Some (not all) of the people I coach who have signficant others have an added stress. In the particular relationships that come to my mind as I write this, most often it’s a husband who wants his wife to be skinny. Wives tell me their husbands say things like, “I just don’t find you attractive at this weight.” Some say ,”I just don’t think it’s healthy to be this overweight”, but the wives still believe it’s mainly about appearance…or at least it feels that way to them.
By encouraging their wives to diet and to write down what they eat, most of these husbands genuinely believe they’re being helpful. I know this to be true because I have had conversations with a few of them (some have accepted invitation to come to a joint coaching session). What I’ve learned is that some of the wives send mixed messages…they allow or encourage their husband’s involvement, thinking it will help them stay on track because they, too, want to be thin. Or they allow it because they feel shame…or they fear they will lose their husband if they don’t agree. Regardless, they often deeply resent the intrusion and the overt or covert messages that they must be thinner for their partners to be attracted to them and to love then completely.
With her permission, I want to share how one of my clients masterfully handled this challenge. She sent the following to me in prep for a coaching session.
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