What you should do if your girlfriend is obese, an alcoholic and is totally letting herself go.
In this video coaching newsletter, I discuss an email from a viewer who says his formerly petite, fit and in shape girlfriend has been letting herself go over the past 8 years since they met. She is now obese, a raging alcoholic and says to him to accept that this is simply the way she is going to stay. She has no interest in being fit or taking care of herself.
He has a 10-year old son from a previous relationship. He is fit and in shape. He says he’s tried everything. My comments are in bold italics like this below in the body of his email.
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This is a story that it’s about eight years in the making, and it just goes to show the importance of participating in your own rescue. You can love somebody, you can want the best for them, but if they don’t love themselves enough to take care of themselves, there’s really nothing you can do. You should never try to care more about somebody else than they care about themselves. In other words, you shouldn’t care more about other people’s success than they care about their own success.
It just goes to show you how much time you can waste hoping that things are going to change or hoping that somebody is going to finally step up and take care of themselves. This is so important to love people for who they are and where they are, not love them for their potential. You’ve got to see what happens when they’re in a relationship. This woman took care of herself. As soon as she got comfortable in the relationship, she just started letting herself go. And on top of that, she’s become a raging alcoholic who doesn’t seem to have any interest in changing anything.
It’s just so important to make sure, if you’re going to be in a long term relationship with somebody, that your goals and your values match and you come together to share your completeness. And if one of the people in the relationship just stops doing their part, like this woman did basically six years ago, this guy should have left a long time ago. It’s pretty obvious. But it’s tough when you’re living with somebody, and there’s a lot of good things about them. Like he says, she’s a great girl in a lot of ways, but she’s just she’s an alcoholic. She has no interest in taking care of herself. And she told him several years ago, “Hey, you’re being shallow for being upset that I’m fat.” In other words, “I’m not doing anything about it and I don’t care.”
This happens. I was hanging out with a close family member of mine recently, and we were talking about her husband. She was like, “I think he’s just content to get old. He just doesn’t care, doesn’t want to take care of himself, doesn’t want to exercise.” People just get to that point in life and they just simply don’t care. You can love somebody, but if they’re not going to help themselves, there’s really nothing you can do. You’ve got to think about yourself.
In this case, this guy needs to think about himself, and his son for that matter — what kind of example he’s setting by sticking around and putting up with this. Because at this point, the two of them, he and his girlfriend, are just roommates. They stopped having sex a year and a half ago. He has no interest in it. It’s like, nothing’s changing. She’s not interested in doing that. And all he’s doing, at this point, is enabling her behavior.
I found you on YouTube a few weeks ago and I have binged on so many of your videos. They are fantastic! I’m going to be purchasing 3% Man, and I will read it at least 15 times that’s for sure!
I’d have to say, if you’ve been watching my videos all these weeks and you’re promising to read it in the future, I’d say you’re probably not going to, because maybe you’re lazy. If you were really serious, you’d already be reading it. That’s what I know.
For context, I am 35 and she is 40. We both work and provide 50/50 into the household. My son (from a previous relationship) lives with us, who is 10. We live in the United Kingdom. My girlfriend and I met 8 years ago. We both worked out, were physically fit and were in love.
After 2 years, we moved in together and everything was great. But out of nowhere, she stopped going to the gym, started putting on the pounds and started drinking a lot. When I noticed this, I asked her if everything was okay and if there was anything I could do for her. She’d always say everything is fine and that she is happy.
When a woman says, “it’s fine,” it’s not fine.
Sex was still amazing, frequent and she was happy, so I thought it was just a phase. Oh, how naive of me! Over the past 6 years things have gone from bad to worse.
So, things are good for two years, they moved in together, and they were good for a while when they were living together. And then, at some point in that first year, she just she checked out. She was comfortable, she didn’t care. She decided not to do anything about it.
To this day, I still work out and eat right. I’m 5’9″, 154 pounds and 13% body fat.
He sent a picture. He’s in good shape. The dude’s shredded.
But my girlfriend is now 5’5″, 160 pounds…
So, his girlfriend weighs even more than he does, and she’s four inches shorter. And he sent in a picture. She’s very rotund. I mean, the the contrast of what she looked like when they started dating to now, whew! That’s life, man. I mean, I know this guy is in the UK, but in America alone, 74% of Americans are either overweight or obese; 74% of Americans just don’t care. They’re not interested in doing anything.
…and is obese according to our smart scales. She hasn’t worked out in years, and each night she drinks 1 bottle of wine, a few gin & tonics, and a 3–4 cans of cider.
Damn! Whew, that’s a lot of alcohol for a 5′ 5″ woman.
Sometimes I get home from work or from picking up my son from school and she’s already slurring her words.
