This Reddit Family Rift Was Cemented By a Cat’s Birthday Party & No, We’re Not Kidding
Divorces happen for lots of reasons, from lack of commitment to infidelity to nonstop arguing to, well, just getting married too young. (Those are the top four reasons for divorce in the US, per Forbes, in case you’re curious.) Sometimes, though, people get divorced for reasons that aren’t so cut-and-dry — like your partner changing in ways you couldn’t have predicted, and that you can’t accept. Those changes could be political (as in, you married a Democrat but they turned into a Trumper), value-based (you both agreed to have children and now they’re rethinking), or just around their general priorities and outlook on life. Of course, sometimes those changes aren’t really changes at all, but your partner showing you who they truly are.
One couple on Reddit’s relationship advice forum is experiencing marital trouble right now, and it’s due to some unforeseen changes on the husband’s side. To sum it up, his wife (aka our OP, which is Reddit-speak for the person who wrote the post) lost some weight, and now he’s starting to treat her differently — and she’s not sure she likes the implications of that.
There’s a lot more to it than that, of course, and Reddit had plenty to say to response. Keep reading to get the full story.
OP and her husband have been married for five yearsand have a three-year-old child together. OP says she struggled after having the baby — with losing weight, adjusting to becoming a parent, and dealing with the “baby blues,” all at the same time. Understandably, OP wasn’t really focused on her appearance at the time. “Instead I was trying to figure out our new routine and way of life.”
As OP was dealing with these challenges, her husband started making “little comments” about her body and “how I should start working out and wearing makeup again.” It made OP feel awful, she says, and she even started worrying “that he might start looking elsewhere because we weren’t being intimate anymore.”
OP’s husband suggested hiring a nanny so OP could have more time for herself, but OP declined, as she wanted to be with their baby full-time. “That made him angry and he started acting cold towards me,” she writes.
From there, OP says, “Months went by without any hugs, kisses, romance or any kind of affection” from her husband. It began to affect her self-esteem. “Every time I looked in the mirror, all I saw were the flaws that my husband pointed out.”
Their son was two at that point, and OP “desperately wanted to win my husband back.” She explains, “I thought that if I got in shape again, he would show me love and affection and our marriage would be saved. I craved his attention so much and it hurt to see how much things had changed.” But, she adds, “you can’t force someone to be affectionate.”
OP ended up hiring some help, which gave her more free time. “I started going to the gym, taking swimming classes… getting my hair and lashes done regularly and eating healthier,” she says. OP ended up losing weight and now says she feels amazing.
Technically, OP’s plan worked. Her husband, she writes, suddenly “started touching me, kissing me, buying me flowers and treating me like the complete opposite of how he treated me before.” But the change in behavior only made OP feel worse. “All I could think about were the hurtful things he said to me when I was at my lowest and how cold he was towards me,” she writes. “Why couldn’t he just hug me or give me a kiss on the cheek even when I was overweight? Why couldn’t he love me as a human being and the mother of his child?”
As OP regained her self-esteem, she realized how angry she was — with herself, “for putting up with his behavior for so long.”
OP recently told her husband she wants a divorce because, she says, “I don’t think I can move past how badly he treated me.” Her husband apologized and promised to change, but OP says she’s not sure if she can trust him. “What if I gain weight again or have to deal with health issues? Will he treat me like garbage again?”
With her friends and family split over the situation (some think she should leave him, some say she should give him a second chance), OP is asking Reddit whether she’s “justified in being upset over this,” and whether they think her husband really could change or if divorce is the right move.
Reddit was unanimously in support of OP deciding to divorce her husband over these issues.
“I’ve had huge weight swings in my marriage and my husband never treated me like shit when I was heavier,” one commenter said. “Frankly I wouldn’t want to be with someone who treated strangers like that, let alone me. How will he treat your kid if they are overweight?”
The top-upvoted comment cut straight to the heart of the matter. “[Your husband’s behavior] makes you feel gross because you’re realizing that your husband doesn’t love you unconditionally,” they wrote. “He loves you only when he thinks you look decent/acceptable. You are absolutely right to ask if he will act like this again if you go through another pregnancy or something more medically serious. He says that he’ll change, but words and promises mean nothing if you don’t actually try and change.”
Another Redditor agreed, saying, “This is the type of man who will leave if you get cancer or a debilitating illness. His attraction determines his love and respect, which means neither is permanent or guaranteed.”
“You’re totally justified,” one commenter said. Putting themselves in OP’s shoes, they wrote, “I know I wouldn’t be able to move past someone treating me that way.”
Summing it all up, one commenter asked OP to think back to her marriage vows. “He should have been there through the highs and the lows, in sickness and in health,” they said, but he wasn’t. “Those words didn’t mean anything to him, his love was conditional.” They also pointed out that OP gained weight because she was bearing his child, “and instead of being the man to support you, he went cold when you needed him… Dump this trash into the trash can and walk away. You know that’s the answer already when you made this post. Proud of you for realizing your worth.”