Welcome to the
Marriage Builders® Discussion Forum

This is a community where people come in search of marriage related support, answers, or encouragement. Also, information about the Marriage Builders principles can be found in the books available for sale in the Marriage Builders® Bookstore.
If you would like to join our guidance forum, please read the Announcement Forum for instructions, rules, & guidelines.
The members of this community are peers and not professionals. Professional coaching is available by clicking on the link titled Coaching Center at the top of this page.
We trust that you will find the Marriage Builders® Discussion Forum to be a helpful resource for you. We look forward to your participation.
Once you have reviewed all the FAQ, tech support and announcement information, if you still have problems that are not addressed, please e-mail the administrators at mbrestored@gmail.com
Thread Like Summary
Olivia 80
Total Likes: 2
Original Post (Thread Starter)
#3016657 09/27/2022 2:15 PM
by Olivia 80
Olivia 80

In a nutshell, my husband and I have been married for a little over 11 years. We have three children together. I have four total, one from a previous marriage.

When I met my husband I was approximately 138 lbs. I am 5'8" and that was my weight before the three children we had together.

Currently I am approximately 151 lbs at 39 years old. I fluctuate between 150-155 lbs throughout the month.

My husband read Harley's book His Needs Her Needs. He is very familiar with the material. He has studied it extensively with a desire to eventually use some of the tools in it to assist married couples in a coaching type format.

I actually agree with Harley's concepts.

When we did the questionnaire a few years ago, we discovered that my husband's #1 need is physical attractiveness. To narrow it down further, specifically, that I be at the weight I was when we first met. He recites Harley's words that needs need to be as specific as possible. For him, the "specific" is approximately 138lbs.

This has caused countless arguments, hurt feelings and resentment over the years. He says he is physically attracted to me but that his NEED IS NOT BEING MET because I am not the weight I was, neither am I currently making the effort to lose any more weight.

Most recently, in an effort to "meet his need", we hired a nutritionist for me. After about three months, the lowest my weight got down to was approximately 150lbs. My nutritionist knew my goal was to lose 10-15 more lbs and even he said that my current weight was healthy, and that my BMI was ideal.

Many people would consider me a very attractive, physically fit woman.

Emotionally and mentally I was already getting exhausted for constantly feeling like I had to meet this "need". I then met with my therapist who suggested that I put personal boundaries in place. She agreed with the sentiment that a woman should seek to remain attractive for her spouse. She agreed, as do I, that no woman should just let herself go but she did not agree that forcing myself to get down an additional 10-15 lbs to satisfy this "need" of my husband was mentally or emotionally healthy for me.

I agreed and have communicated to my husband that I no longer will pursue losing additional weight. I told him that I would commit to not going over 155lbs (as I am comfortable with that) but any additional weight loss at this time will not happen.

Since I have placed that boundary, he has expressed to me that although he cannot force me to do anything, he is still frustrated that I have decided to not meet his need. (That statement is paraphrased)

My question is, Can someone please clarify if I am not meeting my husband's need for physical attractiveness by not being 138lbs or is my husband misinterpreting what Harley's thoughts are on the need for physical attractiveness?

Our relationship is otherwise healthy but this has been a constant source of contention over the years. My concern is that resentment will fester if he feels like I am not meeting his number one need.

Your attention to this matter is desperately desired. Thank you!
Liked Replies
by NewEveryDay
Olivia, welcome to MB! I’m sorry to hear you frustrated. MB is not supposed to be in isolation talking about 12 to 17 pounds. It’s supposed to be a lifestyle of care and thoughtfulness. Probably a better place to start would be to meet one another’s top emotional needs. Usually it’s the date nights, 15 hours of UA time, where you meet Recreational Companionship, Conversation, Affection, and Sexual Fulfillment.

If you reread the letters posted, they are talking about 50 pound weight losses. I’m not saying this will magically vanish. You said your H already finds you attractive. When your other needs are met, you two will be able to communicate and work through this in a way that will make deposits for each other. Right now this sounds painful for you both. Especially like you said this has been an issue for years. Start on the enjoyable parts of the program together first.
1 member likes this
by SugarCane
Dr Harley answered your letter on the radio show on 27th September. To summarise for those who didn't hear it:

He said to first, look at the latest version of HNHN. In the latest edition, you will not see the word "specific" in relation to identifying emotional needs. He said he has refined his advice in the various editions over the years in response to comments from his various editors. His women editors forced him to look at the question of attractiveness from a woman's point of view. A woman's body will change with childbearing and with ageing. Men are known to want women to stay the same as when they were first married, but they need to learn that, from the point of view of the body and appearance, this is unrealistic..

Dr Harley said that he now talks about a "healthy" weight, rather than an ideal weight. He said he agrees with your nutritionist about it not being emotionally healthy for you to try and lose more weight. He said that - not just a nutritionist but also a doctor would probably tell you not to lose any more weight. He said that he "highly recommends" that your husband gets used to the idea that he has a healthy attractive wife. Dr Harley was trying to get across that his "attractive spouse" category in general (not just for you) is about being healthy and not simply being an unrealistic ideal that is probably not healthy.

Dr Harley said that the meeting of ENs needs to be based on an enthusiastic agreement on how the need is to be met and on the final goal. (The final goal is not what just one of you desires it to be.)

Dr Harley said he would argue (to your husband) that you probably are meeting his his need for an attractive spouse. You are not failing to meet that need. Dr Harley suspects that if questioned, your husband would admit that you meet his need for attractiveness - it's just that he would like you to lose those extra 15lbs as well. He likened this position to the man that would like to have sex every day (maybe more than once a day), but who only has sex twice a week. His wife is not failing to meet his need for sex; more that she is not doing as much as he would like - but that is not failing to meet a need. The wife is meeting it to some extent, and it's the same with your weight and attractiveness.

He said you need to talk about your making your husband happy in a way that makes you happy also. You seem to have achieved equilibrium on this and your husband will need to learn to appreciate what you do for him (in terms of attractiveness).

So I would say that Dr Harley is entirely on your side, and he can see that you have done lot of work -with a nutritionist! Not many of us go that far to meet a need - and that he was convinced that you must already be meeting your husband's need for attractiveness.

There is a suggestion above that you put this issue aside and concentrate on having dates, but Dr Harley does not advise people in that way, as you can see. The expression of a need is legitimate and needs to be addressed directly.
1 member likes this
Forum Search
Who's Online Now
2 members (still seeking, Comfortable Shoe), 147 guests, and 63 robots.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Newest Members
Sourdine, Abela Laye, Ardent Center, Lost@1969, Jmoor9090
71,845 Registered Users
Building Marriages That Last A Lifetime
Copyright © 1995-2019, Marriage Builders®. All Rights Reserved.
Site Navigation
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.5