A reddit post made the rounds the other day on Twitter:

Basically, this woman and her husband were both fat. It happened gradually since they got together. She was never slim, but she put on more weight over the years, and as it happened he became less affectionate and loving towards her.

One day, on her own accord, she decided to start losing the weight. She’s currently slimmer than she was when she and her husband started dating, and he’s treating her completely differently. They have sex often and he’s very affectionate towards her. And gradually, she’s started to hate him — ostensibly because of it.

A lot of people have had takes on this, but I’m going to highlight two of them from some of my favorite posters Echo and Alex:

In other words…

  1. She’s angry because of how conditional his love was to her before, and resents him because of it (essentially accepting the poster’s premise)
  2. She’s angry because she doesn’t understand attraction and is naive about what men value in a woman 

Both of these posts have gotten a lot of traction. And they are right to: both are not only correct, they represent respectively the female and male visceral experience of the situation.

The woman feels like she should be loved unconditionally the same regardless of how she looks. And the man feels more attracted to a woman based on how she looks, and can’t help it.

But with respect to Echo and Alex, I don’t think either of these cut to the heart of the matter. Most women who lose weight and get more attention from their husbands don’t feel resentful about it. You could say this woman was especially delusional, but it wouldn’t explain why there is such broad commiseration among women to this scenario.

The reason is actually fairly simple, but overlooked. She got thin but he stayed fat.

This seems superficial at first glance. But it’s not simply about the looks. It’s about the change in the power dynamic.

Understand: it’s not that he’s more drawn to her since she’s thin that bothers her, it’s that she’s felt disconnected from him for awhile, and now feels that he is beneath her. His interest in her comes across simpy — like a guy who is thirsting after a woman simply because she is hot.

Let’s change the scenario for a moment to illustrate. Let’s say this guy was attractive, and stayed attractive throughout the relationship. He was fit, worked out regularly. But she started to get fat over the years. He became less affectionate as a result. Finally, she decided to get in shape, and he starts to give her more attention and affection again. Do you really think she is going to be resentful in this scenario?

Of course she is not, because it’s very clear that she was not taking care of herself compared to him. He was not only hotter, he was leading the relationship in terms of health. She would not feel above him, and so would not resent him; she’d rather be pleased to finally be acceptable to him.

Now let’s take a different scenario. Let’s say both of them were fat, but he treated her affectionately despite this. One day, she decides to get in shape, and eventually gets into the best shape of her life. She feels sexier, and they have more sex.

Is she going to feel resentful in this situation? Likely not, at least at first. She’ll be happy the man she loves and feels loved by is even more turned on by her. The only concern here is that the man didn’t lead, and remained out of shape. This won’t be so much of an issue if he is leading in other ways in the relationship, but if not it could become a problem. However, he is not going to feel like a simp to her, because he was affectionate to her in spite of her looks.

As you can see, this boils down to the relative desire and comfort in the relationship.

In the former scenario, the man wasn’t offering comfort but offered enough desire that her getting in shape didn’t lead to problems. In the latter scenario, the man wasn’t offering desire but offered enough comfort that her getting in shape didn’t lead to problems.

In the scenario presented on reddit, however, the guy didn’t offer comfort or desire, so when she got into shape she surpassed him and felt less connected to him, which led to her developing contempt.

There are multiple lessons to draw from here as men.

First, always treat your woman well. Love her regardless of where she is at. Note that DOESN’T mean you have to express acceptance of her being fat. You owe it to her to tell her how you feel. You can’t, and shouldn’t try to fake your desire. But you can be loving with her even as you are honest. Emotional neglect and inattention feels like abuse to a woman, and is also weak, because it shows you can’t face her directly. Tell her how you feel, then give her space to make changes, and then revisit if nothing has happened. Don’t hammer your frustration like a cudgel on her. No matter how painful it is to hear, women often do need masculine truth to improve, but never forget the feminine expands with praise — not criticism.

But second, DO NOT LET YOUR WOMAN SURPASS YOU. You need to LEAD. If you and your woman are out of shape, you are the one that should be directing that change (you have no right to demand of her what you haven’t done yourself). And if heaven forbid you drop the ball and she starts the process before you…

Do NOT let her take that journey alone.

It’s better to follow your woman up than it is to stay behind. Even if you only achieve half of the fitness progress as her, it makes a huge difference to go on the journey — not only because it reduces the difference in attractiveness between the two of you, but it creates more commonality as you grow together.

Anyway, enough said.

If you want to learn more about female psychology (and how to attract and keep the girl of your dreams)…

Get my masterclass: https://masterclass.patstedman.com/

– Pat