Q. My husband of three years and I have finally gotten to where it is practical to try to start a family. Weíve known for a few years that I have a fertility problem that gets progressively worse each month, but we werenít ready so we decided to wait.
I have given up everything I am supposed to including alcohol and caffeine, even caffeine-free diet soda at his request, and am taking dance classes twice a week to try to get to a healthier weight.
I will be the first to admit that I am not in the best shape I have been in since we have been together, but I am active and only 15 pounds overweight. I thought we were on the same page about starting to try until he told me that I need to be healthier, and part of that request is that I first lose 30 pounds.
Now he wants to attend my next doctorís appointment to prove to me that I am not physically prepared for what I thought we wanted. Iím not sure what to do next and would appreciate any guidance.
A. Iíve been at this gig for 15 years and still, somehow, I can be surprised by the abundance and variety of ways people find to treat their supposed-loved-ones like dirt.
Your doctor wonít say this to you, so I will: Your husbandís insensitivity, sense of entitlement and casual disregard for boundaries between his body and yours do far more to disqualify him as father material than your extra pounds do to rule out motherhood for you.
While I realize you are invested in this marriage to the point where youíre ready to bring children into it today, Iím nevertheless, or perhaps because of that, going to beg you to look closely enough at your years together to see whether this recent bit of arrogance, objectification and, yes, misogyny out of your husband is wildly out of character for him, or just the one time itís been blatant enough to catch your full attention.
If itís the former, then go ahead, bring him to your appointment, and let the doctor handle his weight concerns and also hear about your discomfort with his asserting what you can and canít eat, what you can and canít weigh, and what you can and canít be trusted to discuss with your doctor yourself.
If itís the latter and please note, this ďifĒ is a nod to the limits of this medium, not to the limits of my conviction, then please deal with this painful truth about the man you married. Better now than when the self-image of a child is wet clay in his hands.
Q. How can you let anger go when you still get treated the same way by those involved, and they refuse to see that anythingís wrong?
A. Release requires distance. To understand the people who mistreated you, the effect of the mistreatment and any contribution you made to the problem, you need to step back emotionally and try to think objectively about the whats, the whys and the how-not-to-perpetuate-the-cycles.
When youíre too close to think objectively, then you likely need physical distance.
One place to start: Why are you standing in harmís way, waiting to feel safe?
ü Email Carolyn at tellmewashpost.com, follow her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/carolyn.hax or chat with her online at noon Eastern time each Friday at www. washingtonpost.com.
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