When Your Husband Stops Finding You Attractive

In high school and college hours upon hours were spent with my friends dissecting, analyzing and evaluating our relationships with our boyfriends. Word placement, tone of voice, secret intentions, theories of why this was said or unsaid was commonplace.

Then we all got married and suddenly these conversations became taboo. Fights were kept secret, hurt egos were healed behind closed doors. Put on your happy face at work, at Thanksgiving dinner, when with friends and neighbors. Everything is perfect.

But it wasn’t.

We were in a rut. Our business was failing, my doctor said I was borderline obese, my 20th high school reunion was approaching  and we were fighting, fighting, fighting all the time. I’m a person who avoids confrontation like the plague, so I handled stress by focusing on my kids and eating.

Some women have apple shapes; others have the dreaded pear shape. My shape? Bun in the oven. I was constantly being asked when the baby was due.  “I’m not pregnant, just fat,” I laughed, feeling like shit on the inside.  “No excuses” is a big catch phrase, but honestly I was at a loss because I really was attempting for fitness success. I tried everything to lose weight. Pre-packaged meal plan systems, protein shakes, diet pills. I even did the Beyoncé cleanse diet on the internet which was fancy for “starve yourself and take laxatives.” Everything worked for a time but then I would gain it all back plus five more. I thought that maybe I needed to exercise more, so I ran a half marathon (13.1 miles) and that didn’t help me lose weight either.

I showered in the dark. Wore baggy t-shirts that hid the tops of my arms and my maternity pants, even though my son was 2 ½, because having to face that fact that my size 14 jeans were getting too tight was just too much honesty to handle.

And that’s when he said it. I wanted to kiss him but he refused. “Lisa, I will always love you,” he said, “but I’m just not attracted to you right now.”

They asked me about it in my background interview on American Grit, and they just showed it during a “behind-the-scenes” show on FOX yesterday.  I wrote about what he said in my book, She’s Losing It! but it’s different when you see it on camera.

I almost kept it secret. What will my kids think? What will my neighbors say? God only knows what memes little trolls on the internet will come up with. But I decided to tell the story anyway (and made sure my husband was ok with it too.) Why?

Because my guess is that lots of women are going through this too. Several men have told me, privately, that while they never would have said what my husband said to me, they too were less attracted to their wives after they had kids and couldn’t shake the extra pounds.  I think when women ask the question, “Does this dress make me look fat?” we are really asking about our deepest fears.  Are you still attracted to me?  Do you find me sexy even when I look different?  We want to know that we will still be loved no matter what we look like, in sickness and in health, for richer and for poorer, through fat and through thin.

Today I was going to blog about my trip to Utah, about eating clean on vacation.  But since people have been messaging me about it, I thought I talk about how that sentence he said impacted me within the context of an almost 12 year marriage.

Here it is.

Lisa

Lisa Traugott is a Mom’s Choice Award winning writer, fitness blogger, wife and mom of two….and Original Cast Member of AMERICAN GRIT on FOX!!!

Standing in my size 14 jeans

ShesLosingIt.com (c) 2012-2016 Lisa Traugott. All rights reserved. No portion of this blog, including any text, photographs, video, and artwork, may be reproduced or copied without written permission.

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Showing 7 comments
  • Sophie
    Reply

    Wow, Lisa. I can honestly say that I was gripped from the moment you started talking to the moment you finished. You’re an incredible soul, and one of the most interesting people I have come across during my own fitness journey.
    I was shocked about your husband’s words, but also comforted when your story reminded me that every marriage or relationship has its testing times… It’s just that most people don’t admit it.
    The results are your transformation are evident, not just in mind, but also – of course – in body. However, you chose not to see this as having the upper hand – even when dealing with the person who had made you feel so low in the past. The way you handled it was incredibly measured and dignified, because all that really mattered was your husband’s love and pride for you.
    Everything you have achieved has happened through determination and bloody hard work – you deserve all the great things in this life 🙂

    • Lisa Traugott
      Reply

      Thanks Sophie. Your comments mean a lot to me. I was really nervous to talk about it and I’m glad it was well received.

