Q: I married at 21 and have been married for five years. I really love my wife, but there is an issue I can no longer deal with. I know it's common for married couples to put on weight (I put on 30 pounds myself), but my wife keeps gaining. We do not have children yet, so she can't use that excuse. She's put on 75 to 100 pounds since our wedding, and I don't think she is going to stop. We joined a gym together, but she stopped going. We shop together and buy healthy food, but when I get home from work or look in her car, I see fast-food wrappers everywhere. She says she would like to lose weight, but she never does anything about it. Where it gets really bad is in the bedroom. I won't lie: I am not attracted to my wife now, which makes sex nearly impossible. She constantly asks me if I am still attracted to her. Is there a good way to tell her the truth?
Mia: Encourage your wife by leading the way. Step up your workouts and shed the pounds you've packed on. That should inspire her to get moving.
Aside from being supportive, there's nothing you can do if she's not ready to commit to a healthier lifestyle. If you start issuing ultimatums and nagging her, you'll make things only worse. Then you could wind up the biggest loser.
Steve: Gaining 30 pounds in your 20s is not a recipe for long life. Tell your wife you love her and don't want to lose her early, and that you should work together to lose weight. Suggest that she talk with a doctor about it. Doing it together will make it easier for both of you to maintain self-discipline.
But Mia's right. Overeating is an addiction, like alcohol. The addicted must want to change. No amount of outside pressure can do it.
Q: I have a fiance whom I have been dating for five-and-a-half months. Everything was great until she started going on long business assignments around the country. She is a hardworking professional and I know she sometimes works 10 to 12 hours a day. We agreed that we should not distract each other during work hours. My workday is fixed, but she sets her own schedule, so we agreed that she should be the one to initiate the phone calls. She is currently in Alabama and has not spoken to me for a week. The only communications we've had have been brief daily text messages. This situation is driving me crazy. I want to break the engagement when she returns. I don't think she's that much into me, but she doesn't want to end the relationship herself. I believe she wants to push me to do it. Please answer as soon as possible, because she will be back at the end of next week.
Steve: If she's your fiancee, it's pretty serious, no? Don't you have her cell-phone number? Could you call her one evening when she's done working to talk about maintaining your relationship while she's on the road?
Since she sets her own hours, she could tell you in advance when she'll be free.
Before breaking the engagement, have a serious heart-to-heart with her to make sure you're on the same page about where you want this relationship to go. If she's getting cold feet, then the decision to break it off can be mutual.
Mia: Call her right this second and ask if there's anything wrong. Tell her you love her and that you've missed talking with her. You may have misread the situation. Or your fiancee could have a case of the premarriage jitters. You'll never know until you talk things out.
If you're unable to communicate, then you're absolutely right to call off the engagement. But you have to talk with her first. Good luck. Let us know what happens.