Yeah, dude, I mean, come on. After all these years, you’ve got to think about what kind of example are you presenting to your son — a loveless, sexless marriage with an alcoholic who’s hammered when you get home already. Come on, dude.
Over the years, I’ve lovingly and carefully asked her if I can get back the girl that I got with and I’d help her do it. She always made promises, but she never kept them.
He’s given her lots of chances. Her words and her actions don’t match. And as Maya Angelou said, “When somebody tells you who they are, believe them the first time.” So, she’s been telling you for years who she is, and you’re ignoring that. You still are dreaming and fantasizing that you’re in a relationship with the same woman you met. She put on a facade, and once she felt like she had you, she didn’t care. And you stuck around and enabled her behavior.
A couple years ago she just outright refused to change and said…
Remember, the strongest negotiating position is being able to walk away and mean it. And so, you’re about to see where she’s at. Imagine they’re at the negotiating table and she says this…
“You’ll just have to get used to it. This is me now, stop being so shallow.”
She’s just like, “I’m not doing anything.” The strongest negotiating position is being able to walk away and mean it. She got up and left the negotiating table and he says, “Okay, alright. Well, I guess I’ll just stick around.” Yeah, that would have been the moment to go, “Check, please!” I would have said, “You’re not the same girl I fell in love with. I’m fit, I’m taking care of myself, and you’re not doing anything. You’re just letting yourself go. I want to present a good example to my son, and you’re no longer doing that.”
I’ve been so disappointed by her attitude and lack of self-care, I haven’t had sex with her for 1.5 years.
Well, that’s on you because you stuck around.
It’s such a shame, because she’s actually a really nice, caring and attentive woman who is good to my son, but I need a partner who I’m sexually attracted to who holds the same values as me.
Yeah, it’s not good for your son at all. I’m sure she’s nice to him and everything, but being obese, and being an alcoholic, and presenting a loveless, sexless roommate situation to your son, what do you think he’s going to emulate when he grows up?
Both of my parents died very young from a heart attack and cancer, so health has always been my #1 priority. Both her parents have major health problems, but that doesn’t seem to make her want to change.
Yeah, like I was saying at the beginning of the video, you can love her and be excited about her potential, but look at who she is. She’s been telling you for years, “I don’t care. I’m not doing anything about it. You’re shallow for wanting me to get in shape and fit.” Check, please. You should have left six years ago, dude. When she gave you the ultimatum that, “Hey, I’m not changing, I’m not working out. I don’t care,” it was over at that point. You did everything you could.
What should I do?!
Well, you should have left years ago.
Should I jump up and down a few times ’til my balls drop, man up and get the hell out?
That’s a good idea. Now, you’re thinking.
Or is there something else I can do to help her want to become the best version of herself she can be again?
Well, you could give her an ultimatum. Say, “Hey, you need to do something about the drinking. Either stop or get help. I’m going to give you 30 days. And if you do nothing in 30 days, I’m moving out and it’s going to be over.” I mean, you can give her another 30 days… I don’t think she’s going to change. But if you want to give her 30 days, she might not take you seriously and just be like, “Yeah, whatever.” She may work out a few times and and then go back to it. But she needs to stop the drinking. Nobody wants to come home to somebody that’s already slurring their words. I mean, after school, that’s not a good example. It’s like, seriously, dude.
I’d love to help her and salvage the years already invested, but would I be wasting my time?
Thanks so much in advance!
Well, you’ve got about six years of this. She’s gone out of her way to show you who she is and tell you who she is numerous times. But you’re not listening, because you’re attached to the fantasy of who you want her to be and you’re totally ignoring reality. And you’ve been ignoring reality for six years, dude. Six years of your life have gone by. That just sucks. That’s a long time to put up with this. You should have left a long time ago, buddy.
Read the book 10 to 15 times. I’d get out there, and like I said, get your own place, move on with your life. Get back in the dating game, so you can find a woman who shares the same values and same goals, because this woman does not. She’s been telling you for years who she is, and you’re just projecting your fantasy of what you want her to be and you’re in love with her potential. You put your life on hold waiting for this woman to step up, she’s been falling flat on her face for six years, and it doesn’t look like she has any interest in changing.
Then on top of that, it sounds like her drinking is getting worse and worse and worse. It’s just not healthy for your child. So, you need to man up, just like you said, jump up and down until your balls drop and get the hell out. I mean, you can give her another 30 days and say, “Get alcohol rehab, or something. You’ve got 30 days to turn it around or I’m moving out. We’re out, and there is going to be no reconciliation. Once I leave, I’m gone forever.” I mean, a year and a half without any sex, I’d say it’s over, dude. Check, please!
So, if you’ve got a question or a challenge and you’d like to get my help, go to UnderstandingRelationships.com, click the Products tab at the top of your screen and book a coaching session with yours truly.