A Bad Marriage Is Fattening
Can a bad marriage really be fattening? Yes it can! In my own bad marriage I went from 125 pounds to 275 pounds 20 years later. This is the story of how my unhappy marriage made me fat — and how I divorced my husband and moved on to a happier new life.

Reality Sucks

It’s New Year’s morning.  What’s the first thing I do when I wake up?  What does every overweight person do on the first day of the New Year?  Why step on the scale of course and make their New Year’s resolution to lose weight.

I fling off my nightgown and try not to look at my naked reflection in the bathroom mirror as I step on the scale.  The scale reads 142 pounds – but it’s not really 142 pounds.  It’s really 242 pounds.  Ever since I’ve weighed over 200 pounds, I have never been able to bring myself to say the number two hundred when it comes to my weight.  My mind automatically reverts back to when I weighed in the 100-pound range.  I have never accepted the fact that I weigh in the 200-pound range nor would I ever admit to it on my driver’s license.

You could say that denial is my middle name.  Look up the word “denial” in the dictionary and you will find my name:  “Denial – noun – Joan Denial Oshatz.  A woman who refuses to believe what her bathroom scale says.”  There you have it.  I live in a constant state of denial when it comes to my weight.  But just so you don’t get the wrong impression that I’m totally out of touch with reality let me explain.  Intellectually I know I’m fat.  But if I don’t have to look at myself in the mirror then I don’t have to confront the reality of how fat I really am.  If you don’t understand what I just said then you’re obviously not fat.

But today, as hard as it is for me, I’m going to face reality and earnestly begin to take off my weight.  The moment of truth has arrived.

I look at myself naked in my bathroom mirror.  The best way I can describe myself is to say that I have a double chin and look like one of those smiling Buddha statues that has a humongous protruding stomach — only I’m not smiling and my breasts sag.  The next thing I can tell you is that my belly button isn’t where it used to be.  It’s lower.  My excess weight has stretched my stomach downwards.  Well, that’s enough reality for one day.

I didn’t always look like this.  I was once slim and beautiful.  I put on all my weight after I married Paul (I’ve changed my ex-husband’s name to protect the guilty).  It’s true, dear reader, a bad marriage is fattening.

12 Responses to “Reality Sucks”

  1. Hope things go well for you … working on the same things … and plan to take it one day at a time.

  2. I really liked reading your post! Quality content! Such a valuable blog! 🙂

  3. Joan,

    I’m starting at the beginning. Hoping work will be slow tonight so I can just read your story instead. 🙂

  4. I love this- on a total bummer – which almost never happens to me. I am in a marriage too – I dont know what to call it… bad? fake? crazy? driving the crazy train for way too long, its all starting to effect me all of a sudden…..

    • Karen, I started writing this blog one year ago because I felt passionate about the story I had to tell. You see, I did not feel that I was alone. I thought that there must be millions of women, like me, who felt trapped in unhappy marriages and turned to food for comfort and to numb their feelings. Reality Sucks was my first post.

      Thank you for being a new reader and following my blog. By telling my own story truthfully, I hope that any of my readers who feel trapped in unhappy marriages might glimpse pieces of themselves in me and gain insight into why they have chosen to stay in an unhappy marriage. It is only by understanding ourselves that we are finally free to move on with our lives.

  5. Thanks again.. I have chosen to stay and now for numerous reasons I am STUCK for good… truly until death do us part.

    • Karen, you have chosen to stay and read my blog for numerous reasons (I am curious what the numerous reasons are, but I won’t be nosey) and now you are STUCK for good? Well, in that case you might enjoy reading one of my favorite posts. It is called My Mad, Passionate, Wildly Sex-Crazed Nights With My Refrigerator. And if you REALLY are going to TRULY be here until death do us part — then I better start writing some more posts or you are going to run out of posts to read! But then if you run out of posts to read on my blog, there is always my memoir to read which I am working on now — and coincidentally it has the same title as my blog, A Bad Marriage Is Fattening. 🙂

      • well.. my husband is very selfish-been together over 20 years.. have two great kids… 2 grandkids- a lovely home (albeit small, but Im happy and have worked hard for it) . Nothing is ever good enough for him- and I have known this from the start , yet I stayed .. he is now permanantly disabled and I cant afford to end it – I refuse to start over (again) first marriage very young. So there are good days – bad days and worse days.. and I just have to laugh most of the time – today I couldnt stop crying. I too am overweight -I exercise (when I can- I work a lot) and dont eat poorly- I think stress may play a big part – I dont know. Anyway I get the denial… it is my middle name as well – for oh so many reasons. Thanks for the laughs… I need it right now.

