Welcome to Relationship Rehab, news.com.au's weekly column solving all your romantic problems, no holds barred. This week, our resident sexologist Isiah McKimmie tackles a woman whose husband says her weight and snoring turns him off.
HE WON'T HAVE SEX WITH ME AND SAYS I'M FAT — WHAT SHOULD I DO?
Should I leave? My husband and I have been together for 23 years and have two kids but we haven't had sex in nearly five years. It's the elephant in our bedroom.
There is an invisible Berlin Wall down the middle of our bed and neither of us have crossed this line in so long.
My husband says he is not attracted to me anymore because I'm fatter than before we had children. He says I snore because I'm overweight and this disrupts his sleep. He gets angry, saying I'm purposely not able to breathe at night because of my weight.
He is fit for his age, while I'm average size (12-14). I think it's all in his head. I have no trouble breathing at night or catching my breath. I am a nose breather not a mouth breather. Yes I do snore, but not always.
Even as I write this I think 'WTF I deserve better'. Even if I try to touch him on the arm, he pulls away. I try to hug him, he pulls away. I'm so lonely. Please help.
This sounds like a difficult and painful situation to be in.
What I hear clearly is that there's an underlying feeling that you can't keep doing this. That you deserve a happier, more respectful relationship. I agree with you. You deserve to be happy, loved and accepted for who you are.
Being lonely in your relationship is a clear sign that something is wrong. It sounds like your relationship is suffering with many challenges.
Should you leave? Maybe. Although there are other steps that you might like to try before you do that.
I know that your husband is saying awful, hurtful things to you now, full of blame and criticism. These will be difficult to move on from, but there is a chance that you can.
There's also a chance that with support, your husband will be able see the situation (and you) differently.
It sounds like your lack of physical intimacy together is a symptom of a lot more going on under the surface of your relationship – and internally for him.
With just this snapshot, it's difficult to guess what that might be. I do suspect that your husband is unhappy within himself and he's projecting some of that unhappiness and dissatisfaction onto you.
However, I'm also wondering if there's something else going on (or has been going on) in the dynamic between you that may be contributing to this.
Ask your husband if he's willing to see a well-trained couples therapist with you. By doing a full assessment and hearing more about his point of view, they can help you uncover what is going on under the surface and support you to find a happier relationship, where you both feel connected and have your needs met.
If he's not willing to do that, it doesn't leave you much choice. It's clear that you can't stay in this situation the way it is. It will slowly erode your confidence and your happiness.