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Ask Dr. SchwartzAsk Dr. Schwartz:
Psychotherapy and Mental Health questions

Heavy Load

Wed, Aug 3rd 2011

I am having difficulty in my marriage. I have been with my husband 16 years. Over the years he has gained weight as I have as well. I was 271 lbs. and he is 600 lbs.

Our quality of life has been impacted by his weight gain and the lack of participation in doing things as a family. My kids and myself take vacations, sometimes without my husband, because he refuses to go anywhere that has to deal with walking. If he does go he stays in the room the whole time and complains why did we leave.

I have became the main person for our household for fixing anything that breaks, making sure the housekeeping is being done, cooking, and taking care of the youngest child.

I am an executive and work a full time job that takes me around the world. He owns a restaurant business. I am tired of leaving on trips and coming home to broken appliances, or a house that has been trashed. My husband calls no one to fix anything he expects me to do it all. I have gotten many calls hundreds of miles away to help repair a broken refrigerator.

This week is the last straw. I came home, after being gone for two weeks, to a broken air conditioner. He never called a repairman or me but instead and for the past four nights, moved himself and our 8 year old to the basement. Needless to say I had it fixed the next morning by troubleshooting and buying a part at the hardware store.

I had a stroke several years ago and decided this past year that I have to lose weight and try to do something to reduce my high blood pressure. My husband looked in to weight loss surgery for himself several years ago. I convinced my husband that he and I should try this together. Well part of the preparation was loosing weight prior to the surgery. My husband needed to loose 100 lbs. in 9 months and me about 30 lbs.

Well, my husband has gained even more weight and I turned out being approved for the surgery. I have lost 100 lbs. since September.

Part of what has dawned on me is I have been a crutch for my husband by doing everything for him that he will not do for himself.

I am tired of feeling ashamed of his weight, of not being able to go to dinner, or the movies, or do anything that I feel is very normal, because he does not want to go. Our sex life does not exist. We will do it and last for 2 minutes while he pleases himself. He then says he is too tired to do anymore. Most of his time is spent on porn sites, watching porn tapes and masturbating, sometimes right next to me while I am sleep. He says it’s my fault because I do not approach him enough for sex.

We are finally going to a marriage counselor in the next two weeks but, I do not know where to start. He will say the problem is with me. I have my problems that I know need to be worked on as well but, I am so upset and angry that I feel like I am all-alone.

What can I or should I do?

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