do together to work on it.
    Like maybe we each (and in your case separatly), pledge to get 30 minutes of excercise a day… we would check in at the end of the night or week or whatever, to see how be both were doing. It wouldn’t just be him doing it. I would do it with him, whether I needed it or not. If you plan to stick to a caloric plan, DH can do it with you on his own. If you need excercise, he does to. That’s what being partners means. It isn’t just checking in with each other, it’s working actively together towards a goal.
    And btw, having a consulting job that forces travel doesn’t mean that he can’t do it. I had a job just like that and I did it.

    Anyway, just my unsolicited two cents. Good luck to you!!

  32. I think what you said about men being “hard wired to place more emphasis on physical appearance in romantic relationships than women,” depends on the man.

    In January ’08 my best friend and I both made resolutions to loose weight and get in shape. Original I know huh? Anyways, we joined an all girls gym and because each other’s accountability partners. It was easy because we both had the same work schedules and could chat on line during the day. We both lost about 40 pounds in a year. Her husband NEVER SAID ANYTHING. And he is a super sweet guy. He was just as attracted to her as when she was 40 pounds heavier, and he also never said anything when she gained all that weight having kids.

    It took 15 pounds before my boyfriend really noticed either, and I’m a small person, only 5;2″. I really don’t think he cares either way.

    We’ve been friends for 11 years and dating for 3 and a half, I think there are things that excite him much more than my physical appearance. I know that’s not the point of your post, but I really think it matters MUCH more to some guys than others. Just like some guys actually prefer girls with no makeup?

  33. I think people may have misinterpreted ‘reporting’ as you feeling like he’s the authority. I take it differently and as more of an accountability thing.

    I had one of these conversations with him last night. I cried and it was unpleasant, but it made me face an issue that is big for me and for him. I can’t drive. It is a huge stumbling block at my age (24) socially, professionally and from a personal safety perspective. It is something that seems to *big* to deal with, but he just sat me down last night and said WE have to make this happen. I got defensive and angry and then realised he was right and if the situation were reversed, I’d take the same tough love approach.

  34. Jenna, I’m so thankful you shared this with us. I know you were struggling to write this post in a way that made the situation clear to your readers. Personally, I think it’s wonderful that you have a husband who loves and cares for you enough to work with you on something that he knows is seriously important to you. I wish you the very best of luck, and I wish I had someone I could report to on my daily progress who wouldn’t be judgmental or competitive. I hope that you feel good about the outcome of your meeting!

  35. “losing weight could help us grow closer together. He would be more attracted to me, and I would feel more comfortable about my appearance.”

    These two lines made me want to cry. As a 30 something year old female I’ve had my struggles with weight. I was married young (23) and unfortunately was divorced 3 years later. Our problem? One of them was he didn’t find me as attractive after I gained 20lbs (I went from a size 4 to a size 10). In turn this made me feel COMPLETELY uncomfortable with myself. I didn’t want him to see me naked and I hated myself for not being thin like my husband wanted me to be. I constantly felt like a failure.

    Fast forward ten years. I now am engaged to an amazing man who would NEVER bring up my weight. He’s loved me the same at size six and size fourteen. I recently have lost 30 pounds and he hardly noticed. He loves me just the way I am.

    I get wanting your spouse to be healthy but goodness, you’re no where near being obese.

    I normally LOVE your posts but this one makes me sad. I’m sorry..

  36. I think this post is super honest. Sean and I are open about being healthy and working out. It is important to us and we push each other. I didn’t take it as he is forcing you to report to you but rather a system of accountability. I am better when I am around people that share the same healthy mind set and lift me up. I think it’s great that you guys talk about it.

  37. I’m just catching up on posts – vacations will do that – so I’m a bit behind. I think it is really awesome that you and TH have a time to be open and honest about everything and work together to come up with a solution! I know that my relationship with Mr. Bean would benefit from something similar as I too readily say “it’s my problem!” and don’t let him help me. Thank you for sharing – I’m sure your school and weight loss endeavours will be sucessful! :)

    p.s. Happy Belated Birthday to TH! :)

  38. this blog is the most depressing thing i’ve ever read. resentment seeps through every line you write. get out before you wind up in a psych ward, severely emotionally damaged. you don’t need to make excuses for this man, regardless of your faith- it IS your body, and YOUR life. it’s okay to not be june cleaver, sweetie, and nobody should live feeling like they have to conform to someone else’s ridiculous standards. your husband was right when he thought marriage wasn’t right for him- he shouldn’t be allowed to hurt another human being like he is so clearly hurting you, despite your attempts to gloss over and justify his belittling and domineering behavior. may God grant you the strength to assert your independence and save your mental health.

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