HEALTH, LIFESTYLE

Weight gain puts stress on a relationship, according to Dr. Jenn Berman

July 28, 2014

While it’s NOT okay for a significant other to body shame you over small amounts of weight gain, SiriusXM’s Oprah Radio host Dr. Jenn Berman isn’t so forgiving when it comes to packing on serious pounds in a long-term relationship.

To illustrate her point, Berman talked about a caller she had who had put on weight and consequently felt rejected by her husband.

“When I pushed her to share with me about her weight gain … I expected her to say like ‘Oh, 10 pounds, 5 pounds,’ maybe a little more than that. I almost fell off my chair when she said she gained 100 pounds. One hundred pounds, that’s a lot of weight. To gain 100 pounds and expect for that to have no impact on your relationship is not realistic. I think that we have this idea that we’re supposed to receive unconditional love and support from our partners, but the truth is, there’s really no such thing as unconditional love outside of the parent-child relationship. There are things that we can do in our relationship that kill the relationship … You can’t put on that kind of weight and expect it not to have an impact on your relationship. It’s important to know that being in a relationship is not a hall pass when it comes to self-care.”

She also stresses that significant weight gain may be a symptom of something more serious.

“Whether it is stress management, emotional eating, poor self-care, not being in touch with yourself, with your body, with your signals, not taking the time to take good care of yourself. Those are important issues to address. Those are things you can’t sweep under the rug.”

Ultimately, Berman said small weight gain should not have an impact on your relationship, but significant weight gain should be addressed.

“If you find that your partner is rejecting you over a small weight gain … That’s a whole other thing, that’s a different problem. That’s not a relationship you want to stay in, when someone is super hypercritical of you and your body and doesn’t want to be with you for something that small. But, when we’re talking about the bigger issue and we’re talking about more significant weight gains, I believe that we all have the responsibility to take care of ourselves and it’s not just for ourselves but it’s also for our partner. It’s important to be fair with our expectations when it comes to our partners and our relationship and to take good care of ourselves.”