      • Karen, when I began writing my blog A Bad Marriage Is Fattening I knew that I would be writing my blog from my own personal perspective. I would tell candidly what happened to me in my unhappy marriage, but I was not a therapist — I was a writer, so any feedback I might give in response to a reader’s comment would only be my own opinion. I strongly believe that each person has to understand their own reasons as to why they choose to stay in an unhappy marriage.

        I have found that I have very insightful readers — and the majority of my readers intuitively understand why they are staying in unhappy marriages. Just as you have so insightfully given me a thumbnail sketch as to why you are staying in your marriage.

        I am not on a mission to tell women that they should divorce their husband or leave their significant other in order to find happiness in their life. No one understands more than I do why women stay in unhappy marriages. And this includes women who are intelligent and educated. Each woman who is in an unhappy marriage chooses to stay for her own reasons — and those reasons are always valid in the woman’s mind, or else she would not stay.

        I would be the last person to judge why anyone chooses to stay in an unhappy marriage. I stayed in my own unhappy marriage for twenty years and I put on 150 pounds! And I am an educated woman. I have a Master of Fine Arts from UCLA in Screenwriting. I also consider myself to be an intelligent woman. But education and intelligence has nothing to do with why women stay in unhappy marriages.

        What I knew then while I was in my unhappy marriage — and what I know now, ten years after my divorce, is that I stayed completely out of fear. If you want to know why I personally stayed read my post Fear And The Binging Mind. I totally believe that what I wrote in the last paragraph is true: “Fear is the great paralyzer. Fear is what kept me bound in my own unhappy marriage when everything inside me cried out to leave. I refused to listen to that voice inside of me that was pleading for me to leave, because I feared it so much I did everything in my power to turn it off. And it was fear that kept me binging. Because when I was binging I never had time to think about my fears.”

        Why I stayed in my marriage and why you are staying in your marriage are for totally different reasons. You sound like you are a self-supporting, independent woman who cannot leave her husband because “he is now permanently disabled” and you cannot afford to leave him because he is dependent upon you. I, on the other hand, was totally dependent upon my husband financially being that I was a stay at home mother. So you see, you are staying in an unhappy marriage — and I was staying in an unhappy marriage for entirely different reasons. Yet, both reasons as to why we each stayed are valid.

        But for me, fear was what kept me in my unhappy marriage. Fear of the unknown. It was better, I thought, to stay in my unhappy marriage than attempt to make it in the world on my own. If I was unhappy in my marriage — there was even a greater possibility that I might be even more unhappy on my own. And what if I could not afford to take care of myself and my son financially?

        You said something very interesting in your reply. You said, “I refuse to start over (again) first marriage very young.” Meaning that you started over once before when you were very young, but you are not willing to do it now.

        I understand not wanting to start over again. Especially when we are older. I had to start my life over again at the age of 55 with a then 15 year old son — and weighing 275 pounds. I lost my house, my dogs, my cats, everything in my divorce. But circumstances forced me to start over again, because I had no choice. My husband was in love with another woman and he walked out on me to marry her.

        I have great empathy for everything that you are going through — but I think you have made your choice. Unfortunately you are unhappy with your choice and that is why you remain in conflict. I think, perhaps, if your husband was not permanently disabled you might have made a different choice — but those are the circumstances. Until you can rethink your choice — because your circumstances are not going to change, I fear that you are going to continue experiencing the emotional roller coaster that you have been on where, “there are good days — bad days and worse days.”

  6. Yes, I suppose we all have our reasons. I actually went to see a “Doctor” last week due to what I am going through – never thought I would do that – but I did. Unfortunately she didnt really tell me anything I didnt already know. I am married to a man who doesnt care about anything but himself. No matter how I spin it- he just doesnt care. He says he loves me… then he says he hates me.. he has recently “befriended ” an old (girl) friend and went to stay with her for the night – “they are just friends” and Im supposed to be OK with that – I thought I was .. I now realize I am not she keeps calling and calling and telling him what to say and not to say and I swear I thought I could take it , but I can not .. even though he is very ill – I think he is going to outlive me at this point. This is so not good for my self esteem.

  7. Hi Joan,

    Is this really you? do you remember me?


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