Reader Story: Husband Finally Gets It

Hi Athol,
I’ve never emailed a stranger before, but I wanted to tell you how much I love your blog. I happened to click on your blog from demandingjoy. I don’t even read demandingjoy, but a friend of mine refered me to the post on things we need to stop teaching girls. Anyway, I am still in the midst of catching up on all your past posts, but I couldn’t wait to tell you how genius I think it is. Hey, everyone likes compliments, right?
I guess I should give you a little background…I have been married for over 10 years. My husband and I were pretty well matched as far as sex rank goes when we got together, but he has gained about 80 pounds since he put a ring on my finger. Naturally, my sexual attraction for him faded. We have four kids, and I have gotten my body back into shape after each one. I work out at least 5 days a week, and I have a great body. For years, I have tried everything I could possibly think of to get him to lose weight, and it was all met with empty promises and excuses on his part or turning it around on me that I’m so shallow, love what’s on the inside, blah, blah, blah. So, in addition to feeling like I’m not sexually attracted to my husband, I felt terribly guilty for feeling this way.
We were both virgins until the wedding day. (BTW-I totally agree with you on the virginity thing…there were so many reasons why I decided to wait, and none of them happen to be that I was or am sexually inhibited, or that I didn’t have opportunity). Anyway, although I never thought I would be a person who cheated, I had started to think about it more and more. I felt like I had already been cheated out of having a hot husband, why not do it? The Rationalization Hamster had gone to work in a big way.
Oh, I guess I should also give your the background that not only do I keep my body in shape, but I’m a great wife in many other ways…I am smart and educated, I cook, clean, bake (from scratch, of course), I take care of our kids, I don’t nag him to come home from work (he works late) or call him at work much, I work part-time to be able to bring money home to the pot, I am adventurous and uninhibited in bed (I still kept having sex 2-4 times per month because I did feel like it was a wifely obligation, but he always begged for more-super turn-off, btw). I was feeling like, WTF, I do all this for him, and he can’t even work out? I might as well go find another hot body to f**k.
I was totally going down that road. Then, 2 things happened: 1. we found out a very close female friend of ours was cheating, and it rocked both of us. 2. I found your blog. I emailed my husband the post on why your wife doesn’t want to have sex with you. He started working out the next day. That was 3 weeks ago, and so far, he has maintained a workout regimen. We had a huge talk about everything. I even told him I had considered cheating, and instead of telling me I was some sort of whore, he apologized!! He said he finally realizes how much he has let me down. Now, obviously it will take time for him to get into shape, but just the effort that he has been putting into it has been a turn-on for me. We have had more sex in the last 3 weeks than in the previous 3 months. If you want, I can keep you updated.
Perfect example of everything I talk about here. Nothing to add, just keep it up.


  1. I think some people don't realize you can get a great body with diet OR exercise. They think you need both. Doing both is great and works even better, but if you just aren't an exercise person, you can accomplish major changes with a better diet, as I did on the paleo diet. I got into exercise AFTER I lost the weight.

    Either way, my parents struggled with the dilemma in this post, though in their case it was my dad nagging my mother. It made an impression on me and men have been informed that they will be expected to stay in shape :P

    Great blog!

  2. I've become one of your anonymous regulars since wandering onto your blog a while back. SO much of what you have to say strikes a chord with me. WIshing so much that this information had been available to me (or I should've known to seek it out) many, many years ago.

    Love sharing the entries with my wife, I know she's thankful that I have introduced a 'new' side to her…

    Life is so much better now! – Keep up the good work!

  3. "Perfect example of everything I talk about here. Nothing to add, just keep it up."

    -Pun intended? :D


  4. Elusive Wapiti says:

    I'm glad it worked out for your anon reader. And yes, good advice to be had here.

  5. Great story. On the whole inner vs outer beauty thing, I think that if someone has inner strength and dignity that then should manifest in their outer life and appearance, unless they have some sort of severe physical handicap that prevents them from getting exercise. There is nothing shallow about it, it takes hard work to life a descent life.

  6. Yeah, I thought keeping it up was the man's job.

    It's weird how out of shape people like to define love as some sort of indemnity – they've earned the right to be loved in perpetuity and so they are justified in whatever distasteful habits they choose to engage in. The whole "love is emotional not physical" is a very feminine way of defining the marriage contract, although we see above that men pull that logic too. An intelligent person realizes that love is a feedback loop of chemicals and physical attraction (and frequent pounding) is a key component of keeping those chemicals moving.

  7. That story honestly brought a tear to my eye. Don't tell my wife, she'll think I'm a pussy :)

  8. Ditto Badger. -Confidunce

  9. Insightful story. Change this word here, that word there, omit this part over here (as far as I knew) and voila! That was me was in the husband's shoes.

    Did I mention how paranoid all your little infidelity stories make me?

    Off topic – Athol, did you know that the link for calorie counting tool, under your MANLY MAN LINKS OF MANLY, is dead? And that if you get rid of the /cc/ at the end of the link it takes you to a white page with the phrase, "It works!" in big bold letters?

  10. Sai – oh trust me, I understand the paranoia. Sometimes I have to break away from all this and breathe too. It's all just meant to be cautionary tales and pitfalls avoided.

  11. haleyshalo says:

    Thanks for posting this reader story, Athol. I feel like there's this unspoken man memo going around that says that as long as the man brings home a paycheck, he is entitled to start resembling Grimace, but if his wife puts on 10 lbs, that means she doesn't love him anymore. While women don't care as much about appearance, that doesn't mean they don't care at all. There's a reason that no romance novels feature a fat hero about whom the female protagonist says, "Oh, I just love playing with your sexy manboobs."

  12. I'm glad things are improving for the couple. I really respect how the reader and her husband are dealing with the issue, especially in terms of the level of honesty. To have her admit that she considered cheating and to have him apologize for fueling the circumstances is just incredible.

    Athol, I really do enjoy your blog. It's advice I'll be keeping in mind while dating and then, hopefully, getting married. LOL The range of information, along with how it's often wrapped in humor makes it a great place. Anyway, I'm looking forward to your book.

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