Life happens, kids happen, weight gain happens. And sometimes our partner can look very different than they did when we first met. What can you do if you are no longer physically attracted to your partner?

Let’s think back to when you first fell in love and knew you wanted to commit to the one you’re with now. You certainly liked him/her enough to initially commit to being in relationship with him/her.

So what can you do if your partner has gained a lot of weight and looks different?

Getting curious

Like everything in Imago therapy, when something bothers a person more than usual, or more than someone else might feel about the same situation, that’s usually a clue that there is something deeper going on.

In Imago we like to say, “if it’s hysterical, then it’s historical”, meaning, if you’re just so upset and you really can’t get past the issue, that is a clue that there is something deeper where this may be coming from.

While it makes a lot of sense that indeed if your partner looks very different from how they did when you first met that you might feel this is unfair, but if you’d get curious enough to dig a little deeper, there may be an underlying childhood story for you.

What did you learn growing up about people that were heavy?

Did you hear messages about physical appearances a lot from your parents?

Were physical appearances commented on a lot by your primary caretakers?

Were those that were considered pretty more respected and valued?

There are things about everyone (even you 🙂 that change over time that are less than perfect-  even other than weight gain. That means if you’d ask your partner what they thought about how you’ve changed over the years, you might hear some surprising things!

What to do now

Really it all comes down to preference and how important it is for you to be married to someone that looks the way your partner looks. Are the other qualities about your partner enough to appreciate and love, outweighing the mere physical imperfections? Only you can decide that- if it’s worth leaving or breaking up a family because of this.

If you can get curious enough to explore in couples therapy where this distaste may be coming from, you might be surprised how much will open up for you!

We’re happy to talk with you to help give you some clarity about the situation that you’re in. There’s nothing more freeing than speaking to someone who knows how to guide others in all kinds of situations, helping to free up the frustration and complicated nature of what you may be going through. Schedule a time to speak with us here or fill out the form below and we’ll get back to you within 24-48 hours.

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Shlomo & Rivka Slatkin

Rabbi Shlomo Slatkin is an Imago relationship therapist and certified (master level) Imago workshop presenter with over 20 years of experience hosting couples therapy retreats in-person and online. Contact or