I have a dilemma I’ve been struggling with for about a year now. About 2 1/2 years ago, I met the woman of my dreams. She was 39, and I was 43. The first time I lay eyes on her, I was completely smitten with her beauty. As time went on and we got to know each other, I realized she had just as much inner beauty as outer beauty and was the girl I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. She moved in after about six months of dating and things have been great ever since.
The reason I am writing to you is that she has gained a lot of weight, and it is affecting our relationship. First and foremost, I am concerned about her health. She is on the verge of becoming obese and I know a slew of issues can come with that. I myself have always maintained a good fitness regimen and took health very seriously. This is one of the things that attracted me to her. When we first met, she was in the gym every day and eating a healthy diet. Over the past year and a half, she has done a 180 on a fit/healthy lifestyle. She no longer works out and eats a lot more than she used to. This will no doubt continue unless she does something drastic with her routine. I hate to sound mean, but I want to be honest, I am definitely not as physically attracted to her and therefore our physical intimacy has greatly suffered. I want so much to propose to her, however, I have reservations. My question to you is, how do I talk to her about this issue without offending her? I love her with all my heart, but a good relationship needs to be well-rounded including a physical attraction. This issue has to be addressed, or I fear it will permanently affect our relationship.
Dear Mr. Worried,
Do you have any idea why she has changed her lifestyle so dramatically? Does this coincide with other stressors in her life—job-related, the death of a loved one? Or is there something about your relationship that caused the shift?
For example, could the weight gain be a symptom of something deep inside her that is hurt or scared? Weight issues can point to issues of self-worth. Maybe her father told her or gave her the impression that she is not worth loving and so now, when she has a man who loves her, a subconscious part is trying to prove that this cannot be by making herself unattractive. Or conversely, maybe the subconscious thought is trying to prove that you will love her no matter what. Or maybe she feels so relaxed, loved, and comfortable with you that she has allowed herself to become lazy about fitness? Whatever the case, it seems she is wrestling with something, and your love and faith in her will be key to her defeating it.
I would first observe her closely for a while to see if you can gain any insight into what may be happening. Then ask her directly. Choose a time when you are both calm and relaxed, tell her how much she means to you, that you are concerned for her, and that you want to understand what is happening and how to help.
If you are sincere and she does become angry or offended, then I would guess it means you have touched a sore spot. Allow her upset to pass and stay calm—this is a modern-day opportunity to help a damsel in distress, because there is a dragon within. If she is willing to work on and improve herself, then I think you can have faith that together you will slay it (perhaps also with the help of therapy). This healing process will take some patience and endurance on your part, but it will show her that you are willing to love and protect her no matter what.
And, since you know she is the one, you could also demonstrate your faith in her by going ahead with your proposal.
I called for technical support because my DISH wouldn’t come on. The representative accidentally removed my present package, which was local channels only. She said she couldn’t put it back on, so she transferred me to someone else who also said they couldn’t put it back on, because once it is removed it is gone. So I asked to speak to someone else, and he also said once removed, it couldn’t be put back in. I said I never asked for it to be removed and again they said, “I know, but it’s gone.” So they wanted to charge me $73 a month instead of $15. I told them, “This is fraud. Your person screwed up my account, and you can’t fix it? What kind of scam is this company running?” Any advice?
Could you cancel your account, then sign up with a different one? Maybe your husband or other family member could get an account in their name.
Check first, though, to see what is being offered to new customers. Note that companies sometimes offer promo deals that end after a certain period of time, so read your contract carefully, as otherwise you may start receiving a higher bill in a year or so.
Also, if you know any other people using this same company, I would ask them about their experience. Or perhaps your neighbors could recommend a different company?
My general advice for when you talk to customer service is to pause before you call and have a kind thought for the person who will be helping you. I have always thought customer service work must be draining—talking all day with people who don’t really want to be talking to you and dealing with their problems. So I would imagine it is a relief for them to talk to someone who is considerate. Of course, you may need to be persistent, but be as polite and pleasant as you can. Especially if you are asking for something that is outside the bounds of their normal protocol, you can get a lot further by apologizing for the inconvenience, perhaps jokingly commiserating about how hard it is to deal with situations like yours, or thanking them for the extra effort. You can also look into a consumer advocacy organization such as the nonprofit organization Elliott Advocacy (Elliott.org) for help and resources.
Do you have a family or relationship question for our advice columnist, Dear June? Send it to DearJune@EpochTimes.com or Attn: Dear June, The Epoch Times, 229 W. 28th St., Floor 7, New York, NY 10001.
June Kellum is a married mother of two and longtime Epoch Times journalist covering family, relationships, and health topics.