      Lisa

  • Jaye Vise
    Reply

    Oh Lisa, how I wish we had been able to have conversations so long ago and believe it or not, I wanted to do that many times. I love my cousin, and I understand why you love him the way you do as well, but I swear, there have been a few times when I wanted to strangle the life force out of him (said jokingly of course) because of what appears to be a innate leaning or learned prejudice against anything but the most tiniest of females. My being a small woman but one who has struggled with weight over the years, naturally I found this immensely offensive. We all want to be loved and accepted and cherished for who we are in our totality, including Henri, I might add. I knew he couldn’t hide this bias from you and often wondered how you dealt with it and now I know. You dealt with it like most of us do–by really “not” dealing with it but rather burying the pain, the hurt, the loss, the humiliation inside. It breaks my heart. You have “always” been such a beautiful person, both inside and out, and I mean ALWAYS, and shall I say way above most men’s paygrade in terms of the outward beauty, including Henri’s, that’s for sure—and that has always been the case in my book. We, as human beings, are all flawed of course, and so often we deflect our own insecurities onto others. It takes a lot of soul-searching and inward work (which, sorry guys, a lot of men just aren’t into) in order to accept that the defects we see in others can be little more than expressions of the fears we have about our own shortcomings. After all, it is much easier to focus on how someone else can fix themselves rather than to focus on how to fix our own selves ;-). I see and I hear your pain, Lisa. It is still there and it will likely be there until Henri really, truly “gets it,” I would not still be seeing such pain in your eyes IF you felt he really was there at this point. Anytime someone puts a “condition” on how they feel about you (whether they say they will always love you or not), it doesn’t feel like love. I am not so sure he can really “get it” without some significant work on what’s driving this issue within him. He likely will say to himself and others “I cannot help the way I feel.” But that really isn’t true. And the more self-work one does, the more evident that becomes. It’s like your saying to him “Henri, I will always love you but I am not attracted to you right now because you are not a muscle man. If you could keep your body built up like Arnold “S” used to look, then I would find you attractive. I hope you understand, honey.” Would he feel loved? I doubt it. What he said to you is no different. I understand that he didn’t tell you to be a bikini bodybuilder, but, as I understand you, he did tell you he wanted to nice and thin in order to “be attracted to you,” and that is akin to him being ripped and muscle-bound–same amount of work for both of you. Your body wants to carry a few extra pounds and his body wants to be thin and lean. Him “maintaining” a body with enlarged muscle mass and you maintaining a body that never carries extra weight would require the same amount of dedication and sacrifice (and what you are doing, of course, requires a hell a lot more than that—but I am trying to compare apples to apples). Sorry Henri. I am sure you will read this, but I have told you my feelings on this subject in so many words before, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise. You have many exceptional qualities and I love you, but this issue is about you, NOT Lisa. You are one lucky dude, and I am not saying this because Lisa is a bikini bodybuilder or on a Fox TV program. I am saying this because of what she is as a person, pure and simple. She won’t always be a bikini bodybuilder or on a TV program. But she will always be an exceptional individual, one that you were more than blessed to have met and married, and as such, your attraction should never wane. Perception is everything. And perception starts with you.

  • Jaye Vise
    Reply

    PS. I must acknowledge that I am proud of you, Henri, as you apparently have sanctioned Lisa’s story, including your marital struggles and the issues I addressed above. That takes a big man and a lot of guts. This, no doubt, is one of the reasons Lisa fell in love with you and is still in love. Hang in there cous! 😉

    • Lisa Traugott
      Reply

      Jaye,
      Thank you for both comments. I’m crying as I read them and when we spoke. I believe that everything happens for a reason and maybe talking about this will let other people that they’re not alone and that marriage is a work in progress. Henri and I spoke a lot before I wrote the book, and discussed it with our preacher before we decided to mention it on the show, and honestly we are both scared about memes that may come, but we are hoping that by talking about one of the darkest points in our marriage and how we’re getting through it, it might help other people start their own hard conversations instead of keeping all the anger and hurt inside. The process has been tough and has brought us closer together. Jaye, you have always been so good and kind to us and I appreciate your direct honesty. Lisa

  • Jaye Vise
    Reply

    Lisa: I hope Henri understands the spirt in which I left my comments as well. Life isn’t easy for any of us. The true blessing of a partnership is the loyalty, support, appreciation and acceptance we offer to one another. That is true love–being grateful for what we have and not for what we don’t have. Most everything else is extraneous. Okay, I will get off my soapbox 😉 Hope to see you both soon. Love….Jaye

    • Lisa Traugott
      Reply

      He read your comments and understands that they were written by you with love.

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